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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #115 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 3/22/19 TO THURSDAY, 3/28/19

Trump quote of the week: “I know a lot about wind.” 

That was just one more statement from Trump that was identified as being “partially true” by fact checkers (and anyone with a pulse and a few brain cells), in an era where the country grasps at straws for words from our President that are not outright lies or insanely delusional boasts. 

Trump began a momentous week on Friday by pulling the rug out from under the State Department and Congress when he summarily cancelled a new round of sanctions against North Korea scheduled to go into effect that very day, economic sanctions his own people put in place to put pressure on Kim Jong Un to dismantle his nuclear program and drop out of the Nuclear Weapon Clubs, a betrayal by the President that would fade from memory within hours as even bigger news hit the fan.

The Quiet Man finally spoke later that day, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on the Russian Collusion investigation to Attorney General William Barr on Friday afternoon, and the nation rejoiced that we would finally be able to see the results of his 2 year-long investigation.

“Not so fast with the rejoicing, America” said Willam Barr, who promised to read the report and relay the results to Congress over the weekend. Which he and his team did all day Saturday before issuing a 4 page letter to Congress on Sunday evening stating that Trump committed no collusion with Russia, but that the report “does not exonerate the president” when it comes to the crime of Obstruction of Justice.

“Not so fast with the soundbite review, Barr,” said Congress and most Americans on Barr’s glib and condescending 4-page synopsis of a 300-page legal document, demanding that the report be made public and that Congress immediately be given not only the full report, but the underlying documents that provided the legal basis for its conclusions. You know, the normal reaction to being lied to and bullied for 2 years.

“Not so fast,” again said William Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who both made up excuse after excuse for not releasing the report, citing “National Security” risks and “compromising further investigations,” ignoring the national security risk in a baggy suit that has occupied the Oval Office for 114 weeks, or about 114 weeks too long for most people’s tastes and the country’s own good.

While the president is on public record as supporting the release of the Mueller report to the general public, don’t forget that he also promised to make his taxes public too, to make Mexico pay for his horizontal Trump Tower on the border, to defeat ISIS in 30 days, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on his first day in office, and to make America great again, none of which has come to pass. 

Trump’s solution to this quandary? His usual: “make shit up and repeat it over and over.”

Most of us, not being stable geniuses and all, read the words “does not exonerate the president” and figured there is more we need to know about that statement, and exactly what crime it is that he was not cleared of committing. Trump, on the other hand, a man who has assured us countless times that he is the most perfect individual ever born, with a base of knowledge and a massive intellect far beyond that of mere mortals, interpreted that phrase as meaning “Complete and total exoneration.” No one in his inner circle had the heart to tell him that “complete” and “total” have the same meaning in this context, or that the words “does not exonerate the president” meant the exact opposite of what Trump claimed.

Words and their definitions, however, were never a priority for Trump, but instead are treated as malleable clay with which to form alternate definitions and substitutes for reality. He was the one rejoicing at the news for a change, and repeated his new mantra of “complete and total exoneration” endlessly about Russia, completely ignoring the inconvenient fact that Russian combat troops landed in Venezuela this week, the first time this has happened since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when a president with a pair of balls chased them out of the hemisphere.

His joy, however, did not last very long, since happiness is an emotion that is alien to him, and was soon replaced by the reassuring rage and pettiness that defines the man. He of course went to his go-to strategy, attacking the Special Counsel’s investigation as a failed coup and somehow being (!) Obama’s fault, a man who was no longer President when the investigation was commissioned by Trump’s own severely compromised Administration.

Mister “I Always Get Even” then vowed vengeance on his tormentors, calling for investigations of Democrats in general, Congress, the media, comedians and former government officials, even demanding that television shows blacklist his critics.

Feeling his oats with the fresh empowerment of his phony interpretation of facts, he went on to make all sorts of outrageous claims in Week #115, such as saying he defeated ISIS (which came as surprising news to the armed ISIS fighters still waging war and their very much intact leadership), had “a plan to return to the moon” (nonexistent), had a plan to replace Obamacare (also nonexistent), that he (!!) “de-nuclearized North Korea” (not even close), that under his leadership, “the Republican Party would become the party of health care” (only if you count the prolonged suffering and premature deaths of millions of Americans to be “health care”) and that he required all pipelines in the USA be built with American steel (another silly and easily refuted lie since there is no such regulation in existence, or even being proposed).

Living up to expectations that he would weaponize Barr’s ambiguous synopsis of the Mueller Report, Trump vowed to kill the ACA via the court system in order to bypass Congress, had Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen request authority to deport unaccompanied migrant children, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remove all funding for (!) the Special Olympics while increasing funding for elite (for White Christian kids) Charter Schools and eliminating federal funding for programs assisting (What the fuck?) blind children, while calling his political opponents the silliest of insults, worthy only of an especially dimwitted schoolyard brat. 

He also called for the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate a suspected celebrity hoax in Chicago, something he does not have the authority to do, calling it (without the slightest hint he is aware of the rich irony here) “an embarrassment to our nation.”

He is also holding up a National Disaster funding bill because he wants “not a single dollar going to Puerto Rico,” in spite of all the unfulfilled pledges to rebuild destroyed infrastructure on that still-suffering American island, prompting Senator Chuck Schumer to remark “It’s hard to fathom the depths of cruelty that it takes for the president to treat the people of Puerto Rico this way,” a statement that only makes us wonder why Schumer hadn’t noticed before now that Trump is as cruel as an Inquisitor and as petty a human being as has ever lived, when he has shown us exactly who is he is over and over again.

Ignored by Trump in his victory lap over his “exoneration” is this (partial) list of ongoing investigations into him, his campaign, his administration, his business, his family, and his phony charity foundation:

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York:

  • Campaign conspiracy and Trump Organization finances
  • Inauguration funding
  • Trump super PAC funding
  • Foreign lobbying
  • Investigations by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia:
  • Maria Butina and the NRA

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia:

  • Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, the alleged chief accountant of the Internet Research Agency who was indicted separately earlier this fall, charged with activity that went above and beyond the 2016 campaign. Why she was prosecuted separately remains a mystery.
  • Turkish influence: Michael Flynn’s plea agreement includes some details of the case, and he is cooperating with investigations.

New York City, New York State and other State Attorneys General:

• Tax case: New York State tax fraud 

• The Trump Foundation

• Emoluments lawsuit: The attorneys general for Maryland and D.C. sent out subpoenas earlier this month for Trump Organization and hotel financial records relating to their lawsuit that the president is in breach of the “Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution, which appears to prohibit the president from accepting payments from foreign powers while in office.

So much for the “Russian Collusion Delusion” and his other legal woes (like those pesky 17 alleged sexual assaults) being in the rearview mirror, or more bad news (is there any other kind with him?) about his activities being disseminated, such as his threat to attack North Korea with nuclear bombs while he was in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017 (presumably before he and Kim Jong Un “fell in love”), or having  Energy Secretary Rick Perry sign off on six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia (presumably kept secret because Trump promised not to allow this and because it is against the law), or a Federal Judge striking down his proposed sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.

It seems no one is tiring of all the winning, since there hasn’t been any except in the deluded minds of Trump as his most fanatical acolytes.

Congress and the vast majority of Americans (90%) are now demanding to see the full Mueller report, still not released a week later, as the Attorney General and Mitch McConnell act as Trump’s hatchet men, while fewer and fewer Americans are impressed with the Emperor’s new wardrobe.

In true Trumpian form, Trump closed out his week on Thursday at (where else?) a political rally in Michigan (No, not in Flint, even he is not that crazy), where he displayed a renewed  energy for lying, hurling moronic insults and making plain batshit crazy statements, which brings us to the quote of the week, “I know a lot about wind.”

Very windy indeed was Trump that day, denigrating the proven and useful technology of wind turbines to generate electricity with these exact words: “You look at the fact that we would have been powered by wind, which wouldn’t have worked by the way because it only blows sometimes and lots of problems come about.” And this beaut: “Darling, is the wind blowing today? I’d like to watch television.”

Then he reiterated his “The Russian Hoax is finally dead” nonsense and launched into this praise of himself at the expense of those Americans Trump considers his enemies: “I have a better education than them. I’m smarter than them. I went to better schools than them, I have a much more beautiful house. Much more beautiful everything.” Okay then, we get it, you’re rich and Daddy bribed Wharton school to admit your dunce ass.

Then he lied to his adoring crowd (they expect no less) about his Electoral College numbers (inaccurate), winning the women’s vote (he lost the women’s vote), improving Veterans Health Care (he did nothing of the sort), about his own health care plan (he doesn’t have one), and about auto makers returning to Michigan (nope, they’re not, and the Rust Belt keeps rusting under the burden of Trump’s imbecilic tariffs). The he flew to Mar A Lago for a long weekend to celebrate the end of a scandal that is very far from ended, and presumably to plot his revenge.

Trump figures he can do anything he wants now, still not getting it that no President can spend a nickel without Congressional approval and he no longer controls both Houses of Congress, or that Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, our court system and Saturday Night Live are not going to fold their tents and disappear into the good night. Even a blind child can see that.

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