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THE YEAR OF LIVING NORMALLY

As the Trump presidency reaches the eve of its first year, the US government teeters on the verge of a shutdown. After 12 months of a nonstop, often madenning news cycle, one can forgive the federal government for needing a break. I know my news-tab gathering laptop has been wanting to shutdown for months. The crazy first year is ending with an ironic twist only possible in the Trump era: With the president invoking religion as he addressed the March for Life participants, shadowed by headlines that feature details of his relationship with an adult movie star, including his request that she spank him with a rolled up issue of Forbes that featured him on the cover (hey, at this point, old media will take any use case it can get).

In other words, it was just another day in the first year of a presidency the likes of which we’ve never seen. Here are a few links to provide a non-exhaustive (we’re all too exhausted for that) look back at the year that was.


+ From me: The Year of Living Normally. Trump ran as a narcissist. And Trump has governed as a narcissist. If anything, his narcissism has exceeded its promise. Trump’s narcissism is so powerful that run of the mill narcissists spent the last year thinking about Donald Trump.”The original Narcissus stared at his own reflection in a pond. Trump renamed the pond Trump Pond.”

January 20th: Trump Signs First Documents As President, Has Absolutely No Idea What He’s Doing

After Trump’s dark American Carnage inauguration speech, he got down to the official business of being completely in the dark. Shortly after the official ceremony, Trump gathered lawmakers to watch him sign his first documents as President. He was not prepared. Looking at the first document, he examines it, has to ask what it’s for, and has no idea where to sign (at the bottom). He openly states he thought it was for health care.

February 10th: Trump Gives Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe One Hell Of A Squeeze

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In his first meeting with a foreign official as president, Trump shook Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hand so hard and for so long, that Abe silently screamed when Trump let go.

February 17: Trump’s Holds A Crazy First Press Conference

What started as an announcement about his pick for Labor Secretary turned into an unhinged, confrontational Q and A with President Trump that left viewers stunned. In one of the most shocking moments, he asked a black reporter to schedule a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.

March 31Trump Gets Chased Out Of His Own Executive Order Signing By Questions About Michael Flynn

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After defending the now indicted Michael Flynn, who Trump previously fired, on Twitter, Trump fled from a signing ceremony in the face of questions about his tweets without actually signing the executive order. Mike Pence was forced to sheepishly retrieve the unsigned document from the president’s desk.

April 12th: Trump Incorrectly Brags About Firing Missiles At Iraq Over Cake

Bartiromo-with-Trump

After firing missiles at Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people, President Trump told Fox Business that he made the decision over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake.” Making the statement even more absurd, he incorrectly said he fired the missiles at Iraq.

May 22nd: Melania Swats Donald’s Hand Away Because… Do We Need To Explain?

In May, President Trump visited Israel. When he walked the red carpet on the tarmac with Melania, he tried to grab his wife’s hand. Melania met the gesture with a quick swat. No further explanation needed.

June 19th: Trump Brags To Panamanian President About Building Panama Canal… Over 100 Years Ago

When meeting with the Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela, President Trump felt the need to toot America’s horn, saying “I think we did a good job building [the Panama Canal].” Varela wasn’t having it and shot back the clarification “100 years ago.”

July 28th: Trump Endorses Police Brutality

In a speech President Trump gave to police officers in Long Island, President Trump joked (?) that police were too nice to suspects, saying “please don’t be so nice… you can take the hand away.” The line drew laughter and then applause.

Aug 15: White Nationalists Are ‘Fine People’ Now?

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In a stunning press conference President Trump abandoned all political norms in the wake of the Charlottesville rallies that resulted in the death of one counter protester by coming to the defense of protesters who attended a rally organized by white nationalist groups. Despite previously condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis, Trump said there were “very fine people” on “both sides.”

September 20th:  Trump Can’t Say Namibia

When President Trump spoke to African leaders during a UN General Assembly Luncheon, he repeatedly referred to Namibia as “Nambia.” The mispronunciation wasn’t Trump’s only eyebrow-raiser during the speech. He also bragged about his “friends” going to Africa “trying to get rich” — a rather tone-deaf comment in the face of criticism that western companies are taking advantage of African nations’ natural resources.

October: President Trump’s Entire Reaction To Hurricane Maria Was Crazy

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In his first interaction with the territory on what was supposed to be a tour of Hurricane Maria’s devastation, Trump blamed Puerto Rico for throwing the federal “budget out of whack,” and then downplaying the effects of the storm, comparing Maria’s death toll to Hurricane Katrina’s. After returning to Washington, President Trump flubbrf a call to pray for the devastated territory by using an exaggerated Puerto Rican accent.

November 27th: Trump Make ‘Pocahontas’ Jab At Event Honoring Native Americans

While speaking at an event meant to honor Native American code talkers, President Trump inserted a racist jab at Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying “we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”

December 6th: Trump Slurs His Speech While Making Globally Condemned Announcement On Israel

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In President Trump’s announcement that the US would now recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking outrage and protests around the world, the president was noticeably slurring his speech. The odd occurrence drew speculation that Trump was having issues with dentures or dry mouth. Trump’s doctor recently told reporters that Sudafed was to blame.

January 12th: Trump Asked ‘Are You Racist’ Immediately After Signing MLK Day Speech

Immediately after signing an MLK Day proclamation, President Trump was asked by reporters if he was racist — a question inspired by reports that he called certain African countries and developing nations “shithole countries.”+ Digg has a roundup of some of Trump’s strangest moments so far.

1.Sean Spicer’s debut, 21 January 2017, 2.Travel ban chaos, 28 January 2017 , 3.A prayer for Arnold, the Bowling Green massacre, 2 February 2017 , 4.The baseless wiretapping claim, 4 March 2017, 5.Spicer emerges from the bushes, 9 May 2017, 6.Covfefe, 31 May 2017,7.The 29-second handshake, 14 July 2017,8.The Mooch: blink and you’ll miss him, 21 July 2017,9.Trump talks politics with the Boy Scouts, 24 July 2017,10.Blaming both sides, 15 August 2017, 11.The anti-Muslim retweets, 29 November 2017,12.Stable genius, 6 January 2018. The Guardian tries to narrow a list down to the 12 weirdest days from Trump’s first year. (The piece could have just as easily been titled, Twelve Random Days.)

+ A few areas where Trumpism had its biggest impact: From The Marshall Project: Nine ways the law-and-order president has smashed Obama’s legacy.

NatGeo with a running list of how Trump is changing the environment.Mounds of unsold coal stand above ground at ERP Compliant Fuels’ Federal No. 2 mine near Fairview, W.Va., April 11, 2016. With Donald Trump’s win in the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped the contours of corporate America over the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable

The excellent Dahlia Lithwick on the highly efficient way Trump is remaking the judiciary.Trump has stacked the courts with judges like James Ho, Don Willett, and Allison Eid.

And the NYT on how international perceptions of America have changed in just one year.President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday at the Capitol. Approval of American leadership has dropped nearly 20 percentage points since President Barack Obama’s final year in office in countries around the world, a Gallup survey found.

+ Adam Gopnik: A Year of Donald Trump in the White House.Those in the Trump-pessimist camp are inclined to point out not only that the final score is not in yet but that the game has only just started. In real life, as opposed to fifties sitcoms, the Ralph Kramdens tend to act on their instincts. Trump’s Justice Department has already reopened an investigation of his political opponent, after he loudly demanded it—itself a chilling abuse of power. And if, as seems probable, Trump tries to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel on the Russia investigation, we will be in the midst of a crisis of extreme dimensions.

FIveThirtyEight: How Trump ranks in popularity vs. past presidents.Based on approval ratings one year into a first term, Trump is the most unpopular president since at least Harry Truman (as far back as we have data).

Turnover in presidents' first years+ This administration has had unprecedented turnover.Turnover among top-level staff in the Trump White House was off the charts, according to a new Brookings Institution report.Turnover in Trump’s first year was more than triple that in former President Barack Obama’s first year, and double the rate in President Ronald Reagan’s White House. A full 34 percent of high-level White House aides either resigned, were fired or moved into different positions in this first year of the Trump presidency.

‘For the next year, I won’t turn the radio back on again. I won’t turn on the TV. I won’t read a newspaper. I will embark on a journey into purposeful, determined ignorance.’

+ And maybe, Christopher Hebert was the only one who had the right news strategy over the past year. “For the next year, I won’t turn the radio back on again. I won’t turn on the TV news. I won’t read a paper. I will embark on a journey into purposeful, determined ignorance.” My year of living ignorantly.

   

2Hasil gambar untuk Government shuts down: How it happened

 

AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE

“We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements.” So said Chuck Shcumer following his meeting with the president. Here’s the latest on the impending shutdown.

WaPo: Everything you need to know about a government shutdown. Exactly what it sounds like. Much of the federal government gets its funding from annual budget appropriations decided by Congress. The legislation that provides that funding must be passed by a certain deadline — Friday at midnight. Since Congress didn’t find a consensus, the hundreds of thousands of people who work for the federal government can’t get a paycheck. Legally, many of those federal workers are obligated to stop showing up to work — known as an unpaid furlough.

   

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WEEKEND WHATS

What to Read: I was off yesterday while returning home from NYC where I was lucky enough to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway (expected it to be awesome, surpassed my expectations). It turns out Chris Christie was at the same show, which reminded me of Jeff Goldberg’s great essay on the former governor’s unrequited love for the Boss. Jersey Boys. (The next morning, Christie was booted from the VIP security entrance at Newark airport, while I breezed through TSA pre-check.)

While we’re on the topic, be sure to pick up a copy of the Bruce Springsteen autobiography. Even Philip Roth loved it.

What to Wallpaper: I’ve mentioned before that Unsplash is one of my favorite photo sites. Lately, I’ve been using their handy Mac app to regularly update my desktop pattern.

What to Watch: The excellent High Maintenance returns to HBO this weekend. The show tells the tales of a pot delivery guy in Brooklyn at a moment when pot is becoming increasingly legal and increasingly necessary.

Where to Go: My wife is just back from New Orleans. And if her city guide is any indication, we’ll be taking a family trip there soon.

   

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THE PRICE OF GOLD

“I have represented the United States of America in two Olympics and have done so successfully. And both USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee have been very quick to capitalize on and celebrate my success. But did they reach out when I came forward? No.” Aly Raisman’s amazing statement addressing Larry Nassar and those who enabled him.

+ Frontline and the Center for Investigative Reporting: A joint investigation into the sexual abuse of immigrant women who clean the malls where you shop, the banks where you do business and the offices where you work: Rape on the Night Shift.

   

5Travis Kalanick

 

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWNCAR

“You could go into Uber on any given day and half the T-shirts were Uber T-shirts. They disappeared overnight.” Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone in Businessweek: The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought. (At list he managed to land on giant mountain of cash.)

   

6Borrow $5,000, repay $42,000 — How super high-interest loans have boomed in CaliforniaJoAnn Hesson, 68, sits among her moving boxes and personal belongings in her apartment in Rancho Santa Margarita. Hesson took out several high-interest installment loans in 2015 and is considering filing for bankruptcy. She has since moved to Phoenix to be closer to family. 

A LOAN IN THE DARK

“Hesson’s $5,125 loan was scheduled to be repaid over more than seven years, with $495 due monthly, for a total of $42,099.85 — that’s nearly $37,000 in interest.” You probably already know about the predatory nature of payday loans. Well, in California, it looks like they’ve come up with something even worse. LA Times: How super high-interest loans have boomed in California.

   

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For One Baltimore School, 7 Killings in Just 15 MonthsDuring a daily anti-crime meeting, city officials watch live video from a network of more than 750 cameras that can zoom in and follow people as they walk down streets.

CTRL BALT DELETE

Baltimore just fired (another) police chief as the city tries to find a way out of its literal death spiral. Nowhere is the onslaught of violence more visible than in the empty desks at Excel Academy where seven students have been murdered in 15 months; “so much violence that an empty desk might mean a skipped class — or another permanent absence.”

   

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BREAKING OUT

“Open skies. Vast plains. A pair of trousers are falling down and hit the ground, and they’re run over by an RV. Inside it, the driver is wearing nothing but underwear and a respirator, another man is passed out in the passenger seat, two bodies in the back are sliding around in a sea of chemicals and glass—that’s page one!” Esquire: The Oral History Of Breaking Bad.

   

9"Technically, yes, you can die if you inhaled or ingest a very large amount of laundry detergent — and a small child could die from a single pod if they got enough of it in their lungs," Anderson says. When laundry detergent pod ingestion is fatal, it's usually due to a combination of things that lead to respiratory distress. "It causes an inflammatory cascade — so you get the irritation in the lungs, go into acute respiratory distress, and that leads to swelling and fluid pooling into the lungs which can be fatal," Anderson says. Pod ingestion can also cause seizures or comas, according to AAPCC. Another serious complication from eating detergent pods is called "esophagus strictures." In the long term, the burns from the detergent can cause esophageal scarring, Anderson says, which can result in the esophagus actually tightening. "This puts you at higher risk for food impactions and choking."

Eating laundry detergent pods can kill you, but you’d have to eat or inhale a LOT of detergent, and most deaths occur among small children.It should be obvious that the stuff inside laundry detergent pods isn't good for you. But how does it actually affect the body and what are the health risks? We spoke to Jana L. Anderson, pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to find out.First things first, what's inside these things? Laundry detergent pods, or single-load laundry packets, are full of various chemicals compounds, such as surfactants, which are great at cleaning clothes but not great for your body. Unlike regular liquid detergent, which typically just causes mild stomach upset, pods contain a highly concentrated liquid inside. So that little packet can do a lot more damage. "What's inside the pod will depend on the type — some have softener or bleach — but most are full of a very alkaline detergent," Anderson tells BuzzFeed News. Although Tide Pods are the most popular, we're talking about any laundry detergent pod here. They're made by many other brands, such as All and Gain, and there are also generics. (Note: Anderson did not comment on any specific brand.)But for your health (and our sanity), please do not ever eat a laundry detergent pod. Ever !!Author's note: I genuinely can't believe that I had to write this article.

YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T TIDE

“You’d like to believe nobody over the age of 5 wants to pop a laundry detergent pod in their mouth but, apparently, 2018 is full of surprises. So many people are eating the pods that Tide and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have had to issue warnings. How is this even a thing?” We may never have a completely satisfying answer to that question, but just in case you’re tempted: This Is What Will Happen To Your Body If You Eat A Tide Pod.

   

10breast cancer cells

 

BOTTOM OF THE NEWS

“Their vision is an annual test designed to catch cancer early and save lives. UK experts said it was ‘enormously exciting.'” Scientists have taken a step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine – a universal blood test for cancer.

A picture of a drone hovering above a beach in New South Wales, Australia

+ “The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today, it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly.” A drone saves two Australian swimmers in world first. The swimmers, aged 15-17, had got into difficulties off the coast of Lennox Head, New South Wales (NSW).A member of the public spotted them struggling in heavy surf about 700m (2,300ft) offshore.Lifesavers instantly sent the drone to drop an inflatable rescue pod, and the pair made their way safely to shore.John Barilaro, the state’s deputy premier, praised the rescue as historic. “Never before has a drone fitted with a flotation device been used to rescue swimmers like this,” he said.

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Buzzfeed: This Teen Got David Harbour From “Stranger Things” to Pose In Her Senior Yearbook Photo.

+ “A man in Spain who was declared dead by three doctors was actually still alive, which doctors discovered only when he began snoring on the autopsy table.”

+ How do you get kids to jump for joy and scream in delight while they’re at school? Turn back on the power after 112 days.

+ Wind power generated 43.4 percent of electricity consumed in Denmark last year, a new record for the Nordic nation which aims to rely on renewables for half of its energy needs by 2030, authorities said Thursday.

+ Man attacks self-driving car in SF Mission. (This doesn’t seem like good news until you consider the possibility that the car would have attacked the man…)

   

MHI NextDraft 

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