Friday, January 27, 2017

The First Long Week Of a Hellish Age

So, how goes the ongoing train wreck?

It's officially been one week since Lord Vulgamort swore at the millions who protest him on a daily basis uh swore on a Bible to violate every part of the Constitution starting with the Emoluments Clause and working his way down to the 27th Amendment uh... you know what unstrike that line because that's pretty much what he's doing right now.

It's been overwhelming to keep up with the ongoing wave of crazy and chaos that is coming out of the White House now. Other news sites are documenting the atrocities, but here are the ones that have snagged my attention and deserve a serious amount of HOLY F-CK WE'RE SCREWED:

Trump's inauguration endured sparse attendance on Friday, and many media observers and Twitter tweets made the obvious comparison to Obama's packed turnouts in 2009 and 2013. Photo after photo displayed empty parade benches and meager numbers. The post-ceremony balls and parties were not much better. A mini-scandal erupted when it turned out Trump's celebratory cake was copied from Obama's 2013 cake... and worse, it wasn't even real cake but a Styrofoam mock-up.

The Women's March on the following Saturday blew the roof off the world. Rallying against the rise of an openly misogynistic sexual predator like Trump, hundreds of thousands of women AND men (plus kids and puppies and even a cat or twelve), marched down not only Washington DC but also hundreds of cities around the world (plus Antarctica).

It reportedly drove Trump crazy. He called the National Parks Service to insist they report HIS turnout was higher than documented. He sent out his press secretary Sean Spicer to insist "this was the largest audience to watch an inauguration both in person and around the globe, period." It was too obvious a lie, and the national media outlets started breaking protocol using the "lie" word to describe the meltdown.

I want to write more about those two days, but it may take me some time...

To say it went downhill from there is an insult to hills. It was more like a cliffside Saturday onwards:

  • He declared his own inauguration a Holiday for Patriotic Devotion (dafuq?)
  • He spent Saturday at CIA headquarters, ostensibly to repair strained relations with the intelligence community... and spent nearly the entire appearance lying about the size of his inauguration attendance, bragging about his successes, and threatening to launch another war in Iraq to seize all the oil. And he brought an entourage to cheer him on while the intel people sat there.
  • He signed an executive order freezing most federal hirings, essentially planning to reduce the federal government through attrition as jobs stop getting filled. This means the government won't be able to handle the demands on public service, and a gradual loss of expert employees to retirement or ragequits. If you got a resume on website, it's worthless now.
  • He confirmed his insane plan to build a wall on the Mexican border, and is threatening to have it paid for via tariffs on IMPORTS coming into the U.S., meaning Mexico doesn't pay for it but the American consumer will. His announcement about the Wall came right before a visit from the Mexican President, who canceled the visit in protest.
  • Still railing against immigration, he signed another order authorizing his administration to go after "sanctuary cities" that provide social services to illegals.
  • He signed a block on the refugee process for certain Middle Eastern nations he declared were threats to national security that included Syria, which is suffering a major violent downturn in their years-long civil war. Trump specifically targeted Muslims to be blocked from any vetting process, allowing only Christian refugees for consideration. The impact on U.S. relations with Muslims is going to hurt: Trump is giving those ISIL and Al Qaeda extremists a huge propaganda gift doing this.
  • Trump is essentially wiping out the State Department and putting the torch to every foreign alliance we've got.

In other news, Trump is still obsessing over his losing the popular vote. He's rehashing the lie that there were millions of illegal voters, and is going so far as to threaten another federal investigation - remember kids, the Republicans tried this shit back during the Dubya administration and couldn't find a thing to confirm their Narrative - focusing entirely on the states he lost and blatantly on "urban areas" AKA cities with large minority populations. The threat of voter suppression - of using this as an excuse to purge voter rolls of citizens - is part of this gambit.

In the meantime, his approval ratings are stuck in the low 40s (except for the conservative Rasmussen), which for a starting President is a terrible place to begin: most polling drops for elected officials once the rough work of doing the job puts a strain on the official's public perception. It's a nice taste of schadenfreude, but it's going to give Trump and his handlers more impetus to shut down on media coverage in an attempt to stop any more "bad news" to get out.

So, to the eight regular readers of this blog: how are you and kids doing? Busy week for yourselves?

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

I wrote this last night elsewhere, but it seems like a good fit right here:
So now we find out that we are the ones who have to pay for the walldoggle, should it actually happen. As if we didn't already know that.
So every time, at every rally, when he brayed "...and Mexico will pay for it." he was lying. It does not matter whether he was too stupid to understand that he was lying, the responsibility for knowing that comes with the job.
It also does not matter that he does not understand what a tariff is or how one works; with the power to impose one comes the responsibility of knowing what one is and how it works and thus whether he could exact the price of the walldoggle with a 20% one imposed upon Mexico. Hint: no, he can't, they don't work that way.
A competent politician understands who is playing them and for what, so they can act in their own interests or the interests of their agenda. This is also a responsibility of the office of president.
So as he plays into the hands of the Randian extreme right who will of course demand that the price of the walldoggle be cut out of the federal budget and more specifically the social safety net, he does not get to hide behind his ignorance to claim that his campaign promise to leave the safety net alone was not also a lie. Hint: no such ignorance on this subject exists in him.
As he plays into the hands of terrorist groups worldwide with his ban on immigration from countries where no actual attacks on the US have originated, while exempting those countries where attacks have originated, he assumes ownership for any attacks which result from the boost in recruiting his policies produce.
Perhaps if the information he needs to understand these and other issues were embedded in cable news broadcasts praising him for his unparalleled awesomeness, he might watch them and absorb some of it, but as he does not read and only listens to praise in short sentences from his most loyal toadies and Fox News, I don't find that to be very likely.
Thanks a lot Comey. I hope your balls drop off into your shoe and you step on them.

-Doug in Oakland