TFW you try to write a thoughtful post about engagement, but all you really want to say is that family members who shun others over politics are doody heads.
First this, from Foreign Policy, emphasis added:
NATO is scrambling to tailor its upcoming meeting to avoid taxing President Donald Trump’s notoriously short attention span. The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes at a time during the discussion, several sources inside NATO and former senior U.S. officials tell Foreign Policy. And the alliance scrapped plans to publish the traditional full post-meeting statement meant to crystallize NATO’s latest strategic stance.
Two to four minutes is about as long as a typical pop song. However, there are lots of other songs that are longer than that, which presumably Trump doesn’t have the attention span for. I’ll repeat: Trump’s attention span is too short for many popular songs. My own personal library includes 2,283 songs that are longer than that. Here are some we’ll say randomly selected titles that he would presumably never hear in their entirety:
- Case of the Fake People, TLC
- Burning Down the House, Talking Heads (From the movie “Stop Making Sense”)
- Under Pressure, Queen & David Bowie
- Super Stupid, Funkadelic
- Deep Dark Truthful Mirror, Elvis Costello
- Out of Touch, Hall & Oates
- Terrified, Childish Gambino
- I Pity the Poor Immigrant, Bob Dylan
- Big Shot, Billy Joel
- Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who
- Spy in the House of Love, Was Not Was
- Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey, Sly & The Family Stone
- Murder By Numbers, The Police
- Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful, Paloma Faith
- Circle the Drain, Katy Perry
- I’m Paying Taxes, What Am I Buyin’, The J.B.’s & Fred Wesley
- The Sound of Failure/It’s Dark…Is It Always This Dark??, The Flaming Lips
- The Pinocchio Theory, Bootsy Collins
- Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues, Bob Dylan
Too bad, because there might be some lessons there.
What Keeley is referring to here includes what’s come to be known as conspiracy theory’s “self-sealing” characteristic: if evidence against the conspiracy theory comes from a new source Y, the theory expands to include Y as part of the conspiracy. This self-sealing property is key to how global warming denialists have come to believe that vast majority of the world’s climate scientists are involved in perpetuating a “hoax,” as Donald Trump has called it. “As a result of this process,” Keeley writes, “an initial claim that a small group of people is conspiring gives way to claims of larger and larger conspiracies.”
I tend to think of Nixon’s second term as “Watergate break-in, yada yada yada…Nixon resigns.” But there were two years between those events. I continue to hope that Trump will meet a similar end, but even if we follow a similar timeline, we’re not even through the first “ya.”
I’m assuming this is more or less how the whole “Let’s bomb Syria!” thing went down.
INT. White house
DONALD TRUMP is sitting with several aides discussing recent events in Syria. There is a loose pile of documents and photos on the table in front of them.
We have an update on Assad’s recent chemical attack. There are some indications‑‑
Oh my god, are these babies?
That photo. Are those babies who were hurt in the bombing?
Yes, sir. Current reports are that there were seventy or more casualties, most civilian.
(Starting to weep)
But they’re just babies!
But‑‑ but that’s horrible! Babies!
TRUMP’s eyes well up with tears as he stares at the photos. There is a moment of silence as if everyone around the table is holding their collective breath. Then TRUMP suddenly bursts into tears, wailing inconsolably.
No! They’re babies! How can this happen? And that one! That one! I can’t believe it!
Look how hot that one’s mother probably is!
TRUMP continues to wail, while everyone else looks uncomfortable. TRUMP starts slowly beating his head on the table.
Sir? If I may make a suggestion? Sir?
The AIDE tentatively puts his hand on TRUMP’s shoulder. TRUMP lifts his head. His face is streaked with tears and he has snot bubbling out of his nose.
Perhaps we could bomb them?
(Still sniffling, but this idea clearly brightens his mood)
Yes, sir. This is America. It’s what we do.
Could we bomb them a lot?
Well, let’s start small and see how it goes.
Can I watch it on TV?
This is America.
Vox has a good piece on how satirists are doing a better job covering the Trump administration than news networks. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who remembers what it was like during the last GOP administration, but it’s a good reminder. However, as far as I can tell they neglected to provide links to the various shows they reference. So as a public service, here are links to the YouTube channels for the key folks they showed clips from:
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
- Saturday Night Live
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- Late Night with Seth Meyers
FWIW, I’ve been watching all of these on a regular basis, and they are all killing it. Seth is probably the least barbed of the bunch, but his “A Closer Look” segment is very good. John Oliver easily goes into the most depth on his show, with Samantha Bee close behind (I may give her the prize for “most barbed”). Colbert probably has the most enthusiastic audience at this point, and it’s good to see the occasional “The Word” segment in addition to his monologues. None of them are pulling any punches.
Chandra and I are at home, and the house suddenly drops about four feet. After a brief moment, it starts tumbling end over end. Chandra yells, "What's happening?" I calmly reply, "I think we're gonna die."