I just realized I’m the unwitting victim of one of the most fiendish long cons in the history of grifting. Here’s my story.
Several weeks ago, Jessica Sutherland, my wonderful editor here at Daily Kos, told me one of the muckety-mucks in the organization had suggested I write a fun and breezy weekly review of the Sunday morning political shows. What?! Hey, that sounds great. I love that idea, my wonderful editor! What an honor! I’m truly humbled.
And so I put together a formal proposal, the scheme plotters at Daily Kos accepted it with a scarcely audible cackle, and Sunday Four-Play debuted on July 30, just in time for a fresh wave of Donald Trump indictments.
Needless to say, I don’t have a crystal ball and didn’t know what was coming, but because I so eagerly accepted this plum assignment, I’m now essentially compelled to watch this unholy hippo fuck of a Trump interview on “Meet the Press” today instead of languidly pouring molten pig iron into my freshly voided eye sockets with a Hello Kitty glitter spoon like I’d originally planned on doing.
Thanks, guys! This column has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to don my hastily jerry-rigged inside-the-shell Ronco Egg Scrambler helmet and beer-bong a pony keg full of Hibernol.
Delete my fucking memory, Kos!
Ironically, here was the second paragraph of my very first Sunday Four-Play column, in which I betrayed a naïveté and callowness of youth normally associated with 5-year-old kids who are wheedled into eating earthworm pasta on their first day of kindergarten:
But while [Chuck] Todd is being replaced in September by the far more palatable Kristen Welker, this column will soldier on indefinitely, assuming it doesn’t get pulled immediately after its first installment, like whatever this thing is.
And here I was just last week, Pollyanna that I am, welcoming the new regime with open arms:
The supremely capable Kristen Welker will replace Todd, and he graciously passed the baton to her on Sunday.
Good luck, Kristen. You’ve got some big, squishy shower sandals to fill. Something tells me you’re more than up to the challenge.
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Of course, y’all know what happened next. After taking over the reins of the longest-running show in television history, Welker announced that her debut episode would feature an interview with … that guy. Him. The semi-ambulant tub of walrus butter who has never—not for one moment in the past 77 years—had anything interesting, coherent, or remotely truthful to say.
At first I thought, well, maybe she’ll utterly savage him. But even then her decision would be irresponsible, because it’s literally impossible to responsibly interview Trump. You’d have to fact-check him in real time, and if you did that, there’d be 10 times more fact-check than interview. Didn’t we learn that earlier this year from CNN’s ill-advised Trump town hall?
My hopes for a thorough dressing-down quickly faded, however, when the teaser clips started trickling in. For instance, there was this preview clip from NBCNews.com, which shows Trump bending Welker’s ear during a leisurely summer stroll as Welker demurely smiles and generally behaves as if she’s not standing next to a feral criminal who violently attempted to end American democracy. Yup, I pretty much knew this interview would suck from the drop when I didn’t see her wheeling him across the golf course on a dolly as Walt Nauta fed him Reese’s Pieces through the breathing hole in his ranch sauce-festooned Hannibal Lecter mask.
Then she asked him a question about the ringing endorsement he recently got from Vladimir Putin and—surprise, surprise—he lied through his
teeth Kari Lake-esque filter of billowing brown meat sweats. For instance, Welker let him get away with saying nobody was tougher on Russia than he was. It’s a lie Trump repeats continually, even though Putin moved mountains to try to get him reelected and Trump planned to pull us out of NATO in his second term—which would have been the biggest gift Putin ever received. And Welker just sat there nodding her head.
I get it. Trump is running for president. He’s also an (alleged!) criminal who’s been indicted on 91 felony counts. Not that interviewing criminals is necessarily a journalistic no-no, but let’s face it, Charles Manson was a lot more interesting—and likely had no serious plans for invading Mexico.
So, yeah, I pretty much have to cover this, but I’m not happy about it. For those media leading lights who are still wondering how to effectively interview Trump, the correct answer is … don’t. It’s not worth it. After all, what can you really learn that we don’t already know? Do you think he has a fresh perspective on Kristen Stewart’s love life that he hasn’t yet shared? Because he sure as shit doesn’t have anything useful to say about domestic or foreign policy.
Seriously, why do we still have to pretend that Donald Trump is a real boy? Get a grip, media.
Okay, on to the barmy bullshit ...
So, yeah, confirmed rapist and traitor to democracy Donald Trump was on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Let’s see how that went, shall we? One effing clip and then we’ll move on.
And it’s a doozy. Here Trump appears to acknowledge he lost the election before saying he won the election. Who knows? Maybe he has early-onset brain death. As it is, roughly 98% of his brain is devoted to digesting trans fats and screaming racial slurs at the brown people on “Sesame Street.” It wouldn’t take much to nudge it into oblivion.
WELKER: “When you say you needed one-tenth of a point, you needed one-tenth of a point to win?”
TRUMP: “I needed a very small—I think somebody said 22,000 votes.”
WELKER: “To win?”
TRUMP: “Yeah. If you divide it among the states, it was 22,000 votes, something to that effect ...”
WELKER: “To win the election?”
TRUMP: “Yeah. If I would’ve had another 22,000 votes over the whole—but, look. They rigged the election. If you look at Pennsylvania ...”
WELKER: “But Mr. President, you’re saying you needed more votes to win the election, are you acknowledging you didn’t win?”
TRUMP: “Excuse me. If you look at all of the statistics, all of the votes, they say 22,000 votes. Over millions and millions of votes, 22,000 votes. So when they do Twitter Files, or when they have 51 intelligence agents come out and lie that the laptop from hell was Russia disinformation, and now they find out it’s not, but they knew that at the time. They cheated on the election in that way, too.”
WELKER: “I just want to be clear, though. Are you saying you needed those votes in order to win? Are you acknowledging you didn’t win?”
TRUMP: “I’m not acknowledging. No. I say I won the election.”
Ooh, Welker really thought she had him trapped. But no. It’s likely Trump’s left brain lobe doesn’t know what his right lobe is doing. Like, ever. Also, the so-called “laptop from hell” likely was Russian disinfo.
Consider this December piece from Lindsay Beyerstein at The Editorial Board:
A largely genuine trove of stolen data is also the perfect place to hide forged or stolen elements, which enjoy unearned credibility because they’re packaged with real stuff. That’s why the victims of hack and leaks are advised never to confirm the authenticity of anything.
The attackers are counting on the public to draw the erroneous conclusion that, because some things are genuine, the whole package is real, and—most importantly—that it came from where the cover story says it came from, be that an imaginary collective of good-hearted “hacktivists” or a computer repair shop in Delaware. Anywhere but the GRU.
The GRU is notorious for hacking and leaking.
In other words, just because portions of Hunter’s laptop were real doesn’t mean all of them were.
But never mind that. Is Trump really trying to say an election win isn’t legitimate if one of the candidates or his surrogates lied prior to that election? Because that’s an extraordinary claim. The courts might have a real pickle of a time dealing with that one.
But hey, glad to see that the first president ever to know the difference between a lion and camel is still at the top of his game.
Unlike, say, on Friday night:
The rest of the interview was similar. He lied with every exhale; she didn’t push back nearly forcefully enough. He told “sir” stories. He talked over her while claiming she was talking over him. He claimed Democrats want to abort babies after they’re born. (She should have challenged him hard on that. She didn’t.) Of course, later, after saying Democrats want to abort born babies, he said they don’t want abortions in the seventh month and don’t want to be radical. He also confirmed he’d give Ukraine to murderous war criminal Vladimir Putin.
She kept calling him “Mr. President” instead of using the far more appropriate “traitor says what?” Halfway through she may have replaced him with a glazed ham. Still doing research on that one. I promise to release my findings in two weeks. You’ll know as soon as I do.
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By the way, NBC News did a perfunctory fact-check of the interview. Online. Where you know simply everyone will see it.
Moving on! Whew!
Let’s see if we can ratchet that rage down to 11, shall we? Here’s a nice palate cleanser. Nancy the Great joined Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC’s “The Saturday/Sunday Show” and made clear that Democrats stand behind the striking autoworkers—whereas Trump’s plan to help them is likely to cut their bosses’ taxes even more. It’s time for those proles, plebs, and peons to really feel that warm trickle down their necks, right?
But Rep. Pelosi sees it differently.
PELOSI: “Let me just say that as we are here we have workers on strike in a number of industries in our country, but right now you said you’re going to have a show on ...”
CAPEHART: “The UAW president ...”
PELOSI: “UAW president. This is really something so important to all of us in the country. These workers, just think of this. The CEOs of these companies make probably, in one month, what these workers make in a lifetime. That’s just unjust. Years ago it was 20 times, now it’s 10 times that—over 200 times as much for the CEO as it is for the worker. Those profits that they say they are rewarding would not happen without the workers. So let us pray that they will make some progress on this respectful of the workers. [Sen.] Sherrod Brown says it’s over 300 times as much. But whatever it is, one month pay for the CEO, a lifetime pay to the workers. It’s just not fair.”
Pelosi was riffing a bit, but her numbers are in the ballpark. And any way you slice it, the gap between worker and CEO pay has grown out of control since Ronald Reagan first put billionaires on the endangered species list.
Fortune, Aug. 4, 2023:
The average CEO of an S&P 500–listed company earned $16.7 million from their role in 2022, the AFL-CIO said—the second highest amount ever recorded in the organization’s annual Executive Paywatch report.
That’s 272 times the average salary of just under $62,000 for someone employed by an S&P 500 firm, according to the report.
Assuming an average career of around 45 years before retirement, that means an ordinary employee would have to work six lifetimes to earn the same as their CEO did last year.
So there you go. Pelosi may have been a bit off on her comparison of monthly vs. lifetime wages, but the actual numbers are still eye-popping. And it’s about time workers started clawing back some of the wealth that’s consistently been funneled upward for the past four decades.
Needless to say, Casper the Friendly Milquetoast (aka Mike Pence) had a somewhat different take on the UAW strike. He insists he stands with the working men and women of this country, and you can tell he’s sincere because he’s standing in front of two barns and isn’t wearing a tie.
The former vice president and one-time Trump colon polyp appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. When asked about the autoworkers’ strike, he launched into his prepared talking points about Biden’s economy.
TAPPER: “On this issue of general fairness, in 1965, during this era of the great middle-class expansion in the United States, CEOs made about 20 times what their typical workers made, but as I noted to you, the CEO of GM makes 362 times what her typical employees make. I just want to make sure I get an answer from you. Is that okay? Do you think that’s fair?”
PENCE: “Well, I think that ought to be left to the shareholders of that company. I’m somebody that believes in free enterprise. I think those are decisions that can be made by shareholders and creating pressure, and I’ll fully support how these publicly traded companies operate. I’m not interested in government mandates or government bullying when it comes to those kinds of issues. And I don’t think it's about the usual fault lines of the difference in salaries between white collar and blue collar. I think it’s that everyday Americans out there working hard are living in the midst of the failed policies of Bidenomics.”
TAPPER: “Inflation’s been horrible, no question, but their wages haven't gone up since the auto bailout in 2008. Meanwhile, the CEOs, their wages have gone up 40% in the last five years. That’s what the union workers say as to why they’re striking. I guess, just a question here. Do you side with the CEOs or do you side with the union here?”
PENCE: “I side with American workers, I side with all American families, I side with the people of this country, Jake, that are living under the failed policies of the Biden administration.”
In other words, Pence wants a laissez-faire economic system that punishes American workers—the real wealth creators—decade after decade while continuing to create opportunities for hardworking CEOs and majority shareholders who, under Biden’s economy, struggle every day to locate private islands for sale. But hey, get a load of those two barns. And that open collar. Mother is so turned on right now she wants to join her husband in a three-way—which, for the Pences, simply means eating lunch at Olive Garden with a woman they just met in the lobby.
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Oh, yeah, Republicans want to impeach President Biden for—hmm, let’s see here—no reason at all!
GOP Rep. Michael McCaul appeared on Maria Bartiromo’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” where he discussed impeaching the president while acknowledging there’s exactly zero reason to do so.
MCCAUL: “Well first of all, I’ve been tasked by the speaker to assist the Oversight and Government Reform. With respect to foreign policy decisions the president made—or vice president, at that time—with respect to money coming in to try to tie the two. We don’t have the evidence now, but we may find it later.”
Okay, have fun with that, Mike. Sounds like a case for Columbo. Or Scooby-Doo. Or maybe Son of Sam. His neighbor’s dog has some really tantalizing new details about Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma.
If they keep digging, maybe they’ll find out Corn Pop wasn’t such a bad dude after all. And can we really trust a man who brutally defames Corn Pop? I say no.
But wait! There’s more!