A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 135th 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 his every move. This is week 135.
President Trump’s condition is getting worse. That has become a common refrain among Trump’s critics. While not necessarily referring to a specific mental ailment, it describes the increasingly unhinged behavior on display by the President of the United States. What we saw this week was a miserable president with a messianic complex who is worried about his re-election prospects, flip-flopping on key policy issues like gun reform, and lashing out with authoritarian demands that are beyond his constitutional powers.
Not only has his mental instability pervaded every facet of American culture, it is now endangering America’s national security, economic future, and global standing. Since the recent recession indicators, like the inverted yield curve, President Trump has taken his crazy up several notches and it’s rattling markets. This is why on Friday we ran the headline “Trump’s Mental Instability Is Now An Economic Indicator.”
Trade wars are not “easy” to win, despite President Trump’s assertions. And they’re even more difficult to win when you have no idea how tariffs work and have no clear strategic thinking abilities. Trump continued his reckless tariff back-and-forth with China this week, and continued to tank the stock market with this volatile tweets. Trump “hereby ordered” American companies to stop doing business in China (which he can’t do) and called the Fed Chair he appointed, Jerome Powell, a bigger enemy than Chinese President Xi Jinping.
None of the real-world effects of his actions appear to be stifling Trump’s volatility, as his aides reportedly worry that his trade war and unstable leadership is increasing economic uncertainty. While his supporters may not mind Trump’s bigoted screeds which fuel white supremacist terrorism or the abusive manner in which he lashes out at his fellow Americans, they might want to pay attention because his behavior is contributing to the next recession.
First, he came for Latinx immigrants, and Trump supporters cheered him on. Next, he came for Muslims, and Trump supporters cheered him on. Then, he came for people of color and the LGBTQ community, and Trump supporters cheered him on. Now that he’s coming for their 401ks, will Trump supporters turn on him?
The G7 summit this weekend showed President Trump’s continued weakening of American leadership around the globe. Our allies no longer know whether they can trust us enough to create long-term deals with the US. They don’t know if they’ll be dealing with the Democratic or the Republican States of America every four years. We have two Americas now and I’m sure nations are planning accordingly.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.
What The Medicare For All Debate Means For You
Day 942: Monday, August 19
People who live in the United States spend more on healthcare per capita than any other civilized country in the world. Studies indicate that there’s wide national support for a government-issued healthcare program, but is that program Medicare for All?
In other news…
- NBC News: NYPD fires officer for chokehold in Eric Garner’s death
- Techcrunch: Without evidence, Trump accuses Google of manipulating millions of votes
- NBC News: FEC chair slams Trump’s ‘baseless’ voter fraud claims
- NBC News: AG Barr removes acting Bureau of Prisons chief in wake of Epstein suicide
- Reuters: Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any involvement in Epstein sex scandal
- The New York Times: In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy
- The Washington Post: White House officials eyeing payroll tax cut in effort to reverse weakening economy
- MSNBC: Trump returns from vacation to bleak polls and ominous headlines
- The New York Times: Planned Parenthood Refuses Federal Funds Over Abortion Restrictions
- HuffPost: Native American Forum Focuses On Elizabeth Warren’s Policies, Not DNA Test
Trump’s Gun Flip Flop
Day 943: Tuesday, August 20
After the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last year, President Trump appeared to support new gun reform measures. He held a joint meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers where he expressed support for numerous gun measures. After meeting with the NRA, he reversed himself and nothing got done. Well, he’s doing it again.
After a white supremacist terrorist murdered 23 people in El Paso, Texas and a shooter murdered 9 in Dayton Ohio two weeks ago, President Trump signaled he would support red flag laws and background checks for gun purchases. In recent days, after NRA lobbying, Trump has shifted blame towards mental health and said that we already have very strong background checks in place (we don’t).
If Trump truly felt the problem was mental health-related, he wouldn’t have rolled back an Obama-era regulation that made it more difficult for people with mental illnesses to obtain guns.
The Republican Party should be very wary of this strategy. The political climate is different, the NRA is weaker, gun reform activists are mobilized, and Americans support gun reform. A post-El Paso shooting Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 89% favor expanded background checks for all gun sales, 76% back “red flag” laws, 75% support a voluntary gun buyback program, and 62% support banning the sale of assault weapons.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and President Trump will face a lot of pressure after the August recess. September is coming and with it, Americans expect new gun reform measures. Republicans can only ignore the will of the people for so long before it continues to harm them politically, as it did in 2018 with suburban moms.
In other news…
- ABC News: Trump administration to roll out plan for longer-term detention of migrant families
- HuffPost: Trump-Loving Neo-Nazi Arrested For Allegedly Plotting To Kill Miami Hispanics
- BBC News: Brazilian Amazon burning at record rate, space agency warns
- NBC News: Trump cancels Denmark trip after PM says Greenland isn’t for sale
- CNN: Jewish leaders outraged by Trump saying Jews disloyal if they vote for Democrats
- The Hill: Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment
- HuffPost: 6 NRA Board Members Have Now Jumped From Sinking Ship
- CNBC: The US won’t provide flu vaccines to migrant families at border detention camps
- Comicbook.com: Sony Stock Drops After Breaking up With Marvel Studios on Spider-Man
Day 944: Wednesday, August 21
“President Trump continues to use anti-Semitic tropes as he tries to turn American Jews against the Democratic Party. We see right through him.”
In other news…
- NBC News: Trump administration to lift limit on how long it can detain migrant families
- NBC News: Trump admin weighs letting states, cities deny entry to refugees approved for resettlement in U.S.
- The Hill: Trump says administration looking ‘seriously’ at ending birthright citizenship
- NBC News: Danes react with anger after Trump cancels state visit over Greenland dispute
- NBC News: Federal deficit to swell by $800 billion over next decade, new CBO report projects
- CNN: California man planned mass shooting, police say
- AP News: Trump’s fake accent angers Asian Americans as they veer left
The Protests In Hong Kong
Day 945: Thursday, August 22
What’s going on in Hong Kong?
Protests have been ongoing since June after the Hong Kong government introduced an extradition bill that critics argued would allow China to, in effect, legally kidnap Hong Kong activists and Chinese dissidents living there. The initial protests prompted Hong Kong’s Chief executive, Carrie Lam, to suspend the legislation indefinitely. However, she has refrained from withdrawing it entirely, prompting fears that the government will reintroduce it at a later time.
This is only one of the reasons protests remain. Activists are also calling for an independent inquiry into police brutality, which has come down hard on demonstrations which, aside from individual flare-ups, have been largely peaceful. They have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the unarmed protestors, acts which many in the international community have deemed excessive.
Demonstrators are also dissatisfied with what they see as a political system and electoral process that is not entirely democratic and free. Protestors believe China’s authoritarian government is not respecting the “one country, two systems” agreement which was constructed when China gained sovereignty over Hong Kong from the UK in the 1980s. Ms. Lam, in particular, has drawn ire. She has fostered stronger ties with the government in Beijing and has previously supported allowing the Chinese government to effectively handpick candidates for Hong Kong leadership.
This is the latest in a periodic series of protests in Hong Kong. In 2014, the so-called Umbrella Movement lasted three months, and the jailing of some of its leaders in part fueled the start of the present protests. The recent demonstrations, however, are perhaps the biggest in terms of the number of people on the streets, and have garnered much more scrutiny internationally.
Who is Joshua Wong?
22-year-old Joshua Wong is a student activist and the secretary-general of the pro-democracy organization Demosisto. He has been an activist since he was a teenager and was jailed for his role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement, and is one of the leading organizers of the current protests. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, and was named one of Fortune magazine’s ten “World’s Greatest Leaders” in 2015, as well as Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Teens” in 2014.
Rantt’s Foreign Policy Editor Jossif Ezekilov spoke to Wong about the protests in Hong Kong.
In other news…
- BBC News: Amazon fires an ‘international crisis’, says Macron
- NBC News: Giuliani says State Dept. aided his effort to press Ukraine on Trump opponents
- BuzzFeed News: The Justice Department Sent Immigration Judges A White Nationalist Blog Post With Anti-Semitic Attacks
- MarketWatch: U.S. created 501,000 fewer jobs since 2018 than previously reported, new figures show
- Politico: Nadler asks House committees probing Trump to share docs for its impeachment investigation
- Axios: Top aide to DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan resigns over tensions with White House
- USA TODAY: Sarah Sanders to join Fox News as a contributor
- The Daily Beast: Trump Invited Himself to Denmark Before Canceling Trip, Danes Say
- NBC News: Trump joked about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland. Puerto Ricans are joking back.
- Vanity Fair: Trump Has Told Friends That Gutting Medicare Could Be a Fun “Second-Term Project”
- USA TODAY: Sen. Tom Cotton says he suggested Trump buy Greenland and met with Danish ambassador
- AP-NORC poll: 62% disapprove of how Trump’s handling his job
The Protests In Hong Kong
Day 946: Friday, August 23
Typically, we take it for granted that a superpower is led by a mentally stable, thoroughly vetted politician in charge of their emotions. In this light, what are we to make of President looking up at the sky and declaring that he is “the chosen one” to a gaggle of reporters on the same day he indirectly tried to claim the mantle of King of Israel on his Twitter feed the day after he picked a fight with Denmark over a reported desire to buy Greenland, attacked the Chairman of the Federal Reserve as an enemy of the state, and “hereby ordered” American companies to divest from business with China? This behavior is what Russians like to call “having cockroaches roaming in one’s head.”And as we saw, the media seemed to take the same cue, as many of the online publications strived for clicks rather than weighing coverage on the importance of the events at hand.
At this point, it’s impossible to ignore his rapid cognitive decline and its consequences for the nation, which is a rather scary thought because it leads us to the conclusion that the world’s preeminent superpower is being run by a man who clearly isn’t all there and a pack of enablers terrified of him and millions of his counterparts who vote for them. Even worse, it points to the disturbing trend of some Western boomers becoming lonelier, angrier, more toxic, and more paranoid as they age, and their determination to use their power to vote not as a civic responsibility, but as a weapon.
It’s also incredibly dangerous when we consider that we’re currently seeing these unhinged, smearing-bodily-fluids-on-the-walls-of-a-padded-room antics as the economy is indicating that we’re headed for a slowdown. It could just be a correction as the markets adjust and cool off some overheated sectors, or it could be a slight recession as companies realize that having more open positions than people looking for work, and 8 in 10 workers are living paycheck to paycheck, are signs that something is fundamentally wrong. But the worst thing one can do as the economy is signaling a problem is demonstrating that instead of a calm, collected person in charge, we’ve ended up with someone whose very sanity is rather questionable.
In other news…
- Rantt Media:
- MarketWatch: Trump says U.S. tariffs will increase on Chinese goods
- Vanity Fair: Trump Jokes About Making the Dow Fall Nearly 600 Points
- CNN: Trump has questioned why he must attend G7
- CNN: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg treated for pancreatic cancer
- CNBC: Japan coastguard says it detected North Korean ballistic missile launch
- ABC News: Kids left without either parent at home for 8 days after Mississippi ICE raid
- BuzzFeed News: These New Documents Confirm Trump Associate Felix Sater Helped Track Osama Bin Laden
Over the weekend…
At the G7 summit, President Trump fixated on Russia, was frustrated by the agenda, and appeared to have a moment that exposed his lack of intelligence.
At their first joint dinner meeting, G-7 leaders had “constructive discussions,” but the conversation turned “rough & tumble” when Trump interrupted the Iran discussion to say that it didn’t make sense to have the conversation without #Russia at the table.https://t.co/cuAUEb9yTz
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) August 25, 2019
US officials say Macron surprised Trump at hotel. US is expressing frustration that much of G7 is about climate change, Africa development, gender inequality and other issues they see as “niche,” in words of one senior admin official, and that French won’t accept US edits.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 24, 2019
The President of the United States doesn’t understand what the phrase “second thoughts” means… https://t.co/HKLb4Ay1ny
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) August 25, 2019
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