FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
October 11, 2011

Pinellas County, Fla., will stop adding fluoride to its drinking water after complaints by anti-government activists. Dentists protested the decision, arguing that fluoridation has dramatically lowered tooth-decay rates across the U.S., but Tea Party activists said it was part of a plot by "the world government to keep people stupid." The Week Staff

2:04 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Women's Marches that took place around the world on Saturday appear to have gotten under the skin of one Republican state senator in Mississippi, who devoted a good chunk of the last 48 hours dwelling on, writing about, and stewing over the demonstrations attended by millions.

Chris McDaniel made his first post on Facebook Sunday, declaring that at the Washington, D.C., march, which had an estimated 500,000 women, men, and children in attendance, "a group of unhappy liberal women" participated. He went on to make what he must have thought was a sick burn, asking how demonstrators "can afford all those piercings, tattoos, body paintings, signs, and plane tickets, when they want us to pay for their birth control?" In the comments section, he had the support of some, but most people tried to explain to him what the march meant to them and how they didn't appreciate his generalizations.

McDaniel came back Monday afternoon with another post saying that "no amount of liberal hell raising" will change his opinion about "free abortions," and shared a picture that he implied was from Saturday but was actually taken years ago. Thousands of comments were made, with many pointing out the irony of McDaniel complaining about things being free when taxpayers were paying for him to troll on Facebook. Later, he returned with another diatribe about march supporters loving "free stuff," and added a comment saying "literally 99 percent of you are not from MS. Perfect. It's nice to know I'm in your heads."

One user replied by letting him know that the troll was being trolled, saying, "Keeping you on Facebook stops you from doing more damage 'doing your job.' Thanks for taking the bait." Countless others railed against Mississippi, telling McDaniel he might want to stop insulting internet strangers and focus on matters closer to home, like the fact that in 2013, Mississippi had the highest rates of both chlamydia and gonorrhea in the U.S., and in 2016 the state was ranked last for academic achievement and 43.68 percent of state revenue came from federal funding. McDaniel responded by blaming everything on the man who held his seat three years ago. Catherine Garcia

1:48 a.m. ET
Keystone/Getty Images

President Trump got some ribbing for apparently borrowing a phrase from Batman villain Bane in his inaugural address — both promised to take power from the establishment and give it "back to you, the people." If the people want to make their voices heard with the new Trump administration, though, they have to use the White House email form or mail a paper-and-ink letter, because the White House comment line appears to be dead. If you call the comment line now, 202-456-1111, you get an automated message telling you to use the White House web form or Facebook messenger.

Using Facebook Messenger sounds like the most convenient option for many people, but "there's only one problem," says Variety's Janko Roettgers: "Neither the White House nor President Donald Trump seem to currently maintain an active Facebook Messenger account."

The comment line, staffed by White House volunteers, was reportedly mothballed in the final weeks of the Obama administration, and maybe the Trump White House just hasn't gotten around to staffing it yet — Trump still has to hire 659 of 690 key positions in his administration, the Partnership for Public Service's tally indicates, so maybe this isn't a high priority. Still, Trump also promised "the forgotten men and women of our country" in his inaugural address that "everyone is listening to you now." And according to Pew, 13 percent of Americans don't use the internet. For those who do, there's always Twitter.... Peter Weber

12:03 a.m. ET

President Trump's first weekend in the White House was an edifying start to the Trump era, Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night. "On one hand, we saw what may have been the largest organized protest in U.S. history, and on the other hand we had the new Trump administration openly lying on its first full day in office." He stared with the Women's Marches, which turned out 3-4 million people in the U.S. and around the world. "Imagine being so disliked that people are willing to go outside and protest you in Antarctica," Meyers said. "That would be like if you climbed Mt. Everest and when you got to the top there was a guy there booing you."

The protests and modest turnout for Trump's inauguration may be understandable given his historically low popularity and popular vote loss, but Trump didn't try to mend many fences in his "nightmarish dystopian hellscape" of an inaugural address, Meyers said. "Just to clarify, Ronald Reagan said it's morning in America; Trump is saying it's morning in America, but like early morning, when you wake up hungover, in a cold sweat, and you realize you're in Thailand and there's a dead body in the bed next to you, the only sound you hear is cops banging on your door, and all you can think is, 'What the f—k is happening?!?' — it's that kind of morning."

Trump couldn't help but complain about media coverage of his inaugural crowd at a CIA pep talk on Saturday. "Look, no one cares about crowd sizes," Meyers said. "The only reason this is a story is that Trump insists on lying about it, and sending White House officials out to lie about it." White House press secretary Sean Spicer's inaugural briefing was a PR disaster, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway didn't really clean it up on Sunday when she said Spicer was just relying on "alternative facts." "Kellyanne Conway is like someone trying to do the Jedi mind trick after only a week of Jedi training," Meyers said, imaging the alternative dialogue: "'These are not the droids you're looking for.' 'Yeah, they are, those are my droids.' 'No, these are alternative robots.'" He wrapped it up by explaining why Trump's little lies matter. Watch below. Peter Weber

January 23, 2017
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump spent the first 10 minutes of his first official meeting with congressional leaders rehashing the campaign and repeating a claim that has been debunked multiple times — that he lost the popular vote by a wide margin because of millions of illegal votes cast against him, several people who attended the closed-door meeting said Monday night.

As they dined on meatballs and shrimp cocktail in the White House State Dining Room, Trump regaled the bipartisan group with the assertion that between 3 million and 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote, The New York Times and The Washington Post report. He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, but won 304 electoral votes, and thus the presidency. Several weeks after the election, Trump tweeted that "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," he would have won the popular vote, but officials and several outlets, like ProPublica, have said numerous times there is no evidence that even the tiniest fraction of 1 million people voted illegally.

Those phantom voters aren't the only thing on Trump's mind, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNN. He also remarked on the size of the crowd at the inauguration, Hoyer recalled, telling the congressional leaders, "It was a huge crowd, a magnificent crowd. I haven't seen such a crowd as big as this." Catherine Garcia

January 23, 2017

As he delivered his State of the State speech Monday night in St. Paul, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) collapsed, hitting his forehead on the lectern.

Immediately, people rushed to help the 69-year-old, including Sen. Dan Schoen, a paramedic, CBS News reports. Schoen said within 20 minutes of the collapse, Dayton was acting normally and poking fun at himself. Dayton was about 40 minutes into his speech when his words slurred, he began to tremble, and he fell forward, witnesses said. The Legislature adjourned following his collapse.

Dayton's chief of staff, Jaime Tincher, released a statement saying Dayton "quickly recovered, walked out of the Capitol, and returned home. EMTs joined the governor there, and performed a routine check. He is now spending time with his son and grandson." Tincher said Dayton still plans on presenting his 2017 budget on Tuesday morning, and thanks "the people of Minnesota for their outpouring of support and concern." Catherine Garcia

January 23, 2017

Five days after an avalanche buried the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, Italy, rescuers found three sheepdog puppies alive in the rubble.

Firefighter Fabio Jerman told Agence France-Presse that this signals there are still air pockets in the collapsed building. "[This is an] important sign of life, which gives us hope," he said. There are 22 people missing, and seven confirmed dead. On Friday, nine people were pulled out of the rubble alive, telling rescuers they survived by eating dirty snow. "It's a race against time, we know we need to go fast, but it's not an easy working environment," said Luca Cari, a fire service spokesman.

Local investigators are looking into whether the hotel should have been built in the area and if guests should have been evacuated. The hotel did send an email to local authorities in the hours before the avalanche, saying people were worried because earthquakes were hitting the region and they were stuck in the snow. Catherine Garcia

January 23, 2017
Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images

Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) received four American Library Association awards on Monday, honoring the third installment of his graphic memoir, March.

Written with Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, March: Book Three won the Coretta Scott King Award for best African-American author; the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults; the Robert F. Silbert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children; and the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. This is the first time an author has won so many ALA awards in a single year, NPR reports. March: Book Three also received a National Book Award in November. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads