That Was the (Year) Week
May 8-May 12
A number of television pundits commented that this past week felt like each day was a year, given the torrent of news and, indeed, it did feel like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose. Our Reality Star in Chief seemed to fall back into his “businessman” role, showing us he thinks running America is like operating casinos in Atlantic City --- and we know how that turned out. It’s impossible to sum up the antics of the Low Information Voter in Chief this week in a simple paragraph or two so let’s go day by day.
Monday, May 8th
This was the day Sally Yates, the former acting Attorney General of the U.S., fired by the President for not carrying out his Travel Ban, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Yates testified with former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. Despite the Tweeter in Chief’s attempts to distract and dissemble their testimony through a series of Twitter messages, Yates made it clear that she told the White House about Michael Flynn’s vulnerability to Russian blackmail a full 18 days before the National Security Administration head was terminated, a serious national security concern. That Trump still had nice things to say about Flynn (while disparaging James Comey) during his Lester Holt interview later in the week shows where his head is at.
Tuesday, May 9th
This was bombshell day, of course. The FBI director, James Comey, the man leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, is terminated. The explanation for the firing --- from Spicer, Sanders, Pence, and Conway --- is that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (and Attorney General/Colonel Harlan Sanders) sent a memo recommending Comey’s dismissal. The comparisons to Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” (not to be confused with his “Saturday Night Fever,” which entailed bowling shirtless on the White House lanes) began immediately.
Wednesday, May 10th
While the Comey dismissal stories roiled around, the Obliviousness in Chief hosted his two favorite Sergey’s --- Lavrov and Kislyak (Russian Foreign Minister & Ambassador, respectively) --- to the Oval Office WITH an official Tass photographer (with U.S. photographers & reporters “not invited”). We do not know if any of the Russians were screened before entering the Oval Office and are not sure if they left anything behind, insect wise. In some eerie foreshadowing (?), Trump posed for pictures with another guest, Henry Kissinger, Nixon's NSA chief and Secretary of State during the Watergate Scandal.
Thursday, May 11th
This was a busy, busy day. The blockbuster was the Lester Holt interview with NBC News in which the Wild Card in Chief told Mr. Holt that he, alone, fired Comey (because of the “made up” Russia story) and that Comey had told him three times that the President was not under investigation (hardly something that seems credible, given Comey’s well-known Boy Scout integrity). So, while blowing up the story his subordinates had circulates for over 24 hours, Trump also opened up all kinds of worm cans while talking to Holt.
Thursday also brought a new Executive Order --- designed to “prove” there were over 3 million illegal votes cast in the 2016 Presidential election, all facts to the contrary --- because El Presidente cannot accept that he lost the popular vote. The second item that may have slipped under your radar (though not if you read the BLAST) was Trump’s claim, to the Economist magazine, that he invented the phrase “prime the pump,” an economic term that has been around since the 19th century.
Friday, May 12th
The day started with the President Tweet-threatening the former FBI Director with the possibility that their dinner conversation was “taped” and continued with a shit-storm worth of reporting on all the conflicting accounts of why Comey was fired --- before the President appeared on Fox News and told Judge Jeanine that he wouldn’t confirm or deny if there was a taping system in the White House!
Woohoo! What a way to finish the (year) week!
Here are some things you may not have given any thought to during this year week because of all the White House news. One story that slipped by was about Jared Kushner’s sister selling visas to Chinese investors. According to Time Magazine (May 6th):
Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a (Beijing) Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa.
An “investor visa” is granted to anyone paying $500,000 in any project in the United States --- and Jared’s sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, was drumming up Chinese capital for the Kushner real estate empire, with her name, and connection to the White House, promoted on the brochures distributed at the Beijing event. No conflicts of interest here.
While we're on that subject, where did Jared and Ivanka go this week ? No sign of them at all.
In the same way, what happened to all those North Korean threats we were so concerned about in the last few weeks? And Syria? And what will happen to all the current stories when the Babbler in Chief jumps on Air Force One and heads for Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Europe at the end of the week?
Finally, a p.s. on the week. The election of Emmanuel Macron in France was a welcome victory for moderate voices around the world but did you notice all the press about the age difference between the new French President and his wife. He’s 39, she’s 64. Hmmm. That means when she’s 70, he’ll be 45. Currently, our 70 (almost 71) year old President has a wife who is 47 years old. If you don’t think sexism is alive and well in the press and around the world, reflect on that one.
So, that was the (year) week that was. Can’t wait for Monday!
Happy Mother’s Day!