May 18, 2017… Day 119
Oh hey, everybody. It was kind of a quiet day.
May 18, 2017… Day 119
Oh hey, everybody. It was kind of a quiet day.
May 16, 2017… Day 117
Holy. Moly. When is a bombshell THE bombshell? I’m so tired and confused.
When I was still in bed this morning, I saw Trump’s tweets about his absolute right to share information with Russia. That made me want to throw up. The President getting comfortable with being an autocrat.
Still windmilling, still don’t know which way things are going. Because they’re consolidating power even as they are imploding. And the Republicans just let them do it. What the hell is happening.
H.R. McMaster barks at reporters on camera. It is sad to see H.R. McMaster debase himself so utterly. Later in the day, Sean Spicer sounds wan and haggard off camera. No more bids for chuckles.
Then we find out that James Comey has memos about all his interactions with Trump, including the time Trump suggested the FBI just let the Flynn thing go, and the time that Trump suggested that the FBI lock up reporters.
“This is it,” said my friend at work, who was once a Republican. I said I hoped so but I was too jaded. Also, all this damage and severe Republican fuckery doesn’t get undone just by getting rid of Trump. Could just be part of our merry tumble into autocracy or theocracy?
It came out that it was Israel. And that the Russian reporter who “tricked” his way into the oval office reported it in Russia, and that now a spy’s life is in danger in Isis-held territory.
And then it felt like the wheels were starting to come off, at least according to congressional twitter.
So I don’t know. But I hear it’s nothing but shouting, screaming, and cursing all over the West Wing tonight.
May 15, 2017… Day 116
Where to begin. Where to even begin.
Here’s stuff that came out before the Washington Post bombshell news alert:
SO, here’s a ton of tweets and headlines about this thing which seems to be a bombshell (but inevitably, like always, will never be THE bombshell). Trump gave highly classified info to Lavrov and Kislyak in the Oval Office last week. Info given to us by an ally, which they did not want Russia to have. Washington Post broke the story this afternoon. Two officials confirmed the story later for other outlets. H.R. McMaster came out on the White House lawn and barked at reporters for 90 seconds (literally 90 seconds), and then went back inside without answering a single question. I think that’s all the backstory you need.
And before all that, these are the questions reporters asked Sean Spicer at the White House Press Briefing today:
May 14, 2017… Day 115
Even now some Sundays still seem quiet… especially if you don’t have TV and can only interpret the Sunday morning political shows through the cheesecloth of Sunday morning Twitter.
I wrote a letter to Chuck Schumer about Arctic drilling, and I listened to the news, scanned Twitter, and watched SNL clips on YouTube. But mostly, it was a day off.
Party of Five on Netflix for background noise while I’m cleaning my apartment. Telecommunications and the news cycle were different then.
These are my before and after Zumba selfies. They are also before coffee and before coffee.
This cropped up in my Facebook timeline:
And this was in my Twitter feed:
And then once I fell down THAT rabbit hole:
Tomorrow will be a new day and a new week, with a new crop of calamities, headlines, hopes, fears, rumors, podcasts, White House briefing questions, Congressional floor speeches, Trump tweets, the gazillion real-time data points of the stock markets, infographics, a new daily Gallup poll number, The Daily 202 column from the Washington Post, and The Daily podcast from The New York Times, which alternately soothes me and enrages me without meaning to. There will be so much snipping tool and so much scribbling.
May 12, 2017… Day 113
H.R. McMaster came in and yelled at the reporters during the White House Press Briefing. He sounded just like Flynn putting Iran on notice. I don’t know why McMaster wants to mess with his reputation like that. He’s part of the propaganda machine now.
I don’t want to forget, in light of this Comey madness (more madness today), that Jeff Sessions is a total disaster as Attorney General for other reasons. Harsher drug sentencing, and the lack of sympathy for the victims of police brutality — this guy is racist as fuck. As one headline said, this guy is going to fill prisons one way or another.
Tillerson signed a trans-Arctic agreement emphasizing the need for action on climate change, even as the Trump administration is still mulling over withdrawing from the Paris Accord.
Chris Stirewalt, writing for Fox News online today:
And in another Fox News piece, this one by John Moody, there’s this:
The first piece is harshly critical of Trump. The second is much much kinder, the paragraph I just clipped notwithstanding. But the second piece seems to be offering Trump a narrative. The title is “Does Donald Trump Want to be President?” It’s laced with Trump flattery and is a sweetly persuasive argument for why it would be better for Trump, and make total sense, if he just bowed out now and let Pence take over. It would still be a success. It would be the best win!
Also, on the Fox News TV channel today they were going full bore on the Comey story. Earlier in the week, they were pretending like it was barely happening.
Vanity Fair included Fox in its rundown of media responses yesterday:
This morning, a conservative financial blog casually (and straight-facedly) ran the numbers of what they predicted the markets would do if Trump resigned (answer: a 3-5% bump!). One guy at work said he bet that Trump would resign BY MONDAY. Everyone laughed at him, but still. Also, for what it’s worth, the moderate Republicans at work have started throwing around the word “impeachment.”
Today is also the day that Trump suggested there were tapes of his conversations with Comey, and told Comey (via tweet) to watch his mouth when talking to the press.
Comey declined to testify to Congress next week. But then it seeped out later that he wanted to testify in public, not in a closed door session. Also that he said he HOPED there were tapes. Cause that’d be perfect.
Bunch of stuff with Paul Manafort and his finances. Bunch of stuff with Trump’s finances. Stupid “certified letter” regarding Trump’s financial ties to Russia. The Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit agreed to hand over financial information on Trump.
Questions the reporters asked Sean Spicer today:
May 11, 2017… Day 112
I’m so snowed under by the news this week. I’ve been too mesmerized and overwhelmed to start trying to put a blog post. So I’m just going to put up the usual mishmash of headlines, tweets, and the reporters’ questions at the briefing and not try to get deep or clever or comprehensive.
But first, this iPhone screen cap found on FB:
I just realized the baby has her curlers in — even better.
Ok, anyway, back to windmilling frantically on a precipice with a slide into impeachment on one side and a slide into authoritarianism on the other. Is it the beginning of the end for Trump, or for the rest of us? Because I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re looking at.
Jeez, the news is breaking every couple minutes. I am going BONKERS. I am trying to stem the flow of new news in order to pin down the old news from 45 minutes ago but the new news is too tantalizing and bizarre to ignore.
So, I mean. My blog post, like the Trump administration, is just going to be a shit show.
Just to stay in vaguely chronological order, the acting Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe testified in front of a Senate committee about Global Threats. The Democrats on the committee asked questions about the Russia investigation and Comey’s firing, and how things stood. Andrew McCabe contradicted the White House by saying a) the Russia investigation was a huge deal, and b) that the rank and file of the FBI were firmly in Comey’s corner.
Then there was also a wild, rambly interview Trump had with Lester Holt, in which TRUMP contradicted the White House and just flat out said the firing was his idea and related to the Russia investigation.
Then came the White House Press Briefing with Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Her answers were even more pathetic lies than Sean Spicer’s. She just says her answers with more of a smug, calm smile. Yesterday I was really irritated at the reporters who laughed at her stupid jokes. And I liked the ones who snort-laughed when she was being serious. There were only a few sycophantic chuckles yesterday though, and almost none today.
May 5, 2017… Day 106
The House health care bill is having shocky ripple effects through my social network. There’s the grisly awareness of it having happened, and then there’s also the new knowledge of how many of my friends have been raped, sexually assaulted and abused, and/or have PTSD, anxiety, and depression. There’s a collective aggrieved AAARGH and it comes with heavy information.
My brain flips back and forth between worrying about the health, pre-existing conditions and finances of myself and my immediate family members… to then knocking on wood about all the ways we’ve been comparatively fortunate… to then doubling down on worry about everyone else I care about who is in trouble… to then just marveling at the decision 217 people made to pass this bill. All that being said, I’m fine today in Trump-adjusted terms.
May 1, 2017… Day 102
Glenn Thrush to Sean Spicer today:
First of all, you just described Kim Jong-un as somebody who led his country forward at an early age. The President has invited Duterte, who, as Annie pointed out, has talked about assassinating journalists. The President put out a statement after Erdogan won his referendum congratulating him. He said kind things about Putin during the campaign, said kind things about Saddam Hussein.
Does the President have a thing with these totalitarian leaders?
May Day. Everyone in my office got out of downtown early. I’m sorry I missed the Aztec dancers, and I especially hope these kids are feeling good and empowered about their day:
I was feeling bad for not treating May Day like any other resistance event. I’ve marched for Black Lives Matter, for the catch-all women’s march, for science, for climate, for immigrants and refugees. How is this not just another in the sequence? Just because it’s entrenched in my pre-45 brain and starts to get violent as night falls, that doesn’t mean the daytime peaceful marches aren’t important.
Looking at the #MayDaySea hashtag, I’m seeing a lot of this:
In other news, I started listening to the second season of Politically Re-active today (getting over my anger at the hosts for supporting and normalizing Jill Stein as a viable ballot option). Hari and Kamau are interviewing the social and racial justice leaders that I need to be listening to, so I’m going to pretend I don’t know what I know about 2016. We’ll see how it goes.
You might not be able to tell from these questions, but at the press briefing today, a) there was more shouting and bids for attention from the reporters throughout the questioning, b) Sean Spicer was especially salty and curt in not allowing follow-ups, and c) as Sean left the room someone yelled “WHAT ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR??!! WHAT ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ON THE CIVIL WAR??!!” and then when the door slammed shut behind Sean Spicer, another reporter started to cackle maniacally.
April 30, 2017… Day 101
I’ve been catching up on the American version of Shameless, which takes place in Chicago and features a working poor Irish-American family. They are always trying to maneuver their way into a better life and always sliding backwards. If one of them has a little success, it helps all of them. But that help is not equal to the harm that befalls all of them if one of them gets into trouble. The math just doesn’t ever pencil out, and they end up running to stand still. It reminds me of a headline I saw a few days ago. It said that in order for a family to rise out of poverty, it needs a 20-year stretch when nothing major goes wrong.
April 29, 2017… Day 100
As Jon Lovett said last night, if Trump’s term were a marathon, we haven’t even run 2 miles yet. Uggghh.
I’m glad the climate march was robust in Washington, D.C….
… because it was real sad in Seattle.
Not just because the crowd was small. But because the crowd was subdued and because at least half the speakers seemed like guilting activists with bad and conflicting information. Come on. I hate that.
I was at the office early, trying to catch up stuff. I was planning to join the march but I thought there would be more of a milling around period at the start before the marching began. When I went to look down in the direction of the starting point, all I saw was eight people with signs slipping around the corner onto Fourth Avenue. I went over to the other side of the building and saw the tail end of the crowd, heading up the canyon between buildings. I’d already been alone way up in that building all morning, so it was a lonely feeling. My people were disappearing up the street and they just looked kind of sad. Collectively sad.
I went downstairs and fell in with the stragglers on the sidewalk. More stragglers joined us. People honked in support and yelled “Thanks for marching!” out the window at us. We eventually caught up with everyone, loosely pooled down at Westlake Center.
One thing I appreciated was that it was the first time in “the resistance” that I’ve seen a certain demographic rise to prominence: Old white guys. Old white guys, I rag on you all the time. But when you showed up today you showed up for all of us, so thank you.
And some old white guys in training:
But yeah, it feels a little depressing:
And then there’s this:
MEANWHILE, over in Trump world:
Here are the questions the reporters asked Sean Spicer on the press gaggle en route to Atlanta on Air Force One yesterday: