Thoughts & Essays

5TtRT: QAnon, Donald Trump, Obamacare, the 2018 election, & Robert Mueller

Today’s stories tackle QAnon, Trump’s new pollution rules, Trump getting sued over Obamacare, threats to the upcoming 2018 election, and Trump wanting to interview with Mueller against his lawyers’ advice.

Also, I want to point out two excellent videos you should watch: Hank Green’s video, “I Think I Live in a Corporate Autocracy,” and Jeff Jarvis’ video, “Response to Hank Green.” Hank Green, one of the Vlogbrothers, made a video discussing emerging issues of free speech, community and governance on social media platforms, specifically in regards to the recent temporary removal of InfoWars trash on Facebook. Jeff Jarvis, former journalist and current professor at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, made a response video raising a handful on interesting points of his own. It’s definitely worth the half-hour of time it’ll take to watch both videos.

5 Things to Read Today

🤦‍♀️ Vox: #QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that bears a remarkable similarity to a religious frenzy. It’s got a god, Trump, and a devil, basically everyone else. It’s got a prophet, Q, who posts to 4Chan. And it’s got devout adherents – enough of them to be worrisome. “QAnon” is the name of the loose group that’s flocked to the conspiracy theory. Q posts cryptic BS on 4Chan, and the group works themselves into a frenzy “interpreting” the BS. What’s grown out of that is this idea that Trump is some kind of genius savior, fighting off a bizarre, pedophilia-centric force of evil that’s usurped the government and made slaves of everyone.

🚗 New York Times: Trump Unveils His Plan to Weaken Car Pollution Rules
Obama enacted a bunch of emissions rules for automobiles that would have made some pretty good strides in fighting climate change. Some felt that the rules were too strict, or too hard to meet on time, but no one fussed too much because despite what various fools say on TV, most people realize that climate change is killing us and we should probably do something about that. But, Trump’s sole mission in his presidency is to undo everything Barack Obama did, because Trump is a racist monster, so Trump’s rolling back the emissions rules.

⚕️ NBC News: Trump’s undermining of Obamacare violates the Constitution, new lawsuit charges
Trump couldn’t get Obamacare repealed, so he did a bunch of executive orders that crippled the program and will likely result in it collapsing. Now four cities, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati and Columbus, are suing him for it.

🗳️ CNN: Senators: Trump ‘not paying attention’ to Russian threats in 2018
Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are working on a bipartisan bill to shore up our election system, so they’re currently doing the rounds to explain that Trump isn’t doing anything to protect the integrity of our upcoming elections.

⚖️ New York Times: Trump Pushes for Interview With Mueller Against Lawyers’ Advice
Trump is hassling his lawyers to let him do the interview Mueller wants. This is, of course, giving his lawyers panic attacks. They’re terrified Trump’ll get himself in more trouble. Trump’s done a lot of interviews with opposing lawyers because he gets sued a lot. His usual tactic is to just not remember anything. He’ll “I don’t know, I don’t remember” his way through the interview, drag it out, and make it take forever, in the hopes of making things too expensive and tedious for the opposition to continue. The “dragging things out” tactic won’t work here because I’m pretty sure Mueller is willing to sit there on the government’s dime for the next ten years taking notes while Trump rambles, but I don’t know how well the usual “I don’t know, I don’t remember” thing will perform. Trump’s handled a lot of opposing lawyers, but I doubt he’s ever handled a guy like Mueller.