Tuesday, January 24, 2017

SUMMARY: What's happening in the World According to Trump?

My friend is overwhelmed and depressed over everything Trump, and can't even deal with reading everything that comes out surrounding him. So she's taken to wanting me to just summarize things for her. Here is today's summary of Trump news from the last day or two:

  • Trump has named January 20th a National Day of Patriotic Devotion. If that doesn't frighten you, then you are just plain stupid.
  • CBS News has confirmed that Trump's team brought a group of about 40 people who filled out the crowd at the CIA when Trump spoke to them on Saturday.
'CBS News confirmed reports that President Donald Trump brought a studio audience to his visit with the CIA on Saturday. The news agency reports that an official said the visit left a wake of “unease,” “made relations with the intelligence community worse,” and was “uncomfortable.”
Intelligence people were “stunned” and “offended by the president’s tone,” CBS reported U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.”

Also, Trump did bring cheering props, which fits with how he has operated previously in requiring a cheering section – a sort of laugh track of supportive extras like those his campaign hired for his announcement event. It has been confirmed by Trump insiders that the President loves props.'
  • Saturday we had the dressing-down of the media by press secretary Sean Spicer for their accused lying about the size of the inauguration audience. Trump's outfit maintained that the inauguration crowd was about 1.5 million, which is nearly twice the official government estimate of 800,000 attendees. Other estimates run as low as 250,000. However "crowd scientists", who are experts at analyzing photographs to determine crowd size, have actually placed Trump's crowd as something more akin to 160,000, with estimates of the Women's March crowd in DC around 470,000. When Chuck Todd pushed Kellyanne Conway to explain why Sean Spicer would lie about something so inconsequential when it was something we could all easily fact-check, the only explanation she could come up with is that there are "alternative facts", a term which quickly went viral.
  • The Trump administration has frozen all EPA grants and contracts. And they have banned employees from providing updates to reporters or on social media.
  • In addition to the gag on EPA employees, there is also an order forbidding the research unit of the US Dept of Agriculture from releasing "public-facing documents", and the National Park Service was ordered to cease any tweeting last week. But despite this, someone took control of the Badlands National Park Twitter account and began tweeting out climate change information. Booyah!
  • The New York Times flat-out called Trump a liar for continuing to spread his rhetoric (now as President of the United States rather than simply as a campaign candidate) claiming that he lost the popular vote due to 3-5 million fraudulent votes, even though there is not a single piece of evidence to support such a claim.
  • There is a video clip taken at the inauguration during the offering of something of a prayer, where a smiling Trump turns to his broadly smiling wife, and everything seems fine, and then he says a word or two and wipes the smile from his face and turns coldly from her and leaves her crestfallen as he smirks in pleasure. It's extremely disturbing.
  • And perhaps most astounding of all is a story in New York Magazine attesting that nearly a dozen Trump "senior White House officials and other Trump advisers and confidants" have opened up about the first few days in the White House, accusing Trump of being infantile and prone to temper tantrums, egotistical and easily embarrassed. They also have some not-so-kind words about Kellyanne Conway, describing her essentially as an attention whore. We are only four days into this presidency, and already some of Trump's closest confidants are breaking ranks and spilling the beans.

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