Donald Trump Goes Full Queeg Over Alabama

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted this:

Alabama? The National Weather Service in Birmingham quickly tweeted a correction:

Normally this would be the end of things: a minor mistake quickly straightened out. But then it made the news, and since TV is the only reality Trump cares about he naturally went into a frenzy:

No, it wasn’t true, and two days later Trump still couldn’t let it go, trotting out this visual aid for reporters in the Oval Office:

This map from last week shows Dorian tracking toward Florida, but someone used a big Sharpie to add Alabama to the probable path. Trump insisted that this was in the original briefing and that he didn’t know who had added the Sharpie line. Uh huh.

But wait! Believe it or not, there’s more. Apparently thinking that he hadn’t embarrassed himself enough already, he took this spaghetti plot:

Which is already pretty useless for non-professionals, and dug up one with lots of underlying “ensemble” spaghetti that’s completely meaningless without expert translation:

This is truly Queeg-like behavior: an unhinged obsession over the most minuscule imaginable criticism combined with repeated defenses so clumsy that even a child would see through them. And it’s obvious that Trump spent a fair amount of time stewing over the whole thing and coming up with these absurd maps.

This is truly nuts. But I suppose by tomorrow the official word will be that Trump was joking all along.

UPDATE: This post has been updated with a more detailed description of the spaghetti plots.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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