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Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #92 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 10/12/18 TO THURSDAY, 10/18/18

Do weeks even have beginnings and endings anymore? Are days simply spilling into one another willy-nilly so we cannot tell the difference between a Sunday and a Thursday? It seems like one long loud jackhammer din right outside your window, never ceasing for more than a few moments before starting right back up again.

Every day of Trump’s presidency it’s been lies so insane and ignorant as to insult one’s intelligence, one disastrous decision after another, defending Nazis and White Supremacists, frenzied political rallies calling for locking up political opponents like this was some tinpot dictatorship, humiliating women, demonizing minorities, undermining our free press, another Trump associate pleading guilty or being indicted for colluding with Russia, alienating our closest allies, praising murderous tyrants, expanding children’s concentration camps or someone else quitting or being fired in disgrace and open celebrations of hatred and spite. 

Then night falls, and we think we’ll get some welcome respite from the cacophony for a few hours, but no, the wee hours bring us a series of unbelievably deranged Tweets from this hyperactive oaf, as if we elected the most ignorant and mean-spirited girl in Junior High. Somehow Twitter has  become an official form of government communication (the official status of presidential Tweets even upheld in court), the equivalent of 2 empty soup cans joined by a length of twine passing for a telephone line.

And that’s every single day in America, 4 years worth of horrible scandals for any other administration, but just another calendar page for Trump & Company to tear up and discard, and Week #92 was no exception.

Still basking in the “glory” of his White House meeting with media celebrity Kanye West, a self-proclaimed “crazy motherfucker” who proudly refuses to take his medication for a serious mental illness, Trump began Week #92 on Friday proclaiming “we’re going to get out the African American Vote.” 

Or, at least those African American voters who have not been aggressively purged from the voting rolls by Republicans in every state where they could get away with it, striking millions of poor and minority Americans from their voter registries and closing thousands of polling places in locations likely to vote for Democrats, while doing nothing about the many warnings from our all of our intelligence agencies about foreign interference in the upcoming Midterm elections.

Was any actual governing done, you ask? Well… no, but there were plenty of threats to govern horribly and arbitrarily, just as soon as another round of humiliation of women and demonization of Latinos was completed. Only it is never completed, there is always another imaginary enemy to insult, and another real enemy to praise or excuse for their heinous behavior.

When Saudi Arabia allegedly had Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi slain and dismembered in their Turkish embassy,  Trump’s reaction was to come to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s defense, even as the evidence mounted that it was members of his personal entourage who had tortured Khashoggi and chopped him up with a bone saw. 

Suddenly it was international corporations imposing sanctions and boycotts on Saudi Arabia over the murder of Khashoggi, cancelling their appearance at the upcoming Saudi Investment Conference. Let that sink in – soulless corporations have a bigger conscience than the Trump Administration.

Trump the Statesman’s reaction? “I don’t want to hurt jobs, I don’t want to lose an order like that,” referring to US arms sales to the Saudis. As always with this president, profits trump principles, as he discounted the reporter as a Saudi national not worth the trouble or our sympathy, even though he had been living and working in the USA.

His own Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was more outraged than the president, meeting with the Crown Prince and threatening all sorts of punishments for the kingdom if they were found complicit in this murder, including bin Salman’s status as crown prince, hinting that America would force his father to pick a different heir apparent. Of course Trump did not back up his Secretary of State, and it was not until later in the week (after enormous pressure was brought to bear) that Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin reversed himself and also withdrew from the Saudi conference. 

Saudi Arabia naturally denied any guilt for this heinous crime, and threatened all sorts of countermeasures if any nation imposed sanctions on them, hinting they might even go as far as cutting off the flow of the hundreds of millions of dollars they have given Trump’s real estate and hotel empire in recent years, which would be a catastrophic turn of events for the Trump family’s bottom line.

Saturday found Trump in Kentucky campaigning for a Republican candidate (who remembers which one when he barley mentions their names?), telling his base to vote in the upcoming  Midterm election “like I was on the ballot” while, in a rare example of bipartisan consensus, Democrats told their voters the same thing, to vote like Trump was on the ballot.

On Sunday the President sat for an interview with Leslie Stahl for the weekly news show “60 Minutes,” were he showcased his disturbing insanity and callous disregard for other human beings, an unhinged performance that would have spelled the end of any other president’s career, but was simply chalked up to “Trump being Trump,” the incessant jackhammer outside our window.

He defended his cruel mockery of sexual assault victim Dr Christine Ford by saying “I’m not gonna get into it because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won.” Yes it does matter, Mister President, as you will soon find out on Election Day.

He also lied stupidly about Kim John Un building more nuclear missiles in spite of Trump’s obsession with disarming North Korea and his love affair with its murderous little dictator, saying “nobody knows” if Kim is building more missiles (yeah they do, your own government has confirmed it again and again). 

Then he said in almost one breath that sure, Vladimir Putin was involved in multiple murders and poisonings, but  “not in our country” (making it okay then?) and “I think I have been very tough with him” before defending Putin’s innocence in robbing the 2016 Election on Trump’s behalf, mumbling again that “I think China meddled too, and other countries” (but letting the 400 pound guy hacking elections from his bed in New Jersey off the hook this time).

He also greased the skids for firing Secretary of Defense John Mattis, saying “I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth,” after spending the past week accusing Democrats of being an “angry mob” incapable of governing.

Most observers consider Mattis and White House Chief of Staff the only 2 adults in this Administration, the only people preventing total chaos and the collapse of our republic, and this vote of no-confidence from Trump was another huge red flag.

He meandered on, never giving straight answers about expanding his concentration camps for children, the Mueller investigation that has been spending a lot of quality time with former Trump associates, or the dire predictions for the results of climate change, basically saying that saving the planet will cut into profits, sort of like a sea captain refusing to waste money on repairing the leaks at the bottom of the ship since topside looks pretty good.

He did, however offer one keen insight to his entry into the world of politics, saying “this is the most deceptive, vicious world. It is vicious, it’s full of lies, deceit and deception.” To the manor born, as they say, or as he recapped to Ms. Stahl, “I’m President, Leslie, and you’re not,” pretty much the only rationale he needs for any of the insane things he says and does.

On Monday Trump got a gift from the federal judge who dismissed the defamation lawsuit filed against him by his former lover, porn star Stormy Daniels, who was ordered to pay the president’s court costs, unleashing a torrent of abuse and, yes, defamation from Trump, calling Ms Daniels “Horseface,” and threatening “to go after her.” This caused Ms, Daniels to reconsider her apology for body shaming Trump, and she replied by calling him “Tiny” (no, she was not referring to his appetite) and announced she would appeal the decision.

And speaking of humiliating women, Senator Liz Warren took Trump up on his offer of a million dollar donation to her favorite charity if she took a DNA test that confirmed her Native American heritage, and naturally Trump immediately welshed on the deal because the percentage of Cherokee DNA was very small (some might say “tiny”). That of course led to him calling her Pocahontas again and belittling and purposely misinterpreting the DNA science involved.

And speaking of belittling science, Trump claimed this week that “I have a natural instinct for science,” once again citing his esteemed uncle John and inferring that being the nephew of a science professor at MIT made him some sort of Science Whisperer. He used this delusional claim to wax eloquent about climate change again, saying there “are scientist on both sides” (in fact, 99 out of every 100 scientists oppose his “instincts.”).

He also made the insane claim that America has “the cleanest air on the planet,” a claim not even close to being true. We’re not even in the Top 10 on that score, and thanks to his administration’s decisions to release tons of coal sludge into the our water supply as well as increased mercury, carbon and radiation emissions into our air, we are on track to compete with China for the Most Colorful Air on Earth. The EPA even went as far as touting the health benefits of radiation. That bears repeating, that the United States Environmental Protection Agency is on record as touting the (!!) health benefits of radiation.

On Wednesday, at another political rally in one Red State or another for a candidate whose name was forgotten immediately (who can keep track of this madman?), he also claimed that the European Union was created to “interfere with American trade,” and nobody walked out or booed at that insane claim about a successful union that has stabilized Europe after centuries of incessant warfare. 

He also preemptively absolved himself from blame when the inevitable happens on November 6th and the Republicans lose their majority in the House of Representatives (and perhaps the Senate), when in truth these Midterm elections are nothing short of a referendum on Trump and all his coconspirators masquerading as government officials.

Also on Wednesday, an official of the Treasury Department was arrested for passing sensitive Russia investigation documents to former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, convicted of conspiring against the United States and now singing like Sinatra to to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in an effort to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison. And speaking of singing to Mueller, White House Counsel Don McGhan, who has spent many hours being grilled by the Special Counsel’s investigators, finally resigned and left the White House staff.

In the Official Empty Threats Department, Trump said he would send in the US military to “shut down our souther border” (we lack the manpower to do so) over an alleged caravan of 3,000 refugees making their way though Mexico from Central America, and threatened to let California burn when he blamed the State’s (!) forestry policies on all the wildfires consuming million of acres of land and property, saying the Federal Government won’t help them anymore, over 12% of the American population. That won’t happen either, but presumably it felt good to lash out viciously at the State he considers his “enemy.”

And speaking of immigration, it was reported on Thursday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton got into a furious shouting match outside the Oval Office over immigration policies, prompting many to fear that Kelly would resign because Trump sided with the equally insane jingoist Bolton over the Zero Tolerance Policy that led to the creation of Children’s Concentration Camps. If Kelly and Mattis leave, the country is in hands of maladjusted adolescents hellbent on the destruction or two and a half centuries of work and progress.

And speaking of porn stars (aren’t we always with this president?) this was also a week where Republican operative Grover Norquist and Trump loyalist (and beneficiary of a presidential pardon for a felony conviction) Joe Arpaio were at a party with porn star and producer Ron Jeremy in a Nevada brothel where the brothel owner Dennis Hof died under unexplained circumstances. Yes, the same Grover Norquist who touted “family values” and who extracted an oath from 95% of Republicans in Congress to vote his way on tax legislation (even though he was never elected or appointed to any official position), and the same professional pimp and accused sexual predator Dennis Hof who is a Republican candidate for the Nevada State Legislature and is expected to win posthumously.

And finally (speaking of instincts that run counter to logic and human decency), the President of The United States Tweeted his admiration for a Republican candidate who physically assaulted a reporter (but admirably did not kill and dissect him), and it was announced that Trump will be the first president to speak at something called the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, a notorious White Supremacist hate group, to kick off Week #93 on Friday.

And the jackhammer just got a little louder.

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