It's possible to slur whole categories of people without being a bigot, you know.

Donald Trump has finally found someone he's willing to be nonjudgmental about. Unfortunately, it's that moron at his New Hampshire rally last week, the one who said America's top problem is Muslims, the President is a Muslim, and also too there are Muslim training camps right here in America "where they want to kill us." All the nice man wanted to know was "when can we get rid of 'em?" So that's who Trump has decided it would be premature to call a "bigot," because he's never met the guy and given him a bigot test, we guess.

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In a preview teaser for this coming Sunday's edition of CBS's "60 Minutes," Scott Pelley asked Trump why he'd elected not to challenge the questioner who described Muslims as "a big problem" for America:

As usual, Trump reframed the question to make it clear to Pelley that if anyone is the victim of bigotry, it's Donald Trump:

Well, he said much more than that. That was part of the statement. He then went on to say other things [...]

Look, he said mostly about Obama, that whole question was about... I don't have to defend President Obama. He's not gonna defend me. So whether you agree with the man or don't agree -- and there were people in that audience, as you probably noticed, that did agree with him.

So, hey, let's put things in perspective here. It's not Donald Trump's job to decide what truth is, especially when it comes to the possibility -- which many, MANY people besides Donald Trump have talked about -- that Obama is a Muslim. He's just saying.

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Pelley pressed on, asking if it wasn't important for a presidential candidate to speak up in the face of something like that: "Here you had a bigot..."

Trump interrupted and stood up for the guy: "You don't know that. I mean, he asked a question. You don't know that he was a bigot." Achievement Unlocked: Bigot Vote sewn up!

Pelley incredulously asked if saying "there's a problem in this country and it's Muslims" might just possibly be seen as a tad bigoted, at least in a theoretical sense whereby slurring everyone in a group as a national problem could be considered bigotry of a sort (with Scott Walker out of the race, journalists are once again feeling free to ask hypothetical questions, it would seem).

Trump returned to his favorite mode of bigotry; Sure, there are a lot of good ones, but 9/11, 9/11, 9/11:

Well, he said there's a problem in this country and it's Muslims. All right. I love the Muslims. I have many, many friends -- people living in this building, Muslims. They're phenomenal people. But like everything else you have people where there are problems.

Now we could say there are no problems with the Muslims. There's no problems. There's no terrorism, there's no threat, there's no anything. They didn't knock down the World Trade Center. To the best of my knowledge the people that knocked down the World Trade Center -- you know where they're -- they didn't fly back to Sweden.

Glad to clear that up: We can't be sure there's anything bigoted about the guy who said that America has a Muslim Problem and that we've got to "get rid of them" -- and maybe he only meant we need to get rid of the jihadi training camps that exist only in the minds of internet wingnuts, in which case, problem already solved! But Muslims, well, 19 of them from other countries hijacked airplanes and killed thousands of Americans fourteen years ago, so it's certainly not bigoted to keep a wary eye on the 2.6 million Muslims in America. They've really been a problem, you see.

Besides, do we even know that the guy wasn't a plant from the Democrats or Karl Rove, to make Trump supporters look anti-Muslim, exactly like the polls say they are?

[TPM / CBS / TPM again]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Surprise, everybody! As we suspected, the Trump administration knew about the horrifying family domestic abuse stories in Patrick Shanahan's history, and they were trying to push through his Defense Secretary nomination anyway. We didn't assume they knew because the Trump administration is so very good at vetting people -- it clearly isn't. But, considering the enormity of the story, the question that kept bothering us yesterday when the Shanahan news broke was HOW IN THE HELL DID THEY THINK THIS WOULD STAY SECRET?

CBS News reports:

President Trump said as he departed for Florida Tuesday that he had only learned of Shanahan's family issues for the first time "yesterday."

But that is apparently a lie, or at least we should assume it's a lie, because we should always assume Trump is lying about each and every thing he says, in general. Anyway, whether El Dipshit was personally told, Trump admin people say ayup, they knew all about it:

One senior administration official told CBS News the White House was aware of the incident involving Shanahan's son, but didn't know about the 2010 confrontation. Another official said the White House knew about the 2011 incident dating back to when Bill Shine was White House communications director.

In case you need a quick refresher, the "2010 confrontation" is alleged domestic violence between Shanahan and his ex-wife, whose name is now Kimberley Jordinson, which was detailed in their divorce papers. (The ex-wife was arrested, not Shanahan.) The "2011 incident" is the one where Shanahan's 17-year-old son beat the shit out of his mom -- that same ex-wife -- with a baseball bat and left her in a pool of her own blood, and Daddy appears to have gone to great lengths to cover it up.

As CBS reports, some senators have been very curious as to why they were never informed of this way back in 2017, when Shanahan was nominated to be the deputy secretary of Defense. (He was confirmed.) Did the White House know then? Did Shanahan conceal it from everybody? Is that where the White House vetting process -- which is, again, just awesome, obviously -- went all wrong?

Or does the Trump administration just not think the nominee getting mutually fisticuffy with his wife, and trying to mount a coverup for his son when that son bludgeoned that wife with a baseball bat, is so bad, especially when you are trying to staff your administration with The Best People?

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