What’s to say about Week #110? “Wow!” just doesn’t cut it, nor does “holy crap, Batman! “ or “WTF?” or “beam me the hell outta here Scotty!”
Friday alone could be the topic of several lengthy Psychiatric dissertations and a Fellini movie or two, it was just that insane (again, even for him!), surreally disjointed and filled with more dysfunction than one day should legally be permitted to contain.
Let’s start with Trump’s disastrous press conference in the White House Rose Garden, held for the specific purpose of announcing his long-threatened National Emergency as a way to build his wall without the consent of Congress, claiming a life-and-death national security emergency was occurring at our southern border that he alone noticed, which either speaks poorly of our Border Patrol, the Governors of every border state, the United States Military and every American living near the border, all of whom unequivocally contradicted the President’s claims (and backed up their denials with pesky facts, figures, videotape and no shortage of fuck-yous), or of Trump himself.
When holding a press conference announcing a National Emergency, one would think that pressing concern would be the first order of business.
One would also think that the announcer of such dire tidings would not say in the very next breath that (!) it’s really not an emergency at all, I just wanted to do it, but that is exactly what he did. And that wasn’t even the craziest thing he said.
He opened the proceedings like he was presiding over one his beloved rallies, the usual drivel about how he is the most perfect human being to exist in history and into any possible future and has accomplished more in 2 years than all 44 of his treasonous slacker predecessors combined had managed to do in 240 years, then went on to praise his new policy team, the conservative broadcasters Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh (“he can talk for 3 hours straight!), Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, claimed he saved 3 million lives by avoiding the thermonuclear war he claimed Obama told him personally he wanted to start with North Korea, nominated himself for a Nobel Peace Prize (they gave one to Obama!), then blurted out “MAGA, Rocket ships, USA” or something like that, for who-knows-what reason.
Stunned into wide-eyed silence, the assembled press corps was ready for the main event as Trump struggled to regain his composure (such as it is); his National Emergency Announcement, which was merely a litany of crazy lies such as “26 people were killed in a shootout the other day on the Mexican side of the border, would you believe that?” (no, but thanks for asking) and “we have already built a lot of wall” (he has build exactly zero miles of wall for those keeping score at home), before accidentally blurting out something true when he suddenly admitted “I didn’t have to do this, but I wanted to build it much faster,” which completely destroyed the idea that there was an emergency of any sort, national or otherwise.
That stunning self-sabotage gave way to Trump abruptly launching into a bizarre nursery rhyme singsong cadence to describe the legal challenges he would face, and how “bad” appeals courts would turn him down, then turn him down yet again, but he would eventually prevail in the Supreme Court, before finishing up by taking a few questions and not answering them, instead heaping abuse on his questioners before stalking off in a huff.
One reason the President himself gave this disastrous press conference rather than his Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders was that she was busy that day being interviewed by investigators from the Special Counsel’s office about Trump’s possible obstruction of justice, at the same time it was announced that 2 of Trump’s scores of criminal defense attorneys were accused of lying to Congress about the President’s hush money payments to a porn star and a Playboy Bunny.
Funny how the constant linking of the terms “porn star, Playboy Bunny, hush money, lying under oath” to the words “President of the United States” no longer shocks anyone, and seem almost quaintly naughty in comparison to the unending onslaught of the monstrous words and deeds of a president that his own government law enforcement officials openly speculate may very well be (!!) “a Russian asset” and an embedded espionage agent working against the country he was elected to serve.
Yes, this is where we are as a nation, wishing that sexual indiscretions, perjury and hush money payments were the worst of Trump, and his bizarre behavior was indicative of nothing more than mere madness, not malevolence and betrayal.
But Day 1 of Week 110 wasn’t done sucking yet, when 5 people died in a mass shooting in Illinois that went almost unmentioned once Trump’s oldest friend and confidant, Roger Stone, got accused by the Special Counsel of illegally conspiring with Wikileaks, the GRU (nee KGB) and the Russian propaganda website Gucifer 2.0 for the purposes of influencing the election on behalf of Donald Trump, removing the last degree of Kevin Bacon between Trump himself and direct involvement with Russian operatives.
Faced with a National Emergency, another horrific mass shooting and shocking suspicions cast upon himself and his presidency, Trump rolled up his sleeves, squared his jaw and… made a beeline south on Air Force One, making Mar A Lago the nerve center of this unfolding national emergency, where he could more closely monitor the unfolding crisis on the border, maintaining his laser focus with plenty of exercise in the sun and nutritious omelets.
Saturday brought Trump more bad news when Angela Merkel rejected Trump’s demand that the European Union pull out of the Iran Nuclear Treaty, what with those nations not being run by childish imbeciles and all, then on Sunday Trump’s nominee for UN Ambassador Heather Nuaert withdrew her nomination after being caught hiring a nanny who lacked a legal visa, as if she were Mara A Lago or something, capped off by a hilarious sendup of Trump on Saturday Night Live featuring Trump’s personal bogeyman, Alec Baldwin, which decided the Presidential Schedule for Sunday morning; lounging around, eating omelets and Tweeting his fury against comedic criticism, calling a comedy show (?!) “the real Russian Collusion” then calling for “retribution.”
Calling for retribution for imaginary crimes is what connects Trump to his base, the dumbass Whites who claim perpetual victimhood because they don’t have what they think being White should automatically grant them, and who think giving equal rights to minorities means taking some of theirs away and giving them to people who don’t have any (obvious Socialism!). “Not getting it” is a common thread here.
There was one guy who wasn’t golfing and Tweeting his neuroses to the world on Sunday. Robert Mueller subpoenaed Brittany Kaiser, one of the former directors of the now-dissolved Cambridge Analytica, the Mercer-Bannon data mining company that is also hip deep in Russian Collusion and election tampering, another link in the daisy chain slowly closing around Trump’s neck.
In the Words Matter Department, Trump’s call for retribution against artists, and his renewed and especially vicious attacks on the free press in general and the New York Times in particular, just so happened to coincide with a Coast Guard officer getting caught plotting the mass murders of a Who’s Who of the president’s critics and political rivals, every one of them being singled out for attack by Trump being the common thread there. Shades of the MAGA Bomber, Cesar Sayoc, the Deplorable’s Deplorable whose van was a rolling Trump billboard and who mailed bombs to the entire Democratic Party leadership as well as prominent journalists and performers. Confronted with the possibility that his virulent rhetoric contributed to turning fanatics into murderers, he adamantly denied it, claiming (!) “My language is very nice.”
Also on the ball on Sunday were the 10 million Americans who tuned into “60 Minutes” and heard a former Director of the FBI explain why the President of The United States convinced the FBI he just might be working for the Russian government, and described a series of events and personal encounters with Trump that chilled us to the bone, including speculative discussions of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a deranged and compromised president from office in a straitjacket (okay the straitjacket’s just wishful thinking, no one mentioned it, but hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?).
The McCabe interview went viral on the internet, and now has 300 million heads spinning, while conspiracy nuts everywhere are demanding an apology and a book deal.
The reaction to the McCabe interview put Trump (what else?) on the offensive, labeling America’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies “treasonous officials” who “attempted a coup,” demanding prosecutions and ranting about (!) “Obama Intelligence Agencies” out to get him, the hapless victim once again.
An so it went day after day, our executive branch of government functioning like the Public Relations Department of a corporation forced to recall poisonous baby food, a week where we learned Trump tried to force Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to appoint Judge Jeffrey Berman, a former crony of Rudy Giuliani to “take over the case of Michael Cohen” (translation: “make this go away!”), but Whitaker ignored this illegal request and Judge Berman recused himself anyway.
Also for our joy and edification, we were treated to the news that Trump recently tried to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, in violation of US law and every standard of sanity one can name. And speaking of Saudi Arabia and insanity, Trump still insists on covering up the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi on the orders of the Saudi Crown Prince by refusing to share the CIA report on the matter with that august body, also in violation of the law.
And speaking of the CIA and intelligence gathering, Trump is greasing the skids for firing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, accusing him of disloyalty for not going along with his delusions and lying to Congress, instead doing something Trump simply cannot understand: taking and keeping an oath by testifying knowledgeably and truthfully. Clearly, he doesn’t belong in an Administration where grownups and straight shooters are growing as scarce as Trump accomplishments.
More the norm in Trump’s cabinet are men (sort of, anyway) like Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who it was revealed that when he was a prosecutor he allowed a wealthy pedophile off the hook for numerous charges of having sex with minors and child sex trafficking with a relative slap on the wrist, a year in jail.
While we don’t hear much about foreign relations other than which democratically elected leaders Trump hates and which dictators he loves, we do have some news about a crime spree in Sweden. It seems the Swedish police are investigating two cases of forged Nobel Peace Prize nominations of Trump, about as serious a crime spree as they run across in a country where people don’t murder each other and everybody likes sex, healthcare and education, in no particular order.
If mentioning the Nobel Prize and Donald Trump in the same sentences seems strange, what are the odds of hearing it twice in one day? 100% if you are the Trump official who forward two formal requests from the Trump Administration to (?) Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō to nominate Trump for The Nobel Peace Prize.
We were also treated to Trump’s demands that California not only return funds earmarked for building a high speed rail system, but reimburse the Feds for the portions already built, an accurate snapshot as there is of the state the Infrastructure Rebuilding Program Trump promised to deliver. If only they had agreed to run their bullet trains on clean coal, things might be different out there in Commiefornia.
We also heard new Attorney General William Barr announce that Mueller is done and he expects the Special Counsel’s report on Russian Collusion any day now, then changed his tune and said nope, Mueller’s not done yet, not sure how long it will be, or who will get to see it when it’s done.
We wound down with this week’s Reality TV-style cliffhanger; Congress threatening to pass a law to lift Trump’s phony National Emergency and Trump vowing the veto this veto of his phony National Emergency. If that makes any sense, maybe that’s the true National Emergency in this country.
We look forward to Week #111, when Michael Cohen will testify before Congress three (count ‘em!) times, the first of them on Wednesday to be publicly televised and dealing with the crimes of Trump’s private business empire by the guy who helped commit them, Trump’s personal enforcer, bagman and (sort of) attorney. Must-See TV if ever there was such a thing, and certain to hurt Trump where it will hurt him most, in the TV ratings for his own TV special: Kim-Trump II, Live from Vietnam.