Saturday August 19, 2017
Quotes of the Day in Another Crazy Week in America
What do you say about this week? I have no words. Or few words. Or fewer words than normal.
OK, I have other people's words. That makes it easier.
Steve Bannon got the axe yesterday, and he went out with a promise to bring his, you know, fire and fury back to his alt-right/white supremacist/neo-Nazi website Breitbart, which has been spewing bullshit for years. (I've mostly followed its shoddy reporting on, and attacks of, Hollywood and the American film community.) Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker has a good piece, “The Rise and Fall of Steve Bannon,” in which he parses the particular idiocy of the Trump administration:
“In previous White Houses, officials downplayed this sort of internal combat, insisting that everyone was united around the President's agenda. But in the Trump White House there is no Trump agenda. There is a mercurial, highly emotional narcissist with no policy expertise who set up—or allowed his senior staffers to set up—competing ideological fiefdoms that fight semi-public wars to define the soul of Trumpism.”
Is there a particular idiocy to Trump? Following Trump's doubling-down on defending the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Jimmy Kimmel had a great monologue on Tuesday. You can see it here. I particularly like the moment, at 7:20 or so, when he reminds us of the lowlights of this presidency. Because we tend to forget. Because there's so many of them. But here we go:
Then he moves into the White House. Right off the bat, he's angry at the media for reporting that the crowd at his inaugruation was smaller than it was. Which was weird, but not important, really. And he claimed it stopped raining when he was speaking at his inaugural address, which ... everyone could see it was raining. But OK, it was his first week, you give him a break. So he gets in there, hires his daughter, hires his son-in-law, demands an investigation of voter fraud even though he won the election; he calls the prime minister of Australia and hangs up on him, he won't shake Angela Merkel's hand, he doesn't know Frederick Douglass isn't alive; he claims he can't release his tax returns because they're under audit, then says he's not going to release them at all; he signs a ban on Muslims that he claims isn't a ban on Muslims; he compliments the president of the Philippines for murdering drug addicts; hours after a terror attack on London he starts a fight with their mayor; after criticizing Obama for playing golf he plays golf every weekend; he accidentally shares classified intelligence with the Russians; he tweets a typo at midnight, then wakes up and claims it was a secret message; he praises Jim Comey in February, calls him a coward in June, and fires him, and he lashes out at his own attorney general for recusing himself from the investigation; he hires the Mooch, he fires the Mooch, he bans transgenders in the military without telling anyone in the military he's doing it; he plays chicken with Kim Jong Un ... And that's just some of the list!
Trump just moves from disaster to disaster, declaring victory all the while. We've had bad presidents, incompentent ones, malicious ones, racist ones, but never all of those elements together in one clownsuit. The fact that we ever elected him remains a dark day for American democracy.
Meanwhile, infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (9/11 was an inside job, Sandy Hook shooting was 'a total hoax') was on the streets of my city, Seattle, yesterday, apparently looking for someone to talk to. But not really. He just wants to spew. He and others on the right want to make Seattle the new Hollywood: a perennial right-wing punching bag. According to KOMO News, he said, “These people are bots, they're in a cult. 'Can you speak?' We're trying to see if any of these folks can speak out here.” Hey Alex, it's called the Seattle Freeze. Get used to it. Someone supposedly threw coffee on him but that was probably staged. He asked to talk to a city councilman but got this response: “I don't talk to racist fucks.” Love that. But my favorite part of KOMO's piece was this graf:
Jones also had plenty of defenders on Twitter, including @SeigHeil1, who asked people to pray for Jones as he was “surrounded by pharmaceutically deranged communists in Seattle.”
When you're defenders are @SeigHeil1, who needs enemies?
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Dinesh D'Souza is still peddling his idiot “Democrats started the KKK” argument. He got this response:
And then...the 20th century happened. Google it Dinesh. https://t.co/oWvuUzrEl0— Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) August 18, 2017
But my favorite tweet of the week, in a week in which many were suddenly talking about taking down Confederate statues, and others, from Pres. Trump to Tucker Carlson, were arguing that this was tantamount to destroying our history, amid all that hubub, we got this:
Are we going to take down this statue of Trump and Mitch McConnell? pic.twitter.com/EHSxDBJN5Z— Talia (@2020fight) August 17, 2017