You know, it says an awful lot when someone has to let us know, not once, but twice in a single interview, that they are in fact, not a baby. Trump had to let poor Leslie Stahl know that, after bowling over her questions, and practically shouting in her face during the 60 Minutes interview on Sunday. He spent the whole interview acting indignant, ignoring inconvenient or unfavorable questions, and hammering on subjects that he wanted to talk about without letting Leslie move the whole process forward. I’m sure Trump’s supporters will look at his petulance and childish behavior as a show of strength and him having his way with the fake news. Personally, I see it has him being a big, dumb baby. And I know, Trump says, very specifically that he isn’t, but I don’t feel inclined to take his word for it.
Remember when Donald Trump pledged to donate a million dollars to a charity of Elizabeth Warren’t choice if she took a test to prove her Native American ancestry? Donald Trump doesn’t seem to remember. When confronted with that promise, he actually said “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.” Ok. Let’s all read it again.
“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.”
Well…I just read it, again and again, and I’m pretty sure he said it. What’s worse (for him) is that the publicity and specificity, he might have just screwed himself out of a million bucks. According to the awesomely informative website Law and Crime, this ‘fits the textbook definition of an offer to enter into a unilateral contract.” And they suggest Warren’s lawyers might have a pretty strong case. Whether she’ll feel emboldened to take this to court is another matter, but it would be interesting to say the least if she did.
So there is a news story floating around that is really tickling me. And I have to say upfront that I have no idea how true the crux of it is. The gist of the story is that John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, has been on Donald Trump’s bad side, but Trump is just not sure how to fire him. Indeed, the article notes that at one point Trump did “try” to fire him, but for all in intents and purposes, it just didn’t take, with Kelly effectively ignoring Trump. Which is just hilarious. Now again, this is one of those stories where I couldn’t tell you how true to life it is. The story was broke by New York Magazine, and I have generally found them to be fairly reputable, but again, there is always a question of veracity when it comes to uncorroborated, nameless administration officials inside the West Wing. But the story has a wonderful kind of poetic irony, where the man who is so famous for firing people that he turned it into his catchphrase, can’t seem to fire an actual employee. Indeed, according to the story, Trump seems to be looking for a surrogate who can effectively give Kelly the boot. But true story or not, it’s certainly a fun story to think about.
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, has rather mysteriously resigned her post. While Donald Trump says this was an expected resignation, word out of the White House was that this was a total surprise, catching many of Trump’s inner circle off guard. And indeed, the reason behind her departure is something of a mystery, and one that lots of people are trying to deduce. Whether it has something to do with the recent Supreme Court confirmation or a cut and run to distance herself from the upcoming midterms, her leaving certainly seems like a concern. While she was undoubtedly a hard right conservative, her voice in the Trump Administration was at least a bit more moderate than some of the people in the inner circle, and she often appeared to be a voice of reason in his ear in regards to our foreign policy. When Trump decides to appoint someone new, it feels almost inevitable that they will be someone who enables his worst instincts, as with the case of appointing Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. One thing is for sure, this appointment will undoubtedly again show the world how much of a joke the idea of Trump “draining the swamp” really is.
Donald Trump tried his hand at journalism with his recent op-ed in USA Today. His article, an attempted rebuttal of Medicare-For-All, was his attempt to both take some of the shine off the concept of government provided healthcare, and (I believe) a forum to make people think he isn’t a big ol’ dumb dumb. You see, often enough, when Trump wants to let his opinion be known to the world, he’ll go on a Twitter tirade full of misspellings, grammatical errors, and misstatements. Or he’ll let his West Wing staff send out a press release that has something more thoughtful written down. And I truly believe he’s getting tired of people calling him a nitwit. But the problem is that he IS a nitwit. He doesn’t understand a lot of basic concepts, and as such, his attempt to show that he’s a clever writer, only reinforces that. Within hours of the article going live, every major news outlet, most prominently the Washington Post, took his article, almost sentence by sentence, and pointed out how every bit of it was wrong. And I don’t mean that in the partisan sense, but empirically wrong. He got exactly one fact right, and the rest of it, by literally all standards was incorrect. I can only imagine that Trump’s advisors made the attempt to get him to not write this article or have it published for this reason, and I have to believe Trump was certain, despite those protestations that people would think him a brilliant journalistic mind when they saw it. And this is without mentioning how much outside editing or what kind of ghostwriting took place in it’s creation. Suffice to say, Trump’s crusade against fake news takes an…interesting new turn now.
The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation to the Supreme Court was problematic, and left a bad taste in a lot of mouths. Christine Blasey Ford has been dragged through the mud in the name of pushing through a temperamental partisan Republican mouthpiece, who even if he was innocent, proved by his behavior and his blatant lies that he was unfit to sit on the bench of the highest court of the land. So of course, leave it to Donald Trump to continue to mean spiritedly rub salt in the wound. Because of course he couldn’t just let it happen. He had to make a big show of the swearing in, and then, on behalf of the country, apologize for the treatment of Kavanaugh. I’m sorry, but he certainly doesn’t speak for me in that apology. And I would argue that he doesn’t speak for most Americans. Indeed, I’m pretty sure most Americans who have been paying attention don’t think he was treated harshly enough for his infantile behavior. The softball investigation by the FBI, with it’s overly limited scope was an embarrassment and a total miscarriage of justice. So no, Don. You don’t speak on behalf of America. And seeing as you don’t apologize for anything in general, I don’t know that you were speaking on behalf of anyone.
On Saturday, Donald Trump brought back up that old gem, where Joe Biden basically said that back in his high school days, he’d have beaten Trump up. Of course, Trump mischaracterized the statement as an actual challenge, and since then has basically suggested that if they were to fight, he would wipe the floor with Biden…which is hilarious. I know Trump likes to tout himself as some kind of natural athlete, but the guy is physically a mess. We’ve all seen what his diet consists of. Also, Donald Trump is a pampered child who has never faced a day of actual adversity in his life. The idea of him, now, as an old man, is some kind of ass kicker is hilarious to me. I mean, both of them are old men, and I can’t imagine anyone would come out of that fight feeling great, but honestly, I think Trump would be worse off than Biden if they decided to resort to fisticuffs. Trump’s bravado and braggadocio is always funny, but hearing him talk about fighting makes him sound like one of those kids who after 1 karate class suggests he could handle black belts. So goofy.
The New York Times is really making it their life’s mission to dig up absolutely all of Donald Trump’s skeletons. Them and the Washington Post are dropping bombshell after bombshell, and this last week, it was attacking Trump where it might just hurt the most: his money. You see, the New York Times did a deep, deep dive into the origins of Donald Trump’s wealth. As it turns out, his story that he’s a self-made man minus a small loan from his father (that he paid back with interest), ISN’T actually accurate. At all apparently. Based on mountains of unearthed documents, both public record and not, Trump’s money is the result of creatively helping his dad defraud the government and the gifts he got as a result of that and his inheritance. As a result, adjusted for inflation, a great deal of his fortune, to the tune of half a billion smackeroos, was a result of Fred Trump looking out for him. Which makes a lot of sense. Despite what he wants his supporters to believe, Trump knows a thing or two about failing in business. His business history is one of failure, bailouts, and self aggrandizement. Learning that a good portion of his wealth was essentially a handout comes as no surprise, but at the same time, betrays the image he hopes to project. Because as it turns out, he’s not the shrewd business man, making money with his wits and cleverness. He’s a nitwit who fails upward.
You know, people, myself included, have been making jokes about Donald Trump’s weird admiration for Kim Jong Un since the summit in Singapore. It was easy to make jokes about the idea that they are buddies based entirely on his lack of criticism, his weird inability to call him Kim out on his atrocities, and his willingness to applaud his despotic tendencies. It wasn’t much to go on, but it was still an easy enough connection to make. Then, at a rally in West Virginia, Trump flatly says “We fell in love.” He went on to talk about the beautiful letters Kim wrote him, and reiterated, for anyone who wasn’t clear, that they “fell in love.” I mean…what? Kim Jong Un is a despot who subjugates his citizens, keeps them starving and impoverished, and propagandizes his divinity and superiority over the rest of the world. This is a man who Donald Trump openly says he fell in love with. Good to know where Trump’s sense of perspective is.
I want to take a second to talk about the new trade deal that is taking the place of NAFTA. USMCA, which is an infinitely less impressive abbreviation and all around title was unveiled on Monday and….no one talked about it. Now, listen, when it comes to economics and trade deals, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a whole heck of a lot, but based on the limited coverage it got, I guess it’s alright? I mean, I guess Canada is being less stingy about it’s milk which is…fine? I dunno. But it’s limited coverage, ESPECIALLY on Monday, the day this deal dropped, kind of blew my mind. I actively sought out information on the deal on Monday, and couldn’t find much more than descriptions of it, and all of that was buried under the Brett Kavanaugh situation. And that HAS to grind Trump’s gears. It HAS to. On the day that Trump presumably didn’t completely screw up a significant trade deal (I think he didn’t?), all anyone wants to talk about is Kavanaugh. And when Trump spoke up on Kavanaugh on Monday…I feel like the things he chose to speak on reflected that. I mean yeah, he did TECHNICALLY defend the man, but only after basically calling him an alcoholic and saying that he’s allowing the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation, where days ago, it seemed like it was going to be pretty limited. Maybe I’m reading a bit too much into it, but maybe, just maybe Trump doesn’t like people talking about another rich white guy on the day that he’s the rich white guy who should be getting the attention.