OK, July 4th has come and gone and we’re entering the political doldrums of the late summer. Of course with Trump (aka Peter “Wrong-way” Peachfuzz) at the helm of the ship of state, who knows what will happen over what is usually a quiet period in US politics?
Remember when presidents used to protect our country?
President Trump on Friday shattered several decades of protocol — and possibly violated a federal directive — by hinting strongly that the monthly U.S. jobs report would be a rosy one 69 minutes before its release.
In an 11-word Twitter post, Trump jolted financial markets and provided the latest example of how he is reshaping the presidency to fit his freewheeling impulses, pushing aside years of tight controls on the public release of sensitive material that were put in place by Republicans and Democrats.
Oh, the hand wringing and criticism of Michelle Wolf for her performance at the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner Saturday night. You would think she mailed envelopes of smallpox to Trump, Sanders, etc. She should be rending her clothes after getting bad reviews from SFB, Spicy and the rest of the conservative Washington elites, right? Well, not so fast pilgrim.
That’s how comedian Michelle Wolf answered Sean Spicer’s declaration that her headlining stand-up set at the the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner was “a disgrace.” Her response is instructive: To Wolf, an insult from Spicer is an accolade – and accolades, surely, would be an insult. She’s right.
Wolf managed Saturday night to scandalize the majority of Washington’s tuxedo-clad intelligentsia with a barrage of bon mots that, in the eyes of much of the press and political establishment, weren’t really so bon at all. The speech, these pundits have argued, wasn’t amusing; it was lewd, and worse than that, it was mean.
Wolf faced particular criticism for (besides all that sex stuff) her satire of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who apparently was a profile in courage for sitting still with pursed lips while someone told jokes about her — “to her face!” These commentators spun the strange narrative that Wolf went after Sanders for her appearance, when in reality Wolf’s barbs centered on the press secretary’s falsehood-filled performance on the White House podium.
“She burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye,” Wolff said of Sanders. Correct, on both counts — and many would rejoice at such an endorsement of their eye makeup. Callous attacks on women for their looks, even after Saturday night, still belong to the president who refused to attend Saturday night’s event — not to the comedian who skewered his cohorts.
All the same, countless journalists rallied behind Sanders, the same woman who spends her days lying to them. And that says a lot more about them than it does about Wolf’s routine. Everyone who told Wolf to read the room is missing the point: The room, and the misplaced notion of a “special” night to celebrate the “special” relationship between the press and the presidency that brought everyone to it on Saturday, is precisely the problem.
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That persistent chumminess is why Wolf’s performance, in the end, wasn’t really for the press. It was about us. “You guys love breaking news, and you did it,” Wolf said to CNN. “You broke it.” To everyone else, she said: “You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him.” Instead of listening — to that or to Wolf’s final line, “Flint still doesn’t have clean water” — we got grumpy on Twitter. Which means Wolf did a better job of defending the First Amendment than those who say that’s our business.
My favorite line of the night was, “I would drag him here myself, but it turns out that the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab. He said it first. Yeah, he did. You remember? Good.”
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — President Donald Trump broke from a tax reform-centered message Thursday to rev up West Virginia’s already heated Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
Speaking at the White Sulphur Springs Civic Center, Trump, flanked by two front-running candidates in the primary, alternated between taking shots at incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and forwarding a sprawling immigration and border security plan.
Although Trump’s administration billed the event as an official visit to tout the benefit of the tax cut package Trump signed into law last year, the president literally threw away his single page of prepared remarks and delved into 20 freewheeling minutes, alternating between policy points and political jabs.
“Joe, he voted against,” Trump said of the new tax law. “I thought he would be helpful because he talks … but he votes against everything, and he voted against our tax cuts.”
The president was flanked to his right by Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., and to his left by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, both of whom are seeking to take on Manchin in the November general election.
Manchin didn’t attend the event Thursday but emailed a statement later in the day.
“Instead of the political posturing back and forth, West Virginians deserve answers and the only thing that matters today is did these questions get answered in White Sulphur Springs,” Manchin wrote. “The people of West Virginia badly want to know: What will the 200,000 West Virginians do when they lose healthcare coverage? How much will Republicans cut from Medicare and Social Security? What happens when our rural hospitals go bankrupt? Why is this plan causing insurance premiums to go up? Why are the middle-class tax changes not permanent? Why is Mitch McConnell blocking coal miners’ pensions?”
There was of course the predicted blathering about Mexicans and caravans of South and Central American immigrants through Mexico headed for the US (which of course is a half truth at best), but this is what caught my eye.
“This is what the Democrats are doing to you,” Trump said after telling the account of a man who he said was dismembered by immigrants while jogging along the Hudson River, in New York. “They like it because they think they’re going to vote Democrat. Believe me, they’re doing it for that reason. They are doing it for that reason, and other reasons. But they are doing it for that reason.”
One small problem with this racist xenophobic screed – that isn’t what happened. He’s probably referring to the case of a New Jersey woman, Jennifer Londono, whose body parts were discovered floating in the Hudson. Her boyfriend, Raphael Lolos, is accused of killing her. While he has a Hispanic name, he ain’t a gang member and he ain’t an illegal immigrant by any account I can find.
But I can assure you the WV Republican rubes in White Sulphur Springs went home and started bombing the internet with reports of immigrant dismemberments in NYC.
Toy store chain Toys R Us is planning to sell or close all 800 of its U.S. stores, affecting as many as 33,000 jobs as the company winds down its operations after six decades, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Well I suppose all those coal jobs will make up for the toy jobs loss