Bearing Witness to Trump Month 17

Week of June 3 – 9, 2018

In a toddler’s tantrum Trump disinvites the Superbowl Champs Philadelphia Eagles to the White House after it becomes apparent many of them would not attend. He then goes on a rant about patriotism and not respecting the troops.

Trump proclaims this week that he can pardon himself. Yes, he claims to be above the law;, a king or autocrat. The country rolls it eyes with little shock when we should be taking to the streets demanding he be impeached. He continues with his attack on the special prosecutor investigating Russia’s influence into his campaign and meddling in the election, saying it is unconstitutional.

Then on the way to the G7 meeting in Canada Trump says that the Russians should be invited back in to the group to become the G8. Trump confronts other world leaders and long-time Allies by treating them as if they are our enemies. Should we be surprised. Trump treats everyone like they are an enemy, or by his attacks he makes them one, then blames them the victim for reacting to his lying, bullying, and overall un-Presidential behavior. The allies remain united without the U.S. and begin acting like a G6. After the botched meeting in a series of mean-spirited tweets Trump lashes out at Canada’s Trudeau calling him indignant, dishonest and weak. And of course blaming Canada for making Trump enforce trade tariffs. He lies some more to the U.S. public by saying the U.S. is the piggy bank of these countries. When we are actually the debtor nation that has to borrow from the rest of the world to sustain our bad habits, tax cuts, non-stop wars, and military adventures.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani claims that Trump could not be prosecuted even if he shot former FBI head James Comey. Yes, he said that.

Trump proceeds with more candy for the masses by dispensing out celebrity pardons during the week and saying that he was inclined to support an effort to ease the ban on marijuana.

Trump claims that breaking the nuclear deal with Iran is working, but he provides absolutely no evidence behind the claim. Meanwhile, Iran advises the U.N. that it will increase its nuclear enrichment capacity since Trump will lead the rest of the world into reinstating the sanctions previously lifted with the 2015 agreement.

In continued attempt to get rid of ACA for millions of Americans, Trump’s justice department announced it will not defend the ACA against legal challenges to provisions such as coverage of preexisting conditions.

The war against immigrants along the southern border continues. Over 50,000 people were arrested in May alone. Children were separated from their families. An asylum backlog of over 300,000 refugees exist. So many people have been detained that Homeland Security says it will start putting detainees into federal prisons, imprisoned alongside those that have actually had due process of law. A U.S. Congressmen is denied entry to inspect a detention center. Meanwhile, the Dept. of Defense now plans to upgrade Guantanamo prison with the expectation to house enemy combatants for years to come, also without due process of law.

The week ends with Trump on the way to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore as the world holds its breath as two pestilent, lying, untrustworthy, belligerent, authoritarian demagogues negotiate the future of the Korean peninsula. Trump claims he does not have to prepare much because he is a quick judge of people, and that attitudes have more to do with whether a deal happens than details. God help us all. Why should we believe anything we hear that comes from this made for reality TV show meeting? Trump will do what he does best as if this is just another real estate deal; over-promise and lie and buy and bribe using other people’s money to get what he wants, then move on to the next sucker.

Week of June 10 – 16, 2018

The week begins with feuding between the Trump administration and of all nations, Canada. Trump’s trade adviser adds fuel to the fire by saying there is a special place in hell for leaders that disrespect Trump. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow joins the verbal brawl only to be taken out by a heart attack and hospitalization. Trump responds by saying he will un-sign the joint statement the G7 signed last week and continues to beat up Canadian President Trudeau. Other world leaders watch in astonishment at the unstatesman juvenile behavior of the U.S. President.

The Supreme Court gives the go ahead to allow states like Ohio to cull voter registration rolls of those who have not voted in as little as two years of past elections. Of course, instead of making it easier to vote, the Republicans under Trump spend their time making it more difficult.

Trump meets Kim Jong Un in Singapore and signs a “very big deal” so says Trump and that just like magic the nuclear threat to the US from NK is over he claims. More than sixty years of a war that never officially ended all settled in a one page agreement. Right. Yet, most of what Kim agreed to the North Koreans have before. There was a promise to work towards denuclearization, but no references to timeline, verification, inspections, access, or hundreds of other details that make any agreement worth the paper written on. However, Kim did get what he wanted. Recognition as a legitimate world leader by meeting with a U.S. President and suspension of military war games by the U.S. and South Korea. Both military forces were caught off guard by this concession. Trump says he got along splendidly with Kim calling him a great friend and that he has a very special bond with him. He even saluted one of Kim’s generals which is unheard of for a U.S. President to do for anyone other than a close ally or our own troops. There was no mention of human rights or the atrocities of the North Korean government over the years. What a stark contrast to the meeting the previous week when Trump could not get along with democratically elected leaders of the G7 and could only grouse about them.

Meanwhile back home in the U.S. some deserved outrage grows as thousands of children being separated from their parents in border prisons. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims the bible says this is all very much ok because “god ordains the government”. God save us all from this type of thinking.

Trump returns home apparently emboldened after meeting with an authoritarian despot to give an impromptu news conference on the White House lawn. He attacks the FBI, Obama, Canada, Democrats, Mueller, football players, and of course the news media that he recently claimed as enemy number one of the U.S. Throughout the interview he distorts, misstates, lies, boasts, ridicules, threatens, and bullies taking particular aim at the FBI who he calls a den of thieves. Unbelievable.

The trade war builds momentum and a life of its own this week with the U.S. and China setting tit for tat new tariffs. Trump continues to blame all the nations of the world as if they were picking on America and responsible for American’s appetite for consumption and debt fueled by the religion that capitalism and free markets can do no wrong.

Former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort failed to abide to the terms of his bail agreement while awaiting trial and was thrown into jail. He was caught trying to influence and tamper with other witnesses. Trump in turn claims Manafort hardly worked for him.

New York State sues the Trump Foundation saying it was basically a sham of favorable self-dealing for Trump’s business or personal benefit. Why should anyone be surprised.

Week of June 17 – 23, 2018

The nation’s and world’s attention was turned on the man-made, Trump-made, crisis at the southern border where thousands of immigrant and asylum-seeking children were removed from the care of their parents in Trump’s zero tolerance authoritarian world. Many were taken to faraway shelters while other families found themselves in detention facilities locked in cages as if they were stray dogs. The outrage of the American public and many members of Congress, including Republicans, overwhelms the lies, denials, bullying, and blaming of the Trump administration that has no shame. After weeks of saying he could not rescind a hardline enforcement policy that his administration enacted, he announces with great fanfare an executive order to reunite children with their parents. But just like the supposed North Korean deal, few details were provided.

Not to leave any victim of his policies further degraded, he remains defiant by dehumanizes migrants calling them rapists, murderers, thieves, and criminals who want to “infest America”, and that America must show more strength instead of compassion. Plans were leaked out to house as many as 20,000 children in tent cities at U.S. military bases.

Trump’s former campaign manage – the one not in jail yet – Corey Lewandowski makes a mocking womp-womp noise when the case was raised of a child with downs syndrome who was separated from her mother at the border. Trump continues to blame extremist Democrats, the press, gangs, Obama, and the rest of the world for the situation he has created and then made worse.

Every living present and past First Lady have voiced their objection to Trump’s get-tough policy which had the effect of holding children as bargaining chip hostages until he gets what he wanted in immigration reform that included his damn wall. First Lady Melania Trump makes an unannounced visit to the border detention facility to see for herself how immigrant children are being cared for. A job that her husband should be doing in what has now become his Katrina tone deafness. To the shock of the nation she wears a jacket with wording on the back of “I really don’t care. Do U?”. What the hell does that mean in a situation like this the world is left to wonder? Has the whole administration and White House gone mad? Can you imagine the outrage had Michelle Obama pulled a prank like this? Upon returning to the White House, Trump having seen the jacket issues a tweet blaming the news media for it all. We can only hope that she is referring to her husbands tweets, as if she does not care anymore what he thinks, and neither should we.

To add further dismay, Trump’s administration announced it will withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations Human Rights Commission the very day after the U.N. condemns his behavior. It was the first time a county has left the council voluntarily. The man seems hell-bent on creating crisis, chaos, strife, conflict, uncertainty, distrust and fires all over the world.

We hang our head even lower in shame at the behavior of our Government under the miss-leadership of a sad, morally bankrupt President like Trump who hides behind the family-friendly rhetoric and fake facade of the Republican Party.

How much lower can we go before the American people rise up to throw Trump out of office using the constitution or to wake up and rise up in the streets? Some brave patriots confront Press Secretary Sanders and Homeland Security Chief Nielsen in separate incidents while they were out in public to give them an earful of “Shame.” Ironically, Nielsen was out eating at a Mexican Restaurant while her ICE agents were busy separating migrant children from their families at the Mexican border. She could have gone there herself to the border for a meal to feed migrant families.

The international trade war continued this week with another $200B of Chinese tariffs threatened and the cost now becoming very real to American businesses. In any other week this would be the daily headline, but we have become immune to Trump’s temper tantrums.

During the week, not to be satisfied with our existing armed services and record defense spending, Trump announces the glorious leader’s new plans to establish a Space Force as the nation’s sixth branch of the military. Yes, let’s take our belligerent war-mongering into space.

To rebuild his fragile ego Trump goes on two campaign-style visits to whip up the anger of his base with more red meat, lies, blaming, and provocations. In one of these events he refers to Senator Elizabeth Warren using the Pocahontas name offensive to her ancestors, all to the hoots and howls of his base. He refers to another sitting U.S. Representative as “Wacky Jacky.”

The week ends with no clear path forward as to how hundreds of children taken away from their family will be reunited. We should not be surprised as the U.S. has lost track of thousand of unaccompanied lone migrant children and their sponsors. Chaos prevails at the border with conflicting instructions coming from the courts, the Justice Dept., advocacy organizations, the military, Homeland Security, ICE, Health and Human Services, and the White House of course. The American flag hangs ever so lower in disgrace.

Week of June 24 – 30, 2018

The week’s big story was the announcement that Justice Kennedy would retire from the Supreme Court bench. This comes after a week of judicial decisions that largely go against working Americans such as those who belong to unions. Trump is expected to name another staunch conservative to the bench, his second opportunity since Obama’s constitutional right to appoint Scalia’s replacement was thwarted by Republicans who love their power and party more than the constitution. Democrats have vowed to give Republicans a taste of their own medicine by  fighting entertainment of a new justice until after the next elections.

The country spends a week talking about how uncivil we have all become. Hum, I wonder where did this possibly come from?

President Trump starts the week with more unpresidential behavior by trash tweeting the Washington D.C. restaurant that refused to serve Sarah Sanders. Then he blames the dying John McCain for his vote that kept Trump from killing off ACA, and those Americans who depend on it to save their life.

The cost of Trump’s tariffs are coming home to roost. American companies like Harley Davidson announce closures in the U.S. and their intent to move production overseas closer to their international markets. Trump behaves like a child bully and adult despot and threatens a specific American business with punishment and taxes like they “have never seen before.” And of course be blames the Europeans, who were only responding to Trump’s opening tariffs.

The budget office warns about huge deficits due to the Republican tax cuts that will inflate the deficit by over $2 trillion dollars over the next decade. Where have all the deficit hawks gone? Oh, I forgot, they only come out when there is a Democrat in the White House.

With the reunification of families at the border going slow, and still in the dark, 17 states have sued the Trump administration to force the process along. Trump doubles down and says we can’t allow these people to invade the country and that they should be immediately deported without any due justice of law. Melania makes a second trip to a border children’s camp, this time without embarrassing America by the slogan on her jacket. Hundreds of thousands of Americans turn out in the streets of the country to protest Trump’s immigration policies. Meanwhile over 700,000 cases of immigrants remain awaiting action with many of them held in detention camps for months if not approaching years at a time.

Funny, how there is little news or progress forward with North Korea after Trump’s meeting with Kim. Oh, with the exception that satellite imagery shows rapid upgrades to a North Korean nuclear research site.

Trump announces that he will meet with Russian President Putin after the Nato Summit. This seems like a redux of Trump leaving the G7 meeting early, in a huff after alienating our allies, to go on to hug and adorn dictator Kim. Trump says the world needs to start getting along. Yes, it is Trump telling us people need to get along! Trump tweets a defense of Russia stating that they continue to deny having any influence in his election, despite all security agencies saying otherwise. The head of the European Union says that Europe must be ready to prepare for dark days and worst case scenarios.

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.

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