Ladies and gentlemen, behold, some s*** the president said during the previous week:
This tweet from eight days ago seems harmless, right? Well, yes and no. Alabama has been out of Hurricane Dorian’s forecasted path for about 96 hours when this tweet went out, so it’s weird. It’s like if I said on Monday, “Hey, get ready for two feet of snow today,” when in fact there was no snow in the forecast and hadn’t been any since the prior Thursday. In fact, 20 minutes after this tweet, the National Weather Service’s Birmingham office assured Alabamans they had nothing to worry about. Still, no big deal. Of the literally thousands of incorrect things uttered by our president, this is one of the least concerning of them all. Just admit the mistake and move on.
“And I will say, the states – and it may get a piece of a great place: it’s called Alabama. And Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that, it could be.” 9/1/2019 at FEMA Headquarters.
Uh, no, it won’t. This reiteration came later in the day, after a briefing from the National Weather Service updated him on the best available information. Why is he insisting repeatedly, on Sept. 1, that Alabama is in the path of this hurricane?
This just in: the winds of grievance are building quickly in the area of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Damage is expected to center on the Oval Office. It is recommended that its current occupant evacuate immediately, before conditions worsen.
Yes, original scenarios. There was no reason to warn anyone on Sept. 1 of something that hadn’t been true since Aug. 28. Now we have a full-blown Hurricane Donald. Inaccuracy and sensitivity combining into a mess of lies raining onto us all. Note how President Trump has begun to make this story about himself as a victim of the media while the hurricane still threatens to kill Americans. This benefits no one.
“We had – actually, our original chart was that it was going to be hit – hitting Florida directly. Maybe I could just see that, Kevin. It was going to be hitting directly, and that would have affected a lot of other states. But that was the original chart.” 9/4/2019 at the White House.
Oh. Oh, no. Do you see that hand-drawn, black, Sharpie mark to the left of the real projection? That is a mulligan someone (whose name almost certainly rhymes with Ronald Frump) added to the map. When an impending hurricane is serious enough to warrant a presidential weather update from the Oval Office, I can’t imagine why one second would need spent discussing the forecast from seven days prior. Then again, I don’t suffer from a nasty case of malignant narcissism.
Well sure, the original projection had Dorian with a chance to hit Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, New York, and Delaware. These things are hard to predict a week in advance of landfall, so some of the lines end up all over the place. To prove the point, the picture in this tweet was from August 28th. By the time he warned Alabama on Sept. 1, though, it was clearly out of Alabama’s way. That’s the whole point here, and he just can’t bring himself to admit it.
Originally, Donald Trump had a 1% projected chance to become president. I like that forecast more every day.
Maybe it’s just me, but warning Alabama of something headed for North Carolina doesn’t make me feel good about anything. Failing to admit a mistake, and diverting news coverage of a deadly hurricane to protect his ego actually makes me think he’s only in it for himself. Not for me, definitely not for North Carolina, or even Alabama.
He said “most likely” at a time when it was not at all likely. It also wasn’t a big deal until he refused to admit fault. He wasted everyone’s time on this distinction at a time when lives were hanging in the balance. If any North Carolinian Trump supporters had heard him talking about Alabama being in the path of the storm, they might’ve been less likely to evacuate. Luckily, none of that came to pass – the storm mostly stayed off the coast and damage was less than was feared. Here’s to hoping to the same is true of the damage from Hurricane Donald.
Here’s a fitting place to end this week. This is a video Trump tweeted of himself moving a laser pointer around a hurricane map while a cat standing on a CNN logo follows it. Don’t ask me; I have no idea.
That’s our report for this week. Be sure to check out the links for more info on any particular topic and, as always, thanks for reading.