He’s Talking Ragtime
When presented with a ridiculous, far-fetched story (usually from my brother), my
father would often roll his eyes and mutter, “He’s talking Ragtime.”
The Urban Dictionary defines Talking Ragtime as something that someone says that another considers foolish; absurd; an absurd comment. And if that doesn’t describe Trump’s WSJ interview, I don’t know what does. (Thanks, Dad.)
Many pundits and Tweeters have highlighted (lowlighted) various parts of the interview. Here are the ones that stood out to me.
WHO IS MR. ELEGANT?
At one point, he’s talking about a debate (in which he, of course, was spectacular) and says:
We have - nobody knows what the number is. I mean, it used to be, when we talked during the debate, 2 1/2 trillion (dollars), right, when the most elegant person - right? I call him Mr. Elegant. I mean, that was a great debate. We did such a great job.
No idea what/who he’s talking about. (He probably can’t remember either.)
Oh, and the Boy Scout speech had a 100% positive reaction—no mix. No mix (you’re the mix.)
Then, he calls “major, major countries…like countries, you know, fairly large, like 300 million people. You know, a lot of people say - they say, well, but the United States is large. And then you call places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and you say, you know, how many people do you have? And it’s pretty amazing how many people they have. “
Again with “a lot of people say, ” and btw, yam, only 3 countries have populations over 300 million people, the US, Chyyhna and India. He was blabbering about gdp, but it was so muddled, it made no sense.
JUST DROPPED IN…
And nice that Ivanka dropped in for a chat and the yam joked that Baker stole the name Arabella from Ivanka—except that Baker’s kid is 15 (they were just joking around, but of course, the yam had to be the alpha dog.)
A TRUE MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Talking about all the billions of companies that are going to build plants because he told them to, and they’re going to need people, like the poor slobs in upstate NY, he shares this heartwarming advice:
I’m going to explain you can leave, it’s OK, don’t worry about your house.
You know, a lot of them don’t leave because of their house. Because they say, gee, my house, I thought it was worth 70,000 (dollars) and now it’s worth nothing. It’s OK. Go, cut your losses, right?
ENGLAND, MY ENGLAND
Ah, here’s the section with his VASSSST knowledge of the UK, Great Britain, England, Scotland—whatever. (Only he knows things.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: He’s the ambassador to the Court of St. James, which is England, you know…
Then it really goes off the rails:
WSJ: You tweeted this morning about trade talks with Britain.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.
WSJ: Can you tell us more about what’s going on?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, but I can say that we’re going to be very involved with the U.K. I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.
WSJ: I work with a Brit.
MR. BAKER: I’m English. We always make that point. You’re right, yeah.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Is Scotland going to go for the vote, by the way? You don’t see it. It would be terrible. They just went through hell.
MR. BAKER: (Inaudible) - but they’re going to be -
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They just went through hell.
MR. BAKER: Besides, the first minister’s already made it clear she -
PRESIDENT TRUMP: What do you think? You don’t think so, right?
MR. BAKER: I don’t.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open.
MR. BAKER: (Inaudible.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Scotland. Keep it in Scotland.
I’ve read that exchange three times and still have no idea what he’s talking about. (Or why)
TRADE AFTER BREXIT…OR BREAKFAST…OR WHATEVER
WSJ: Would the idea be that the trade deal will kick in pretty much as soon as Brexit happens?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: As soon as it’s appropriate to have it kick in, absolutely. And it’ll be a big trade deal - much, much more business than we do right now, many, many times.
WSJ: Are there keys that would be the important pieces of it? What would - can you highlight specific -
PRESIDENT TRUMP: There’ll be certain pieces. It’s not - there’ll be certain pieces.
On Iran, within about a minute, he goes from:
we’re doing very detailed studies. And personally, I have great respect for my people
I think they’ll be noncompliant.
to (when asked if he’ll overrule his staff)
Oh, sure. Sure. Look, I have a lot of respect for Rex and his people, good relationship. It’s easier to say they comply. It’s a lot easier. But it’s the wrong thing. They don’t comply.
So why the fuck is he doing all these detailed studies?
WHO SAID THAT?
And he doesn’t even know which FAKE NEWS outfit to blame for his problems:
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m talking like the story about Syria that was in The New York Times the other day. I’m - which by the way, was a decision made by people, not me. But, you know, they wrote it 100 - it was in the -
WSJ: The Post, I thought. It was in The Washington Post.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It was in The Washington Post. That was not something that I was involved in,
Whatever fake media printed it, it was fake, and besides, it wasn’t me. (I hear Shaggy singing…)
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL (OR AT LEAST, SHE PASSES A NOTE IN STUDY HALL)
They’re in the middle of talking about Sessions and Russia (and of course the “many crimes of Hillary Clinton”) and first he uses Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks as his PROOF that the campaign wasn’t involved with Russia. Then, for some inexplicable reason (she must have written him a note to bolster his bullshit) he has this little exchange with spokesmodel, Hope Hicks.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Give me those notes, Hope, come on, just give - I can’t read it. What do you think, I have 20/20 perfect -
MS. HICKS: I was just saying, you self-funded.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Huh?
MS. HICKS: You self-funded.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, yeah, I self-funded much of my -
Oh—and by the way, The Mooch was there when they did this interview—adding his charming notes.
It’s only fitting that he sort of ends the interview singing Mooch’s praises and saying all is well at the White House.
MR. BAKER: But we can’t expect any more staff changes in the immediate - in the immediate future?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I don’t think so.
MR. BAKER: No?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: But I’m very happy with Anthony. I think Anthony is going to do amazing.
Well, THAT didn’t hold up very well, did it.
There were many, many more WTF moments (and I’m not even going into the golf chatter) during this encounter, but these were the ones that stood out to me.
Now, to take that terrible taste away for a few moments, I’ll end with the opening scene from Ragtime, the musical at the 1998 Tonys. You’re welcome.