Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Ben Carson is the latest candidate to declare that he just doesn’t like Ted Cruz.

Last night was not a good one for Carson. After a report indicating that Carson was planning on taking a long break from campaigning emerged, his camp was put on its back foot: they quickly released a confusing statement saying that Carson was just going home to do laundry and would be back on the trail in two days, not two weeks. 

The Cruz campaign, seeing an opportunity, sent emails to its supporters indicating that Carson was dropping out of the race and that they should encourage his supporters to switch sides. 

While Carson finished fourth with nine percent of the vote—roughly where he was expected to be—it’s possible that the rumors swirling about his candidacy undercut his support. 

In a speech given in Iowa last night, Carson lashed out at Cruz: “I was reasonably happy today until I discovered the dirty tricks that were going on,” he said. “And people spreading rumours that I had dropped out and that people should caucus for somebody else. I mean, do you think that that is something that’s acceptable?” 

Carson joins Trump, Rubio, Santorum, Huckabee, John McCain, and pretty much everyone Cruz has ever encountered in disliking Cruz.

In the same speech, which you can watch below, Cruz also misquotes Joseph Stalin

January 21, 2017

Getty Images

This dispatch about Trump’s sad, pathetic CIA visit proves we are entering the golden age of White House pool reports.

America’s brand spanking new President Donald Trump on Saturday visited the CIA headquarters, where he gave a speech that evinced no insecurities whatsoever. Here’s the unedited pool report from S.V. Dáte, a senior political correspondent for The Huffington Post:

The motorcade loaded up and is en route back to the White House at 1540. POTUS visibted with officials at the CIA headquarters and then delivered remarks for about 15 minutes. Transcript to follow, but highlights:

-- POTUS explained why CIA was his first visit: because the dishonest media has made it seem like he was having a feud with the intelligence community

-- He said the IC has not been utilized properly in recent years to help win wars

-- He boasted that “probably everybody in this room voted for me ... because we’re all on the same wavelength.”

-- ISIS is evil and must be eradicated off the face of the earth.

-- He is very smart, and again pointed to his uncle the MIT professor. “Trust me, I’m like a smart person.”

-- Said that after meeting Mike Pompeo, he wasn’t interested in meeting anyone else for the CIA job.

-- He claimed the media are lying about size of the inauguration crowd -- he believes it was about 1-1.5 million people, not 250,000.

-- critized yesterday’s mistaken pool report about the bust of MLK as further proof of the dishonest media.

The speech was attended by about 400 CIA employees in the lobby of its building in Langley, Virginia.

EarthCam

The Women’s March is yuge, and it must be driving President Donald Trump crazy.

Saturday’s march in Washington is in full swing, and its organizers have more than doubled their crowd estimate to 500,000. That should be taken with a grain of salt, given the source, but images from EarthCam suggest that many more people have turned out for the march than did for Trump’s inauguration.

Here’s what Friday’s crowd looked like at its peak:

And here’s Saturday’s at around noon:

What’s more, the march is still growing, as many thousands of marchers are en route. Metro reports that subway ridership is significantly higher than on Friday. This is to say nothing of the millions more who are marching around the country and world.

It was embarrassing enough for Trump that his inauguration crowd was a fraction of the size of Barack Obama’s in 2009. That Saturday’s march is also dwarfing his turnout must be giving him a very itchy Twitter finger. He has refrained from criticizing the protesters thus far, tweeting only the following:

But the day is young. There’s still plenty of time for Trump to whine about the unfairness of it all.

Update: It is indeed driving Trump crazy. At a briefing later on Saturday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told a blatant lie on his boss’ behalf: “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe.”

January 20, 2017

Donald Trump’s inauguration speech echoes not Washington or Lincoln but Bane from The Dark Knight Rises.

Presidential speeches are often rich in allusion. President Obama in particular liked to echo phrases previously uttered by figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Trump’s inaugural speech also had an allusion but an unusual one. Bane is perhaps the most political villain in the Batman pantheon. In The Dark Knight Rises, he leads a populist revolution against the corrupt elite of Gotham City. In one speech he says, “And we give it back to you ... the people.” These words were repeated almost exactly by Trump. The inflection and pause were also the same. The prospect of President Bane is not a reassuring thought.

Alex Wong/Getty

Donald Trump’s inauguration speech was aimed at his supporters and no one else.

Trump will enter the White House with the lowest approval rating in recorded history. The expectation from pundits was that Trump would use his inaugural address to try to heal the country’s wounds and assure America that he would be president for everyone—that he would finally put his campaign behind him and start to govern the entire country, not just the parts that voted for him.

For nearly a year now, pundits have been waiting for Trump to pivot. It never happened, of course. Trump ran the same campaign in the primaries that he did in the general election, emphasizing economic nationalism and white grievance, while presenting himself as the only man who could save the country from ruin. The speech he gave at the inauguration could have been given at any point over the past 18 months: It was combative, radical, and alarming. It was delivered in a pitch that usually sends his supporters into a frenzy.

“American carnage” is how Trump depicted this country, a dark, decimated place where “rusted-out factories [are] scattered like tombstones.”

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you.

Trump set up a dichotomy in the speech: There was honest, hardworking America and there was corrupt Washington D.C., which stole the jobs and wealth of hardworking America and gave it to themselves and to foreigners. Trump promised those days were over. “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own.”

He claimed that he wrote his own speech, but it had Steve Bannon’s fingerprints all over it. Real America vs. Washington D.C. had a double meaning. It channeled the grievances of his voters, who are predominantly white and rural and hostile toward both elites and multiculturalism in general. Trump’s promise was to return America to them.

Trump’s inauguration, as the BBC sees it.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is struggling to cover the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. “The success of Donald Trump may, uh, recalibrate the definition of success,” one commentator says. Furthermore, people appear to have come from “different parts” of the United States to attend. The journalists who are speaking leave long gaps between clauses. Melania Trump is “Slovenian; tall,” they observe.

“As your hat says,” a BBC reporter on the ground says to a Louisianan man named Rob, “you are a Donald Trump supporter.” Rob doesn’t seem to understand her accent. Michelle Obama walks out onto the inauguration platform and you can hear the smiles in the commentators’ voices return.

As Trump’s speech ends, the BBC observes that it was 20 minutes long. “I don’t know why we thought that Donald Trump would do a standard political speech,” one BBC woman muses. She observes that the camera is panning now across “all those establishment people that Donald Trump has just told off.” The camera lingers on Elizabeth Warren’s face with all the tenderness a machine can express.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Overheard in Slack.



“Delicate baby hands”

“But like the Virgin Mary as American Revolution soldier”

“Michelle is in ecclesiastical purple”

“Barron does not want to be there”

“This is so Mike Allen-y”

“Trump always looks so restless during prayer. Like a kid forced to go to Sunday school”

“God, this is like a wedding. Of people you hate”

“Why does this choir look like they’re watching a quidditch match”

“Everyone who likes choral music should be jailed”

“This is what today needed—satanists”

“The whole point of being an atheist is you don’t have to wear dumb robes, in my opinion.”

“Is everyone aware that ‘trump’ means ‘to fart’ in the U.K.”

“TURTLENECKS”

“Oh my god here it comes”

“welp”

“Still refuse to acknowledge this is real”

“It’s like rain/On your inauguration day”

“This is dystopian”

“This is so racist”

“I hate to be this person, but I keep thinking about The Plot Against America

“haha”

Destroying D.C. businesses is absolutely the wrong way to protest Donald Trump.

In the hour before Trump took office, parading protesters in downtown Washington broke glass at at least one bus stop and smashed the windows of a McDonalds, Starbucks, and a Bank of America branch:

That corporate businesses were targeted doesn’t make this violence any less foolish. A full 90 percent of D.C. voters supported Hillary Clinton in November; some of them, surely, work in these now-damaged buildings. But more importantly, this behavior is detrimental to the cause of resisting Trump, because it lets conservatives cast the opposition as a fringe operation rather than mainstream movement that it is.

Kellyanne Conway is on another level.

Conway, perhaps the most skilled liar in the country, has seemingly leveled up over the past 24 hours—the inauguration of her boss, Donald Trump, bringing her new and hitherto unforeseen powers.

First, at Trump’s inaugural ball, her boss doted over her incredible ability to lie to everyone, even people who might point it out. 

“There is no den she will not go into. When my men are petrified to go on a certain network I say, ‘Kellyanne, will you go?’ Then she gets on and she just destroys them. So anyway, thank you, baby. Thank you, honey. Thank you. [As she walked down the stairs] Be careful.”

Everything about this is extremely weird. “No den she will not go into”? “My men”? “Baby?” This reads like a pervy speech from a bad modernization of Henry V.  

And then Kellyanne Conway said this, on the morning of Trump’s inauguration, which boggles the mind. 

None of this is even remotely true.

And then she showed up to the inauguration dressed like Raggedy Ann cosplaying as Light-Horse Harry Lee. 

God help us all. 

A lot more people attended President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

Commenters are noting the sparse crowds at Donald Trump’s inauguration, with large empty swathes visible on the National Mall.

For comparison, here is what Obama’s inauguration looked like:

Win McNamee/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Alex Jones is having a bad inauguration day.

Protesters blocking one of the checkpoints to the inauguration surrounded a very, very sweaty Jones. Cops came to his rescue to escort him out of the crowd.

He also tried to unsuccessfully push his way through a blockade of protesters:

According to BuzzFeed, Jones, who called the protesters “mentally ill scum,” claimed that a female companion had been assaulted by them and that he was going to file a police report.

Jones, who runs the website Infowars, is dubbed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America.” There is one drawback to tussling with the king of fake news: Jones will undoubtedly use the footage as “proof” of the “numerous plots” of “planned attacks on Trump supporters attending inauguration events.”