Quote of The Week: “The closest thing is, uh, 1917, they say, uh, the Great, the Great pandemic, and it certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War, all the soldiers were sick.” – Professor Trump giving a history lesson
What better way to begin Week #187 of the Trump Era than a quote from the President himself that contains nothing remotely true? In a presidency based on lies and dangerous delusions from its inception, and fueled by same, we are at the point where Donald Trump is closer than ever to proving himself right when he declared that the United States government does not work as he tries to destroy the Post Office that binds what is left of this nation together.
He began the week on Friday by announcing sanctions against China for violating the Civil Rights of Hong Kong citizens even as he swore to continue violating the rights of American citizens in numerous American cities. He announced these sanctions from the comfort of his New Jersey golf resort where he would spend the weekend alternately golfing and whining while abler people (marginally, anyway) ran the government.
One of those worthies, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, rejected congressional subpoenas issued for him and for the State Department to provide information and testimony to lawmakers. The refusals set the stage for an escalation in the war between the State Department and the Democratic-controlled House as Pompeo imperiously declared he had “no intention of replying” to legal subpoenas, even as a Federal Court decided that former White House Counsel Don McGhan can be sued by the House of Representatives and forced to comply with their subpoenas.
At his Covid-19 briefing, Trump barely touched on the pandemic that is killing Americans at the rate of one per minute, instead insisting that Democrats are “cheating at the election,” by continuing to negotiate the terms of the next stimulus law (a.k.a. doing their jobs), and repeating crazy lies about every topic broached, just for the practice.
Then on Friday night Trump got together with his new Postmaster General/Hatchet Man Louis DeJoy when they committed a Friday Night Massacre of the Post Office, beginning with the firings of supervisory personnel in an open attempt to cripple the Post Office in order to prevent his resounding defeat at the polls in November.
Saturday found Trump (what else?) golfing again, and inviting random club members to observe his press conference, forcing club officials to find enough masks for the wealthy club members to wear when the cameras began rolling. For their $350,000 membership fees, the idle rich got to witness history as President Trump decided to usurp for himself the power of the purse that only Congress holds, according the Constitution, and tried to deliver Mitch McConnell’s lifelong dream of destroying Social Security and Medicare.
Seizing upon the stalled negotiations in Congress over the new Covid stimulus bill, Trump announced a series of “Executive Actions” that would reduce unemployment benefits by a third and eliminate payroll taxes temporarily (taxpayers would have to pay them back next year), even FICA and Medicare taxes. Since there is no existing mechanism for delivering any of these things only by the say-so of a President, exactly none of his “solutions” can be implemented, and of course Trump offered no explanation of exactly how any of these actions could take place, either legally or practically.
For all we know, he may have been ready to offer an explanation of how the practical application of capricious whims would work, but once again he was chased out of his own press conference by a woman. After claiming falsely once again that he was the one who passed the Veterans’s Choice law and not Obama, CBS White House Reporter Paula Reid confronted Trump with this: “That is a false statement, you did not pass Veterans Choice, Obama did.”
Being that this was the press conference where he completely mangled history by claiming that the Spanish Flu (1919) ended WW2 (1939 to 1945), perhaps if was a fitting end to the festivities to see him turn tail and flee from a determined woman without so much as a “that was a nasty question” or a “fake news!”
On Sunday we were treated to White House Aide Peter Navarro defending Trump’s illegal Executive Actions with: “The Lord and the Founding Fathers made Executive Orders because of partisan bickering,” in response to the whole world freaking out over Trump’s usurpation of Congressional powers. It was also a day we learned that the White House Staff reached out to the Governor of South Dakota about the possibility of defacing a National Monument by adding (!!) Trump’s face to Mount Rushmore, and that Governor Noem then greeted Trump when he arrived in her State on July 4th at the monument with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included his face.
At his Sunday Coronavirus Press Briefing, he implored Democrats to stop stealing his act by “politicizing the coronavirus,” only to blame the outbreak in the United States on “The China Virus” in the next breath. His attention span being not nearly long enough to reflect on the irony of his own words, he moved on to another of his frivolous obsessions when he demanded that the United States Treasury should receive a “very big proportion” of the sale price of TikTok to Bill Gates, essentially demanding a “vig” from Gates, a Mob Boss’s cut of the action.
On Monday Trump went even further off the rails as he obsessed about our next President by saying “If Biden wins, China will own this Country, Iran will own this country,” while defending (of course) Russia and promising that country re-inclusion in the G-7, then threatening to bar American citizens from returning to their own country if suspected of exposure to Covid, offering no explanation for where these abandoned Americans should go, other than to hell.
And speaking of telling Americans to go straight to hell, Trump again insisted upon using our children as the vanguard in the battle against Covid-19 by opening up our schools before the grownups pave the way to safety, even as a Georgia school district reported 826 students in quarantine since opening up their schools just days earlier.
On Tuesday Big College Sports refused to endorse Trump’s false narrative that “Covid-19 is under control” when the Big Ten and Pac-12 College football programs were cancelled for the upcoming season, a move decried by Trump as “a revenue killer,” the one kind of killing that bothers him, and the only kind of death he has ever lamented during the entire pandemic. Having issued exactly no condolences to the families of 167,000 Covid victims, Trump has been Johnny on the Spot mourning lost revenues.
Fearing his job will be the next thing for which he mourns, Trump could not have welcomed the news that fully 76% of American voters have now gained the option to vote by mail, nor did he welcome the news that several members of the Ohio Republican Party were charged with racketeering crimes for a massive bribery scheme under the RICO laws, those Federal statutes designed to ensnare organized crime kingpins.
Then Joe Biden announced who would be the next Vice President of the United States when he announced his selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, and Trump congratulated Ms Harris in his traditional manner within moments of hearing the news, calling her “a nasty woman” and saying she had been “disrespectful” to Biden, the man Trump calls “demented” and “Sleepy Joe.” But demented and sleepy in only the most respectful way, you see.
Trump decided Tuesday evening would be a good day to retreat to the safety of Fox News for another interview with Sean Hannity, where he delivered what was either the worst piece of stream of consciousness poetry ever conceived, or just one more sad meltdown of a pouting oaf with too much on his mind and too few words at his disposal to express himself in any but the most disjointed and disturbing ways imaginable. It was classic Trump gibberish, for aficionados of that sort of thing.
On Wednesday we were treated to confirmation that the United States Department of the Interior is a fetid swamp of corruption and self-dealing that is hell-bent on poisoning the environment in order to enrich a few very wealthy individuals whose families won’t be the ones poisoned. According to the Interior Department’s own Inspector General’s report about Trump’s top Interior Solicitor Daniel Jorjani, he is guilty of “Withholding public documents, filtering potentially incriminating communications, and then lying about it under oath.” This should result in Jorjani’s immediate removal, but that seems unlikely in President Trump’s and Secretary of The Interior David Bernhardt’s Brave New Swamp.
Which made it altogether appropriate that Trump should introduce his new head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on this day, one Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist with no expertise in infectious diseases and a herd immunity nut, in spite of the fact that in order to achieve herd immunity in the USA, tens of millions of Americans would have to die first. But, like the Demon Sperm lady Trump so admires, he is a doctor of something or other at someplace or another.
Trump also took the time out to congratulate the Q-Anon lady who won the Republican primary to run for Congress in Georgia, leaving it up to Georgia voters to throw out the Q-Anon trash, those stalwarts who think that the entire Federal government is (!) one big plot against Trump.
Perhaps luckily for Trump, no one paid him much attention that day since the nation was glued to the first appearance of the Democratic ticket at a high school in Delaware, when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris made the opening remarks of their 2020 campaign for the first time as the team that will lead this country beginning next January.
Most Americans were momentarily thrown for a loop to witness 2 highly intelligent people speaking at length about complex topics and nuanced policies (it has been so very long), but warmed up to this welcome return to political sanity, contributing a record $50 million to the Biden/Harris Campaign in the next 24 hours.
On Thursday Trump tried to retake the political momentum by taking credit for a peace treaty he had nothing to do with, when Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced an accord between those 2 nations, a treaty about which Trump offered no details, which makes sense since he does not know what they are. He has people to explain those things (although not to him, since he never listens to his briefings anyway.)
Joe Biden called for a nationwide mandate to wear masks in public as he begins the task of trying to restore sanity to the response to Covid-19 that he will be running soon, only to have Trump respond that wearing a mask is too much to ask of the Americans his Administration is already asking to surrender their country, preferring to allow us to keep a flimsy mirage of freedom and he leads us over the cliff. Defending Trump was his fellow slaughterer of innocents, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who compared Florida’s schoolchildren to the (!!) Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden, leaving us wondering if we need soldiers at all since we obviously have so many valiant children to spare.
The second obligatory weekly adverse legal ruling against Trump came on Thursday when a Federal Judge ordered the Trump campaign to show all the proof of voter fraud they were claiming to have in a lawsuit Trump’s lawyers brought to court aimed at ending mail-in balloting, once again proving the law to be very unfair to Trump, since no such evidence exists.
This of course prompted Trump to say out loud on Thursday that he opposes much-needed funding for the United States Postal Service because he doesn’t want to see it used for mail-in voting this November, but unfortunately the spoken desire not to be defeated badly in an election does not constitute evidence in a court of law, even if it such a startling admission provides voters with all the evidence they need to vote against him.
Trump had no recourse but to fall back on 2015, when he revisited the Birther roots that began his unlikely political odyssey, as he grasped at the slenderest of straws offered by his most imbecilic followers, who questioned the America citizenship of Kamala Harris for having the temerity to be born of not one, but two immigrants of non-White color, saying “I heard today that she doesn’t meet the requirements.”
Which was fitting since we also got news of Trump’s and Barr’s attempt to rewrite the history of 2016 in Trump’s favor hitting a setback, when the US intelligence community rereleased its current threat assessment that says that that Russian interference in the 2020 election favors President Donald Trump (same as it ever was), a direct threat to Barr’s hopes that his hand-picked prosecutor John Durham will manage to discredit the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation into the Trump 2016 campaign.
Also undercutting the attempted discrediting of the Steele Dossier was the release of the text of the Forward to “Disloyal,” Michael Cohen’s tell-all book about Trump that mentions “Golden Showers in a Vegas sex club,” as well as accusations of definite collusion between Trump and Russia by the man who Trump assigned to create a back-channel communications link between himself and Vladimir Putin.
All of which led to the Question of The Week, posed by yet another woman reporter, SV Dáte of the Huffington Post to Trump; “Do you regret, at all, all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” to which Trump responded incredulously “That who has done?” Ms Dáte replied “That you have done, all the dishonesties?” His mouth agape and his eyes even wider, Trump could only stammer out “Next question” to another reporter. We’ll take that as a “No, no regrets at all.”
Let us end Week #187 of the Trump Era with Quote #2 of The Week, from Representative Adam Schiff: “Has there ever been a president so utterly devoid of scruple, so naked in his ambition to steal an election? Trump is so terrified of losing that he’ll take the entire system down with him. Our post office. Our elections. Our very democracy. His depravity is boundless.”
•Author’s Note: After writing about everything Donald Trump says and does every day for 187 weeks now, I have yet to discover a single endearing anecdote, interesting hobby, personal passion, one funny story about the man, or get a feel for any discernible personality. Trump is a cultural and personal wasteland with nothing remotely interesting about him; no books, no music, no art, no movies, no heroes, no mentors, no poetry, no vision, no chivalrous acts, no humor, no manners, no intellectual curiosity, no empathy, no acts of kindness, no wisdom, zero generosity and no grace, not even a favorite joke. Trump is not suppressing these character traits, they are simply not there, and never were. Most of what makes up a human being is missing, as if he never developed one moment past the self-consumed world of the infant, concerned only with its own immediate demands and wailing at the top of its lungs until they are met, completely oblivious to the sensibilities of others while demanding to be the center of attention all day, every day. There is only greed, golf, lust and TV ratings, end of list. As far as anyone can tell, his insatiable ego wants just one thing, in capital letters: MORE.