Open thread for Saturday night owls: The idiocy that makes Trump ‘presidential’ for ordering bombing

Jim Naureckas at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting writes—The Essential Pundit Take: ‘Trump Became President’ by Bombing Syria:

“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States” last night, CNN host Fareed Zakaria said when asked about the significance of Trump’s airstrikes on Syria (New Day, 4/7/17). “I think this was actually a big moment.”

His explanation is worth quoting at length for its distillation of the classic pundit attitude toward presidential violence:

Because candidate Trump had said that he would never get involved in the Syrian civil war. He told President Obama, you cannot do this without the authorization of Congress. He seemed unconcerned with global norms.

President Trump recognized that the president of the United States does have to act to enforce international norms, does have to have this broader moral and political purpose. President Trump realized, as every president has for many decades now, that presidents always believe they have inherent legal authority as commander in chief. And they don’t need to go to a pesky Congress every time they want military force. […]

Note the assurance with which Zakaria insists that a military attack on a sovereign state, unauthorized by the United Nations and unjustifiable in terms of self-defense, signifies a new respect on Trump’s part for “global norms” and “international rules.” Clearly, for Zakaria as for most pundits, the norm is that international law does not apply to the president of the United States–a doctrine that is usually referred to by the euphemism “American exceptionalism.”

Note, too, the contempt with which Zakaria dismisses the idea that a “pesky Congress” should constrain a president’s ability to make war; who needs a constitutionally mandated declaration of war when you’ve got a “broader moral and political purpose”? […]

• What’s coming up on Sunday Kos:

• What our nearest neighbor can tell us about Earth’s future, by DarkSyde
• Chris Hayes’ latest book, by Susan Grigsby
• Free market in healthcare kills Americans, and this is no hyperbole, by Egberto Willies
• Six steps away from 64 million people, by David Akadjian
• The three iron laws of universal health care, by Jon Perr
• Jared Kushner’s endless job list is just another Trump dump, by Sher Watts Spooner
• Red lines and green lights: the moral and strategic bankruptcy of Trump on Syria, by Ian Reifowitz
• The opioid overdose epidemic hypocrisy of Donald Trump, by Denise Oliver Velez
• Daily Kos International Elections Digest: April Edition

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QUOTATION

“In April 1917 the illusion of isolation was destroyed, America came to the end of innocence, and of the exuberant freedom of bachelor independence. That the responsibilities of world power have not made us happier is no surprise. To help ourselves manage them, we have replaced the illusion of isolation with a new illusion of omnipotence. That screen, too, must fall.”
                    ~Barbara Tuchman, New York Times Magazine, May 5, 1967

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Glenn Beck’s ratings: Not as meteoric as people think:

Yesterday, for some reason or another, I was curious to see how Glenn Beck had been doing in the ratings department…so I collected the ratings for each and every one of his TV broadcasts since the premiere of his show on Fox in January, 2009.

Next, I calculated the average audience size for each week that the show has been on the air, and put the numbers into a chart. (To be fair and balanced, I excluded the weeks of the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays, each of which artificially depressed Beck’s numbers.)

The chart revealed something of a surprise: since Glenn Beck’s ratings peak during the week ending January 22 (the week of Beck’s special “Revolutionary Holocaust: Live free or die” broadcast), Beck’s ratings have been on a steep slide, dropping nearly 50%.

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Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2017: Time, TV channel, and starting grid

The Chinese Grand Prix is here, and we’ve got all you need to know going into Formula One’s second race.

Lewis Hamilton has pole position for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, and he’ll be accompanied on the front row by Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton, in his Mercedes, put his car in first by nearly two tenths of a second. Vettel, in his Ferrari, is starting in the position he won from in the first race of the season.

Sunday’s grand prix will take place at the Shanghai International Circuit and will be broadcast on television in the United States by NBCSN. The race will also be available streaming online at NBC Sports Live, so there are the two primary ways to catch the race if you happen to be stateside.

The only downside is, of course, the fact that the race, while running at a normal time in China, gets underway at 2 a.m. ET in the United States. Dedicated fans in the country will have to keep some odd hours to keep up with the action but it should be worth it given the intrigue of the Australian Grand Prix.

That first race saw Hamilton take pole position, predictably, but his new teammate, Valtteri Bottas, came in third as they were split by the Ferrari of Vettel. A poorly-timed pit stop and an inability to create separation ultimately allowed Vettel to take the race lead and the win, the first clean win over a Mercedes in a very long time.

As was the case last time, Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have the top four spots. This time around, Daniel Ricciardo didn’t suffer from car issues and qualified in fifth while his Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen, did have issues and is starting back in 18th.

Vettel out-qualified Bottas by just one thousandth of a second. He thinks he could have done better if he didn’t “chicken” out on his final lap.

“But I was very happy with the lap I had. Last corner maybe I lost a little bit, maybe ‘chickened’ onto the brakes a little bit too soon,” Vettel said. “Obviously it was very close with Valtteri so good job we just got enough margin to make it to the front row.”

Lance Stroll managed to qualify in the top 10, finishing 10th, while teammate Felipe Massa is in sixth. The rest of the top 10 included Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Sergio Perez of Force India and Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso.

Fernando Alonso of the much-maligned McLaren team qualified in 13th. But Alonso said that it’s a pleasant surprise given how “very uncompetitive” McLaren was in the third practice session.

“I did the lap flat-out in some corners, not caring too much about risking over the limit,” Alonso said of his first qualifying session. “Everything went well, I crossed the line and said ‘wow, this lap is good, we are P10’. And that should be enough to be in Q2.”

Both Jolyon Palmer of Renault and Romain Grosjean of Haas were handed five-place grid penalties for failing to slow under yellow flags over the weekend. Grosjean has been outspoken about his penalty, posting telemetry data which he claims show he slowed adequately. Either way, the pair will start at the back of the grid.

Below is all the information you need to watch Sunday’s grand prix on television and online in the United States.

How to watch Formula One Chinese Grand Prix

Date: Sunday, April 9
Location: Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai
Time: 2 a.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
Online Streaming: NBC Sports Live

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Jackbox Party Pack 3 hitting Switch in North America next week

Full hub page here

The threequel to the party game phenomenon features FIVE new sense-shattering games!

The say-anything sequel Quiplash 2 (3-8 players). Play all new questions or make your own!

The deadly quiz show Trivia Murder Party (1-8 players). Match wits with a trivia-obsessed killer.

The surprising survey game Guesspionage (2-8 players). Guess the results to silly survey questions.

The t-shirt slugfest Tee K.O. (3-8 players). Battle your custom t-shirts to the death!

The sneaky trickster game Fakin’ It (3-6 players). One of your friends has something to hide.

Play using your phones, tablets, or computers. No extra controllers needed!

All games support up to 10,000 audience members playing along!

Plus tons of NEW features just for streamers! It’s a digital box full of actual fun!

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