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Trump Week in Review

WEEK #32 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 8/25/17 TO THURSDAY, 8/31/17

Week #32 was dominated by a national disaster, and also a major hurricane that flooded Texas.

On Friday Trump pardoned a convicted felon who ran a self-described “concentration camp” in Arizona where 160 people died, then (speaking of concentration camps and Nazis) announced the firing of the mysterious and controversial White House Advisor, Sebastian Gorka.

On the same day the massive and devastating Hurricane Harvey laid waste to Houston and much of southern Texas, killing dozens and flooding hundreds of square miles, the Trump Administration used one news-dominating natural disaster to bury the news coverage of those of the man-made variety.

Hurricane Harvey was seen as the first crucial challenge of Trump’s presidency; how to make this all about him. His first real-time crisis called for quick and decisive thinking. American lives were at stake.

Leave it to Tweeter.

Trump’s Week 32 Tweets were as schizophrenic and self-centered as his presidency, alternately expressing condolences for Texas, announcing a political rally in Springfield Missouri (“a state I won big!”) and promising he would do better than George W. Bush did during Hurricane Katrina, not exactly setting the bar out of reach.

No Tweets mentioned the dozens killed by flooding or their families.

President Trump and First Lady Melania did manage a brief visit to the Houston area, sporting the new line of Trump Caps just made available for the occasion on the Trump merchandise website for $40. He made an incredibly callous opening statement about the size of the crowd (they were stranded and homeless with nowhere else to go) then babbled the usual rah-rah drivel before taking a powder.

This terrible storm lasted all week. So did Hurricane Harvey.

On Monday, Trump reversed Obama’s policy of denying military armor and weaponry to ordinary municipal police forces, as always couched in terms of National Security and terror threats (in Butte, Montana?), but sounding more like the ringing of corporate cash registers.

Goodbye Barney Fife, hello Officer Iron Man.

After days of hovering over the Houston area, the still-powerful Harvey crawled eastwards towards (ohnonotagain!) New Orleans, and Trump took the opportunity to give a soft introduction to his Neo-Trickle-down tax plan at his Missouri rally, explaining how cutting taxes for the wealthy and the mega-corporations will be “good for American workers.”

Unlike, you know, all those other times Trickle-down Economics severely damaged American workers whenever it was tried. They were not Trump Trickle-down, you see.

He also snuck in another major blow to Obamacare, cutting the enrollment advertising budget by 90%, and sharply curtailing the health care counseling programs that assist people in choosing the right plan for them.

Senator Chuck Schumer noticed (a man whose job it is to notice such things), and said “The Trump Administration is deliberately attempting to sabotage our health care system,” which a lot of people (those who can’t help but notice) have been saying for quite some time.

Unable to pass a shred of legislation regarding his signature policies, Trump can only inflict damage, and he is more than willing to do that as he attempts to dismantle any policy without his name on it, by Executive Order, hiring freezes or budget slashing.

Between Harvey and Donald battling for headlines, many other disturbing developments were almost an afterthought; more nuclear brinksmanship with North Korea, The Afghanistan War 2.0 being booted up, the unhinged Tweets during a huge natural disaster that should have been the focus of all his powers of concentration (just kidding), doubling down on his military ban on transgenders while his Secretary of Defense (another retired Marine Corps General nicknamed “Mad Dog”) Mattis quietly defied the president, ordering the matter “under review” by the Pentagon, code for “don’t hold your breath waiting for our answer,” as well as urging Congress to change its rules to grant the president more power.

In a normal week (remember those?), any of these stories would be headline news, but this administration is a political fireworks show, where the loudest booms and brightest splashes of color rivet the eye, and no one notices the levers being pulled.

With Hurricane Harvey now considered the biggest storm to ever hit this country, and being upgraded to what is being called a (!) 1,000-Year Storm, it looks like another week of loud headlines and quiet sabotage.

Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is making as few headlines as possible with his Russian Collusion Scandal investigation, but is sending a lot of ripples (and subpoenas) across the pond, making a lot of powerful people uncomfortable, including one Donald John Trump, first of his name. Russia, Russia, Russia.

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