A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 191st Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing every week of his presidency. This is week 191.
On Friday night, we lost a phenomenal woman. We are mourning a feminist and Jewish icon. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nothing short of an American hero. The Notorious RBG used her life as a lawyer, judge, and Supreme Court Justice to fight for equality. Ginsburg is among the most important women’s rights advocates who has ever lived, and used the law to fight for all people.
As a litigator, Ginsburg won five of the six cases she argued before the Supreme Court. Given the fact the Supreme Court was all-male at the time, Ginsburg brilliantly took on male plaintiffs to fight for gender equality rulings that would benefit women greatly. As a Supreme Court Justice, the second woman ever to serve on the high court, Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion on the VMI sex discrimination case and would go on to write powerful dissents during the conservative majorities that followed. Ginsburg was also well known for her friendships with conservative colleagues, highlighting that civility is possible.
I start this week by honoring her legacy because while her death was a tragedy in its own right, a lot of the focus has been on what her death means rather than the life of decency and service that she lived. This is, of course, because America lost more than just an iconic woman this week, we lost a guardrail of justice and democracy. Ginsburg’s death is one of the most consequential deaths in modern history.
If President Trump were to confirm another conservative justice on the Supreme Court, it would tip the court in a 6-3 conservative majority for a generation. This would have seismic consequences for the future of America’s healthcare, voting/women/LGBTQ/immigrant rights, presidential power, etc. Ginsburg knew this, and made it clear what she wanted in her dying wish as dictated to her granddaughter:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not heed her wish. By the end of the night on Friday, McConnell had already released a statement stating that he would fill this vacancy. There was some speculation as to whether McConnell would wait until after the election to push the confirmation to shield vulnerable Republicans from backlash, but Trump made clear where he stands, tweeting the following day that he wanted a Justice confirmed “without delay.” This is wildly hypocritical.
As we all know, McConnell infamously blocked President Obama’s March 2016 Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, never even giving him a hearing. McConnell used the excuse that it was in an election year, in spite of the fact it was very far from election day. McConnell used this seat as a motivator to get conservatives to coalesce around then-Candidate Trump. It worked and Trump won and would go on to appoint two more conservative justices. McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat from a Democratic President and now, with less than 50 days before the election, McConnell is about to pursue a confirmation for a Republican President.
The hypocrisy doesn’t stop with McConnell. Countless other Republicans who backed the blockade of Garland are now pushing for immediate confirmation of Trump’s incoming nominee. In 2016, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), now chairman of the crucial Senate Judiciary Committee, told Americans to hold him to his word:
“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”
Graham is not living up to that statement. To the modern Republican Party, principles and character mean nothing while depraved hypocrisy and disdain for democracy are their only consistent traits.
Democrats need 4 Republican Senators to oppose the nomination to block the confirmation. So far they have only two. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-K) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have both gone on the record saying that they oppose the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice before the election – it’s not clear if that stance will change in a lame-duck session if Trump loses. We’ll see where vulnerable Republican Senators choose to stand on this and whether other Senators like Chuck Grassley and Mitt Romney choose to do the right thing.
Now, let’s discuss some of the other developments this week.
First, I’d like to talk about the stunning whistleblower complaint alleging forced hysterectomies on multiple migrant women. On MSNBC with Rachel Maddow, Rep. Jayapal expanded on these allegations with some stunning revelations. Jayapal said there are at least 17 migrant women who had hysterectomies and one of them faced attempted deportation, just as it was revealed she was a victim of these inhumane atrocities. This is incredibly important to watch and Rantt will be publishing a more in-depth standalone article on this story in the coming days.
Now, we have to spend some time talking about Attorney General William Barr. This week, it was reported that Barr told DOJ prosecutors to consider charging protestors with sedition and to come up with charges for the Democratic Mayor of Seattle. In a speech, Barr attacked the DOJ’s career prosecutors as “preschoolers,” falsely claimed mail-in voting allows for mass fraudulent vote-buying, said journalists don’t care about truth, and said this:
“You know, putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. It’s — you know, other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”
246 years of enslavement, forced labor, abuse, humiliation, family separation, and trauma followed by 155 years of discrimination and economic disenfranchisement is in no way shape or form comparable to staying home in a pandemic. This rhetoric is offensive, privileged, BS.
Barr’s lifetime philosophy is about weaponizing the law to embolden a unitary executive and he is becoming increasingly unhinged as the election approaches. Barr has reached a level of shamelessness I didn’t think any human other than Trump was capable of. If Trump wins a 2nd term, it will be an era of revenge, and Barr will further weaponize the DOJ.
If you think Barr wouldn’t corruptly prosecute journalists and Trump’s political targets after being emboldened by a 2nd term, then you don’t know Bill Barr. Trump and Barr are giving us clear flashing light signals about what a Trump re-election will bring. It’s not hyperbole to say that America would be unrecognizable by the end of that 2nd term. Trump and Barr have to be defeated in November. They just have to be.
In other news, FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated what the FBI has long asserted and recently leaked DHS documents confirmed: White supremacist terrorism is the greatest terror threat the United States faces. Wray said: “We look at Antifa as more of an ideology or a movement than an organization.” President Trump took to Twitter to attack the FBI Director. This came after a DHS whistleblower claimed Chad Wolf moved to exaggerate the threat of Antifa and downplay white supremacy.
Speaking of trying to rewrite reality, this week President Trump announced a “1776 Commission” on “patriotic education.” Let’s be clear about what this is: Trump wants to rewrite American history to whitewash the sins we need to learn about to grow beyond. This is some Xi Jinping stuff.
This week also saw some more stark contrasts between Democratic Nominee Joe Biden and President Trump. On Monday, as President Trump was visiting California to assess the West Coast’s fire damage, Trump said that he doesn’t think the scientists “know” whether the earth is heating or cooling. Biden hit back in a speech calling Trump a “climate arsonist.”
Then came the town halls. First was President Trump’s ABC town hall. Seeing regular Americans directly question Trump and hold him accountable for his lies was incredibly effective. One questioner asked: “You’ve coined the phrase Make America Great Again. When has America been great for African Americans in the ghetto of America. Are you aware how tone-deaf that comes off to the African American community?”
In one viral moment, a Black woman named Ellesia Blaque asked about pre-existing conditions and told Trump to stop talking so she could finish her question. After the town hall, she told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that she will now be voting for Joe Biden.
George Stephanopoulos also held his own. When Trump was ranting about healthcare, Stephanopoulos called Trump out and highlighted that he tried to repeal Obamacare, he’s currently suing to invalidate Obamacare in its entirety, and has yet to deliver his promised healthcare replacement.
In the dumbest moments from the town hall, Trump said that waiters don’t like wearing masks. Waiters are literally one of the most important workers who should be wearing masks. If they don’t, they would be super spreaders, going table-to-table spewing COVID-19 on guests.
That town hall format highlighted that Trump’s lies only work in environments he controls. In press events or interviews, it all depends on how gutsy a few reporters might be. But here, voters and George Stephanopoulos smacked down Trump’s lies as they popped up like whack-a-mole.
On Biden’s front, ahead of his town hall, he held a press conference. In response to a question, Biden spoke off the cuff, and in detail, about the differences between the mRNA vaccine and others, as well as the complexities in distributing each. That is beyond Trump’s comprehension. Even with a teleprompter, he couldn’t do that without fumbling.
During his CNN town hall, Biden got momentarily furious when talking about his son and Trump calling service members losers. It was a really powerful moment. Throughout the night, Biden expressed empathy with the voters who questioned him. In stark contrast to Trump who attacks blue states and openly strives to be the President of the Republican States of America, Biden said: “I’m going to be America’s President, not a Democratic President… I’m a Democrat, proud of it, but America’s President.”
The contrasts continued. Biden met with scientific experts while Trump was contradicting the CDC Director. In a hearing this week, Redfield said we may have a vaccine for the most vulnerable in November-December but won’t have one for the general public until mid-2021. In a press briefing, Trump said Redfield was “incorrect” and “confused,” asserting that we’ll be ready right away. This is the same guy who suggested bleach injections to treat COVID-19 so take what he says about vaccines with a plethora of grains of salt.
There was also a big shift in messaging from Biden. Biden began to really lean into a class framing. Biden asserted that Trump is like the guys who look down on “people like us,” referring to working people – the guys who inherited everything. This is a smart, direct rebuke of Trump trying to frame him as an elite. This is a great way of framing Trump as out of touch with what Americans are struggling with. I mean, Trump siphoned at least $413 million from his dad and had a golden toilet but tries to act like he’s fighting for the average American.
When it comes to the average American, they were out in full force as 4 states (Virginia, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) began early, in-person voting. In Virginia, there were especially long lines. In one Fairfax voting location, Trump supporters showed up and tried to block the entrance. Just like their leader, Trump supporters are out here interfering in democracy. Unfortunately for Trump, his efforts are backfiring.
When it comes to his attacks on mail-in voting, I think Trump’s strategy was to push his base to do in-person voting while Democrats voted mail-in so he could claim victory the night of the election from the in-person count. But now, it’s looking like liberals are showing up in-person, with some saying it’s because they don’t trust the USPS. Trump’s USPS attacks backfired. If Trump doesn’t win the same-day count/early projections, it’ll be significantly harder for him to do his planned contesting of the vote.
This reminds me of what happened in the Wisconsin SCOTUS race. When you show people you desperately don’t want them to vote, they will show up and vote you out. I think we may look back at Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting and USPS as one of the biggest voter turnout motivators.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
The “Climate Arsonist”
Day 1,334: Monday, September 14
Monday’s top stories:
- Forbes: ‘I Don’t Think Science Knows, Actually’: Trump Dismisses Climate Science In California Wildfire Discussion
- NBC News: Biden slams Trump as ‘climate arsonist’ as fires ravage West
- Law & Crime: ‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center
- Politico: Democrats launch probe into Trump officials’ Covid-report tampering
- The New York Times: Trump Health Aide Pushes Bizarre Conspiracies and Warns of Armed Revolt
- NBC News: DOJ watchdog is investigating Roger Stone sentencing, say sources
- NBC News: ‘Reckless and selfish’: Nevada gov slams Trump for holding big indoor rally, violating state rules
- NBC News: Postal contracts awarded to DeJoy-run company were questioned in 2001 Postal Service audit
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Supreme Court rules to keep Green Party off the ballot
- BuzzFeed News: A Sheriff’s Deputy Was Fired After A Video Showed Him Repeatedly Punching A Black Man
- CNN: Terry Branstad, US Ambassador to China, stepping down as tensions with Beijing rise
- Politico: Officials: Iran weighs plot to kill U.S. ambassador to South Africa
- Reuters: U.S. voting officials scramble in wake of ‘misleading’ USPS mailer
- CNN: Trump indoor rally site fined $3,000 for violating state coronavirus guidelines
- CNN: 5 tropical cyclones are in the Atlantic at the same time for only the second time in history
- The Independent: There’s a very simple reason Trump is reacting this way to the California wildfires — it’s the electoral college
- Deadline: Bob Woodward Tells ’60 Minutes’ Why He Made A Judgment Call That Donald Trump Was The “Wrong Man For The Job”: “It’s A Conclusion Based On Evidence”
- The Daily Beast: Pompeo’s Wife Asked State Dept. Staff to Keep Quiet on Her Personal Tasks: Report
- The Daily Beast: David Cameron joins all living former PMs in condemning Boris Johnson’s plan to break law
- The New York Times: Navalny, Awake and Alert, Plans to Return to Russia, German Official Says
- BuzzFeed News: “I Have Blood On My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation
- The Atlantic: Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’
- The Daily Beast: Jacob Wohl Staged Fake FBI Raid on Business Partner, Actor Hired for Production Says
- Rantt Media: Trump Is Aiding And Abetting Foreign Election Interference
- Rantt Media: QAnon In Germany: How The Pro-Trump Theory Is Infecting Europe
Unfathomable Alleged Crimes Against Humanity
Day 1,335: Tuesday, September 15
Tuesday’s top stories:
- Business Insider: The House immigration subcommittee is investigating a whistleblower complaint accusing doctors at an ICE detention center of surgically removing detainees’ wombs
- The New York Times: Justice Dept. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into John Bolton’s Book
- CNN: Judge rules Chad Wolf likely unlawfully serving as Homeland Security secretary and temporarily blocks some asylum restrictions
- CNN: Analysis: Trump fumbles during tough encounter with undecided voters
- The Washington Post: Analysis | Trump’s ABC News town hall: Four Pinocchios, over and over again
- CNN: Louisville agrees to pay Breonna Taylor’s family $12 million and enact police reforms in historic settlement
- The Guardian: Firefighters make progress in west coast blazes as smoke spreads across US
- NBC News: Smoke from deadly wildfires in the West can be seen on other side of country
- CBS News: Hurricane Sally threatens Gulf Coast with “life threatening” and “historic” flooding
- CNN: Bahrain and UAE recognized Israel at the White House. Here’s what’s in it for all sides
- CNN: Covid-19 cases among Florida children jumped 26% in a month. It’s still hard to know which schools are safe
- NPR: Biden Is Outspending Trump On TV, And Just 6 States Are The Focus Of The Campaign
- Axios: Scientific American backs Biden in first endorsement in 175-year history
- The Washington Post: Coronavirus kills far more Hispanic and Black children than White youths, CDC study finds
- The Daily Beast: Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs to Be Deposed in Seth Rich Case
- Politico: Caputo apologizes to HHS staff, signals desire for medical leave
- The Daily Beast: Feds ‘Very Concerned’ About AstraZeneca Vaccine Side Effect
- Politico: Trump ad asks people to support the troops. But it uses a picture of Russian jets.
- The Washington Post: Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter
- Pew Research Center: U.S. Image Plummets Internationally as Most Say Country Has Handled Coronavirus Badly
- CBS News: Astronomers find possible sign of life on Venus
- Reuters: China coronavirus vaccine may be ready for public in November: official
Day 1,336: Wednesday, September 16
Wednesday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Barr Told Prosecutors to Consider Sedition Charges for Protest Violence
- CNN: Barr says calls for coronavirus lockdown are the ‘greatest intrusion on civil liberties’ other than slavery in US history (It’s not)
- NBC News: Barr blasts his own DOJ prosecutors, equates them to preschoolers and ‘headhunters’
- The Daily Beast: Trump Claims Vaccine Will Be Ready by Fall, Says CDC Director Was ‘Confused’
- Axios: Biden: “I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump”
- CNN: HHS says spokesman will take a two-month ‘leave of absence’ following apology for conspiracy-laden rant
- NPR: Firefighters Battle To Save LA’s Historic Mount Wilson Observatory
- AP: Hurricane Sally unleashes flooding, hundreds rescued
- ABC News: Coronavirus news: US records highest daily death toll in weeks
- CNN: Texas Supreme Court again blocks county from sending mail-in voting applications to 2 million potential voters
- Politico: Senate panel authorizes subpoenas in Republican probe targeting Obama officials
- USA TODAY: ‘Grossly insufficient’: House report excoriates Boeing, FAA over mistakes that led to 737 Max crashes
- Axios: Poll shows Susan Collins down 12 points, Lindsey Graham tied with Democratic challenger
- NBC News: Ohio judge blows up GOP plan to allow only 1 ballot box in each county
- CNBC: Yelp data shows 60% of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanent
- CBS News: JPMorgan Chase workers sent home after employees test positive for coronavirus
- The Daily Beast: Steve Bannon Is Behind Bogus Study That China Created COVID
- BBC News: Gaza violence flares after Israel signs deals with Gulf states
- CNN: India surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases
- Rantt Media: Trump Assaults First Amendment While Claiming Victimhood
The Move That Could’ve Saved Lives
Day 1,337: Thursday, September 17
Thursday’s top stories:
- CNBC: White House abandoned plan to send 650 million face masks across the U.S. in April, report says
- New York Daily News: FBI director raises alarm about white supremacy, Russian interference; Trump’s DHS chief skips hearing
- NBC News: FBI’s Wray says Antifa is more an ideology than an organized group
- CNN: Pence’s former lead coronavirus task force aide slams Trump and endorses Biden in new video
- The Guardian: Donald Trump accused of sexual assault by former model Amy Dorris
- MSNBC: Jayapal: ‘At least 17 to 18 women’ in ICE detention underwent needless medical procedures
- The New York Times: C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections
- The Washington Post: Biden takes questions and criticizes Trump in drive-in town hall; Trump holds rally in Wis.
- CNN: Army National Guard major told Congress feds requested heat ray and stockpiled ammunition before clearing DC protest
- CNN: Sally drenched parts of Florida with ‘4 months of rain in 4 hours,’ officials say
- The Washington Post: Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election
- The Washington Post: Trump alleges ‘left-wing indoctrination’ in schools, says he will create national commission to push more ‘pro-American’ history
- AP: Trump downplays legacy of slavery in appeal to white voters
- CNN: Trump’s intelligence chief reverses decision to halt in-person election briefings for congressional committees
- AP: Romney says Biden probe ‘not legitimate role of government’
- CNN: University of Georgia to allow football — but not in-person voting — this fall
- CNN: Indonesians caught without a mask forced to dig graves for Covid-19 victims
- Rantt Media: How Vulnerable GOP Senators Are Reacting To Trump’s Scandals
Day 1,338: Friday, September 18
Friday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court’s Feminist Icon, Is Dead at 87
- CNN: Schumer calls to keep Ginsburg’s seat open ‘until we have a new president’
- The Washington Post: McConnell says Trump’s court pick will get Senate vote despite Ginsburg’s dying wish
- The Blaze: Lisa Murkowski says she won’t vote on a justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election: ‘Fair is fair’
- CNN: Voters endure long, socially distanced lines to cast early ballots in four states
- Reuters: U.S. Senator Johnson quarantined after COVID-19 contact
- CBS News: Trump announces billions in aid for Puerto Rico although he once called it “one of the most corrupt places on earth”
- NBC News: Biden touts union support in battleground Minnesota as early voting begins
- TheHill: NYT: Emails show HHS officials attempting to silence CDC scientists
- Axios: NYT: White House drug price negotiations between broke down over $100 “Trump Cards”
- NBC News: Pentagon sending troops to Syria after clashes between U.S., Russians
- National Geographic: The science of how climate change impacts fires in the West
- The New Yorker: “It Was All About the Election”: The Ex-White House Aide Olivia Troye on Trump’s Narcissistic Mishandling of COVID-19
- CNN: The US doesn’t have to wait for a vaccine to get Covid-19 under control, nation’s top doctor says
- Axios: Michael Bloomberg unleashes $100 million “wall to wall” ad blitz to take down Trump in Florida
- CNN: Eric Trump says he’s willing to be interviewed by the New York AG’s office but not until after election
- HuffPost: CNN Host Delivers 6-Minute Takedown Of Fox News’ Coronavirus Misinformation
- Reuters: Israel imposes second coronavirus lockdown during high holidays
- Sky News: Coronavirus: Boris Johnson considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections