The Button Men, Big Storm Coming
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Vol. 7, No. 3
Buttonman: President Trump was busy on Twitter yesterday, singing his own praises, chest bumping with North Korea, claiming credit for airline safety, criticizing the Palestinians, the Justice Department, and “the failing” NY Times.
Where to begin? Most alarmingly, Trump was trading nuclear threats with North Korea. “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
The President of the United States actually said “My button is bigger than your button.”
Also alarming, Trump blamed the “Deep State” within the Justice Department for not prosecuting Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin for email security transgressions. “She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act?”
“Deep State” is the notion that there is a permanent government within the government that acts on its own. Once again, the President is undermining the credibility of national law enforcement in order to rile up his political base.
He questioned continuing to send aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to engage in peace talks. To that, former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted, “Bluster is neither a strategy nor a mechanism for exercise of U.S. power and influence.”
In response to the ascension of AG Sulzberger to publisher of the NY Times, the President said, “Get impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent ‘sources,’ and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done!”
Trump has never demonstrated that any news outlet has made up a source of a story. Mistakes, yes.
The Washington Post counted and found that Trump made 1,950 false or misleading statements in his first 347 days in office.
That leads us to airline safety, for which the President is taking credit. Trump tweeted, “Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news – it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”
Well, it’s true that there were no commercial airlines deaths in the US last year. It’s also true that there hasn’t been one since 2009. Nothing Trump did last year affected that record.
Term Limits: Utah’s Orrin Hatch, the longest serving Republican senator, announced that he will retire at the end of the year, making it possible for Trump enemy Mitt Romney to win the seat.
Hatch said, “When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I’ve brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington. But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching.”
Also yesterday, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken officially resigned amid an embarrassing fusillade of sexual harassment claims. The state’s Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been appointed to replace him.
Winter Blast: A powerful nor’easter is expected to bring snow, ice, rain, and strong winds, to the East Coast all the way from the Southeast up into New England today into tomorrow. Road travel could be dangerous. Expect scattered power outages, tidal flooding, and deep wind chills.
It’s 21 degrees in Billings, MT; Thief River Falls, ND, -12; Birmingham, Ala., 25; Buffalo, 8; Buarlington, VT, 16; New York, 17; Boston, 17; Presque Isle, ME, -16.
Small Screen: Hoda Kotb, the longtime co-host of the fourth hour of NBC “Today” show has been named permanent co-host with Savannah Guthrie to replace the disgraced Matt Lauer. It’s pronounced “kot-bee.”
It’s the first time two women have been primary hosts of the show, drastically cutting the chances that one of the anchors will be a serial sexual harasser of young female employees.
Fire in the Streets: Street protests all over Iran continue, presenting the possibility of a government crackdown. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed outside “enemies” but didn’t say who. He tweeted that, “The enemy is always looking for an opportunity & any crevice to infiltrate &strike the Iranian nation.”
We’re still getting used to the idea that dictators tweet like teenagers.
The protesters, many of them young, are angry about the lack of freedom, high food prices, and the scarcity of jobs. President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, appealed for calm while saying the protesters had a right to be heard.
Freedom From Speech: Escalating his war with the press, President Trump tweeted last night, “I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!”
We remind you again, if you have forgotten, this is the President of the United States.