One Hour and Seventeen Minutes

found online by Raymond

From driftglass:

For one hour and seventeen minutes today, The Bastard President showed the world that he is a lying, rambling, paranoid half-mad man-baby who could not handle the simplest questions from the press.

It just so happens that almost exactly seven years ago, President Barack Obama held an extended Q&A in front of a genuinely hostile audience: The House Republicans at their retreat in Baltimore. “moderated” by Mike Pence. It was a bravura performance. Working without notes and armed only with — gasp! — facts, logic, good humor and a mastery of the issues, President Obama wiped the floor with them..

It was such a brutal and comprehensive smiting that Fox News cut away from it 20 minutes before it ended.

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found online by Raymond

From Green Eagle:

We learn that agents of Trump, including his personal lawyer, have delivered a proposal to Russia that the current government of Ukraine be removed, in favor of one led by a pro-Russian party created by Russia, which will enter into an agreement allowing Russia to stay in Crimea. This would, in some perverted reasoning, provide a justification for claiming that there is no reason to maintain the sanctions on Russia which were imposed when it invaded Crimea.

Russia and our absolutely not self-serving Secretary of State Tillerson get their $500 billion dollar deal, Putin gets the big payoff from Trump, and the only losers are the people of Ukraine and the United States. Winners all around! Are you tired enough of winning yet?

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Hamilton and the Uncanny Valley of Musicals

found online by Raymond

From John Scalzi:

…I don’t love Hamilton like my friends love Hamilton. This is not the fault of the play, nor a matter of me being contrarian to be contrary, and choosing not to love that which my friends love, simply because it’s already gotten all their love. It’s because of something that I already knew about myself, which is that generally speaking I have a level of emotional remove from a lot of live action musicals, both in theater and in film. I can like them and enjoy them, and certainly admire the craft and skill that goes into making them, but I don’t always engage with them emotionally. A really good live action musical can easily capture my brain, but in my experience they rarely capture my heart.

Why? The short answer is a lot of live action musicals exist in the emotional equivalent of the Uncanny Valley for me — an unsweet spot where the particular artifices of musicals make me aware of their artificiality.

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Full Week Since Trump Received an Intelligence Briefing

found online by Raymond

From Tommy Christopher:

From the “Bowling Green Massacre” to “Atlanta” to the “Sweden Incident,” no terrorist attack is too fictional for Donald Trump and his administration to use in order to frighten Americans into supporting their the Muslim ban or “Deportation Force.”

When it comes to actually doing the job of keeping Americans safe, though, Trump is very publicly leaving the country vulnerable.

Last week, we reported that Trump had not received an intelligence briefing since the resignation and/or firing of disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. A review of Trump’s daily schedules shows that there were no intelligence briefings scheduled for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, either.

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The Best People?

found online by Raymond

From Iron Knee at Political Irony:

Trump is not living up to his promise to hire the best people and let them run the administration. In particular, his cabinet members are not allowed to pick their own staff. For example, the White House would not let Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (who has no political experience) hire Elliott Abrams (who had held extensive foreign policy positions in the Reagan and second Bush administration) because Abrams criticized Trump during the campaign.

Trump wants to hire people who have never criticized him, which leaves out pretty much all Democrats, many Republicans (including those with the most experience) and members of many minority groups that were insulted by Trump.

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Is Andrew Puzder ‘Anti-Worker’ for Opposing Labor Laws?

found online by Raymond

From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

It is morally obscene to smear as “anti-worker” a man who runs a company that creates and maintains over 20,000 jobs, all of which are filled by people who voluntarily took their jobs based on mutually agreed, mutually advantageous terms.

A person who opposes minimum wage, overtime, sick pay, and other government labor mandates is actually taking a positive moral and practical stand.

No worker “deserves” to get by government policy—by force—what she cannot gain by voluntary agreement, no matter her level of wages or struggles. Need is not a license to steal, with or without government as your hired gun. That’s just cronyism no different from corporate cronyism.

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What Really Happened in Sweden Friday Night

found online by Raymond

From Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist at The Moderate Voice:

During the most recent rally in his in his never-ending campaign and speaking without the filter of the fake news, Trump surprised the world — in particular the Swedes — by revealing that Sweden (a country that has a long history of taking in refugees) had been the target of some horrific event the night before.

“We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” Trump said in a shrill, alarming voice.

Watch the video above, courtesy the Washington Post.

The Swedish people were flabbergasted and so were the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the Swedish Embassy in Washington.

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