Trump’s latest comments on immigration are beyond belief

I just heard this on the evening news (I guess I didn’t check the written news this afternoon) and verified it in the New York Times. The NYT gives the gist:

President Trump on Thursday balked at an immigration deal that would include protections for people from Haiti and African countries, demanding to know at a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

Mr. Trump’s remarks left members of Congress attending the meeting in the Cabinet Room alarmed and mystified. They were there discussing an emerging bipartisan deal to give legal status to immigrants illegally brought to the United States as children, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity without authorization to discuss the explosive proceedings of the private meeting.

When Mr. Trump heard that Haitians were among those who would benefit, he asked if they could be left out of the plan, according to the people familiar with the conversation, asking, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”

According to NBC News, who talked to anonymous sources, “shithole countries” were meant to include not just Haiti but countries in Africa.

The White House didn’t deny the statement, but, in ineffectual damage control, deputy press secretary Raj Shah issued this statement, which won’t placate anyone who, like me, is furious at Trump’s remarks:

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” Mr. Shah said. “Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”

It’s bad enough that Trump thinks things like this, which smack of internalized racism (seriously, Africa and Haiti versus Norway?), and even conjures up visions of Aryan superiority. But why on earth would he say these things in an open meeting with members of Congress, knowing that they would be reported?

I doubt few people reading this voted for Trump, or have any sympathy for the man, so I’m ranting at the choir. But he has no conception of the gravitas of the Presidency. It’s not a locker room, and Trump’s words will further convince the world that he’s a nativist and a racist.

I suspect the base to which these remarks appeal is shrinking. The man has to go before he destroys this country. And remember, there are aging, liberal justices on the Supreme Court.

UPDATE: Here’s the front page of today’s Daily News in New York (h/t: Barry):

203 Comments

  1. ploubere
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Nothing shocks anymore with this guy.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Indeed not. I’ve assumed he’s been saying things like this all along.

  2. Posted January 11, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Trump is what that racist uncle would be if he were born into money.

    Sadly, I think that Trump is an accurate representation of a significant minority in our country.

    Even if he is defeated in 2020, those who approve of him will remain.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I have to agree with your second sentence, blueollie. Very sad, indeed.

    • Luis Servin
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      From outside the US, we get the impression that it might not even be a minority.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Remember that only slightly more than half the eligible voters in the US turned out and that by actual ballots cast, Hillary received the majority of them.

        • phoffman56
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

          Approximately 60 million voted for Drumpf and approx. 120 million registered voters couldn’t be bothered to help keep him out of the job. Well, maybe 180 million USians are not all racists; but among other dreadful things, they are ready to put the human species in a good deal more danger from thermonuclear extinction, and the future humans in danger from global warming. Not many of them are simply members of the 1%-set of selfish assholes.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            I would also suggest more benign motivations, er, excuses, in many cases–not believing Trump could ever win in the first place; complacency after the Obama years; the usual “meaning well but then it’s 7pm on a-winter Tuesday, you just got off work, and the line stretches for 2 blocks,” etc.

            I wish more people would clamor for better voting conditions and possibly mandatory voting. I wish the campuses were het up about such issues rather than tied in knots by the Ctrl-left. I wish the Catholic Church would stay the hell out of politics…

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        There are definitely quite a few voters who went for Trump because they always vote Republican. Some of those are probably not racist and may, in fact, be good people. One I know cares only for having his taxes lowered and doesn’t want to spend any time following politics otherwise.

        • phoffman56
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          The latter being a good(??), but extremely selfish, person?

          • Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            My reference to “good people” was my somewhat lame attempt at humor. A certain amount of selfishness seems like a healthy attitude.

            • Diane G.
              Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

              After all, it’s not like some of our Congress-people don’t have ulterior motives, too. 😉

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. That 30% approval rating hard-core base loves this kind of “tell it like it is, politically incorrect” bs because they are in complete agreement with the Orange One. I know a lot of these types of folks, and they range from the lower echelon of white folks to the rich end, but their common characteristic is that they are racist.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        They’re the reason he said this. His core supporters have been complaining the last few days about him being too soft on the DACA kids. He said this because he wanted it reported so his base knows he’s still a racist just like them.

        It’s sick the number of so-called “good Republicans” who are either defending these remarks or, as usual, explaining what he really meant. It’s about time they stood up to him when he says stuff like this.

        I watched Fox News’s ‘The Five’ today. Their opening segment, about 15 minutes long, was all about Nancy Pelosi. Apparently she’s a racist because she called the men looking at DACA “5 white men.” That was also, according to them, a dog whistle to the far left of the Democratic party! Trump’s comments didn’t get discussed until the penultimate segment, more than 45 minutes later, and most of them thought there was no problem with what he said. He just talks like a real man in a bar! Well that’s okay then. (Sarcasm alert.) SMH.

        • gluonspring
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:45 am | Permalink

          so-called “good Republicans” who are either defending these remarks or, as usual, explaining what he really meant. It’s about time they stood up to him when he says stuff like this

          That time was long ago. The GOP has given up even pretending they don’t embrace him. The so-called good Republicans are extinct, and the sooner everyone realizes it the better.

      • darrelle
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        That is my experience, every damn day, too. Anybody who thinks that racism isn’t still a problem in the US isn’t paying attention. People that claim that laws or regulations against discrimination and affirmative action types of policies mean that racism isn’t a serious problem, they aren’t getting it. It doesn’t matter what the rules and regulations are, though of course appropriate rules & regulations can help limit behavior and create pressure to change behaviors over time. What matters is how people actually behave. Right now in the US there is still a significant percentage of people that are racist.

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Remember how Obama’s election proved that race as an issue in the US was finally dead? What a joke that was. I remember thinking when Obama won the first time, “There’s going to be hell to pay for this.” Little did I know how bad it would get. I was surprised at Obama’s second victory. I guess it took a little while, and the right candidate, to bring out the backlash. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for the backlash to the backlash. And let’s hope changing demographics smothers the backlash to the backlash to the backlash.

        • Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          darrelle – my guess is that many here at WEIT do not have much contact with the folks that we are talking about. I just got this from a relative, and it pretty much sums up exactly what we are talking about: “I know the lefties hate Trump and anyone or anything to do with his administration as they had such high expectations for Hillary to continue taking the country down the path to a globalist Tower of Babel. But after eight years of a lying, muslim, hate America, Marxist, shit-brained faggot as President, who nearly brought the country to ruin with his total depravity and corruption, the Good Lord saw fit to give us relief and respite in the form of a President Donald Trump.” I have given up trying to reason with such people – not worth my time and energy.

          • Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            And no, this fellow does not write for the Onion!!

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

            Appalling!

            But sadly not surprising. I don’t have (or at least hear from) relatives like that, but once in a while I listen to the conservative radio talk shows. The falsehoods, demagoguery, vehemence, hatred, etc., they spout is beyond disgusting. I’d recommend it to any liberals who aren’t aware of just how rabid that faction of the other side really is.

          • Posted January 14, 2018 at 3:34 am | Permalink

            Such people vote.
            And they voted Trump because they wanted to make America great again.

            Hillary wanted you to vote for Hillary.

            Trump wanted you to vote for America.

            • Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

              Very true, and indeed more people voted for Hillary than for Draft Dodger Donald.

          • darrelle
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            I think you are right. And what your relative was raving on about? Yeah, that sure sounds familiar.

  3. Posted January 11, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Disgusting.

    • G_M
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      And also correct.

      Those are indeed shithole countries, no argument about it.

      Which is why everyone there is desperate to escape.

      We can discuss the reasons for why that is, but it does not change the fact.

      And yes, it is perfectly rational to prefer people from Norway to come to your country instead of people from Africa. I find it baffling that there is even an argument about that.

      • Tej
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Are you serious?
        What is “shithole” in your view? The country? The people??
        Are you implying that residents of Africa are inferior to Norwegians on whatever scale you are using? What puts you in a position to make the judgement?

      • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        The problem is not the word “shithole”.

        The problem is that Trump thinks people who want to escape the shithole should be denied, for no other reason than they were born there.

      • Kate
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        And with Cheeto Führer in power the U.S. will no doubt join the “shithole country” list very soon. So don’t feel so special and privileged because as we all know very well, today’s empire is tomorrow’s ashes and Trump is the beginning of the end for the US.

        The reason sensible Americans are so shocked with their current situation is because consciously or unconsciously they know they are descending into shithole territory.

        In a few decades even Europe will be a shithole because of climate change and war induced migration. So, enjoy your little paradise while you can pal….shitholites WILL come your way sooner or later.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:43 am | Permalink

          As a note, I think Europe economies has thrived on all sorts of migration; which is sad as war migration replaces benefits to nations that has less need of them. As comparison, adult war immigrants will always be more educated, communicative and faster productive than local children born the same year; perhaps 1-5 year before work vs 18-20.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        In the US, 11% have post-grad degrees; 25% of Nigerians in the US have post-grad quals. In many areas, African immigrants surpass their US-born compatriots on average.

        And despite what Trump says, all Haitians do NOT have AIDS, and all Nigerians do NOT live in huts. Iirc, four of the wealthiest black people in the world live in Nigeria. The country is now wealthier than South Africa. It is not a shithole. Parts aren’t great, but you can say the same about the US.

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          four of the wealthiest black people in the world live in Nigeria.

          This must be true, because they keep sending me emails asking for help in getting their money out of Nigeria.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:29 am | Permalink

            Ha ha ha!

      • Robert Bray
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        ‘everyone there is desperate to escape.’
        Arrant nonsense!

        Consider the Republic of Haiti. Its history since founding (1804) has been one of almost constant interference from the West–the U. S. most especially–aimed at keeping the nation down or, indeed, destroying it as a republic. This hegemonic domination of rich/powerful over poor/powerless has largely worked for more than two centuries.

        Yes, the Haitian diaspora in the U. S. is comparatively large, but there are many, many Haitians who love where they are and don’t wish to leave. I know this because I know some of them, having visited several times in the last decade.

        With a country like Haiti, historical context is the crucial beginning to genuine understanding. Your crude comment shows you utterly lack it.

        • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Haitians are very good in blaming others for the mess they are in. Their country is too overpopulated to be in a decent condition. Nevertheless, their total fertility rate is still above 3. Nobody else is to blame for this, and I fear Trump is right.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        One could quite reasonable argue that with our crushing student debts, our allowing the banks that caused the recession to go unpunished, our lack of national health care, our allowing corporations to pollute almost at will… that *we* are a shithole country.

        • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          The fact is, people flee screaming the above mentioned countries (call them what you like) and flock to the USA.

      • jay
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        As Tucker Carlson put it, he said what everyone knows to be tru, but could not say in public.

        As a side product of this, the media has been forced again into protecting an undefensible position. One CNN reporter, when asked, refused to say whether it was preferable to live in Norway rather than Haiti.

        In lefty land, ALL cultures are equal (except Western ones) and do deny this is a sin.

  4. Tom Spradlin
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    As long as Trump is the POTUS, why would anybody from Norway WANT to come here?

    • phoffman56
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      The social system, and the standard of living, are both very noticeably better for Norwegians than they are for USians, statistically of course. My wife and I have very close connections with Norway and go often (though now more often to Iceland, sometimes with Norwegians). The connection is almost family, since Frances had been briefly engaged to a Norwegian, soon after killed in an auto accident, very many years ago.

      Anyway, I doubt you would have found many Norwegians at all interested in living permanently in the U.S., even before we all became subject to that fat little finger on the ‘nuke button’, and all our grandchildren in grave danger from climate change (and USians getting to sleep in the bed they made in a-year-ago-November’s election, with the many other shorter term negativities, again statistically, Munchin etc. expecting they’ll do just fine, like Saudi princes).

      I wonder if Anders Breivik is one of Drumpf’s
      “very fine people”? So you get assholes everywhere, but many fewer in some countries.

      • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        You cannot blame Breivik on Trump.

        • phoffman56
          Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          I did not, and the question remains.

          In case it needs mentioning, the reference to Breivik is to bring the possibility to the reader’s mind that some of the “fine people” in Trump’s comment are likely just as major assholes as he is, if less ready to act out their racism in the way he did.

    • G_M
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      They mostly didn’t want to come when Obama was president either. Life in Norway is much better, and Obama didn’t do anything to change that. Which is why Trump is president. So what exactly is your point about Trump being a significant factor in this context?

      • Kate
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        I think we could say with some degree of confidence that O. has been the greenest president since Roosevelt (patron of many national parks). Most reasonable folks would agree that environmental protection improves quality of life. Norway is one of the greenest countries on earth by the way.

        Trump on the other hand is harming the environment in very important ways thus decreasing the quality of life of millions of people, probably also dooming the world to centuries of uncontrolled climate change.

        So yes, Trump is a crucial factor why not only Norwegians but people from all over the world want nothing to do with the US now. Tourism is down, international students are turning to Canada, etc..

        Also, for some weird reason Norwegians and other Northern Europeans love to spend their holidays in shithole countries. Could be because their own countries are shithole places in the winter.

    • phoffman56
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Reminds me of a joke, whose generic version has two variables. I’ll substitute the two relevant countries:

      “A Norwegian moving to U.S. will raise the average IQ in both countries”

      • Taz
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        That doesn’t work. Why would a generic Norwegian leaving Norway raise the IQ? Your version implies everyone in Norway has an IQ below the Norwegian average.

        • phoffman56
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          Didn’t expect to need to explain:

          (1) Leaving raised it in Norway, so the leaver is rather stupid compared to the average Norwegian.
          (2) Leaving raised also in U.S., so arriver (same person in case you hadn’t noticed) is rather smart compared to the average USian.
          (3) N.B. Again, same person, and doubtful that the plane ride raised his (or hers or zis or zers) level of intelligence in 7 or 8 hours. But who knows, maybe Einstein’s GR was the reading material on the plane.
          (4) Barring the latter, by transitivity of real numbers under ordering (to flaunt my smartassiness), with great effort one can deduce a comparison between average intelligence in the two countries.

          Joke works better for those, unlike me, who think IQ is of any great scientific value. But it has a limited value in some situations.

          I first heard it in Norway, where Sweden was the the other country. Apologies, Torbjorn.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          “Your version implies everyone in Norway has an IQ below the Norwegian average.”

          No, only those dumb enough to want to move to the US.

          That’s the point of the joke.

          cr

    • jay
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      That was his point. He said Norway was a good place to live and other places are absolutely terrible.

      Why is this controversial?

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    You are working overtime today. Hope you collect the pay for this.

    Very glad to see you are coming around to my opinion on this person. No one should rest until this creep is thrown out and gone. The ignorance of this country (the people who did vote for him) cannot be overstated. Everything we know about him now was known about him two or more years ago. It is time to wake up folks. He is mentally sick and has no business near any job in government.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Randall, agreed on the ignorance of the people who voted for Trump. I would expand that to anyone who didn’t vote for the only other candidate that could have won, Hillary, worts and all.

      I do not believe that things happen for a reason but if Hillary had been elected we may not have known just how many Deplorables we have in the country.

      Being alarmed and mystified by Trump’s remarks is common. If his remarks left members of Congress who were attending the meeting in the Cabinet Room alarmed and mystified for the first time, I’d say they must have been asleep at the wheel for the last 2 years. Vote them out in the primaries.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Hillary was an herbalist?

        Sorry! 😉

        • Richard Bond
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:28 am | Permalink

          No, a brewer. 🙂

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      “Very glad to see you are coming around to my opinion on this person.”

      You never thought Jerry was pro-Trump, did you?

      • Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that baffled me. I’ve never said a favorable word about the man.

        • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Your distaste for Trump is very obvious, if you ask me.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

          Clarification if I might this morning. This was the first time that I recall you said this man has to go. It is a simple degree of dislike if you will. Notice you still call this person a man. I am not sure I could do that. Diane makes assumption that is not there.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            Didn’t mean to assume anything, Randall, just thought your wording suggested that Jerry at some point tolerated Trump, which didn’t jibe with my recollections…

            Perhaps this site could have spent more time pre-election concentrating on the Republican candidate (rather than the Democrat), but I can also see that at the time it seemed preposterous to ever consider Trump a viable-enough candidate to need to waste much time on. Live and learn!

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I think it wasn’t solely ignorance why some people voted for him. There was and is a measure of malevolence in the choice.

  6. Jon Gallant
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    “The man has to go before he destroys this country. And remember, there are aging, liberal justices on the Supreme Court.” Alas, if Trump were impeached, his successors (listed below) are not promising in terms of the supreme court appointments we could expect from them.

    In Trump’s administration, here’s the full line of succession.

    •Vice President Mike Pence.
    •Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
    •Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch.
    •Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
    •Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
    •Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
    •Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    • Harrison
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      By the time impeachment could happen that list would already look very different, though. And it’s probable that Pence and Trump are a 2-for-1, meaning it comes down to “can Dems retake the House and install a new Speaker?”

      • gluonspring
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:49 am | Permalink

        They need the house and senate. Impeaching him might give the admin another black eye, but they collect black eyes, so what will they care?. Unless the senate convicts we’re stuck with him until he is voted out.

        Settle in. He’s going to be there till 2020.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Actually, the full line includes the entire US cabinet all the way down to Homeland Security (the order of succession is the order in which the cabinet departments were created). After Sessions, the order is:

      Interior – Ryan Zinke (R)
      Agriculture – Sonny Perdue (R)
      Commerce – Wilbur Ross (R)
      Labor – Alex Acosta (R)
      Health & Human Svces – Eric Hargan (R,Acting)
      Housing & Urban Development – Ben Carson (R)
      Energy – Rick Perry (R)
      Education – Betsy DeVos (R)
      Veterans Affairs – David Shulkin (I)
      Homeland Security – Kirstjen Nielsen (I)

      Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is not in succession because she is ineligible, not being a natural-born citizen. Otherwise, she would be between Carson and Perry.

      I think any of these seventeen people would be at least as bad as Trump.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:05 am | Permalink

        Truly a rogues gallery. It is breath taking to think this many(including the first list) cretinous bastards could be assembled to run a country. There could be no better assortment of rascals to bring down a great nation to the level of shitholery.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          Ahh. I see that you are a practitioner of the art of dispassionate understatement.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            I’m just clearing my throat. 😎

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

            Lol!

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          “My shithole, ’tis of thee, sweet land of bigotry…”

          • rickflick
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            Sing it babe!

          • Merilee
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            You’re on a roll, Diane😁

  7. Dave137
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Imagine another seven years of this. It’s completely possible.

    While the D-List cameo-star will likely lose the popular-vote by an even greater margin than he did in 2016, he could very well win the Electoral College again.

    We’ve all slipped a membrane and somehow reside in the Twilight Zone.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Time to do an end run around the Electoral College with the National Popular Vote.

      http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        While we’re on the subject…it’s never mentioned that the frickin’ senate itself over-represents and privileges the red states…

        • gluonspring
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:55 am | Permalink

          I was trying to explain to my daughter tonight the rationale for giving Wyoming, with less than the population of Santa Cruz County, the same representation in the senate as all of California, which has the population of 70 Wyomings, but it just sounded too absurd for me to even finish the argument.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            You can find that answer on the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia in 1787. It was a very bad decision but James Madison did his best at the time to prevent this. He lost the vote. However, you can blame all of us since for not asking for an amendment to fix that.

            • Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

              Indeed.

              At the time, I can see the concern of the “small states”. In the past in Europe, probably in every case, the larger groups had tyrannized the smaller ones. This was a brand new system. I can see why the smaller states held firm on this sort of thing.

              I don;t think it’s a good idea, then or now, but I can see why others felt that way.

              Here are the data (fairly recent, compiled in the last few years):

              [State, # Electoral College Votes, residents per EC vote:]
              Wyoming, 3, 187875
              DC, 3, 200574
              Vermont, 3, 208580
              North Dakota, 3, 224197
              Alaska, 3, 236744
              Rhode Island, 4, 263142
              South Dakota, 3, 271393
              Delaware, 3, 299311
              New Hampshire, 4, 329118
              Montana, 3, 329805
              Maine, 4, 332090
              Hawaii, 4, 340075
              Nebraska, 5, 365268
              West Virginia, 5, 370599
              Idaho, 4, 391896
              New Mexico, 5, 411836
              Nevada, 6, 450092
              Utah, 6, 460648
              Kansas, 6, 475520
              Arkansas, 6, 485986
              Mississippi, 6, 494550
              Iowa, 6, 507726
              Connecticut, 7, 510585
              South Carolina, 9, 513929
              Minnesota, 10, 530393
              Alabama, 9, 531082
              Oklahoma, 7, 535907
              Kentucky, 8, 542421
              Oregon, 7, 547296
              Colorado, 9, 558800
              Washington, 12, 560378
              Louisiana, 8, 566672
              Wisconsin, 10, 568699
              Tennessee, 11, 576919
              Maryland, 10, 577355
              Arizona, 11, 581092
              Indiana, 11, 589437
              Massachusetts, 11, 595239
              Missouri, 10, 598893
              Georgia, 16, 605478
              Virginia, 13, 615463
              Michigan, 16, 617728
              New Jersey, 14, 627992
              Pennsylvania, 20, 635119
              North Carolina, 15, 635699
              Ohio, 18, 640917
              Illinois, 20, 641532
              Florida, 29, 648321
              Texas, 38, 661725
              New York, 29, 668210
              California, 55, 677345

              • gluonspring
                Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

                The EC is distorted, but it’s mild compared to the senate. The EC has a ratio of 4 between the per-person representation of the largest and smallest state. The senate has a ratio of 70 between the largest and smallest. 70!

                I can see the merits of having a “low” number of senators from each state, of having a smaller deliberative body than the House, one with members elected at-large for the state, for longer terms, etc. But having a fixed 2 senators per state with today’s population distribution is flatly absurd.

                You could have a reasonable 180 person senate if you simply divided the number of electors by 3, giving Wyoming 1 senator and California 18. That’d still overrepresent Wyoming by a factor of 4, but that would preserve much of the flavor of the senate with 20X less absurdity.

                Heck, even putting a floor of 1 senator per state and dividing the EC by 5 would provide 1 for Wyoming and 11 for CA, with a total senate size of around 110, very near the current size. That would be wildly distorted but still much much less absurd than at present.

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

                @ gluonspring

                Thanks for the constructive proposals! Makes the chance of a change sometime in the future seem slightly more possible. 🙂

              • Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

                Indeed, the senate is worse, since the “big” states get one EC vote for each congress member.

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for the numbers, jblilie, bleak though they be.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            (@gluonspring)

            Yeah; it’s been quite a while, now, but I still remember how shocked I was when I figured out just how skewed the EC really is. And here I’d always fallen for the reassuring-sounding “one man, one vote” idiom. HA!

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I’m in favour of trying to avoid tyranny of the majority, but the Senate and the EC both over-compensate, I think.

          (We have some trouble with the Canadian senate for the same reason, but less because it isn’t *completely* flat.)

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Agree. The people who are assuming he’ll be booted out are the same people who assumed he’d never get elected in the first place. Slow learners? Nor are they noticing that parts of his agenda are actually getting passed! (Immigration strictures, tax “reform.”)

      • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Trump is a symptom of a big problem that will not fix itself in short order.

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          And if & when it ever does, we could have Oprah, instead.

          Arrgh!

          (Though perhaps they’re both just different sides of the same problem…dumbocracy.)

          • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

            Oprah is definitely the same problem. I have serious doubts as to whether this problem can be fixed.

            • Diane G.
              Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

              Makes one wonder if we did our kids any favor by having them…

              • darrelle
                Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

                I think that if anyone can save us, or themselves, it is our kids.

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

                Thank you, darrelle, that’s exactly the way to look at it.

      • Harrison
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        It’s not an idle assumption. It’s based on recent strong Democratic over-performance in special elections. The dour types were insistent that Doug Jones stood no chance. Political betting sites are leaning more and more blue every day.

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          I hope you’re right! Does a body well to hear from an optimist now and then. 🙂

  8. bric
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    This from the Pynchon In Public Podcast –

    “We try not to tweet politically, but this is relevant to the current season: Trump just equated non-white countries with shit. Twice in GR (Gravity’s Rainbow) someone mentions white people’s race issues being rooted in a fear of shit. So, yeah.”

    I’m afraid people in other countries, i.e. the rest of the World, DO equate the US with their president: they have been conditioned to do so for many years. This will take decades to get over.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Do they remember Nixon resigning for covering up illegal activities? Johnson deciding not to seek a second term after the anti-war protests? Reagan called out for lying about/covering up Iran/Contra? Dubya and his misbegotten preemptive war?

      I think I remember more public/president dissonance than smooth sailing in my lifetime.

  9. EliHershkovitz
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    This post could have been titled “Surprise! Trump smeared again by those who distort his words.”

    In yesterday’s excellent Pinker post, Jerry pointed out how Steve was gratuitously lambasted for stating “different ethnic groups commit violent crimes at different rates” and “the overwhelming majority of terrorist suicide acts are committed by Islamist extremist groups.” OF COURSE, we should not use these facts to discriminate and prejudge. But isn’t Trump (granted, in a *very* crude fashion) stating the obvious? After decades of absorbing millions of low-skill, low education immigrants is it a stretch to want to switch to a merit-based system that favors job creators?

    • EliHershkovitz
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Steve as in Steven Pinker.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      If you look around your city, you will see that it is the “low skill, low education” immigrants who are doing the vast majority of manual labor in the work force [while a lot of the low skill low education citizens choose not to work]. And, I certainly would not call concrete workers, framers, roofers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers,etc., low skill. And most are bi-lingual, which most “educated” Americans are not.

    • Dave137
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      The president, above the secretary of state, is the top diplomat for the United States regarding foreign relations and policy. And that platform projects influence far beyond what his feeble yet “genius” brain can comprehend.

      There are better ways of courting talent than knocking entire countries. And maybe we should, I don’t know, try to help those countries, rather than breed even more enemies.

      Endless stupidity.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Your implication is clearly that being from a “shithole country” and having “merit” are incompatible traits. Is that what you believe?

      Further, we take in some immigrants who are refugees, as a way to give them a safer place to live.

      No, I didn’t smear Trump. I just repeated his words, which are racist by characterizing whole countries as filled with people worthless to be considered as immigrants. As, apparently, do you.

      • EliHershkovitz
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        In the same manner that Pinker, et al. are misunderstood so sometimes are those with political views that do not comport with the writer and readers of this illuminative blog. I am in complete agreement that merit and “shithole countries” are not incompatible. Here is where it gets dicey: Trump speaks in generalizations. In general, you are going to find more job creators that hail from Norway than Africa. I have a dear friend from India who is studying for a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He can’t get in, but the Dems are fine with opening the floodgates for low skill, low education illegal immigrants. As many have pointed out, if those immigrants voted Republican (BTW, not my party) immigration would not be an issue and Trump would not be president. Trump’s core issue—and why he won—was unfettered immigration.

        • Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Whether any of your claims about immigration have merit (they are badly warped, IMO) I can’t see where the post “distorted” Trump’s words. I’ve read and re-read Dr PCCe post and, being a native English speaker, am quite confident he didn’t distort anything.

          If you think Trump was mis-quoted or you think this is simply made up, then you have an argument with the people reporting it.

      • G_M
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        I just repeated his words, which are racist by characterizing whole countries as filled with people worthless to be considered as immigrants

        That’s a baffling statement.

        You can hear even people from Eastern Europe or India, who have immigrated to the USA, refer to their own countries as “shitholes”.

        I am sure even more people from places like Haiti and Eritrea would use that terms for their country. This is the very reason they are trying to get out of it.

        So why should telling the truth be racist?

        A lot of countries around the world are objectively horrible places to live in. Why does pointing that out have to be racist?

        Also, why does refusing to let people in your country have to be considered racist too? Are the Japanese racist for being extremely strict about immigration?

        • Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          I’ve spent time in Eastern Europe and a lot in India, and many, many residents of those countries don’t call them shitholes, nor have any desire to leave them.

          So your characterization of Eastern Europe and India as “shitholes” based on your perception of what their residents say is wrong.

          The “truth” you purvey is not the truth that exists, and, I suspect, it reflects your own biases. You are not Eastern European; you are not Indian. You are simply reflecting your own prejudice.

          • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            I am Eastern European, and I agree with G_M on this. Every country producing lots of immigrants is considered what Trump said, and for good reason. Especially if some of the migrants present themselves as refugees (with or without justification).
            Because the poor condition of a country is a result of bad culture, and migrants bring their culture with them (even if they realize it is bad), I think the host country not only may but should consider this in determining its immigration policy.

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          And, by the way, the Japanese can be quite racist. They very firmly look down on Koreans, for instance. They certainly view themselves as superior.

          A colleague of mine lived in Japan for a while. He is of (pure) Japanese heritage from Hawaii. His wife (of pure haole heritage, from the “lower 48”) was raised largely in Japan by (white, USian) missionary parents and speaks fluent, colloquial Japanese.

          When they lived in Japan, the Japanese would refuse to speak to his wife and would only speak to him (and he had zero Japanese). This was because she was the wrong race and female to boot. These are his words, not mine.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Was that racist or sexist?

            Either could be an explanation.

            cr

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

              To elaborate slightly on that – they may well have thought that speaking directly to his wife when he was present would be tantamount to snubbing him. A breach of manners.

              They may (and I emphasise the ‘may’) have been more comfortable speaking to his wife when he wasn’t present.

              cr

    • Carl S
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      I would guess that many current American “job creators,” academics, professionals, etc., etc., had grandparents who were “low-skill, low education immigrants.” Mine were.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        As were mine, Carl. And they saw this country with clear eyes, for its myriad faults, yet loved it with all their hearts. They passed this on to their children and grandchildren — both as to the love, and as to the clear-eyed view of the country’s faults.

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Point out the “distortion”. Should be easy as you seem worked up about it.

    • yazikus
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      But isn’t Trump (granted, in a *very* crude fashion) stating the obvious?

      Not at all, and not by a long stretch. The obvious thing, about immigration, is that people want to move for a reason. There is reason Norwegians aren’t knocking down the doors to try to come to live in the US- it would probably lower their standard of living, is more dangerous and filled with people like Trump. People from nations that are less safe than the US, less economically stable, etc, have a clear motivation for why they would want to come.

    • steve oberski
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Trump is the latest in a long line of demagogues catering to the racist and xenophobic elements of society.

      Now that we have a Nazi sympatizer squatting in the White House, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists, emboldened by Trumps support of their cause are scuttling out of the dark places they formerly inhabited and are trying to contaminate the public discourse, with posts like yours being a prime example.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      My god, man, do you really think it’s “stating the obvious” to talk about refusing to accept immigrants from “shithole countries” — or that it has anything, even remotely, to do with what Steven Pinker (or any other thoughtful, rational person) stands for?

      Take some time and excogitate on this more deeply, Eli.

      • EliHershkovitz
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        “Why are we taking disproportionate numbers of people from impoverished and repressive countries rife with crime, civil and economic unrest, and whose citizens lack rudimentary education and skills instead of taking in more educated and skilled immigrants from stable countries?” Better?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

          You realize that was precisely the thinking of those who shunned the MS St. Louis, dooming it to a return voyage to war-ravaged Europe?

          • EliHershkovitz
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:00 am | Permalink

            Wrong. That is *not* why they were turned away. Horrible, horrible comparison.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:38 am | Permalink

              I think it’s a very apt comparison, actually. And – assuming your name reflects your ethnicity – in defending discrimination based on racial origin you’re skating on very thin ice.

              I very much doubt if those who turned away the St Louis carefully evaluated the qualifications of the passengers. More likely, it was just “we don’t want them!” Who needs a reason for prejudice?

              cr

              • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

                However, Jews are not safe in today’s Western Europe because it has accepted too many immigrants from anti-Semitic countries.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

              It’s a “horrible comparison” only because the ox gets gored closer to home. You don’t think the American WASP establishment was animated by a desire to keep this a “Christian nation,” rather than take in refugees from the shithole shtetls and ghettos of Mitteleuropa?

              • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

                Indeed – there’s been real progress: think of all the bigots who now feel they have to say “Judeo-Christian”, rather than just “Christian”? 😉

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          Trump said that ALL people from Haiti and Africa were not worth letting in, but ALL people from Norway were fine. That’s clearly ignorant, racist, and simply not true. There are many fine people from all over Africa that any country would want to have as a citizen. Anders Brevik otoh …

          • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

            When determining immigration policy, one has to work with statistics. It was not written on the forehead of Breivik that he was a mass murderer. However, it is safe to say that there are more mass murderers in Rwanda than in Norway.

        • allison
          Posted January 11, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

          You don’t even have your facts right – immigrants to the U.S. have college degrees at a higher rate (43%) than native-born U.S. citizens (33%).

          • EliHershkovitz
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

            @allison Surely you are referring to *legal* immigrants, no?

            @Heather Link please to Trump’s statement referencing “all.”

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      A country not being a great place to live does not mean that people born there are worthless and should never be given refuge.

      • EliHershkovitz
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        @musical beef That is abundantly obvious to all (and I would presume, Trump). We’re talking about numbers and collective national impact.

        • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          I would presume no such thing. Not based on my experience of Trump’s cognitive abilities.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            Exactly!

      • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Countries that are not great places are not great places because the majority of people living there have not great culture. Of course, philosophically speaking, all people have worth (including Trump), but I do not see the benefit of e.g. bringing to Europe millions of people who hate atheists and Jews and disrespect women.

  10. FloM
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    2 questions: why would a Norwegian want to enter the US and why is his approval rating not below 5%?

    • Dave137
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Regarding your second question, an easy answer thanks to Mike Judge:

      • harrync
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        As to question one: apparently, about a thousand Norwegians immigrate to the US each year; I was surprised it was that high. Maybe they married an American, or have family here, or have an special opportunity for employment?

        • phoffman56
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

          I wonder how many are admirers of Anders Breivik? A thousand of about 5 million is 1/50 of 1%, and he probably has some ‘admirers’ for his murdering of large numbers of young people.

          Norway is arguably the ‘best’ country anywhere to live in, and largely because of so many excellent people, not just because of its superior standard of living and social system. I’ve had extended visits there about 20 times, largely because of friends who are almost family in Asker, but also because of ski racing.

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          ” Maybe they married an American, or have family here, or have an special opportunity for employment”

          Having known a few at work, these are very likely the correct reasons.

          • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

            Academics, perhaps. Or workers in the petroleum industry – both countries were (and somewhat still are) important that way.

  11. Jake Sevins
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Elon Musk is an immigrant from Africa. I guess he’d be barred under Trump’s rule.

    • G_M
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      And the world would be a much better place if he had been.

      We need fewer woo peddling charlatans, not more of them.

      • Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        In your calculus, avoiding one Elon Musk (if that’s really even worth avoiding) is worth condemning dozens (hundreds) of thousands of other people to horrible lives.

        Hmmmm.

        • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          I do not think that the way to save suffering humanity is to invite it to the few places where life is, on average, decent.

          • Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            Sure. Tell the suffering people that they simply need to improve their own countries. Topple their dictators. Create and implement effective nation-wide infrastructure. Should be simple. Couple of years, tops.

            Of course that’s the long term goal, but until then allow suffering people to immigrate for god’s fucking sake. There is no good reason not to help people.

      • Rasmo Carenna
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:15 am | Permalink

        I was mildly amused by your comments until you called Elon Musk a woo peddling charlatan. The world need more people like EM an way fewer like your beloved president.

  12. Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Trump has a common psychological failing called poor impulse control.
    .
    Just hope next time he twitches his finger isn’t on the button.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Also, he has rotten impulses.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        I have rotten impulses too. I just don’t act on them, for the most part.

  13. Harrison
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    One of the NYT commenters gets it exactly right: This is Trump playing to his base as a way to appease them after he accidentally made some moderate and reasonable statements about DREAMers the other day. Trump’s well past the point of being able to appeal to moderates, so his base is all he’s got, and they demand red meat.

  14. Mehul Shah
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Sad to see an Indian American (Raj Shah) defending him.

    Then again, plenty of minority voters supported Trump to get tax cuts, and continue to do so.

    • phoffman56
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Is not Drumpf’s U.N. lady also “Indian American”? I can’t recall her name.

      • Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Nikki Haley. She was born in the US in South Carolina of Indian parents.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Birth name “Nimrata Randhawa.” Think there’s a chance in hell Trump would’ve made her UN Secretary were that still her handle?

          • EliHershkovitz
            Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I do. Raj Shah is Trump’s Deputy White House Press Secretary and Trump also nominated Manisha Singh to work in the State Dept (confirmed by Senate).

            • G_M
              Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

              And Ajit Pai was appointed FCC Chairman by Trump too.

              With disastrous consequences, but that’s not the relevant point here.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

              Neither of whom is front-and-center in a high-profile position. Trump has the worst record for diversity hiring — in his cabinet, in the federal bureaucracy, and as to his judicial appointments — since the Reagan administration.

  15. rickflick
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s going to be a looooong 3 years.

  16. Brian A Salkas
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    This is crazy. How is Scott Adems gonna defwnd him now…

    • Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Ask Eli and G_M above.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Easily (from Adams’ perspective, not mine, I hasten to add): It’s working! He’s getting his way! He’s awesome!

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        All of which is true. Well, the first two of the three, anyway.

  17. murali
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    ‘I’m ranting at the choir’

    I don’t think it is wasteful to rant at the choir.

  18. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Look at this picture

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      “Tell them about The Dream, Martin! Tell them about The Dream!”

      — Mahalia Jackson

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Great photo!

      Too bad the has forgotten the message of that speech.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Credit – as best I can figure in the time I have :

      AFP/Getty Images

  19. E.A. Blair
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    No Norwegians in their right minds would want to live in Trump’s America (I’m sure Trump’s base would welcom Anders Brevik). If there is someone in Norway who would like to come to the US, I’d be more than happy to trade places.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      I take your point; but some do move here, for various personal reasons, very likely having nothing to do with politics.

      I have close family in Norway and spend time there.

  20. Robert
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Vincente Fox speaks for a lot of people: “your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world.”

  21. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Trump does this every time his hateful, bigoted, xenophobic far-right base gets restive — as it is now over his wishy-washy performance two days ago at the bipartisan cabinet-room meeting regarding immigration. (The time before that, it was to ban transgender people from serving in the US military, apropos nothing but the pushback he got after criticizing anti-immigrant AG Jeff Sessions.)

    Donald J. Trump is the worst human being to enter the public sphere in my lifetime, bar none.

    • W.Benson
      Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Ken, I suspect a number of people at the FBI, CIA, etc. agree with you, and if the legislative branch does not take appropriate action, others may.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        How long will we have to wait?!

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          How long, O Lord, how long?

          How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

          — Psalms 13

          Sometimes even crotchety old non-believers like us must seek solace in Scripture, DG. 🙂

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

            Any port in a storm.

            Or Sherry, Madeira..

  22. Tom
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Nambia is a good country though.

  23. loren russell
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Suprised about Trump’s racial views? See ex-wife Marla maples on the only book he kept on his bed table.

    Hint: it was not “MLKs greatest speeches”

  24. rickflick
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Trevor Noah, who’s from “South Shithole”, says he thinks Trump is racist…maybe. As Trump prefers Norway as his preferred source of immigrants, there’s no mistake he wanted to emphasize whiteness. He had this to say: “…from Norway! People so white they wear moonscreen”.

  25. murali
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Suppose Deepak Chopra had been born in the US. Do you think he would make a better president?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:59 am | Permalink

      I think Deepak is absolutely full of shit.

      That said, I doubt he’d be any worse than Trump. He might – repeat might – realise that pissing off everybody all the time and acting like a five-year-old with ADHD on ‘uppers’ is counter-productive.

      I’d say the odds are 50-50 either way.

  26. Byron Morris
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Raj Shah? How many generations back does your ‘Shithole” immigration go? Shame

  27. Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Beyond belief? I for one find it very easy to believe that Trump would say these things.

  28. Tom
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    As usual Mr Trump is reassuring his core supporters that he is not “going soft” despite firing Steve Bannon.

  29. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    The guy is an utter fuckwit.

    Every other head of state in the world realises their position obliges them to choose their words carefully. Even dictators issuing threats don’t trivialise their utterances like Trump, and they save it for enemy countries. (Note to Trump: The US is not currently at war with Haiti.) Even Kim Jong Un calculates his words more carefully than Trump.

    Anyone remember with nostalgia when the US media could poke fun, in a complacently superior way, at President Putin for his flamboyant antics? Trump makes Putin look like an elder statesman.

    cr

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Other heads of state stay far worse things all the time.

  30. Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Norway is not a shithole country.

    That is why we don’t give it foreign aid.

  31. Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Prime Minister Paul Keating of Australia said in a speech in 1992 that he wanted the ethnic composition of Australia and the culture of Australia to be changed, and so he wanted more Asians.

    You are allowed to prefer immigrants from one country over another , only if you prefer immigrants from non-white countries.

    Or else you are a racist.

    Thanks to Prime Minister Keating, Australia now has concrete bollards on pavements to prevent racist attacks.

  32. Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    The US needs immigration because both the “old majority and minority” ethnic groups have population growth rates below replacement levels.

    Asian immigrants and Latinos have population growth rates that are high enough to replace the present population of whites, blacks and Amerindians.

    Latin Americans are ideal immigrants because they assimilate so readily.

    However, it makes no sense to maintain open borders. The US must put in place a system for maintaining the level of immigration needed to sustain its economy and political system.

    I watched a discussion on TV about the Wall. Someone asked if the US needs a wall on both its southern and northern borders.

    The purpose of this question was to suggest that Trump discriminates against Latinos.

    I have news for Americans: Canada would not object if the US wants to build a wall. Canada might even help pay for a northern border wall to help the country enforce its stringent immigration laws.

    Is Canada opposed to American immigration or immigration from any other country?

    Not likely, not with 25% of its inhabitants foreign-born. Not with immigrants from 100 countries.

    Canada enforces its immigration laws because Canada is a nation of laws. Canada insists on its sovereign right to turn away any alien for any reason except race, religion and gender, in accordance with its Charter of Rights.

    In my opinion, Mr Trump is proposing something similar for the US. Mr Trump has said that he will accept an amnesty only if the Congress reforms the infrastructure and management of border security and swift deportation of future illegals.

    If I understand correctly, from listening to speeches by past Democratic and Republican presidents and candidates, including Mr Clinton, Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, several have proposed similar approaches but have not succeeded in securing US borders.

    What I see now in the form of opposition to Mr Trump’s initiative is sour grapes.

    If the US Congress is so politically disfunctional as to oppose border control in exchange for amnesty, that seems to me a good reason for Canada to offer to help pay for a northern border wall.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      All we need is one more barrier, cutting the continent into 3 large pieces, posing severe threats to wildlife and ecosystems, exacerbating climate change, and spending huge amounts of money that could better be used elsewhere. (Or left in the pockets of taxpayers.)

  33. Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    And now, of course, he’s lying about it, saying he didn’t say it.

    Par for the course with this shithole excuse for a president.

  34. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    It’s admirable to read the comments here

    But

    I think it’s a case where the original item of discussion does not merit a scintilla (is that the word) of response.

    I posted the pic of MLK along these lines… as a measure to stay afloat, don’t let Trump drag us down…

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Clearly a lot of readers don’t agree with you, and I’m not sure whether you’re telling people that they should have not said anything.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        In case there’s any doubt, this entire page is all good.

        Trump’s statement, in my view, sounds like a case where it merits no response – “justify with a response” as they say. I think that’s not the same as self-censorship? Dunno.

        But clearly I can’t help but say something either.

  35. nicky
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    All that being said, I like the ‘shithole’ description, and yes, Haiti, the DRC or CAR are real shitholes, as are, say, Pakistan or Erithrea, and Turkey is becoming one fast. And the KSA: a real shithole, especially if not a Saudi, which might be more than half it’s population. There are, however, some African countries that are no ‘Shitholes’, such as Botswana or Rwanda.
    Coming to think of it, there are quite a few ‘shitholes’ within developed countries, the French ‘banlieues’ the Swedish ‘Vulnerable Areas’, heck, half of Sweden has become a shithole. And of course in the US, the ‘Inner Cities’ and ‘Deep Appalachia’ are but two examples of definite shitholes.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you that ‘shithole’ is a useful word, like ‘fuck’, but I think the point is that someone in Trump’s position shouldn’t throw around words like that. I doubt even Trump would be so dumb as to describe Appalachia as a ‘shithole’ area.

      cr

  36. EliHershkovitz
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I fully capitulate. No country can meet (many) readers’ standard of a ‘shithole’ country. That includes countries that practice widespread voodoo, modern-day slavery, imprison and torture political dissidents, and engage in ritualized and cultural child abuse. I don’t think North Korea could meet the threshold of what constitutes ‘shithole.’ Conclusion? There are truths that are simply verboten to acknowledge (cue Pinker wrath).

    Allow me to turn Trump’s logic around into Leftist territory: the US is better, stronger, wealthier and more innovative when it imports (legally and illegally) millions of low skill, low education, low aptitude immigrants who hail from unstable, crime-ridden countries and have high utilization of social services once here.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Keep digging…

    • Robert Bray
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Why do you include ‘voodoo’ [actually Vodou] in your lists of sociocultural outrages committed by ‘shithole’ countries?

      Though almost always burlesqued (blasphemed?) in the U.S., Vodou is as legitimate as any other of the world’s religions. And those who laugh at it with contempt should remember that, once the door to the supernatural is opened even a crack, anything goes; and at that point the vaunted ‘three great monotheisms’ are forced to play on a level field with all the rest they so vehemently deride.

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps many readers think that shithole countries shouldn’t be called aloud what they are.
      Frankly, I sympathize with the rulers of said countries. They are now in the awkward position to protest the words of the US President while continuing to take US aid…

  37. Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Someone wise commented on the news today that Trump is a political arsonist, and gets off on seeing people run around afterwards in the aftermath. I think he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing in that job, and is acting out and falling back on reality TV garbage antics, a realm where he feels most comfortable – at the bottom of the swamp. He looked quite wooden at the ceremony honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

    There is something pathological about his range of behaviour. I wonder how his physical exam went today. Any chance that the doc found his shithole where his mouth is? He needs an exam for mental capacity.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      (It was Michael D’Antonio who called him a political arsonist. He wrote Never Enough – a biography on Trump.)

  38. Merilee
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see the reaction of Cheetoh to my very dark-skinned Indian Malaysian friend who married a Norwegian and is now a Norwegian citizen. Loved Trevor Noah’s comment that Norwegians are so white they need moonscreen😬
    Disclaimer: I’m 1/4 Norwegian (and do not own a blue parrot).

    • Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      That’s a shame; I hear they have beautiful plumage 🙂

      and sub.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        🦆(closest I could getj

  39. alxala
    Posted January 19, 2018 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Wow, I’d never seen our president saying cuss words like ‘shithole’ until now. Obama doesn’t do this crap because he was a very good president. 🙂
    I’m going to miss Obama being President so much. 😦

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I disagree about Obama. He left the world in a free fall.


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