Sunday Reads: FFS, It has to stop.Posted: June 3, 2018 | |
Today’s post is a bit all over the place…so I hope you can follow it…my brain is feeling the effects of the tRump presidency and it has become almost debilitating. I feel like I have some form of OCD, there is the constant itch in my thoughts. I can’t get rid of it. Like some kind of diseased earworm that has set root deep in my mind. I cannot stop thinking about tRump and what he is destroying. Everything is crumbling before me. The itch is so bad, that I almost feel like grabbing an ice pick and jamming it in my ear. If only to get these tRumptonian thoughts out of my mind.
So let’s try and get through this thread…
All commitments made so far in talks with the U.S. over trade will be withdrawn if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to impose tariffs, China said Sunday.
While both sides reported some progress in discussions this weekend about how to reduce China’s $375 billion goods-trade surplus with the U.S., Trump’s revival last week of a plan to slap tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports has cast the talks into turmoil.
“If the U.S. rolls out trade measures including tariffs, all the agreements reached in the negotiations won’t take effect,” state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, citing a statement from the Chinese team that met with a U.S. delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Does that also include the agreements made regarding the new tRump Tower and all those convenient new trademarks Ivanka was granted…(which we will touch on in a moment.)
The Xinhua report came after Ross met Sunday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for talks that Ross called “friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items.” At the same time as negotiators focus on technical steps to reduce the U.S. deficit, Trump’s swerve has rattled Beijing as it raises the possibility that any agreement made could be simply torn up by the president.
“China is concerned over the U.S.’s unpredictability, especially after Trump turned an about-face on tariffs,” said Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at Bank of China’s finance institute in Beijing. “Trump needs to give out more goodwill in exchange for really productive negotiations. Bluff, threat, and willful moves might work in business bargaining, but they could backfire in talks among nations.”
Yada, Yada, Yada…haven’t we heard this before? I think someone who is very fond of pantsuits brought this particular negative trait of tRump’s personality up during the debates? I don’t know…maybe I am wrong, but I know we have talked about it countless times here on the blog before that anus-lipped tangerine turd was installed in the White House.
When former president Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea in 2009 on a humanitarian mission to free two U.S. journalists, he delivered strict instructions to his team ahead of their meeting with dictator Kim Jong Il: “We’re not smiling.”
In several photos, including a formal portrait with their hosts in Pyongyang, Clinton and his aides kept their game faces on — looking serious and determined, befitting the tone of the mission, according to a person familiar with the trip.
President Trump took a decidedly different approach on Friday when he welcomed a North Korean official to the White House for the first such meeting in 18 years. Trump beamed as Kim Yong Chol — a former spy chief accused of masterminding the sinking of a South Korean navy vessel in 2010 that killed 46 sailors — presented him with a cartoonishly oversize envelope containing a letter from Kim Jong Un, the nation’s current dictator.
The two posed for a photo in the Oval Office with Trump proudly showing off the envelope — an image that White House aides promptly distributed to the public.
The warm display left some former U.S. officials who’ve negotiated with North Korea arguing that Trump had already handed Pyongyang another public relations victory before winning concessions on its nuclear program.
“No question this is speed dating,” said Christopher R. Hill, a former State Department diplomat who led the U.S. delegation in the Six-Party Talks with North Korea during the George W. Bush administration. He recalled being rebuffed in his bid to personally deliver a letter from Bush to Kim Jong Il — in a standard business-size envelope.
By contrast, Hill said, the North Koreans already “have gotten the whole enchilada” from Trump.
Let’s look more closely at this photo for a minute.
Zoom in again.
See how the North Korean spy chief’s mouth turns down on one side and up on the other as he “smiles”?
That’s a micro-expression of contempt. pic.twitter.com/lVv3ah9ztp
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) June 2, 2018
So tRump is fucking us with his outright dangerous display of foreign relations and execution of foreign policy…
Yeah…what else is new?
Trump suggests that he's fine with dictator Kim Jong-un staying in power, calls his regime "incredible people." pic.twitter.com/qrK6PGloop
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 1, 2018
They run death camps and have threatened to nuke us constantly — but unlike the Canadians, those gravy-drenched monsters, these incredible North Koreans haven't tried to increase the price of milk. https://t.co/MK0Ug6xYNE
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) June 2, 2018
Did you see this bit?
Trump wants taxpayers to shell out $6,000/night so North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un can stay in a lavish hotel room https://t.co/1EdyrWPoHu
— Shareblue Media (@Shareblue) June 3, 2018
I feel like we have been on some kind of hamster wheel of that replays itself every day…this cycle of tRump chaos and scandal and destruction of democracy…is leading to one thing. Desensitization.
Sort of like that opening scene in Boyz in the Hood, where the kids are desensitized to the violence in the street…as they walk home from school. Calmly explaining the process of decay in a bloody crime scene.
Which later comes to a point where the bloody scene has moved beyond this to an actual dead body lying beside a railroad track, as young teens discover the body and young adults play football. The violence and murder is no longer an issue for the young adults…the teenagers are disturbed by the smell but do not react more than that, as they too are desensitized to the fact that murder and death is a common occurrence in there everyday world.
That link will give you a look at the scene…from a film critic perspective. I thought it was a good one. Like I said my post is all over today.
My point being, this is a tactic. A tRump way of controlling and manipulating things, an authoritative government…administration at work. And the media is complicit in its actions in bringing about the downfall of democracy.
This is a very good column from @laurenduca, who warned of Trump's media manipulation tactics well before he took office. Wish the weaker members of the press would heed her words, then and now. https://t.co/amv6sJTSIA
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) June 2, 2018
excellent column by @laurenduca on the media's anxiety about Trump's lies, his "abusive relationship with the truth" & the legacy of disinformation campaigns, cc. @sarahkendzior https://t.co/Don2nvmMPh
— Iain McKechnie (@IainMcKechnie) June 2, 2018
President Donald Trump’s lies are well documented. PolitiFact estimated that from June 2015, when he announced his campaign, until November 2016, when he won the election, almost 70% of the things he said publicly were “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” On May 1, The Washington Post reported that as of that date he had issued 3,001 false or misleading statements since taking office, averaging almost 6.5 a day, up from 4.9 over the first 100 days, when the newspaper first started keeping track. The president of the United States is basically an anti-reality Pez dispenser. So why does the media often avoid using the word “lie” when reporting on all of his false claims?
Lately there has been a reinvigorated conversation around labeling something a lie. The debate boils down to a question of intent: Journalists who are most cautious with the “lie” label argue that we cannot truly know Trump’s purpose for shitting on the very concept of facts. Is he working off of misinformation? Is he exaggerating with his “Art of the Deal” tactic of “truthful hyperbole”? Is he hallucinating an anthropomorphic pumpkin that is telling him what to say? We are not inside the president’s brain, they argue, and so we cannot know.
One such journalist is Maggie Haberman, a White House correspondent for The New York Times. On Sunday, May 27, she responded to criticism about her frequent refusal to use the word “lie” in her work with a series of tweets. “I have written stories about his lies, falsehoods, whoppers, half-truths, salesman-like stretches,” she tweeted. “The reality is that what he does can be hard to label because, as anyone who has worked for him will tell you in candor, he often thinks whatever he says is what’s real.” As far as I’m concerned, all of those euphemisms for “lies” still mean lies, and if, as Haberman asserts, he really believes them, then she should report that it is also possible that the president is out touch with reality.
By the way, Haberman is one of the authors of an article in the New York Times that is getting a lot of attention recently…I have more on that later on in the thread.
As the leader of the country, Trump is the core source for our perception of the state of the union. Once he took office, his abusive relationship with the truth came with the official seal of the White House, and that is of crucial importance. The Trump administration is now waging an unprecedented campaign of disinformation on the American people. The president of the United States is working to undermine our shared foundation of truth so that we have no choice but to accept his version of reality.
Trump himself has reportedly admitted that this is his aim. On stage at the Deadline Club Awards Dinner on May 21, 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl told PBS Newshouranchor Julie Woodruff that Trump told her he undermines the press so that the public will have no grasp on what is true. During an informal meeting with then candidate Trump in 2016, Stahl said, she asked Trump why he was constantly attacking the media. “He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you,’” she told Woodruff. If this is true, and those are Trump’s intentions, the endgame is to deprive journalism of any value whatsoever.
Read the rest of the piece, it brings up the Matthew Pottinger shit too….
Much of Trump’s war on the truth appears to be based in exploiting widespread media illiteracy among the citizenry. Journalism is not about striving to appear fair, but maintaining a rigorous objectivity for the purpose of serving the public. The ultimate allegiance of the press is to our fellow citizens. It is crucial that journalists do a better job at explaining our purpose and be radically transparent with all editorial decision-making. That means calling a lie a lie, and if we don’t, then fully providing readers with the reason why the word “lie” is not appropriate, along with context for understanding this administration’s abusive relationship with the truth.
Authoritarianism works to corrode our shared foundation of truth, pushing us to a point where we so doubt our own sanity, it becomes too much of a chore to even care what is true. Such is the goal of the Trump administration: to bombard us with so many conflicting versions of reality that we throw our hands in the air and give up on being certain about anything at all. The falsehoods, whoppers, and salesman-like stretches all come down to this: Without the truth, we have no foundation from which to resist.
I really should end the post on that huge point alone…but there are a few other things I want to bring to your attention…real quick.:
You have probably already read the article…here are a few thoughts on it:
Jay Sekulow, 7/16/17: “The President was not involved in the drafting of the statement”
Sarah Sanders, 8/1/17: “He weighed in, offered suggestions like any father would do.”
Trump lawyers to NYT today: Trump dictated the statement, which they call “short but accurate” https://t.co/W9rcRxkZgo
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) June 2, 2018
What is Jay Sekulow's defense to being a full-on public liar here? https://t.co/ymOf5SjxD3
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 3, 2018
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 3, 2018
That's demonstrably false. And why was Trump dictating a statement about a meeting he supposedly knew nothing about? https://t.co/o57q855W3i
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) June 2, 2018
1/ The letter from Trump’s lawyers admitted to an impeachable high crime. It is close enough to felony obstruction/witness tampering. If that’s not an impeachable abuse of power (dictate a false statement to a witness and lie about dictating it), what is? https://t.co/mhlVSUx5FL
— Jed Shugerman (@jedshug) June 3, 2018
Perhaps the most richly comical line in the 20-page letter from Trump's attorneys to Mueller:
“Having him testify demeans the office of the president before the world.”
Law and order, that's what would finally demean the office before the world.https://t.co/k9Jzr3Aw0Y
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) June 3, 2018
Trump’s team not only argues that he can pardon himself but also argues that he has unlimited power to investigate his enemies and end investigations into his friends. If this sounds like tyranny to you, that’s because it is. https://t.co/1dWv8OG04X
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) June 3, 2018
In Trump's "God Manifesto," he asserts his right to cancel—at his pleasure—any federal law enforcement investigation into his own actions, the actions of his family, or the actions of his associates. It is, in short, the bald claim that he and his are beyond the reach of the law.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) June 2, 2018
This would be a valid legal argument — if our government were a dictatorship. Fortunately, we are a government of laws, not men. And in America, no one is above the law, including the president. https://t.co/yxtu9HUUkz
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 2, 2018
Our democracy is under attack. The notion that the president is above the law is so preposterous on its face that the media should have its hair on fire. We can't normalize this attack as a legitimate debate.
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) June 3, 2018
Since I’ve started writing this post, the tangerine turd has hit twitter again.
A few responses to that:
Pssst…like when Obama told you not to hire Flynn? https://t.co/OQhXfJNJrP
— Wesley PC 🙏🏾 ✌🏽❤️🎼 (@WPalmerCurl) June 3, 2018
Why wouldn’t the Trump campaign have told the FBI that they had secretly met with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton? https://t.co/akPvNKfyfS
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) June 3, 2018
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has told a U.N human rights expert who said the country’s judicial independence was under threat to ‘go to hell’, warning against interference in domestic affairs.
If the UN ever sends a human rights expert to the US to check up on the obvious offenses going on at our southern border…I bet we would hear the same shit coming out of tRump’s mouth.
Let’s take a look at some more tweet shit storms:
This whole thing stinks worse than anything any modern president has ever done in public. If only we had some warning Trump would sell out to Chinese interests for a few bucks, besides his whole life. https://t.co/H6omEf2lTZ
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) June 3, 2018
— The Hill (@thehill) June 3, 2018
It’s unlikely Trump murdered Melania in a fit of rage and the people around him are helping to cover it up while they figure out what to do next. But the fact I used the word “unlikely” instead of “impossible” or “ludicrous” kinda shows you the state of our leadership today.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 2, 2018
As far as tRump using Melania’s twitter account…there is precedent:
Just dropping this exchange into the discussion of whether Trump, when questioned about Melania, takes over her account and writes her tweets… pic.twitter.com/3X8a9xfAdq
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) June 2, 2018
But…keep this in mind, as BB wrote about yesterday as well…:
One of America's most famous male journalists of the 1970s did not report on domestic violence in the White House because, he says, he did not understand that the president hitting his wife was a criminal act https://t.co/CppVrZqThN
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) June 2, 2018
— Rebecca Baird-Remba (@thecitywanderer) June 2, 2018
On Ivanka Trump and her trademarks…
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) June 2, 2018
Ivanka Trump has quietly rebranded her clothing line to "Adrienne Vittadini Studio"
DO NOT BUY
— clae (@clae48) June 2, 2018
— Sarah (@SPLACali) June 2, 2018
All of them.
ivanka is now (with her 13 new patents from gina) selling her clothing line under the name 'Adrienne Vittadini', at Stein Mart & other locations. She knows the T word is toxic, so she got around it. *wink wink*#boycottAdrienneVittadini https://t.co/RqM5cP1eVp
— Din Ese 📎 (@dinhi45) June 3, 2018
On the New York Times Bullshit:
thread re: how NYT has now basically locked out Congressional Dems from commenting on Trump news.
Number of Dems quoted: 0. https://t.co/vmdhM2gcDc
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) June 2, 2018
My head is spinning…I need to stop this post now.
This is an open thread…try to have a good day.