"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, January 12, 2018

We Interrupt This Program...

I can't resist tracking this today.  Josh Marshall starts us off:

Here’s one thing that occurs to me. When I first heard about the “shithole” meeting at the White House I thought it was a bipartisan meeting. Technically it was. But my understanding now is that there was only one Democrat there: Dick Durbin (D-IL). He went there with Lindsey Graham. But there were a handful of other Republican senators already there. Would we have ever heard about this if a Democrat hadn’t been in the room?

The news very helpfully provides the answer:

Because law-zee, their precious shell-likes would drop off if somebody spoke that way in their presence.  I declare, Tom Cotton woulda fainted dead away to hear such talk!

Or it just wasn't remarkable enough to notice, much less remember.

As Chris Wallace said:  apply some common sense.  And go back to Mr. Marshall's question, because the answer is obviously "Not only 'no,' but 'HELL No!' "

“He was talking about the countries being not so great,” Campos-Duffy explained to her co-hosts without uttering the word. “First of all, I don’t agree with this term. I’m glad Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) put that [written condemnation] out and I would too. Sometimes the best immigrants come from those kind of countries.”

“That said, I still have a problem with people in a private meeting going out and saying what the president said, when they know, like right now, I just heard that the Panamanian ambassador just quit over this,” the wife of Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) continued.

“I mean, it makes our country look bad,” she elaborated. “I think the Democrats, in this case, should have used some discretion. And even if he did say something like that, not repeat it for the benefit of the country.”

Just because the President is a racist doesn't mean you have to tell everybody what they already know!   But I think we have bigger repercussions from this story than the U.S. Ambassador to Panama having had a belly-full:

The Botswana government summoned its U.S. ambassador “to clarify whether Botswana is regarded as a “shithole” country,” The Washington Post reported.

And Haitian ambassador Paul Altidor told MSNBC that Haiti believes Trump was “either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people.”

Both Altidor and the government of Botswana released statements condemning the comments and asking U.S. officials for a formal explanation of the remarks.

See what you did, Sen. Durbin, you big meanie!

Mitch McConnell is still mum on this, so far as I know.  Paul Ryan wants us all to just excuse Grandpa, he gets a little out of hand, ya know:

“So, first thing that came to my mind, was, very unfortunate, unhelpful,” Ryan said when asked about Trump’s reported comments on Friday afternoon at an event in Milwaukee.

Yeah, I'm not sure how well that's gonna work in diplomatic circles.  And for pity's sake, don't talk about Hillary Clinton!
That's probably going to lead to another Justice Department investigation.

And, as part of my continuing effort to make a long post even longer, White House staff is upset that Trump overshadowed the WSJ interview:

In the wake of the administration’s tax reform coup, Fiat Chrysler had just announced it planned to spend more than $1 billion to move its assembly plant for the Ram truck from Mexico to Michigan. Walmart touted a round of bonuses and a higher pay for its U.S. workers.

And the White House communications team had pre-planned a sit-down interview for the president with reporters from the Wall Street Journal on Thursday – an outlet they expected would focus on economic news and help drive the message of the day.

Turns out they probably shouldn't complain, because not even the WSJ can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear:

WSJ: You think North Korea is trying to drive a wedge between the two countries, between you and President Moon?

Mr. Trump: I’ll let you know in—within the next 12 months, OK, Mike?

WSJ: Sure.

Mr. Trump: I will let you know. But if I were them I would try. But the difference is I’m president; other people aren’t. And I know more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived, but I’ll let you know.
TRUMP: This is going to be state of the art wall; this will be state of the art. But, I can fully understand why you’d have to have vision. I’d like to be able to see three or four hundred yards instead of we’re at a wall we have no idea who’s on the other side. Does this make sense or am I just wasting my time.

HOPE HICKS: It’s what you’ve always talked; it’s consistent with what you’ve always said.

TRUMP: No, this is the same. I hope I don’t read tomorrow, Trump is going to make the wall, I always said, we need a wall.

WSJ: Yes.
WSJ: So when you say you have to have people, clearly there’s the 800,000 ‘Dreamers,’ but there’s also the larger group of people who are currently in the country…

TRUMP: That’s a different discussion.

WSJ: So, you said on Tuesday…

TRUMP: That’s comprehensive – well, if we could do that, that’s fine. I don’t know that that’s going to be possible.

There’s a lot of – there’s a lot of – there’s a big difference – first of all, there’s a big difference between DACA and Dreamers, OK?

Dreamers are different. And I want American kids to be Dreamers also, by the way. I want American kids to be Dreamers also.

But there’s a big difference between DACA and Dreamers. And a lot of times when I was with certain Democrats they kept using the word dreamer. I said, “Please, use the word DACA.” You know it’s a totally different word.

WSJ: Sure.

TRUMP: OK, people think they’re interchangeable, but they’re not.

This is my favorite, because we got to see him discuss this on television, and read his words in the official transcript:

TRUMP: The other thing … so the wall. The wall’s never meant to be 2100 miles long. We have mountains that are far better than a wall, we have violent rivers that nobody goes near, we have areas …. But, you don’t need a wall where you have a natural barrier that’s far greater than any wall you could build, OK? Because somebody said oh, he’s going to make the wall smaller. I’m not going to make it smaller the wall was always going to be a wall where we needed it. And there are some areas that are far greater than any wall we could build. So, maybe some day somebody could make that clear, Sarah, will you make that clear please?

I saw on television, Donald Trump is going to make the wall smaller; no, the wall’s identical. The other thing about the wall is we’ve spent a great deal of time with the Border Patrol and with the ICE agents and they know this stuff better than anybody, they’re unbelievable… I had meetings with them, they need see-through. So, we need a form of fence or window. I said why you need that – makes so much sense? They said because we have to see who’s on the other side.

If you have a wall this thick and it’s solid concrete from ground to 32 feet high which is a high wall, much higher than people planned. You go 32 feet up and you don’t know who’s over here. You’re here, you’ve got the wall and there’s some other people here.

WSJ: Yes.

TRUMP: If you don’t know who’s there, you’ve got a problem.

Still have no idea what river he's talking about.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

You know what, until reading this it didn't occur to me to wonder what Barack Obama had to say about this, looking, I can't find that he said anything about it. For some reason that strikes me as terrible and sadly and aggravatingly unsurprising.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Closest I got was his comments on Dave Letterman's new Netflix show; but as the article pointed out, that was taped months ago.

He's honestly more mum than he should be, at this point.

3:45 PM  

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