Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week 60: To The Best of Our Knowledge, No

Dear Readers,

The election may have been three months ago, but there’s still a ton of political news. Reminder that newsletters and more are always available at

Trump Invites Shinzo Abe to the White House

This week, Trump met with conservative Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and shook his hand for 19 seconds. On the trip, Trump showed Abe an incredible amount of Trump property, including a round of a golf, and they held a joint conference about North Korea that lasted all of two minutes. This headline from the Independent about sums up the trip: “Donald Trump blacks out windows to stop media filming his golf round with Japanese premier.”
Oh yeah, and he also attended a state meeting that was entirely in Japanese without requesting a translation through the entire thing, and just sat there nodding his head. When asked if Trump speaks Japanese, the White House responded with "To the best our knowledge, no."

Trump Approval Falls to 40%

Any negative polls are fake news” -Donald Trump, 2017

His approval rating has hit 40%, with his disapproval at 55%. This is a milestone merely because it ends in a zero, but still - this took under a month. That’s never happened before. Barack Obama’s lowest approval rating through all eight years was 38%. Trump could get there in his first 30 days. And while Gallup has tended to be a bit of an outlier, plenty of other respected pollsters are showing numbers in the low 40s as well.

Nordstrom Stops Carrying Ivanka’s Brand - Chaos Ensues

Because nepotism is very much a thing in 2017, Donald Trump graced our twitter feeds this week by saying “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” This was later retweeted by the @POTUS account, meaning taxpayer dollars went to that tweet. Nordstrom insists they made the decision.

First Tie Ever

Well, that’s brief. What I mean is that this week, the first tie for a cabinet confirmation happened. The vote for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ended 50-50 (Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski defected), and Mike Pence broke the tie, naturally in favor.
Jeff Sessions was also confirmed for Attorney General, 52-47. During his hearing, Elizabeth Warren was barred from speaking for 30 hours for reading a letter written in 1986 about Sessions by Coretta Scott King. The letter was added to the record when Oregonian Senator Jeff Merkley completed it, so it’s clear the gesture was symbolic, but it’s still shameful.

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