Bearing Witness to Trump Month 15

Week of April 1 – 7, 2018

It a tweet storm on Easter Sunday morning Trump fires off attacks on immigrants, DACA, and NAFTA. What a good Christian he is!

A trade war with China is a fast-moving wreck as China announces $50B worth of tariffs the day after we do. Then Trump raises the ante with threatening $100B of new tariffs. The stock market has massive bi-polar swings daily. All China really needs to do to wreck the fragile American house of cards economy is to stop coming to T bill auctions. Most people and politicians want to forget our largest export to China is U.S. debt, right after farm products.

Trump says no to a DACA deal for dreamer immigrants and blames everyone, but mostly the Democrats. He then stokes more fear-mongering by sending thousands of National Guard troops to the southern border to protect the country from invading caravans of illegal immigrants and raping refugees he claims. Sadly, many will seek asylum status due to violence in their country, typically fueled by the drug trade with America that Americans are responsible for.

Trump decides to keep troops in Syria after he said they would come out, then after he blamed Obama for having to send them in, then after he ran on an election promising to keep us out of Middle East nation building and bring our troops home. Why are we surprised that there is no strategy or policy, only the impulses of a boy king.

During the week Trump denies knowledge of any deal or payment with porn star Stormy Daniels. This makes the case for Daniels who says then no NDA deal existed, so she is free to talk about the affair. Trump lawyers of course want it both ways.

The head of the Environmental Destruction Agency Scott Pruitt comes under more fire for his hiring of phantom employees, firing of others, wanting bulletproof limos and extra security details, and renting thousand dollar a month condos from lobbyists for an under-market rent.

The President continues his attack on select American businesses with Amazon. The list since taking office includes taking aim at Boeing, AOL, Coca-Cola, H&R Block, Verizon, Time Warner, and the list goes on. Just imagine the howls from Republicans if a Democrat President had attacked American businesses in such a fashion where their stock market valuations decrease by so many millions dollars.

Week of April 8 – 15, 2018

The Justice Dept. conducts raids on Trump’s personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen seeking records of payments to silence women who accused Trump of having affairs with them while he was married. Of course Trump goes on a tirade of his own calling it a witch-hunt that threatens the foundation of democracy. Trump continues to normalize that he can fire the special prosecutor and anyone else that displeases him. Later in the week it is revealed that Cohen visited Europe for meetings with the Russians during the 2016 election.

The President calls off a visit to South America, where he was likely to receive a chilly reception, to stay in Washington for a rare weekend in the Oval office. Not to be content with firing off tweets out of frustration with the investigation, he decides to double down on Syria and fire off hundreds of millions of dollars of missiles into Syria in response to their use of chemical gas. But he gives Syria and Russia days of advance notice so they can remove anything of value. In his Friday evening talk to the nation, he said this could be an on-going action. Nice going, only weeks after he signaled to Syria’s President Assad that the U.S. would be leaving. Nothing like another faux war with another poorly led autocratic regime of Syria to distract the country from our own morass. NSA Chief John Bolton must be very pleased that only after a few weeks in office we are bombing another country! Trump declares mission accomplished. U.N. Ambassador Haley says the U.S. is locked and loaded ready to launch another salvo. Great job with peacemaking and diplomacy, Nikki!

Former diplomat and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warns the country of how easily a democracy can be lost to war mongering, fear baiting autocrats and fascists with a doctrine of every nation for themselves. She cites Trump’s attack on the free press, condoning violence and brutality, exacerbating political divides, demanding total loyalty, undermining the judiciary, and constant bullying, lying, threatening, insulting, and manipulation.

This week a top Homeland Security official, Thomas Bossert, is forced out of the Trump administration. We was obviously not militant enough for his new boss John Bolton.

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced he will retire instead of fighting for his own reelection in 2018 against the tide of so much frustration and anger across the country.

Trump signals his willingness to pardon others by pardoning Scooter Libby, former Chief of Staff to Dick Cheney. Libby was convicted for obstruction of justice in 2007 as part of an investigation into the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plume.

In another fine testimonial to Republicans owning the high ground when it comes to family values, morality, ethics, and honesty, Missouri’s Governor Greitens is under pressure to resign after the torrid details of his manipulation and abuse of a woman during an affair were revealed by a Missouri House committee. Like many Republican leaders, the man has no shame and shows no remorse by blaming the media and his enemies for his own failures.

The consumer watchdog agency CFPB has not brought one enforcement action since it came under the Trump administration’s new appointee Mulvaney.

After backing out of the TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership, Trump now says the U.S. may rejoin it.

After a fire at NYC’s Trump Tower where a resident dies, the President tweets that the fire was well confined because the building was well built, without a any reference of sympathy for the dead man. What did we expect. Everything is about Trump.

In the escalating trade war the administration blames China for an attack on American farmers with new tariffs in response to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods. Trump consoles the farmers who will be hurt by asking them to take one for the country as patriots and they will be far better off in the future.

Week of April 16 – 21, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey tells all in a book where he says Trump is morally unfit to be president and does not reflect the values of the country. Trump as respected responds like a child in saying that “slippery Comey” is not very smart and is the worst FBI director ever. By twitter Trump then threatens that Comey should be jailed, just like he did with Clinton. Fellow Americans, a President threatening to have citizens jailed is not normal, not sane, and certainly not American.

Trump’s nominee to head up NASA, Jim Bridenstine, is not a scientist or engineer, nor does he have experience leading large organizations with huge budgets. Instead, he is a politician from EPA Director Pruitt’s home state of Oklahoma who also doubts man-made climate change.

Meanwhile, Pruitt is having to explain why the EPA spent over $40K to create a sound proof privacy booth in his office so he could make private phone calls.

Trump claimed that Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo In a secret trip to North Korea “hit it off” with Dictator Kim Jong Un. Much of the Trump administration seems to get along with other autocrats. Later in the week Trump huffs and puffs that maybe he will just walk away from his own meeting with Un if it goes badly. But in good news North Korea says ahead of the expected meeting it has suspended nuclear tests and will close its test site. What will they expect in return from Trump where spending other people’s money never seems to be a problem for him. A Trump tower and golf course in Pyongyang soon?

The week did not go well for Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen after raids last week on his office, home, and hotel room. His previous denial of having traveled to Prague to meet with the Russians is now seen as a lie. Trump continues on a twitter tirade attacking the press and personally calling out reporters as third-rate.

The Republican-controlled Congress has stymied attempts to pass legislation making it harder for Trump to fire Mueller. McConnell and others act like they trust Trump to keep his word. Which word are they possibly thinking of? Trump lies, blusters, exaggerates, changes his mind, and gyrates so quickly and so often on policy that no one can predict anything from this man.

Trump’s FAA comes under scrutiny after going soft on budget carrier Allegiant Airlines for numerous deficiencies and infractions over the years.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is in Trump’s dog house after she disputed the White House who had claimed she was confused about Trump’s intentions with Russia. Haley responded by saying “I don’t get confused.”

With the new tax reform big banks and Wall Street are reporting record profits. Most expect the bonanza to be used to pay dividends or stock buybacks, which of course favor the wealthy investors. Meanwhile rates for banking services and penalties keep going up for the working poor.

Week of April 22 – 28, 2018

The week starts with the deaths of dozens more in Afghanistan from suicide bombings in a nation that we still have thousands of troops serving in America’s longest war. Yet no bold politician, not even Trump, has the courage to tell Americans the truth that there is no military solution to this quagmire. But when you decimate the stated department diplomatic corps and increase military spending as Trump has done, every problem looks to be one requiring military force.

Trump claims much progress with North Korea, which he deserves some credit for reengaging. But even with that progress 0he lies about it claiming the Koreans have agreed to denuclearizing the peninsula when they have not committed to do so as of yet.

Hillary Clinton finally is direct and frank by telling it like it is. If only she would have during the campaign. She says democracy and the role of the free press in preserving it is under open assault by Trump who just makes thing up.

Trump’s rushed and botched nominee to head Veterans Affairs withdraws his name after reports of his drunken derelict behavior on presidential trips and dealing out restricted drugs to WH staff members.

A Louisiana man goes to prison for 18 months when his only crime was trying to secure Trump’s tax returns that the President, unlike his predecessors, has failed to share with American public.

Trump hosts his first official state visit with French President Macron. They hug and play nice like a doting couple. Then the next day Macron delivers to Congress a rather blistering attack on Trump’s world vision of nationalism and me-first. Macron speaks so eloquently and powerfully that many of us wish he was our leader.

A host of former presidents and first ladies were with the grieving Bush family this week for Barbara’s funeral. All that is except Trump. Thank God he was not there tweeting and disrupting the harmony and civility that was shown by true civil servants and patriots of America.

The week ends with the Republican led House dismissing Reverend Patrick Conroy as the House Chaplain. Paul Ryan said Conroy had injected politics into his prayers. Conroy had called for more fairness in the new tax policies. Yes, let me see, what would Jesus do and say in the temple den of thieves and liars?

EPA’s head Scott Pruitt is grilled by Congress on his lavish spending. Pruitt does what all good Republicans under Trump have learned to do, always blame someone else and take no personal responsibility for a damn thing. Another most sacred conservative value is laid to waste.

Both the EPA and CPFB this week continue to rollback protections of the public by restricting use of expert studies and access to complaints.

The above news has 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.

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