Afternoon Idiocy Watch

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Our little lost aircraft carrier (aka the USS Carl Vinson) is the story of the day on Twitter, providing laughs aplenty. But there’s a serious side to this as well. The New York Times provides us with the official story:

White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from an ill-timed announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to an erroneous explanation by the defense secretary, Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea.

There are only two options here. First, Trump ordered the carrier group to sail immediately for the Korean Peninsua, but naval officials disobeyed him. Second, Trump (or Mattis) ordered something different, but then deliberately lied about it to make it sound like the carrier was making flank speed for the Yellow Sea. So which is it? We’re all adults here, and I assume no one is buying this nonsense that it was all just a big glitch.

In other news, the White House sent out this press release today. Seriously, they did:

The news here is that members of the Trump administration support Donald Trump. The other news, apparently, is that the White House was unable to find anyone else to praise Trump’s feeble “Buy American” executive order.

Moving on: Ryan Lizza has talked to some intelligence sources about all those classified intercepts in which Susan Rice allegedly “unmasked” the names of Trump aides. “There’s absolutely nothing there,” said one person who’s read them all. So what’s going on? Another person told us what I think we all knew already:

The intelligence source told me that he knows, “from talking to people in the intelligence community,” that “the White House said, ‘We are going to mobilize to find something to justify the President’s tweet that he was being surveilled.’ They put out an all-points bulletin”—a call to sift through intelligence reports—“and said, ‘We need to find something that justifies the President’s crazy tweet about surveillance at Trump Tower.’ And I’m telling you there is no way you get that from those transcripts, which are about as plain vanilla as can be.”

It’s pretty obvious that this has been the motivation for everything that’s happened since Trump’s original clueless tweet. What a waste. And keep in mind that this idiotic strategy never would have come close to working if not for Fox News and Breitbart and folks like Devin Nunes, who are willing to shill for Trump regardless of the circumstances.

Finally, the Associated Press reports on Ivanka Trump’s business acumen:

On April 6, Ivanka Trump’s company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

That paragraph used to be the lead, but later got demoted to the 7th graf. I’m not sure why. But AP reports that sales have hit record levels in 2017, “up an estimated 166 percent last year.” And one day in particular was especially good:

Not bad! That Ivanka sure knows how to pick the right celebrity mouthpieces, doesn’t she?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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