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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #185 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 7/24/20 TO THURSDAY, 7/30/20

Quote of The Week: “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” – George Corley Wallace, Posthumous Senior Policy Advisor to President Trump

Quote #2 of the Week: “Nobody likes me.” – President Trump finally telling the truth.

Week #185 of the Trump Era began just a week or so after after he traveled to Maine and declared himself the savior of their fishing industry, as President Trump took steps on Friday to destroy one of the most important salmon fisheries in the global ecology when he decided that a gold mine was worth destroying the Alaskan Salmon Fishery. The fishery is a self-renewing natural resource that will long outlast the contents of any mine, and continue to produce far greater wealth than the environmentally disastrous method of mining being proposed.

But this is, after all, Donald J. Trump, and the word “gold” coupled with another opportunity to erase the name Obama from another life-saving conservation project was simply irresistible, and unless Congress intervenes, the entire Pacific marine ecosystem and the global food chain both take severe blows. 

This was a week you can’t drink enough to forget, especially when it gets to the part where the President of the United States calls for postponing the upcoming election. But Friday was the first day of Week#185, with Trump scrambling desperately to direct attention away from his monumental failures, Tweeting out insane meaningless drivel like “So Obama and his team of lowlifes spied on my campaign, and got caught – Open and shut case! More papers released today which are devastating to them. Will they ever pay the price? The political Crime of the Century!”

He says things like this while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sends ventilators and PPE to new epicenters of Covid-19 and teams of New York medical personnel set up 2 Houston Covid-testing sites, Barron Trump’s school announces it will not be reopening this Fall while his father insists that your kids serve as canaries in the Covid mine,  Republican Senators try to slash unemployment benefits for tens of millions of workers down to starvation pay, the nation passed the 4 million mark in Coronavirus infections, the rate of infection doubled and Federal authorities have been accused of violating the Geneva Convention for destroying medical equipment during protests in Portland.

That day we also learned that Democrats in Congress ripped Bill Evanina a new one, the Director of the United States National Counterintelligence and Security Center, when he told Congress that not only Russia, but China and Iran are in the 2020 America Election-rigging game too. The Representatives were outraged that the agency is not doing more to combat election interference, and for not keeping the public informed of these developments, saying the agency “did not go nearly far enough in arming the American people with the knowledge they need about how foreign powers are seeking to influence our political process.”

Congress, in a blatant exercise in pointing out what everyone has known for years, said it is almost as if the Trump Administration welcomed foreign interference (who can forget ‘Russia, are you listening?’), and called out Russia, China and Iran for seeking to interfere in the American democratic process. Meanwhile, the barn door lies broken on the ground, its hinges torn off.

On Saturday Trump again attacked the nation’s colleges and universities in an effort to force them to open for live classes in spite of severe risks of infection and death, this time saying his administration won’t let in new foreign students for online learning, the same ploy he tried and failed last week with foreign students already in America.

Meanwhile, Inspectors General, normally the sort of people you sort of know exist but never hear much about, were back in the headlines again as the Inspectors General of both the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced separate investigations into the Trump administration’s deployment of federal law enforcement officers to Portland, Oregon, and various complaints about excessive use of force against demonstrators.

Trump golfed all weekend, pausing long enough on Sunday to boast about his laser-focus on the pandemic that he is actively making worse when he’s not ignoring it. Later that day the Chinese government announced the closing of the US Consulate in Chengdu in retaliation for Trump closing China’s Houston Consulate, and the House of Representatives announced it would interview the CEO’s of 4 tech giants on Wednesday over monopolistic practices and on Tuesday the Judiciary Committee confirmed that Attorney General William Barr was set to testify in the House probe into the politicization of the DOJ under Barr.

Meanwhile, to remind ourselves and the world that we have produced great Americans in every generation, John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time as his coffin toured the South on its way to the Capitol Rotunda to lie in state on the same bier that was built to hold Abraham Lincoln’s casket.

Monday morning found John Lewis as the first Black lawmaker to lie in State in the Capitol Building, and Trump’s National Security Adviser, Robert O’Brien becoming the first of Trump’s Cabinet Secretaries to test positive for Covid-19, but the White House assured us all that there is (!) “no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president from the National Security Advisor.” Let that sink in.

Trump did, however, maintain close personal contact with those who are important to him and vital to his presidency, his criminal defense attorneys, when they responded to the Supreme Court’s declaration that Trump is not above the law by filing a frivolous lawsuit against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr for (!) ”presidential harassment,” a bogus term invented by the leader of the Jay Sekulow Band and laughed out of every court where it auditioned.

Republican Senators, meanwhile, were threatening to cut unemployment benefits from $600 a week to a lousy $200 while accusing most American workers of being lazy jerks who would rather stay home and collect a handout than go to work, even as the nation inched towards one Covid-19 death every minute of every day. 

While Trump wore a mask for a Photo Op at a biotech center in Virginia, Doctor Anthony Fauci told us “If you look at the deaths as they’re occurring right now — about 1,000 per day — unless we get our arms around this and get it suppressed, we are going to have further suffering and further death,” even as Trump told lie after lie about the virus being under control.

And speaking of Dr. Fauci and weird lies, it seems that Trump was consumed with jealousy over Fauci getting to throw out the first ball on Opening Day of the pandemic-deferred baseball season, so he made up a story about cancelling his scheduled ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15th due to Covid, which came as a huge surprise to Yankee management, who never extended any such invitation to Trump, who is about as popular as rectal itch in New York City.

On Tuesday Trump refused pay his respects to John Lewis at the Capitol or to attend his funeral service in Georgia with 3 other living US Presidents, perhaps leery of invoking comparisons to the people who savagely attacked  the John Lewises of this world during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. To hear one Maj. Adam DeMarco tell it to Congress, an Army National Guard officer who was called in to enforce the crackdown on protests in Lafayette Park last month, the demonstrators were peaceful and “subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”

The commander of that operation, for some unexplained reason the Attorney General of the United States, William Barr, also testified before Congress on Tuesday, where he was pressed by the House Judiciary Committee to explain why he was acting as Trump’s replacement for Michael Cohen, his original personal attorney and fixer who was sent to prison for crimes he committed at the direction of Individual 1 (Donald John Trump for those keeping score at home).

Barr bore the supreme arrogance of unassailable corruption, having his successful criminal suppression of the Mueller Report under his belt, as well as a very busy recent history of intervening with the courts on behalf of Trump’s criminal cronies and the wholesale firings of District Attorneys who were investigating Trump’s criminal activities. Perhaps he can’t be blamed for assuming the mantle of contemptuous Reich Minister faithfully doing his Fuhrer’s bidding as he defended the indefensible. 

For his own part, Trump attacked Dr. Fauci again, then went all hydroxychloroquine again by re-Tweeting the “alien DNA in medicines” video by an obscure doctor named Stella Emmanuel, the Alex Jones of MDs, whose outlandish claims include space alien DNA being used in medicines, lizard people ruling the wold, demon sex dreams causing vaginal problems and vaccines to turn everyone gay so that homosexuals can marry children. But hey, she’s a doctor someplace or other, and she prescribes hydroxychloroquine, so who’s to say she doesn’t know better than Dr. Anthony Fauci, the world’s leading virologist who literally wrote the book on contagious viruses? Fauci defended himself saying simply he is “not misleading the American public under any circumstances,” not even dignifying “Doctor” Emmanuel with a mention.

Defying the Supreme Court for good measure, The Trump Administration refused to take any new applications for the DACA act, then boasted about locking people up again, this time protestors, claiming an Executive order gave Trump the power to send them to prison for “a 10 year minimum sentence” when in fact he was referring to the Statues & Monuments Act of 1964, which carries a 1-year penalty and has never been used to send anyone to jail. Trump simply directed the Attorney General to enforce this already-existing law, and didn’t create any new laws or invent prison sentences.

Then came his Covid-19 press briefing where he obsessed with Doctor Fauci’s popularity, lied his ass off about how “most of the USA is virus-free” (the opposite is true), and how he has followed most of Fauci’s recommendations (he has not), promoted hydroxychloroquine again by citing the demon sex dreams doctor again, then said aloud that he guesses “nobody likes me” before a tough question by a reporter caused Trump to melt down and stalk out of the room in a huff yet again. Very unfair to him.

Never let it be said that the First Lady didn’t stand by her man and stand up for America in the midst of this grave crisis. During this most difficult of weeks, Melania Trump pitched in to ease our national burdens when she unveiled her plan to (!) renovate the Rose Garden. You now, that familiar place in the backyard of the White House where, before Trump, great men spoke of great ideas, made important announcements, and sparred nimbly with a respected press corps (for the hundred thousandth time, those guys aren’t president anymore!). 

That bears repeating. The First Lady of the United States, “just doing her part” during a deadly pandemic that would claim 153,000 lives in just 5 months by week’s end, with 4.5 million infected and tens of millions out of work, out of money and facing a very perilous future for themselves and their children, decided that this was the optimum time to hire a landscaper to pimp the Rose Garden. Wellokaythen!

On Wednesday Michael Coen sued Willam Barr. No, not for usurping his role as Trump’s fixer and criminal cohort, but for trying to send him back to prison for refusing to sign away his First Amendment rights. When Cohen was sentenced to Home Confinement due to severe Covid-19 outbreaks in Federal prisons, the Department of Justice tried to get him to sign a waiver relinquishing his right to free speech or risk being shipped back to prison, specifically targeting Cohen’s ability to complete his tell-all book, about his 2 decades of criminal activity with Donald Trump, before the election. The fact is that Cohen was shipped off to prison before a Federal judge released him while pointedly rebuking the Attorney General for unlawful imprisonment and violations of Mr. Cohen’s Civil Rights.

Trump finally answered the $64,000 question on Wednesday when he addressed the issue of Russia paying the Taliban bounties for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan. For once, Trump was bold, resolute and presidential when he unequivocally condemned his enemies, (!!) our own America Intelligence agencies who were engaging in “fake news,” and the news media for reporting this shocking story, with the biggest shock coming with the President of The United States defending Russia and praising Putin while accusing his own intelligence agencies of treachery.

Since Trump was informed of the Russian Bounties he now calls fake news, he has spoken to Mr. Putin 7 times, and 7 times he said nothing about our soldiers being hunted by Russian bounty hunters, and tried to change to subject to China, his new Obama in the blame game. The topic of bounties “never reached my desk,” he lied, in spite of numerous confirmations that he was indeed told directly about it in February of this year, before resorting to his usual “lots of people are saying” that telegraphs his bigger lies. Then he followed Putin’s talking point practically verbatim when he said “the last thing that Russia wants is to get too much involved in Afghanistan.” Which might or might not cause one to idly wonder what is even worse that a Hooker Pee Tape that Putin is holding over Trump.

And speaking of worse, the only direction Trump consistently heads, Trump reintroduced a Jim Crow practice dear to his heart and learned at his father’s knee: Redlining. Indeed, Donald and his father Fred pled no contest in Federal Court years ago to charges of racist real estate practices, paying millions in fines and narrowly escaping criminal charges. President Trump did not forget the humiliation of being branded a young racist simply for being a young racist, and took steps ease the burdens on his spiritual descendants, today’s young racists, crooked real estate developers and xenophobic demagogues.

He touted something called “The Suburban Lifestyle Dream,” telling White people in segregated towns that “you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood. Crime will go down.”  (no translation needed.) Trump boasted of killing yet another “Obama era law” when in fact it is an attempted gutting of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that Obama used to achieve freedom of movement for minorities.

On the raging Covid threat, Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities urged the United States to reset the Covid-19 response to the beginning and to act as one country instead of the 50-State game of Whack-A-Mole it has become, while one State recovers as another begins the same deadly rollercoaster ride. The economic impact could hardly be worse than what was being announced, it was pointed out, an argument rejected by Trump and Republicans like Louie Gohmert, who called Covid-19 a hoax until he tested positive when he tried to board Air Force One on Wednesday.

Gohmert was an adamant anti-masker who forced his own staff to endanger themselves by berating them for wearing masks at work, and paraded around in close proximity to his Congressional colleagues and the Attorney General the day before with no mask. Stubbornly remaining on-message, Ghomert will treat himself with hydroxychloroquine, even as another Republican anti-masker who called the Coronavirus a hoax, Herman Cain, died of Covid-19 after catching it at a Trump rally.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi immediately made the wearing of masks mandatory in the House of Representatives, and somehow summoned the strength to refrain from mentioning the consequences of the allegiances one makes in life, particularly in politics.

Wednesday also saw Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Tim Cook of Apple Corp and Sundar Pichai of Google, the Big 4 Tech CEOs, testifying before a House Anti-Trust Committee, giving Americans something of which we already have an ample supply, reasons to hate their guts.

And speaking of hating people’s guts, here’s another candidate; Michael Zamagias, the CEO of TeleTracking, and a man who just so happens to be linked to a firm that financed billions of dollars in projects with the Trump Organization. It seems Mr. Zamagias was fortunate enough to win a no-bid contact from the Federal Government to track national Covid-19 information, even though TeleTracking has a completely different specialty, the tracking of hospital patients inside one building, and his company is now being accused of under-reporting Covid cases to make the President look good.

As Trump keeps endlessly repeating the Big Lie about mail-in ballots being fraudulent, he has his own man in the Post Office helping him render the Post Office less effective, one Louis DeJoy, a big Trump donor with no experience who was appointed Postmaster General a month ago. Mr. DeJoy announced the U.S. Postal Service is considering closing post offices across the country and drastically cutting back on services, sparking concerns ahead of an anticipated surge of mail-in ballots in the 2020 elections. Shut out of the Covid relief money by a president determined to destroy our postal system, the USPS was recently forced to borrow $10 billion from the Federal Reserve to stay afloat.

On Thursday Trump finally said it out loud – Delay the election,first by Tweet, then by defending it vigorously even as his entire party told him where to stick that one. Everyone with a pulse realizes Trump is going to lose badly in November no matter what, and not even his staunchest allies and most craven enablers are wiling to consider helping him reject election results. 

Except for William Barr of course, who had reason to pout when a Federal Appellate Court threw out his attempt to drop the charges against convicted felon and Trump aide Michael Flynn, who confessed to his crimes twice. When asked if he would participate in helping Trump nullify the election results, he is the only one who did not say no. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dodged the question, claiming (erroneously) that it was up to Barr and the Department of Justice to postpone an election (when in fact it has never been done and would require an Act of Congress, with no input from the DOJ).

Then came the funeral of Representative John Lewis in the fabled Ebenezer Baptist Church in Georgia, as uplifting a celebration of America as only the funeral of a great man could be, featuring stirring celebrations of the history-making life of John Lewis by Presidents, clergy, peers, family and his staff, capped with an unforgettable eulogy by President Barack Obama, one that brought the crowd to its feet by bringing John Lewis’ fight directly to Trump, and he did so without defiling the service by mentioning his name. Obama could have honored Lewis in no better way than by starting some “good trouble,” the kind that always surrounded John Lewis.

At his Coronavirus briefing later in the day, Trump tried to ignore the worst single-quarter economic drop in American history, wiping out 5 years of growth overnight, bleating about the record-breaking economy he never had and the universe-dominating economy he promises if he gets reelected, all the while insulting other countries and lying about creating “new jobs” when pandemic-idled workers slowly return to work, refusing to consider formulating a national Pandemic strategy, insisting on sending our children to unprotected schools and threatening to send stormtroopers to more and more American cities.

Then closing out the week, we get the news that Representative Devin Nunes, the Trump sycophant who leaked evidence to the White House during the Mueller investigation and was complicit with Rudy Giuliani in the attempted Ukraine extortion that led to Trump’s impeachment, was accused by his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee of hiding documents from the Committee that Nunes obtained from Andrii Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian, just in case anyone forgot about Barr and Trump’s mission to rewrite the history of 2016.

And finally, over 200 pages of transcripts related to charges against Ghislaine Maxwell were released, detailing the Jeffrey Epstein child sex-trafficking operation, revealing even more decadent and depraved details of Trump’s good buddy Epstein’s world that even the worst pessimist could imagine. The Trump Era, like Covid-19, will only get worse before it gets better.

Oh, and 10 more people died of Covid while you were reading this, quarantined from their loved ones and lucky to get a nurse in a biohazard suit to hold their hand while they gasped for the air their bodies could no longer inhale. 

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