Adult Day Care

11:30 a.m. Trump enters the room

President Trump enters the room, to applause, surrounded by top administration officials and members of Congress.

11:45 a.m. Trump begins to walk out of the room without signing the order

After making his remarks, Mr. Trump began walking out of the room, until Vice President Mike Pence tapped him and reminded him to sign the order. Mr. Trump then turned to the table to sign the executive order.

The Best

The NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins visited the White House on Tuesday, a move that seemed to many like a deliberate slap in the face of the black athletes whom the president had been attacking on Twitter and in public appearances for the past several weeks.

The assembled Penguins players were all white; the lone nonwhite player on the championship squad, a black Canadian named Trevor Daley, could not attend due to scheduling conflicts. And then at the very end of the event, Trump said something that sounds like boilerplate — but, in context, was kind of absurd.

“You are true, true champions — and incredible patriots,” Trump said.

The line was a not-so-subtle swipe at NFL players like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence, as well as the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors, who had refused to attend their White House visit in protest. But describing the Penguins as “incredible patriots” really gives away the game here: Most of the Pittsburgh Penguins squad aren’t American patriots, because they aren’t American at all.

Ten of the 23 players on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster during the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals were American. The majority hailed from elsewhere, specifically Canada and a grab bag of cold European countries (Russia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Finland). The fact that they play for an American NHL team does not magically turn them into American patriots; typically, they play for their home country during the Olympics.

Calling an all-white assembly of mostly foreign hockey players patriots, in clear contrast to the group of African-American athletes that the president has blasted, suggests the real issue here isn’t love for America. It’s how well the athletes fit in to Trump’s vision of America — one in which black athletes shut up about racism and perform the sort of patriotic spectacle that Trump likes.

Buy Yourself Some Bootstraps

Perhaps you’ve heard about the various Democratic plans to make college free for everyone. But have you heard about the Republican plan to make college more expensive for people who can’t afford it?

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides billions of dollars in financial aid to college students in need of assistance, but these grants — and other aid — could disappear or be made worthless if proposals by Congress and the Trump administration are enacted.

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income students to help pay for college.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 219 to 206 to pass a 126-page congressional budget resolution [PDF] for fiscal year 2018 that would reduce education and workforce spending by $20 billion over the next nine years.

But her speeches.

Crap Shoot

It’s a little-acknowledged fact that the second amendment, as currently interpreted, does much more than give people the right to ‘bear arms’. Everyone knows that it allows people to own and use guns. That’s what the text of the amendment talks about, after all. But owning and bearing are what gun owners do, and most Americans are not gun owners. But, the second amendment’s range far exceeds simple gun ownership. The second amendment’s greatest effect is to require that the possibility of gunfire is present in every situation in the US. It ensures that every situation you, gun owner or not, can find yourself in contains a non-zero chance that you will be shot to death – not the certainty, just the chance.

Like most people, I don’t own a gun. Decades ago, I had two, but I sold them because I wanted some money to buy a guitar. But I can still be killed by one! There is always the chance that there will be someone with a gun nearby who shoots it my way. The second amendment guarantees that chance.

And people fight to maintain this possibility. They fight hard. When someone tries to say “No, gunfire will not be a possibility in this situation,” they get very upset, indignant, red in the face. They yell and scream and call their Congressmen. They demand that the possibility of death by gunfire be restored. They march they wave copies of the Constitution. They brandish their guns menacingly, whenever someone tries to create a situation where gunfire is not a possibility. They are deeply committed to maintaining the possibility that everyone in the US can be killed by a gun.

In fact, the requirement that being shot at, or being shot, or being killed by gunfire is possible in every situation is, to them, a fundamental and defining feature of the US itself. They insist that without it, we, or least they, would be diminished.

We hold this truth to be self-evident: that all men have the right to be a possible casualty of gunfire, goddamnit.

Good luck.

Lock Him Up

White House officials believe that chief of staff John Kelly’s personal cellphone was compromised, potentially as long ago as December, according to three U.S. government officials.

The discovery raises concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have had access to data on Kelly’s phone while he was secretary of Homeland Security and after he joined the West Wing.

Tech support staff discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to White House tech support this summer complaining that it wasn’t working or updating software properly.

Kelly told the staffers the phone hadn’t been working properly for months, according to the officials.

Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns

The Count shared a fascinating and depressing article about how “tracking a gun purchase” is actually done.

“People don’t think,” Charlie tells me. He’s a trim guy, 51, full lips and a thin goatee, and he likes to wear three-piece suits. They fit loose, so the overall effect is awkward innocence, like an eighth grader headed to his first formal. “ I get e-mails even from police saying, ‘Can you type in the serial number and tell me who the gun is registered to?’ Every week. They think it’s like a VIN number on a car. Even police. Police from everywhere. ‘Hey, can you guys hurry up and type that number in?’ ”

So here’s a news flash, from Charlie: “We ain’t got a registration system. Ain’t nobody registering no damn guns.”

There is no national database of guns. We have no centralized record of who owns all the firearms we so vigorously debate, no hard data regarding how many people own them, how many of them are bought or sold, or how many even exist.

What we have instead is Charlie.

Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns.

This is a profoundly stupid country.