Patterico's Pontifications


Bad Optics: President Golfing During Ramp Up Of Hurricane Dorian

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:13 pm

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Preemptive strike: I know, I know, you think I am picking on President Trump, and there are far more important things going on in the world, so please feel free to skip this post. But remember, everything the President of the United States says and does matters.]

Mayor Sadiq Khan of London criticized President Trump for canceling his scheduled trip to Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II and going golfing:

London Mayor Sadiq Khan renewed his rivalry with Donald Trump, mocking the U.S. president for “dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course” over the weekend.

Khan’s comments came after Trump pulled out of a trip to Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II to concentrate on Hurricane Dorian, but then played golf at his private club in Virginia.

“He’s clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course,” Khan, who traveled to Poland to attend a commemoration ceremony on Sunday, told POLITICO’s London Playbook.

As reminder, Trump has been in an ongoing tit-for-tat with Khan since 2016:

Khan and Trump have traded barbs since 2016, when the then-U.S. presidential candidate floated the idea of banning Muslims from traveling to America, and Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, called Trump’s views on his religion “ignorant.” More recently, Trump called Khan a “stone cold loser” on Twitter, and the London mayor fired back, saying the U.S. president’s missives were worthy of “an 11-year-old.”

Here’s the thing: whether it was Mayor Khan or anyone else who pointed out the poor optics of Trump golfing while Dorian threatened the U.S., it would still be an example of poor optics. The fact that he was playing golf at his own Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia only increased the bad optics. But the President chose to give Khan an opening by choosing to play golf during a natural disaster, so that’s on him.


Mocking the Alt Right Now Apparently a Fireable Offense in the Trump Administration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

Philip Klein writes the post so I don’t have to: Shameful: Trump Labor appointee forced to resign after Bloomberg portrays sarcastic Facebook post as anti-Semitic.

In one of the most shameful, egregious media failures of the year, a Trump appointee to the Department of Labor was forced to resign after a Bloomberg reporter started asking officials about a Facebook post spun as anti-Semitic, even though it was a clearly satirical post mocking the alt-right.

Earlier this morning, Bloomberg reporter Ben Penn proudly tweeted out a “scoop” about Leif Olson, who recently started as an adviser in the department’s Wage and Hour Division:

In reality, the Facebook post in question was the opposite of anti-Semitic. It was a clearly sarcastic post from 2016 about Paul Ryan crushing alt-right challenger Paul Nehlen. If the over the top language isn’t a tip off, it’s a fairly dead giveaway that Olson refers to Ryan having “suffered a massive, historic, emasculating 70-point victory.”

When one of the commenters suggests Ryan must be a “neocon” and a Jew, Olson, clearly joking, responded, “It must be true because I’ve never heard the Lamestream Media report it, and you know they protect their own.”

It’s very simple, what happened here. A guy mocked the alt right as anti-Semitic. Now some brainless twit of a reporter is calling his posts anti-Semitic. And now the Trump administration is accepting his resignation.

Why isn’t Trump fighting for this guy? My guess: because he’s mocking Trump’s people. It doesn’t matter to Trump that it’s unfair. It doesn’t matter to Trump that it’s a smear.

Maybe this will be reversed as the day goes on and it becomes widely known what a hit job this was. As the dumbass in chief says: “We’ll see what happens.” But nobody has covered themselves in glory so far, other than arguably the guy who was forced to resign for mocking the alt right.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Pence Commuting to Meetings by Plane So He Can Stay at a Trump Property in Ireland

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:14 am

This kind of thing happens all the time, but the fact that it’s routine does not make it less appalling, but more so:

President Donald Trump suggested that Vice President Mike Pence stay at his Irish golf club on an official trip funded by taxpayer dollars, Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short told reporters Tuesday.

Pence, who is traveling with his wife, sister, and mother, is staying at the president’s Doonbeg, Ireland golf club during his trip to the country. Rather than stay in Dublin, where he is set for a day of meetings and events with Irish officials, Pence is making the back-and-forth trip from Doonbeg to Dublin, a more than one hour flight each way.

Originally, Pence was scheduled to conclude his trip in Doonbeg, where the vice president has familial ties, rather than is flying back-and-forth between the two locales before making other European visits.

On whether the president asked Pence to stay at his Irish golf club, Short said: “I don’t think it was a request, like a command … I think that it was a suggestion.”

“It’s like when we went through the trip, it’s like, well, he’s going to Doonbeg because that’s where the Pence family is from,” Short said before describing the president’s suggestion. “It’s like, ‘Well, you should stay at my place.'”

I saw a lot of people upset (in my view justifiably) at Ilhan Omar for scheduling a taxpayer-funded trip to Israel in part to visit family. Visiting family is not a reason to stay a three-hour drive from where your meetings are located. Funneling government money to a property owned by the President, when he has not divested from his business holdings, is not a reason to stay a three-hour drive from where your meetings are located.

This is a very bad look. But again, it’s nothing unusual. This sort of graft is commonplace for this cretin, and everyone who works for him gets corrupted as well.

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