18 August 2017

Trump clump #1

Earlier this summer I received a series of comments and emails from readers asking that I stop writing anti-Trump posts.  Surprisingly, those comments came not from pro-Trump supporters, but from progressives and non-residents who indicated they were getting enough Trump news from other sources and were seeking a little "fresh air" at TYWKIWDBI.  (the sentiment reflected in this comic):

FWIW, here are the political metrics for readers of TYWKIWDBI, as monitored by Quantcast:

(I'm not sure how Quantcast determines these affiliations; I suspect part of the large proportion of "independents" comes from readers in other countries.)

I've been holding back on writing posts about Trump, but I've continued to bookmark the material, and some of it is definitely worth sharing, especially for those readers who don't range as widely on the internet.  I've decided the best compromise is to cluster all the Trump material in a series of "Trump clumps" - basically one-topic linkdumps.  That makes the material available for those interested in it, while allowing the pro-Trump readers, the news-weary, the callous, and disinterested foreigners to zoom past all of it with a quick flick on the mouse.  Here we go...

There is now a Donald Trump "presidential commemorative coin" (image embedded at top).  It's not issued by the U.S. Mint.  It's gold-plated, with an "authentic look, weight, and feel" in a "plastic collector case."

Greenpeace devised a clever way to put graffiti on the U.S. embassy in Berlin without touching the building.

International tourism to the United States has been falling ever since the election of Donald Trump.

J.K. Rowling tweeted"Very much enjoying the German press at the moment. "Earth to Trump..." (explanatory image at the link).

Crawler on CNN: "President's spokesman says he can't speak for the President."

Canadian supporters of Donald Trump tried to organize a "Million Deplorables March."  Right-wing media claimed thousands attended.  The local police said the number was in the hundreds.  Photos show more participants in a morning yoga class held at the same location.

Donald Trump's ancestors changed their surname from "Drumpf" to "Trump."

Video of that iconic incident when Trump's cabinet members were  invited to praise him.

"While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons."

Michael Gerson, top aide to President Bush, describes Donald Trump.

There seem to be an endless number of tweets of "Trump criticizing Trump."  Also this one.

"The Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, are tracking more than 500 key executive branch nominations through the confirmation process. These positions include Cabinet secretaries, deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsel, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other critical leadership positions."  As of August 17, 364 of those positions don't even have nominees yet.

"President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House's “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers."

Scaramucci is already gone.  One of his tweets was interesting.  Also his mimicry of the president.

Ivanka Trump tweeted a quote "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts," attributing the quote to Albert Einstein.  Here's the perfect rejoinder.

A thoughtful essay by George Will posits that "Trump is something the nation did not know it needed: a feeble president whose manner can cure the nation’s excessive fixation with the presidency. Executive power expanded, with only occasional pauses (thank you, Presidents Taft and Coolidge, of blessed memory), throughout the 20th century and has surged in the 21st... Fortunately, today’s president is so innocent of information that Congress cannot continue deferring to executive policymaking... Furthermore, today’s president is doing invaluable damage to Americans’ infantilizing assumption that the presidency magically envelops its occupant with a nimbus of seriousness..."

"Cohen, who is also a top Democratic ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, announced on Thursday that he would be filing Articles of Impeachment against Trump."

"Ghostwriter Tony Schwartz, who spent over a year with Trump and was the co-author of the memoir, Art of the Deal, has predicted that Trump will resign, maybe as early as by the end of summer."

Tina Fey demonstrates "sheetcaking" as a response to the events in Charlottesville.  She suggests that all sane people deal with the upcoming white power rallies by not showing up because the counterprotest gives them a sense of legitimacy.

This is the "anti-45" symbol (Trump being the 45th president):

"Mitchell explained that he realized the number, when presented in a block-type font, looks eerily similar to a swastika. So, the artist moved the numbers closer together and tilted them by 45 degrees [and overlaid the numbers with the international symbol for "no"], creating a symbol that would be shared thousands of times on social media following the Charlottesville riots."
I'll close with some excerpts from an op-ed piece in The Guardian:
Like some kind of Shakespearean villain-clown, Trump plays not to the gallery but to the pit. He is a Falstaff without the humour or the self-awareness, a cowardly, bullying Richard III without a clue. Late-night US satirists find in this an unending source of high comedy. If they did not laugh, they would cry. The world is witnessing the dramatic unfolding of a tragedy whose main victims are a seemingly helpless American audience, America’s system of balanced governance and its global reputation as a leading democratic light.

As his partisan, demeaning and self-admiring speech to the Boy Scouts of America illustrated, Trump endlessly reruns last year’s presidential election campaign, rails against the “fake news” media and appeals to the lowest common denominator in public debate. Not a word about duty, service, shared purpose or high ideals was to be found in his gutter-level discourse before a youthful gathering of 30,000 in West Virginia. Instead, he served up a sad cocktail of paranoia and narcissism. It was all about him and what he has supposedly achieved against the odds.

Which, for the record, is almost precisely nothing. After more than six months in office, and despite full Republican control of Congress, Trump cannot point to a single substantial legislative achievement. The bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, which finally went down in flames in the Senate last week, was the most spectacular and telling of Trump’s failures. His executive orders, such as the racist ban on Muslim travellers and last week’s bigoted attack on transgender people in the military, have mostly run foul of the courts or been pre-emptively ignored by those charged with implementing them...

The common factor in all these situations is Trump’s self-induced powerlessness and ignorance, his chronic lack of credibility and presidential authority and consequent perceptions of US and western weakness. And in the case of all three actual or potential adversaries – North Korea, Iran and Russia – these perceptions are highly dangerous. Precisely because US responses, actions and reactions can no longer be relied upon or predicted, by friends and enemies alike, the potential for calamitous miscalculation is growing. This uncertainty, like the chaos in the White House and the extraordinary disarray of the American body politic, stems from Trump’s glaring unfitness for the highest office. As is now becoming ever plainer, this threatens us all.
More at the link.


  1. Regardless of why you voted for him in the first place, is it not completely apparent he is ill-suited to do the job? His tweets, pathetic need for adulation, his need to lash out or resist the controlling actions of handlers and the media all point to sings of extreme narcissism. That by itself is not an automatic disqualifier for some people. OK. Combine it with his efficiency - no major legislation signed in first 6 months in office. Not enough? Campaign promises? Drain the swamp, build the wall, MAGA, ..... sigh. If you STILL support this man/child, you are going out of your way to delude yourself. You probably also believe that the Earth is flat and the rest of the Milky Way revolve around us and that the lunar landing was faked. At some point, you're going to have to face the fact that the so called fake news is the real news and whatever you've been trolling for news is utter garbage designed to divide and create fear.

    Speaking of fear, I fear for our country that this orange huckster was able to fool so many citizens. My hope is his legacy will be a renewed focus on diversity, sustainability, integrity, and justice. I don't know how I can endure 3.5 more years of this, but know that I must.

    1. You and Minnesotastan both appear to be repeating the same mistake that got him elected in the first place. That is, an over-focus on how horrible Trump is with no comparative argument for why one should vote for the other side of the aisle.

      The above litany of criticism, while not inaccurate, may ultimately be irrelevant. Nobody voted for Trump because he was a consummate politician. They voted for him because it was either him or the walking personification of the Washington machine, and voters were just angry enough to burn the house down.

      I'm still hard pressed to understand why I would vote for any Democrat when the entire party seems to have embraced extremely hard leftism. This Washington Post poll that shows that the Dems are the most out of touch party in the country (https://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/04/23/National-Politics/Polling/release_466.xml). You don't change something like that by attacking Trump, you change it by rebuilding your brand. And I don't see that happening.

      I'm not happy I voted for Trump, but the way things are going with the Democrats, it looks like I'm going to be unhappy about having to vote for him again in 2020.

    2. I'm afraid that David and IronHorse are both correct. What's to be done?

    3. Sorry, but if you think today's Democratic Party is... "extremely hard leftism," you have little clue of what a real Left is. Fellow Republican Chris (below) is directly on target. Today's Democrats are center Right, afraid of their own shadow to embrace any real cohesive Leftist ideology- to the point where they kneecapped their own strongest candidate.

      How Far... Right has this country turned? When you have a POTUS and several of his chief advisors praising the "good people" on the side of self professed White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis- you shouldn't need me, or anyone else, to point the way!

    4. I was a big Hillary supporter, but Ironhorse makes a valid point.
      "Our brand is worse than Trump,"
      Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan on why a Democrat cant even win an election for Second Grade Class Janitor these days.

      and back in march they asked Pelosi who the leaders of the Democratic Party were.
      Her answer?
      Obama and Clinton.
      We better get us a candidate. It may be tougher than beating Trump in 2020.

    5. It could be worse. It could be Hillary in the White House.

  2. Dump the dump {the orange enema}

  3. Thanks for presenting the Trump news this way.

  4. Those of us who were card-carrying members of the Republican party for decades can tell you that the current Democratic party is to the right of the Republican party of the 1960s and 1970s.

    The Dem party right now is not cohesive or brave, but that's a far cry from being fascist and authoritarian extremists. The parties are not equally bad: one is mediocre, and one has proven itself to be dangerous to American citizens and the rest of the world.

    1. “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”

      -Barry Goldwater

      And ya could say, we are now... in the post-evangelical era.

  5. Chris is right on. Everybody in my family was a Republican, going back to the formation of the party Now even my daughter the banking executive is a Democrat. I can't believe that the President of the United States would celebrate Nazism and white supremacy. I only hope he is removed from office before he can destroy the world by his incompetence.

  6. Democrats have devolved into modifying bathrooms and removing statues. Issues that do not affect 99.9% of average, ordinary Americans on a day to day basis. This is really your platform in 2018? RIP Democrat party.

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