- Originally published, January 12, 9:36 am.
- January 12, 2:38 pm:
- The Guardian has the first analysis I’ve seen of Trump’s decision not to attend the opening of the new London embassy.
- Donald Trump created a shitstorm by allegedly (he now denies it, two Republican senators who were present apparently found the remarks unmemorable and say they don’t remember them, but Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat who was also present, confirms them and the reporter who broke the story, which was apparently confirmed by several outlets, is standing by his work.) using the word ‘shithole’ in reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. (Shithole)
- January 12, 4:57 pm:
- A piece of some sort in the Coos Bay World suggests that human beings have expiration dates and points employers to a workshop on terminating them. (Expiration dates)
- January 12, 5:43 pm:
- Added a spot-on tweet by Julian Sanchez under Shithole.
- January 12, 6:46 pm:
- Among numerous other failings, the Washington Post story on Donald Trump deciding not to attend the opening of the new London embassy labeled the embassy’s Twitter account as its official web site. I finally stumbled across the correct web site: uk.usembassy.gov. At this writing, the error remains uncorrected.
- Since Donald Trump didn’t go to the opening of the new London embassy, Madame Tussauds sent along its wax figure of him.
- January 13, 11:53 am:
- Donald Trump likely took offense at criticism from British politicians in deciding not to attend the opening of the new embassy in London.
- January 13, 3:57 pm:
- Those of us on the mainland may fail to appreciate how much more visceral some threats are in Hawaii: Today (January 13) there was a false alarm of a ballistic missile headed towards the state; it took 40 minutes to withdraw the alert. (North Korea)
- January 13, 4:58 pm:
- Created a ‘miscellaneous’ section for a tweet I really like.
- Politico begins assessing the fallout, both inside and outside the White House, from Donald Trump’s Shithole comment.
- January 13, 6:45 pm:
- Oh, look here! Here’s more blowback for Donald Trump’s Shithole remark.
The Washington Post story is pathetic; skip it and read the other stories instead. What emerges from all of these articles, however, is that many Britons, both politicians and, allegedly but probably, ordinary subjects, objected to Donald Trump’s visit. Official insistence that Trump remains welcome looks thin. One of the Guardian stories carries a headline warning against reading too much into Trump’s ‘non-visit;’ the analysis itself is chock full of disagreements between the United Kingdom and the U.S. president but frames Trump as capricious, which looks like an ever more increasingly discredited suspicion that there might actually be a method to his madness.
[H]owever much the UK insists the relationship has always been based on a respect for the office of the president, not the president himself, these are not the easiest times. [Theresa] May recently famously warned the Russian president, Vladimir Putin: “We know what you are doing.” She probably fervently wishes she could say the same about President Trump.
The Times (of London) carries an analysis pointing to remarks from May and from London mayor Sadiq Khan but, towards the bottom of the article, points to delusions of grandeur:
David Frum, a former speechwriter to George W Bush and the author of Trumpocracy, said: “I think he feels slighted by the British nation. He had been looking forward to the rapturous crowds lining the streets on the way to Buckingham Palace. Something like Winston Churchill’s funeral, something like that was what he had in mind. I think the British government has been gently trying to communicate to him that while a visit from our great ally is always very welcome, Glasgow is actually quite nice at this time of the year, and the Hebrides even better.”
My guess is that Frum has it right.
Also, all of the early reporting notes that Barack Obama, contrary to Trump’s animus, did not make the deal that moves the embassy; that, rather, was George W. Bush, as one move to tighten embassy security in the wake of 9/11. The new embassy has some features of a fortress and the new location spares residents near the old location the fear that they might be caught up in an attack.
That analysis aside, the possibility that Trump even might be unwelcome in Britain should come as a wake-up call to Republicans. The United Kingdom has been a stalwart ally in a number of dubious U.S. adventures, not only militarily, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, but economically, as in neoliberal policy and the so-called “Washington Consensus,” favoring austerity as some sort of magical cure-all (which doesn’t actually work, never has, and invariably leads to catastrophe). But there have been a few of these wake-up calls now and we’re still waiting for them to do what I think they’ll do, probably by August, which is to some way, somehow, get the shithole out of the presidency.
Guy Faulconbridge and Costas Pitas, “Trump cancels Britain trip, blames Obama for ‘peanuts’ London embassy deal,” Reuters, January 11, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-britain/trump-cancels-britain-trip-blames-obama-for-peanuts-london-embassy-deal-idUSKBN1F10H6
Anne Gearan, “Trump ‘cancels’ London visit to dedicate new U.S. Embassy, citing ‘bad deal’ to sell and relocate building,” Washington Post, January 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/01/12/trump-cancels-london-visit-to-dedicate-new-u-s-embassy-citing-bad-deal-to-sell-and-relocate-building/
Rick Noack and Jennifer Hassan, “Trump canceled his trip to the U.S. Embassy in London, but his Madame Tussauds waxwork made it,” Washington Post, January 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/12/trump-canceled-his-trip-to-the-us-embassy-in-london-but-his-waxwork-made-it/
Heather Stewart and David Smith, “Donald Trump cancels London visit amid protest fears,” Guardian, January 12, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/12/donald-trump-visit-to-london-called-off-amid-fears-of-mass-protests
Patrick Wintour, “Why reading too much into Trump’s cancelled UK trip is unwise,” Guardian, January 12, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/12/why-reading-too-much-into-trumps-cancelled-uk-trip-is-unwise
Catherine Philp et al, “Donald Trump ‘took offence at slights from the British,’” Times, January 13, 2018, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/donald-trump-london-visit-row-president-took-offence-at-slights-from-the-british-qhgl2v80s
Alas, Donald Trump’s middle initial is J, not S, because you know what I want to put there. Oh, and by the way, this tweet by Julian Sanchez gets it exactly right:
Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said on Twitter that Trump’s remarks “are further proof that his Make America Great Again Agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
Some Republicans also raised objections. Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), whose family is from Haiti, said in a statement that Trump’s remarks were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.”
“My grandmother used to say, ‘Digame con quién caminas, y te diré quién eres.’ ‘Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are,’ ” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), who represents most of Harlem and is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. “If he’s walking around with white supremacists and supporting them, this kind of talk doesn’t surprise me.”
Lisa Mascaro, “Trump complains about allowing immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-congress-dreamers-20180111-story.html
Josh Dawsey, “Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries,” Washington Post, January 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-protections-for-immigrants-from-shithole-countries-in-oval-office-meeting/2018/01/11/bfc0725c-f711-11e7-91af-31ac729add94_story.html
John Bowden, “Reporter who broke ’s—-hole’ story: ‘We stand by our reporting 100 percent,’” Hill, January 12, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/media/368684-reporter-who-broke-s-hole-story-we-stand-by-our-reporting-100-percent
Annie Karni and Ben White, “Demoralized Trump aides grapple with ‘shithole’-gate,” Politico, January 12, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/12/trump-shithole-comment-aides-react-337961
Niels Lesniewski, “Durbin Confirms Trump’s ‘Hate-Filled, Vile and Racist’ Talk,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, January 12, 2018, https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/durbin-confirms-condemns-trumps-hate-filled-vile-racist-talk/
Becca Noy, “Trump denies ‘shithole’ comment: ‘This was not the language used,’” Jerusalem Online, January 12, 2018, http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/world-news/around-the-globe/trump-denies-using-phrase-shithole-countries-33643
Deutschewelle, “Donald Trump should apologize for remarks: African states,” January 13, 2018, http://www.dw.com/en/donald-trump-should-apologize-for-remarks-african-states/a-42134327
I’ve long noticed that employers absolutely revel in their ability to treat workers as disposable and infinitely replaceable. I guess some find that harder than others, so Jennifer Bouman-Steagall is in Coos Bay to help them become the properly merciless shitholes they have always aspired to be.
Coos Bay World, “Learn how to terminate under performing employees at workshop,” January 11, 2018, http://theworldlink.com/news/local/business/learn-how-to-terminate-under-performing-employees-at-workshop/article_06a62783-2929-582c-a4ca-cf33577a1e61.html
Preceding the Pearl Harbor attack, there was an oil embargo and a lot of hubris. On one side, the hubris led to a decision to attack. On the other, it led the military to ignore radar (a very new technology) warnings of approaching aircraft.
Today, there is an broad economic embargo, including on oil, and, I think probably it is safe to say, even more hubris, on both sides. So don’t bother wondering why Hawaiians panicked in response to a false alarm; they would have all of twelve minutes to seek shelter. Get the shitholes who escalate rather than de-escalate crises away from control of nuclear weapons. Because while politicians in Washington, D.C., have access to underground shelters, there are a great many more people—who have little or no say in the matter—all around the country and all around the world who do not.
Max Greenwood, “Hawaii false alarm sparks panic, confusion,” Hill, January 13, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/368922-hawaii-false-alarm-sparks-panic-confusion