Trump kicked off the week by ordering Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to “find and reduce tax burdens” for banks and insurance companies, going to bat for the working wealthy. He signed a series of executive orders removing financial industry regulations, clearing impediments for the wealthy to make even more money so they can trickle it down to the trailer parks and make America great again.
Weekending in Washington for a change, on Saturday Trump replaced the Surgeon General with a nurse, then met with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who experienced what world leaders are calling their “Trump Moment,” when Trump says something so off the wall they do an involuntary double-take as they realize America is being run by a lying, erratic imbecile. When they met the press together, Trump was reading a speech praising great Italians, and when he got to opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti, he ad-libbed “a good friend of mine” about a man who has been dead for 10 years, and never Trump’s friend. As a matter of fact, Trump once hired Pavarotti for a concert at a New Jersey Casino, then demanded a refund of his fee.
He did, however, find the time for a Tweet celebrating Earth Day, after spending the previous few weeks daring the planet to overcome some very severe challenges by making pollution legal again.
On Monday, Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t pay for his border wall, or to withhold health care money from uncooperative states, he hadn’t yet decided. On the one hand, a government shutdown gives him plenty of time to go golfing and compose insane Tweets, while injuring the vulnerable would bring him great joy, so it was quandary time for the president. Then he invited all 100 Senators to a briefing in the White House about North Korea on Wednesday, presumably to explain why he’s been poking that snarling dog behind the fence in North Korea with a stick. The hope is that one of those august gentleman reminded Trump that the gate is unlocked and Kim Jong Un has very sharp teeth.
On Tuesday Trump caved in and backed off his demand for border wall money, but consoled himself by doing some gratuitous damage by alienating America’s next-door neighbor and BFF, slapping a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber. Then a federal judge blocked his plan to impoverish America’s so-called Sanctuary Cities, kind of ruining his day, so Trump threatened to break up the 9th Circuit Court, a crucial part of America’s Judicial System (to which the offending judge is not attached, it’s just so confusing to him).
Wednesday’s executive orders lifted restrictions on offshore oil drilling in previously protected Atlantic and Arctic Ocean areas, as well as on public lands. He also unveiled his tax plan, very light on specifics except when it comes to giving more of our money to rich people, so they can have a good time with it, discard it and let it roll back downhill where it came from. The Tax Code would be edited to just 3 tax brackets; Poor, Struggling, and Let Them Eat Cake, the goal being to eventually reduce the Tax Code to the length of either a Presidential Memo, or Tweet length, whichever comes first.
Trump spent Thursday changing his mind about shredding the NAFTA trade agreement, threatening “a massive, massive conflict” with North Korea, and waxing nostalgic about his former life. In a rare truthful moment, Trump said he thought being president “would be easier,” a vague impression shared by exactly nobody. Immediately reverting to Alternative Fact Mode, he declared he will renegotiate the NAFTA treaty, something that is impossible to do with a done deal, but that was said for the benefit of his supporters, who don’t know any better, so he figured that lie doesn’t count.
To his critics, starting World War 3 seems a tad extreme to distract everyone from the fact that Trump has only 2 days left to deliver on his Bigly Fabulous 100-Day Plan To Fix All Of America’s Problems, but perhaps that’s being too picky. Maybe his 99th day, Friday will bring a frenzy of beneficial activity and the winning will begin in earnest.