Thoughts & Essays

5TtRT: Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, Colin Kaepernick, Bob Woodward & More

I spent my long weekend basically ignoring the world while watching entirely too many episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (stumbled over it on Netflix). ST:TNG debuted in 1987, 31 years ago, and man, does it ever show. The structure of the episodes is positively bizarre compared to how TV shows today are put together. I watched the first season and a few episodes of the second season, and it’s full of hour-long episodes where nothing of any particular import happens to much of anyone. Like, there’s plot and stuff happens, but the lack of any kind of over-arching, season-long plot, episode-to-episode character development, stakes, all that, really stands out.

TV from thirty years ago seems super dull now, which is weird, because I remember watching and loving this show when it was on back in the day.

Anyway, we’re back, and it’s time for real life again. Let’s see what’s happening out there.

Over the weekend Trump tweeted – well, he tweeted a bunch of things, but the big one was, “Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…… ….The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now. Same thing with Lyin’ James Comey. The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting – UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!” (Tweets: 1, 2.)

In case you missed it, because parsing Trump’s jibberjabber is a bit of a trick, that’s the President of the United States yelling at his Attorney General on Twitter because AG Sessions didn’t stop the conviction of two Republican House members who got caught committing crimes.

Meanwhile, Nike picked up Colin Kaepernick, former NFL quarterback and activist who started the “kneeling during the anthem” protests, to head up their 30th anniversary “Just Do It.” campaign. Conservative Twitter immediately started burning their sneakers and cutting Nike swoops off their clothes and whatnot.

You may have heard a lot of BS about what the “kneeling during the anthem” protests are about. Just so you know, when Colin Kaepernick – and now other NFL football players – kneel during the national anthem, they’re protesting police brutality and the regular murder of black people by cops. It has nothing to do with the actual anthem, or military vets, or whatever other BS Trump and Fox News has been peddling.

In other news, the New Yorker does a big “ideas festival” every year that you’ve never heard of before because it’s kind of a “journalism nerds” type of thing. Big in certain circles, mostly unheard of outside of them. Anyway, this year they announced Steve Bannon as their headliner. As you might expect, Liberal Twitter promptly – and correctly – burned right the hell down. The backlash was immediate and huge, and other headliners like Patton Oswalt, John Mulaney, Judd Apatow and others, all announced they were backing out if the New Yorker put Bannon on stage. After a few hours of being eaten alive, the New Yorker dropped Bannon.

There’s no journalistic value in interviewing Steve Bannon or giving him a platform to spew his garbage. The dude’s a dumpy old white supremacist spouting white supremacist twaddle. He has nothing particularly new or intelligent to add to a conversation. We know what he’s up to, and we know what he has to say – we’ve covered that all already. By putting him up in the public sphere, you’re just amplifying and legitimizing his message, which is hateful. Don’t play that game, journalists.

Today’s news includes excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book about the Trump administration, “Fear: Trump in the White House.” Bob Woodward, in case you’re forgetting where you’ve heard the name, is half of the Washington Post team whose reporting helped bring to light Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Apparently Trump flunkies willingly interviewed with the guy, and he wrote a book which is, somewhat shockingly, not titled “I Can’t Believe All These Guys Were Dumb Enough To Talk To Me.” Anyway, CNN got their hands on the book and published some of what’s said in the book. It’s not surprising. We already knew the Trump White House is a cesspool full of incompetent, backstabbing sharks, led by a rampaging lunatic child. But just in case you were curious about some of the details of the rampaging lunatic child, CNN’s got ’em.

Also, the Arizona governor, Doug Ducey, picked former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, one of the guys who’s been shepherding Brett Kavanaugh through his SCotUS process, to replace John McCain. Yeah.

And speaking of Brett Kavanaugh, his hearings started today, and as you might expect, they’re a shitshow. Republicans are ramrodding him through the process, and barring some kind of miracle, Kavanaugh’s gonna be the next Supreme Court Justice. This is bad in a vast multitude of ways, and the GOP has been ridiculously shady about the whole process. All I can say is call your senators, particularly if you’ve got a Republican senator, and when you hang up, if you’re a woman or a minority, get your ass to a blue state as fast as possible and stay there. It’s gonna get ugly with a conservative Supreme Court.