Third Time’s a Charm, Monumental Stupidity
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 216
Makeup to Breakup: Three days late, President Trump yesterday delivered a direct condemnation of white supremacy after failing to hit the mark following Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Va.
“Racism is evil,” Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Room. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was quick to chastise Trump, issuing a video on which he said, “President Trump, please, for God’s sake, don’t feel like you need to say these things.” Duke said, “It’s not going to do you any good.”
It wasn’t a good day for the President. Ken Frazier, the CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals, resigned from the President’s manufacturing jobs council in response to Trump’s initially inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville. Without targeting Trump by name, Frazier had issued a statement saying, “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”
Trump, acting like he was dealing with Rosie O’Donnell, tweeted, “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”
Columnist Michael Hiltzik writes for the Los Angeles Times that it’s a mystery why any of the 25 bosses remaining on Trump’s job council would stick with it. He says, “Retaining membership in Trump’s business councils makes a company complicit in everything he represents: his punitive immigration policies, his climate change denialism, and now his embrace of white supremacist and Nazi sentiments.”
By late yesterday there were two more resignations: the CEOs of Under Armour sportswear and Intel.
By the Numbers: The Gallup poll says its latest survey puts Trump’s approval rating at 34 percent, with 61 percent disapproving. After weighting for quality, sample size and partisanship, the FiveThirtyEight blog says Trump’s approval percentage is 37.4. They give Gallup itself a B-minus rating.
Monumental Stupidity: The rally Saturday in Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee may have backfired. Last night in Durham, NC, protesters attached a rope to a statue of a confederate soldier and pulled it down, leaving a twisted wreck.
The NY Times reports that officials in several southern cities have stepped up their pressure to remove statues honoring Confederate heroes, including one in Nashville depicting Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who became a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Identity Politics: A twitter user going by the handle @YesYoureRacist
Hasa started a campaign to identify the racist and Neo-Nazi marchers in the Charlottesville rally. The first man identified was a cook at a Berkeley, Calif. hotdog restaurant and he was fired.
Nation: A 23-year-old Oklahoma man was arrested after plotting to detonate a bomb outside BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City. The FBI says Jerry Drake Varnell of Sayre, Oklahoma told undercover agents that he’s part of the “Three Percenters” patriot movement and wanted to start the next revolution. The undercover agent helped Varnell build what turned out to be an inert bomb.
World: More than 200 people are dead and hundreds more are missing after a mudslide in the hilly outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. Many people were sleeping when torrents rains created rivers of mud that ripped through residential neighborhoods.
QB VII: A jury ruled in favor of pop star Taylor Swift, who countersued disc jockey David Mueller who said Swift ruined his career by claiming he had groped her under her skirt during a photo op. Swift won just $1, the symbolic amount she sued for.
Expiration Date: Short-term White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci visited with Stephen Colbert last night on The Late Show. The Mooch lasted only 10 days on the job. He said, “When you take a job like that, Stephen, you know your expiration date is coming. I didn’t think I was going to last too long, but I thought I was going to last longer than a carton of milk.”