Good Wednesday morning!
PJ Media’s Liz Sheld had to fight off an angry mob today, so I’m filling in. Have I got some genes for you…
11:00 a.m. President Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
3:00 p.m. The president will attend a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring former Senator Bob Dole.
“Some people just have great genes.”
On Tuesday, Navy doctor and Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson evaluated President Donald Trump’s health, and the results were YUUUUGE!
Jackson described the president’s health as “excellent,” and noted that he did “exceedingly well” on his cognitive screening. The commander-in-chief is “very sharp” and “very articulate when he speaks to me,” the doctor said. Then again, he did make Trump seem rather superhuman…
The doctor guessed that Trump “sleeps four to five hours a night… He’s just one of those people, I think, who does not require a lot of sleep.”
When asked how Trump could eat fast food and drink Diet Coke all the time and still remain healthy, Jackson said, “It’s called genetics. Some people have just great genes. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”
The doctor went on for nearly an hour, answering skeptical reporters’ questions. Jackson seemed to have embellished a few things, but his background is stellar. National Public Radio did a profile on him, and it leaves very little room for doubt.
Jackson has cared for three presidents since joining the White House medical unit in 2006. He was formally named Physician to the President in 2013 by then-President Barack Obama.
Jackson grew up in west Texas and attended Texas A&M and the University of Texas Medical Branch. The Navy doctor, who specializes in emergency medicine, has served in Pearl Harbor, Panama City, Fla., and with a forward-deployed surgical platoon in Iraq.
The battle-tested doctor — the official White House physician — approached the subject with a good sense of humor. “If something should happen to you over the next few months and you should fall ill at some point, most likely I will be the one called to come take care of you,” he said. “So when you ask your questions please keep that in mind.”
Even Obama advisor David Axelrod noted Jackson’s reliability, calling him a “very good guy and straight shooter.”
I knew Dr. Ronny Jackson in the White House. In my experience, he was very good guy and straight shooter.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) January 16, 2018
All the same, a couple of prominent reporters couldn’t seem to accept the results.
“Here’s how the next few hours will go. Trump supporters will say ‘Concerns about Trump’s mental health were always absurd. Case closed now.’ The obvious response: ‘The Q’s about fitness for office are serious. Someone could be sharp as a tack, but still unfit,'” CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted.
Here's how the next few hours will go. Trump supporters will say "Concerns about Trump's mental health were always absurd. Case closed now." The obvious response: "The Q's about fitness for office are serious. Someone could be sharp as a tack, but still unfit"
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 16, 2018
David Harsanyi, senior editor at The Federalist, quipped that “this is a weird way to react after taking an audience on a week (or more?) of baseless speculation” about Trump’s health.
NBC’s Ken Dilanian said he doubted Jackson’s testimony on Trump’s weight, and asked for the president to step on a scale in public.
Seeing a lot of skepticism over the idea that @realDonaldTrump weighs only 239 pounds. Would he step on a scale in public to prove it?
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) January 16, 2018
Before leaving this subject at last, here’s video evidence that a reporter actually asked how Trump can become as fit as Barack Obama.
I’m complicit, you’re complicit, we’re all complicit…
On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she did not remember President Trump’s infamous “sh*thole countries” comment. “I don’t specifically remember a categorization of countries in Africa,” the secretary told Sen. “Dicky” Durbin (D-Ill.), likely anxious to move on from the media’s obsession with Trump’s off-color remarks.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) wasted not the opportunity to grandstand. “Your silence and your amnesia is complicity,” he told Nielsen. “When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country.”
At the lowest part of his rant, Booker declared, “I hurt.” He went on, “When Dick Durbin called me I had tears of rage when I heard about his experience in that meeting.”
"Your silence and your amnesia is complicity”: Sen. Cory Booker unleashes on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen after she says she doesn’t remember President Trump using the word “shithole” to refer to African countries at the DACA meeting https://t.co/tPCw1t4SSR pic.twitter.com/HY3ff6M637
— CNN (@CNN) January 16, 2018
Booker tied Trump’s “sh*thole countries” comments to white supremacist activism in America, charging Nielsen to take it seriously. She responded in a strong, measured tone, assuring Booker that the Department of Homeland Security does indeed take the threat seriously.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen responds to Sen. Cory Booker's worries of violence against minorities in America: "I share your passion. It's unacceptable. It can't be tolerated in the United States." https://t.co/KFBQT4lwKj pic.twitter.com/eNCehAtSls
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 16, 2018
Booker’s performance inspired some, but many saw through it.
“This guy is the most embarrassing grandstander in the Senate, Ted Cruz included. He’s way too transparent. He needs acting lessons badly,” HotAir’s Allahpundit tweeted.
This guy is the most embarrassing grandstander in the Senate, Ted Cruz included. He’s way too transparent. He needs acting lessons badly. https://t.co/Ov8ThLqrFM
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) January 16, 2018
The Daily Wire editor-in-chief, Ben Shapiro, mocked Booker superbly, tweeting a series of gifs featuring notoriously bad acting. Among them: Tobey Maguire’s performance in “Spiderman” (2002) and Tommy Wiseau’s horrific acting in “The Room” (2003).
Cory Booker when Dick Durbin called him with the Oval Office conversation news pic.twitter.com/2LONDduHMM
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 16, 2018
Only one actor has touched my heart the way Cory Booker did today. pic.twitter.com/KWfm6Wwc7W
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 16, 2018
The best mockery came from Booker’s “jazz hands” photo, however.
'Those aren't spirit fingers, THESE are spirit fingers!' pic.twitter.com/BhAGCVz9dc
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) January 16, 2018
My personal favorite goes out to fans of “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006).
my god someone in that hearing touched the food everyone get out pic.twitter.com/0yrxTWWKDR
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) January 16, 2018
Aziz: “I’m sorry.”
Over the weekend, an unnamed woman — who went by the pseudonym “Grace” — accused actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual assault. The website Babe published the story. By Tuesday, even many Leftist outlets had acknowledged the actor’s actions — while extremely creepy — were not actually assault.
The New York Times’s Bari Weiss explained that Grace seemed to require Ansari to be “a mind-reader.” This is essentially correct — Grace’s complaint was that Ansari kept pressuring her to have sex with him after she had allowed him to kiss, undress, and perform oral sex on her, and after she performed oral sex on him. Grace said that she kept sending “non-verbal cues” that she didn’t want to have sex, but these actions sent a louder message.
The Atlantic‘s Caitlin Flanagan attacked the kind of weakness Grace seemed to accept:
[Old women’s magazines] told us over and over again that if a man tried to push you into anything you didn’t want, even just a kiss, you told him flat out you weren’t doing it. If he kept going, you got away from him. You were always to have “mad money” with you: cab fare in case he got “fresh” and then refused to drive you home. They told you to slap him if you had to; they told you to get out of the car and start wailing if you had to. They told you to do whatever it took to stop him from using your body in any way you didn’t want, and under no circumstances to go down without a fight. In so many ways, compared with today’s young women, we were weak; we were being prepared for being wives and mothers, not occupants of the C-Suite. But as far as getting away from a man who was trying to pressure us into sex we didn’t want, we were strong.
Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No. She tells us that she wanted something from Ansari and that she was trying to figure out how to get it. She wanted affection, kindness, attention. Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested.
Naturally, the liberal Flanagan wasted this wonderful analysis by turning her conclusion into an identity politics rant. “I thought it would take a little longer for the hit squad of privileged young white women to open fire on brown-skinned men. I had assumed that on the basis of intersectionality and all that, they’d stay laser focused on college-educated white men for another few months,” she wrote. Well, these are Left-leaning outlets, after all.
The Guardian‘s Jill Filipovic lamented that the Ansari story “was jammed into a pre-existing movement grounded in the language of assault and illegality,” where it did not belong. HuffPost’s Emma Gray wrote about “Aziz Ansari and Sex That Feels Violating Even When It’s Not Criminal.” Even Jezebel’s headline ran, “Babe, What Are You Doing?”
Reason‘s Robby Soave had the best angle on the story, however. He noted that if Ansari were a college student, “he would have been expelled for less.” While President Trump’s Department of Education has started reversing the disastrous “Dear Colleague” letter and other elements of President Obama’s sexual assault policy on college campuses, Soave’s words ring true.
Leading the “New California” movement push for rural California to secede from the liberal coastal areas, but not from the United States.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 17, 2018