This Week Through the Looking Glass

Alice encounters Tweedle Paul and Tweedle Ryan

Many people in the past several days have made pretzel-logic comments worthy of Lewis Carroll. Here is a sampling.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

During a press conference in which the main topic was Trump’s gutsy decision to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (aka. DACA), Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended her boss for “upholding the law.” DACA was an Obama nod to reality that spending big bucks to dog children who had been brought to America illegally by their parents was not the best use of limited immigration enforcement resources. After all, these kids known as “Dreamers” had no say in the decision to come here, and in the meantime had grown up like every other American kid: going to school, playing sports, working and paying taxes. Their threat level is certainly lower than that of Eric Bolling. Regardless, many people see Dreamers’ presence on US soil as an affront that must be dealt with through expensive tracking, lengthy judicial review and ultimate deportation.

Still, Sanders fell through the looking glass when she said this: “We are a nation of law and order. And the day that we start to ignore the fact that we are that, then we throw away everything that gives these people a reason to want to come to our country.”

In other words, the very existence of a DACA policy keeps young people from wanting to come to the U.S. Although it sounds absurd – like something from the mouth of the Red Queen – it makes sense why Trump may ultimately change his mind and support DACA.

Scott Pruitt

Following the devastation visited upon Florida by Hurricane Irma, EPA head Scott Pruitt said this about the inevitable chatter linking a super-storm to climate change: “To use time and effort to address it at this point is very, very insensitive to this people in Florida.” Mr. Pruitt meet the Mad Hatter.

Bringing up climate change after a major weather event most likely exacerbated by the effects of climate change (ocean warming, rising sea levels) is “insensitive”? Are Floridians softer than the cheeks of Jared Kushner?

Following Pruitt’s logic, we shouldn’t mention terrorism on 9/11 lest we force sensitive New Yorkers into underground safe spaces. C’mon, Scott. Come up with a better way to perpetuate denial and resurrect phrenology.

Martin Shkreli

Out on $5 million bail and suffering from shkrelitis (a rare disease in which a person is born without a soul), former hedge fund scammer and pharmaceutical scrooge Martin Shkreli posted a bizarre challenge on Facebook: grab a strand of hair from Hillary Clinton’s head during her upcoming book tour and receive a $5,000 award. Although Shkreli’s lawyer noted “He says things that are stupid. I don’t think stupid makes you violent,” the judge in the case thought otherwise and revoked the massive bail. Given that Clinton is protected by Secret Service, and attempt to yank out one of her hairs would no doubt cause a slight fracas.

The smirking Shkreli can now play the Cheshire Donkey in prison while he awaits trial in January.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan on Trump’s plan to end DACA (September 1 version): “I actually don’t think he should do that. I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”

Paul Ryan on Trump’s plan to end DACA (September 6 version): “President Trump was right in his decision. He made the right call.”

Ryan: both Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

End Note: Fuck you Equifax


By now half of America knows Equifax – the collector and disseminator of personal information under the ruse of doing a service known as calculating a credit score – is a sham operation with no scruples, no technical competence and no ability to manage crisis. Why do they even exist, given that two other companies, Experian and TransUnion, provide redundancy?

Several weeks ago Equifax learned that detailed personal records of a mere 143 million Americans were confiscated by hackers, and in the ensuing days in which they kept the breach a secret at least a few Equifax execs dumped their company stock. Since going public with the debacle Equifax has behaved worse than Uber on steroids. The minimum they could do is to help people lock their files so further damage is reduced – but no. These hollow-souled corporate miscreants can’t or won’t even provide basic support. Equifax stock has justifiably plummeted $30 a share to $114 in the past week.

In any event, as suggested by several news outlets I visited an Equifax website where I was supposed to be able to request a credit freeze which would thwart would-be criminals from initiating an unauthorized raid on my family jewels. Sure enough I met more Equifax incompetence. After putting in my last name and last 6 digits of my social, I had to pass one of those irritating Captcha tests. You know – the ones that challenge you to click on the blocks in an array that contain a picture of a storefront, or a road sign, or an Equifax exec drinking Louis Roederer Cristal in Monaco.

Sure enough, every time I successfully satisfied Captcha, I was presented with another Captcha to navigate. After four or five tries, I peered around my office looking for a peephole and waiting for Allen Funt to emerge and yell, “Smile – you’re on candid camera!”

Fuck you Equifax.

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