Week #137 of the Trump Era didn’t so much begin or end, it just sort of spread out in all directions like some oozing, fetid slime, corrupting everything it touched.
In other words, the usual.
Trump took his MAGA act on road on Friday for America’s bi-annual overseas humiliation, this time at the weekend G-7 meeting in Biarritz, France, where the President did not disappoint those expecting him to display his worst traits as he boasted, blustered and lied his way through yet another gathering of world leaders, by now a predictable laughingstock combined with a monstrous unstable child, a monster who by some freak of fate is in charge of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, an arsenal he famously suggested should be deployed against (!) hurricanes.
The events and pronouncements of the week were disturbing and relentless, leaving us uncertain what outrage occurred on which day, which crazy thing was said when, and which even crazier thing took the attention off the first crazy thing, and when each beneficial piece of Obama-signed legislation or regulation was scrapped, so a bullet point review of the low spots of Week #137 is in order.
• China placed tariffs on $75 billion in American goods in retaliation for Trump’s erratic trade war.
• Trump countered by raising tariffs on Chinese goods by 5%.
• Trump patron David Koch died, mourned by no one not named Koch, his usefulness to the Republicans whose careers he sponsored at an end.
• Trump claimed he can order American companies to “quit China” with this idiotic Tweet – “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” and rescinded almost immediately, perhaps in recognition of the global economic chaos that would cause.
• The Trump administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that employers should be allowed to discriminate against, or even fire, their lesbian, gay and bisexual employees simply due to their sexual orientation.
• Trump claimed France “is stuck on niche issues” at G-7 talks, those niche issues being climate change, income and gender equality and African development, vital issues facing every economy. Trump underscored his disdain for taking climate change seriously by skipping the Climate Change portion of the G-7 meetings.
• And speaking of disdain for climate change, the Trump Administration drastically reduced emission standards for methane gas so low that even the polluters complained, those energy companies who realize it’s better to leave most of humanity still alive so there will be someone left to buy their oil rather than pump million of tons of poison gas into the same atmosphere that their paying customers enjoy breathing.
• Trump doubled down on his silly claim that “Putin outsmarted Obama,” viciously denigrating an American President (who was incalculably better at the job than Trump, who is furious he cannot escape Obama’s shadow) in front of the whole world, while taking the side (yet again) of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he kept insisting be invited to rejoin the G-7 Group, while thwarting legislative and intelligence efforts to prevent Russia from sabotaging the 2020 America election and delivering another tainted victory to Trump.
• Trump alternately upped the ante on his trade war with China at the G-7, then backed away from his trade war completely, insulted Chinese president Xi and Chinese leadership, then praised them, then lied shamelessly about non-existent phone calls between the two nations’ trade officials.
• He addressed this “both sides of his mouth” approach when challenged by a reporter, defending his whiplash-inducing turnarounds and incomprehensible double talk as (!) “the way I negotiate,” perhaps giving us valuable insights as to how he managed to bankrupt gambling casinos, almost a mathematical impossibility unless you really put some effort into screwing things up. All this left world leaders in limbo as to how to proceed, unsure if the trade war was over, or beginning anew.
• With other presidents, foreign heads of state looked forward to conferring with a reasonable and well-informed mind, fully briefed on the issues of the day. Now they try not to incite a tantrum from the overgrown toddler as they attempt to break the Gibberish Code.
• His new Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham defended Trump’s “style,” claiming that his insane lies were not classic “lies” after all, merely “an emphatic way to prove his points to the American people” (Parables from the Chosen One, perhaps?), proving herself a worthy successor to the bizarrely imperious Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, who wrote the book on rewriting the dictionary to suit the needs of the moment.
• Trump exhibited great faith in his new press secretary by giving her the biggest challenge of her career, trying to make his decision to deport children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases look like something other then the act of unspeakable cruelty that one would normally assign to such a heinous deed.
• Then he upped the ante by attempting to strip American citizenship from the children of (!) American soldiers who are born overseas (where these military personnel happen to be stationed), even those born on American military bases, always considered US soil for the purposes of establishing birthright citizenship. This will not apply to all soldiers, however, with a skin-color chart being developed to determine each baby’s worthiness to be called an American, on a scale of White to Dark.
• Trump claimed that the First Lady “liked Kim Jong Un” when in fact the two have never met, perhaps confusing Kim momentarily with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who Melania most emphatically does like, as illustrated by perhaps the most startling photo to come out of the G-7 Summer Meeting, of Melania going all weak knees over Trudeau.
• Another Republican challenged Trump for the 2020 nomination, this time the wrong Joe Walsh, not the popular guitar slinger from The James Gang and The Eagles, who might even garner some interest, but some Tea Party has-been almost as insane and unfit as Trump.
• With Hurricane Season bearing down on the USA, Trump decided this would be a good time to loot the treasuries of FEMA and the Coast Guard, the First Responders who perform daring rescues during catastrophic hurricanes, in order to expand his system of concentration camps along the Mexican Border.
• Lo and behold, Category 4 Hurricane Dorian popped up in the Caribbean, to which Trump’s first response was to yell at Puerto Rico for being in its path. His second response was to cancel his scheduled trip to Poland once it was determined that the storm would skip Puerto Rico and threaten Southern Florida, Mar A Lago territory, supporting Governor DeSantis when he declared a State of Emergency in all of Florida.
• The love affair between Fox News and President Trump was seriously threatened when Trump furiously lashed out at the network because his own bizarre behavior finally became too much for even Fox correspondents to ignore, and they had the nerve to point out the obvious. What was once Trump’s most reliable apologist, ally, propaganda arm and indeed one of his main policy shapers, is suddenly showing signs of growing both a spine and a conscience, a frightening prospect that prominent Republicans are hoping blows over before Fox News begins examining the GOP’s blind support of an obvious madman.
• The 6-member Federal Election Committee was rendered toothless by being left undermanned, now having only 3 members, when a vote of 4 is required to implement any policy. You know, policies enacted to protect the upcoming Federal Election from the Russian hacking that is already underway, that sort of thing? Hence the name “Federal Election Committee?” Yeah, them. They can’t do anything now.
• And speaking of undermanned vital offices, The Department of The Interior threatened Congress over protests of their moving the Bureau of Land Management by refusing to locate Federal jobs in the States and Districts of U.S. Senators and Representatives who oppose this de facto dismantling of the management of our public lands, representing to the Trump Administration an impediment to the fracking, drilling and crisscrossing with toxic pipelines of America’s wild wilderness, including (WTF?) our crown jewels, America’s National Parks, representing our collective national heritage, even though none of us but a wealthy few are scheduled to benefit from their exploitation.
• And speaking of caving in to a madman, the Pentagon authorized the creation of Space Command, prompting Trump to declare that space will be (!!) “the next war-fighting domain.” How astronomic is this maniac’s ego that he is not content to fuck up just the one planet, but the entire Solar system too?
There are captive children being mistreated in an expanding system of American concentration camps, a Category 4 hurricane is bearing down on a nation with a weakened First Response capability, and nothing at all is being done to discourage Russian domination, but by all means, let’s play Space Rangers. Pew-pew, pew-pew-pew!
Scotty, beam us up.