WTF: September 2, 2020

Love, Fear, Mulligatawney, Corruption & Drudge

Last week a friend was telling me about a psychology class she took in college. The professor spoke of love and fear as the only motivating human emotions, which really struck a chord. Meandering through the last week of August it banged around in my brain until it framed everything I saw.

Yesterday we received two pieces of mail. One from Cory Booker's campaign that I framed and will keep on my nightstand and one that looked a little like a ransom note with a signature that looked like an EKG during a massive heart attack. I am a white suburban woman, and I’m telling you, the choice between Cory Booker hugging people (hopefully me) and Donald Trump’s incel militia future is not hard. I really think that for Trump to land this punch, he should try to find someone all three mothers of his children wouldn’t choose over him in a ribald game of Would You Rather. So chalk one up for love.

Watch this from the Lincoln Project. It’s beautifully done, but it is entirely the words of Doc Rivers. Who, I am spitballing here, probably wasn’t involved, consulted or compensated. This bothers me. There are very few things in the world that one truly owns, one’s thoughts and perspective (and DNA but that’s a whole different issue – ask the family of Henrietta Lacks or check out this article about how a bunch of hedgebros in Patagonia vests just scooped up your DNA) should be sacrosanct. I cannot deny the talent of the people putting together these ads, but I do think we need to look at the ethics and remember that while these guys may currently be working toward a shared goal, namely saving democracy, you would be a fool to think that as soon as that is over they won’t turn on you like a scorpion on a frog. Because they will.


I find myself quoting George Bush almost incessantly these days. Well just this one: “That was some weird shit.” I’d make a soup Nazi joke, but the Nazis are the other guys.

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Trump in July: And you have people coming over with bags of soup and the anarchists... start throwing it at our cops... And if it hits you, that's worse than a brick because that's got force... And when they get caught, they say, "No, this is just soup for my family."

That was some weird shit.

This critique of how the media covers Trump and why it’s failing is fascinating and scary. I may have said this before, like a million times, but there is grave peril in behaving normally in situations that are anything but.

Crooked Media: The Media Fails it’s Biggest 2020 Test

The Trump re-election campaign confronts journalists with the question of how to cover a candidate whose entire appeal to voters is fiction—words and actions meant to deceive people about the state of the country and the nature of the election. Rather than address that challenge, though, they have chosen so far to simply treat these deceptions as if they’re offered in good faith, helping the campaign mislead voters with potentially disastrous results…

Trump not only breaks the law with impunity, he uses his official powers to fan the very disorder he claims to stand against, and his campaign and White House have admitted he does this because he thinks it’ll help him win re-election. And yet simply by asserting that his campaign message is “law and order,” often by tweeting the words “LAW AND ORDER” detached from any context, he has gamed the mainstream press into portraying it as a substantively meaningful appeal to voters rather than the obfuscatory fog it is.

Thus, the post-truth absurdity of a New York Times story headlined “Rival Themes Emerge as Race Enters Final Weeks: Covid vs. Law and Order,” which mentions as an aside, 24 paragraphs in, that Trump “enjoyed the frustration and anger he caused by violating norms” and even “ethics law” during the Republican convention, and “relished the fact that no one could do anything to stop him.” Trump’s lawlessness is notorious, and yet the notion that Trump’s campaign is about the “law” in some principled sense has become so embedded in reporting assumptions that the Associated Press can publish a whole story titled “When Trump talks law and order, some Wisconsin voters listen,” that contains not a single word about Trump’s own criminal entourage, his responsibility for inciting violence in Wisconsin, or his advisers’ confession that the incitement is part of a re-election strategy.

I don’t read a lot of the Drudge Report anymore but this was the front page today… Is he still relevant? I don’t know. But interesting nonetheless.

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Tomorrow we will be reframing all problems as PR problems and speak with PR Powerhouse John Barron. Oh wait, he doesn't exist... And, who knows, something totally insane could happen before then.

The Sideshow

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Cory Booker once had the nerve to drive 40 minutes to a suburban hospital on Thanksgiving Day to hold our newborn.

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Trump using Cory Booker of all people as a shorthand for "scary black man" would be funny if he weren't actually president. At this point if you're still in denial about who Trump is you want to be.

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Was it something I said?

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I just sent Cory Booker my house keys.

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Is Cory Booker coming to my neighborhood today? I need to shower.

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I took almost 180,000 photos of Cory Booker in 1 year of working on his campaign and after going back through the archive I can guarantee at least 20% are of him giving hugs to people. So, a thread of my favorite hugs-reply with your Booker bear hug photo if you have one.

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Good Morning! Can Cory Booker come to my suburban neighborhood with these jeans on. Please and thank you.

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My vision for our country is one in which we are measured by our ability to love. Together, we're building a moral movement that will rise above Donald Trump's hatred and bigotry with a wave of justice and decency.Please join us:

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