March 25, 2017

Is Trump "unhappy" that Jared Kushner went on a ski trip to Aspen just as the healthcare bill got stymied?

That's what some source said, causing the anti-Trump media to blurt out headlines like "Trump unhappy Jared Kushner took a powder on the ski slopes as health care bill floundered."*
Kushner was on vacation until Thursday, skiing with family in the posh Colorado town of Aspen. Paparazzi caught Jared and Ivanka taking leisurely strolls, enjoying ice cream cones with their three kids and winding their way down the slopes.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Trump was fuming. According to a source close to the president, "[Trump] is upset that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week." Kushner did appear at the White House on Friday during the last gasps of the Obamacare repeal effort.
I smell fake news! I think someone is just guessing — and hoping — that Trump is having tantrums. Even if I believed he's that touchily emotional, I wouldn't believe that he thinks the Kushners' ski trip is bad political theater. Because... it's not... is it? I think it says: Everything's going along just fine, we've got everything under control, everybody's happy. And also: Trump isn't dependent on having his kids at his elbows at all times keeping him normal.

But, yeah, if he freaks out when they're gone, he sounds unhinged. Which is why I think CNN carried the story.
_______________________

* I loathe that kind of cornball writing — took a powder on the ski slopes — especially when they went ahead and used floundered instead of coming up with something else that sounds ski-related.

By the way, is the right word flounder or founder?
A flounder is a fish,** but as a verb, it means to blunder about, to be in serious trouble....

A founder is someone who starts something, but as a verb, founder literally means "to sink." Figuratively, it's "to collapse or fail completely."...

Flounder and founder are happy little nouns that don't get mixed up. But it all falls apart when they're verbs — if you're floundering, you're struggling. If you're foundering, you're failing completely. You're sunk! You can't even hold onto the letter l.
Take a powder, of course, does not actually relate to the powder that is snow. But exactly what does it refer to?
The phrase take a powder meaning to "scram, vanish," is probably from the 20's; it was a common phrase as a doctor's instruction, so perhaps from the notion of taking a laxative medicine or a sleeping powder, with the result that one has to leave in a hurry (or, on another guess, from a magician's magical powder, which made things disappear). Powder blue (1650s) was smelt used in laundering; as a color name from 1894.
Smelt?!



Fish keep turning up in strange places. I think the intended word is smalt — which is cobalt glass.


_______________________

** Footnote to a footnote: This is another reason to reject "flounder." With that powder... ski business, the writer has just nudged us to think concretely about random words and be amused by the image, and a flounder cannot swim in snow, but it is one of those subjects people have had passionate, pointless arguments about.

59 comments:

David Begley said...

As if Jared could have made a difference.

If it wasn't for gossip, speculation, conjecture, insinuation and innuendo, CNN would have zero content.

Lewis Wetzel said...

How ridiculous is CNN?
Check the author of this straight CNN news story about Trump(not commentary or analysis): Federal judge sides with Trump administration in travel ban casehttp://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/virginia-federal-judge-revised-travel-ban/
That's right, it is Laura Jarrett, Valerie Jarrett's daughter.

rehajm said...

How ridiculous is CNN?

Is Donna Brazile back on the air yet? If not they're working on it...

Amadeus 48 said...

Re: Trump's tantrum. This is re-posted from the last thread. I don't think he is throwing a tantrum.

Trump's presser after the bill was pulled was interesting.

In sum, he learned a lot about the process; he considers all the House Republicans his friends and he knows it would have been a tough vote for many of them; Obamacare will be with us for a while, but then it will implode and then explode, although he hopes that won't happen for the sake of all Americans; the next bill dealing with Obamacare will be better; it was tough to move forward without any participation by the Democrats; as Obamacare sinks, perhaps some Democrats will come forward to help with a better solution, which then will be bipartisan.

That was just about a perfect response from a political point of view. He left so many options open that to argue against him at this point would be churlish and counter-productive. He set up Obamacare itself, the Democrats, and the Freedom Caucus to be the chumps when Obamacare fails and thousands of sick Americans are left without financial assistance. He all but sent engraved invitations to every member of the House to work on a solution for the disaster that Obamacare is and will become.

Trump is no ideologue. The left-wing Dems and the Freedom Caucus boys better look out.

Mary Beth said...

According to a source close to the president, "[Trump] is upset that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week."

Translates to Trump making a passing remark that he wished Jared were there to discuss things with. (Maybe because he can trust his son-in-law not to leak every random remark he makes.)

EDH said...

I loathe that kind of cornball writing...

"Is Trump "unhappy" that Jared Kushner went on a ski trip to Aspen just as the healthcare bill got stymied?"

Racism!

AprilApple said...

My progressive friend sent me this a while back.
The left are obsessed with Kushner. (self-loathing and all of that)

Jared Kushner is reportedly 'furious' that he can't rein in Trump

The leftwing group think message machine in a thing. The best one is the lefty talking point that health care CEOs make too much money.

LOL - right. Is that before or after Obama bailed them out?

Chuck said...

Aren't all ski resort towns "posh"?

I used to think that one of my favorites, Alta, could escape the "posh" label. But Alta was where the (Bill) Buckleys, the (Milton) Friedmans, and the (David) Nivens went skiing together every spring.

Somebody name me a ski resort that wouldn't get the useless and overused "posh" adjective.

Bob Boyd said...

"Somebody name me a ski resort that wouldn't get the useless and overused "posh" adjective."

Beef Trail.

roesch/voltaire said...

Althouse is right this is fake news about fake outrage as this is a family that likes to take frequent weekend vacations- whether at Mara-Logo or on the slopes of Colorado.

Laslo Spatula said...

Regarding "Flounder", another passage from "Animal House" that works with the Real Republican Healthcare Debacle:

Flounder: Will that work?

Otter: Hey, it's gotta work better than the truth.

Bluto: [thrusting six-pack into Flounder's hands] My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.

Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder, he's in pre-med.

D-Day: [firing up blow-torch] There you go now, just leave everything to me.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

"Somebody name me a ski resort that wouldn't get the useless and overused "posh" adjective."

I wonder how many know the origin of the term "posh?"

For the few here who don't, it is "Port outbound, Starboard home." It referred to the shipboard trip to India. The side facing west is hotter.

Especially when the Suez Canal and the rest of the southbound trip is in the tropics.

jdniner said...

When producers do this nonsensical low art in music videos then I assume they were and are high on meth/coke/weed. It looks fabulous to them while they create but looks like crap to everyone else..

YoungHegelian said...

Repealing ObamaCare is not part of the Kushner clan's bailiwick. Such negotiations with Congress fall under the purview of Reince Priebus & Steve Bannon, but especially Priebus.

Does CNN really think that the First Son-in-Law & Daughter told President Dad to go stuff himself, they're hitting the slopes? I don't think so.

The notion of Orthodox Jews going skiing reminds me of Buddy Hackett's routine about going skiing:

I told her, 'Jews don't ski. Jews play pinochle and say, 'Helen, bring fruit.' You see, there's this little bone in the knee called "the Jew Bone", and all you have to do is say, "How much are the skis?", and the bone breaks.

(imitating wife) You went skiing at the Concorde!

(Normal voice) That was the Catskills! Little Jewish hills! You're talking Mt. Snow, Vermont. Big Christian mountains!

(imitating mountain) "COME ON JEW, I'M WAITING FOR YA!"

(Normal voice) F*CK YOU, YOU NAZI MOUNTAIN BASTARD, I AIN'T COMIN'!!

(imitating wife) You never take me anywhere!

(normal voice) So we go. We get there, and the first thing I notice is, there's no air up there! It's skinny air. You've got to suck in three puffs just to fill up one side of a nose. And all the men up there look the same: Long legs. Thin waists, which go up like a "V" to their broad shoulders. Necks, they all have necks, and large protruding Adam's Apples. High cheek bones, blonde hair, blue eyes...

FREAKS! You want to vomit, you can't look at shit like this for too long! And my wife introduces me to this instructor, "And this is my husband."

And the guy says, (thick German accent) "Ah, how do you do, sir. JEWISH to ski? JEW vill ski? Jew vill NOT ski! JEWWW vill vatch."

Then they give me my ski clothes. Everything has to be super-tight, for some reason. They give me a sweater with a picture of two deer screwing on it, when I put it on, the deer are this far apart! I put on the ski pants, and the fly is open like this. I said, "Honey, there's no way." She says, "Look, you gotta PUSH and PULL." (he crouches, like someone trying to close the zipper on hopelessly tight pants) So she's pushin' in my stomach, the kids are pullin' in my ass, we get the thing closed....all of a sudden, I notice, (starts to rise up out of his crouch) I'm getting taller....and my hair's turning blond and my eyes are turning blue because they're getting no air...(super deep voice) AND I GOT A LUMP IN MY THROAT I THINK I USED TO PISS WITH!

Then they give the ski boots (walks like Frankenstein), the Frankenstien boots, and ski poles, and the lift tickets, and we go outside, and this tall blonde man says to me, (German accent) "How do you do, sir? My name is Klaus, I am zee Commandant of zee Ski School. And this is Hans, and Fritz, and Wilhelm, and Sandor. With whom Jewish to ski?"

I said, "If you ain't got a Herbie, I ain't going."

HT said...

Kids at his side? He's a "senior adviser to the president."

Keep cranking it out Althouse.

DLS said...

If Trump were a Machiavellian genius, he'd throw his support behind "Medicare for All", house bill HR 676.
.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/upshot/health-insurance-medicare-obamacare-american-health-care-act.html?_r=0

Bob Daniszewski said...

I always thought "taking a powder" derived from the euphemistic phrase women would use when they left to go to the restroom: "Excuse me, I need to powder my nose."

Rob McLean said...

I can't hear or see the word "flounder" without thinking of Bullwinkle saying, "Fan mail from some flounder...?"

Lucien said...

Flounder just sounds more farcical than founder, kinda like a fiasco sounds like it would be more fun to watch than a debacle. I'm used to seeing and writing (I know, I know) founder in the more cliched context of "foundering on the rocks of . . .", and would never be tempted to use flounder instead.

On the other hand, once ideas are debunked, they tend to become defunct.

Darrell said...

This Trump story is made-up bullshit. All the Trump stories from the MSM are made-up bullshit. Hillary stories? Depends.

Owen said...

If we're getting into Word Confusion, can we please try to steer "career" clear on its crazy crashing course, so that it doesn't end up beached on its side and scraped like a ship in distress being "careened"?

rcocean said...

"if you're floundering, you're struggling. If you're foundering, you're failing completely. You're sunk! You can't even hold onto the letter l."

Ha.

rcocean said...

All these negative Trump stories based on "sources close to the President" are Bullshit.

Why would anyone "close to Trump" and presumably his friend, talk to CNN/NYT/WAPO and give them negative stuff that they can use to attack Trump?

I repeat, they're all bullshit.

I don't believe any negative MSM story about Trump that's based on anon. sources. Why would I trust the lying media about Trump?

Freder Frederson said...

For the few here who don't, it is "Port outbound, Starboard home." It referred to the shipboard trip to India. The side facing west is hotter.

That's what I used to think (and what my dad told me). But it apparently is not true.

Ann Althouse said...

"I always thought "taking a powder" derived from the euphemistic phrase women would use when they left to go to the restroom: "Excuse me, I need to powder my nose.""

How did you explain the use of "take"?

You put on makeup. You don't take it.

Or is this mixed up with the old problem of why we say "take a piss" and "take a shit"? I don't think so!

Do your own research. I'm pretty sure it goes back to a time when medicines came as powders and were not compressed into pills.

Ann Althouse said...

Some lady, you imagine, was starting to say I need to take a piss and she stopped herself at the beginning of piss and made it powder.

I don't think so.

Freder Frederson said...

Somebody name me a ski resort that wouldn't get the useless and overused "posh" adjective.

Devil's Head.

Seriously though, Winter Park, Heavenly, Mount Bachelor, A basin.

Ann Althouse said...

Also... "take a powder" is a rude thing to say to or about someone else. People don't say: "I need to take a powder." They say: "I need to powder my nose" or "I need to use the powder room."

You could say "Take a powder" — like "Take a hike" or "Get outta here." But I think it's most used about some who isn't present, as in "He took a powder."

It's really a very stupid old expression — like toed the line (often pictured as towed the line) — where people are invoking an image, but they don't really know what they are saying.

The worst one is "carrot and stick."

Richard Dillman said...

A great term for vocabulary or a person's lexicon comes from the original text of Beowulf. The Anglo Saxons used
the metaphoric compound "word-hoard" to mean vocabulary. A speaker in a formal situation might be said
to unlock his word-hoard. Since so many posts involve semantics and philology, I thought some readers might be interested. The term appears 7 times in extant Anglo Saxon texts. Here is an excerpt from Beowulf, where our hero
begins to speak --


Him se yldesta andswarode,
werodes wīsa, wordhord onlēac.

(The eldest one answered him,
leader of the troop, unlocked his word-hoard.)

mezzrow said...

Never forget that Flounder was the guy who fucked up.

He trusted them.

jaydub said...

When people use flounder for founder it's like fingernails on the chaulk board to me. Ships founder, which means the waves crash over the gunwales and the ship's bouyancy hangs in the balance until it either recovers or makes a final plunge to the bottom. Flounder can't can't describe that kind of life and death situation, only a flat fish. Maybe you have to be a sailor to understand.

traditionalguy said...

The poor CIA guys had to hide their microphones in snow covered tree tops and ski lift chairs. They could break a leg.

Bay Area Guy said...

It would be nice to get a primary, named source for a news article once in a while.

Bay Area Guy said...

It would be nice to get a primary, named source for a news article once in a while.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, I also assumed that "take a powder" derived from "powder room." Possibly short for "take a powder [break]"? "Powder break" itself is still in use. I really don't think it refers to people guzzling down medicines. And your example is male, but nearly all I have seen have been female.

Ann, "carrot and stick" isn't "the worst." It's just two images intermingled. In one, you have the carrot (to entice the donkey forward) and the stick (to goose it from behind). In the other, it's a carrot on a stick, as you'd hold in front of the donkey while riding it, to keep it going forward. Similar, but not identical.

Richard Dillman said...

When I was a child I caught flounder in Long Island Sound. A friend's father founded a company that eventually went bankrupt.
He went from founder to flounder in a few years, or was it flounderer. Anyway the family called him our flounder.

traditionalguy said...

Time to take a Goody's Headache Powder. It works as fast as Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt can drive around the oval at the Goody's 500 at Bristol, Tennessee. It was the official NASCAR pain reliever for 30 years.

They are easy to carry in a pocket with a folded wax paper. A Working man's favorite, that you always could find at the Gas Station cash registers in the Scots Irish southern appalachians. Who ever heard of Bayer Aspirins roundabout here? That's German.

n.n said...

Bay Area Guy:

Quotes that do not quote (and that may even be created) is a progressive standard of JournoLism. Something similar happened to observation and experimentation in a limited frame of reference (i.e. scientific domain), where inference replaced deduction as the logical standard, and assumptions, assertions, really, became the foundation for a political cult that indulges in conflation of logical domains, emotion, and ego.

Bill R said...

I believe "Take a powder" refers to a lady taking a break from a dreary date by making a visit to the "powder room" or ladies room.

Which reminds me, in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's", several times Holly refers to gentlemen giving her $50 "for the powder room". This might be a euphemism for a prostitute's fee or maybe a reference for cocaine. That's the real meaning. But what's the ostensible meaning. Why would a woman need $500 (in today's money) for the "powder room"?

Owen said...

Richard Dillman: very classy contribution there, unlocking the word-hoard...

gadfly said...

Jared and Ivanka are at insensitive to politically correct behavior. They vacationed last year in Croatia with once-upon-a-time girlfriend of Putin, Wendi Deng - and Jared accompanied Michael Flynn to a secret meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak in Trump Tower last December.

rcocean said...

"Take a powder" always sounds like something from a 40s crime movie. Sorta like "scram" or "blow"

Off-topic: "Buy the farm" "Bum rap" "take a gander" and "whistling dixie" seem to make no sense now.

rcocean said...

"Take a powder" always sounds like something from a 40s crime movie. Sorta like "scram" or "blow"

Off-topic: "Buy the farm" "Bum rap" "take a gander" and "whistling dixie" seem to make no sense now.

Quaestor said...

Ships flounder. Horses founder. Both are bad, but founder is sometimes deadly. Founder is laminitis, an inflammation of the living tissue just beneath the wall of the hoof. A foundered horse may experience intractable pain that can only be addressed by euthanasia. It's what happened to Secretariat.

Mary Beth said...

Which reminds me, in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's", several times Holly refers to gentlemen giving her $50 "for the powder room". This might be a euphemism for a prostitute's fee or maybe a reference for cocaine. That's the real meaning. But what's the ostensible meaning. Why would a woman need $500 (in today's money) for the "powder room"?

It was a fee but she could pretend that she was asking for money to tip the bathroom attendant. (Nicer places used to have attendants in the bathroom to hand you a fresh towel and keep things tidy.)

Dr Weevil said...

'Bought the farm' for 'died' makes perfect sense to me: I figure it's a grass farm six feet long and three feet wide. (A friend in college owned a hay farm, which is pretty much the same thing, though hers was much larger.)

Gerard Grosso said...

Yes you're correct, the article was junk news.
But, sadly, it may be even worse junk that you you went on to make so much of it.
:-(

Chuck said...

By all accounts, the President endured long meetings with both sides of the Republican divide, using his signature style to try to woo even the most reluctant participants. But even as the White House and Republican leaders repeatedly played up Trump's engagement, there was often a suspicion -- voiced quietly but repeatedly by senior congressional aides involved in the process and at times by many of the rank-and-file lawmakers themselves -- that he was not all in.

The President's lobbying efforts sounded impressive: Face-to-face meetings with more than 120 members of Congress. For good measure, private phone calls with many of them.

But in many of those meetings, details were an afterthought, according to multiple people present.

"Staff was for details, Trump was for closing," said one senior congressional aide. When it came to details, Trump "didn't know, didn't care, or both."

He didn't answer their specific questions about the bill, according to three members of Congress who attended the meetings. He didn't offer any arguments for why they should support the legislation other than to give him his first legislative victory.

Trump repeatedly focused instead on the politics of the broader situation, the people said. In the Oval Office, he quizzed the Republicans about the margin of victory in their districts last fall. His victory, not theirs.

"He did very little to say why we should vote 'yes,' " one Republican member of Congress said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating the White House. "He kept talking about his damn election."

In the end, the man dubbed "the ultimate closer" could not close the deal.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/25/politics/donald-trump-paul-ryan-inside-obamacare-repeal/

Michael K said...

He didn't offer any arguments for why they should support the legislation other than to give him his first legislative victory.

I doubt the Congress critters would understand if he did.

Dave Durenberger was a Senator from Minnesota years ago. I was with a group of CMA legislative types that met with him one time on healthcare. He told us that he was the only member of the Senate who knew anything about healthcare. The others all would call him and ask what he was going to do. That was when The Dims had majorities in both houses.

Staffs and lobbyists write legislation these days.

Bob Daniszewski said...

"Bought the farm" has a fairly literal meaning. If I recall this correctly,farmers often had life insurance that would pay off their mortgages at death. So, when they died, their families would own the farm free and clear.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't know if there is a posher ski resort in this country than Aspen. (And to think, I was wearing my Aspen Rod and Gun Club hat yesterday). My memory is that one Saudi spent upwards of nine figures on a house there. 19th Century Victorians < 1,000 sq ft in town have been selling for better than a million for awhile now. Vail has a lot of money too, but it tends to be new money, and/or Texas money, and they flash it more there. Aspen is where the billionaires go, as well as the older money. One of the Kennedys died going out for a pass on skis, hitting a tree instead. Darwin at work.

Not always that bad. Town almost died between the end of the silver nook and the advent of skiing. My father skied there in the 1940s (not sure if it was before or after the war), when the sole "lift" was a sled that ran by Little Nell on Ajax. It would be pulled up, then back down. Saw it on my first trip there around 1960 (which was the year I started alpine skiing). We were there in the summer, and rode the single lift up the mountain, then back down (right next to the old sled). There was a bar and footrest that would swing open and closed, and attached to it was a blanket/hood to keep you warm riding up the mtn. Haven't seen that in a lot of decades. We stayed every couple years for spring break through the 1960s, when you could still find reasonable places for a family to stay. Raced there during the latter 1960s into the 1970s, culminating in a downhill in maybe 1972 or so. Haven't skied there since, but do pop through every couple years when Independence Pass is open. Skiing was good, just not that good, not enough better to justify the trip all the way from Summit County, where we have a place, and 4 decent ski areas in the county. At best, I would pop over Vail Pass to ski Vail or Beaver Creek. No reason to drive another hour and a half to two hours. But, if you have a private jet, Aspen is great. Also, Aspen is relatively low, as far as CO ski areas go. Lower than Vail/Beaver Creek, and comparable to Steamboat, without as much snow.couple thousand feet below Summit County towns, and almost 3k below their ski areas. Which usually meant that this time of year, you would be skiing slush and straw.

Bruce Hayden said...

Don't find the story credible. Ivanka is supposedly Trump's favorite, and I suspect that if he really didn't want the Kushners to go to Aspen, they wouldn't have.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Chuck, see my 12:07 PM regarding CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/25/politics/donald-trump-paul-ryan-inside-obamacare-repeal/

MaxedOutMama said...

I am almost certain that the phrase "to take a powder" comes from early in the last century, NYC, and nightclubs.

The phrase originally meant to vanish by stealth. Women would tell their dates "I need to powder my nose" i.e. go to the restroom. In clubs, women were deployed to get wealthy out of state magnates to order very expensive drinks (the women received a commission from the club). This was done by the magnate on the theory that there would be a quid pro quo at the end of the evening, but instead, the woman would "go powder her nose" and leave through the back.

cornroaster said...

I wonder if Aspen was described as "posh" when Democrats vacationed there.

RAH said...

To founder is specific as a verb referencing horses. A horse that founders is lame and can not move easily.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I smell fake news!

Oh, you sure do like to smell things, that's for sure.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

A Michael K thread. Uggggh.

Gk1 said...

This piece makes me wonder what "sources" the MSM has within the trump administration? Like the one detailing how Trump goes to bed at 6:30 in his bathrobe. I have to expect the trump people use the press whenever they want to leak something positive but why should I believe anything these birds in the press have to say? They never name their sources.