U.S. Politics

Sunday Talk: What’s New Is Old Again


attribution: New Coke (L) – Classic Coke (R)


This week, President/senior administration official @realDonaldTrump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first (and possibly only) time.

In his hourlong speech—the highlight/lowlight of which was the cynical exploitation of a Gold Star WifeTrump took a slightly different tone than usual.

Pundits all across the spectrum were quick to declare this new Trumppresidential.”

So pleased was Trump with the fawning coverage that he decided to put the country’s (alleged) security at grave risk by delaying his new and improved #MuslimBan in order to bask in the adulation.

Meanwhile, investigative reporters continued to dig into Trump’s extensive ties to Russia.

Less than 24 hours after his big speech, several new reports linking the administration to Russia had dropped, ultimately leading to the recusal of Attorney General Sessions from all related investigations—much to Trump’s dismay.

And then, just like that, the old Trump returned to the forefront, tweeting out insaneconspiracy theories, and attacking Arnold Schwarzenegger’spatheticratings on The Celebrity Apprentice.


Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; Roundtable: Danielle Pletka (American Enterprise Institute), Democratic Strategist Cornell Belcher, Thomas Friedman (New York Times) & Kimberly Strassel (Wall Street Journal).

Face The Nation: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA); Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME); Former Defense Secretary/CIA Director Leon Panetta; David Sanger (New York Times); Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; Roundtable: Jamelle Bouie (Slate), Julie Pace (Associated Press), Ramesh Ponnuru (National Review) & Ed O’Keefe (Washington Post).

This Week: White House Deputy Principal Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest; Sen. Al Franken (D-MN); Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey; Roundtable: Dan Balz (Washington Post), “Independent” Strategist Matthew Dowd & Jennifer Jacobs (Bloomberg Politics).

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR); Sen. Chris Coons (D-CT); Roundtable: Former Whit House Press Secretary Dana Perino, Bob Woodward (Washington Post), Peter Baker (New York Times) & Radio Host Laura Ingraham.

State of the Union: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Roundtable: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), Radio Host Dana Loesch, Former South Carolina State Sen. Bakarai Sellers (D) & Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: an interview with far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen (preview); an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board’s lead investigator, Brian Young, about the sinking of the cargo ship El Faro(preview); a report on the rescue of 33 circus lions from South America—the largest airlift of lions in history (preview).

Late night shows:

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Monday: Anderson Cooper (CNN); Producer Judd Apatow; Recording Artist Jidenna.

Tuesday: Actor Kevin Kline; Actor Jerrod Carmichael; Former NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden.

Wednesday: Actor Michael Ian Black; TV Show Host Jackson Galaxy.

Thursday: Actress Kristen Stewart; Comedian Maz Jobrani; Rock Band Dawes.

Friday: Actress Felicity Huffman; Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Monday: Guest TBA;  Tuesday: Producer Judd Apatow;  Wednesday: Author Tressie McMillan Cottom;  Thursday: Musical Artist Alynda Segarra.


President Trump held an Oval Office meeting (photo op) with the presidents of HBCUs, and things didn’t go very well.

Trump, according to a half dozen people in the room, said that the HBCU leaders made up the largest group he’d seen in the room.

“You people are doing an amazing job,” four people in the room recalled Trump saying. Two of them said Trump repeated the complimentary refrain three times. They all said the comments raised eyebrows, and it was discussed afterward even as others just said it was Trump being Trump.

It was “very insensitive,” one of the college presidents said, but added that while the phrase irked him and his colleagues, it also struck him as “very Trump-ish.”


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos lauded HBCUs for being “pioneers” of school choice.

Following President Trump’s meeting with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Monday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a statement applauding the schools as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.”

They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality,” she continued. “Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”

But lauding HBCUs as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice” overlooks the fact that they were historically the only options available to black students denied entry to traditionally white institutions.

And because states have historically prioritized white schools — many of which necessitated the formation of HBCUs by refusing to integrate — HBCUs have been persistently underfunded.

And, in other education news…

An Iowa state senator’s purported business degree turned out to be a Sizzler training certificate.

The information that was posted on the Iowa Senate Republican’s website used to suggest that Mark Chelgren, a state lawmaker, held a business degree.

But that wasn’t exactly the case, according to NBC News and other media outlets, which this week reported that Chelgren instead held a certificate for a training program for the chain restaurant Sizzler.

Still, Chelgren — a Republican who represents the Iowa Senate’s 41st District in the southeastern part of the state — told the Associated Press that he didn’t mean to mislead people.

“I know they’ve changed that, because apparently a degree and a certificate are different,” Chelgren told AP. “And I’m okay with their change, but there was never any intent at all to mislead anyone.”

“This was a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, kind of like Hamburger University at McDonald’s,” Ed Failor Jr., chief of staff for the Iowa Senate majority leader, told NBC News. “He got a certificate.”

Class dismissed.

– Trix

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