I’m not sure the Washington Post’s conservative columnist is really conservative: Daily Bullshit, December 18-21, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, December 19, 11:43 am.
  2. December 20, 2:50 am (not caught up):
    • There is a new blog entry, entitled “Road rage.”
  3. December 21, 12:51 am (caught up):
    • The United States cast the sole dissenting vote, vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital[1] and is attempting to strong-arm allies into supporting the U.S. position.[2]
    • Republican senators are resisting pressure to end probes into possible collusion between Donald Trump or his team and Russia.[3] (James Comey)
    • The European Court of Justice has ruled against Uber, saying it is a transport company.[4]
    • Congress passed so-called tax “reform,” sending it to the White House for Donald Trump’s signature.[5] (Tax bill)
    • Cliven Bundy, who led a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, won a mistrial in the federal government’s case against him. He might win a dismissal with prejudice.[6] (White Supremacism)
  4. December 21, 12:21 pm:
    • Aaron Blake, also at the Washington Post, thinks Donald Trump effectively admitted that at least part of Jennifer Rubin’s assessment[7] of the Tax bill is correct.[8]
    • The United States’s attempt to strong-arm its allies[9] failed as the United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9, with 35 abstentions, in an emergency session to condemn Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.[10]
  5. December 21, 6:11 pm:
    • In taking up the dishonesty of the Tax bill, Masha Gessen identifies a different kind of political lie, “a Trumpian lie, which is distinct from other kinds of political lying. It might be called a power lie: its purpose is not to convince the audience of something that isn’t true but to demonstrate the power of the speaker.”[11]

Tax bill

Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s most prominent conservative columnist, blasts the tax bill and its advocates for “snake-oil salesmanship, the debt creation, the procedural sleights of hands, the heightened income inequality, the secret deals and the contempt for voters.”[12] A worried Masha Gessen goes a step beyond:

Political speeches are rarely occasions for truth-telling. But the good ones combine a description of shared reality with the expression of a vision, or with words of celebration. The mediocre ones consist of platitudes—well-intentioned but lacking the force of inspiration or recognition. And then there is the genre of the thoroughly insincere pronouncement that is all empty ritual. This is not normally observed in countries with functioning democratic institutions, because hollow words are the very opposite of accountability. These kinds of speeches are usually given in dictatorships: their intended audience is not the public but the tyrant. This is what we observed in Washington on Wednesday, and it’s the scariest part of Trump’s big tax triumph.[13]

Jennifer Rubin, “The most infuriating falsehoods about the tax bill and those who told them,” Washington Post, December 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/12/18/the-most-infuriating-falsehoods-about-the-tax-bill-and-those-who-told-them/

Aaron Blake, “Trump just admitted the GOP’s tax cuts were deceptively sold,” Washington Post, December 20, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/12/20/trump-just-admitted-the-gops-tax-cuts-were-deceptively-sold/

Lisa Mascaro, “House gives final OK to GOP tax plan, sending it to Trump,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-house-gives-final-ok-to-gop-tax-plan-1513775499-htmlstory.html

Masha Gessen, “The Most Frightening Aspect of Trump’s Tax Triumph,” New Yorker, December 21, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-most-frightening-aspect-of-trumps-tax-triumph


Sexual assault and harassment

Now that the Democrats have offed Roy Moore,[14] they want Al Franken back.[15]

Edward-Isaac Dovere, “Franken urged to reverse his resignation,” Politico, December 18, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/18/manchin-franken-senate-resign-300843


Jerusalem

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” [Donald] Trump said. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”[16]

Oren Liebermann, “US stands alone, defiant at UN Security Council over Jerusalem,” CNN, December 18, 2017, http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/18/middleeast/us-un-security-council-jerusalem/index.html

Kambiz Foroohar, “Haley Warns UN That Trump Is Watching Jerusalem Votes,” Bloomberg, December 20, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-20/haley-is-said-to-warn-un-that-trump-is-watching-jerusalem-votes

Raphael Ahren, “UN defies Trump, rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital by 128-9,” Times of Israel, December 21, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-nations-defy-trump-and-pass-jerusalem-resolution-with-large-majority/

Max Greenwood, “UN votes to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem decision,” Hill, December 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/international/366001-un-votes-to-condemn-us-jerusalem-decision

Jewish Telegraph Agency, “UN General Assembly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” December 21, 2017, https://www.jta.org/2017/12/21/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/un-general-assembly-passes-resolution-rejecting-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israels-capital


James Comey

Alexander Bolton, “Senate GOP wary of ending Russia probes, despite pressure,” Hill, December 18, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/365532-senate-gop-wary-of-ending-russia-probes-despite-pressure


Uber

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Uber is officially a cab firm, says European court,” December 20, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42423627


White Supremacism

David Montero, “Judge declares mistrial in case of Nevada rancher’s standoff with federal government,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-bundy-trial-20171220-story.html


  1. [1]Oren Liebermann, “US stands alone, defiant at UN Security Council over Jerusalem,” CNN, December 18, 2017, http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/18/middleeast/us-un-security-council-jerusalem/index.html
  2. [2]Kambiz Foroohar, “Haley Warns UN That Trump Is Watching Jerusalem Votes,” Bloomberg, December 20, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-20/haley-is-said-to-warn-un-that-trump-is-watching-jerusalem-votes
  3. [3]Alexander Bolton, “Senate GOP wary of ending Russia probes, despite pressure,” Hill, December 18, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/365532-senate-gop-wary-of-ending-russia-probes-despite-pressure
  4. [4]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Uber is officially a cab firm, says European court,” December 20, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42423627
  5. [5]Lisa Mascaro, “House gives final OK to GOP tax plan, sending it to Trump,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-house-gives-final-ok-to-gop-tax-plan-1513775499-htmlstory.html
  6. [6]David Montero, “Judge declares mistrial in case of Nevada rancher’s standoff with federal government,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-bundy-trial-20171220-story.html
  7. [7]Jennifer Rubin, “The most infuriating falsehoods about the tax bill and those who told them,” Washington Post, December 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/12/18/the-most-infuriating-falsehoods-about-the-tax-bill-and-those-who-told-them/
  8. [8]Aaron Blake, “Trump just admitted the GOP’s tax cuts were deceptively sold,” Washington Post, December 20, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/12/20/trump-just-admitted-the-gops-tax-cuts-were-deceptively-sold/
  9. [9]Kambiz Foroohar, “Haley Warns UN That Trump Is Watching Jerusalem Votes,” Bloomberg, December 20, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-20/haley-is-said-to-warn-un-that-trump-is-watching-jerusalem-votes
  10. [10]Raphael Ahren, “UN defies Trump, rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital by 128-9,” Times of Israel, December 21, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-nations-defy-trump-and-pass-jerusalem-resolution-with-large-majority/; Max Greenwood, “UN votes to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem decision,” Hill, December 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/international/366001-un-votes-to-condemn-us-jerusalem-decision; Jewish Telegraph Agency, “UN General Assembly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” December 21, 2017, https://www.jta.org/2017/12/21/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/un-general-assembly-passes-resolution-rejecting-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israels-capital
  11. [11]Masha Gessen, “The Most Frightening Aspect of Trump’s Tax Triumph,” New Yorker, December 21, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-most-frightening-aspect-of-trumps-tax-triumph
  12. [12]Jennifer Rubin, “The most infuriating falsehoods about the tax bill and those who told them,” Washington Post, December 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/12/18/the-most-infuriating-falsehoods-about-the-tax-bill-and-those-who-told-them/
  13. [13]Masha Gessen, “The Most Frightening Aspect of Trump’s Tax Triumph,” New Yorker, December 21, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-most-frightening-aspect-of-trumps-tax-triumph
  14. [14]Gerald F. Seib, “With Alabama Loss, Trump and GOP Face Political Reckoning,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-alabama-loss-trump-and-gop-face-political-reckoning-1513141779
  15. [15]Edward-Isaac Dovere, “Franken urged to reverse his resignation,” Politico, December 18, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/18/manchin-franken-senate-resign-300843
  16. [16]Max Greenwood, “UN votes to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem decision,” Hill, December 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/international/366001-un-votes-to-condemn-us-jerusalem-decision

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