Bearing Witness to Trump Month 31

Week of July 28 – August 3, 2019

In yet another raucous rally Trump continues to play the race card, and of course blames everyone else for being a racist. He assails American cities such as Baltimore and mocks their African American Congressional Representatives such as Rep. Elijah Cummings. He continues to whip up anger at Democrats who he says are dangerous left wing extremists as well as immigrants in general to divide the country and turn up the energy of his base. What could possibly go wrong with this hate mongering?

The week ends with a hate crime of a 24 year old white nationalist committing yet another heinous mass-shooting killing 20 an wounding several dozen mostly Hispanics in a Walmart near the southern border in El Paso.

After non-stop bullying by the President, the Federal Reserve reverses itself and starts lowering interest rates citing a slowing economy, international trade tensions, a ballooning national deficit, and of course tariff taxes. But they do it in a way Trump does not like, and he continues his partisan hack attack on the independence of the central bank and its Chairman Powell.

North Korea fires more ballistic missiles that Trump dismisses as being no problem because he has a good relationship with his friend Kim Jong-un. American allies South Korea and Japan protest our lack of concern. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travels to Asia in hopes to restart the negotiations but is left empty handed as the Koreans no show him. As Trump gets played around the world, one has to hope that he does not feel like he is being embarrassed and backed into a corner where he without provocation strikes back in some huge military action to show how tough he is.

Trump has ended the U.S. participation in a cold war missile treaty that served the world well for decades. New missiles are being developed and deployed to counter the rising power of China, whom the U.S. made so great by our purchase of many billions of dollars of products. Of course he Chinese also purchased one of 0our biggest exports to the rest of the world, our debt.

Trump notches up the tensions with China by announcing that another round of tariffs on $300B of imported goods that are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers. The stock market is startled once again with a huge selloff. The new tariffs that will start at 10% and could rise to 25% are expected to cost the average household another $200 a year.

Trump’s pick John Ratcliffe to head up the National Intelligence position previously held by Dan Coats did not last a week. Coats resigned after losing favor by speaking truth to power, or that is the ego of the President. Ratcliffe had no experience in intelligence, foreign affairs, the military of much else. But he was a Trump loyalist. However, even Republicans found his lack of credentials too great to digest.

In a predictable act of vengeance, Trump tells the Navy to strip medals from prosecutors in a recent War Crimes Trial of a Navy Seal who killed a captured Islamic fighter. Yes sir, what great Christian moral leadership from this President!

Trump picked as the head of the Bureau of Land Management a person not who wants to protect these lands but who argues for the sale of public lands for natural resource extraction such as mining.

Editors around the country print an OpEd claiming the Republican Party has become nothing more than a personality cult with no morals.

Week of August 4 – 10, 2019

The country is in equal parts shock and outrage this week after dozens of deaths and injuries in two mass killings in El Paso and Dayton by gunmen using assault weapons. These cities join the names of so many others who have experienced what is shamefully a new norm of American life; Virginia Beach, Aurora, Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, Charlottesville, Annapolis, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Orlando, Charleston, Parkland, Sand Hook…

Before unleashing his carnage the El Paso killer cited in his manifesto the same invasion of Mexicans and other white supremacist us-versus-them rhetoric that the President uses at his political rallies to whip up the crowds who chant go back go back to where you came from and even shoot them shoot them. Leaders from around the country and finally both parties blames Trump as a divider spreading poison and/or a white supremist that is unleashing this dark side of America.

Despite all the gun carnage, the President blames mental illness but not a lack of background checks or an overabundance of military class weaponry in the hands of citizens. He and his freedom loving NRA supporting, second amendment zealot Republicans enablers would rather lock up people instead of lock up guns. This despite the fact that one of his first acts as President on behalf of the NRA was to revoke regulations that made it more difficult for the mentally ill to procure guns. The fear of gun violence has gotten so bad that across cities when crowds here a backfiring cycle panic results as people run for cover, afraid they are caught in another mass shooting event. Other nations around the world have issued travel warnings for their citizens to be extra careful when visiting the U.S. or avoiding the country all together due to its gun violence and is a country at war with itself. Yes there is mental illness involved; it is the mental illness of our country’s political system that has become incapable of protecting its own people with common sense gun laws and held hostage by the ideology of the NRA and hate-filled white nationalism.

Trump’s attempt to console the victims turns it to be all about him. Many refuse to meet with him, a man they believe stoked the passions which resulted in the massacre. He poses with Melania holding an infant whose parents have been killed and gives a big smile with a thumbs up like he is a trophy hunter. He seems incapable of showing honest empathy similar to other narcissists. He attacks his political opponents while on the trip to Dayton and El Paso and only inflames a hurting mourning country.

Tensions around the world under Trump’s watch continue to rise. We are in disputes with adversaries of China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela as well as once-friendly allies of Turkey, Mexico, Central America and much of Europe. The trade war with China has gone off the rails, a new set of sanctions have been placed on the backs of the suffering Venezuelans, Iranians are capturing tankers, India and Pakistan are facing off over Kashmir, Palestinians and Israelis clash over new settlements, and the Koreans continue to lob missiles into the Sea of Japan. Arms control treaties are being abandoned by the U.S. and Russia who are starting a new arms race. Global economies and stock markets are in flux due to currency devaluations triggered by the Chinese reaction to Trump’s latest tariffs, as well as the fear we are one blundering stumble away from military conflict. China warns the U.S. it will not set idle while we deploy new missiles to Asia, nor will it allow international meddling in the increasingly violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. And of course Americans are slaughtering each other at home and hate groups are on the rise now reaching an all-time high of over 1,000 under the Trump presidency.

It feels like the whole planet is a tinder box ready to catch fire, and the U.S. has a terrorist deconstructing the diplomacy and alliances that have kept us relatively safe for decades. So what does the Trump administration do? It orders the State Department to freeze funding for foreign aid with USAID which funds good will including global health, development assistance, and peacekeeping activities. The American Ambassador to Russia, John Huntsman, decides it is a good time to resign during such difficult times in our relations with Russia.

No less than four days after mostly Hispanics are gunned down in El Paso by a white nationalist, ICE agents rounded up and arrested more than 600 immigrants across the South in poultry plants in one of the largest worksite raids ever. Trump’s latest acting head of Homeland Security says the timing was “unfortunate”. But not surprising based on the clueless cruelty of this administration. Families were broken apart as children were left at home or in schools white their working parents were handcuffed and bused away. There were no reports of the owners and managers of these businesses who broke laws by employing them being similarly arrested and hauled away, as they too should have been.

Trump who said he would negotiate a great deal with Boeing on a pair of new Air Force 1 jets apparently did not. The new cost of the 747 models are said to be approaching more than $5 billion. Obviously fitting for a any despot or king to survive in a world on fire.

Trump is reported to be the first U.S. president in more than 150 years to have no pet in the White House. Are we surprised?

Week of August 11 – 17, 2019

Pro-democracy demonstrations continue in Hong Kong this week. The supposed leader of the free world, President Trump, says nothing in support of them or their movement as China prepares to act with its military. Trump should be equally proud that the North Koreans issued a new postage stamp with his image on it next to Kim Jong-Un. Could you imagine the wrath from conservatives if Obama had appeared on a North Korean stamp? North Korea celebrates by firing off more test missiles into the Sea of Japan which Trump is now ignoring as often as they are occurring.

The Trump administration continues to deconstruct decades of protections for America. This week they announced new rules to make it easy to remove endangered species from protection as well as those threatened by climate change. Trump’s Transportation Department said it was proposing changes to allow more hours driving for truck drivers. And this would be on highways across our country that are already congested, dangerous, and in need of repair or expansion that is unlikely with a Republican-led Senate and White House.

Under the Trump the U.S. budget deficit ballooned to $866B for the first 10 months of this fiscal year. Spending is up by 8% while revenue less than half of that. The deficit for the year is expected to be $1 trillion. This deficit is up nearly 27% from a year ago, and is occurring during a time of economic prosperity for many wealthy Americans and corporations which should be replenishing government coffers depleted during recessions. Not.

The stock market experienced manic dives and rises this week due to fears that trade wars and global instability would create a global recession. The Dow fell by over 800 points one day alone. Trump responded by delaying the enforcement of the latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports including toys, electronics, and clothing which would be paid for by many Americans, not the Chinese. It is ever so apparent that there is no overall strategy with China.

Despite being on vacation, which Americans were hoping would bring a few weeks without more turmoil and chaos, Trump just can’t help himself. He lashes out a U.S. Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar saying they hate Israel and all Jews and that Israel should not allow them to visit Israel on a planned trip during the Congress break. A few hours later Prime Minister Netanyahu announces that these representatives of the U.S. Congress, which sends billions of dollars to aid to Israel each year, will indeed not be allowed to enter the country. It is reported to be one of the only times a sitting US President has urged another Foreign leader from allowing a US citizen to travel freely.

Trump’s attack on immigrants coming to America continues with a new policy that will restrict migration by issuing green cards to only those who are likely to be financially self sufficient. This represents a big change to an American policy that since its birth has welcomed migrants and refugees arriving with few possessions or skills hoping to build a better life in the land of opportunity.

After arresting over 600 migrant workers last week employed at 7 chicken processing plants, the Trump administration has still yet to charge a single company or manager for hiring these supposed illegal workers.

Week of August 18 – 24, 2019

In another display of being untethered from reality, Trump says he wants to buy Greenland from Denmark. When the Prime Minister of Denmark says they have no interest in selling and it is an absurd idea, Trump calls her nasty and then calls off a official state visit to Denmark. What a disgrace he has become to America.

In a continuing spat about American congresswomen visiting Israel, Trump says that Jews who support Democrats are disloyal to their country. Has the man no understanding of history in that Nazi Germany used the same anti-Semitic attack on the loyalty of Jews? To defend himself, Trump later retweets a conservative conspiracy-monger’s assertion that Trump’s support of Israel makes him like the chosen one, the King of the Jews.

As the China trade war continues to spiral out of control, Trump demands that U.S. companies stop doing business in China which he proclaims he has the authority to do. The stock market responds with a decline of over 600 points. Trump then lashes out at the federal reserve bank chainman Powell as well as China’s Xi, calling them both enemies of the United States.

With warning signals pointing to an economic recession, Trump says he is considering, what else, a reduction in capital gains taxes for the rich and payroll taxes for the employers. Then the White House denies that, then Trump says yes he is considering this. Then not.

Trump’s latest press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, has not held a press conference for the first two months on the job. The last White House press briefing was in March. Why should she when the President prefers lording over his own bizarre reality TV show performance every time he steps in front of the camera?

After speaking with the NRA about the recent mass shootings, Trump now claims that background checks are already plenty strong enough. He says the problem is not with guns but with the mentally ill. The whole nation is becoming mentally ill under the current administration.

The U.S. conducted a test of a extended cruise missile that had been banned for over 30 years until Trump killed the treaty. The Russians say they will respond.

It seems Trump has become a domestic terrorist hell bent on attacking, wrecking, looting, demeaning and destroying everything within his reach.

Week of August 25 – 31, 2019

While Europe swelters and the Amazon burns, Trump at the G-7 meeting sets out a meeting of world leaders on climate change and says he will not trade the wealth of America for dreams and windmills.

Trump’s anti-environment EPA announces it will relax rules on regulating the greenhouse gas methane. Methane accounts for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States. The Trump administration has now weakened more than 80 rules and regulations.

As the next level of tariffs take affect, Trump lies to the world and says that China has called him several times to resume the trade talks, which the Chinese deny happened. He lies when he says that even Melania met with North Korean leader Kim and thought he was a honorable man. He lies when he blames Obamas action for the reason that Russia’s Putin was excluded from the G-7 after they annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014.

UK leader Boris Johnson, a Trump-like nationalist, moves to suspend the British Parliament to avoid a lengthy debate over Brexit. Trump must be jealous.

Trump instructs his aides that he will pardon them for any crimes they commit while taking private land to construct his southern border wall.

Trump’s border patrol turns away at the border a Harvard-bound student from Palestine because they found controversial social media posts from his friends on his phone and laptop computer they searched when he entered the country.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says that the increasing political divide within the U.S. is the greatest threat to our country and that the Trump administration is pushing away our historic allies.


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.