Trump is increasingly unpopular, but still president

President Donald Trump sure is good at being unpopular, just tremendous, at least according to the latest Gallup daily tracking poll which shows that  only “40 percent of Americans say they approve of the job Trump is doing while an overwhelming 55 percent say they disapprove.

By comparison, former President Barack Obama assumed the presidency in 2009 with an approval rating in the mid-60s, while his disapproval rating was barely over 20 percent. Obama’s approval remained above 60 percent through his first three months in office, while his disapproval remained below 30 percent.

Of course, Trump claims not to believe anything that in any way challenges the fantasy world he lives in, which is also mostly true of his base, and other crazy people.

Do you remember back in late January when Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee said that people ought to get “unvarnished” news directly from the president, not from the news media? Didn’t realize “unvarnished” was a synonym of bullshit.

Who needs stinkin’ facts when you’ve got the great man telling it like it is?

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This Day in American History: February 5, 1917 – Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917

Everything old is new again.

The Immigration Act of 1917 (also known as the Literacy Act and less often as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) was the most sweeping immigration act the United States had passed until that time. It was the first bill aimed at restricting, as opposed to regulating, immigrants and marked a turn toward nativism. The law imposed literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissible persons and barred immigration from the Asia-Pacific Zone.

Though the Act passed with an overwhelming majority, the difference relative to current circumstances is that Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson‘s December 14, 1916, veto.

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Trump keeps ’em laughin’

We all know Trump loves to keep his eye on television ratings. I wonder how he feels about this?

The NBC late-night institution has been on a ratings roll since President Trump’s upset victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election. Saturday’s edition delivered a 2.5 rating in adults 18-49 in Nielsen’s 56 overnight metered markets, which cover 70% of U.S. TV households.

That was strong enough to make “SNL” the second highest-rated program of the week in the key demo, behind only CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” which scored a 3.3 in the metered markets on Thursday. “SNL’s” ratings will likely rise by double digits when delayed viewing is factored-in.

America loves to laugh at Donald Trump. You’d think he’d be pleased. No?

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A monster in the White House

I know this comes as no great shock, but Trump is truly a despicable human being – an unbelievably prickish bastard.

Here he is questioning the sincerity of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s emotional response to the havoc created by Trump’s Muslim ban.

I know we are supposed to try to understand those who voted for Trump, but anyone who views this as anything other than proof of inhumanity is no better than the monster himself.

To strong? Too bad.

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And the money kept rolling in…

I could never imagine saying that Donald Trump’s election  had any sort of silver lining. I just can’t bring myself to say those words.

I will say that a lot of people seem energized and politicized – some who may never have considered taking to the streets or writing a cheque.

There’s this, for example.

This weekend alone, the [American Civil Liberties Union] …received more than $24 million in online donations from 356,306 people, a spokesman told The Washington Post early Monday morning, a total that supersedes its annual online donations by six times.

That’s big money and money helps a lot in social movements, and politics, and advocating for justice.

Keep it up, people. It’s only the beginning.

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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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