Speed Reads

looking too close

What can we learn from this blown-up image of Stephen Bannon's white board?

Friday offered home viewers a rare opportunity to glimpse chief strategist Stephen Bannon's white board (not to be confused with his conspiracy board), an object of obsession in some circles ever since it was teased in a CNN article last April.

The board was first visually confirmed in early May in the background of a selfie taken by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. A new view of the board was then accidentally posted (and swiftly deleted) on Friday by Dinesh D'Souza, in photographs of his visit to the White House. Why was D'Souza at the White House? Because he was "handing out copies of his new book, which compares Democrats to Nazis," of course, as the Center for Public Integrity's Christina Wilkie reported:

D'Souza is responsible for the conspiracy-theory-laced films 2016: Obama's America and Hillary's America. He also pled guilty to a charge of making illegal donations to his friend's Senate campaign in 2014. D'Souza fought back against the charges, Media Matters reports, claiming they were "stifling political dissent" and reminiscent of "Nazi Germany." You might be beginning to see a pattern.

But back to the board: What can blown-up images of Bannon's to-do list teach us about the Trump administration's inner workings? First of all, there are at least four "EOs," or executive orders, that are listed, including a checked-off "Buy American." The word "TAXES" is written on the board in capital letters and then starred, circled, and emphasized with three exclamation points. Lest anyone miss it, "TAXES" is also being pointed at with a number of red arrows. As an additional safeguard against "TAXES" getting overlooked (there is a lot going on), "CUT CORP TAX" is written at the bottom of the board too.

There are also a number of mysterious, multi-colored dots on the board — perhaps from Bannon testing his white board pens? Or some mysterious code? Draw your own conclusions below. Jeva Lange