Stephen Miller attacks “Fire and Fury” with fire and fury

Stephen Miller defended his boss, President Trump, Sunday morning from claims made in the book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff. Miller is, as you’d imagine, full of invective against the tell-all.

But Miller may also be smarting from the description Wolff offers of him in the book:

Miller, a fifty-five-year-old trapped in a thirty-two-year-old’s body, was a former Jeff Sessions staffer brought on to the Trump campaign for his political experience. Except, other than being a dedicated far-right conservative, it was unclear what particular abilities accompanied Miller’s political views. He was supposed to be a speechwriter, but if so, he seemed restricted to bullet points and unable to construct sentences. He was supposed to be a policy adviser but knew little about policy. He was supposed to be the house intellectual but was militantly unread. He was supposed to be a communications specialist, but he antagonized almost everyone.

— Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (pp. 64-65). Henry Holt and Co. Kindle Edition.

CNN’s Jake Tapper got fed up with Miller’s refusal to directly answer or even address the questions he was asked in their interview:

“Fire and Fury” hits the White House hard

The publication and incredibly brisk sales of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” seem to have really gotten under President Trump’s skin.

Capture

“Fire and Fury” has upended the administration in a way no scandal previously has. Insiders report the White House has turned into a “three-ring circus” and caused a very ugly public split between the president and his former top strategist Steve Bannon.

The book describes Mr. Trump as being terrified of dementia, calling him “a man whose many neuroses included a horror of forgetfulness or senility,” and his tweets in response to the questions being raised about his mental fitness seem to bear that out.

President Trump supports massive infrastructure repair plans… unless they come from the Obama administration

President Trump has been talking a lot about infrastructure repair… but it appears if an infrastructure repair project came from the Obama administration, he wants to kill it.

The Trump administration has shut down an Obama-era deal to have the federal government help fund a $13 billion rail tunnel project between New York and New Jersey, according to Crain’s New York Business.

In a letter obtained by Crain’s, an administration official calls the deal for the federal government to fund half of the project “non-existent.”

“Your letter also references a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement,” Federal Transit Administration deputy administrator K. Jane Williams wrote in Friday’s letter, which came after New York and New Jersey requested federal loans to cover their part of the deal to split the cost of the work.

“We consider it unhelpful to reference a non-existent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders,” Williams continued.

The project in question would have funded much-needed repairs to an Amtrak tunnel between New Jersey and New York City, as well as help fix a damaged dual-tunnel conduit and rebuild New Jersey’s Portal Bridge.

Dick Gordon, American astronaut, RIP

Another American hero is gone, the likes of which I despair of seeing in the rest of my lifetime.

Dick Gordon

Richard “Dick” Gordon, an Apollo-era NASA astronaut who became the fourth American to walk in space and one of 24 humans to fly to the moon, died on Monday, November6 at the age of 88.

The command module pilot had a lonely job on moon missions: He stayed in the CM while the two other astronauts descended to and walked on the moon.

Whenever the spacecraft orbited around the far side while astronauts were on the surface, the CMP would become, for a few minutes, the most cut-off, loneliest human being in the universe.

It might not have been as glamorous as walking on the moon, but it was heroism nonetheless.

During turbulent times, America was once able to soar to the moon, if ever so briefly. Now, we can’t seem to gather the courage, will, and ability to compromise to fix health care, tackle gun deaths and help those in poverty, the way other countries with fewer resources have done.

I miss America.

Angry Trek fans denounce new Trek before they’ve seen it (2017 and 1987 editions)

Before the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, pause and reflect that the 1987 launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation was met with a subset of angry fans condemning it before they’d seen it (see below).

Now, 30 years later, TNG is held by some Trekkies to be as sacred as TOS.

Will Discovery be good? Who knows. But as a confirmed Trekkie myself, and as someone who also enjoys the movies (even the Abrams ones), I know that Trek belongs on the smaller screen in serialized form.

But don’t forget, it took a more than two seasons before TNG found its footing, and TOS wasn’t perfect (most of the third season was awful).

The early word is that DSC is good (DSC is the approved three-letter designation, avoiding an unfortunate STD nomenclature). I am ignoring the voices of those Trekkies who have pronounced a fatwa against it before they’ve even seen it.

Nor do I care that much about continuity. (Okay, I care a little bit, but not like continuity should be considered an infallible text.) Just make it a good show with compelling characters and thought-provoking stories. Oh, and take advantage of 1080p and make it visually sumptuous.

I will definitely be watching Sunday.

tngripped