Thursday Reads: Donald Trump, the Worst Person in the World, and Other NewsPosted: October 12, 2017 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Ben Affleck, Carmen Yulín Cruz, child abuse, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Harvey Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, Hurricane Maria, Ivana Trump, Melissa McEwan, Puerto Rico, rape culture, Sexual harassment, stock market and national debt, Trump is a moron 22 Comments
Every day I wake up to find that Trump has topped himself in terms of cruelty, ignorance, and selfishness. I guess if Hitler were alive, he’d be a worse person than Trump, but Trump is just beginning his attack on human decency from his powerful position.
The Washington Post: Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort.
President Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Declaring the U.S. territory’s electrical grid and infrastructure to have been a “disaster before hurricanes,” Trump wrote Thursday that it will be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate to the island for its recovery efforts and that relief workers will not stay “forever.”
Three weeks after Maria made landfall, much of Puerto Rico, an island of 3.4 million people, remains without power. Residents struggle to find clean water, hospitals are running short on medicine, and commerce is slow, with many businesses closed.
Trump on Thursday sought to shame the territory for its own plight. He tweeted, “Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes.” And he quoted Sharyl Attkisson, a television journalist, as saying, “Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.”
He also wrote: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
It has been three weeks, and the Federal Government response has been pathetic and incompetent. People in Puerto Rico have been for help, and Trump has interpreted their pleas as criticism of him personally. This is a very sick man, and he must be removed from power before he destroys our country.
Vox: Everything that’s been reported about deaths in Puerto Rico is at odds with the official count.
Death tolls are the primary way we understand the impact of a disaster. And for nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, as a humanitarian crisis was intensifying, the death toll was frozen at 16.
“Sixteen people certified,” Trump said on October 3 during his visit to the island, repeating a figure confirmed by the territory’s governor. “Everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico.” ….
The death toll from the hurricane is now up to 45, according to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. But 90 percent of the 3.4 million American citizens on the island still don’t have power, and 35 percent still don’t have water to drink or bathe in. And given how deadly power outages can be, 45 deaths seems low, according to disaster experts.
At Vox, we decided to compare what the government has been saying with other reports of deaths from the ground. We searched Google News for reports of deaths in English and Spanish media from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. We found reports of a total of 81 deaths linked directly or indirectly to the hurricane. Of those, 45 were the deaths certified by the government. The remaining 36 deaths were confirmed by local public officials or funeral directors, according to the reports. We also found another 450 reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and reports of at least 69 people still missing.
Please go read the rest if you can.
In case you imagined Trump ever had any human decency, here’s a little about what he did to his eldest son Donald Jr.
At The New York Times: Gail Collins discusses some revelations from Ivana Trump’s new book: The Trumps, the Poodle, the Sex Scandal.
The book is supposed to be about good parenting. But the most important thing you learn is that we can never say another mean thing about Donald Jr. again. Really, it sounds like the worst childhood ever. His story begins with Dad resisting the idea of naming the baby after him, in case his first born turned out to be “a loser.”
As a toddler, Don Jr. broke his leg due to a negligent babysitter. Then one day when Ivana was out of town, he and Eric called hysterically to report they had found their nanny unconscious in the basement. (She died.)
Wait, there’s more: During their infamous divorce, Dad sent a bodyguard from his office to get Junior, announcing: “You’re not getting him back. I’m going to bring him up myself.”
Ivana says she responded: “O.K., keep him. I have two other kids to raise.” Silence and 10 minutes later the bodyguard returned her son.
It was, Trump’s ex-wife concluded, “a tactic to upset me.” However for some reason, at around this time Don Jr. stopped speaking to his father and wound up getting shipped to boarding school.
After several more years of being the namesake of a man who was then famous for starring in the most sensational tabloid stories of the era, Don Jr. graduated from college, moved to Colorado and got a job bartending. Ivana said she made her disapproval clear by “cutting him off” until he gave up, returned to New York and joined the Trump Organization.
People Magazine recounts the stories told by a college classmate–I wrote about this when it first came out.
Vanity Fair reported that Scott Melker, a Penn classmate, wrote on Facebook, “Donald Jr. was a drunk in college. Every memory I have of him is of him stumbling around on campus falling over or passing out in public, with his arm in a sling from injuring himself while drinking. He absolutely despised his father, and hated the attention that his last name afforded him.”
Melker also described an alleged incident in which Trump showed up to his son’s dorm room to take him to a Yankees game. Trump Jr. was dressed in a Yankees jersey and when he opened the door to his father, “without saying a word, his father slapped him across the face, knocking him to the floor in front of all of his classmates. He simply said, ‘Put on a suit and meet me outside,’ and closed the door.” A spokesperson for the Trump family told Vanity Fair this story is “completely false.”
The man in the White House is pure evil. There is so much horrifying news about him that it’s impossible to pay attention to all of it. Here’s more proof that Trump is not only evil, but he is a moron, just as Rex Tillerson said last summer.
CNBC: Trump just claimed stock market gains actually offset national debt.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that, “in a sense,” gains made by private financial markets reduce the national debt. The claim is incorrect on its face, but it does point to how the president views the economic interplay between the federal government and Wall Street.
“The country — we took it over and owed over $20 trillion,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News, referring to the total national debt, which has hovered near $20 trillion since early 2016.
“As you know, the last eight years, [the federal government] borrowed more than it did in the whole history of our country,” Trump said. “So they borrowed more than $10 trillion, right? And yet we picked up $5.2 trillion just in the stock market. Possibly picked up the whole thing in terms of the first nine months, in terms of value.”
“So you could say, in one sense, we’re really increasing values. And maybe in a sense we’re reducing debt. But we’re very honored by it,” Trump said.
For evidence that the two metrics have little to no bearing on one another, look no further than the eight years of the Obama presidency: Between 2009 and 2017, the S&P 500 returned 235 percent while the national debt soared.
And while Trump likes to talk about “reducing debt,” the economic policy proposals he’s unveiled so far, especially his tax reform plan, could easily add another trillion dollars to the debt, according to economists.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal continues as more women come forward every day. Oh, and have you heard that the whole thing is Hillary Clinton’s fault? I wonder was it also her fault when Trump said he liked to “grab them by the pussy?”
Sady Doyle at Elle: Harvey Weinstein and the Crisis of Complicity.
When giants fall, they fall fast. We haven’t even been living with the revelation of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment history for a week, yet the news has gotten worse every day. From the New York Times’ initial report — which specified the now-familiar details of hotel meetings, ulterior motives, and “massages” that were less than optional — the accusations have escalated to include masturbating in front of an actress, forced oral sex, and vaginal rape. (Weinstein’s spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, says ““Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”) Weinstein’s accusers now include Gwyneth Paltrow, Asia Argento, Patricia Arquette, and Angelina Jolie. Meanwhile, a former New York Times reporter has now alleged that a story she was working on in 2004 related to Weinstein’s behavior was “gutted” after she received phone calls from Russell Crowe and Matt Damon vouching for a former Weinstein colleague. (Damon vigorously denies he knew anything about Weinstein’s behavior). Weinstein himself has been forced out of the Weinstein Company.
As always, with such a disturbing story, people are looking to assign blame. Whose fault is Harvey Weinstein?
Harvey Weinstein, apparently, is Hillary Clinton’s fault.
Click on the link to read the rest.
Actress Rose McGowan was suspended from Twitter after she accused actor Ben Affleck of having “prior knowledge of Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct, including toward her”.
From the New York Times:
In a sign that the controversy over the producer Harvey Weinstein could engulf other people in the film industry, the actress Rose McGowan accused Ben Affleck of lying on Tuesday about his knowledge of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assaults of women.
Ms. McGowan, in a tweet and a subsequent email exchange with The New York Times on Tuesday night, said she had told Mr. Affleck that Mr. Weinstein had behaved inappropriately with her.
Mr. Affleck, who rose to stardom with help from Mr. Weinstein on the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting,” had said earlier Tuesday that he was “angry” over Mr. Weinstein’s alleged abuse of women, but he gave no indication of whether he knew about it. “I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others,” Mr. Affleck said in a statement.
From Shakesville: This is Rape Culture.
Two things I’ve seen this morning are perfect, terrible illustrations of how the rape culture works.
First, there was the news that Twitter has suspended Rose McGowan for publicly stating that Ben Affleck had lied about what he knew regarding Harvey Weinstein.
Yesterday, Ben Affleck has to apologize for actually sexually assaulting someone, which trended on Twitter all day, but he isn’t suspended. Who is suspended is Rose McGowan, who merely contradicted Affleck’s claim not to have known about Weinstein’s sexual abuse, which she knows because she’s the one who told him.
This, as I shouldn’t have to point out, couldn’t be a clearer case of the way institutions work to protect abusers and their abettors, while silencing survivors.
The second thing Melissa wrote about is this excerpt from a piece by Doree Shafrir at Buzzfeed: What To Do With “Shitty Media Men”?
I’ve never been assaulted or harassed by someone I worked with, and it’s only been lately that I’ve realized how messed up it is that I feel fortunate that’s the case. There have been a few uncomfortable incidents for me personally, like the editor who Gchatted me late at night, seemingly drunk, and propositioned me, or the art director who was way too interested in my intern experience and put his hand on my thigh at a party. But people whispered about the guys who were really bad, the ones who coerced young women into sex, the ones who were physically abusive. The ones to stay away from.
Back to Melissa’s piece:
Shafrir begins by saying she’s “never been assaulted or harassed,” only to then describe two instances of harassment. To be clear, I’m not auditing the way she feels about or identifies those experiences, but simply noting they meet the definition of workplace harassment.
The instinct to mitigate manifests in different ways: Here, Shafrir straightforwardly discounts her own experiences as harassment. My go-to strategy as a younger woman was always to turn incidents of sexual harassment and/or assault into “humorous” anecdotes, which allowed me to talk about what happened without really talking about what happened.
I hope you’ll go to Shakesville to read the rest.
I have so many more links saved up, but I’m out of time and space. Please post your thoughts and recommended links in the comment thread below.
I have ceased in asking myself “how low can he go?” because each time I do he manages to swing toward the bottom.
People are dying in Puerto Rico due to lack of access to the resources they need to live. Water is still a rarity in many places on the island and reports are that there are a great many corps piled up in funeral homes. Some of these deaths are attributable to after the storm itself.
Yet this morning, President Stupid issued a “veiled” attack suggesting that FEMA workers cannot be expected to stay there forever while again mentioning the debt that PR was suffering under before the hurricane hit.
It appears that he is “punishing” Puerto Rico for a) withholding praise for him and his efforts following the storm, b) the contradictory words from the female mayor of San Juan, c) for being Puerto Ricans.
Then today to acts to undercut funding to the Affordable Care Act for no logical reason other than it was instituted by Obama. One cannot begin to underscore his loathesomeness because as of tomorrow this ignorant ass will be pulling us out of the Iran nuclear deal, another Obama initiative.
He is possibly the worst thing that has happened to America. This is a creature who should never be in charge of a nation.
So incredibly bad.
Thank you, Boston Boomer, for this post and recent posts. Today I cried when I read the news that BS was asked to headline a women’s conference by the women’s march group. Why? Because it reminded me that my sweet friend died while I was at the Women’s March on Washington that this same group tried to coopt into an anti-Hillary thing. So I feel, as many do in many ways, that I sacrificed to make an important statement and cry of “NO!” to Trump and the world view he represents, and this latest invitation is one more attempt to undermine that groundswell and heartfelt “NO”.
At the same time as feeling that, and of course being overwhelmed by the amount of evil eminating from the White House and the craven Republican faction that has grabbed power, and the horror of watching human beings and nature wreak havoc and cast aside lives, I am also beginning to feel good about one thing…that so many women are finally speaking out in numbers and supporting other women in doing so, and so are men who are allies. There was a long delay (after the advent of the women’s movement) and we had to see the awfulness revealed over and over before that happened, but it is happening. Although without social media, would we know? Another imponderable in an imponderable time.
Thanks for being there.
Thank you, rebfalk. I heard about the Bernie Sanders thing and I wanted to throw up. What is wrong with these people? Couldn’t they have invited Michelle Obama? Bernie is not an advocate for women’s rights in any way, shape, or form.
So Weinstein is one of the top news stories – which is essentially he’s a giant a$$hole. Good. I don’t understand why the biggest a$$hole of all – also a sexual predator – has escaped this kind of scrutiny.
Maybe scorn would be a better word than scrutiny.
Sorry about my spelling: emanating
Jessica Valenti: What If We Just Believed Women?
So last night it was observed that tRump didn’t know about the 25th amendment until just this past week when he asked about it. So now he knows his cabinet can get together and have him thrown out. We already know how paranoid he is about their loyalty. Could be quite interesting from here on out.
What a marvelous creature!
I hope it’s okay to make a tardy white squirrel comment.
They’ve been quite the thing here in Western NC for a number of years, so much so that the tourist/retiree/private college haven of Brevard has an annual White Squirrel Festival. Apparently, the ones here are all descended from a pair that escaped from a carnival somewhere around 1950 and have been breeding true ever since (that’s some strong genes there!).
Regardless of their origin, to see one, especially in the wild, is a magical experience. I thought I’d seen a spirit squirrel happily perched in a tree eating a nut when I saw my first one in a state forest here.
(It’s your own fault. You triggered the biologist :D. Genes for white fur color are almost always recessive, meaning the animal *can’t* have the genetic information for any other coat color. If it breeds with a darker animal, offspring will all look dark but be carriers for white. If it breeds with another white color animal, all the offspring have to be white. They don’t carry the information for anything else. So the white fur color genes are not “strong” exactly. They’re just common enough in that area to keep being expressed. Like white sheep. Black is actually the dominant color, but they’re rare in farm animals so almost all sheep are white.)
Interesting. Thanks, quixote!
Oh, yeah, right! Blame me 🙂
Actually, you’ve pinpointed exactly what my conundrum was. I knew albino genes were recessive, but they also combine with other traits not seen in these otherwise completely normal squirrels.
There’s some pretty fierce genetic competition amongst the squirrel population here, and I did wonder how a li’l ole white allele outcompeted those for grey coats and red coats.
When oh when is he going to quit embarrassing himself and this country…..
Never. It’s just going to get endlessly worse.
I’m afraid so. When I go to the supermarket and see happy shoppers, I think “how can you just go on with your lives as if we aren’t in dark times?”
I believe Mr. Trump needs to GET A GRIP ON REALITY. Sho ’nuff said and done! What really bothers me is his arrogance and ignorance to the plight of the world. He is not a true master of destiny. What a flaky dude.
It has to get worse before it can get better, darlin’. Forgive me, but I am a “Hope for the best, expect the worst” type of guy.
Pence has a look on his face like he’s thinking “Anytime now they’ll get you with the 25th, and then I’ll be President!”