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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #183 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 7/10/20 TO THURSDAY, 7/16/20

Quote of The Week: “I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, referring to the vicious smear campaign being waged against him by Trump and his White House staff, while inadvertently voicing the National Mantra for the Trump Era, applicable to all situations Trump-related.

I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that.

QUIOTE #2 OF THE WEEK:  “I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant.” – Representative Ayanna Pressley to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, while Ms DeVos was working and communicating remotely from the safety of home isolation about her eagerness to send your children and their teachers back into crowded classrooms, like livestock driven across a mine field to see which of them blows up.

Week # 183 of The Trump Era continues the breakneck speed of events of recent weeks, which history will perhaps label “The Unraveling,” as an almost numb America rides out the final months of unpredictable chaos created and presided over by an irresponsible madman. Whiplash and nosebleeds may be the order of the day as one struggles to maintain some modicum of equilibrium in the middle of the metaphysical cyclone that is 2020, but at least there is an end in sight, even as things speed up and leave a growing trail of wreckage for Joe Biden to clean up.

The week began on Friday with the news that the American Roman Catholic Church was the recipient of at least $1.4 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans, and perhaps as much as $3.5 billion, the wide disparity between the two figures being the intended result of the lack accountability that comes with the firings of all those Inspectors General in recent months. You know, those fuddy-duddy bean counters always rambling about ethics and accountability, and whose job it was to keep track of such things and investigate irregularities like breaching the Constitutional wall between Church and State? Yeah, those people.

Trump visited Miami that day, the new epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and once again broke local law by not wearing a mask, actively aiding and abetting Florida’s Governor DeSantis in killing Floridians by politicizing a disease. Trump was in Miami ostensibly to engage in a roundtable discussion with Venezuela over the coronavirus crisis and illegal narcotics, and he managed to squeeze in receiving a briefing on something called “advanced counternarcotics operations” and giving a short speech at the Southern Command headquarters military base, but his main business of the day was attending a campaign fundraiser where he delivered his usual blend of crazy lies and silly boasts in an effort to get at least one Latino vote besides the Goya Beans CEO this November.

China said on Friday that it plans to retaliate against any U.S. officials and institutions that follow Trump’s imposition of sanctions on three officials of China’s Communist Party over human rights abuses, while Russia’s top diplomat said he’s not very optimistic about prospects for an extension of the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control agreement because of Washington’s focus on making China part of the pact, while international trade and business experts were busy congratulating Chinese President Xi for getting the best of Trump in their trade talks that Trump keeps boasting about while Americans make China great again by picking up the multi-billion dollar tab for Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Barr fired another senior prosecutor from the Eastern District of New York Office as he continues his brutal purge of neutral nonpartisans from the Department of Justice and their swift replacement with Trump loyalists with very little prosecutorial experience and even less interest in investigating Trump’s crimes. This quiet but earnest corruption went unmentioned by Trump, as did the record-breaking new 70,000 Covid-19 cases registered the previous day, or the Public Health Director of Mississippi making this public plea for help on national television; “Mississippi hospitals cannot take care of Mississippi patients.”

Nor did Trump notice the city of Phoenix, Arizona hiring all those refrigerated meat trucks to store the dead bodies piling up as their morgues were filled beyond capacity, with the same thing happening in Houston and many other cities. Why distract from his TV Tough Guy image, the Law & Order President deploying Department of Homeland Security officers in tactical gear around monuments? He even took credit for a covert cyberattack in 2018, of which he was almost certainly unaware at the time, against Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the Russian propaganda entity that won Trump the Presidency, saying “We put a stop to it.” 

Reality, however, says otherwise, since every single American law enforcement and intelligence agency agrees that Russia is very actively engaged in hacking the 2020 election to get Trump reelected, and the only people trying to put a stop to it are social media executives that deleted over a million phony Russian accounts, due only to effective reporting and public outrage, not out of any love for this country.

As if we needed further proof that having untold wealth creates it’s own self-loyalty, we learned late on Friday about one Michael B. Williams, for decades a lobbyist for small arms manufacturers, who is now (what else?) a White House lawyer. In one of those remarkable coincidences that mark the Trump Administration like 101 Dalmatians, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on lifting the overseas ban on gun sales from Mr. Williams’ former clients.

And then, as advertised in a series of Reality Show-style teasers for the past month, Trump commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, his oldest partner in crime and the man voted in high school to be “Most Likely to Become a Batman Villain.” Perhaps the only man alive today who rivals Trump in being a completely repugnant and unbearably arrogant asshole, the freeing of Stone marked another step in Trump and Barr’s Quixotic quest to erase the Mueller Report, prompting even that high-strung Trump sycophant Senator Lindsey Graham to invite Robert Mueller to testify about Roger Stone’s crimes before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Saturday morning naturally opened up to universal howls about Trump giving Stone a walk, not only from the press and ordinary citizens, but from both sides of the political aisle, their only disagreement seeming to be whether Speaker Pelosi’s “an act of staggering corruption” or Mitt Romney’s “unprecedented historic corruption” best captured the sordid moment.

A consortium of American business leaders petitioned Trump to keep DACA in place on Saturday, in response to his non-committal statement days earlier when he claimed to support a path to citizenship for Dreamers brought here as young children, but offered no such solution in his Administration’s ambiguous and ill-prepared position paper.

Then for only the second time in public and the first for any length of time, President Trump wore a mask in public when he visited Walter Reed Hospital to visit his wounded poll ratings. Having the President wear a mask from the beginning of the pandemic would have saved some 40,000 lives, but since he felt it would make him look weak and stupid, he let them die, as certain a way as can be imagined to look weak and stupid.

And speaking of weak and stupid, on Sunday the White House began an open campaign to destroy the reputation of (!!) Dr. Anthony Fauci for excessive truth-telling, the world’s leading virologist, the Administration’s Director of the Covid-19 Task Force, and the most trusted voice in the country when it comes to information about Covid-19.

Sadly for Dr Fauci (and us), truth about Covid-19 is the last thing Trump wants the American people to have, and has openly contradicted Fauci and every other source of science and data repeatedly, since the truth only puts a damper of his Grand Reopening Plan that keeps unraveling, as one Governor after another either halts their re-openings or shuts down their State altogether as the virus explodes nationwide and Americans keeping dying. 

On Monday, the truth about Trump’s Executive Order concerning DACA came out, when it said the exact opposite of what he claimed it said, offering no amnesty to the young people who spent their lives in America, not even to those currently or soon to be serving in our Armed Forces. This deep-seated bigotry against Latinos should come as no surprise about the man who in 2017 asked if we can just sell Puerto Rico rather than sending disaster relief to the 3 million Americans suffering in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

Of course mention of Covid-19 was unavoidable at this point, especially as we learned on Monday about large private investment firms that manage the fortunes of wealthy individuals and their kin being approved for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded relief loans designed to help small businesses weather the coronavirus lockdown, according to a review of recently released government data. The Payroll Protection Program was meant for struggling small businesses, not mega-wealthy investment corporations sitting on trillions in untaxed wealth stashed away from Uncle Sam in overseas accounts.

Dr. Fauci continued his off-duty guerrilla information campaign, telling us “we haven’t even begun to see the end of Coronavirus,” while Trump’s recently-fired Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney chimed in with the very understated “We still have serious testing problems.”

Trump’s response to the mortal peril America is undergoing? This unbelievably delusional Tweet (!!) – “I’m getting rave reviews for what I did for Roger Stone!” and then retweeting this equally insane Tweet from high-school grad and former game show host Chuck Woolery: “The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.”

Well, as Karma would have it, one Woolery did get sick later that week, when Chuck’s son was diagnosed with Covid-19, followed immediately by Woolery deleting his Twitter account.

Woolery’s message distills in a nutshell the message Trump is selling to America, and why 40,000 extra people are dead. He means to reopen America no matter who dies, including our children, and his point-person on these planned child murders is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is pushing mercilessly to reopen our schools no matter the human cost, which resulted in Representative Ayanna Pressley telling DeVos “I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant.”

On Tuesday a Federal Judge in Boston put the kibosh on Trump’s order to open college campuses or face deportation of their exchange students, forcing the Administration to back off this bit of cruelty, while Trump’s close aides renewed their smear campaign against Dr. Fauci to at least give their boss something to smile about in a grim atmosphere that saw even Mitch McConnell suddenly remembering he represents a State of the Union with more problems that a math textbook. Mitch visited his home State, donned a mask and told his fellow Kentuckians “we are in grave danger” urging them wear masks, stay home and practice social distancing.

McConnell’s belated wakeup call prompted Trump to finally act decisively on Coronavirus at the Federal level when the White House ordered hospitals to stop sending their data to the Centers for Disease Control but instead to forward all Covid-19 patient information to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is run by the unctuous Trump toady Alex Azar. They will then of course conspire to falsify the “official” numbers to make Trump look good, or at least somewhat better than Lucifer.

This move naturally has alarmed health experts who know damned well the data will be politicized, with the Administration very certainly withholding information the American people need to insure that they and their families survive this raging pandemic. And speaking of not surviving Trump policies, he announced his intentions to remove 100 health and public safety regulations he said were getting in the way of construction projects and infrastructure improvements (of which he has exactly none planned), all 100 of them coming with a hard annual body count upon their removal. To Trump’s mind those thousands of annual deaths are but a small price to pay for the reward of removing laws with Obama’s signature attached.

He made another campaign appearance disguised as a Rose Garden press conference that day, where in typical MAGA rally form he completely abandoned any semblance of reality as the assembled White House Press Corps did a piss poor job imitating Trump’s Deplorable, not having the courtesy to manage a standing ovation for even this comedy gem, “Staying home is what is killing mothers and children.”

One of them even had the temerity to throw an ice cold bucket of reality all over Trump afterward by asking “Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?” to which Trump gave an answer equivalent of saying “All Lives Matter” in response to hearing that Black lives matter: “What a terrible question to ask! So are white people. More white people, by the way!”

First Daughter Ivanka closed an eventful Tuesday by auditioning for her Post-White House career as a Washed-Up Celebrity Product Spokesperson. With her being a tad too young for Reverse Mortgage ads yet, she instead posed with a can of Goya beans in solidarity with the embattled CEO of Goya Foods Robert Unanue, whose company is being boycotted nationwide because of his support of Trump.

On Wednesday, Trump made good on his threat to unilaterally weaken one of the nation’s bedrock conservation laws, the National Environmental Policy Act, limiting public review of federal infrastructure projects to speed up the permitting of freeways, power plants and pipelines. Those 100 rules protecting clean air and water, and others that save thousands of lives annually and aim to reduce the threat of human-caused climate change, went right out the window, plus some other Goody Two Shoes benefits to wildlife and the environment that have been taking an unconscionably tragic toll on the portfolios of investors accustomed to obscenely high profits.

This was also the day that Anthony Fauci called for a halt to the idiotic campaign to both destroy his personal reputation and undermine the credibility of science. Fauci, after saying  “I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that,” reminded the President and his staff that they are all on the same team and they all need to remain focused on the virus and cut the grade school crap and the unwelcome injection of politics into a pandemic. 

Then, as if to prove that Fauci was wasting his breath on rightwingers who think allegiance to Trump will shield them from death, Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma tested positive for Covid-19, and yet still told Oklahomans that (!!) wearing masks remains optional. There was no word from Governor Stitt before he went into medical quarantine if he was one of those proud Republicans who said he would rather die than vote for Hillary Clinton, leaving us to research the matter on our own since it’s kind of hard to interview a guy desperately gasping for his next breath.

Naturally all these events conspired to give Joe Biden so big a lead in the polls for the upcoming Presidential Election that if the vote was taken tomorrow, Biden would win not only the White House, but the tanning bed, all of Trump’s red ties and Ivanka’s private cell phone number. Trump had no choice to respond to this threat to his Presidency. 

And no, he did not decide to ditch all the bullshit and start working for the good of the American people instead of himself, that’s not in the cards, but by changing campaign managers, ousting the high-living Brad Parscale in favor of his Deputy Chair, Bill Stepien. Parscale remains on salary as a senior advisor, and good thing two, since his lifestyle is much more costly after ripping off the campaign treasury for 2 Ferraris and a luxury beachfront Condo. His sticky-fingered management style was not the issue, however, (his ostentatious larceny probably endeared him to Trump), but Trump’s approval ratings taking a nosedive was a dealbreaker.

Perhaps Mr. Stepien will avoid Parscale’s mistake of making campaign ads warning of a dire and destructive future for America under Joe Biden by using video footage of the dire destruction occurring in Trump’s America. In what is widely seen as a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic, Mr Stepien has his work cut out for him if he is to equal Parscale’s level of purloined material riches, since it is doubtful if even he believes he can sell President Covid Breath to the American people a second time.

On Thursday Trump began the day by showing support for a married pair of ambulance chasers now widely called the The Karen Couple, who threatened peaceful Black protest marchers with guns in St. Louis for our viral-video comedy entertainment. On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, said that President Trump “doesn’t like what he sees and the way these people are being treated,” which the president proved on Thursday by once again retweeting their images with a message of support, a big fat dogwhistle to racists everywhere.

Then, while the President one-upped his daughter in violating Federal law by taking a publicity shot with a variety of Goya food products, we were treated to the news that the White House personnel office is conducting personal interviews with health officials and hundreds of other political appointees across federal agencies, administering (!!) “loyalty tests” to root out threats of leaks and other potentially subversive acts, just months before the election, an ominous and odious Fascist practice that was confirmed by 15 current and former senior administration officials.

Trump decided to bring the silly China Bogeyman back by banning members of the Chinese Communist Party from traveling to America, the equivalent of another country banning American Republicans from entering their realm. Perhaps he was miffed at the Chinese for trying to steal Covid-19 virus research and vaccine secrets from American pharmaceutical companies by hacking their computers, when clearly the Russian hackers engaged in the exact same activity were more deserving of success.

Serves those science geeks right anyway for raining on his Reopening Parade. Science is surely the enemy when it comes to reopening our schools, which Trump insists we do completely and without any health precautions, and viciously insulted the nation’s parent’s by angrily telling them “they need someone else to make the decisions” on their own children’s health.

He even had Vice President Pence issue this statement, which sounds for all the world like a confession to a crime: “To be very clear, we don’t want CDC guidance to be a reason why people don’t reopen their schools.” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed those sentiments to an astonished Press Corps: “Science should not stand in the way!”

Nor will ethics be an impediment, as we found out when the Administration decided that the scientist leading the vaccine program will be allowed to remain a government contractor, allowing him to avoid ethics disclosures required of federal employees while maintaining his investments in pharmaceutical companies and a potential financial windfall.

Republicans tried feebly to help Trump portray mail-in ballots as ripe for fraud, but the multiple studies being published almost daily that all prove mail-in voting to be honest and reliable sort of took the wind out of their sails, to say nothing of the 140,000 deaths Covid-19 would take by the end of the week. State after State underwent severe trauma from Covid outbreaks and overwhelmed healthcare systems, giving legislators food for thought, and Governors a whole lot to do in the absence of any Federal help.

While Biden racked up the donations and confidently outlined his plans for the Biden Administration, the Trump Administration defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue new applications for DACA status, and the Court threatened to upend his legal delaying tactics by fast-tracking the case of Trump v. Cyrus back to the Appellate Court, which means that Manhattan Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr and his team of investigators and prosecutors could be perusing Trump’s tax returns well before the November election, with perhaps some criminal charges being filed as well.

To add to Tump’s troubles, his niece Mary Trump was released from her gag order and began making the rounds of nationally televised news programs and talk shows, very matter-of-factly telling the country what an incredibly twisted racist sociopath was her Uncle Don, and how terribly unfit he was to run a candy store, never mind a nation. Poor Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s new Press Secretary, is now not only obliged to call the world’s foremost scientists liars, but the President’s niece as well.

As to why anyone would take that job, we have no recourse but to once again defer to Dr. Fauci’s wisdom: “I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that.”

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