It’s been about two years since we all stopped saying things can’t possibly get any worse with this maniac, and Week #191 of The Trump Era is a sterling example of why we stopped saying that. We also stopped saying that there’s no way Trump & Company can keep up the manic pace of 24/7 chaos, and we’ve grown more resilient than we thought possible, even as the frenetic madness speeds up.
The Week begins on Friday with the Trump Administration giving the renowned American Military newspaper, Stars & Stripes, 4 weeks to close up shop, the independent voice of the foot soldier since 1861 when the Civil War began, and a must-read for GIs in every foxhole in every war ever since.
While he was tearing down yet another American institution, Trump decided to punish Democratic-led cities by taking Federal funds away for, among other things, disinfecting public infrastructure during a deadly pandemic, a petty political vendetta that could doom mass transit service in the Northeast Corridor, the trains, ferries and buses that carry tens of millions of workers to their jobs every day, while at the same time insisting that the governments of those States fully reopen their economies, a recipe for multiple deadly outbreaks of Covid-19 and thousands more unnecessary deaths.
His November opponent, Joe Biden, once again eviscerated Trump’s catastrophic performance during this pandemic, his callous indifference to almost 200,000 dead Americans, his gross incompetence, habitual dishonesty and toxic divisiveness. And those are his better qualities.
On Saturday Trump responded to Biden’s criticism of his callous dismissal of claims of racial bias in America by (!) cancelling Sensitivity Training for all Federal agencies, calling it “anti-White” and “anti government propaganda.” Spoken like the true son of Apartheid who once pled No-Contest to Federal charges of racist rental practices and paid millions in fines.
And speaking of White Privilege, Saturday also gave us the Texas Boat Parade For Trump on Lake Travis, a body of water named for doomed Alamo defender William B. Travis, while 4 or 5 of the smaller boats met their own Alamo at the hands of the big yachts, whose large wakes swamped and sunk them, MAGA flags and all, an illustration of today’s reality lost on Trump supporters.
We also found out that day that the Trump 2020 Campaign is strapped for cash, not because of any expensive advertising campaigns, but because the campaign treasury is paying Trump’s astronomical legal bills to defend him from numerous criminal charges and civil court cases, funding a lavish lifestyle for former Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, and the immense payouts to Trump properties as he once again cashes in big time on running for President.
Of course 2 days can’t go by without Russia cropping up in American electoral politics, and Saturday saw the release of a memoir by former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, accusing Trump of being a dangerous national security threat, and detailing the FBI’s early interest in Trump’s Russia connections, which explains why Trump spent so much time trying to slander Strzok, who was the FBI’s Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence. The FBI had good information that Trump was a Russian asset, thus obliging them to open an investigation, which was then shut down by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein when he forbade Robert Mueller to pursue those leads.
Meanwhile, the man who denies ever having heard of Russia before he ran for President, Trump once again went to bat for Vladimir Putin when he refused to join the entire planet in condemning Putin for poisoning his political rival Alexei Navalny, lying comatose in a German hospital with the Kremlin’s signature neurotoxin in his system. Instead, Trump tried to blame (!) China with “So I don’t know exactly what happened. I think it’s tragic, it’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We haven’t had any proof yet but I will take a look. It is interesting that everybody’s always mentioning Russia and I don’t mind you mentioning Russia but I think probably China at this point is a nation that you should be talking about much more so.”
On Sunday, Trump boasted about his Executive Order of the previous day that he claimed would “purge” the Federal government of the racial sensitivity training that he called “divisive, anti-American propaganda.” He again boasted of effectively marginalizing 100 million Americans at a rally later that week with “Sorry liberals! How to be Anti-White 101 is permanently cancelled!” Then the Mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin called out Trump for his crazy lie that “leftist protestors tried to break into his house,” something that never happened.
On Monday we were treated to tidings of embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy paying many executives of his company to donate the maximum legal amount of money allowed to the Republican Party and Trump, then reimbursing them in the form of bonuses, breaking all kinds of laws in the process, as if they were so many mail-sorting machines. Although Trump is distressed to lose his main accomplice in attacking the 2020 election, he did not hesitate to throw DeJoy under the bus “if these allegations are true.” (they’re true.)
As we were absorbing Trump plundering works of art from The US Ambassador to France’s residence and being hauled off to the White House but turning out to be cheap replicas and knockoffs, Michael Cohen’s book was released, characterizing Trump as “a mobster with a low opinion of Blacks” among many other damning accusations.
Trump thought this would be a good day to publicly attack the leadership of the US military, accusing them of “waging wars to boost the profits of defense manufacturing companies” (American generals have never declared a single war), even as he boasted to reporter Bob Woodward of “saving bin Salman’s ass” from murder accusations by Congress because Saudi Arabia spent “$400 billion in a relatively short period” on American-manufactured advanced weaponry.
He also said that his generals “are more concerned with their precious alliances than trade deals,” which is exactly what generals should be. He dismissed any backlash against his two-faced criticisms of the military brass with “I’m not saying the military’s in love with me — the soldiers are,” even though his incendiary comments about dead and captured soldiers being “losers and suckers” were still causing a huge uproar and tremendous backlash from veterans and active duty military personnel.
On Tuesday we read the Department of Homeland Security threat assessment stating that “White supremacists will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the United States through 2021,” without even the courtesy to exempt Trump’s “fine people” among them. Then for some inexplicable reason Trump took another gratuitous slap at a dead military hero when he said “John McCain liked wars. I will be a better warrior than anybody, but when we fight a war, we’re going to win them. But I wasn’t a fan, but I respect people and I respect a lot of people.”
In a Jupiter, Florida appearance, Trump told supporters that “Joe Biden wants things lit up with wind,” almost as imbecilic an assessment of wind turbines as his “windmill cancer” idiocy, claimed that “100% of ISIS is gone” (lightyears away from being true), and that “Hunter Biden got $1.5 billion from China,” an imbecilic lie, and once again asked a reporter to remove his mask. He repeated his classic “the Obama Administration spied on my 2016 campaign” lie before again claiming it is China that’s interfering in the 2020 election and (!) “encouraging race protests” to hurt his reelection chances.
From Florida Trump headed to a rally in North Carolina, Tweeting along the way that “Sleepy Joe Biden has pledged to ABOLISH Suburban Communities as they currently exist,” in an attempt to win the suburban racist demographic that is slipping from his grasp. Once in North Carolina, he called himself “a great environmentalist” in spite of his horrific record of killing tens of thousands of American annually even before the Coronavirus Pandemic by repealing scores of pollution regulations, each of which comes with a hard annual death toll.
And speaking of death tolls, he called Covid “the China plague” again, told North Carolinians “Your State should be open!” and “Open your schools!” Then he went into his cruel brat act, mocking Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris’s first name by repeatedly mispronouncing it in sing-song childish cadence, acting more like the biggest asshole in 3rd Grade than a President, then encouraged his followers to “be poll watchers” (intimidate Democrats at the polls) in November, the same voters he encouraged to (!) vote twice last week.
In the latest instance of William Barr turning the Department of Justice into Trump’s personal law firm, the Attorney General filed a bizarre motion calling for the DOJ to take over a civil defamation lawsuit filed in a New York State court by one of Trump’s many rape victims, on the grounds that (!!) Trump slandered the woman in his official capacity as President. This was done at the request of the White House, presumably because the Trump 2020 Campaign can no longer afford Trump’s astronomical legal bills.
Barr plans to commit the resources of the Department of Justice to replace Trump with the Federal Government as the defendant, knowing that the Feds cannot be sued for Defamation, which would mean that the case gets dismissed before it is even heard and neither Trump nor the government is on the hook for his rape victim’s legal fees and any damages awarded her, a complete perversion of the DOJ and the court system that legal analysts predict will be laughed out of court.
Speaking of sleazy lawyers, Trump managed to wing his way home to the White House in time to watch the Michael Cohen interview on the Rachel Maddow show, almost an hour of despicable revelations about Trump by his coconspirator, the guy who took the fall for Individual One’s crimes.
While we’re on the topic of Trump’s crimes, Wednesday gave us the bombshell revelations detailing Trump’s campaign of blatant lies about Covid-19 since the very beginning of the pandemic, a deliberate and prolonged betrayal of the American people that amounted to genocide, delivered to renowned reporter Bob Woodward on a silver platter by a very highly placed whistleblower.
If that sounds like a familiar tale and par for the course with Trump, this time it was very different, because the whistleblower was (!) Trump himself in a series of (!!) 18 taped interviews with (!!!) Bob Woodward in February and March of this year. That’s Bob Woodward as in Woodward & Bernstein, the men who brought down Richard Nixon, and someone who had already written a book slamming Trump just last year.
Woodward released his new book, “Rage,” proving that Trump knew for certain about the deadliness and rapid spread of Covid-19, contrary to his thousands of vehement denials to the public about its deadly severity and ease of transmission, and Woodward had Trump’s own words on tape saying things like “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
The people who won two World Wars, survived the Great Depression, overcame Jim Crow and pulled together after 9/11 without panicking are now treated like children who must be shielded from unpleasant truths, when the plain facts are that Trump misled the people into almost 200,000 deaths for the sole purpose of trying to make it look as if he was saving the economy instead of what he was really doing, shielding wealthy investors in the stock market from taking losses, with the predictable result of the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression turned America into a poor nation overnight.
This from a man who regularly panics a third of the nation for a living, setting Americans at each other’s throats for fun and profit, claiming with a straight face that the lawless chaos and division that he himself created and fuels are merely harbingers of life under Joe Biden, and the economic catastrophe his failures have caused are somehow Biden’s fault too, when the fact is that Biden has been out of government for the past 4 years.
He is once again running as the tough law & order businessman who is the only one who can straighten out the multiple disasters created by the current president. Only problem is, too many people are insisting on pointing out the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the fact that the current president who created these multiple catastrophes and insists that only he can fix them is… wait for it… Trump himself. Even many of his loyal MAGA acolytes are having trouble achieving that level of self-delusion.
On top of the mental gymnastics required to divorce oneself from reality, Trump added another degree of difficulty by giving Woodward Top Secret information about a new nuclear weapons system previously unknown to our global adversaries, but now that he spilled the beans is almost certain to trigger another astronomically expensive and dangerous nuclear arms race.
Then to pile on the misery, we heard about top officials at the Department of Homeland Security directing agency analysts to downplay the threat of violent white supremacy and Russian election interference. Brian Murphy, the former head of the intelligence branch at DHS, said he was directed by Chad Wolf, the Acting Secretary of DHS, to stop producing assessments on Russian interference. Acting Deputy Secretary and long-time Trump water carrier Ken Cuccinelli ordered analysts to modify intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy “appear less severe” and include information on imaginary “violent left-wing” groups. Ordering Intelligence analysts to alter their honest assessments and create imaginary threats, by the way, is not only a serious crime but a dire threat to national security.
In short, Trump worked long and hard to not only keep the truth about a deadly pandemic from the American people it is killing at a the rate of 1,000 per day, but to keep Russian election interference on his behalf quiet. Even as some advisors warned him about the horrific dangers of the disease and others handed him reports of ongoing Russian treachery, he directed his government to stop reporting foreign attacks on the 2020 Election as long as those attacks benefitted him personally.
In spite of his efforts, The House Intelligence Committee made public the entire DHS report warning of the threat for White Supremacists. Trump was left with nothing but unhinged rage Tweeting on Wednesday, and dispatching Vice President Pence to a fundraiser hosted by the Q-Anon conspiracy nuts who think the country is being secretly run by (!) cannibals and pedophile slave traders operating out of pizza parlors, or several equally insane variations of that theme, which tends to change according to mood.
On Thursday we were treated to more of Trump’s taped conversations with Woodward, incluing his boast “I saved his ass,” about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed “Bone Saw” bin Salman when Trump “got Congress to leave him alone” after ordering the murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post reporter, because the Saudis were spending so much money on American weapons, alongside the news that the Treasury Department announced it is sanctioning Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, a shadowy oligarch with ties to Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of being a Russian spy involved in Moscow’s election interference efforts, at the same time that Rudy was in Ukraine making a TV commercial with the man.
Microsoft Corporation didn’t help Trump when they announced that Russian hackers were actively targeting not only individual politicians but the data bases of Florida voting systems in several counties allowing them to change vote totals in Trump’s favor, and his own Administration charging an unnamed Russian national in a sweeping plot to sow distrust in the American political process, and accusing Rudy’s buddy Derkach for the same crime.
Then the FDA felt obliged to defend itself and put some distance between themselves and Trump’s deadly game, vowing that their work would continue unimpeded and independent of political influence, even as Trump took the offensive in defending himself from charges of misleading the public about the pandemic, charges he himself leveled in his interviews with Woodward. This presented a challenge to Donald Trump, defending himself against the spurious lies of… Donald Trump.
How best to achieve that? By lying more of course, saying things like “I didn’t want to panic anybody” while somehow dancing around his countless attempts on a daily basis to instill panic in the American people about imaginary dangers and nonexistent issues. For some reason he felt it was a good thing to tell the public that he watched Fox News for (!) 8 hours a day, while a Federal Court reversed his illegal Executive Order to the Census Bureau not to count unauthorized aliens living in the USA, when the Constitution clearly says that every 10 years we must count “all persons residing in the United States.”
Trump held a rally in Michigan where several thousand supporters were packed shoulder-to-shoulder with few masks, where he entreated them “Tell your governor to open up your state! Michigan would be better if it had a governor who knew what the hell she was doing.” Then he went right into his crazy lie mode with (!) “If Joe Biden wins, poorly vetted migrants from Jihadist areas will overwhelm your state.” Ironically, the theme song for his Michigan rally was John Fogerty’s “Fortunate Son,” a song written specifically against people like Donald Trump.
He began explaining his deadly lying to about Covid-19 by telling another deadly lie about Covid-19, telling his crowd “We’ve turned the corner,” which was immediately contradicted on the internet by Dr Anthony Fauci, who told Americans that we are still in deep trouble and face “a very difficult Fall and Winter ahead of us.”
Fortunately for Trump, his audience was not on the internet and so were regaled by Trump comparing himself to (!!) Franklin Roosevelt and Winton Churchill when they were reassuring their countrymen in the dark days of the Great Depresssion and World War 2, conveniently leaving out the fact that both FDR and Churchill did not lie to their people about the severity of the danger they faced, instead doing the unthinkable (to Trump, anyway) by leveling with them and treating them like responsible adults able to handle even the harshest truths and act on the facts accordingly.
While Donald Trump was busy trying to refute the taped statements of Donald Trump, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell tried to pull a fast one on America by proposing a so-called “Skinny Bill” stimulus package that contained no relief for destitute workers, for renters and homeowners facing mass evictions, or for State budgets nearly bankrupted by bearing the brunt of the costs of fighting this pandemic, but gave gifts of hundreds of millions of dollars to the coal industry and to private (but not public) schools, which effectively killed any new round of stimulus legislation for the foreseeable future when Democrats refused to betray their constituents.
And finally, speaking of 800 pound gorillas in the room going unmentioned by the guy in charge of the room, there were catastrophic, absolutely apocalyptic fires burning out of control across the American West all week long, with an area larger than the State of Connecticut either on fire or reduced to smoldering ash. Scores are dead and billions in property and infrastructure are destroyed, and it continues daily worse than ever, which finally prompted the President to act.
In the face of this unprecedented destruction, President Donald J. Trump declared that California should have listened to him last year when he told them to rake their forests instead of wasting their time listening to the President’s taped words confessing to killing almost 200,000 Americans with his lies, end of Federal help.
This is why we stopped saying that things can’t get any worse. They can and they will before we dump this monster in November. Brace yourselves.