The Devil is in the Details

The [first public informational video]( from the PEOTUS didn’t add a full transcript of the video to the web site and did not provide (at least as of 0700 EST on 2016-11-22) their own text annotations/captions to the video.

Google’s (YouTube’s) auto-captioning (for the most part) worked and it’s most likely “just good enough” to enable the PETOUS’s team to avoid an all-out A.D.A. violation (which is probably the least of their upcoming legal worries). This is a forgotten small detail in an ever-growing list of forgotten small and large details. I’m also surprised that no progressive web site bothered to put up a transcription for those that need it.

Since “the press” did a terrible job holding the outgoing POTUS accountable during his two terms and also woefully botched their coverage of the 2016 election (NOTE: I didn’t vote for either major party candidate, but did write-in folks for POTUS & veep), I guess it’s up to all of us to help document history.

Here’s a moderately cleaned up version from the auto-generated Google SRT stream, presented without any commentary:

A Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump

Today I would like to provide the American people with an update on the White House transition and our policy plans for the first 100 days.

Our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently and effectively. Truly great and talented men and women – patriots — indeed are being brought in and many will soon be a part of our government helping us to make America great again.

My agenda will be based on a simple core principle: putting America first whether it’s producing steel, building cars or curing disease. I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here in our great homeland America creating wealth and jobs for American workers.

As part of this plan I’ve asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on day one to restore our laws and bring back our jobs (about time) these include the following on trade: I’m going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the trans-pacific partnership — a potential disaster for our country. Instead we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.

On energy: I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy including shale energy and clean coal creating many millions of high-paying jobs. That’s what we want, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.

On regulation I will formulate a role which says that for every one new regulation two old regulations must be eliminated (so important).

For national security I will ask the Department of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyberattacks and all other form of attacks.

On immigration: I will direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.

On ethics reform: as part of our plan to “drain the swamp” we will impose a five-year ban executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

These are just a few of the steps we will take to reform Washington and rebuild our middle class I will provide more updates in the coming days as we work together to make America great again for everyone and I mean everyone.

For those technically inclined, you can grab that feed using the following R code. You’ll first need to ensure Developer Tools is open in your browser and tick the “CC” button in the video before starting the video. Look for a network request that begins with `` and use the “Copy as cURL” feature (all three major, cross-platform browsers support it), then run the code immediately after it (the `straighten()` function will take the data from the clipboard).


straighten() %>% 
  make_req() -> req

res <- req[[1]]()

content(res) %>% 
  xml_find_all(".//body/p") %>% 
  xml_text() %>% 
  paste0(collapse="") %>% 

In this emergent “post-truth” world, we’re all going to need to be citizen data journalists and it’s going to be even more important than ever to ensure any data-driven pieces we write are honest, well-sourced, open to review & civil commentary, plus be fully reproducible. We all will also need to hold those in power — including the media — accountable. Despite whatever leanings you have, cherry-picking data, slicing a bit off the edges of the truth and injecting a bias because of your passionate views that you believe are right are only going to exacerbate the existing problems.

Cover image from Data-Driven Security
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