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‘Grading on a curve’: Morning Joe rates Trump ‘almost normal’ because he didn’t threaten to crush democracy

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A “Morning Joe” panel gave President Donald Trump high marks for his speech before Congress, but they tempered their praise with caution that governance requires hard work.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough opened the segment by defensively arguing that he wasn’t “normalizing anybody,” and he pointed out that former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had still not found their footing at this point in their administrations.

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Journalist Bob Woodward also reminded panelists they were only discussing words, and he urged them to continue watching Trump’s actions as president.

“The words matter and the tone matters, and if you try to pull back, the question mark is what is he really going to do?” Woodward said. “There are a series of policy issues, particularly in foreign relations — the Middle East, Russia, China, North Korea — what he is going to do with cybersecurity and so forth. Those are the things that are going to define his presidency, not words.”

Scarborough again returned to the normality of Trump and his presidency.

“The normalization of Donald Trump is something that critics have feared,” Scarborough said. “I can tell you a week ago, when he is talking about the press being the enemy of the people, you had a lot of extraordinarily nervous Republicans and Democrats. This was Donald Trump normalizing Donald Trump. Last night, it was nice to be sitting in that chamber again and going, ‘Oh, OK.’ Republicans like this, Democrats hate this, Democrats like this. It was almost normal last night instead of going, ‘OK, after the first terror attack, is he going to try to strip freedoms from Americans? is this a (Steve) Bannon play to crush the press? Is this a Trump play to crush the courts?’ Last night was a normal moment, and that was relief to a lot of Democrats and Republicans in the room.”

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MSNBC’s Willie Geist said Trump was benefiting from extremely low expectations.

“Let’s be honest — there’s an element of grading on a curve here,” Geist said. “It was better than the speeches he has given in the past, and we said it’s normal and could have been Reagan, and that made it better than usual. That is true. But what I was struck by was that it was forward-looking. He has been so mired in an election he won and talking about his electoral margin, making up facts about that, fighting these petty fights with members of the press. Last night, he was a president. He was looking forward in a big, grand way. Now the question is, can he execute all of these plans? Of course, the devil’s always in the details, but if he can keep his eyes forward and stop being mired in the past that’s a good thing — not just for him, that’s a good thing for the country.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Mental midget’ Stephen Miller absolutely demolished in MSNBC blast at Trump’s ‘misfit’ advisers

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Given the opportunity to discuss two profiles on White House adviser Stephen Miller -- published by the Washington Post and the New York Times late Saturday -- Democratic consultant Don Calloway jumped in with both feet to trash the man he called a "mental midget"."

Asked p on MSNBC about the controversial Miller's outsized influence on Donald Trump, Calloway didn't hold back.

"What goes through your head when you hear how much influence Stephen Miller has on immigration policy?" host Alex Witt asked.

"Stephen Miller is a mental midget, that's the best thing I can say," Calloway began to the sounds of laughter offscreen.

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Black woman reveals how Trump is ruining her marriage: ‘My white Republican husband is starting to hate me’

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A black woman revealed over the weekend how President Donald Trump and right-wing media are straining her marriage.

In a Twitter rant on Saturday, a woman going by the name Glass Butterfly hit a nerve by starting a discussion about the challenges of interracial marriage in the age of Trump.

"My white Republican husband is starting to hate me because the longer we live through this administration the 'BLACKER' I become," she revealed. "Any interracially and opposing politically affiliated couples going through this? Like...I have NO idea how to balance who we are..or are becoming."

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Lawmaker Rashida Tlaib calls for boycott of Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ over Israel comments

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., suggested a boycott against HBO host Bill Maher after he denounced the international movement to boycott Israel as a "bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class."

This article first appeared on Salon.

"Maybe folks should boycott his show," Tlaib wrote in a tweet on Saturday. "I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."

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