Distractor-In-Chief

While He Was Tweeting: The News You Missed, Week Ending July 8


While POTUS was busy going after John Podesta on Twitter and cuddling with Putin at the G20 summit, other news happened. Here's what you missed.



We’ve reached the end of another week, one which was just as much of a horrorshow as the previous 23 weeks since Trump took office. His Twitter feed was, as ever, that of a spoiled manchild who is the sorest winner in human history.

He went after Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski yet again because he’s like a particularly dumb and vicious dog with a bone. He tweeted out a Redditor-created meme of himself beating up CNN, because that is totally a cool and rational thing for a president to do. And of course, instead of focusing on the tasks at hand at the G20 summit, he inexplicably tweeted about former Hillary Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta managing to to be completely inaccurate in his accusations.  Most terrifying, he basically taunted North Korea after they shot off an ICBM that can probably reach Alaska. Good times.

All of these things are awful, but there’s a metric ton of awful going on elsewhere.

The travel ban is back in effect, and Trump’s State Department says that there is no categorical exemption for Iraqis who aided us during the unending war we brought to their soil. So – if you risk your life to help the United States out in a way that could rightly be perceived as betraying your own country, we’ll reward you by…making you stay there. Great.

For proof that things can be dead stupid at the local level too, we need look no farther than Florida, where a new law will let any resident—whether they have a child in school or not—challenge what is taught in public schools. It’s a transparent sop to creationists, allowing them to attack well-settled science under the auspices of worrying about the children.

Speaking of science, the Science Division of the White House is now staffed by exactly zero people, which seems about right for this administration.

Also now unstaffed: the office of the director of the Office of Government Ethics. Walter Shaub stepped down, saying that under the Trump administration “Even when we’re not talking strictly about violations, we’re talking about abandoning the norms and ethical traditions of the executive branch that have made our ethics program the gold standard in the world until now.” Sounds exactly right. Sadly, you know that the person that is nominated to replace him will never find anything the least bit unethical about Trump’s actions.

Though we talked about EPA chief Scott Pruitt last week, we need to talk about him again. Pruitt continues to do the bidding of his fossil fuel and chemical company masters, overseeing an unprecedented rollback of over 30 environmental rules thus far. He’s gutted climate change regulations, limits on methane emissions, and restrictions on pollution in America’s waterways. At this rate, he’ll have undone the work of 47 years of the EPA by, say, September.

Remember how Trump said during the election that he would be “the best for women”? He’s certainly proven to be the best at paying them poorly. The White House gender pay gap has increased more than threefold under Trump. Somehow that doesn’t really seem like the best thing for women.

Trump is in Hamburg for the G20 summit, but he stopped over in Poland first. He was guaranteed an adoring crowd because the Polish government literally bussed people in to cheer for him. While he was there, he gave a speech that was basically one step shy of blood and soil, saying that “the fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” An entirely untrue and fear-mongering vision of the West under attack from all quarters is basically the hallmark of the Trump presidency.  

Also at the G20, Trump skipped out on the climate change and energy meeting to meet with his BFF Vladimir Putin instead. No one agrees on what actually happened though. The Russian foreign minister went straight to the press after the meeting and said that Trump totally took Putin at his word that there was no Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump’s people say otherwise, claiming he pressed Putin on the issue. Both sides did agree, however, that Russia and the United States should have a joint working group of some sort dealing with cybersecurity. Sure, the Russians are hacking our nuclear power plants, but let’s work together!

Rick Perry, who famously got a D in his econ class at Texas A&M, showed he hadn’t learned anything in the last 45 years by smugly claiming that, as far as coal is concerned,  “you put the supply out there and the demand will follow.” That is literally the opposite of how it works.

Vice-President Mike Pence continued being deeply weird, delivering a speech at Kennedy Space Center where he declared “under President Donald Trump, American security will be as dominant in the heavens as we are here on Earth.” Yes, we should most definitely turn our eyes towards the heavens and…weaponize them?

If Trump and a chunk of the GOP have their way, we’ll just repeal Obamacare now and replace it whenever. Totally great way to bring stability to the insurance market and make people feel safe and secure in their healthcare.

Well. That was exhausting. More next week, of course.

 

 

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