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The Attendance Debate and "Alternative Facts"
6 May 2017
20 Jan 2009 - Obama's Inauguration (impossibly cold if you had to stand still all the time)
20 Jan 2017 - Trump's Inauguration (a little rain)
21 Jan 2017 - The Woman's March, triple the
attendance at the inauguration.
15 April 2017 - The Tax March -- Show us your tax
returns! Show us the rubles! Lots of funny
signs. Demonstrations in 200 cities
22 April 2017 - The March for Science, 240 sponsors, 500 cities world-wide, scientists
marching for the first time about anything (lots of rain)
29 April 2017 - The Climate March, 200,000 in Washington DC with
satellite marches in 370 other US cities, plus Earth Day celebrations
"Which jar of jellybeans is larger?"
is easier to declare accurately than, "State the number of jellybeans
in the first jar, then tell us the number in the second."
It is widely accepted that Saturday's
Women's March attendance was three times larger than attendance at
Trump's inauguration the day before. Most Trump estimates are
between 300,000 and 500,000, with early guesses between 250,000 and
600,000. The Women's March generally-accepted estimate is
FWIW, I stood in all those crowds above, in
all these events, pinned by the crowd in one, or phoning home to say
stunning contrast Trump's inauguration was to Obama's -- I could just
walk up to the front of the entire unticketed (public access)
area! This time I'd have good photos of the Capitol's dome!
Given published photographs and my own experience, 500,000 for
the Women's March seems low to me compared
to 1.8 million in the same place for Obama in 2009. (A
typically lower-than-the-rest satellite photorecon consultant came in
at 1.2 million for the Obama Mall crowd.)
Going with Trump at 250,000, and tripling the attendance for the Women's March gives us 750,000. TRUMP 250,000 -- WOMEN 750,000.
MetroDC tallies ridership figures
every day, but you'd have to divide by two because most people go home
again for dinner. To use MetroDC ridership tallies for attendance
estimates, ridership as of 11AM is a more useful number.
METRO RIDERSHIPS BY 11AM
513,000 Obama's Inauguration 2009
193,000 Trump's Inauguration, Friday,
20Jan2017 (570,557 rides/whole day)
275,000 Woman's March, Saturday,
21Jan2017, a level topping most weekday traffic levels,
and eight times the normal Saturday ridership.
REPEAT THE LIE UNTIL THEY GO AWAY; ATTACK THEM AND HOPE THEY GO AWAY FASTER
Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked
the press the day after the inauguration for their inaccuracies about
crowd size, offering instead statements of his own which proved to be
lies. The only way to get a lie to stick is to repeat it often
defended Spicer's statements. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus
stated that the purpose of Spicer's conference was to call out what he
called "dishonesty in the media" and their "obsession with
delegitimizing the president".
A narcissist's concern with admiration and "whose is bigger" gifted the English language a true gem: the alternative fact:
Trump's campaign strategist and counselor, Kellyanne Conway, told NBC's
Chuck Todd that Trump's inauguration crowd numbers could not be proved
nor quantified and that the press secretary was simply giving
Todd responded by saying, "Alternative facts
are not facts. They are falsehoods."[56
Billionaire Robert Mercer
(computer-driven stock-trading programs at Renaissance Technologies)
had already contributed perhaps a million to Trump's campaign -- and
millions more to Breitbart News. Robert Mercer wants his own
fellow Americans to have more Breitbart News headlines like these, wants to
share Mercer's own understanding of how society works so badly, he'll pay millions to educate us:
"Political Correctness Protects Muslim Rape Culture"
"Racist, Pro-Nazi Roots of Planned Parenthood Revealed"
"The Solution to Online 'Harassment' is Simple: Women Should Log Off"
"Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy"
"Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement's Human Shield"
"There's No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews"
" ... The Plot Against Roger Ailes -- and America"
"Data: Young Muslims in the West are a Ticking Time
Bomb, Increasingly Sympathising with Radicals, Terror"
Nerds like Robert Mercer do not build railroads, haul coal, pour
steel out of blast furnaces, they do not have to broadly function
within their own civilization and society, they can remain broadly ignorant of it -- isolated, connected to "the world" (they think) by the computer screen in front of them. And the nouveau riche like them often pick odd poles to get higher on, and miss true
societal status. Or maybe it is a looking-glass world.
Sensing that those with established societal status will never grant it
to the likes of Mercer, these people would rather destroy all those they perceive as
privileged members of the ruling elites, would rather deconstruct and destroy the administrative state.
By mid-August of election year, Robert Mercer and
his middle daughter Rebekah felt that some adult
supervision was necessary to protect their investment. Stephen K
Bannon from Breitbart News and Kellyanne Conway were the adult
supervision. Bannon saw the Trump campaign (Obama has
no birth certificate; Mexicans are only rapists and drug criminals -- these are the dog whistles of raw American racism -- and turned it around, emphasizing:
METEORIC RISE & FALL
- white working class anger (rustbelt and rural votes) and
- desire to affront and offend all established Washington players
Bannon, a workaholic, fast mind and
motormouth, made the mistake of pointing out that his contribution was
a big factor in Trump's win. It was true, and truth is always a
Bannon also came into conflict with
the Trump family; namely, son-in-law Jared Kushner, a top
adviser, and daughter Ivanka, now an official government employee on
the White House adviser team.
Politically, Bannon came into
conflict with the military and intelligence people who actually know
how to defend the country. They were apprehensive to see Bannon placed
at the head of the National Security Council as a member of the
Principals Committee, sitting in on all meetings, ready to tell the
Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the
Treasury, the Attorney General what to do, and displacing as Principals
the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff ("Hey JCS, don't call us, we'll call you if we need you -- maybe
when we see blips on the radar screen or the missile launch tubes on a surfacing submarine.")
George W. Bush (2001-2008) asked his own political guy, Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, never
to attend National Security Council meetings because Bush wished
never to give the appearance of sending anyone to die for political
reasons -- the death was on him, and it raised questions for him
about the values he hoped to live by. Bush seems like other
politically strange people I have actually gotten to know:
if you drill down deep enough, you strike decency.
By 5 April 2017, cooler heads had
forced Bannon out of the NSC's Principals Committee, and megadonor Rebekah
Mercer had to persuade Bannon not to quit the new administration
The Trump Organization is a family
business. The Trump administration is a family business.
When the country is run like a family business, nepotism and secrecy
produce corruption. .
Tom Cheney's wonderful cartoons -- available from Cartoon Bank.
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Rev 9MayAM PM 2017