Monday, January 30, 2017

DONALD TRUMP - THE FIRST TEN DAYS

What follows is as complete a list as yer old pal Jerky is capable of putting together (without more time) of all the shitty things that Donald Trump and his administration have done in the ten days since he officially became President. Please keep in mind that this list is far from comprehensive. Also remember that most of these actions and policies have ongoing effects, both intended and unintended, creating an unimaginably vast and evolving fractal web of deception, injustice, and suffering. Please forgive the lack of graphics and the paucity of links. I don't think this entry really needs it. - YOPJ
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 19 - THE PRELUDE

On this day, as he and countless city workers in Washington DC prepared for the next day’s inauguration festivities, Trump served up an ideological appetizer of sorts to his fanatical Redcap followers by announcing his intentions to cut off funding for the following programs and organizations:
  • The Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division
  • The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division
  • The Justice Department’s Violence Against Women programs
  • The National Endowment for the Arts
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The Minority Business Development Agency
  • The Economic Development Administration
  • The International Trade Administration
  • The Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
  • The Legal Services Corporation
  • The Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • The Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability
  • The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • The Office of Fossil Energy
So basically, women, minorities, teachers, artists, the environment and Big Bird were all told to go get fucked. Which, again, I’m sure played great with Trump’s target audience.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 - GROUND ZERO HOUR

Of course, it goes without saying that the very worst thing that happened on January 20th, 2017 is Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. Everything about the process itself was wretched: the weather, the attendance, the entertainment, the mood, the ceremony, Trump’s incredible speech… just everything, wretched through and through. But that’s already been chronicled in detail right here in these very pages, so let’s here’s some of the other awful shit that went down on this day:
  • Trump ordered a “total freeze” on enacting federal regulations… and I know this might sound good to some of you, but check back soon because yer old pal Jerky’s gonna try to convince you why it shouldn’t.
  • Every American diplomat serving abroad was suddenly removed, many still currently without successors, ten days later.
  • Displeased that someone at the National Parks Service re-tweeted a photo comparing the size of his inauguration attendance to Obama’s, Trump imposed a stupid and dangerous nationwide gag order on all NPS social media. The gag was only lifted when the NPS Tweeted an apology.
  • During protests in Washington DC, roughly 230 protesters were arrested and many are now facing historically unprecedented felony riot charges. Among those swept up during illegal police “kettling” were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
  • Trump issued an executive order declaring that all federal departments had to “minimize the economic impact” of Obamacare, whatever that means.
  • Trump issued an executive order cancelling an FHA mortgage premium cut that had saved thousands of lower middle class American home owners millions of dollars during the last few years.
  • Trump signed a waiver allowing retired General James Mattis to become the new Secretary of Defense without having to wait the usual seven years before doing so.
  • Trump issued an executive order declaring the day of his inauguration to be a "Day of Patriotic Devotion", which is totally normal and not at all creepy.
  • The White House website was updated, taking down the previous administration’s pages on civil rights, healthcare, LGBTQ issues, and climate change and replacing them with sweet fuck all. 
  • The White House website’s Spanish language version was taken down.
  • The White House telephone comments line was shut down, and has been replaced with a Facebook page. So people have begun calling Trump’s hotels, instead.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21 - TRUMP DAY 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

On his first full day as President--chronicled, along with his third day, in this update--more than three million women in the United States marched in solidarity against Trump and his policies. The following also took place:
  • The Justice Department waived nepotism rules so that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner could draw a salary as a White House employee.
  • A delay was requested in the lawsuit over a Texas law requiring voters to present specific types of government-issued photo ID at polling stations.
  • Twitter signed a bunch of people up to recieve messages from Donald Trump’s account, even after many had made efforts to keep that from taking place.
  • Trump's choice for CIA director, Mike Pompeo, declared himself open to "revisiting" limits on "interrogation techniques", including waterboarding.
  • Trump issued his first Presidential tweet, in which the first multisyllabic word was misspelled: “I am honered to serve you” etc.
This was also the day when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held his first ever press conference, a spectacular disaster during which time he:
  • Lambasted the press over their (accurate) reporting on the size of the attendance at Trump’s inauguration.
  • Declared that Trump’s inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
  • Lied about “Secret Service magnetometers”.
  • Lied about how many people took Washington DC public transit on Friday.
  • Lambasted the press some more over an innaccurate report that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr had been removed from the Oval Office--a reporting error that, despite being swiftly retracted and corrected when proven wrong--was seized upon by the entire Trump administration who bellowed about it for days, declaring it proof positive that everyone except FOX News and Breitbart (two outlets that almost never even bother to correct their copious errors) are “fake news”. 
  • Capped off his debut performance as Press Secretary by not taking a single question and storming out of the briefing room in a huff.
Meanwhile, across town, Trump headed over to CIA headquarters where he gave a speech before the wall commemorating those who’d fallen in the line of duty. During this speech, Trump:
  • Brought along group of 40 cheerleaders to cheer for him and laugh at his jokes during a speech that consisted mostly of complaints about the media.
  • Forgot to give the “at ease” command before beginning his speech, leaving the assembled audience standing for his entire speech. He would later describe this to ABC interviewer David Muir as “a standing ovation”.
  • Bragged about how awesome his inauguration was, particularly the record-setting attendance.
  • Expressed regret that the US hadn't just taken Iraq's oil, then mused: "Maybe we'll have another chance."
  • Came thisclose to asking how many in attendance had voted for him, before musing aloud that probably “almost everybody” had.
  • Bragged about his superior intellect, which he apparently thinks that he inherited from an uncle.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 - TRUMP III: in 3D

On Sunday, according to Catholics and most Protestants, God rests. And apparently, so does Donald Trump, because Day 3 in Trump’s America was surprisingly uneventful, until:
  • Administration officials floated the possibility of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • The White House continued its semi-official blackout of CNN by refusing to send any representatives to take part in its Sunday magazine shows.
  • On Meet the Press, senior White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Sean Spicer’s lies on Saturday as “alternative facts”. You could hear heads exploding from coast to coast.
  • Trump indicated that he would not be keeping his promise to release his tax returns once an IRS audit was completed because, according to him, "Nobody cares."
  • During a meeting with the FBI, Trump appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey. The two then hugged and patted each other’s backs. Odd behavior, indeed.

MONDAY, JANUARY 23 - DAY FOUR BRINGS A NEW LOW

On Monday, Trump and company really rolled up their sleeves and got down to the nitty gritty business of fucking shit up with the kind of devastating speed normally associated with category 4 hurricanes, or tropical typhoons, or tornadoes… not unlike the ones that took place on this day in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, killing twenty. Not that Trump noticed. As officials from those states begged desperately for help, it was all for naught. It turns out Trump already had his hands full doing the following:
  • Enacting an “enhanced” version of the so-called global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option. Clearly, Saturday’s Women’s March was still nagging at him.
  • Ripping up the already dead TPP, and making some noises about potential changes to NAFTA.
  • Declaring that that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
  • Giving a group of business leaders 30 days to “come up with a plan” to help stimulate the American manufacturing sector.
  • Instituting a federal hiring freeze (military excepted), causing chaos at the FDA and VA, shitting up a number of important ongoing federal programs, and generally making it obvious he’s got no idea what he’s doing.
  • Being hit with a ethics lawsuit alleging him to be in breach of the Constitution’s emoluments clause for allowing his businesses to accept payment from foreign governments.
  • Telling a number of lawmakers in a closed door session that he now believes up to FIVE MILLION people voted “illegally” in November’s election, thus costing him the popular vote.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24 - DAY FIVE

On Tuesday, a most interesting and vexing day, we learned that Donald Trump:
  • Had a portrait of Andrew Jackson--formerly the craziest maniac ever to serve as President--hung in the Oval Office.
  • Threatened to impose martial law on the city of Chicago over Twitter because of something he saw on The O’Reilley Report, on FOX News.
  • Resurrected plans for two controversial oil pipelines, Keystone XL and Dakota Access, which had been rejected by the Obama administration. 
  • Underlined his approach towards environmental issues by ordering the EPA to remove climate change pages from its website.
  • Further ordered all EPA employees to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press.
  • Put a freeze on all EPA grants and contracts.
  • Ordered the USDA to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press, and to stop publishing any papers or research. 
  • Declared that, henceforth, all scientific studies and data collected by the EPA or the USDA would have to undergo “review” by political staff prior to publication.
  • Asked James Comey, his kissy-huggy buddy who released unsubstantiated allegations concerning Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign, to stay on as FBI Director.
  • Tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration, and which he intends to hang in the White House press room. The photo is dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration.
But the President wasn’t the only busy boy on Tuesday! Here's more of what took place:
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that, yes indeed, President Trump does believe the lie that 3 to 5 million people voted “illegally” in the election, thus costing him the popular vote. This, despite the fact that there is ZERO evidence of any such voter fraud, which contrasts vividly with the mountains of evidence proving widespread disenfranchisement of minority voters in the swing states, where Trump's razor-thin margins secured his electoral "win".
  • Republican House members presented HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage.
  • Tom Price, nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Service, characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
  • North Dakota state congress began considering a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protesters with cars if they are on roadways.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25 - DAY SIX, SIX, SIX

If you thought Day Five was bad, wait’ll you get a load of Day Six! Because even before that evening’s exclusive White House interview with ABC News’ David Muir, that was the day when Trump:
  • Continued to double down on his delusion that up to 5 million votes were illegally cast, calling for a “major investigation” into the matter, which observers quite legitimately fear will be the pretext upon which a whole new wave of voting restrictions will be implemented to make sure even fewer minorities and poor people get to cast their vote.
  • Signed an order directing the Department of Homeland Security to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
  • Announced the creation of an “Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens”. 
  • Announced that this new Office will publish a weekly report chronicling crimes committed by immigrants, regardless of their status, apparently.
  • Began referring to human beings as “removable aliens” (just in case that slipped past you).
  • Announced a reduction of “at least 40 percent overall” in funding of international organizations, including the United Nations.
  • Issued a moratorium on multilateral treaties, calling for a review of “all current and pending treaties with more than one other nation”.
  • Announced plans to allow the DACA program, which provided protection to undocumented immigrants who arrived in America as children, to expire.
  • Announced his intentions to wage war on American sanctuary cities, where undocumented immigrants are shielded from intimidation by federal agents.
  • Signaled that a raft of legislation aimed at singling out and stigmatizing Muslims in the United States of America would, indeed, be put forth.
  • Announced plans to bring back the use of torture, black site prisons, and extraordinary rendition.
And that was all before Trump’s batshit crazy first official White House interview, with ABC’s David Muir, during which he:
  • Claimed, of his much maligned speech before the CIA, quote: “They said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Superbowl and they said it was equal.” 
  • Failed to explain who “they” were, and how “they” went about making such a comparison. 
  • Repeated his assertion that America should have just taken Iraq’s oil, regardless of international law.
  • Called those who criticized his call to steal Iraq’s oil “fools”.
  • Bemoaned the unfairness of ISIS being allowed to “chop people’s heads off and put ‘em on camera and send ‘em all over the world”, while Americans aren’t allowed to have any fun at all.
  • Declared his faith in the power of torture and war crimes.
  • Blamed the recent rise in Chicago’s crime rate on “political correctness”.
  • Used the platform to plug FOX News a couple times.
  • Continued to insist that up to 5 million votes were cast illegally in the election, each and every one of them going to his rival.
  • When informed that the author of a study he used to support his voter fraud theory insists that his study proves no such thing, Trump accused him of "grovelling".
  • Continued to insist that attendance at his inauguration set records.
  • Spoke the following words:
"The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What? You think this is gonna cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn't have gone into Iraq. We shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. The world is a total mess. Take a look at what's happening with Aleppo. Take a look what's happening in Mosul. Take a look what's going on in the Middle East. And people are fleeing and they're going into Europe and all over the place. The world is a mess, David."
Dear God yes, David, is the world ever a great big fucking mess.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26 - DAY SEVEN (DIRECTED BY DAVID FINCHER)

Wow. Day Six took a lot out of me. How about you? I wonder what Day Seven was like. Let’s see now… ah yes! On Day Seven:
  • Despite still unaddressed concerns about massive conflicts of interest, Trump Hotels revealed plans to further expand the company’s operations in the US market, while simultaneously shelving projects in China... which shouldn't be as disturbing as it is.
  • Steve Bannon, Trump’s top adviser and the man widely believed to be the actual author of all those executive orders the White House has been shitting out, called up the New York Times to declare the media an “opposition party” that should "keep its mouth shut."
  • Trump threatened to cancel a meeting with Mexico's President Pena Nieto after learning that Nieto had been critical of Trump announcing his intention to go through with building a border wall, but Nieto called his bluff, said "fuck it", and cancelled the meeting his own damn self.
  • About that wall: White House Secretary Sean Spicer announced that a 20 percent import tax was being considered to help pay for it. 
  • That announcement was promptly walked back, however, when too many people figured out that any tax on Mexican imports would come out of American taxpayer pockets.
  • A couple of pipelines experienced massive spills just days after Trump ordered the completion of the KeystoneXL and Dakota Access pipelines.
  • The sources Trump cites to support his false "voter fraud" claims were all revealed to be either not what he thinks--the Pew study--or completely made-up bullshit: i.e. the friend of a Bavarian golf pro's friend who told Trump that he knew some people who saw some people who "didn't look like" they should be allowed to vote, and yet somehow they were allowed to vote! Oh, the humanity!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27 - EIGHT DAYS A WEEK

It was on Friday--a day upon which a so-called "Pro Life" march on Washington attracted approximately one tenth of the previous week's Women's March--that the crap really started overspilling the bucket. Because it was on this day that the Trump administration:
  • Declared their support for House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to deal with "obstructionist Democrats" by using the "nuclear option" of changing House rules to allow for a simple majority vote to install Trump's pick for the Supreme Court vacancy, which he plans to announce next week.
  • Issued a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that made no mention of Jews.
  • Signed an executive order that blocks people from seven countries--Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan--from entering the United States for the next 120 days. 
  • Odered a 120 day suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which is basically the entirety of the US refugee program. 
  • Imposed an “indefinite” ban on refugees fleeing Syria.
  • Capped the number of refugees allowed into the US from other countries at 50,000, which is less than half the goal set by the Obama administration.
  • Ordered that refugee claimants be prioritized on the basis of “religious based persecution”, but only if the individual is of “a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” So, basically, a religious test favoring refugee Christians over refugee Muslims coming from majority Muslim countries.
  • Made the mind-boggling decision to include Green Card holders in the preliminary travel ban, sparking mass chaos as many people on their way back home from holidays abroad were turned away at airports, while others were informed mid-flight that they would be deported immediately upon landing, and still others were handcuffed, held incommunicado, had their electronic devices confiscated and examined, with some even being questioned about their feelings towards Dear Leader Trump.  
I think it also merits pointing out that on this awful day, with world tensions increasing and the American situation becoming more volatile with every tick of the clock, we also found out that the State Department purge of most senior staff was not quite as voluntary as first reported.

SATURDAY, JANURY 28 - NINE DAYS IN HELL

On Saturday, as it became obvious that the previous day’s executive orders were causing a worldwide travel disaster, outraged Americans began congregating by the thousands at the nation’s airports to protest and demand the release of people being detained there. It was a beautiful show of defiance in the face of an increasingly extreme and radical regime. Meanwhile, on Planet Trump:
  • Trump spokeslizard Kellyanne Conwoman spat out a condescending sneer of a tweet, telling people to "Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact. Promises made, promises kept. Shock to the system. And he's just getting started."
  • She later went on FOX News and managed to avoid coughing up a cockroach while hissing: "I don't think Washington is accustomed to somebody who's just been a brilliant businessman, who's accustomed to delivering and producing results, who's accountable to, in this case, the people." 
  • Trump had a nice cozy chat on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two apparently vowed to team up in order to defeat ISIS, and agreed that restoring economic ties was a darn good idea.
  • Trump issued an executive order giving the military 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS.
  • Late in the day, Civil Rights groups succeeded in having a nationwide stay put into place halting Trump’s executive order targeting Muslims. Jubilation broke out at the airports that complied with the judicial order, while protests continued at airports that didn’t.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29 - AND THEN THERE WERE TEN

Phew! Are you sweating, too? Don't worry, we're almost done, because we're on Day Ten, the day on which:
  • We found out the details of the executive order adding revolutionary chaos agent Steve Bannon to the National Security Council.
  • Bannon was also added to the Principals Committee, a small group of the national security officials that consider policy issues affecting national security. 
  • In order to make room for Bannon, Trump turfed both the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will now only attend by invitation, and only when it is deemed that “their responsibilities and expertise” are needed.
I just want to make sure that this sinks in, because it's a doozy: Trump just kicked the Joint Chiefs out of the National Security Council. To make room for Steve Fucking Bannon. Of Breitbart.com. 

Folks, if I missed anything, please let me know and I'll update this list. In the meanwhile, yer old pal Jerky is tired, and he's gonna take a nap. But if you go out into the big bad world today, maybe try engaging with a stranger or two. Hell, go all out and make a new IRL friend. I have a feeling real, meat-world relationships are going to be incredibly important in the coming weeks and months. 

Start making those connections. Start linking those chains. There's no more time left to waste.

3 comments:

  1. To borrow a term from My Old Pal Jerky, "Jesusfuckingnailholes!" This Bannon guy is one we need to seriously watch. We also need to keep an eye on Pence because he is every separatist-christian-homeschooler's wet dream, according to Kieryn Darkwater, as Our Old Pal Firefox so graciously posted in that most hideous of social media, FB. https://www.autostraddle.com/i-was-trained-for-the-culture-wars-in-home-school-awaiting-someone-like-mike-pence-as-a-messiah-367057/

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