Chris Cillizza evidently isn’t a fast reader

CNN’s Chris Cillizza claims it is impossible for Donald Trump to have read Bob Woodward’s Rage in one night:

Trump: “Well, because I assumed he was a little bit fair. I didn’t do it previously, he only writes bad books. And I actually got to read it last night, I read it very quickly and it was very boring. But there was not much in that book. … That’s a boring book.”

OK, so Trump read the entire book on his flight from Arizona to DC? (He spent all night after his Arizona event on the plane, arriving back at the White House shortly before midnight.) That claim virtually screams for a closer look.

Let’s start with what we know about Trump’s trip on Monday night.

According to White House pool reports, Air Force One left Arizona at 5 p.m. local time, which means it was 8 p.m. back on the East Coast. Trump landed at Andrews Air Force base at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

So, that’s about three and a half hours of travel time. The Woodward book, according to Amazon, is 480 pages long.

A bit of back-of-the-envelope math produces this: Trump would have had to read, roughly, 2.2 pages a minute in order to finish the whole book on the flight. That’s less than 30 seconds per page.

Which is very fast! The average reader (someone who reads 300 word per minute) takes about 1.7 minutes to read a book page, while a fast reader (450 words per minute) just over 1 minute.

In order then for Trump to have actually read the whole book, he would need to have read more than twice as fast as a fast reader, consuming 900 words or more every minute.

And when I say every minute, I mean every minute. As in, all 210 minutes it took him to fly from Arizona to DC. No staring out the window for five minutes. No naps. No checking his phone. No tweeting. (According to his timeline, Trump or his staff sent 12 tweets or retweets while on the flight back to DC.) No nothing — except reading 900 words a minute.

Cillizza must neither be a fast nor voracious reader, for he wrongly assumes that the only way to read a book is to read every single word on every single page. I could easily read Rage in one night if I had sufficient interest in it.

Now I get it, Trump’s a notorious non-reader. But he’s still a smart guy, and it’s not like Bob Woodward’s book is heavy-duty philosophy or theology. It doesn’t take a ton of time to read the important parts of most books nowadays.

What we’re experiencing is intense psychological warfare

I enjoyed The Z-Man’s latest column today. Teaser:

Up until not so long ago it was possible to argue that the political divide in America was over means rather than ends. Both sides had the same general goal, but they disagreed upon the course needed to get there. Alternatively, the debate was over the best possible end, which is an extension of the same debate. The fights that ensued were over the facts and the interpretation of the facts. Somewhere along the way, that changed and the debate is now centered on propaganda.

A good current example is the Breonna Taylor issue in Louisville. For the longest time, the mass media has claimed that cops murdered her for no reason. They executed a “no-knock warrant” and just opened fire, killing her in the process. This led to riots in Louisville and contributed to the summer of mayhem. It turns out that none of that was true and the Breonna Taylor story was a complete lie. The only thing true about it was the names of the people involved.

This is a familiar pattern in these cases. First, we get the incident, which often goes unnoticed by the mass media. Then sometime later the story bursts on the scene with an official narrative and a media kit, which always includes images of the victim from when they were young. In an instant, every hair-hat in the media is chanting the same lines over top the same canned video. A mob is then ginned up wherever it happened and the authorities then rush to jail some white guy.

Read it all here. Stay the course, trust the plan. We will win in the end because truth and goodness are on our side.

Louisville going off tonight

Here we go again…

At least two officers have been shot as of this writing; thankfully both are expected to recover.

But take a look at these takes:

“Louisville officer shot, but unclear if tied to protests”

“Demonstrations in Louisville wore on past nightfall in defiance of a 9 p.m. curfew and remained mostly peaceful until several gunshots rang out in the midst of a skirmish between protesters and heavily armed police”

Sometimes I can’t decide if I have more contempt for BLM or for the media.

Get her outta here!

Read the post title in Trump’s voice for maximum effect.

The Hill:

A New York Times reporter claims she was removed from President Trump’s campaign rally in Freeland, Mich., on Thursday after campaign staff located her using images she posted on Twitter. 

As the rally was getting started, Kathy Gray noted on Twitter that out of the thousands of people who were at the rally, “maybe 10% have masks.” Gray then posted a photo of Air Force One with the caption “And so it begins” shortly before the president began speaking at the rally. 

“I’ve just been kicked out of the trump rally,” Gray tweeted less than 15 minutes later. 

She later added: “First for me: Trump campaign tracked me down from pics i tweeted and escorted me out.”

Good. We are so over journos like this—which is a lot of them.

Saving the world from satanic pedophiles

This was an amusing exchange:

This is of course a reference to the QAnon conspiracy that some Trump supporters buy into. Regardless of its veracity or lack thereof, how could one not be anti-“satanic pedophiles” as a matter of principle?

In any case, I liked this response from Trump. She is trying to bait him into disavowing a fraction of his own supporters who happen to believe something kooky, and thankfully he doesn’t take it.

Another exchange on the topic:

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he knows little about the controversial conspiracy theory known as QAnon – but added that he is nevertheless grateful for the support of its followers.

“I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said at a White House press briefing.

Trump had been asked for his thoughts about QAnon a week after he celebrated the victory of Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican congressional candidate who has reportedly promoted the baseless conspiracy, following her primary election win in Georgia. 

“Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up – a real WINNER!” Trump tweeted after Greene’s victory.

There’s no need to disavow some of your supporters unless they do something criminal. Plus the people who pushed Russiagate should not be the ones lecturing us about conspiracy theories.

Does that mean he deserved it?

New York Post:

The driver who was beaten unconscious by a Black Lives Matter mob in Portland shared an anti-George Floyd post on Facebook hours before the assault.

The post appeared on Adam Haner’s Facebook page Sunday evening, referring to the police-involved death of Floyd and the fatal shooting of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant in North Carolina.

“George Floyd was a 46-year old felon, high on Fentanyl, and he got 4 televised funerals and 70 days of riots,” the post reads. “What does 5-year old Cannon Hinnant get?”

Hours later, video shows Black Lives Matter protesters yanking Haner out of his white Ford 4×4 truck and beating him.

Ok, what’s the relevancy? Is the New York Post insinuating that he may have deserved it? Even if they aren’t, why post this, especially if you’re a supposedly conservative paper? All it does is victim blame and help other people rationalize the attack.

I thought this was interesting, though:

The protesters claimed Haner tried to hit them with his truck — but witnesses said he was trying to help a transgender woman from being mugged by the group.

Mugging a transgender? I guess not even protected classes are safe from BLM or Antifa scum.

TikTok to circumvent a US ban?

President Trump told reporters last night that he’d be banning TikTok as soon as this morning. Nothing has happened yet, as far as I know, and it sounds like TikTok may be able to circumvent a ban anyway:

On Friday, after claiming for months that TikTok is affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and is used to spy on Americans, President Donald Trump announced that he would be banning the popular video platform through an executive order, possibly as soon as Saturday.

ByteDance, the Chinese software giant which owns TikTok, has agreed to divest from its US operations, which would allow the popular viral video service to continue operating in the country, Reuters has reported, citing two sources said to be familiar with the matter.

Under the deal, Microsoft would be tasked with ‘protecting’ the data of TikTok’s US users, while another American company would have the opportunity to take over its US operations. Furthermore, US-based investors would be given the opportunity to buy minority stakes in the company.

The Trump administration has not commented on whether the proposal might be acceptable. ByteDance and Microsoft have not made any mention of the reported deal.

Gaslighting from our “public health experts”

Get a load of this beauty:

Some public health scientists publicly waved off the conflicted feelings of their colleagues, saying the country now confronts a stark moral choice. The letter signed by more than 1,300 epidemiologists and health workers urged Americans to adopt a “consciously anti-racist” stance and framed the difference between the anti-lockdown demonstrators and the protesters in moral, ideological and racial terms.

Those who protested stay-at-home orders were “rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives” the letter stated.

By contrast, it said, those protesting systemic racism “must be supported.”

“As public health advocates,” they stated, “we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for Covid-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health.”

If your brain hurts and your soul aches after reading this, you’re not alone. This is pure recklessness on the part of our “public health experts.” They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

A commonality in language use among wignats and professional journalists

It has to do with capitalization when referring to racial groups.

Increasing numbers of newsrooms and media outlets are adopting the practice of capitalizing “Black” while leaving “white” lowercase. (A handful of other outlets may also be leaving “Black” capitalized while de-capitalizing “White” to “white,” but I’m not sure exactly which ones, if any. The point remains the same regardless.)

This reminds me of the authentic white nationalists (referred to pejoratively by non-white-nationalist members of dissident right-wing politics as “wignats”***) who capitalize “White” while leaving “black” or “jewish” lowercase. It’s an interesting mirror image.

The inconsistency is done intentionally in both cases, namely for ideological reasons. And for unsavory ideological reasons at that. Don’t fall for the media’s “enlightened” justification of their new capitalization rules; it’s all cut from the same cloth.

***Of course, those in dissident right-wing politics who are not white nationalists and don’t want anything to do with them are nevertheless often smeared by the media as “white nationalists.” Hence I used “wignats” in the post title and added this clarification in parentheses.