Welcome to the Sunday edition of Good News Roundup.
In case you are new, this is a place to leverage good news to offset the bad and to inspire ourselves to fight on. Our focus is on stories that are good for the resistance, the country and the world.
If you believe the sky is falling or insist on crying wolf you are in the wrong place. We know your view is popular. But we aren’t you. If your intent is to disrupt this space, I’d appreciate it if you hung out at PessimistsTryingToLose.com instead of trying to hijack this space.
The Cold Open Summer Replacement Program
The Breaking Good News
The Deal Maker Sucks
One of the things I’ve often heard from one the less odious groups of tRump supporters is “We need a businessman to run the country.” These folks are reachable and this Politico article goes a long way to putting the myth of tRump the businessman into its grave. The only reason people believe tRump is a master deal maker is because he continuously tells them he is. Politico: ‘He Pretty Much Gave In to Whatever They Asked For’
But these past 16 months of Trump’s presidency have shown that whatever skills Trump thinks he acquired over the course of his business career haven’t necessarily translated to his work in the White House. The failed repeal-and-replace health care negotiations, bungled efforts to get funding from Mexico for his promised border wall, the pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Iran nuclear deal—Trump has proven to be more adept at breaking deals than making deals. And the sudden and bizarre scuttling of his meeting with murderous North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore—and now might be back on again—is only the latest data point that suggests he’s either not as good at negotiating as he promised he was, or that negotiating with disparate factions of Congress or in geopolitically fraught international arenas is harder than he thought it would be and harder than anything he’s ever done. The truth, according to negotiation experts who have studied Trump’s track record, people who have negotiated for him and against him, associates, biographers and former employees, is that it’s all of that.
Negotiation expert Marty Latz has a book due out this month called The Real Trump Deal: An Eye-Opening Look at How He Really Negotiates. “If you take a look at the research as to the actual skills that the most effective negotiators exhibit,” Latz told me, “you’re looking at skills like assertiveness, empathy, creativity, ethicality—how ethical you are—and skill sets like those are not necessarily in the DNA of Donald Trump.”
If the myth of Trump, negotiator par excellence, started in earnest with the publishing of The Art of the Deal, the prime-time television show in which he starred cemented it. And similar to the deal he struck with Schwartz to write his book, the negotiation that birthed “The Apprentice” was lightning-quick. Trump agreed with producer Mark Burnett to a 50-50 split without consulting any advisers, according to Trump Revealed. And when he attempted to get a giant pay raise after the show’s wildly successful first season, he … didn’t get it.
More and More We See the Gloves Coming Off
The blunter our economic brain trust gets in their criticism of tRump, the more likely it becomes that the moneyed class that owns republican politicians orders their lackeys to take control. I don’t know if those spineless worms will listen to the donor class, but the fireworks should be dramatic. Huffington Post: Renowned Economist Jeffrey Sachs Rips Trump As A Gibbering, ‘Delusional’ Threat
“Much more likely, Trump is just mentally unstable and narcissistic,” he added, calling the new announcement of tariffs on exports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union part of a “psychopath’s trade war.”
Sachs, a renowned Columbia University professor who heads its Center for Sustainable Development and serves as a senior adviser at the United Nations, said no one expressed “a single word of respect for Trump” during his recent trip to Europe. Their question was: “How did America fall so far so fast?” Sachs wrote.
Even the Canadians Are Pushing Back
The ersatz justification for tRump’s tariffs is national security. As Trudeau points out; that 100 percent unrefined, nonsensical bullshit. Mother Jones: Justin Trudeau Just Slammed “Insulting and Unacceptable” Trump Trade Behavior
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called President Trump’s trade tariffs on aluminium and steel “insulting and unacceptable” in a new video posted on Saturday by NBC’s Meet the Press on Twitter. Canada, Mexico and the European Union had previously been exempt from Trump’s 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, but the US snapped them into effect at midnight Thursday. The US cast the decision to include the three trading giants and allies in the tariffs as an urgent matter of national security to defend local markets: “Without a strong economy, you can’t have a strong national security,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week.
But Trudeau flatly refuted that premise in the video, which previews a longer interview set to air on Sunday, by recalling his country’s deep military relationship with the US. (NBC also made some of the details from the upcoming interview available Friday on its website.)
“The idea that, you know, our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches of World War II, and the mountains of Afghanistan and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world, that are always there for each other, somehow—this is insulting to them,” he told Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd. “Next week we’re hosting the G7 summit of world leaders and the airfield, the military base, that Air Force One is going to land in was put there in World War II to protect an aluminium smelter that was providing to the military effort. The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.”
Pruitt Is Still Busy Getting Caught
In any other administration Scott Pruitt would have been fired, indicted and jailed by now. The most recent bit of extravagant spending was uncovered on Friday. USA Today: Scott Pruitt’s $130 pens write another chapter in critics’ unhappiness with his spending habits
An aide to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt confirmed Friday that the agency spent approximately $1,560 on 12 fountain pens — or about $130 per pen.
Another $1,670 were spent on journals, according to email exchanges in August between agency officials that were part of a larger trove of EPA communications recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club.
The EPA’s spending practices under Pruitt are attracting special scrutiny following sharp criticism over the cost of his security detail, first-class travel arrangements, and private phone line. He is also at the center of several investigations looking into potential violations of ethical rules and government spending laws.
He was also busy grafting last December. USA Today: Report: Scott Pruitt sat courtside in seats owned by coal executive
Dan Helmer (D-VA10) Goes Directly after tRump
He’s running against Barbara Comstock (R-CrayCray). Helmer didn’t hold back in this ad. “After 9/11 the greatest threat to our democracy lived in a cave. Today he lives in The White House”
Ã¢ÂÂ Dan Helmer (@HelmerVA10) May 30, 2018
This Is the Week That Was
Terriffible Trade Policy
Cadet Bonespur’s tariffs aren’t playing well, even in tRump country. Here are a few of the stories detailing the damage tRump is doing. By screwing over large parts of his base with an ill-conceived trade war, tRump will continue to see his base shrink. This tRumpian idiocy will impact November.
tRump Train Derailment Continues
This means Don Jr lied to congress. Daily Beast: White House Lawyers Say Trump Wrote Misleading Response to Trump Tower Meeting
This is about the letter tRump praised before admitting he hadn’t read it. Vox: Kim Jong Un’s leaked letter to Trump could foreshadow trouble at the summit
Open racism and promotion of crazy conspiracy theories can get you fired. Who knew? Slate: Roseanne vs. Roseanne
The argument is: racists, like abusers, shouldn’t get shows to begin with. Huffington Post: ‘Roseanne’ Shouldn’t Have Been Revived To Begin With, Says Michelle Wolf
Negotiations are underway to resurrect Phyllis Schlafly to take over for Roseanne in Season 2. Daily Beast: Found: Roseanne Season 2, the Lost Episodes
Barrel Scraping for Reasons Not Called Guns
Diane Black is a republican candidate for governor of Tennessee. She’s also a lunatic. USA Today: Congresswoman says pornography is a root cause of school shootings
She’s not alone in making stupid claims. The Atlantic: The GOP’s ‘Unbelievably Absurd’ Response to Santa Fe
Spoiler Alert: It’s the guns. Boston Globe: Let’s purge the GOP’s rote excuses for mass shootings
Steve King Deserves Defeat
I’d love to see Steve King among the whiners, come election day. Mother Jones: A Democrat in Farm Country Hopes to Beat One of Congress’ Biggest Racists
Moral Majority Is Not Moral
Where, oh where, has their morality gone? Where, oh where, can it be? Huffington Post: The Religious Right’s True Colors
There is no place in America for the thugs who instituted this policy to hide. The outrage over this indefensible unconscionable action will continue to grow.
I wish Samantha Bee hadn’t gotten quite so vulgar when calling out Ivanka tRump this week. I completely agree with her assessment of Ivanka. She’s one of the most feckless despicable people running around in Washington these days because she pretends she cares. I just don’t like the idea of giving the Nutjob Brigade any distractions they can use to deflect away from explaining the daily criminal acts of their hero. Saturday Night Live made a sanitized version of Bee’s point with this ad from last year.
The ad was produced long before Ivanka grabbed all those Chinese trademarks and pushed her family photo while children of asylum seekers were being ripped from their mother’s arms. She’s been silent about her father’s draconian policies. Whether it’s by complicit silence or explicit support, any parent that does not condemn the brutality of targeting children deserves to be addressed in the most vulgar way possible.
Here’s a bit on the word itself. The New Yorker: Ivanka Trump, Samantha Bee, and the Strange Path of an Ancient Epithet
There’s some pot-kettle hypocrisy going on. I bet you are all so surprised you’ll need the fainting couch and smelling salts to recover. Daily Beast: Forget Samantha Bee—Donald Trump Has Called Women ‘C*nt’ for 30 Years
Monday — Jessiestaf started off the week with Obama alums running for office, Russia messaging, populist messaging, Jeff Flake vs. tRump and a video game update.
Tuesday — Goodie opened by drawing parallels to the Civil Rights Movement. After that it was tRumps train jumping off the tracks, election news and democratic allies. She finished up with a call to arms and a reminder to keep our “eyes on the prize.”
Wednesday — pr0gressivist had a whole multi-course meal of good news to cover. The appetizers were: Mueller gets a gift; Mexico barks back; Neilsen says no; Jeff Miller is a swamp creature; Trey Gowdy says no; SCOTUS says no; Rudy is dumb; Roseanne is gone; Greitens is gone; Active Shooter is gone; Flight School idiocy; Columbia joins NATO; and a Swedish orchestra takes on tRump, The entree was a lot of very fine solar and environmental news. Desert was a story about how coffee makes you live longer.
Thursday — oldhippiedude went all metaphorical comparing our current situation to a wildfire we are working to control. After that is was Texas election news; a shot at Cruz; national election news; debunking poll watching; bad news for the swamp; witch hunting in Spain; Parkland student David Hogg’s next step; Californians win, Virginians win; Russia loses; Planned Parenthood wins; Weinstein loses; and a nice Jefferson Airplane finale.
Friday — Chloris Creator got right into it with bad news for Cohen & Giuliani; Gowdy debunking tRump; tRump quaking in his shorts; Feinstein’s bill to rein in ICE & CBP; Lankford on tRump; America on tweeting, harassment and Obama; tRump repeating himself; Nunes the carpetbagger; and a bunch of Odds & Ends. She finished up with a call to action (with links)
Saturday — Goodie swore off the twitter machine. After that it was: Fox News, Trey Gowdy, John Boehner, Thomas Freidman & Megan McCain all criticized tRump; Dan Rather on Roseanne; Paige Patterson losing his job; the Koch Brothers supporting Heitkamp; election news; Russia news; the case for obstruction; Spygate deflates; another Kushner problem; tRump’s pardon dilemma; dems push back on poverty and family separation; some good legal news; and California passing net neutrality. She also finished up with a call to action (with links)
Once a Schmuck, Always a Schmuck
The Yiddish word “schmuck” means, according to Wikipedia, “one who is stupid or foolish, or an obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person.” It also means “dick,” as in “He is such a dick.” The Castilian word that comes closest might be “gilipollas,” which is commonly translated as “asshole or dickhead.” In Mexico it’s “pendejo.” Germans call them “arschgeige” (literally “ass violin”). Brits call them “wankers,” and Canadians call them “sir.” Here in the United States, we call them “The tRump administration.”
The Schmuck-in-Chief has always been the skeevy excuse for a human being he plays on TV. We’ve seen him repeatedly trample political norms into bite size chunks of road apple and feed them to his giddy followers like they were the finest truffles. But, he is the symptom and not the disease. How in the hell did we get to the point where a walking talking advertisement for increased regulation on shady business practices was given the keys to the country?
This is just some of the misinformation we’ve been fed about the first amendment.
- Reagan taught us that dog whistles are secret speech.
- Nixon, Reagan, Bush & Baby Bush taught us that big lies are speech.
- Citizens United taught us that money is speech.
- The NRA taught us that bullets are speech.
- The NFL taught us that free speech is not speech.
- tRump taught us that incomprehensible word salad is speech.
The time has come for us to teach back.
- We teach that bullshit has consequences.
Ted Cruz challenged Jimmy Kimmel to a basketball game.
Comey’s still out there as a thorn in tRump’s tiny little feet.
Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome get a little political.
A call to action from 50 years ago.
The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of bold projects and new ideas. Rather, it will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the great enterprises and ideals of American society. — Robert Kennedy
Disclaimer: Reading good news may cause temporary relief from tRump Stress Syndrome. This does not mean you should quit your regular medications and wander about in a euphoric haze. TSS will only be cured when the Orange Pretender is removed from The White House.