Category Archives: Trump

New Foreign Interference in US Presidential Election

While all eyes are focused on Russian interference in US elections (or, in the case of reality deniers, on imagined Ukrainian interference), a force planning to intervene in our domestic affairs is marshaling on our southern border.

I refer, of course, to former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Posted in 2020 Election, Completely Different, Trump | Leave a comment

Open Season on Trump on Late-Night TV

Late-night comedians on broadcast TV (i.e. not cable, where pretty much anything goes) have become savage and even profane in their criticism of President Trump. I don’t regularly watch late-night TV, so I don’t know if this is a sudden development or has been going on for some time. Either way, it is a remarkable, even shocking, change from the norms that governed TV ten much less twenty years ago.

Back in the day, there was more than lip service to the idea that the President was entitled to a modicum of respect, or maybe much more than a modicum, just because he occupied an institution worthy of respect. That norm has seemed was a bit suspect since at least the Vietnam war, but this is a primarily positive, not normative, post so let’s leave that issue aside until we circle back at the end.

This week, Trump attacking Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg via Twitter unleashed the comedic id. When Greta beat Trump for TIME magazine’s person of the year cover, Trump lashed out on Twitter. This provoked Stephen Colbert (CBS) to say “go Fjuk yourself” to the President; Colbert then softened it (not) by noting that he could say this on CBS because the reference was culturally appropriate, invoking Fjuk, a Swedish island: “it is lovely, they have a lighthouse, and you know where you can stick it.”

Colbert also responded to a Trump staff tweet photoshopping Trump’s head over Greta’s on an image of the TIME magazine cover by saying, “I’m guessing not the first time that Trump has forced himself on a young woman … [audience reacts] joke is based on a true story.”

Compared to the above, Seth Meyers (NBC) was actually tame, addressing Trump as follows:

Whenever you scream, you look like a tick that’s about to burst. I mean, look at him. He looks like a rabid possum hissing at you for disturbing his nest. Also, you are a 73-year-old man attacking a 16-year-old activist, because she cares about the environment. Think about how sad that is. You are a husk of a man. Actually not even, for there to have been a husk of a man, there would have had to been a man to begin with. You’re a husk of a husk.

Meanwhile, over on cable, mild-mannered Daily Show (Comedy Central) host Trevor Noah called President Trump “an asshole.”

The President of the United States is on Twitter bullying a teenage girl. Just try to imagine any other President doing something like this.

Noah then expanded the category to include first Donald Trump, Jr. for shooting an endangered sheep with a laser sight. Then Noah added in more adult Trump children: “this family is cartoonishly villainous — they even do charity like assholes”.

If these TV performances created any groundswell of public revulsion, it completely passed me by. One could argue this absence of respect for the Presidency began in the Nixon administration, and has grown steadily ever since — rightly (Bush 2) or wrongly (Obama). But now, surely, we can safely say that any reverence the public has for the Presidency as an institution is quite dead? On balance, this freedom might even be a good thing, since the US has often been criticized by political scientists for giving the head of government the deference that elsewhere is reserved for a separate and often largely ceremonial head of state. That said, the costs of getting to this point seem to me to have been quite high.

Posted in The Media, Trump | 1 Comment

Every Grift Great and Small

cutlery but not from the White HouseDaily Kos is publishing excerpts from the Anonymous book on life inside the Trump administration.  This little bit is arresting, although there will it seems be no arrests:

Donald Trump cannot not do crimes. It is not possible for him. Early on in the administration it became apparent that he was pocketing the official White House silverware after every meal served to him. It is not something the staff was willing to challenge him on, so it has continued after every meal, every week, since the inauguration. Nobody had the slightest idea where he had been squirreling them off to until the cleaning crew discovered a sack underneath the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom containing literally hundreds and hundreds of stolen knives, forks, and spoons. Does he intend to take them with him when he leaves office? Does he take them just to prove he can? Nobody knows, and none of us want to.

Not I suppose a high crime or misdemeanor, at least until he takes them out of the White House, but sooo weird.

Posted in The Scandals | 2 Comments

Lock Him Out

The “lock her up” chants are Trump rallies were often scary and always disgusting. But turnabout doesn’t seem like right play: Even if it was meant ironically, and I rather doubt it, I got no joy from the anti-Trump “lock him up” chants at Nationals Park during Game 5 of the World Series.

I think we need a new chant.

And, just in time to celebrate the first day of the impeachment hearings, I’ve got it, presented here as a poster or t-shirt worthy graphic:

Lock Him Out!

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I Take Back Everything I Said About the Cypherpunks Being Paranoid

Kevin Drum tips me over the edge:

This year’s Academy Award for the most pregnant use of an adverb goes to a Senior Administration Official speaking to the Washington Post about the homeless in Los Angeles:

We’re not rounding people up or anything yet. You guys in the media get too ahead of yourselves.

Quite so. All they’re doing is looking at cavernous storage facilities near the airport that might be used someday for rounding up the homeless. Why is everyone getting so upset already?

Posted in Civil Liberties, Trump | Leave a comment

Not (Quite) a Slam-Dunk?

Michael Stern argues that maybe the Trump Family suit against the Family firms’ accountants might not be a clear slam dunk. But then, in an update, he mostly walks that back.

Previously: Bad Claims is the New Trump Litigation Strategy and Other Views on Bad Claims.

Posted in The Scandals | Leave a comment