News quiz of the week: What is the stage name of the porn star who claimed to have relationships with Trump after his wife gave birth to their son? Read on to find out….
While the Trump White House is mired in chaos and our troops are fighting in numerous countries, supposedly to protect our way of life and democracy, the Republicans are busy across the U.S. in gerrymandering congressional districts and throwing up more road blocks to our own free elections, while turning their backs on the threat of foreign interference in our elections.
In a speech to donors in Florida, Trump said maybe we will give that a shot some day, referring to Chinese Jinping’s doing away with term limits. In the same speech he hammered on AG Sessions not for going easy on the Russians and of course and investigation into Hillary Clinton.
American allies around the world held the breath this week as Trump announced the first volley in a new trade war using steel and aluminum tariffs. Trump’s economic adviser and free-trader Gary Cohn resigned over his frustration with Trump gyrating economic policies. Very few economists and Republicans think this will actually help the U.S. economy as we are ever so dependent on imports from other countries. We export farm products and scrap metal. They important everything else American consumers need.
Estimates are that over 40% of the original White House executive staff have now turned over since Trump took office. Trump remains defiant and belligerent, continuing to blame everyone else for his problems of his own making. What a business leader he is!
I predict if there is every a coup in the White House to push out Trump, it will be masterminded behind the scenes not by the Democrats or even the Republicans but by the financial elite who will use populist shills out in front to take the heat and blame, while they silently rejoice. This is what happens when most democracies lose their way and elect a mad man beyond the control of anyone.
The world is shocked and spooked when North Korea extends an invitation to meet directly with Trump this Spring. Trump, never the one to miss producing a reality TV drama, eagerly accepts throwing out the door decades of U.S. policy that said no meetings unless the Koreans had already agreed to some basic terms. The Koreans know that Trump will be so desperate to cut a very big deal, in front of the world that he will be easy to play just like the Russians have done. We can just imagine a Trump Tower & Resort in Pyongyang.
Trump has already taken credit for saving the Winter Olympics in South Korea, saying he saved them by taking a hardline against the North.
AG Jeff Sessions goes on a tirade against the State of California on their immigration policy calling out Ca. lawmakers for their insubordination and obstruction of federal powers. He went so far as to reference that the Civil War solved this issues of federal supremacy. Governor Brown responds in anger using words that sound like the preamble to the Civil War, saying the Trump administration is full of liars and that Sessions was initiating a reign of terror.
The Dept. of Health and Human Services continues to roll back the history books by rolling back grants which provide family planning and contraceptive services. Surely all those women who voted for Trump can rejoice that the great leader has decided what is best for them!
The scandal of porn star Stormy Daniels continues with revelation that the Trump administration likely knew about the $130K plus payment when the White House Press Secretary let it slip that there was an injunction filed. Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen admitted to paying off the actress shortly before the election but said he did it from his own money. Yeah, right. But then he used a Trump campaign email account to communicate with her.
Not to be happy with the mass hunting down and killing of innocent students in American schools, the Trump administration has overturned rules which were to help limit the hunting and killing of big-game trophies in Africa that restricted import of the trophy spoils of a war on wildlife. Another win for the NRA and conservative gun loving right.
Another Trump White House aide is accused of breaking the Hatch Act federal law. This time counselor Kellyanne Conway is accused of using her position to participate and influence the Alabama election in which alleged child predator Roy Moore lost. The WH does what it does best, saying that this did not happen. Because she is a presidential appointee, it is up to the President to decide on punishment. Of course that will not happen.
News quiz of the week: How many people did Trump fire this week? Read on to find out….
The chaos continues this week with the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Like the others, he was fired by a tweet as Trump did not have the civility to call the man beforehand. Trump had previously blindsided Tillerson on his decision to meet directly with North Korea. The day before he was fired Tillerson agreed with European leaders that the Russians were behind recent attacks on civilians living in Britain. Tillerson was right, Trump is a moron.
Trump appoints the hard liner hawkish CIA head Mike Pompeo to take over State. Yes, that will surely help the diplomacy and peace mission of the gutted, demoralized State Department that Tillerson left behind.
In another display of mean spiritness, ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is fired two days before he was eligible for retirement. Now six of the original cabinet members have been forced out, most of which were just too outspoken or not loyal enough for Trump’s liking. Rumors abound that more are to follow including national security adviser McMaster and VA chief David Shulkin. Trump says “there will always be change.” Perhaps he is hoping that in all the carnage to come, Americans will be desensitized if the Attorney General is among the fallen.
Among those already now gone from the administration include: Flynn, Walsh, Comey, Dubke, Spicer, Priebus, Scaramucci, Bannon, Gorka, Price, Powell, Porter, Raffel, Hicks, Cohn, and McEntee. I have probably missed some.
The current deputy director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, is promoted to take Pompeo’s old job at the CIA. Haspel was known for overseeing the secret CIA program of prisons for torturing terrorism suspects and then destroying videotape evidence.
Capitulating to pressure from Congress the Trump White House finally started to put in place sanctions against the Russians. This comes after Russia was suspected of killing ex-Russian spies who lived in Britain with military grade nerve agents.
The President hires a new economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who is also an evangelist in trickle down economics and a TV talk show host, of course. During the week Trump begins talking about a phase two of tax cuts, surely for the impoverished wealthy.
During February the U.S. budget his an all time record deficit of $215B as the tax cuts took effect and federal spending increased. It was 12% higher than a year ago before Trump’s economic policies started to be implemented. The total U.S. deficit for this year is expected to be over $850B, and increase of 30% from last year’s which was Obama’s last FY budget.
Special prosecutor Mueller has begun subpoenaing business records of the Trump’s company. The wife of Trump’s oldest son Donald Jr, filed for divorce during the week. She too was a model, but obviously a smart one that has decided it is time to bail out of the tragedy. It was Donald Jr. that met with the Russians in 2016 to get dirt on Hillary. Donald Jr. with his brother Eric now runs the Trump Companies that are under investigation.
Never to miss a week without lying, Trump misrepresents the U.S. trade position with Canada. He also lied about it in a conversation with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, then went on to brag about lying to him during a trip to Missouri. Trump joked about and acknowledged that he often just makes things up. And then we know he denies the lies, blames the victim, bullies those who disagree with him, and of course attacks the free press for reporting on it all. He must be having so much fun pulling this all over his gullible base of supporters.
The President does an about-face this week on what gun laws he supports, such as raising the age from 18 to 21 for some weapons. He continues to claim arming teachers is a good idea. What could possible go wrong. Meanwhile, a teacher accidentally fires their weapon in a school injuring students.
In a trip to California this week Trump calls that state out for being out of control and attacks Governor Jerry Brown. Yes, Trump leaves a White House in disarray in Washington to blame Brown for a bad job of running his state. While in California he examines prototypes of the Mexican wall. The same day a spokesperson for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency resigns claiming he could no longer be part of spreading falsehoods on the behalf of the Trump administration, including those of AG Jeff Sessions during his trip to threaten California a week earlier.
While in California Trump speaks of the need to militarize space with a new “space force.” We are not going to be able to escape our planet to escape the mess Trump leaves behind.
News quiz of the week: How many women have claimed to have had an affair with Trump while he was married? Read on for the answer….
This week Trump pushed for the death penalty for drug traffickers. I wonder what punishment does he want for adulterers, liars, war mongering, collusion, treason, tax evasion, money laundering, excessive bankruptcy filings, trivial draft deferments, conspiring with dictators and autocrats…all things he has been accused of doing.
Despite the advice of his national security team, in a post-election call to Putin, Trump congratulated the Russian President with his huge victory. But he never says a word about Russian meddling in American elections. Nothing demonstrates a hatred for democratic institutions that Trump must have like congratulating another ruling autocrat for his manipulation of the electoral system. Trump’s reaction was predictable. Instead of admitting it was a bad idea, he attacked and blamed the leakers, news media, former presidents Bush and Obama, Hillary, and then threatened to fire more staff members.
In another blow to democracy, Trump praises the Saudi Monarch Crown Prince in his visit to Washington. The Prince leaves Washington with a bundle of giveaways and military armament.
The very next day Trump fired the second national security adviser of his young administration, H.R. McMasters, and replaced him with the hard-liner hawk John Bolton. Bolton has called for bombing Korea and Iran, and believes the war for Iraq was a good thing. It is clear that Trump is assembling a war cabinet that adores their fearless leader and will follow him off the cliff, taking America with them.
Trump launched his trade war by announcing $50B worth of trade tariffs for the Chinese imports. The stock market plunges with losses of 6% in the S&P 500 in one week. Trump must not understand that the Chinese will not pay this penalty, but working middle class Americans will in higher prices. The Chinese responded tit for tat.
Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, responsible for defending the President in the Russian influence investigation has resigned, citing that the President was not taking his advice. Duh, what did he expect from a man like Trump? In his place Trump hired another hit-man style attorney that was seen on Fox news blaming the FBI and Judiciary for all of Trump’s woes.
Former V.P. Biden says what many Americans must be thinking that bullies like Trump who take glee in grabbing women without permission needed to be taken out behind the gym and have the hell beaten out of him. Trump responds by saying Joe would go down fast and hard, crying all the way.
A massive $1.3T spending bill is passed by Congress and approved by Trump. Spoils for all in the numbers, deficits be damned.
Trump now favors no fewer than three courageous women who are telling all about his adulterous behavior. They include an ex-apprentice contestant, a former Playboy model, and a porn star. Two of them who claim they were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep quiet in possible violation of campaign finance laws. But not a word about this from the conservative supposedly religious-right Republicans in Congress.
In a rare spotlight of hope and unity for a better safer future, millions of Americans, mostly young students, turn out in mass to protest for better gun laws, and threaten to work the polls against those who oppose reform.
The legal noose seems to be tightening around the neck of Trump. But God how I fear what a cornered animal like Trump will do to create a diversion as our system of checks and balance finally starts to work to restore normalcy to the White House.
News quiz of the week: who was fired this week from the Trump administration? Read on to find out.
The firings continue in the Trump White House this week with Veterans Administration head David Shulkin the next to go. Apparently he was not enthusiastic enough about privatizing the V.A. health care system. He is being replaced with Trump’s personal doctor, Jackson, who gave the president over the top glowing marks in his first physical. The announcement was by Twitter of course.
News emerges that the Trump administration is expected to roll-back Obama era pollution rules for the auto industry that will weaken regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA began circulating a series of talking points that attempt to undermine the overwhelming scientific research supporting climate change.
A Trump campaign official, Rick Gates, was reported to have in the final weeks of the 2016 election be communicating with an ex-spy who still had association with Russia’s intelligence organizations.
Trump’s attorney apparently floated the idea that Trump would be willing to pardon those charged with crimes coming from the Russian election meddling investigation.
Trump’s Commerce Dept. announced its intention to put a citizenship question on the next U.S. Census which would be expected to suppress counts of the U.S.’s Hispanic population. Between gerrymandering of election districts, voter suppression, and this action the Republicans continue to hack away at the democratic process all while they wrap themselves in the flag.
The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources, both print and digital. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.