Well, I’d say “good morning” but it’s not so good, for it’s January 21, 2017, the first full day of Donald Trump’s Presidency. And now I find myself worrying—way too far in advance—that he might even get reelected! What if the Democrats can’t field a decent candidate in 2020? I have received all sorts of despondent emails from friends, but one reader also sent me a photo of a lovely California sunset, adding “our world is still a beautiful place.”I would like to think so, but there are certain folks without whom it would be more beautiful.
Trump is losing no time taking out petty revenge on people, as well as starting to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. (Did you hear his divisive Inaugural Address?). His latest antic, according to Gizmodo (h/t: reader Bryan) is to punish the National Park Service (NPS) for retweeting items that could be construed as anti-Trump. Here are the two original tweets; the first is from the Washington correspondent for the New York Times:
I mentioned this issue yesterday; the tweet comes from landscape architect Anne Trumble:
Both of these were retweeted by the National Park Service yesterday at about 4:340 pm, but before that happened the retweets were noticed by Mr. Applebaum:
These have been removed by the NPS, but, as Gizmodo reports, “the NPS has been ordered by its Washington support office to ‘immediately cease use of government Twitter accounts until further notice,’ according to an internal email obtained by Gizmodo.
Apparently because of these retweets, which could have been an accident, the NPS has been ordered to cease tweeting, with its employees receiving the following email yesterday
We have received direction from the Department through [the Washington Support Office] that directs all [Department of Interior] bureaus to immediately cease use of government Twitter accounts until further notice.
PWR parks that use Twitter as part of their crisis communications plans need to alter their contingency plans to accommodate this requirement. Please ensure all scheduled posts are deleted and automated cross-platform social media connections to your twitter accounts are severed. The expectation is that there will be absolutely no posts to Twitter.
In summary, this Twitter stand down means we will cease use of Twitter immediately. However, there is no need to suspend or delete government accounts until directed.
This does not affect use of other approved social media platforms. We expect further guidance to come next week and we will share accordingly.
Thanks for your help!
Now perhaps it was unwise for a government department to retweet things like this, but they could have been quietly removed after a private word from the Trump Administration. What we’re seeing here is the petty vindictiveness that will characterize the next four (or eight) years.
Back to our regular message. Today is both National Granola Bar Day and National New England Clam Chowder Day. I have little use for granola bars, which are gradually morphing into candy bars (I predicted this years ago), but New England clam chowder is one of the glories of American cuisine: far superior to the tomato based “Manhattan clam chowder.” Am I right? In Poland it’s “Grandmother’s Day”; while “Grandfather’s Day” is tomorrow. On this day in 1954, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus (I once went aboard) was launched in Connecticut by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. In 1976, commercial service of the Concorde began (now terminated), and, exactly five years later, the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 car, the only model ever made, was first manufactured in Northern Ireland. (For a while they shut down production, but now the company is said to be producing more.) The DMC-12 was famous for its gull-wing doors:
Notables born on this day include John C. Frémont (1813), Telly Savalas (1922), Jack Nicklaus (1940) and Geena Davis (1956). Those who died on this day include Vladimir Lenin (1924), Lytton Strachey (1932; be sure to read his great books Eminent Victorians and his biography of Queen Victoria), George Orwell (1950 ♥) and Peggy Lee (2002). Here’s a portrait of Strachey by painter Dora Carrington, who was in love with him—a hopeless relationship given that Strachey was gay. She committed suicide with a gun two months after Strachey died of stomach cancer (the movie “Carrington,” starring Emma Thompson, is a good account of their relationship and the Bloomsbury Group:
Hili: We work together well.A: Yes, for the moment, but stay off my lap.
Hili: Mamy dobrą współpracę.
Ja: W tej chwili tak, ale nie wchodź mi na kolana.