Week #10 of Trump Era, also known as This Shit Is Really Happening, began with a second postponed House vote on the deeply troubled Republican health care bill, and Congress going into recess with Republicans in disarray and blame being assigned generously.
Trump himself started a war with elements of his own party, the ultra-right wing Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, firing his first volley in Twitter, then sending proxies to bluntly threaten them with replacement in the 2018 primaries if they don’t vote Trump’s way on repeal and replace. The ACHA was pronounced dead anyway by Speaker Ryan, and Obamacare remains the law.
That makes him 0 for 3 so far when his 2nd Muslim travel ban once again ran afoul of a Hawaiian judge, preventing the administration from implementing any part of it. For only the second time in his presidency Trump spent the weekend at the White House, with no events scheduled, his team on High Twitter Alert. He did manage to play golf at 2 different Trump golf courses in the DC area on both Saturday and Sunday, making it 1 day in every 3 of his presidency where he enriches his family’s business by visiting a Trump property.
Speaking of family and business, on Monday Trump assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner to a brand new office designed to run the government like a business, not a good sign since his own family business dealings landed his father in federal prison, and his father-in-law declared bankruptcy 6 times. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was also formally made a federal employee as advisor to the president.
Due to the nature of tax laws in the USA, the failure to repeal Obamacare legally prevents Congress from rewriting the tax code as promised, so the President’s team and Congress are desperately trying to cobble together some sort of tax plan, anything that looks like a tax cut. The Russia scandal still makes daily headlines, so when Trump reversed Obama’s Clean Power Plan and gutted many environmental protections, he figured it would garner scant press coverage. Fighting climate change is out the window and thousands will get very sick and die from the resulting pollution, so the media did notice these things and duly reported them.
In case that wasn’t deadly enough, he proposed cutting $5.8 billion from the National Institute for Health, and completely eliminated The Chemical Safety Board, which monitors toxic accidents and chemical spills. Taking his cue from the boss and also jumping on the poison-the-people bandwagon was EPA head Scott Pruitt, who rejected his own agency’s scientific finding that the insecticide chlorpyrifos is a substance dangerous to humans, allowing its use on American food crops once again.
Trump has also eliminated the Office of Science and Technology, advisors to previous presidents who participated in daily presidential briefings, you know, back when American presidents believed in science. The Senate Intelligence Committee announced it will be thoroughly investigating the Trump – Russia scandal when it became apparent that Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, is sabotaging The House investigation due to his own deep involvement in the Trump transition team, and has refused to step down, postponing all scheduled hearings.
On Thursday Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn caused panic in Team Trump by seeking immunity from the FBI and Congress in exchange for testifying about the Russian interference in the 2016 election, while the Senate heard testimony that President Trump was complicit in the Russian operation.
And just in case enough people don’t hate Trump yet (a big Nyet from 65% of the country), he topped off a terrible week by cancelling the traditional White House Easter Egg Hunt for underprivileged children.