January 31, 2017… Day 12
5:00. Though I’ve been enjoying watching things live on C-Span, when I get a nudge from the Washington Post on my phone to watch the Supreme Court nominee announcement live, I think “No thank you! I’ll have none of your folderol, DONALD.” And I became intensely interested in the hue and firmness of the bananas in the produce section of the grocery store. Because I don’t need to be a fucking reality television audience for him.
Supreme Court nominee is Neil Gorsuch. Democrats reiterate vow to filibuster Supreme Court nominee.
Over on C-Span: “We were told during the campaign not to take President Bannon literally. I’m sorry, I mean President Trump.” That’s what Congressman Joseph Crowley said today to a handful of reporters. He passed it off as a slip until about 10 minutes later, when he said, “I don’t think Donald Trump has the bandwidth to do this himself. That’s why I made a reference to President Bannon.” Being relatively new to C-Span, I don’t know whether congresspeople are just more balls to the wall than senators always, or whether this sort of talk is unusual. Crowley said that 24 Republicans had spoken out against the Muslim ban, but the vast majority had stayed silent. He said “President Trump is a coward… and anyone who stays silent joins the ranks of cowards.” Standing next to him, at about half his height, was Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. She said, “the only words that come to mind are ‘dumpster fire.’” She referred to Trump’s “dangerous and dictatorial missives” and said the world was watching and waiting for Congress to act.
GQ headline: In Case It Wasn’t Clear Yet, Steve Bannon Is Our President
USA TODAY runs story on dozens of hours of audio recordings from Bannon’s Breitbart News Daily radio show in 2015 and 2016, when Bannon said the U.S. was in a “global existential war,” and suggested Islamist sympathizers had infiltrated the U.S. government and news media.
Donald Trump tweets “Nancy Pelosi and Fake Tears Chuck Schumer held a rally at the steps of The Supreme Court and mic did not work ( a mess)-just like Dem party!”
Two Republican senators–Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski–signaled that they may not vote for Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. It would take one more Republican to prevent her nomination from being successful.
Democrats boycotted committee votes on nominations of Tom Price (HHS) and Steve Mnuchin (Treasury). This stalled the process.
Sean Spicer refers to Mar-a-lago as “The Winter Whitehouse,” as if that’s a thing.
White House press corps shows signs of being angry and sticking up for each other. One reporter asks Sean Spicer how Trump plans to bring the country together, if he’s using words like “betray” (reference to Sally Yates firing memo). Sean Spicer said “Well that’s a very one-sided way to look at it.” Reporter visibly snorts. This was follow up to a reporter who asked whether using words like “betray” might have a chilling effect on federal employees. After Sean Spicer ducked similar questions from two other reporters, a third reporter mentioned the predecessor questioners by name, and then said “Is the president willing to kill and target American citizens, even minors, if they’re related to a terrorist?” Sean Spicer dodges. There have been a lot of headlines about things going wrong on the recent mission (a Navy SEAL, an 8-year old American citizen, and several other civilians were killed).
Reporters try to get the story straight on who knew what when with the Muslim ban. Sean Spicer says at one point, scoffingly, “Well I’m sorry that NBC News is based on false New York Times reporting.” And a reporter from neither of those organizations yelled “That was good reporting!!” from somewhere in the room.
Sean Spicer snits about use of “ban” to describe the Muslim ban. Reporters ask why Trump used the word “ban” himself in a tweet, if he didn’t want people to use that word. Spicer said huffily that Trump used it because the media used it, but that’s not what it was. Another reporter asked about it. Finally after he said goodnight, a third reporter said, “The President called it ‘a very strict ban’ on Saturday. He called it a very strict ban–was the President wrong?” Sean Spicer just keeps walking out of the room. Another reporter says “LOUDER!” and the reporter who asked the question says just as the sound cuts out, “I mean–” and it sounds like he is about to say “What. The. Fuck.”
I saw a tweet tonight that White House staff won’t be appearing on CNN until future notice; Trump called it fake news. I wonder if that is related to Jake Tapper sardonically trolling Sean Spicer with clips of him (Sean) from just last night and the night before, repeatedly calling the executive order a ban.
I just read a long Twitter thread with links to a Trumpist blog, and it reminded me again that we are The Enemy. Not even Muslims or Mexicans or refugees. Liberals. They will hurt more marginalized targets to make us cry. Later, they will hurt us directly if they can get at us more easily. They don’t care about Donald Trump. They are bludgeoning us with Donald Trump. They want us to suffer because they hate us. More specifically, they hate me. They hate me because they are fucked in the head. It’s not fucking personal. So DON’T SHOW THEM ANY UNDERBELLY. Be ferociously cheerful, be righteous but flinty, be merciless, be this machine kills fascists.
Much is made of taking back the night, but I’m just trying to reclaim the late afternoon and early evening. These are day parts when things can be done! Like exercise, gardening, going places, or writing! For months now, I get home from work, close the apartment door behind me, breathe a sigh of relief, and climb into bed with my a) laptop, b) phone, c) a legal pad and pen, d) a book or two, and e) probably something kind of junky to eat. And then I’m there in bed, and it’s not all bad — there’s blogging, talking to my mom, educating myself, doing logistical online daily living crap, texting friends, reading, writing handwritten letters to nieces and aunts, listening to podcasts. It’s quite cozy. Also depressing!! Today I noticed tulip spears are coming up by my doorstep, and there are little leaf buds on my hydrangea bush. I tried to do a few things, like removing my mustache from my upper lip, hauling my recycling out to the dumpster, and corralling my dirty clothes into the actual hamper for future laundering (not doing laundry tonight — let’s not get TOO crazy.) It’s light just a little bit longer. If I put in a little effort, I might be able to shake off this low-grade hiding condition. Someone tell Marco Rubio there’s hope.
Everything is going to shit. Throw a blanket over the bird cage of your angst and try to sleep.
Questions for Spicer at the WH Daily Briefing (1/31/2017):
Continue reading the only way out is through #15