Skunk Smocking with Tinkle

December 11, 2018

One of the more normal days in the West Wing — soon the T-Rump is going have a real-fractured meltdown, just wait and see:

We might have known, somewhat-maybe understood the depth of the T-Rump’s arrogance while wallowing in his own ignorance, but then along comes the scene-of-a-situation today between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the T-Rump. A one-sided piece of utter chaos.
Donald Trump is one fucked-up motherfucker. Via BusinessInsider:

At one point in his remarks, Trump boasted that “a lot of the wall is built” and that “it’s been very effective,” even though none of the wall he promised in his presidential campaign has been built, aside from eight prototypes constructed outside San Diego, California.
Trump even presented flashcards with statistics that he said showed the success of the border wall, saying illegal traffic in several border regions — San Diego; El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Yuma, Arizona — dropped “once the wall was up.”
But only fencing has been built with the $1.6 billion allocated last spring.
“Here’s what I want to say: We have a lot of disagreements here. The Washington Post today gave you a whole lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much of the wall is built,” Schumer said, most likely referring to the newspaper’s recently announced “Bottomless Pinocchio” rating for Trump’s most frequently repeated false claims.
At another point in the meeting, after Pelosi complained about having the meeting on camera, Trump insisted that debating the issue in front of the press was “not bad, Nancy — it’s called transparency.”
Pelosi fired back: “It’s not transparency when we’re not stipulating to a set of facts and when we want to have a debate with you about saying we confront some of those facts.”
She argued that the flashcards Trump presented were not factual and urged him to participate in a discussion “where we don’t have to contradict in public the statistics that you put forth.”

After the meeting, Pelosi told reporters again that she wished the debate had not been public but that Trump’s misstatements needed to be corrected.
“We didn’t want to contradict the president when he was putting forth figures that had no reality to them, no basis in fact,” she said.
“We have to, if we are going to proceed in all of this, have evidence-based, factual, truthful information about what works and what doesn’t.
“I didn’t want to, in front of those people, say, ‘You don’t know what you are talking about.'”

A major political fuck-up, though, the T-Rump may not yet understand — grabbing onto taking pure-and-sole responsibility for any government shut-down due to wall funding:

Schumer, a New York Democrat, told Trump “you want to shut it down. You keep talking about it.”
Trump took the bait.
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other … I will shut down the government. Absolutely,” he said.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Insane self-interest on the highest order. Later, Pelosi nailed the T-Rump: ‘“It goes to show you: You get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you,” Pelosi told colleagues at a closed-door meeting after the confrontation she and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) had with the president.
“I was trying to be the mom,” she said. “I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild.”
She also popped the nut on the T-Rump and his wall-obsession: ‘“It’s like a manhood thing with him — as if manhood can be associated with him.”

Charles P. Pierce at Esquire adds to the boil:

On Tuesday, right about at lunchtime, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer dropped down the street to the White House to have a chat with the president*.
What followed was a piece of video that will live forever as a window into this sludgepot of a political moment.
It is not that remarkable if you’ve ever watched Question Time from any of the various parliaments around the world. (I mean, holy Oliver Cromwell, somebody presented the mace in the House of Commons on Monday.)
But, because the American government is greased by tawdry piety and transparently artificial civility, the meeting might as well have taken place in the Octogon.
The single most lasting impression of this altogether remarkable bit of reality-show theater was the look we got into what happens when people tell this particular president* that he can’t have what he wants.
Watch as Pelosi tries, not altogether angrily, to explain to him that he doesn’t have the votes for the big, beautiful, stupid wall for which, of course, Mexico is going to pay.
She says the votes aren’t there.
He keeps saying he can get them instantly, but that the problem is that he can’t get the votes in the Senate.
They’re both right.
He doesn’t have the votes in either place.
But he runs down all the applause lines that get the rubes all ginned up at his rallies, and Pelosi keeps calmly telling him that, while he’s as full of shit as the Christmas goose,
nevertheless he and his big, beautiful, stupid wall should get further stuffed anyway.

Pelosi has the president in her pocket and she knows it. (It will dawn on him eventually, too. Maybe.)
The House controls the budget and, in January, the Democratic Party will hold the House.
Since any argument about Pelosi’s being an Accommodating Liberal Sellout should die with the release of this video, she will be the Speaker — and, as such, she can shred his administration*.

The T-Rump got scorched, knew it —  LA Times White House correspondent Eli Stokols noted:

“He stormed out of the Oval, walked into an anteroom just off the Oval Office and had in his hand a folder of briefing papers.
“And he just scattered them out of frustration — threw them across the room,” Stokols said on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” citing his own reporting with White House officials.

“His old New York sparring buddy, he felt, got the better of him,” Stokols said.

Of course, reality bites. Also today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai presented testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on whether or not Google search was biased, and the ludicrous life:

“Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren said at the hearing.
“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?”

When a McClatchy reporter did an image search for “idiot” on Tuesday after the question was asked, all but four of the top 17 pictures that came up included the president or his two adult sons.
Some of those images were associated with articles about the fact that Googling “idiot” brings up pictures of the president.
The first photo that appeared wasn’t actually Trump — it was a Belgian painter’s work called “The Idiot,” which appears on the Wikipedia page for the word “idiot.”

We’re in a different zone than we were just a few short-years ago, almost a Twilight Zone kind of zone, not like a school zone, or a hospital zone, but a way-ass out-there kind of zone.
One big obstacle is information itself, as in there’s way-too much of it. According to a new study, all this information and communication is creating “attentional bottlenecks,” which are acting to limit choices to those based on fear, peer pressure, and global group-think.

Unfortunately, misinformation (i.e., Fake News) has a significant advantage in those competitive environments.
Firstly because it is free from the constraints of being truthful, allowing it to adapt more quickly and easily to cognition’s biases for more distinctive and emotionally appealing information.
Secondly it is a general rule of evolution that faster generation times accelerate adaptation.
The more rapidly people can access, select, and reproduce preferred information, the more readily will that information reflect the cognitive biases of its users.
These are both factors associated with the empirical finding that lies proliferate faster than the truth.
As Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710 “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it”.

Unless there’s a Nancy Pelosi in the vicinity…

(Illustration found here — it is, of course, a nasty-bit of sarcasm, produced with a whole-lot of tongue-in-cheek, to use an image of “The West Wing,” a surreal analogy to the ode of democracy, and contrast the anti-American disease of the T-Rump. As if…).

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