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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #164 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY 2/28/20, TO THURSDAY 3/5/20

THIS WEEK ON CELEBRITY APPRESIDENT! Contestants must decide the best way to make the potentially deadly coronavirus health crisis seem like a harmless case of the sniffles. The challenge, of course, is that the disease kills over 3 in every hundred, and is spreading faster than Sarah Huckabee’s caboose during her tenure as Trump’s Senior Liar.

Controlling the narrative of such a story already has the White House door sign painter working overtime, scratching out the names of failed contestants who damaged not only the Stock Market, but Trump’s own final measure of success, his TV ratings, by telling Congress and the public the truth about coronavirus, and painting in the names of the new contestants, hand-picked company men who owe their climb up the ladder to remaining ever mindful of Rule #1, “Don’t make the boss look bad!”

And there’s your plot twist to Celebrity Appresident! Not making Trump look bad is an impossibility, further cementing the status of ‘absolute indispensability’ of the door sign painter to this administration, and riveting viewer attention as they guess which Contestant the Appresident throws under the bus on today’s episode.

Week #164 of the Trump Era began on Friday with Democrats pushing back at William Barr’s Department of Justice for becoming Trump’s personal political enforcement tool when they announced their own investigation of “improper Department of Justice intervention in the Roger Stone case.”

Trump countered by once again nominating Extreme Pro-Trump Performance Artist and Congressional Representative John Ratcliffe to be his new Director of National Intelligence, one year after withdrawing this same man’s name from consideration for this ultra-sensitive position by the Senate because of some serious misgivings about his honesty and his fitness to serve in the position.

But… that was a year ago, before Trump cemented his hold on the Senate thanks to Mitch McConnell, before lying and obstruction were publicity sanctioned by the US Senate, so we’re not working by the same old tired “standards” anymore. No more getting hung up on stale catchphrases like “experienced professional,” or “utmost integrity” or “unequalled expertise.” Such people have time and time again been proven to be so overburdened with knowledge and principles that they don’t see the big picture. 

You know, like that gigantic portrait Trump had painted of himself using money that his phony cancer charity stole from dying children? Yeah, like that big picture.

None of this dramatic political maneuvering dominated the headlines, however, an unacceptable state of affairs to President Me-Me-Me. This time it was not a catastrophic hurricane or the death of a famous person that Americans actually love and admire stealing his headlines, but something too small to be seen by the naked eye, so tiny that it can slip right through the surgical masks simultaneously sprouting on faces all over America like beards on hipsters.

The coronavirus is now a global health crisis that kills an astounding 3.4% of its victims, and the world’s media is responding responsibly by doing their jobs and keeping a wary public informed of the dangers we face and the precautions we all must take. Which runs contrary to the narrative Trump wants to push, that he is single handedly wrangling the coronavirus to the ground and giving it a good thrashing before deporting it back to China.

When your message is “Nothing to see here people, move along now, we have it all under control,” the least the news media can do is ignore the government scientists and health officials the President has placed under a gag order concerning the coronavirus crisis. And for gosh sakes, stop seeking out experts we can’t legally shut up and scaring the bejesus out of regular people worried about their children, and rich people panicking over the health of their portfolios! Naturally Trump lashed out at the media, the ones pointing out the 800 pound coronagorilla in the room.

Not that the Administration was completely unprepared, they had a number of contingency plans drawn up, and held a meeting on Friday to choose a suitable distraction from the coronavirus, something big enough to win back the headlines (but apparently not big enough to actually do something about it), perhaps another tax cut for the rich, or the announcement of an infrastructure project, some bright shiny object or other to dangle in our faces while we look away from people dying needlessly. Hey, it worked with his refugee concentration camps, which are still in business and growing like a Silicon Valley startup, with nary a mention in the news (Yes, we have become used to having concentration camps in America too).

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney showed us once again why he is seldom allowed anywhere near cameras and microphones when the best advice he had to offer American citizens to combat the spread of coronavirus was (!) “Turn off your TV,” because all the televison coverage about the coronavirus was (!!) “all about hurting Trump.” 

How seeking information to protect your family is an attack on President Trump was never fully explained, but powerful mental connections are surely being forged between the presence of Trump and our heightened desire to thoroughly cleanse our surroundings, to decontaminate every surface and fumigate our souls, and we can’t wash our hands enough of this toxic virus. Oh, and the coronavirus is pretty scary too.

Trump ended Friday at a MAGA rally in North Carolina (which he insisted posed no threat to spreading germs even though his own government’s health guidelines specifically state otherwise), where he reduced the threat to being one of his delusional “Democratic witch hunts“ with this gem to this beloved poorly educated: “A virus starts in China, bleeds its way into countries around the world, doesn’t spread into the United States because of the actions I took and the Democrats’ single talking point is that it’s Donald Trump’s fault.”

On Saturday, Trump announced some good news, a peace treaty with the Taliban in Afghanistan, finally ending America’s longest war. Pesky critics pointed out it was a flimsy document relying more on the Honor System that political realities, designed more to boost Trump at home politically than to protect American troops and interests, but still, a promising exercise in Trump actually attempting to be a real President. He also announced sensible new travel restrictions, this time aimed at preventing the immigration of a dangerous virus instead of people.

So, on paper, you could have marked Saturday as a remarkably normal and welcome day in America, a President doing his job in the regular way and keeping the public apprised of important events. No so fast, optimists! No, he’s not getting the hang of the job after 3 years of inept chaos. He simply could not leave well enough alone to impart that illusion for at least an hour or two, Trump simply had to inject his unnervingly misinformed musings into the national conversation, saying (!) “you get Ebola, you disintegrated,” reminding us that, no, not one single day will go by without a stinging reminder that we have an incredibly egotistic and cruel imbecile in charge of everything there is to be in charge of.

And speaking of being in charge or not being in charge (and the all-but-forgotten concentration camps), on Sunday a Federal Judge ruled that senior Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli was not in charge of a damned thing when he served as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and any actions he took or orders he issued were null and void since he served illegally last year in a position overseeing immigration, so the court invalidated a change to asylum policy put in place during that time.

Monday found Trump meeting with President Duque of Colombia, where he wound up advertising his upcoming MAGA rally in North Carolina that evening, and later with representatives of Big Pharma about drug prices for medicines used to treat coronavirus, which the President utilized as a wonderful opportunity to display his ignorance about the lengthy process involved to produce an effective vaccine, and about anything remotely health-related, and his refusal to defer to experts.

Tuesday was of course, Super Tuesday, where 14 States and American Samoa voted for the Democratic nominee for President, a day that Trump and his Russian sponsors worked very hard to rig in favor of Senator Bernie Sanders, who they perceive to be the easier candidate for Trump to defeat next November than Former Vice President Joe Biden. So confident were they that Sanders would finish Biden that day, that there has been no mention in weeks of having the Justice Department revive Giuliani’s phony charges against the Biden family.

The morning began ominously enough, with both Nashville and the Stock Market taking a beating, the city from a deadly tornado and the Stock Market from a deadly virus, and news that the US was again conducting deadly airstrikes in Afghanistan in retaliation for the Taliban’s resumption of violence before the ink was even dry on the peace treaty, with only the Stock Market being singled out for Get-Well-Soon wishes from Trump.

The weekend had brought Trump and Russia a political tornado when Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden, and Tuesday Biden won big, capturing 10 of the 14 States and the delegate lead for the nomination, catapulting Trump’s biggest fear into the position of Odds-on Favorite.

On Wednesday, Biden’s big win brought an impressive boost in investor confidence as the Stock Market rallied more than 500 points after a disastrous week of record losses due to the coronavirus panic. This sea change in the political landscape naturally led to the once-forgotten Ukrainegate Frame-Up job that got Trump impeached. 

No, silly, it didn’t lead to a reflection on the error of one’s ways and a vow to be best, but getting the band back together and taking it on the campaign trail. After all, didn’t the Senate already acquit him once for this same crap? That means it’s legal, no? An obscure Republican Senator has already called for a Senate investigation of Hunter “Benghazi 2.0” Biden, charges to be specified as they occur to him, and there’s still the matter of the Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh that Attorney General Barr assigned to evaluate Rudy Giuliani’s obscene attempt at false prosecution of the Bidens with charges that have already been completely disproven by every law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agency, not only in America, but by their counterparts in our most trusted allies, and by those in Ukraine itself, and have been positively identified as being of official Russian Counterintelligence origin.

And wound up as a frequent talking point for The President of The United States anyway.

Looking for some boasting traction on Thursday, Trump backed off a bookkeeping change that would have drastically cut funds for rural schools, at least for a year, which is kind of like promising to stop beating your wife. For one year. Both are terrible acts, more of the “cut that shit out forever, you prick!” variety, rather than agreeing to give normal civilized behavior a one-year field test.

And speaking of behavior, it seems that certain alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan, many of them by American soldiers, have caught the attention of the International Criminal Court when it allowed prosecutions of the crimes to take place, infuriating Trump, who has recently pardoned two American war criminals. This protection of American soldiers from prosecution by foreign nationals is defensible and not at all unusual, and expected from an American President, so Trump had a shot to end the week on a high note.

Then came the press conferences with the frowny-faced doctors and scientists, with the TV networks showing their world maps with the thousand bright red pins marking where coronavirus had been found so far. This is where the President gave a few encouraging words to the American people, then turned over the microphone to the experts in the room and listened respectfully to the scientific facts… in your daydreams maybe! We both know that guy ain’t president anymore, but still, sometimes it’s just so nice to remember brains, competence and empathy.

Instead, after a week of lying to the public about the coronavirus threat and promising impossibly fast cures, then getting immediately contradicted by the scientists standing right next to him, Trump decided to riff on his own a little bit, kind of like improvisational jazz, and blow a hot solo. Like every soloist, Trump followed his hunches, weaving in and out of the melody (reality), and somehow deciding that 3.4% really means less than 1% when you think about it (which would still be 10 times deadlier than the flu if it wasn’t just a dumbass lie.) His hunch told the assembled scientific elite and the greater world watching that the most carefully-tallied death toll on the planet is wrong and, just as with Global Warning, the scientists are crying wolf over a minor problem. 

And finally, speaking of a different kind of phony body count, The Republican Party sent out a fraudulent fundraising mailer disguised as a 2020 Census Form, almost as clever a scam as stealing money earmarked for kids with cancer and commissioning your own portrait with the dough. In other words, this ain’t Kansas anymore, Dorothy, and I got a hunch this Yellow Brick Road is going to lead us all to the voting booth.

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