Week #82 leaves us with a profound gratitude that at least one branch of our government is still functioning as designed, our Judicial System, much to the dismay of our current Chief Executive and his motley crew of thugs both within his Administration and in Congress, whose best laid plans keep running afoul of our Constitution and getting tossed on the trash heap by jurists who insist that our laws be legal, the finicky nitpickers.
Two of his biggest enablers were busy as bees this week, with Senator Rand Paul delivering Trump’s letter to Putin in person and inviting Russian legislators to Washington, and Representative Devin Nunes getting caught on tape spilling the beans about how “Republicans are in on the election-theft scam so we have to look the other way when it comes to Trump’s madness and sheer incompetence, and that’s why I am compromising the federal investigation into our meal ticket every chance I get,” or words to that effect.
Then Rudy “Since When Is Crime Against The Law?” Giuliani started flapping his jaws again on every TV show but Will & Grace, bellowing like a hyperactive banshee about who-knows-what, little of it making much sense except for those moments of clarity when he blurts out very specific and incriminating information on his client. Then he’s crystal clear. Astute interviewers have learned to let Rudy just ramble on until the inevitable “Whoops!” moment, and then pounce, and before you can say “smoking gun” he’s all “yes it was Russian spies offering dirt on Hillary, and yes they all colluded, including the president.”
With friends like Nunes and Giuliani…
The week began on Friday with an interesting piece of news that was completely ignored by Trump even though it had everything to do with one of his most frequent and loudest claims since his election. Namely, that millions of illegal aliens voted for Hillary Clinton, 3 million of them in California alone.
Well, the crack Voter Integrity Commission, created by Trump with great fanfare and chaired by Vice President Pence, released their report on voter fraud, basically saying “there wasn’t any voter fraud; zip, nada, bupkis, zero, goose eggs, but thanks for asking.” Crickets from Trump on the matter.
Then a Federal Judge ordered the complete restoration of the DACA program Trump is doing his best to dismantle simply because it is an Obama policy, regardless of the damage he does to America.
When a man is so in love wth the sound of his own voice that he cannot stop talking about himself and all the supposed great things he does, the things that he does not mention stand out like a big red zit on prom night. Add illegal voting and DACA to Vladimir Putin and caged children to the list of things Trump won’t talk about.
What he did talk about Friday on Twitter was LeBron James, calling the best basketball player on earth stupid, a man who built an entire school for at-risk children in his hometown and who is funding the college educations of its graduates, and who has led an exemplary and clean family life with but one wife, his high school sweetheart.
Trump’s wife, on the other hand, almost immediately contradicted the president when her staff Tweeted the First Lady’s admiration and praise for James. LeBron’s home town is in Ohio, by the way, a State where he is almost universally loved and admired, and where Trump was scheduled to speak the following day.
Trump also finally mentioned the catastrophic wildfires ravaging California and other Western States. He did not offer federal help, he did not offer condolences to the loved ones of those who lost their lives or offer to help the survivors rebuild, he did not praise the valiant people batting these blazes, or plan a visit to bolster morale and gain some firsthand knowledge of the dire situation. Nope, that guy isn’t president anymore.
What this guy did was slash Federal Funding for the study of the causes of wild fires, then blame (!) Democratic environmental policies for gravity itself, which forces rivers to “empty their water into the Pacific” instead of rising up spontaneously to fight the fires raging on their shores. Same guy who tossed rolls of paper towels at devastated American refugees washed out of their homes in Puerto Rico.
His own man on the scene pulled a Melania on him, saying he had no idea what the president was talking about because there were plenty of available sources of water in the area, that was not the problem, the fires were the problem, and the causes of those wildfires were many and complex (and should be studied to prevent more loss of life and… ohwait!), most of those reasons having to so with the officially-forbidden G-word, “Global Warning.”
He interrupted his 11-day “working vacation” at his New Jersey golf resort on Saturday to attend a political rally in Ohio, where he repeated his insane ramblings about water and continued his vicious attacks on our free press, while Secretary of State Pompeo delivered his boss’ personal letter to Trump’s pen pal Kim Jong-Un, presumably to iron out the bitter accusations and countercharges the two countries have been exchanging ever since Trump “solved” North Korea is Singapore. Some damned fools simply refuse to stay solved.
Sunday was when Giuliani dropped the bomb that the Trump Tower meeting was indeed about getting dirt on Hillary from Russian spies, but somehow (!) not illegal, to which Trump added ”This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!” As if that wasn’t crazy enough, he then accused the press of (!!) starting wars.
And speaking of Trump uncharacteristically not talking about something that’s dominating his headlines, Monday began with the sensational testimony of Paul Manafort’s business partner and protégé Rick Gates (who proved to be a quick study on the Trumpian Code of One-Way Loyalty after Manafort’s attorneys had spent weeks blaming him for everything) by promptly admitting he committed scores of serious crimes with his boss, and even stole some of the money they went to so much trouble to hide from Uncle Sam.
There was other bad news to engage the president, however (isn’t there always?), when a Federal Judge tossed out his Military Transgender Ban for violating the US Constitution, a document that Trump has been finding more and more unfair to him.
Then another study by his own government contradicted more of his boasts when the Government Accountability Office said his precious border wall is in danger of wasting money, has not been well-researched, would cost a whole lot more and take a lot longer to build than previous estimates and, most importantly, would be completely ineffective. Other than that, though…
Also on Monday, North Korea attacked Trump again, saying he is violating their Singapore agreement with sanctions, even as the UN revealed that Kim was violating his end of the deal from day one, giving no one a “good guy” to root for here. Perhaps Trump forgot to write “Sincerely yours XOXO” in his personal letter to Kim?
Rather than respond to North Korea, however, Trump instead attacked our closest allies by Tweeting “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States,” out of the blue, just to remind us all that he has restored crippling sanctions on a nation whose only violation of the Iran Nuclear Treaty was signing it when Barrack Obama was President.
On Tuesday, Trump hoped he had better luck with personal letters (he hasn’t exactly been Cyrano de Bergerac in the Love Letter Department so far) when Senator Rand Paul delivered his hand-written letter to Vladimir Putin (S.W.A.K.?) in person at the Kremlin, and then invited a delegation of Russian legislators (doubtless sprinkled with the usual quota of Russian spies) to Washington DC to… compare notes? No one is quite sure.
On Wednesday, Trump and Giuliani teamed up for some dark comedy routines when Old Loose Lips Rudy announced out of nowhere that the president will refuse a personal interview with Robert Mueller, but he just might (maybe, perhaps, conditionally, possibly, it’s feasible, hey you never know, wink-winkety-wink!) provide written answers to questions Mueller submits, as long as there are no Obstruction of Justice questions. Or Geography questions, notorious perjury traps.
Rather than just tell Rudy “nobody asked you!” Trump could not resist Tweeting his own foot into his mouth on this topic once again, with oafish rebuttals, paper-thin denials, and then describing in great detail a meeting he swears he did not attend. At least not under oath, anyway.
Also on Wednesday, Florida Senator Bill Nelson told the media that Russian operatives have penetrated some of Florida’s election systems and could delete registered voters ahead of the November elections if the systems are not adequately protected, a message echoed by every intelligence and national security chief in Washington, every State Governor and the entire leadership of both Houses of Congress, with so far no response from the White House to stop the Russian plan to cement Trump’s power (and their hold on him) this November.
In frustration, Congress passed serious economic sanctions specifically to punish Russia for poisoning people in England, to go with all the other tough sanctions on Russia that Trump (illegally) refused to implement.
As he predicted, Trump’s most ardent supporters indicated their unconditional endorsement of Russia’s theft of another American election with new signs and T-Shirts declaring “I’d rather be Russian than a Democrat.” To them, committing treason is a small price to pay for annoying smart people, bless their hearts.
Also on Wednesday, staunch Trump ally and GOP Congressman from New York Chris Collins was arrested for insider trading, along with his son and his son’s future Father-in-Law, and it was revealed that Trump’s top advisors kept him completely out of the loop in preparing a strong statement of support of NATO on behalf of the United States government and committing America to it’s previously planned expansion, successfully salvaging the Alliance their boss seems hellbent on destroying.
And speaking of people other than the president implementing official policy, Steven Miller, the Steve Bannon protégé, has emerged as the architect of Trump’s most heinous acts, like locking up children in cages, and who has managed to out-monster his mentor yet again by hatching another demonic plan, this time to block legal US residents from becoming American citizens if they (or any relative of theirs) had ever availed themselves of the social benefits and privileges of living in America, or the crime of (!!) signing up for Obamacare. You know, the sort of things that makes the USA a civilized and desirable destination.
And speaking of Naturalized American citizens, once again the First Lady defied her husband’s policies, not with mere words this time, but by her actions when her parents become United States Citizens under her sponsorship, using the kind of extended-family visas her husband wants to outlaw. Seems like a lot of damage to do to one’s own country just to send your Mother-in-Law packing, and now it’s too late, she’s a citizen.
And speaking of immigration fiascos, on Thursday a federal judge threatened to hold Attorney General Sessions in contempt of court for sneakily deporting defendants in Immigration Court out of the country in defiance of a court order. The judge ordered a plane to Costa Rica turned around and the defendants returned to the USA to get their day in court. Turns out The Justice Department has been routinely turning down requests for asylum based on the fear of gang violence and physical abuse, another brainstorm of Darth Miller’s.
Thursday was also the Dave Devin Nunes was caught on tape saying that he and his fellow travelers had to lie, cheat, steal and compromise investigations to protect Trump “or all this goes away,” meaning the power of Republicans to use Trump to do as they please no matter who gets hurt.
The worst news of all for Trump was the decision by yet another Federal Judge that out of more than 4 million items seized by authorities in raids on Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel room in April, fewer than 8,000 have been deemed privileged attorney-client communications and off limits fro criminal investigators. So decided Special Master Barbara Jones, according to court filings, declaring that 98% of the information may be used as evidence in any criminal investigations by the FBI.
That’s over 2 decades worth of dirty dealings being examined by seasoned investigators, pretty much explaining Cohen suddenly finding his singing voice to avoid the fate of Paul Manafort, who is facing something like 400 years in jail if convicted on all counts, or 300 years with time off for good behavior.
Then, to put some surrealistic icing on the cake that was the Grand Finale of Week #82, on Thursday Vice President Pence announced that indeed, The Space Force is with us, and “The 6th Branch of the United Sates Military” will soon be open for business. Other than the fact that we have no spaceships, no military facilities in space or any plans for the Space Force to carry out, we are now a Space Power, at least in the fevered imagination of our very first Space President.
The week also ended on the 44th Anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation from the Office of The Presidency of The United States. Trump could have his own special day where people look back and remember his name too. Just sayin’, Donny Boy…