Till the End of the Week

Here’s a few things we have for you to finish out the week.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May went to the White House today to hold talks with President Trump. Earlier, President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke by phone for about an hour regarding Trump’s planned border wall.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill Thursday banning the most common and safest procedure for performing second-trimester abortions.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley went to the U.N. Friday for the first time and basically threatened the whole world.

The World Food Programme said on Friday that is has halved its food rations for displaced Iraqis due to delays in funding from donor nations.

The whole “Trump tariff on Mexican goods” thing is a lot more complicated and slightly less bad than it sounds. The wall thing, though, is just as bad as it sounds.

Charlie Pierce: Any Democrat who votes for Jeff Sessions for attorney general should be excommunicated from the party.

Some good stuff on the Republicans’ dilemma on their plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Finally, you really should read this story of the woman at the center of the Emmett Till case. You won’t want to. It’s going to suck. But you should.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is a quick one from our buddy Thomas Friedman, whose column today, “Smart Approaches, Not Strong-Arm Tactics, to Jobs,” contains the line:

Pass the vodka.

We hear ya.

Till the End of the Day

Here are some things to check out as the day comes to a close:

President Trump signed executive orders today to resurrect the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, controversial projects that had previously been rejected by President Obama.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lied in today’s White House press conference again.

The Trump Administration has told several federal agencies, including the EPA, not to speak to reporters or publish on social media.

Senate Democrats unveiled a $1 trillion plan to improve infrastructure that would rely completely on direct federal government spending.

The Affordable Care Act is not collapsing.

How Jokes Won the Election: How do you fight an enemy who’s just kidding?

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. budget deficit will begin growing again after years of decline.

Can you turn a terrorist back into a citizen?

Charred, Browned, Blackened: The Dark Lure of Burned Food.

The 17-year history of Homestar Runner.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Yeah, it’s been a while since last we discussed the vagaries of the New York Times op-ed page, but this is a good one for our return. You see, David Brooks, man we’ve long mocked in these pages, produced some pure greatness today. While I tend to be averse to the term “mansplain,” mostly because I don’t use portmanteaus that often, Mr. Brooks is full of it today. Let’s look into his column, titled “After the Women’s March.” Well, with that title, I can bet you already know where this is going:

If the anti-Trump forces are to have a chance, they have to offer a better nationalism, with diversity cohering around a central mission, building a nation that balances the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.

The march didn’t come close. Hint: The musical “Hamilton” is a lot closer.

Yes, David Brooks wants “anti-Trump forces” to combine the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.  Just like Jesus said. I’m just going to leave that Hamilton reference alone.

Good campaign video, bad campaign video

It’s just a couple days until the new president takes office, so apparently it’s time for the next campaigns to begin. And the campaign world gave us two videos today, one produced professionally, and the other, well, the other looks like a local car dealership with a bad attitude.

First, here we have the campaign announcement of former Colorado state senator Mike Johnston for governor of Colorado:

There it is: soaring music, inspirational story, gorgeous video production. Now, I give you an ad from Corey Stewart, who is running for Virginia governor in what looks to be a crowded Republican primary. It’s set to be aired during the inauguration programing Friday, and, well, brace yourself because it’s quite terrible:

Yeah, how about that awful typography, low-budget visuals, and that weird public domain music at an uncomfortably mixed volume? Living in the future as we do, with surpluses of excellent tools for both professional and amateur video production, it’s become jarring when an ad looks and sound as terrible as a 1990s local village pizza place ad. But I guess he does beat liberals again, again and again, so what do I know.