Bearing Witness to Trump Month 20

Week of September 2 – 8, 2018

The week after war hero and Senator John McCain was buried, the nation was hoping for some sense of normalcy and calmness out of Washington. It was not to be had.

The nation is rocked by esteemed journalist Bob Woodward’s book “Fear: Trump in the White House” which exposes a White House is in constant chaos and a President that is unhinged. Presidential aides report a president that lacks sufficient curiosity, temperament, patience, or intellectual capacity to hold the job and compare him to a 5th or 6th grader. Others are reported to be so concerned about the President’s behavior that they work to control and undo behind his back his ill-advised impulses and decisions.

A few days later an anonymous editorial runs in the NYT from a senior Trump administration official confirming a resistance to Trump exists in the White House that Woodward has written about. It is revealed that some members of the cabinet had debated early in the administration using the 25th amendment to remove a dangerous incompetent unstable unpredictable President Trump from office.

In the days to follow the White House goes on war with a vengeance against the media, liberals, special prosecutors, and members of his own cabinet such as Attorney General Sessions. He calls out the coward treasonous among his staff. The nation holds its breadth at the prospects of a looming constitutional crisis. And what might a man like Trump do as the pressure builds up with few allies he can trust?

Trump then does what he always does when under siege. He takes to the road in his on-going reality TV show and our national nightmare to deliver rallies in red-states to rile up his supporters with more lies, blaming, and baiting. That is unless there is an attendee seen on camera not cheering Trump who is quickly ushered out of the rally after being threatened.

Does Congress decide to finally act on all the warning signs of an executive branch in turmoil that puts the nation into peril? Of course not. They are MIA and abdicating their responsibility just like they have been for years, especially as we continue a 16-year old pointless war of occupation in Afghanistan, or the planet faces mounting damage and deaths from climate change, or responding to Russia that attacked our last elections and continues to probe and meddle in our democratic processes.

Meanwhile, the administration floats a new definition of wage growth to placate the masses. With so many working class Americans wondering why they are not feeling the rewards of a hot good economy in the paychecks, the White House wants to start including non-wage soft benefits in the calculation of wages to make us all feel better. Of course they do.

Finally, former President Obama has had enough and comes out speaking against the vision and reality of America that Trump is constructing, or destroying more accurately. Almost as sad as the Republican who have become compliant and culpable in Trump’s harm are most of the Democrats who can’t find the courage to offer up a level of patriotic opposition and leadership that is so badly needed at a time like this.

Week of September 9 – 15, 2018

On the week of the 9/11 anniversary Trump attacks the International Criminal Court by announcing it is illegitimate. The ICC is expected to announce its investigation of war crimes committed by allied forces in Afghanistan. How can you have a war and occupation that lasts for 17 years and not have war crimes? The whole war is a crime. The state department announced that it was closing the offices of the PLO in Washington.

Not to miss a chance to meet with another despot, the administration announces that another meeting is in the work with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It seems not much has happen of substance since the last meeting when Trump declared that NK was no longer a nuclear threat.

Trump blasts a report that claims over 3,000 Americans died in Puerto Rico from last year’s hurricane Maria. Trump says his handling of the disaster was an “incredible success.” Yeah, right, tell that to the Puerto Ricans who suffered.

Trump’s EPA moved closer to rolling back rules on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. California Governor Brown called it what it is, insanity. The same week massive hurricane Florence drops the most water ever recorded over days of flooding and destruction in the Carolinas.

Week of September 16 – 22, 2018

In a continuing no-winners-trade-war, Trump announces $200B of new tariffs ranging from 10-20% on Chinese imported goods. The administration also starts doling out $12B in farm aid to placate. or rather buy off. all of the American farmers who have been hurt by the previous round of tariffs. The Chinese respond as expected, including by cancelling a visit by US ships in Hong Kong

The DoD announces that it needs $13B of funding to standup Trump’s new Space Force. When its Republicans in office, there is never a lack of funding for what they want to do, the deficit be damned.

In a White House meeting with Poland’s President Duda, the Polish leader offers to name a new permanent U.S. military installation “Fort Trump”. Trump responded that he believed that was possible. Of course, it’s all about his ego and name.

The President flies in and out of storm stricken Carolinas in a day to hand out hot dogs and assure that he is with the victims all the way. He promised a lot of money coming from Washington. Of course, if it’s not about his ego it’s about money.

More details emerge of secret U.S. discussions on plotting a coup in Venezuela with rebels to overthrow President Maduro. Yes, of course, Trump needs the U.S. to involve ourselves in the internal strife of other countries to turn attention away from our own. The Chinese practice a better flavor of statesmanship; instead of sending in an armed forces they send a hospital ship to Venezuela to help with humanitarian and economic crisis that grips the Latin America country.

Meanwhile in the U.S. it is reported that the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed taping the President Trump and planning his own coup of patriots by inciting other cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Trump responds by attacking his own justice department as having a “lingering stench”.

The confirmation of Trump’s next Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is thrown into disarray as multiple women accused the sitting Federal Judge of sexual harassment including attempted rape when he was in high school. Republicans being Republicans, including Trump who was accused my many women of sexual harassment, stand by their man no matter what then blame and shame the victim.

Week of September 23 – 30, 2018

The country was captivated and further polarized by the confirmation hearings of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Several women have accused him of sexual harassment if not felony crimes while he was alleged to be under the influence of alcohol in high school and college.  With denials and bitter blaming from the Republicans, the country and our government falls further into angst. During the hearings the nominee comes out in a fury blaming the Democrats and even the Clintons for his predicament. His anger and temperament is shocking for justices that are supposed to be above politics. He was obviously playing to Trump acting like Trump hoping to keep his nomination alive. Dr. Ford, the woman who testified she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh, was composed, direct, and credible as Kavanaugh was unhinged, indignant, combative, evasive and angry most of the time. A FBI investigation of Kavanaugh is ordered to be reopened. The only findings, surprise, was that the nominee liked to drink in school. However, others claimed he was often drunk and belligerent, yet he claimed with certainty that he never did anything improper while drinking. No wonder Trump picked him; he appears to lie just like Trump. To deny that you have never done anything improper when drinking or intoxicated is beyond belief.

At the United Nations Trump proclaims “America First: and goes on a tirade against our friends without calling out our enemies. In front of world leaders Trump praised North Korean dictator Kim as being very open, courageous,  and terrific, and announced that that there will soon be another summit because things are going so well. He then went on to claim that in two years time his administration has accomplished more than any other administration in the history of the United States. Yes, he said that. The audience laughed out loud. Yes, they did. Trump refused to meet with our friends like Canada’s Prime Minister. Trump spoke largely about himself, while many of the rest of the leaders speaking during the week addressed the need for the globe to act together to fight climate change, the rise of nationalism, the dangers of fascist populism, and the decline of democratic norms.  Instead Trump attacks Germany, the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the International Criminal Court. Never a word about Russia, and then he blames China for meddling in American politics, of course without any evidence.

In a NYT article defense chief Jim Mattis is rumored to be on the list to leave after the midterm elections. Mattis is increasingly at odds with Trump’s words and actions, as well as often blindsided when the White House bypasses the Pentagon on military matters.

Trump’s attack on the environment continued this week with the easing of offshore oil drilling restrictions in previously off-limits areas. The EPA then announced plans to dissolve the Office of Science Advisor which provided the administrator on scientific research that supported regulations on human health and the environment.

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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