More alternative facts from the White House

Were you a little surprised at Trump’s apparently warm welcome at CIA headquarters, or did you think, like me, that it was just another uncomfortable employer/employee situation in which staff have to pretend they think the boss is a helluva guy?

Apparently it wasn’t either. It seems that “the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

Not much warm and fuzzy going on at all.

In fact, “U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.”

Perhaps we should say that there is “still” unease.

An official said the visit “made relations with the intelligence community worse” and described the visit as “uncomfortable.”

The report noted that although there were about 40 people invited by Trump to do the whooping, and that some in the intelligence community are clearly supporters, CIA senior leadership in the room were not cheering.

And once again, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had some alternative facts to offer.

“There were no Trump or White House folks sitting down. They were all CIA (unintelligible). So, not in rows one-through-anything, from what I’m told.” Spicer said at the White House briefing Monday.

CBS reports, however, that “a source who is familiar with the planning of the president’s CIA visit saw Spicer’s briefing . . . and firmly denied Spicer’s response was accurate.”

Either the room was packed with supporters or it wasn’t, and I’m going to put my money on the likelihood that Sean Spicer is lying again.

The sad thing is that we are forced to point out small and foolish lies because so many of us are sure the bigger and more dangerous lies will soon follow.

Maybe Kellyanne and company are hoping by the time the big lies come the American people will be so tired of the media pointing to the smaller lies that they will tune out.

It could work.



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And my hometown – nice

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Listen Here: “Chandra” – Jaki Byard (1967)

“Chandra” is on Jaki Byard’s 1967 album Sunshine of My Soul on the Prestige label.

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This Day in American History: January 22, 1973 – Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court of the United States delivers its decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.

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Kellyanne’s alternative facts smell like lies

It’s so hard to know if Trump’s decision to go toe-to-toe with the media will work as well as a governing tactic as it did in the campaign. My guess is that he is setting him up for a whole world of hurt.

If Chuck Todd’s response  on Meet the Press today is any indication, the media are gearing up to be pissed off. Conway tries hard to chastise Todd for negatively characterizing White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s lie about crowd size at the Inauguration in the clip below, suggesting that his job is to report  “facts,” alternative or otherwise, without comment.

Unfortunately too much of that went on during the campaign, which is one of the reasons Trump was able to win. From here on out I will be surprised if members of media will agree to be played for fools in this way.

Most citizens will for the most part stop paying close attention now. The media get paid to do this every day, and they are not happy.

Bonus comment: I have heard various members of the media talk about what great people Sean Spicer and Kelley Conway are. I don’t think that will continue.

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When the tribute bands start pulling out…

These guys

You may have heard that The B Street Band, a Springsteen tribute band, has decided that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to perform at the New Jersey State Society’s Inaugural Ball in Washington on Thursday. Apparently they made this decision after intense criticism. 

“It’s like we were in a hurricane,” bandleader Willie Forte told “And we realized what was most important to us was being grateful and respectful to Bruce. The last thing we want is for it to seem like we are being disingenuous to him and E Street.”

With Springsteen having called the Republican president-elect a “flagrant, toxic narcissist” and questioning whether he’s competent for the job, the event had drawn jeers on social media from fans of his music that the band is abandoning the soul of the musician they’ve made a career of following.

I mean, a gig’s a gig. We get that. And I’m sure they must have thought they’d hit the lottery, but maybe they should have wondered way the organizing committee was reaching out to a, well, tribute band.

Way to use the old noggin’, boys.

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Trump’s instinct to humiliate

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Quote of the Day

“Grow up, Donald. Grow up. Time to be an adult. You’re president.”

Vice President Joe Biden

Well, don’t hold your breath Joe. Besides, Americans clearly don’t value maturity in their presidents anymore.

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So, we can all agree no one knows how this thing will go?

Ooh, look. My thumb.

Larry Sabato says what many of us are thinking:

In just a couple of weeks, the old sun will be completely eclipsed by the new one. Democrats will be essentially on their own, in a greatly diminished role. Their future will depend on President Trump’s performance, and no one really knows what will happen. It’s easy to spin scenarios whereby Trump becomes popular and successful, and equally easy to see how and why he might crash and burn. The point is that Democrats have no representative in the cockpit of the plane; on most days in most ways, they are now merely passengers on a long flight whose direction and destination are determined solely by the Republicans at the controls.

Given that Ronald Reagon, one of the dumbest people to ever occupy the White House, is lionized by the right,  it is difficult to know what those who voted for Trump will consider signs of success or failure.

The most troubling comment above is indeed that it will be easy “to spin scenarios whereby Trump becomes popular and successful.” But if he crashes and burns, will his supporters accept any evidence of the fact?

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Listen Here: “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” – Count Basie and His Orchestra, Taps Miller on the refrain (1949)

I’m cold. I need a baseball song.

As per the Library of Congress:

Jackie Robinson inspired a number of singers and songwriters to compose songs in his honor. In the years immediately following Robinson’s major league debut in 1947, the Library of Congress Copyright Office received deposits of at least four songs with Robinson as their subject, including such titles as “The Jackie Robinson Boogie” and “Jackie Robinson Blues.”

By far the best know song honoring Robinson is Buddy Johnson’s classic, “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” Johnson submitted this sheet music for copyright in June, 1949. In August of that year, his recording of the song (Decca 24675) hit its peak position on the charts at number 13. Today many baseball fans are familiar with Count Basie’s recording on the Victor label (Victor 20-3514), featuring vocalist “Taps” Miller. This recording, made in the Victor studios in New York City on July 13, 1949, has become synonymous with the song itself.

Words and music by Woodrow Buddy Johnson, June 1949. (Library of Congress, Music Division – EU 169446)

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