TOWOIT #201

August 9, 2017… Day 202

Rex Tillerson issued calming statements today about North Korea.

IMG_5365 2

The following is from interviews with European officials BEFORE the latest nuclear kerfuffle:

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 8.37.43 PM

Well, well, well. Predawn raid.

IMG_5364 2

Lindy West described to the New York Times audience, the smoky days we’re enduring in Seattle. It’s been 8 days. We have at least 3-4 more to go before it might get better. Outside of being at the office, staring out at the smoky vistas, I have been all cooped up in my apartment without air conditioning, going crazy. But every time I venture a different approach, I feel like I smoked a pack of cigarettes and my eyes burn. So I go back to sheltering in place.

Speaking of which, I did this Google search today, just in case:

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 9.06.24 PM

I haven’t figured out a good place to go yet, but I did learn this:

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 9.17.03 PM

But seriously, I learned that MOST of us can avoid dying with a little planning and public awareness! But I also learned that there’s no planning OR public awareness.

And as my wise older brother says, we’re worrying about people in this order: South Koreans, Japanese, Guam/Hawaii/other Pacific Islanders, and then finally us in SFO/LAX/SEA. We’re worried about the North Korean people too, but that’s a constant. I work closely with a young man whose extended family is in Seoul, so I keep perspective.

So it’s smoky, hot and deathy here. Trump is still president. And yet, I am in love.

Also, I’m not a foodie but sometimes nice things come back to back in my FB timeline.

IMG_5366

Parting thought:

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 8.51.18 PM

 

TOWOIT #78

April 4, 2017… Day 75

I don’t know if talking slow is a requirement for filibusters, but it’s 9:26 pm in Washington D.C. and Jeff Merkely is talking so slow. I guess it adds to the funereal atmosphere we’re enjoying in the United States Senate these days. I can’t listen to this.

Radio alarm: Finally, I hear a story about sanctuary cities that centers on the fact that it in most cases it is actually not even legal for local law enforcement to comply with “detainer requests” from federal immigration authorities. A couple stories later, there was a guest noting how warmly Donald Trump treated the military dictator of Egypt (Trump really didn’t have to say he was doing a “fantastic job”), as compared to his chillier treatment of, say, the chancellor of Germany.

By my count, there hasn’t been a State Department press briefing since March 23, but Rex Tillerson released this statement on North Korea firing a ballistic missile into the sea of Japan:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 5.07.14 PM

Rex Tillerson did not have any comment on Assad gassing Syrian civilians, including children. Trump had this to say:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 3.03.24 PM

Not a lot of words there in total, but he found room to blame Obama and call him weak. As was roundly pointed out on Twitter, Trump spent 2013 tweeting Obama that he should under no circumstances intervene in Syria.

Mark Cuban tweeted side-by-side photos of children suffering from the gas attack and the complainy, rambling, petty tweets Trump was making around the same time. I was going to post that tweet here but it was too sad to look at the kids.

There was no White House Press Briefing today, and Sean Spicer was missed. So I went to C-Span.com and entered in the number of views on the White House Press Briefing videos going back to last May.

image007-2

As you can see, there’s a big bump up in viewership after the inauguration. Sean Spicer really came in with a bang when he yelled at everyone about crowd size.

There was this one Josh Earnest briefing, on October 4, that had a Sean Spicer level of viewership. I put it on to see whether there was something special about it. There didn’t seem to be. But this was the first non-Spicer White House Press Briefing I’d seen (if you don’t count Allison Janney in The West Wing).

Some observations:

  • The room feels empty, with about 1/3 as many journalists there
  • It goes 2-3 times longer than a Sean Spicer briefing
  • Josh Earnest is SO calm, and speaks in nice sentences that makes sense.
  • The questions are still pretty tough and sometimes a little insulting to the Obama administration
  • April Ryan was there and she looked good
  • There didn’t seem to be anything particular about this press conference to attract so many viewers, but there were a lot of moments of foreshadowing like this one:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 6.22.43 PM

Protesters in Fresno, California greeted Devin Nunes with the Russian national anthem blasting out of loudspeakers.

The woman I went to school with, Trinh Huynh, made the news yesterday after she was shot three times in the back in a crosswalk in Atlanta in broad daylight. She died at the hospital shortly afterward. News outlets looked at her Facebook and shared details from this post she made on January 28 about being a refugee.

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 7.12.35 PM

Everything is political. She loved to dance. They still don’t know why the shooter targeted her, but he’s been found and arrested. I will keep saying her name.