The “Sad Clams and Drinking Fountains” News, 22 November 2017



Waltzing Quotilda 

“Do you want a centerpiece at Thanksgiving that makes you sad? It’s time for white pumpkins inside an evil clam.” Jon Lovett, referring to Ivanka Trump’s helpful Thanksgiving decor recommendation. Ivanka Trump is the president’s daughter. She also, it really should be said more often, works in the White House. (Pod Save America, Crooked Media)

“Because, as my mother always told me, reality has a way of catching up with you.” Barack Obama (Farewell Address)

“Santa’s a popular guy…” Macy’s FAQ page, explaining why they have decided to make visits with Santa at their Herald Square flagship store in New York City a reservation-only affair. (Macy’s, APM Marketplace, Time)

“Trump insisted the Central Park Five were guilty after they were exonerated by DNA evidence and a confession. But Roy Moore ‘totally denies it’ is good enough for the next U.S. Senator apparently.” Benjy Sarlin (Twitter)

“Trump has a lot of fake media gripes, but from my vantage point, he’s currently benefitting enormously from widespread media reluctance to center the story of the new sexual misconduct paradigm around him.” Brian Beutler (Twitter)

“If you are part of society, then you are a part of its politics. And the point at which politics becomes hard to understand is the point at which it is no longer politics but just competitive play, a Risk-style board game. Once there is only a handful of self-qualified players, we no longer qualify as a democracy, or perhaps even a polity.”  Eve Fairbanks (BuzzFeed News, in this thought-provoking article)

“Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are Bad for America.” The title of a book by Thomas Brunell who has no governmental experience and also is President Trump’s leading pick to head the U.S. Census Bureau. (“Leading Trump Census Pick Causes Alarm,” Politico)

“It’s a drinking fountain. A. Drinking. Fountain.” Mary Beth Schneider regarding New York Times Business section article touting “A new option for thirsty travelers: water bottle filling stations at the airport. Best of all, the water is free.” (Twitter)


Counting House

3- The number of Trump-branded buildings that have removed the Trump name from their facades since President Trump’s election. (Washington Post)

8- Current funding for federal agencies will run out on December 8. Lawmakers will need to pass a new spending bill before then to prevent a shutdown. (USA Today)

3,554- The United States has dropped 3,554 bombs in Afghanistan in 2017 as of October 31st. There were 947 bombs dropped there in 2015 and 1,337 in 2016. (Vox)

~2.5 Million- About 2.5 million Yemenis now lack access to clean water (ICRC, Reuters)


An Interlude in which to Be Grateful You Don’t Live in Los Angeles:



Reading List: The Degrading Ritual of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Pre-Thanksgiving Press Briefing (New Yorker),  This Man is About to Launch Himself in His Homemade Rocket to Prove the Earth is Flat (Washington Post),  FCC Plans Net Neutrality Repeal (New York Times), Kenya Dances Near the Brink of Dissolution (Financial Times)


Andy Slavitt’s Essential Cheatsheet for Understanding the Plans for Tax Reform:




Happy Thanksgiving.



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