National Security Advisor Michael Flynn didn’t even last a month, brought down by a Russian scandal. Could this end Trump? What’s going on? It’s a little convoluted, but stay with me: retired Army General Michael Flynn was appointed as National Security Advisor, head of the NSA, by Trump. But over the weekend, reports emerged that Flynn had discussed possible sanctions against Russia with Russian officials, before the election. This is a pretty big no-no.
If one is willing to take a closer look, Trump’s actions look less like an incoherent grab-bag and more like a calculated attack on this country’s most vulnerable. Trump’s campaign platform revolved around the narrative that there exists a vast, ignored swath of Americans who have fallen behind–who have seen the economy take off and the country move forward without them. This group has been characterized many ways: as “deplorables,” as the white working class, as people tired of “political correctness,” as “real Americans” who feel persecuted for their religion, their skin color, or their lack of sophistication.
A theme during and after the election, from the Trump camp, has involved allegations of “massive” vote fraud. The lies continue. Prior to the election, Trump claimed that if he lost, it would only be due to widespread vote fraud. Even after he won, he claimed that opponent Hillary Clinton only bested him in the popular vote because she received “millions” of “illegal” votes. This is a narrative that refuses to die, and seems to exist largely to challenge the legitimacy of those who have committed to resisting Trump’s agenda.
This past week was a bit quieter in some respects, but only because the consequences of some events are still playing out, and the groundwork for others is still being laid. So, here’s a rundown of the past week or so in Trump news: * Despite how much attention Trump brings to Twitter, the company had a bad quarter with lousy earnings, which precipitated a stock plunge. Sad! * Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed she couldn't do any Sunday talk shows because of "family.
I’ve got two items for you today! What’s going on? Item 1: Incoming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was met with protest as she attempted to visit Jefferson Middleschool Academy in Washington, DC. Item 2: Protesters are attending Republican town hall meetings, challenging Republicans who are going along with Trump’s agenda. Why is it important? On the DeVos issue, she represents a dangerous agenda for America’s public education system, intending to privatize and religify our schools.
I’ll be honest: there’s nothing for you to do here but soak up what the Trumpster has been up to over the past 24 hours or so. Highlights from the New York Times: (Personal Trump Sith Steve Bannon reads it, so why shouldn’t you?) * Trump complained that we spent $6 trillion in the Middle East and "we got nothing." * Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch apparently called Trump's attacks on the judiciary "demoralizing" and "disheartening.
An obscure Senate rule was invoked by the Majority Leader to silence Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. What’s going on? Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is currently going through confirmation hearings to become the US Attorney General. This is actually Sessions’ second time in front of the Senate for confirmation hearings, as he was nominated to a district court in Alabama in 1986 by then-President Reagan. His nomination was killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee over his poor civil rights record.
The US public education system lost big today. What’s going on? Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the US Senate as Secretary of Education. She just squeaked by, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding, tie-breaking vote. Democrats heavily opposed her nomination for a variety of reasons, but the most relevant is that she is a billionaire who has used her resources to attempt to break the public school system, with the intention of opening it up to private sector exploitation.
Trump tweeted this morning that “negative polls are fake news.” What’s the real story? What’s going on? Trump was responding to a CNN poll which said that 55% of Americans view Trump’s travel/immigration ban executive order as an attempt to keep Muslims out of the country. It also indicated that 53% of Americans oppose it, compared with 47% who approve–not exactly an overwhelming majority given the error margin of such polls.
Given how often Trump tweets about specific companies, does this offer opportunities to make (or lose) money on them? There is, in fact, a bot which already does this. According to NPR, an advertising company in Texas called T3 has developed a bot which continuously monitors tweets made by Trump. It checks to see if the tweet has the name of a publicly-traded company (say, Delta Airlines), and if so, performs a sentiment analysis to see if Trump’s statement is positive or negative about the company.