May 22, 2020

What I got from 3 minutes of "Morning Joe" today at dawn...

I hate to watch the news on television, but I do like to put MSNBC on the satellite radio in my car and sample what's going on there as I drive the 3 minutes it takes to get home after my sunrise run.

This morning, Morning Joe was speaking as if he were concerned about what Trump could possibly to do to win the election. In his sad troubled mode, Morning Joe said that Trump needed to contrast himself to Biden, but was there any area of contrast that could work? He can't claim to be less "doddering" — because both men are old. And he can't claim to be better on China, because he's praised President Xi.

Morning Joe somberly advised Trump to find something else — not China and not the problem of "doddering." He kept saying "doddering." That cracked me up.

The word "doddering" originally referred to something that happens to oak trees. "Doddering" is derived from "doddered" which the (unlinkable) OED defines as:
A word conventionally used... as an attribute of old oaks (rarely other trees); apparently originally meaning: Having lost the top or branches, esp. through age and decay; hence, remaining as a decayed stump. Johnson explained it as ‘Overgrown with dodder: covered with supercrescent plants’; and this explanation, which was manifestly erroneous, since neither dodder nor any plant like it grows upon trees, has been repeated in the dictionaries, and has influenced literary usage, in which there is often a vague notion of some kind of parasitical accretion accompanying or causing decay.
We're used to the verb "dodder," but I hadn't known of an actual substance called "dodder." It's a parasitic plant that looks like this on a tree:



A joke about Trump's hair seems within reach.

70 comments:

John Lynch said...

Sounds like two things Trump should do. It helps that they're both true, for once.

CStanley said...

The only real takeaway from that Scarborough piece is that the Dems are definitely worried about Biden being perceived as senile and as having corrupt relations with China.

A Voice of Reason said...

"Praising" Xi is called 'taking one for the team', in this case probably farmers and pharmaceuticals (for now).

Biden, by the way, is a senile, corrupt, racist, sexual harasser. And he's the best the Dims have got so far.

Kevin said...

Faux concern is how they show those still listening how impartial and balanced they are.

They don’t hate Trump, they’re just concerned for his welfare.

They’re afraid he might do something to trap himself into the Presidency for four more years when they know he really just wants out.

Jersey Fled said...

In Dem-speak, those are the two things that they don't want Trump to do.

Translation: Biden is doddering and weak on China.

Amadeus 48 said...

Speaking of confusion, I made my joke about Susan Rice’s by the book meaning Moby Dick with Flynn playing the part of the whale, and it got removed by the moderator. It was on PJ Media.

They are obviously having their moderation done someplace like Madison or Palo Alto. If they moved it to India, at least there would be a good chance that the moderator had read the book.

So, was it Moby or Dick that got it removed?

Jamie said...

"Doddering" is not a word I every would have thought to look up - what an interesting etymology.

Sounds as if ol' Morning Joe (as opposed to ol' Slow Joe) has decided on his line of attack - but Trump's problem is that he's too much like Biden? Mmm hmm. Your political opponent is just as bad as the guy you accidentally nominated. Sounds like a winner.

wendybar said...

Morning Joke is trying to stay relevant. Everything he reports ends up turning out he was wrong. He can't get past the fact, that Mika would have jumped at the chance to be with The Donald as she used to call him when she basically sat on his lap fixing his hair. (there is video, and she giggles like a schoolgirl all through it)

bgates said...

He can't claim to be less "doddering"

A joke about Chris Dodd seems within reach.

iowan2 said...

After the local news and weather I click over to Joe and his paramour. It's is so "orange man bad" its turned into a very bad SNL skit, that lacks any cogent content.
The real SNL could do a full hour of the over the top shtick. They won't of course.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Sounds like 3 minutes that could be better spent. Maybe it’s just me though — Scott Adams says he goes to the CNN website every morning strictly for the comedy.

Sebastian said...

"He can't claim to be less "doddering""

Watch, progs.

Anyway, doesn't equating Slow Joe and DJT as doddering seniors count as a gaffe?

iowan2 said...

Who is going to be the first Democrat to break ranks and declare Biden senile? It is going to happen. Biden is not the nominee.

Chris said...

Althouse deleted the post that preceded this one - regarding CDC and conflicting information. I wonder why?

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Sounds like you over-listened your "Two Minutes Hate" by one..

Limited blogger said...

Every time I see a video clip of Biden I have to check the context to see if it is intending to ridicule him or if it's being served up as a serious presentation.

What's with that bright blue suit he's always wearing?

Lurker21 said...

I hate to watch the news on television, but I do like to put MSNBC on the satellite radio in my car and sample what's going on there as I drive the 3 minutes it takes to get home after my sunrise run.

Ecological me has some trouble with that right there.

Ann Althouse said...

""Doddering" is not a word I every would have thought to look up - what an interesting etymology."

Something about blogging makes me want to look things up. I had always imagined "doddering" as a kind of shaking, unsteady movement — maybe something like "bobbing" with some age-related ideas like "doting."

Ann Althouse said...

"Sounds like 3 minutes that could be better spent. Maybe it’s just me though — Scott Adams says he goes to the CNN website every morning strictly for the comedy."

1. The 3 minutes were spent driving my car home.

2. The alternative would be to see what they're playing on the "Coffeehouse" channel on XM Radio. Or the "Bridge" channel — maybe I'll get lucky and it will be something like "Danny's Song" or "What a Fool Believes."

3. I got a whole post out of it.

4. I got a view of what they will spend probably hours talking about. In 3 minutes.

5. I was completely amused, because I view it from a distance, with cruel neutrality.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

What happened to the shopping post? It disappeared for me.

h said...

I'm going to use "aging" and "doddering" ("doddering old fool" is the context I know) to post the remarkable comment Joe BIden made this morning on a talk show with a largely black audience. Said Joe, "If you don't support me over Trump, you ain't black."

Lurker21 said...

I used to watch Mika and Joe a little bit, just for fun. Fox and Friends is too much like Good Morning America "happy talk" from the last century. Mika and Joe are a little like your parents or your neighbors' parents or somebody else's parents, with Willie Geist as the older son who could never break away from home.

But with all the anti-Trumpery, it's getting very hard to watch their show. There is something deeply personal going on between Joe and Donald, and I wish he'd just finally break down and say it. It's like there is this massive personal elephant in the studio that he just won't acknowledge.

Today, Scarborough was touting "Flynn never was masked" as proof that there was never any scandal - that the idea that there was a scandal was based on a "lie." But if Flynn was never masked to begin with, doesn't that make him more of a target of the authorities of the day? If they were spying on him all along is that really proof that he wasn't targeted?

Francisco D said...

wendybar said... Morning Joke is trying to stay relevant. Everything he reports ends up turning out he was wrong.

It doesn't matter. He's a whore just trying to make a good living.

narciso said...

well morning joke is somewhat amusing except when they give short shrift to tara reade, on balance I would probably play classic imus,

Jamie said...

My husband recently got the CNN app, for his own anyone. I'm beginning to think I'm the reincarnation of Mr. Costanza, with no capacity for amusement left in me, shrieking "Serenity now!!" to the uncaring heavens every time said husband wants to tell me the latest "news" from his new toy.

Maybe once we can all go out and do stuff again, I'll have a better perspective on whether what the Left media say and do is the threat to the Republic that it seems to be right now. Maybe.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Touche. I get why you do it, but for me that’s three minutes I’ll never get back. To each their own.

Big Mike said...

but I do like to put MSNBC on the satellite radio in my car and sample what's going on there

Keep doing that, and your IQ will be down to 88 before you know it.

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder, how much does Joe get paid by the minute for 3 minutes of somber yammering about doddering?

Rick said...

This is Cuomo commenting on his nursing home death policy.

Cuomo even tried to claim that the more-than-5,500 deaths connected to nursing homes in New York was a better toll, per capita, than most other states.

But the state Department of Health seems to have fudged the death toll, admitting it does not count nursing-home residents who ended up dying in hospital of the coronavirus, so the real numbers are much higher.

Asked about this convenient accounting, Cuomo returned to Trump: “The state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance . . . No numbers were changed.”


Note the emphasis on the end of "Trump's CDC" [when the truth is just "CDC"] expecting this to change the focus on the interview as it has for the last two months. This reminds me of Weinstein's early claim he was going to focus on defeating Trump expecting that to give him a pass on all prior behavior. Some people might be tempted to think these events demonstrate things have changed but as Biden shows this is not so. It only shows the strategy has some very high limits including that the person has become a net liability to the left, and the strategy still works with Dems themselves. Even Dems who self-identify as "Reasonable" continue to revere Cuomo for killing people while opposing Trump.

So how many people are going to convert to Trump voters as media loses its ability to blame solely Trump for all things Covid? By the time November rolls around it will be clear to everyone (1) Dems valued calling Reps racist more than saving lives, and (2) they valued your economic livelihood less than blaming Trump for Covid deaths.

Wince said...

And he can't claim to be better on China, because he's praised President Xi.

Morning Joe seems to be admitting that opposition and confrontation is the "better" China policy politically.

TJM said...

Ann,

You really must love fake news and idiocy. Don’t you feel less intelligent listening to this crap?

Skeptical Voter said...

I don't want to go all Spiro Agnew here---"nattering Nabobs of negativity", although is the shoe fits Joe and his ilk, why not?

I'd rather go "babbling blundering buffoon" when I think of Morning Joe---but that's just me.

And yes our host got a whole post out of Joe this morning, so there is that.

Roy Lofquist said...

I generally don't watch shows with ratings lower than Spongebob Squarepants so I miss a lot of the politicos.

Howard said...

I love Danny's song.

Howard said...

I have to agree with everyone else morning Joe is so horrible I can't even bring myself to even find out what you are talking about in that regard. Mika is not a girl that holds the world in a paper cup.

Fritz said...

The Jewel Weed in the wetland behind our house gets a pretty good case of dodder in the late summer/early fall. I never associated associated with the word doddering, though.

AlbertAnonymous said...

All Trump has to do to differentiate himself from Biden is complete a coherent sentence.

Honestly, I know you asked this before, but I think it’s really a whole lot better for Biden that he’s locked away. There’s simply no way he could be doing the usual in person political rallies right now. They’d never be able to hide his dementia. At least now they can keep up the charade by editing tape or doing a re-take.

One debate and this is over.

Phidippus said...

I'm sure there's a word in etymology for a word that seems to resemble or suggest its meaning. "Doddering" to me has always suggested the jittery, unsteady motion control of early robots. Which is similar to the jittery, unsteady motion control of some elderly humans.

Morning Joe does sound like a pathetic idiot, trying to invent a problem with Biden that Trump manifestly does not have. And he must know it; but he has to fill the time with something his audience will approve of.

So much time to fill, so little to fill it with! Sad.

A joke about Trump's hair is always within reach, but will it be a good joke? Who will rise to the challenge?

Bay Area Guy said...

Mika is trying to get Trump from Twitter, Morning Joe is doddering on and on about doddering old Joe Biden.

What would this idiot non-power couple talk about, if not Trump?

The obsession factor is high. (with them, not our esteemed Hostess).

Bruce Hayden said...

“In his sad troubled mode, Morning Joe said that Trump needed to contrast himself to Biden, but was there any area of contrast that could work? He can't claim to be less "doddering" — because both men are old. And he can't claim to be better on China, because he's praised President Xi.”

Trump praises Xi just as he praises Kim. It’s part of his negotiating style. When they are moving in his direction he treats them like his groupies, and they seem to love it. Then, when they do something bad, he calls them out about it. It’s weird. He’s the rock star. Everyone knows it. He is always calling people up on stage to recognize them. And they often seem to have the same bemused smile on their faces as do Xi and Kim. He tries it with Putin but the latter smiles like he knows what is going on. I do wonder if this is an Oriental thing? The thing is, is that these leaders around the world seem to crave Trump’s approval, which he turns on and off strategically on a continuous basis. (This is, BTW, part of how many guys seduce women, and is a key element of “game”).

What the Dems, the left, can’t quite accept is that Trump is really better than the professionals at foreign negotiations. A lot better. The reality is that the State Department is filled with bureaucrats. It is maybe the oldest government bureaucracy in the country. Yes, a lot of it’s people have fancy degrees. But, in the end, they are DMV clerks with Ivy League degrees. Their goal in life is a bigger bureaucratic empire, a government pension, and the security of proper process. Process is everything for a bureaucrat. But proper, standard, routine process here can easily get in the way of getting the deal with a foreign country that is best for this country. So Trump cuts the “experts” out of the deal making, when they get in the way.

The other thing that he does is to take chances, not being afraid of failure, as the “professionals” inevitably are. He isn’t afraid of a negotiation failing. In his world, that happens more often than not. He just pivots and tries something else.

I mentioned above that Orientals (East Asians) seem esp vulnerable to his negotiating style. I wonder if it has anything to do with their concern about losing face. In any case, China is our biggest geopolitical problem right now. Even more than militant Islam (which is mostly stable right now with the Sunni powers on decent terms with us and sanctions against Iran keeping the under pressure, with a number of targeted assassinations of prominent terrorist commanders having added a little zest). The Chinese, likely due to their slap dash attitude towards safety, have essentially killed better than a million people worldwide, and 100k here, with their coronavirus pandemic. It is decimating the world economy, and Trump has made sure that the Chinese economy probably ends up suffering the most. We are also in the process of transforming our military to fight them, instead of being primarily aimed at Muslim fanaticism. But I think that the possible loss of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of middle class jobs in China, that keeps Xi and his buddies up late at night worrying. It doesn’t help that Trump has led the effort to blame the for the effects of their coronavirus pandemic. And to remove the from the supply chains for a number of countries, due to their perceived unreliability. They probably want to stay mad at the Trump and the US, but then he reaches out to their leader, recognizes him as a real person, and they can’t. It’s weird, but it seems to work.

Michael K said...

It's called "concern trolling" and I am surprised no one mentioned it.

Taking advice from your enemies is not the way to win.

Lurker21 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard said...

Spermbob Sploogepants

Rick said...

Bruce Hayden said...
But proper, standard, routine process here can easily get in the way of getting the deal with a foreign country that is best for this country.


You're being overly generous. We're the only country in the world whose negotiators understand their job as giving away as much as they can instead of getting as much as they can. This is the outcome of internationalism, these people believe our success creates a duty to give to others. Further they believe the appropriate location for that giving is not the individual but institutional so they can control the outcome.

Breezy said...

Joe and Mika were more interesting to watch eons ago, when they actually disagreed on things and Trump was not all-consuming. I can’t even stop in for 10 seconds without hearing the gnashing and rending. What a mess. And so boring.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"Doddering"? Trump has an energy level that most 30-year-olds couldn't match. Has he seen the press conferences? Complete focus, for extended periods of time, switching subjects with ease?

Meanwhile, Biden needs reminders of what century it is.

Drago said...

I would like to associate myself with Bruce Hayden's remark at 9:17am.

I am also waiting for Laslo Spatula to show up so that I might associate myself with his future remarks as well.

Sight unseen.

Fernandistein said...

I had always imagined "doddering" as a kind of shaking, unsteady movement —

Here ya go -

dodder (v.)
"to shake, tremble," 1610s, perhaps a variant of dadder, from Middle English daderen "to quake, tremble" (mid-14c.) a frequentative formation on a pattern similar to totter, patter, etc. Wedgwood points to a large group of similar words signifying motion to and fro, including dither, diddle, dandle, toddle, doddle ("shake the head," 1650s). Related: Doddered; doddering.

In CO, dodder typically attaches itself to grass and weeds.

Yancey Ward said...

Scarborough is concern trolling, but the real point of his monologue is to try to buck up the Left who also know Biden's biggest vulnerabilities. The Left may well be stupid enough to believe Scarborough, so I won't say it is useless.

John henry said...


Blogger Ann Althouse said...

Something about blogging makes me want to look things up.

That is something that I love about reading on Kindle as opposed to paper. Lots of words that I kinda, sorta, think I know what they mean. On paper, I would sort of figure it out from context.

I would almost never look it up in a paper dictionary.

With Kindle, I click on the word and it gives me dictionary and Wikipedia definitions and explanation.

John Henry

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

when you are an old corruptocrat, and your burisma flares up

...you start doddering

Kevin said...

but I do like to put MSNBC on the satellite radio in my car and sample what's going on there

The Three Minute Hate.

John henry said...

If this election is about age and vitality, no point in even waiting until November.

PDJT has a vitality, and the stamina to back it up, that most men 20 years younger woud envy.

It is really hard to remember that he is 72.

Joe has looked decrepit for the past 30 years. He didn't look much more vital when he was 50 than he does now.

He "swims" is sometimes pulled out to show how athletic he is. Well, there is swimming and there is swimming. Sometimes I will go to the hotel pool for a swim. Generally just splashing around in the shallow end with maybe a leisurely lap to the other end and back.

Then there are other people who swim 20 laps exerting quite a bit of effort.

What kind of swimming does Joe do?

I suspect that his swimming is like Mao swimming across the Yangtze river.

Doddering fits Joe both physically and mentally. I don't see any way it can be applied to PDJT.

And, Donald Trump has been actually accomplishing things since he was about 16. And continues to accomplish things today as president.

What has Joe Biden ever accomplished?

John Henry

John henry said...

Isn't an alternative meaning of doddering what Joe's campaign manager and St Teddy the Lesser did to that waitress?

John Henry

narciso said...

like with Andrew Kaplan's smattering of Russian Arabic, Ukrainian, to make it authentic, sometimes he provides clues with the phrases,

John henry said...

Blogger Howard said...

Mika is not a girl that holds the world in a paper cup.

Now you are stepping in Lazlo's territory, Howard.

I am assuming that you meant to bring to our minds the famous "Two girls, 1 cup" video.

Perhaps the grossest video ever made. At least until you figure out how theydid it. And then it is just really, really, really, gross

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

It’s part of his negotiating style. When they are moving in his direction he treats them like his groupies, and they seem to love it. Then, when they do something bad, he calls them out about it.

OMG, Bruce. You just made me realize that President Trump is a One Minute Manager.

From the 1980s book by Blanchard and Johnson. Best book ever written on working with people. I used to have it on the reading lists of all my HR classes.

One minute goal setting - Set clear, easy to understand goals as well as the metrics against which the person will be measured. 1 sheet of paper. Any more and it is too complex to be understood and will drag in a lot of non-critical stuff.

One minute praising - When people do something right, or even "approximately right" let them know and let them know in a timely manner. Nothing elaborate, just a recognition that you noticed.

One minute reprimand - When they fail, let them know in a timely manner. Couch it positively, this is what you did, this is how you can improve.

It works well with kids, too. Clear expectations, feedback when they are good and feedback when they are not.

Thank you, Bruce, for the insight.

John Henry

narciso said...

ted bell's most recent, overkill was pretty bad, hopefully the next one up in july, will be better,

gadfly said...

dod·der·ing (dŏd′ər-ĭng)
adj. Derogatory
Trembling, tottering, or exhibiting mental impairment associated with aging.

So Joe Scarborough was correct for a change.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

If the Democrats think that the Trump campaign is going to let America forget that Biden spent the KungFlu in hiding, then they are out of their tiny little minds.

Bruce Hayden said...

“One minute goal setting - Set clear, easy to understand goals as well as the metrics against which the person will be measured. 1 sheet of paper. Any more and it is too complex to be understood and will drag in a lot of non-critical stuff.”

This is why bureaucracies inevitably do such a poor job at what they are tasked to do - because they inevitably accumulate multiple, conflicting, goals and mandates. That allows, for example, NASA to quit sending Americans to space on American rockets, because they are excelling at Muslim outreach. In reference to its original mission, the CDC has been a horrible failure, in fighting COVID-19. But it has done remarkably well doing other things, such as attacking gun violence, school bullying, etc.

“One minute praising - When people do something right, or even "approximately right" let them know and let them know in a timely manner. Nothing elaborate, just a recognition that you noticed.”

The thing is though that Trump makes this more of a habit than anyone else I know of. I first noticed this at his thank you meeting the day after his nomination. He publicly thanked the carpenters who built the stage. He thanked LEOs from a number of different agencies, starting with the Secret Service on down, throwing out names on occasion, likely to show that he really was paying attention. And he keeps doing that to this day.

“One minute reprimand - When they fail, let them know in a timely manner. Couch it positively, this is what you did, this is how you can improve.”

Or fire them, if you have to. Trump was probably too fast in firing Gen Flynn, who turns out to have done nothing wrong. But he was new in the job, and didn’t understand the forces arrayed against him. I was heartened when it was suggested that Trump would consider bringing him back. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened after the election, just to ru salt in the wounds.

rcocean said...

Doddering old fool. That's the only example I can think of. And Morning Joe really is an old fool. But not doddering.

rcocean said...

BTW why not just walk/run? Why get in your car for three minutes? Doesn't seem to be worth the effort.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Love the girl who holds the world in a paper cup
Drink it up
Love her and she'll bring you luck
And if you find she helps your mind
Buddy, take her home
Yeah, don't you live alone
Try to earn what lovers own

Tomcc said...

As if on cue: Mr. Biden has inelegantly expressed himself on a radio talk show this morning.

Howard said...

John Henry: I was referring to Loggins & Messina's "Danny's Song"

Love the girl who holds
The world in a paper cup
Drink it up
Love her and she'll bring you luck

mikee said...

Somehow I think Trump will be able to differentiate himself from Biden in a debate.
All Trump has to do is say, "Well, Joe, that Depends."
Or perhaps, "What's seven times six, Joe?"
Or even, "Joe, what year is it?"

Darkisland said...

Howard said...

John Henry: I was referring to Loggins & Messina's "Danny's Song"

I love the way Becky Cole does that.

John Henry

Bunkypotatohead said...

"It doesn't matter. He's a whore just trying to make a good living."
You left out Mika.

Michael K said...

So Joe Scarborough was correct for a change.

About you ? Hard to tell on a blog.