Enemy of the people

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s most extraordinary news conference

From the BBC:

Me: Could I just ask you, thank you very much, Mr President. The trouble…

President Trump: Where are you from?

Me: BBC.

President Trump: Here’s another beauty.

Me: That’s a good line. Impartial, free and fair.

President Trump: Yeah. Sure.

Me: Mr President…

President Trump: Just like CNN right?

Me: On the travel ban – we could banter back and forth. On the travel ban would you accept that that was a good example of the smooth running of government…

President Trump: Yeah, I do. I do. Let me tell you about this government…

Me: Were there any mistakes…

President Trump: Wait. Wait. I know who you are. Just wait. Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision…

Grey line

It was quite the most extraordinary news conference I have attended.

The Guardian:

Trump spent his first solo press conference as president berating the press and dodging any serious questions – and none of it is ever going to be normal

It was an exhausting 77-minute extravaganza, and any five-minute segment would have been enough to make front-page headlines around the world.

Trump said he wasn’t “ranting and raving” during his press conference, and that was correct. The president was confidently unhinged as he spent more than an hour berating the press and boasting without any real basis that “there has never been a presidency that’s done so much in such a short period of time”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It must be around here somewhere

Finally the president thanked us and we were dismissed. As I was leaving, he smiled and said to me, “You sure Saddam didn’t say anything about where he put those vials of anthrax?” and everyone laughed. I responded that he didn’t and, if he had, the president would have been the first to know. It was a lame response, but I thought his crack was inappropriate considering that the United States had already lost more than four thousand men and women, with tens of thousands injured.

—John Nixon, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016), 168.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“This is for 9/11”

… Saddam was out of his depth. He never fully grasped the impact of 9/11, which he saw as something that might bring Iraq and the United States closer together. Since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington were the work of Islamic extremists, Saddam thought the United States would need his secular government to help fight the scourge of Wahhabist militancy.

—John Nixon, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016), 112.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Valentinstag!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy:

For the last 36 years, since the advent into power of Ronald Reagan, public education and the public school system has been gutted. It’s criminal that we’ve seen how two whole generations have grown up with shamefully limited understanding of the world, history and geography. People in this country now have great difficulty in critical thinking and being able to express themselves.

The public mind has been shattered, fragmented.

Remember reading Macy’s book in the 80s, in the slide into darkness that was the Reagan Administration. Giroux’s got another piece analyzing US destitute thinking on truthdig.org. His hope placed in women’s marches, or Hedges’ calling for protesters to “make America ungovernable” remind me of Jacobin Magazine’s article on the”general strike” coming up, in which those “who can do so without being fired” should go on strike. I think people in this country now have great difficulty in critical thinking.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Novels of Mass Destruction

We subsequently found out, as the U.S. military prepared to invade Iraq, that Saddam was sending the latest draft of a novel he was writing to Tariq Aziz to critique. This was not a man bracing for a pulverizing military attack.

—John Nixon, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016), 40.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding Things

The BBC covering Trump’s meeting with police chiefs today:

Mr Trump also said: “I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well. OK? Better than, I think, almost anybody.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tillerson

BBC: Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, has been confirmed by the US Senate to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of state.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tillerson

First they came for the Muslims

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on First they came for the Muslims