The current situation.

Every time I try to settle my mind, to think about something other than That Thing, to write about something other than That Thing, then – you know how this sentence ends. That Thing happens.

Jerry Falwell Jr. leading a higher-ed task force — that thing was this morning’s thing.

Len Stevens, the university’s chief spokesman, told NBC News that Falwell would bring a focus on “overregulation and micromanagement of higher education” to the task force.

I expect this means Trump University will rise again. Among other “colleges.”

This was this afternoon’s thing. The Black History Month remarks:

Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. It turned out that that was fake news. Fake news. The statue is cherished, it’s one of the favorite things in the—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Martin Luther King. But they said the statue, the bust of Martin Luther King, was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is. Very unfortunate.

I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.

And then there was this evening’s thing. Which may be the worst thing of all:

It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

Every night I wake up and wonder what the new day’s things will be. I’m not sleeping well.

So you can maybe see why the one bright spot of the day was realizing my new phone software update finally contains a shaka emoji. And then I learn it happened more than a month ago.

I think I need therapy. The whole world needs therapy.

Posted at 9:42 pm in Current events |

62 responses to “The current situation.”

  1. alex said on February 1, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I think I need Wellbutrin again to quit smoking, and maybe to make me sleep through the night too. I hated that shit. It made me quit smoking before. That’s because it made me so despondent that I couldn’t even bother to smoke. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to work. But if you quit too soon you go back to smoking. Maybe I just need to smoke. People tell me to go back to it every time I quit because I become such a nasty bitch. And if I lose control of my mouth right now the pitchfork brigade in this fucking sick-ass backwater is gonna lynch me.

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  2. Suzanne said on February 1, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I can’t even. I posted at the end of the last thread, I’ve seen Conservatives on my Facebook page posting what a great patriot Trump is because he visited the family of the service man killed in, I think, Yemen. He’s about to get us in a war, after only 2 weeks in office and they are claiming he’s a great patriot.

    OMG this is becoming even worse than I thought.

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  3. Deborah said on February 1, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Suzanne, it’s so much worse than I though too, and sooooooo fast. Never in my wildest imagination was it going to go this way. Naive? Stupid? I’m at a loss.

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  4. Deborah said on February 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Thought not though

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  5. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I’m sitting here in my local Dem meeting. The good news is the room is packed. The bad news is these people still show no signs of being able to organize themselves ourselves out of a paper bag. Right now I’m listening to people natter about their favorite or least favorite bill going on in the legislature, regardless of importance or likelihood of going anywhere.

    I’ve been here two hours already and the most useful thing I’ve heard is a presentation I already heard a few weeks ago.

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  6. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Therapists are slammed. My therapist worked me in a couple of times when she had cancellations, then we both decided that I was handling things reasonably well (maybe all of you would disagree!) and I should call her if I needed her.

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  7. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Sheryl Sandberg is gutless.

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  8. Hattie said on February 2, 2017 at 5:36 am

    And I had to go and get lung cancer on top of all this.

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  9. Suzanne said on February 2, 2017 at 6:04 am

    OH,no,Hattie!! How awful for you!

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  10. Suzanne said on February 2, 2017 at 6:40 am

    It’s not just me

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  11. ROGirl said on February 2, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Why is anyone surprised about any of this? Perhaps the sheer incompetence is unexpected, but not his actions

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  12. basset said on February 2, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Even more proof, Suzanne, that Heinlein was right and we’re headed for a theocracy. Nehemiah Scudder is out there somewhere.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 2, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Scudder? Well, if this goes on . . .

    On the brighter side (for Trump):

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  14. Peter said on February 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Well Mr. Aussie PM, welcome to the club. Didn’t want to be a member? Who does?

    Hattie, I am so sorry to hear about your cancer. It puts Casino Mussolini’s rants in perspective.

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  15. Heather said on February 2, 2017 at 9:00 am

    We don’t need therapy. We need a new president.

    I think I posted a link to Sarah Kendzior’s Twitter feed a while ago. She and others who have studied autocracies warned that things would happen very, very quickly. Still, the pace is horrifying. At this rate I’m not sure we’re going to last six months, even three, without some sort of nuclear event. I wish I were joking. And I think there’s a good chance there won’t be elections in 2020 (or at least not fair ones) and maybe even 2018, in the name of “national security.” A lot of people have called me alarmist, but people way smarter than me about these things have been sounding this alarm for months.

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  16. Peter said on February 2, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Oh, and another thing – I wish Nieto had enough balls that when Don Jon said he would send in the troops to Mexico because they were weak on the tough hombres, Nieto would have replied like how you’re taking care of them in Chicago?

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  17. Judybusy said on February 2, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I don’t have time to read comments, but in case no one’s shared this: The CDC created new rules to quarantine people during disease outbreaks. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to imagine this being misused by the administration to detain dissidents.

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  18. Icarus said on February 2, 2017 at 9:57 am

    The other day I jumped on a thread that I probably should have avoided. It’s not that I cannot handle myself. It’s just that it’s obvious that it was an Echo Chamber and no amount of reason or logic was going to penetrate.

    And then there is this: (hope the link works)

    What does any sane, rational person say to someone who doesn’t consider New York and California part of America?

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  19. Deborah said on February 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Hattie, sorry you have to deal with that now. thinking about you.

    ROGirl, I really am surprised. I figured once he got elected he would shut up about the things he said to get there. The people that he listens to are scary as hell. I thought maybe he would surround himself with better advisors. Silly me.

    Little Bird had a Dr appointment yesterday and her Dr suggested that she should see a therapist to help relieve her stress. Stress exacerbates her condition. One of the main things that’s stressing her out is losing Medicaid. I read that 44% of the population in NM is covered by Medicaid. They can’t possibly keep that up without Federal funding.

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  20. brian stouder said on February 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

    This fellow’s graphic political statement was discussed around here yesterday…

    and I can see what this guy is saying; I just would not ‘say’ it the way he does, nor as persistently.

    For one thing, such a display has to become an idiot-magnet, no?

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  21. MichaelG said on February 2, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I’m very sorry to hear of your diagnosis, Hattie. Best of luck and here’s hoping for a successful course of treatment. today says it very well. I’m so sick and tired of the spineless and disorganized Dems. Also they do such a lousy job of explaining themselves. They let the Repubs talk shit about them and simply sit in the corner with their heads down. What a bunch of losers.

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  22. Connie said on February 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    The wane. com story contains this: Law Professor at Indiana Tech told NewsChannel 15 this week:

    And all I could think was: couldn’t this reporter find a real law professor?

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  23. Scout said on February 2, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    If people here are alarmed, it must be pretty bad. I am usually chicken littling all over the place and then I come here and the calm, reasoned and informed community of nn.c helps me to see other perspectives. So it’s bad. It’s really, really bad and not just on Twitter.

    Hattie, I am sending you a big hug and lots of white light energy.

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  24. basset said on February 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Heather@15, I fear you may be right. I’m expecting the Reichstag to burn any day now.

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  25. basset said on February 2, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    And yet another seasonal link from Reddit:

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  26. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Hattie, I too am praying, holding you in the light, and sending you hugs for courage.

    Fake tweets from Frederick Douglass: The first one is the best. @realFrederickDouglass: “My autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, is #1 best-seller on Amazon. 4x better sales than Art of the Deal! P.S. I am dead!”

    I can barely hear the news anymore over my blood boiling. Off to Orlando and some hammock time.

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  27. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Oh, Hattie, I’m so sorry. Praying for you.

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  28. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I think more of Asimov and the Mule, Bassett.

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  29. Peter said on February 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Brian, I have to agree, although I can understand and agree with the guy, you just can’t do that – now Faux news and Breitbart are going to have a field day.

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  30. ROGirl said on February 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    And Bannon is Goebbels.

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  31. LAMary said on February 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    My younger son turns 23 next week and when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said he wanted to go to Washington DC to see the Smithsonian before Trump loots it and burns it down.

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  32. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Starbucks pledged to hire 10000 refugees. Right-wingers called for boycotts, saying they should be hiring veterans instead. The veterans working at Starbucks responded:

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  33. brian stouder said on February 2, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Hattie – here’s wishing you and yours strength, as you live with this diagnosis, and move forward

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  34. Judybusy said on February 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Hattie, I hope you get good care and have people around you to get through this illness and the treatment.

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  35. 4dbirds said on February 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    So sorry to hear your news Hattie. I hope you are getting the best and latest from your health care providers. I wish you strength and kick-ass science as you go through this.

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  36. 4dbirds said on February 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Sheryl Sandberg. I never got her. There was talk about bringing her in to some forum or such about moving women into combat arms. I’m like “Say Whaa?” What the bleep does she know anything about it? Why not bring in the women who have served for decades and get their take on it?

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  37. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    trump justifies his Muslim ban at the National Prayer Breakfast by saying “we will not allow a beachhead of intolerance to spread in our nation.”

    No, he wants home-grown intolerance to flourish. America first!

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  38. Judybusy said on February 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Also, I’ve been praying as directed for Arnold’s performance on Celebrity Apprintice.

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  39. alex said on February 2, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Hattie, I’m so sorry. Sending you virtual hugs.

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  40. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    As shadow President Bannon begins to show his hand on just how extreme his position is on immigration, one thought that comes to my mind is that in the knowledge economy, it’s even easier to move jobs than in manufacturing, and in the political climate, educated tech workers may be more amenable to moving, maybe not to India or China, but certainly to Canada or Australia. Microsoft already has a significant Vancouver presence, because it’s easier to move foreigners there than here. My husband has 12 people reporting to him, and half of them were born outside the US.

    If the US becomes more unfriendly to foreigners, tech companies will increase their sites outside the US. If that’s where more of the interesting work starts getting done, and the political climate here continues along its current trajectory, we could see a brain drain in tech and science.

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  41. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Well, evidently we have the NPB to thank for giving us the Apprentice in the first place. Praise Mammon!

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  42. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Someone writes to the Oregonian that alternative facts are like building alternative worlds or histories in science fiction:

    Ursula LeGuin begs to differ:

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  43. brian stouder said on February 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Not for nothing, but should I be more baffled – or fearful – that our president has off-handedly threatened to invade Mexico?

    And if he did, wouldn’t that destroy the OAS, and seriously affect NATO?

    And indeed, isn’t this – upsetting/destroying international order and organizations- precisely what ol’ Vlad would really (really!) love for ol’ Donald to do for him?

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  44. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    I think berating the PM of Australia, which has always been a close ally, which is part of the 5Eyes program through which we share intelligence, who is the leader of a center-right party and has pushed for strong borders and tighter immigration standards, is worse than is off-hand threat to invade Mexico. The latter is his usual bluster, the former shows even less knowledge than normal and total lack of prep before a phone call with an important ally.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 2, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Hattie, blessings your way.

    Here in Bucolia, Ohio, our entire county government is shut down due to ransomware. Every computer and every file, including our newly (!) integrated phone system, was encrypted and is, we’re told, on a countdown to deletion — unless a sum is sent somewhere. So everything is shut down and . . . wait for it . . . consultants have been called in. They have through the weekend. It all feels like a very tepid version of a thriller, except a) no one thinks they can fix this through counter-hacking (is that a word?) and b) there’s no way our county commissioners will pay the ransom. So I don’t foresee a good outcome next Monday. This is going to be a fascinating reconstruction process.

    Yes, I said the *entire* county governance. The 9-1-1 Center is working on private cell phones.

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  46. Peter said on February 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Jeff, I thought our new Russian overlords would have stopped this crap once they achieved their objectives.

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  47. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Yeah, but now the Chinese are pissed.

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  48. Judybusy said on February 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Holy, sh*t, Jeff. So someone hacked the system and is demanding $ to get it back up? Wow.

    Heading off to cook for Clare Housing folks: chicken Parmesan, spaghetti. A friend is bringing salad, and I’m stopping off to get dessert at the best French-style pastry shop in town. I need this really positive night. I bring the dog, there are always lots of laughs. Catch you all tomorrow.

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  49. Icarus said on February 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    @judybusy, Jeff tmmo: it’s called ransomeware.

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  50. beb said on February 2, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I was expecting war with China or Iran, but Mexico and Australia? What next, war with the sovereign state of Chicago?

    And Senor little pants is still going on about winning the election. Four years from now he’ll still harangue people about his election. Drunks in bars are less annoying.

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  51. Jakash said on February 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Well, we who are freaked out by the state of the union these days are certainly not alone. In a poll leading off Gene Weingarten’s monthly online chat via WaPo yesterday, 86% responded that “what you have seen already from the Trump Administration” either “is seriously affecting my quality of life” (53%) or “is at least slightly affecting my quality of life” (33%).

    Wow, Jeff (tmmo), that ransomware dilemma is terrible.

    But, on a lighter note, kudos to you for making it onto Weingarten’s Twitter timeline this afternoon by straightening out both him and Peter Sagal with regard to the “weakness” of the crop duster scene in “North by Northwest.” : )

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  52. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Felix Salmon on the dichotomy between diversity and impartiality:

    I agree with. Impartiality is not impartial or neutral; it’s just a frame that pre-supposes a homogenous culture.

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  53. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    More on the dangers of disrupting the alliance with Australia:

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  54. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Travis Kalanick is leaving trump’s advisory council:

    When you’re CEO of a company that lost $3 billion last year, can’t afford a #DeleteUber campaign to gain too much traction.

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  55. Deborah said on February 2, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    During my one and only Uber ride in LA, I asked my driver how being a driver was working out for him. He said he didn’t love it, that he felt he didn’t make enough for the time and energy
    he was expending. And I can certainly see how that would be the case, I was in his car for over an hour and my fare was about $21. And then I found out when I got to my destination that Uber has no way to add a tip to the bill online. Luckily I had a fiver on me to give him. Lyft on the other hand has that option plus it was more intuitive to use their system. It was a no-brainer to delete Uber and use Lyft from now on. Mostly in Chicago I use cabs, because they’re ubiquitous.

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  56. kathy t said on February 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Hattie, so sorry to hear your news. As a fellow traveller, I hope things break as well for you as possible.

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  57. Andrea said on February 2, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Hattie, grace and blessings to you on your journey to health and healing.

    Re: the national news, the phrase that comes to mind most is: How do you drink from a firehose?

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  58. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Idaho Senator is asking protestors to schedule appointments because his office is overwhelmed:

    I talked to someone last night who did get some time with my state senator, the one who treated my group so rudely a few weeks ago. Mostly, he spent the time talking so he wouldn’t have to listen to him, but they did get in something about the regressive nature of our tax system in Washington. For context, since we rely so heavily on sales tax, we have the most regressive system in the country, with the bottom quintile paying almost 17% of their income in state taxes and the top quintile paying less than 3%. Our esteemed senator’s response to that was that poor people smoke and drink more, which is why they pay more tax.

    Probably just as well that he didn’t talk to me. At least this way, the rudeness only went one way.

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  59. Deborah said on February 2, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Heather just linked to something on Facebook that I can totally get down with. Putting photos of the corrupt minority presidents people on popsicle sticks and sticking them into piles of dog shit that you happen to find around the city. I know, I’m 12, but this really appeals to me. So going to do this in Santa Fe.

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  60. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Lest we forget and think the madness begins and ends with trump, today House Republicans voted to poison our water and sell guns to the mentally ill.

    And the rest of the Republican Senators who “wanted to hear from constituents” and had “serious concerns” about DeVos seem to be getting over their serious concerns despite hearing from their constituents. Looks like Collins and. Murkowski will get to do their safe virtue signaling.

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  61. basset said on February 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Link, Deborah, gotta have a link:

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  62. Sherri said on February 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    200,000 Uber accounts were deleted.

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