Donald Trump thinks the wheel was invented by Americans

In the latest example of Trump's Used-Car-Salesman tactics of free-association to find any word that sticks with a listener just to close a deal, the Commander In Chief of the US Armed Forces said today on CNBC that the wheel was invented by an innovative American capitalist, as an example of the corporate ingenuity that must be protected at all costs.

It's not particularly notable or remarkable that Trump also credits Thomas Edison with the invention of the light bulb. It is true that Edison (through his company) perfected and patented a practical modern light bulb for use in American homes. But people across the globe had been experimenting with incandescent bulbs for a century before Edison locked it down; in fact, Edison's initial patent was denied because it was too derivative of the work done by William Sawyer.

But of course Edison gets all the credit. And in this case, that's not really an indictment on Trump. It is, however, a painfully accurate metaphor for the kind of "innovators" who actually get rewarded under American Capitalism — savvy business people who navigate legal loopholes to profit off of someone else's labor and ideas.

This all reminds me of something I saw on Twitter once. I can't find the original source right now, but the argument was essentially that American colonists used the wheel to prove their superiority over Native Americans. Read the rest

Watch: Trump judicial nominee can't answer a single question properly at hearing

Trump sure knows how to pick 'em. This judiciary nominee, Matthew Spencer Petersen, up for a seat on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, was completely out of his element when asked basic questions at his hearing by GOP Sen. John Kennedy. In fact, he can't answer a single question the way someone qualified for the job should answer. The poor fellow looks awkward and uncomfortable, to say the least.

"Have you ever tried a jury trial?" Kennedy asked.

"I have not," Petersen said.

"Civil?"

"No."

"Criminal?"

"No."

"State or federal court?"

"I have not."

"Do you know what a motion in limine is?"

"My background is not in litigation. I haven't had to do a deep dive."

And it goes on and on.

According to CNN:

Petersen's testimony followed the narrow confirmation of another one of the president's judicial nominees, Leonard Steven Grasz, to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals despite the fact that he had received a "not qualified" rating from the American Bar Association.

The White House said earlier this week that it would withdraw the nomination of Brett Talley who was also unanimously rated by the ABA as "not qualified." He was originally nominated to serve as a district judge in Alabama. The administration is also withdrawing the name of Jeff Mateer, who was up for a seat on the district court in Texas, following comments that have surfaced where he called transgender children part of "Satan's plan."

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