The election may have been three months ago, but there’s still a ton of political news. Reminder that newsletters and more are always available at http://www.electreport.blogspot.com
The Tragic Events in Sweden
In honor of president’s day, I would like to commemorate our presidents of the past. But first, I must pay homage to the victims in Sweden.
“You look at what’s happening,” Donald Trump told his supporters. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
For all those watching at home, there was nothing particularly notable in Sweden last night. Trump’s explanation was that last night on Fox, Tucker Carlson covered some refugee violence in Sweden. Why that makes it okay is beyond me - all it means is that our president is bypassing all US intelligence in favor of Tucker Carlson.
The American Enemy
Trump has declared an American enemy - the FAKE NEWS media! They are no longer just Donald Trump’s enemy, according to a Twitter “statement” made this week. They are all our enemies - the New York Times, CNN, NBC, CBS. and ABC. The whole lot of them!
I don’t need to explain why this is disgusting, but I’ll do it yet again. The fact that the president thinks he can designate a certain outlet as a friend of the state or a foe of the state is a large step toward state-controlled media. Outlets will fear printing unfavorable news. And the fact that he can project his opinions onto the American people is even worse, since it means he thinks he can control the public opinion.
A New Environmental Secretary
Meet Scott Pruitt, the new head of the EPA. He was the Attorney General of noted pro-fossil fuel state Oklahoma until his recent confirmation. He just barely believes in climate change, saying "the climate is changing, and human activity contributes to that in some manner." In his campaign in 2010 for Attorney General, he campaigned against the EPA’s “activist agenda.” Yet another hypocritical cabinet member!
Good Riddance, Michael Flynn and Andy Puzder
Unlikely to be confirmed, Secretary of Labor-designate Andy Puzder withdrew his nomination. Facing opposition from both sides of the aisle, due to allegations of domestic abuse and employment of undocumented workers, as well as his anti-labor policies, he decided to not face the humiliation of being rejected. It’s still unknown who his replacement will be.
Meanwhile, facing charges about less-than-legal conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Trump’s National Security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned from his post. These charges included lying to Mike Pence about whether the conversations with Ambassador Kislyak were “substantive,” a statement which Pence repeated to the media numerous times. Flynn apologized to Trump and Pence.
Two resignations in under a month! As with everything else, Trump is making record time.
A Press Conference with the President
“Is it fake news or are these real leaks?” Asked a reporter
“The leaks are absolutely real,” Trump said. “The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake.”
Wrap your head around that for a moment. Not only is it impossible for the two statements to be simultaneously true, but his reasoning - “The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake,” is nonsense bordering on parody. When later asked about hate crimes against Jews, he dismissed the question as “not fair.”
The New Yorker has already done a fantastic job reporting on this, so I’ll just paste this exchange here for you to ponder:
“April Ryan, of the American Urban Radio Networks, asked a question. ‘That was very professional and very good,’ the President said, as if to a child. Ryan, who has been a White House correspondent for twenty years, said, ‘I’m very professional.’ She followed up, asking whether Trump would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus.
‘Are they friends of yours?’ Trump said.
‘I’m just a reporter,’ Ryan, who is African-American, said.”
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