The last few days, if nothing else, have been a time when people have been taking a moment to consider the pinnacles of human achievement. The Winter Olympics are underway, showing off athleticism at its finest. Elon Musk inexplicably shot a car into space but referenced David Bowie, so that was cool. And, perhaps most thrillingly, the worst police sketch in history proved to be effective, which can only be considered a victory of the human spirit as a whole because, seriously, what in the world? Rejoice in those triumphs, dear readers, because we’re going to go from the highest highs to the depths as we trawl through what you might have overlooked online during the last seven days.
Nevertheless, She Persisted. For Many, Many Hours
What Happened: Sometimes, you have to stand up for eight hours for something you believe in. And talk for that long, as well.
What Really Happened: The US government narrowly avoided another shutdown last week after the House and Senate passed a spending bill at the last minute, despite a lack of movement on the issue of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, or the Dream Act. This happened despite the fact that, just a few days earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tried to revive the issue with a record-breaking speech on the topic.
All told, Pelosi spoke for more than eight hours in an attempt to put the focus back on immigration. Unsurprisingly, a hashtag popped up in support as the speech continued.
When the speech was finally over, a new record had been set in terms of length—
—but to put that in perspective, consider the following:
At least one person was impressed.
Don’t let that be known too widely, Paul; your supporters might think you’re going soft.
The Takeaway: Of course, not everyone was supportive about Pelosi’s efforts to refocus the debate…
Yet Another Departure from the White House
What Happened: President Trump’s staff secretary stepped down following allegations of domestic abuse.
What Really Happened: Because, it seems, every single week has to have at least one bit of bad news out of the White House, the Daily Mail, of all places, broke the story last week that Trump’s staff secretary Rob Porter had allegedly abused both of his ex-wives. Oh, and folks at the White House might have known about the allegations.
After initial support from the Trump administration— rumored to have been orchestrated by White House communications director Hope Hicks, who happens to be Porter’s current girlfriend—Porter eventually stepped down from his role mid-week.
Even following the resignation announcement, people were left with questions.
That was just the beginning. White House chief of staff John Kelly came under intense scrutiny from folks inside the White House and elsewhere over what he knew and when.
Of particular note for many was Thursday’s White House press briefing, where deputy press secretary Raj Shah was asked about the matter.
Shah’s performance drew criticism for his response on the topic, and from at least one particularly important source.
Well, it’s not like people didn’t expect that. Meanwhile, Porter’s dismissal brought another, less obvious, meme to life.
A former Obama administration staffer couldn’t resist the snark on this last point.
The Takeaway: With everything going on in Washington, it’s hard to focus on this story, but perhaps everyone should take a minute and really think about what happened here.
Next Up On C-Span: Big Brother
What Happened: Speaking of former Trump White House employees, Omarosa returned to the airwaves with an unexpected leak in an unexpected place.
What Really Happened: Remember when Omarosa Manigault-Newman quit the White House, talked about knowing things all mysterious-like, and then joined the cast of Celebrity Big Brother? It turns out, it might all have been part of some very surreal master plan to get the word out in an unexpectedly broad manner.
Turns out, talking about Trump on Big Brother means that everyone notices and then talks about you talking about Trump. It’s genius! But not everyone was buying it.
So, how did the White House respond?
(This was the same press conference where the Rob Porter allegations were discussed; it’s a weird train wreck and worth watching, if you’re into that kind of thing.) But with Omarosa back in the news, people started asking the obvious question all over again. Namely, what was Omarosa actually doing in the White House, anyway? This was definitely an option:
—Oh, we admit it; we just wanted an excuse to post that video. After all, how bad could this be, really?
That’s … definitely a take.
The Takeaway: This tweet might sum the whole thing up in the most appropriate manner:
The Stock in Trade
What Happened: After a period of living by the stock market’s successes, this week the administration had to learn how not to die by the stock market’s failures.
What Really Happened: Before last week, you might have noticed the Trump administration touting the success of the stock market as an indicator of how well its financial plans were working. We say “before last week,” because…
Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark.
Meanwhile, the rule of Trump Tweets meant that variations on this were soon doing the rounds:
One problem: It’s literally fake news. There was no such tweet. (Sorry, everyone.) Still, even after the market rallied slightly on Tuesday, people were left nervous. For good reason, it turned out: On Thursday, it happened again.
Yes, another 1000+ point drop, which certainly didn’t go unnoticed on social media.
The Takeaway: How bad was it?
Quincy Jones Just Might Be an Oracle
What Happened: Entertainment legend Quincy Jones gave an astounding, nothing-held-back interview full of details no one saw coming.
What Really Happened: This one is just … bananas. All you really need to know is that Quincy Jones gave an all-time great interview, and, well, social media did what it does best.
Some people were even convinced there was more to come:
The Takeaway: Really, just go read the interview. You’ll thank us later.