Bearing Witness to Trump Month 40 May 10-16

Week of May 10-16, 2020

Read more in this past week’s Bearing Witness to the Pandemic for Trump’s ongoing dismal leadership of the health emergency including: his claim that he has “met the moment” and “prevailed”, a visit to a mask-distribution center where once again he refused to wear a mask even though he should be in quarantine due to a White House with community spread of the coronavirus, his promise of a warp-speed vaccine by end of year, a growing riff with the CDC’s Dr. Robert Reddick and NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, his prickly dispute with reporters in the Rose Garden with the truth about testing, his unbelievable calls for civil disobedience in Pennsylvania, the suppression of the CDC’s recommendations for opening the country back up, the growing economic fallout with over 36 millions newly unemployed, and of course a death count that now exceeds 85,000 Americans. If that’s not enough “bearing” then for all the other news this past week about the Trump administration read on here.

Over the past Mother’s Day weekend Trump has another twitter tantrum sending out over 125 tweets and retweets on just Sunday alone. Happy Mother’s Day Melania! In another display of a man largely unfit for the highest office of the land, Trump attacked the press, then former President Obama, then the FBI for framing Michael Flynn in what he now calls “Obamagate”, and late night talk show hosts among others all while claiming credit for his handling of the pandemic where over 80,000 Americans have died and we still don’t have nationwide testing program.

In a timely decision, Twitter goes so far to announce it will start tagging misleading or disputed tweets about COVID-19. Yes, even if they come from the President of the United States.

The Supreme Court this week heard the case for the President to keep his business financial information, including taxes and bank records, from being turned over under subpoenas to New York investigators and the House of Representatives. SCOTUS would have to overturn lower courts that have ruled the President is not beyond the reach of law in responding to lawful subpoenas. Trump and his surrogates are arguing that a sitting president is effectively off limits to an investigation of criminal acts. Trump after all once said “I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” I reckon that makes him a King or an Autocrat, and it makes us serfs or suckers or both. During the proceedings Trump’s lawyer argue that the President deserves immunity from investigations of any type while he is in office. Yes they said that. Have they ever read the Constitution? Oh how I wish we had immunity from his actions.

The Anti-Defamation League reports that anti-Semitic incidents continued to rise during this the third year of the Trump presidency. There were more in 2019 than at any other time in the past four decades. The ugly politics of the day and abuse of social media were cited as the primary cause. Hum, let me see, who could the poster boy be for that bad behavior?

Trump’s ex-campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort was released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence at home. Less than a year ago he was sentenced to a term of 7.5 years. Yes, rich politically-connected white-collar criminals and associates of the President get out of jail for the pandemic while others languish behind with infection rates exceeding 50% at some sites.

Republicans in Congress are advancing the nomination of next head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media which includes the respected and venerable Voice of America. The nominee is a conservative film maker and loyalist to the President who is likely to fulfill Trump’s dream to outright own, exploit, and eventually defile a global media empire. Previously Trump and his sycophants had attacked the VOA as being part of the deep state. Check off another attribute for aspiring autocrats and demagogues.

At the request of Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, Trump has fired the State Department’s Inspector General, Steve Linick. This will be the 4th inspector general that Trump has dismissed. That is sure some draining of the swamp. It was reported that Linick was investigating the wrongdoing of a cabinet member in an agency that he said had become politically biased. Later it is reported that the actions being investigated included the fast-track sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. This emerges just days before a FBI investigation revealed that the Saudi Air Force cadet who opened up fire and killed three U.S. servicemen last year at the Pensacola Naval Air Station was connected to al-Qaeda. That is little surprise, but it should not have taken a year to see that this Saudi Arabian was, duh, connected to Saudi Arabia! This is a repeat rinse cycle of one of the greatest 9/11 tragedies. The 9/11 terrorists were Saudi Arabian, using Saudi family fame and money, which we then used as an excuse to attack Afghanistan then Iraq. All while we did nothing to distance ourselves from entanglement with the Saudis. One after another American Presidents, whether Republican or Democrat, have continued to bow and cower to the Saudi Royalty. What great American “ally” did Trump go visit first as President? Hint, no, it was not the Russians. It was the Saudis. All this during a time when we don’t need their damn oil any more, but continue to appease them by blaming others for their failures in their own backyard. Doesn’t the U.S. have enough foreign policy quagmires of our own without covering for those of others? Of all the international relationships Trump could have and should have reset, it is this one.

The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources including print, digital, and broadcast. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.

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