The Trump Watch – July

How Do They Love Him?

Let them count the ways.

When Agent Orange held his first cabinet meeting, a message was apparently handed down from on high that cabinet members were there to praise Caesar, not to bury him.

And praise him they did.

The greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to the president who’s keeping his word to the American people.

So declared sycophant vice president Mike Pence.

I am privileged to be here — deeply honored — and I want to thank you for your commitment to the American workers.

So said Labor Secretary and professional-caliber brown-noser Alexander Acosta.

We’ll see what a blessing Priebus thinks working for Trump is before the end of the year, after the president fires him.

Not to be outdone, chief of staff Reince Priebus, notorious violator of the “i before e” rule, added

We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing to serve your agenda.

To each the president responded with “thank you,” “good job,” “very good,” and other such comments.

Seriously:  someone complimented him and he replied “Good job.”

How does this kind of thing happen?  Not in a vacuum, that’s for sure.  Either the president decided he wanted to be spoken to in this manner and had someone on his staff deliver that message or someone on that staff decided on their own, based on what they know about him, that this was what Trump wanted to hear and passed the word down to everyone who would be participating in the meeting.

Either way, this does not bode well for the country.  If ever there was a modern parallel to the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” this is it.  In such an environment, who will dare say “No, that’s not a good idea, Mr. President”?  Who will speak truth to power?

Not any of those empty jock straps, that’s for sure.

He Actually Said This

Watching the struggle to repeal and replace Obamacare while never actually doing anything to help that process along – reportedly, because he doesn’t grasp even the basics of the U.S. health care system – Agent Orange complained about the “level of hostility” in government.

Seriously.  He did.

As far as The Curmudgeon is concerned, you don’t get to call for the imprisonment of your political opponent, lead chants of “lock her up,” and encourage your supporters to rough up your non-supporters and then get to complain about the “level of hostility” in government.  Someone who does that is the CAUSE of that level of hostility, not a victim of it.

Still on the Subject of Hostility

A day after calling for a more civil tone in Washington after the shooting of a member of Congress during a softball game, Agent Orange tweeted that

You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!

And then, just to be sure he was clear,

They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

So much for civility.

If you read this blog, chances are you’ve never seen “Fox and Friends.” Give it a try: The Curmudgeon promises it will be well worth your time.

Where He Gets His News

 He has a staff.

He has the sprawling federal bureaucracy.

He has the FBI.

He has the CIA.

He has the Secret Service.

So why on earth does Agent Orange seem to get all of his news from Fox and Friends?

The For-Profit Presidency Rolls Along

Who said you can’t make policy and make money at the same time?  Not The Donald, that’s for sure.

The guy who blames China for some of his country’s economic problems is nevertheless actively seeking to do more business of his own in that country, recently adding six new trademarks to the 123 he already has there.

You have to wonder how seriously he’s going to work to make it harder for the Chinese to sell inexpensive merchandise in our country when he’s looking to sell his own not-so-inexpensive merchandise in theirs.

It all comes down to which is more important to him:  making money or making some American workers happy.

If you’re a betting person, bet on the former.

More on Being President for Fun and Profit

Donald Trump runs a government with a Department of Housing and Urban Development and runs a company with extensive housing interests.  When the two interests collide, which is going to win?

Guess.

As reported by the Washington Post,

 President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.

One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

Mystery solved:  now we know what’s more important to him, making money for himself or making good public policy.

Help Wanted

Agent Orange has done a lot of complaining about all of the vacant positions in his administration.  The cause, he says, is the refusal of Democrats in the Senate to confirm his nominees.  Democrats, of course, are in the minority in Congress and can barely go to the bathroom without offering a “mother, may I?” to Mitch McConnell.

Competence not required

The primary reason for all the vacancies is that the new administration hasn’t nominated anyone to fill a lot of them.  One big mistake it made was throwing out the baby with the bathwater:  when Jared Kushner persuaded Big Daddy to kick Chris Christie off the transition team that Christie headed they also threw out all of the work Christie and his group did.  And what was that work?  You got it:  identifying people to fill important positions in the new administration.

But there’s another reason Trump is having a hard time filling these jobs:  people are wary of working for him.  As reported by the Washington Post,

Republicans say they are turning down job offers to work for a chief executive whose volatile temperament makes them nervous. They are asking head-hunters if their reputations could suffer permanent damage, according to 27 people The Washington Post interviewed to assess what is becoming a debilitating factor in recruiting political appointees.

Also,

Potential candidates are watching Trump’s behavior and monitoring his treatment of senior officials. “Trump is becoming radioactive, and it’s accelerating,” said Bill Valdez, a former senior Energy Department official who is now president of the Senior Executives Association, which represents 6,000 top federal leaders.

“He just threw Jeff Sessions under the bus,” Valdez said, referring to recent reports that the president is furious at the attorney general for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. “If you’re working with a boss who doesn’t have your back, you have no confidence in working with that individual.”

Who in their right mind, except those who have no choice, would choose to work for a person like this?

Tone Deaf

No, you heard it right:  when meeting the president of Poland recently Agent Orange launched into a diatribe about how the American media treats him.

Because in Trump World it’s all about The Donald.

But he wasn’t finished.  He also said 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?

What values is he referring to, you ask?

Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?

If he really thinks that is “the fundamental question of our time” then we are in deep, deep trouble.

Tone Deaf, Part 2

Surely he didn’t.

But surely he did.

What did he did?  He complimented the wife of the president of France.

Complimented her on her figure.

That’s bad, part 1.

And bad, part 2?  His own wife was standing right there.

Sheesh.

 Keeping His Priorities Straight

While in Europe for the G-20 meeting, Trump was waiting for his face-off with Vladimir Putin but had more important things on his mind:  last year’s election and the suggestion that the Russians helped him win it.

So with all the world waiting for the Trump-Putin meeting, Agent Orange took to twitter to address a more important subject.

Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!

It’s hard to figure out what about this tweet is most ridiculous.  Is it that Trump’s head was so far out of the game just hours before he was scheduled to meet with Putin?  That he’s reliving the election eight months after he won it?  That he can’t let go of a grudge?  That many of his twitter followers neither know nor care who John Podesta is?  That no one at the G-20 conference knows or cares about John Podesta?  That he is apparently unaware that Podesta led the Democratic National Committee neither during last year’s elections nor now and was not directly involved in any decision about whether to turn its server over to the FBI or CIA?  Or that he lied and no one in Europe was actually talking about John Podesta because seriously, why would they?

The one thing we do know:  with Trump, it’s always – always – about him and his petty grievances even when he’s on the world stage.

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Because only in Trump World does experience selling jewelry qualify you to engage in international diplomacy

Yes, it really did happen:  daddy had Ivanka sit in for him at a G-20 meeting.

The same Ivanka who has described her work, and her “duties,” as

“I…like to focus on areas where I can add positive value, where I can contribute to the agenda,” Ivanka said. “Policies around workforce development, around ensuring that barriers are removed from around the working family. Policies that enable that family to survive. Focusing on how we can help our veterans–and how we can really deliver them the care that they so need. Focusing on issues related to the really devastating opioid problem we have in this country.”

 None of which makes her an appropriate choice to substitute for her daddy at a meeting of world leaders.

But with the Clampetts now in the White House, blood is clearly thicker than water.

About that Blood

And all this time we’d been led to believe that Eric was the dumb one

You have to wonder what Donald Senior thinks about Donald Junior’s foolish decision to meet with someone who is being presented as an individual from another country seeking to help him get elected.  His denials notwithstanding, surely daddy knew about the meeting.  Why else would both Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort both have attended?

And don’t these people ever talk to lawyers?

Maybe it’s time for Agent Orange to put a little professional distance between himself and his family and let them go back to their lives of leisure and leave our country alone.  One Trump is enough to screw it up; we don’t need three or four or five of them helping with the screwing.

Lying or Just Plain Stupid?

Yesterday afternoon Mrs. Curmudgeon, who is much better at puzzles than her much lesser half, called to The Curmudgeon’s attention two interesting pieces of the Donnie Junior Meets the Russians puzzle in a way The Curmudgeon had not previously heard from any of the pundits (although, to be fair to the pundits, he doesn’t spend a whole lot of time listening to and reading the opinions of others.  In case you haven’t noticed, The Curmudgeon has his hands quite full, thank you, with all of those opinions of his own).

Anyhow, she recalled the late days of the campaign and then the period between election and inauguration and then into this most shameful presidency, when any suggestion that the Trump campaign had met with or colluded with the Russians in any way at all was vigorously rejected and then belittled by Agent Orange himself and all those agentettes he has out there telling lies on his behalf.

But now we know that his son met last June – before the many allegations and the many denials – with an individual or individuals who were clearly and specifically represented to him as emissaries of the Russian government.

Which raises two interesting questions.

Question one:  did Donnie Junior never stop to think “Hey, maybe I should tell daddy about my meeting with the Russians so he at least tones down his denials?”

And…

Question two:  is the president lying when he said he didn’t learn about the June meeting with the Russians until last week?  Or did he really know all along and just decide to lie about it?

Who Knew?

Finally, in our latest installment of “Who Knew?” we have Agent Orange complaining that Amazon.com doesn’t pay internet taxes.

Of course there’s no such thing as federal internet taxes.  There are state sales taxes, and if you’ve ever placed an order on Amazon.com you know that under certain circumstances you most certainly do pay those state sales taxes.  Amazon forwards hundreds of millions of dollars in sales tax money to state governments every year.  We all know this.

But Agent Orange?  Clueless.

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On July 17, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I’m with Mrs Curmudgeon! Those two pieces of info are critical to determining who knew what and when and what’s going on here. I’ve been saying the same thing. Are there so any distractions that even reporters can’t connect the dots and report clearly? Hoping Bob Mueller can and does.

    • foureyedcurmudgeon  On July 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      I’m trying to connect some dots and draw some conclusions myself. Check back later in the week – Thursday, I think.

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