Donald Trump Goes Full Queeg Over Alabama

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted this:

Alabama? The National Weather Service in Birmingham quickly tweeted a correction:

Normally this would be the end of things: a minor mistake quickly straightened out. But then it made the news, and since TV is the only reality Trump cares about he naturally went into a frenzy:

No, it wasn’t true, and two days later Trump still couldn’t let it go, trotting out this visual aid for reporters in the Oval Office:

This map from last week shows Dorian tracking toward Florida, but someone used a big Sharpie to add Alabama to the probable path. Trump insisted that this was in the original briefing and that he didn’t know who had added the Sharpie line. Uh huh.

But wait! Believe it or not, there’s more. Apparently thinking that he hadn’t embarrassed himself enough already, he took this spaghetti plot:

Which is already pretty useless for non-professionals, and dug up one with lots of underlying “ensemble” spaghetti that’s completely meaningless without expert translation:

This is truly Queeg-like behavior: an unhinged obsession over the most minuscule imaginable criticism combined with repeated defenses so clumsy that even a child would see through them. And it’s obvious that Trump spent a fair amount of time stewing over the whole thing and coming up with these absurd maps.

This is truly nuts. But I suppose by tomorrow the official word will be that Trump was joking all along.

UPDATE: This post has been updated with a more detailed description of the spaghetti plots.

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.

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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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