Fans of old TV series may remember a classic “Twilight Zone” episode titled “It’s a Good Life.” It featured a small town terrorized by a 6-year-old who for some reason had monstrous superpowers, coupled with complete emotional immaturity. Everyone lived in constant fear, made worse by the need to pretend that everything was fine. After all, any hint of discontent could bring terrible retribution.
And now you know what it must be like working in the Trump administration. Actually, it feels a bit like that just living in Trump’s America.
That’s about right. Because it must be like this:
One key development: White House aides have figured out that it’s best not to present Trump with too many competing options when it comes to matters of policy or strategy. Instead, the way to win Trump over, they say, is to present him a single preferred course of action and then walk him through what the outcome could be – and especially how it will play in the press.
“You don’t walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t consume information that way,” said one senior administration official. “You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like.”
Downplaying the downside risk of a decision can win out in the short term. But the risk is a presidential dressing-down—delivered in a yell. “You don’t want to be the person who sold him on something that turned out to be a bad idea,” the person said.
The dressing down goes something like this:
YOU’RE A BAD ADVISER!
YOU’RE A VERY BAD ADVISER!
From the Guardian:
A three-month old baby was summoned to the US embassy in London for an interview after his grandfather mistakenly identified him as a terrorist.
Harvey Kenyon-Cairns had been due to fly to Orlando in Florida for his first overseas holiday, until his grandfather Paul Kenyon made the error on a visa waiver form.
On the part of the Esta form which reads “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” Kenyon ticked yes instead of no.
He only learned of his error when his grandson’s travel was refused. “I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a three-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” said the 62-year-old.
The baby was taken from his home in Poynton, Cheshire, to the embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, to be questioned by officials. The round trip took about 10 hours, longer than the nine-and-a-half-hour flight time from Manchester to Orlando.
Here’s the alleged terrorist and the grandpa who ratted him out:
One other small question. So a terrorist would answer “yes” to that question on the visa waiver form?
Last week, we saw how a man handles being interrupted by little children while doing a live TV interview. What would have happened if a woman was in the same situation?
This is why everyone should watch BBC:
Because in this administration, it wouldn’t be news if you didn’t say something stupid (via the Washington Post):
Many advocates of historically black colleges and universities were apoplectic after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the group of schools forged at the height of racial segregation “pioneers” of “school choice.”
DeVos issued a statement Monday evening after a meeting with HBCU leaders, praising their schools for identifying “a system that wasn’t working” and taking it “upon themselves to provide the solution” from the outset of their founding. …
But the statement did not delve into the historical context behind the creation of HBCUs: that they were a response to racist Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation in the South, barring black students from attending traditionally white institutions. Instead, DeVos said HBCUs are “living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality.”
Let’s turn now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and greater access and greater equality and the awesomeness of school choice:
OK, Betsy. Let’s try again.
Uh, Betsy. Was this “school choice” just happening at colleges?
Shall I continue? Sure, why not?
In the Lügenduck administration, it takes a stupid person to run an Education Department. I believe VSB put it best:
The Lügenorange and his pump truppets are all about making America great again. They never gave us a time when it was great (because they’re stupid and it’s always been great), but they keep insinuating that the time was when everybody knew their place. Which I guess places that in the early to middle 20th century, perhaps, because in the ’50s and ’60s, shit started to get real?
So here’s the kiddie entertainment they so yearn for, from the 1940s.
OK. So the crows are black and talking jive. And when the main crow wakes up the sleepers, the mouse says “What are you boys doing down here anyway?”
Boys, huh? OK, we’ll let that slide for now.
“Dumbo” was made in 1941. Not exactly the best time for race relations in America. But, for argument’s sake, let’s say that the filmmakers weren’t playing on stereotypes, or making a racial statement.
But let’s take a trip to the Internet Movie Database to look at the characters, specifically, the leader of the crows:
Jim Crow (voice) (uncredited)
Oh, Jim Crow? Now where have I heard that before?
Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-black racism.
That’s pretty racist. Let’s try again.
At least Disney gave black actors a chance to make money in their craft at a time when discrimination was basically the law of the land and film opportunities were hard to come by, right? Let’s look at the voice of “Dumbo’s” Jim Crow, Cliff Edwards:
I give up.