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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #163 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 2/21/20 TO THURSDAY, 2/27/20


Quote of The Week: “Are you fucking kidding me?” ~ The Universe

Okay, let’s recap, shall we? Donald Trump got elected in 2016 with the help of Russia and a rogues gallery of common criminals and corrupt yes men, many of whom have been sent to prison, then tried to cover it up by firing the FBI Director and sabotaging every investigation into his crimes. He created refugee concentration camps featuring children in cages, attacked our allies and weakened our crucial defense alliances while cozying up to brutal dictators, and brought the county to the brink of World War 3 by assassinating an Iranian general. Trump routinely attacked over half of American citizens as haters and losers, branded the free press “enemies of the people” for having the nerve to publish the truth, praised our worst racists, regularly condemned honest members of his own government as traitors and criminals, then sent his private lawyer to commit blackmail in Ukraine to try and cheat in the 2020 election and subvert the State Department (getting Trump impeached in the process), and systematically reopened America to severe toxic environmental pollution and official corruption by stripping our regulatory ability. He fired every responsible and loyal adult from his Administration, appointed a thuggish personal fixer as Attorney General and has silenced American Intelligence agencies. He has viciously attacked our Judicial system and threatened both judges and jurors as he interfered with ongoing criminal cases on behalf of his outlaw henchmen, and has stripped the Federal Government of our scientific research capabilities, regulatory oversight and emergency response readiness. Now he is trying to cover up a potential deadly pandemic, willing to sacrifice any number of American lives in order to avoid “being made to look bad.” And these are just a few of Trump’s crimes.

Which begs the question, what constitutes “looking good” in the mind of this insufferable psychopath and global laughingstock? If only Rod Serling was still alive to narrate the Trump Era, he might have a few insights to explain the uninterrupted volcanic eruption of madness and vicious aggression we are experiencing on a daily basis.

Week #163 of the Trump Era began with Friday’s revelations that Congress was informed by American intelligence agencies that the Russians, flush from their 2016 success at installing Donald Trump as President of the United States, are once again attacking our Electoral system with gusto to rig the 2020 election on Trump’s behalf, and the President was furious at this disturbing news.

Furious that we found out about it.

In a couple of new wrinkles, Russia is also helping Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination because they see him as the easiest candidate for Trump to defeat, and by tampering in the Primary Elections of key states to sow chaos, undermine public trust in American institutions and strengthen Trump’s position. Naturally this disastrous news forced the President to spring into action to meet this dire threat.

Towards that end, he immediately attacked the news of Russia’s renewed subversion of our elections as (!) “a Democratic hoax,” then fired his Director of National Intelligence for obeying the law by reporting ongoing national security breaches to Congress, effectively decapitating our intelligence capabilities, the ears and eyes on the world for every President and Congress. 

To insure that the truth ceases to flow to Congress and the American people, Trump appointed a loyal political operative with exactly no experience in the Intelligence field as his new Director of National Intelligence, one Richard Grenell, who immediately began earning Trump dividends when he demanded to review the intelligence provided to Congress and to Senator Sanders, his objective being the same as the President’s, to cast doubt on the loyalties and reliability of one of the most effective intelligence gathering infrastructures on the planet. 

Being that any President has exactly no other sources of information other than America’s law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and the professional diplomats of the State Department’s Foreign Service, the Government of The United States of America is being reduced to a giant rubber stamp committee for the approval of Presidential crimes and official corruption. 

On Saturday, Senator Bernie Sanders responded angrily to the revelations of Russian interference in his own campaign, roundly condemning the Russians and challenging the President to do the same, but Trump would not take the bait and risk the wrath of his chief patron, Vladimir Putin. There is an election to be won this November, by hook or by crook, mostly by crook, the same crook who on Saturday stripped Department of Defense employees of their right to collective bargaining, a small but vitally important piece of news, a move designed to severely weaken the position of working Americans seeking a living wage in this Brave New Minimum Wage Paradise (a paradise for the wealthy, for impoverished workers, not so much.).

Saturday also brought a growing international health crisis into focus, when Trump was infuriated that 14 American citizens who had tested positive for coronavirus were (!) permitted to return to the USA under heavy quarantine. The coronavirus has now spread from China to 60 countries so far, on every continent but the uninhabited Antarctica, threatening to become a deadly global pandemic, but since the President “wants to be seen as managing a proper response” (emphasis on the “being seen to” part, and not actually managing a proper response), the flow of information needs to restricted (pretty much the opposite of the proper response to pandemics). 

Besides, that would be nearly impossible in the United Sates due to Trump having fired everyone capable of managing such a crisis 2 years ago, since they were the same “Obama people” who successfully avoided the deadly Ebola crisis of several years ago. As usual, saving lives takes a back seat to erasing the footsteps of a giant whose shadow haunts Trump’s days, a President who lacked the raw ambition to steal a nickel, alienate any important allies, or preside over even a single scandal in 8 years, in what was obviously a sustained and calculated effort to make Trump look bad.

On Sunday, Trump had his National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien pubicly dismiss the latest revelations of Russian interference in the 2020 election on behalf of Trump, directly contradicting his own intelligence officials. Trump joined in with gusto, attacking one of his favorite targets, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff, threatening him by saying “something should happen to Schiff,” which of course resulted in multiple death threats being issued to the man Trump considers most responsible for impeaching him.

Then, as Air Force One flew off to India for a State Visit, Trump took to Twitter to attack the jury foreman in his old friend and coconspirator Roger Stone’s criminal case once again, repeating his own manufactured claims that she was biased and unfit to participate in his buddy’s trial last November. “That juror is so biased and so tainted, that shouldn’t happen in our criminal justice system.” For good measure, he attacked and threatened the judge presiding over his case, who had just sentenced Stone to 3 years and 4 months in prison.

As usual when he is outraged and stressed (when isn’t he?), Trump retreated to his favorite safe haven on Monday, a MAGA rally, only this time it was in a giant cricket stadium in India, where Trump called Indian Prime Minister Modi “the Father of India” and compared him to (!!) Elvis Presley, an insult to both The King and to Mahatma Gandhi, the real Father of India, to say nothing of his insults to Indians in general when he insisted on trying to pronounce a series of Hindu names in what turned out to be a spot-on Jerry Lewis impersonation. Small wonder 38 people were killed in violent civil disturbances in New Delhi while Trump was in India. 

On Tuesday Trump returned to America without his promised “great Indian trade deal” in his pocket, to confront even more bad economic news as the stock market went into free fall as a result of investor panic over the spreading coronavirus, setting records for losing money so swiftly, having plunged over 1,900 points in 2 days. 

Trump of course insinuated that the Stock Market losses were “a Democratic plot to destroy America” over “a common cold,” a “cold” that, uncommonly, kills 2% of the people who get it. Then he said there would be a vaccine “very shortly, in a matter of weeks,” and was immediately contradicted by his own government’s scientists, who estimate it would take over 18 months to deliver a vaccine. He then had his Homeland Security Secretary repeat his lies, which still had no effect on the spread of the virus or the concern of people who don’t wish to die due to a lack of information.

Having taken over the Department of Justice, The Intelligence agencies and the various federal health agencies, Trump went after America’s judiciary again, this time attacking the Big Kahuna of our system, the Supreme Court, when he declared that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor need to recuse themselves from cases involving himself, namely “anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related.” To which the 2 Justices responded, “as if, fat boy!”, or words to that effect.

On Wednesday, with the coronavirus narrative threatening to get away from him, Trump demanded that any additional government funds to combat the growing health crisis in the United States be offset by cuts in assistance to HEAP, a program that helps low-income Americans afford heating oil, creating a second severe health crisis as a deep freeze and severe snowstorms enveloped half the country.

Then Trump finally faced the music with a rare press conference about coronavirus, wasting no time blaming the usual suspects, the free press and Democrats, for this crisis, then claiming it was completely under control while asking Congress for $2.5 billion to fight it. At a time when all other nations affected by the coronavirus are conducting aggressive public health campaigns by trained professionals, Trump appointed Vice President Pence as the Coronavirus Czar, a man who already killed people in Indiana by his inept and superstition-based mishandling of a severe health care crises that led to an explosion of HIV infections when he was Governor of that unfortunate State, who wrote articles (!!) denying that cigarettes cause lung cancer, and called Global Warming “a myth.”

Trump understated (lied about) the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and lied about America’s preparedness to combat pandemics, then was once again immediately contradicted by his scientists, who informed us that no, Mr. President, there is no vaccine coming soon and would not be one for at least 18 months, and no, were are not prepared for this fight at all, lacking training, equipment and logistics planning.

Practically unmentioned on Wednesday amid this mass hysteria was another mass shooting, this one is a Milwaukee brewery, President Trump suing the New York Times for publishing the truth about him, and another instance of willful ineptitude by the Trump Administration when it was announced they hired the (what else?) inexperienced James Bacon, a (!) 23 year-old college senior, to be the (!!) Director of Operations of the powerful Presidential Personnel Office.

All this mixed messaging was solved on Thursday, when it was announced that all information given to the public concerning the coronavirus would henceforth have to be cleared by Pence, in effect controlling (withholding) the flow of information to the American people about a potentially deadly pandemic with which our government is ill-equipped to handle.

So now we have a situation where The President of the United States, having been acquitted by the Senate for his failed scheme to blackmail Ukraine into meddling in the 2020 Election on his behalf, is now exercising unchecked power, and using that power to disguise the fact that he is willing to sacrifice the lives of any number of America citizens in order to insure his personal political success.

This turn of events saw US health agencies spring a bunch of leaks in an effort to do their jobs, keeping the America people informed and healthy, and forced members of both Houses of Congress to protest this Banana Republic clampdown on vital information and a completely inadequate approach to a potentially severe public health crisis. The Stock Market, which Trump had assured us would rebound tremendously, responded by dropping another 1,000 points.

Not content with destroying the credibility of our guardians of public health and the economic stability of private industry, Trump decided on Thursday to raise tariffs on metals imported from 2 hemispherical neighbors, Brazil and Argentina, meaning that Americans will soon be paying even more for consumer goods (our trading partners never pay the tariffs, we the people do.).

If playing Russia Roulette with the lives of the innocent, shredding the effectiveness of our central government and undermining the livelihoods and wellbeing of every American are not your idea of worthwhile activities, then perhaps the Trump Era will not rank among your fondest memories when the curtain finally comes down in this odious dog & pony show.

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