Jim Naureckas catches the New York Times wondering if Donald Trump will "continue to be the relentless populist" oh gosh I'm sorry I couldn't finish that sentence without spewing tea all over my computer. The idea that Donald Trump is any kind of "populist" insults not just intelligence but sentience, and we didn't need to witness him putting banksters in at Treasury and Commerce (or the anti-worker radical at Labor) to know that. Seriously, if all it takes to be a "populist" these days is a nasty attitude, our civilization is in deep trouble.
Trump spokeshack Kellyanne Conway is an extraordinarily inarticulate individual, so I guess it's possible that she didn't really mean to redefine bald lies as "alternative facts" on Meet the Press on Sunday. Still, the Facebook memes I've already seen (like this one, and this one) are not only apt and hilarious, they're weapons-grade PR. And I'd like to take on her initial response to Chuck Todd's apparent anger at that Sean Spicer press conference: "Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck." If you're all about the drama, you don't get to call it "drama" when other people complain about what you're doing.
Speaking of drama, multiple news outlets report that Donald Trump brings his own cheering section to press conferences and speeches, which is why it seems like his ignorant utterings get "cheers" and "applause" from reporters and CIA operatives. This is a matter that (as Sarah Cooper says) could be fixed by someone moving the camera around the room a bit -- but then again, this is the same "liberal" media that completely fell for the obviously-deceptively-edited O'Keefe-in-a-pimp-suit video. Better to hope that good Americans tell each other that their President goes around trying to gaslight everyone into thinking everything he says is super-popular, and that we all come together to shame him for this behavior.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announces he's going to vote for Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State after all. But you didn't really think he'd buck party leadership (or President Trump) on this one, did you? Remember what I said: when the "liberal" media reports on "fissures" within the Republican Party, you should regard these "fissures," and reports about them, as feints, designed to make you think some Republican is going to do something about this Trump guy -- so that you don't do something about this Trump guy. (Believing in the myth that "even Republicans oppose Trump" is, of course, another way to get you to sit back and wait for someone else to do something.)
Finally, Nathan Schneider at Yes! magazine reminds us that, back in the '30s, rural co-ops brought electricity to areas that power corporations wouldn't touch -- and that is the spirit that's more likely to revitalize forgotten America. Almost a thousand of these still exist in America, and they apparently even enjoy the support of Vice President Pence. You could kinda see why -- they put power (literally!) in smaller communities, and as long as they govern themselves adequately, they obviate the need for federal regulation and oversight. Of course, most contemporary "conservatives" would probably call co-ops "socialist" or "Communist," but they don't get all the say in America.