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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #204 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW FRIDAY, 12/4/20, TO THURSDAY, 12/10/20

Quote of The Week: “The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.” – The Supreme Court of the United States, dropkicking Trump’s inept attempted coup 

Week #204 of the Trump Era began on Friday in the midst the Coronavirus Pandemic growing exponentially worse in all 50 States, overtaxing our hospital systems and reaching new and dangerous heights that would see us experience greater death tolls daily than on 9/11, and the President expending an enormous amount of energy. No, Trump was not burning the midnight oil doing his job, but instead trying to keep it by any means necessary, legal or otherwise.

No Presidential energy was wasted on dealing with the deadliest health crisis in a century, the catastrophic economic distress it has caused, or any of the other horrible problems faced by America, most of them of Trump’s own creation. Instead, Trump has been spending every waking moment trying to overthrow American democracy and replacing it with himself. His efforts would be hilarious for their ineptitude, their legal illiteracy that has seen every lawsuit laughed out of court, the delusional lies masquerading as legal briefs, and the comical cast of characters carrying the President’s water, if not for the mounting death toll Trump keeps aggressively making worse, and the sheer monstrous malevolence of Donald J. Trump.

In an unrelated case, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn ordered the Trump Administration on Friday to allow newly eligible immigrants to file new applications for protection under the DACA program, reversing a memorandum issued in the summer by Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security (who another court determined to be serving in his job illegally), which restricted the program to people who were already enrolled, ensuring that our Dreamers, those undocumented immigrants brought here as children, raised and educated here, would not be deported from the only country they know and love.

Trump also decided on Friday to order all America troops pulled out of Somalia, instead outsourcing our military presence to one of Erik Prince’s corporate armies, this one the Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (Blackwater 2.0), the same mercenary armies Prince has been fielding for any tinpot dictator with people they want killed and billions to spend. Yes, the same Eric Prince who is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ brother and whose (now renamed) private armies committed atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan while on the US payroll.

On Saturday we learned that the Trump Administration prevented President Elect Biden’s team from meeting with its counterparts at the Pentagon’s intelligence agencies this week, setting a dangerous precedent that could leave the USA dangerously vulnerable as our global rivals seek to exploit the chaos and weakness of Trump’s America.

Speaking of weak chaos, Trump called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Saturday, pushing him to convince Georgia’s State legislators to overturn the election by choosing new, pro-Trump Electors for the upcoming Electoral College vote on January 6th that will make Biden’s victory official and irreversible. Kemp said he has no such authority and denied the request, even as Trump planned to travel to Georgia to campaign for 2 Republicans in a January 5th Senate runoff election that will determine which party controls the Senate next year. He warmed up to the task with this incomprehensible Tweet:”You know the DEMOCRATS are just like these terrorists…they don’t like guns! They prefer knives… because they like to slice and dice people!” 

On Sunday we were treated to the musings of Attorney General William Barr as he contemplated resigning in the next few days, having earned the fury of Trump the previous week for stating the obvious, saying unequivocally that Trump lost the election fair and square, so the decision may be out of his hands if Trump replaces him with an Attorney General even more willing than Barr to do his political bidding. After Barr surrendered its independence and turned the Department of Justice into Trump’s personal attack dog over the past 2 years, it’s hard to imagine who that person might be.

Republicans in the Senate, however, showed no such reticence to do Trump’s bidding no matter how absurd, when it was announced that a doctor who is skeptical of coronavirus vaccines and promotes the useless (but profitable) hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment, will be the lead witness at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday, just to drive the science-heeding Democrats nuts, who complained about Republicans giving a public platform to conspiracy nuts.

Sunday night gave us Trump’s first round of “Midnight Regulations,” Executive Orders designed to implement the unfinished business of a one-term President. On top of last week’s removal of penalties for industry’s mass killing of birds, Trump instituted rules that would make it harder to enforce environmental protections, to control immigration policy, and that endanger (!) food assistance for millions of Americans in the middle of a pandemic that turned half a nation poor in less than a year.

He snuck in one of his pet peeves when he had the government (!) change the definition of a shower head so he can wash his combover more easily in every corner of the nation, a move guaranteed to waste untold millions of gallons of precious water. He also honored the Republican tradition of naming a law the opposite of what the law says when he introduced something called the “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule, which is called by scientists “the secret science rule” because it would change agency policy mandating that “any underlying scientific study used to support a policy change must have publicly available raw data.” Trump’s new rule removes that requirement and allows policy changes that disregard science.

On Monday we heard about Trump’s plans for Inauguration Day, when he is planning a spectacular Reality TV-style exit from the White House in a bid to steal attention from President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, and having Air Force One fly him to Florida that morning so he can hold a competing political rally instead of attending his successor’s inauguration like every other American President has done.

None of which distracted our attention from the fact that Trump declined when Pfizer Pharmaceutical offered in late summer to sell the U.S. Government an additional 600 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, potentially setting back America’s timeline for recovering from the pandemic and costing countless lives needlessly, nor did we overlook Trump harassing the Pennsylvania Speaker of House to demand that he negate Biden’s election win in PA.

While the Trump administration reluctantly restored the DACA program to comply with a federal judge’s order, the highest court in the land delivered a defeat to Trump over Transgender rights, when the Supreme Court said Trump can no longer get his jollies by being the nation’s voyeuristic restroom monitor.

On Tuesday one of Trump’s main collaborators in hiding death toll statistics, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, had the police raid the home of Covid data tracker Rebekah Jones in the middle of the night, the scientist DeSantis fired from the Florida Department of Health for exposing his Administration’s faking the Coronavirus statistics in order to make money, and who started her own Covid-Tracking website as a public service when DeSantis removed her. Police entered her home with guns drawn, pointing them at her husband and children before confiscating all her computers and her cell phone, even though Ms. Jones has not been accused of committing any crime.

While we’re on the topic of killing messengers, it turns out that Dr. James Phillips, the only doctor who publicly spoke out against Trump’s insane limousine joyride (along with his Secret Service hostages in a closed space) while he was a Covid Patient at Walter Reed hospital, has been “removed from the hospital’s 2021 schedule.”

Tuesday was when the Supreme Court issued their one-sentence dismissal of Trump’s lawsuit to overturn Pennsylvania’s election, and one of Rudy Giuliani’s new unqualified attorneys who worked on that brief, Jenna Ellis, tested positive for Covid after appearing unmasked beside Giuliani for a week, then attended a White House reception, where it is feared she shared the love with the few White House staffers who haven’t caught the Rona yet.

Then Russia attacked FireEye, one of the nation’s top cybersecurity firms that works with the Federal Government, stealing their cyber-weapons and immediately using them against FireEye, as we learned that companies working on the border wall failed to run their personnel through the necessary Customs and Border Protection vetting process, going so far as to hire Mexican nationals as guards to protect the job sites on a project designed to keep them out. The day ended with a new record for daily Covid deaths with 2,622 Americans dying.

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, a close ally of President Donald Trump, sent an email from his personal account to every House Republican, soliciting signatures for an amicus brief in the long shot Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate electoral college votes from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.An email said Trump is “anxiously awaiting the final list” to see who signs on to his treason, with the President backing up his keen interest by Tweeting “We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!”

Perhaps in an effort to restore himself to Trump’s good graces, William Barr went after Joe Biden’s family again. Hunter Biden announced  that his “tax affairs” are under federal investigation, and that he is fully cooperating and confident he is in the clear, which is irrelevant, since the only aim of the investigation is to harass the incoming President and create negative publicity, just like Giuliani’s attempted Ukraine frame-up of Hunter Biden last year that led nowhere except to Trump’s impeachment.

While Congress dickered over a 1-week spending bill to give more time for negotiations for a new stimulus bill, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania became the 9th US Governor to contract Covid-19, and Melania Trump began making plans for resuming her Idle Trophy Wife life when she inquired about the size of the budget allocated to former First Ladies for staff and living expenses, becoming very miffed that the paltry figure is exactly $0, with a small $20,000 annual pension only when Trump drops dead, not even enough to have another surgery when her new “kidneys” inevitably start to sag.

The government actually functioned on Wednesday when the federal government joined dozens of states and sued Facebook in twin antitrust lawsuits, alleging that the social media giant has abused its dominance in the digital marketplace and engaged in anticompetitive behavior. While not an unworthy goal, this action is the opposite of what the country needs in this time of exploding death, illness and poverty, but at least it gave Republicans something to do besides licking Trump’s nether regions in public. The Federal Trade Commission is additionally seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could require the company to divest assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp, effectively breaking up Facebook as currently constituted.

And speaking of Republican Senators (as unappealing as is that prospect), several of them are floating the idea of taking some tentative preliminary steps to reclaim their balls and declare the election to be over, a month after it was over and Biden declared the winner, while studiously ignoring the multiple crises facing the nation as they float a bogus “stimulus bill“ that slashes unemployment insurance payments for millions of Covid-idled worker and leaves the States stuck with the entire multi-trillion dollar cost of fighting the Covid pandemic that Trump himself made far worse than it had to be, then trying to pin the blame on Democrats for not being happy with breadcrumbs and sticking up for working people.

Records being made to broken and all that, Wednesday gave us 3,053 Covid deaths, more than perished on 9/11, a disastrous attack that plunged the entire nation into mourning. With a 9/11 every day now, we are too numb to mourn and instead remain preoccupied with trying to survive until we get vaccinated.

So this seemed like a good day for Trump to take credit for the work of others as Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar put on another little show where Trump took full credit for the rapid development of the vaccines, even though the scientific work was mostly done in other countries and the United Kingdom has already started vaccinating their people. Trump and Azar laid out the timeline for Americans getting vaccinated and boasting of their best-ever accomplishments, even as Azar’s Agency, at Trump’s direction, is refusing to share Covid information with the incoming Biden Administration, when the majority of vaccinations will take place, and to hell with how many lives his intransigent refusal to face reality will cost.

And speaking of being callous to his country’s death and misery, on Thursday Dr. Charlotte Kent, the editor of the C.D.C.’s highly respected Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, told House Democrats that she was ordered to destroy an email showing that a Trump political appointee had attempted to interfere with its publication, and that she believes the order came from Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the agency’s director, on direct orders from Trump.

While Bill Barr ended his Hamlet act and decided to stay on as Trump’s fixer, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that Muslim men who were placed on the government’s no-fly list because they refused to serve as FBI informants can seek to hold federal agents financially liable. None of the men was suspected of illegal activity themselves, and indeed, the Trump administration tried to head off the suit by removing their names from the no-fly list just days before the case went to court.

And fittingly enough, the final day of Week #204 of the Trump Era ended in yet another legal action when the Attorneys General of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin sued Texas and the Attorneys General of 17 other States for attempting to interfere in their election process, just as we learned that 126 Republican Representatives signed Senator Ron Johnson’s Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court, expressing their support for overturning the will of the people. 

This may be the first known case of collaborators against their country compiling a list of their own names, saving Madam DeFarge the wear and tear on her knitting needles, and giving the Supreme Court one more opportunity to tell Donald Trump not to let the door hit his ample ass on his way out of the White House. The good news in Week #204 is that the are only 39 more days remaining in the seemingly interminable Trump Era.

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