Everyone wants to talk about Donald Trump ... or NOT talk about Donald Trump. When we were in Mexico, everyone wanted to talk to us Americans about Trump. He is an international laughingstock, but his actions are not funny in the least.
In our house, we sometimes have to declare a "Trump-free" zone, just to get some relief from the almost constant, self-inflicted barrage of NYT-LAT-WSJ-MSNBC-CNN-NPR-FOX-Huff Po-Daily Beast-Talking Points Memo-Real Clear Politics-Daily Kos-Sirius Left-Sirius POTUS-Politifact-and Drudge.
But sometimes one has to face reality. Here is a partial list of some things that have happened in the first 137 days of the presidency of Donald J. Trump.
• Withdrawn the USA from the Paris Climate Accords, joining Syria and Nicaraugua as the only three countries to oppose the world-wide pact
• Fired the head of the FBI who was investigating his campaign's ties to Russia, with no replacement in sight
• Leaked intelligence about the Manchester bomber, leading the UK to stop sharing intelligence with the US
• Tried to impose a ban on immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, only to be struck down by the court system multiple times
• Offended traditional American allies such as NATO, the UK, France, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and Australia
• Settled a fraud case for $25 million over "Trump University"
• Failed to staff nearly 2,000 vacant Executive branch positions, including the heads of FEMA and NOAA as hurricane season begins
• Permitted and/or encouraged his son-in-law Jared Kushner to attempt to set up a secret back channel with Russia, outside monitoring by US security agencies.
• Did nothing for 18 days after he learned that his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was a possible blackmail target by the Russians
• Had his daughter Ivanka meet with the Chinese president the same day that her company won trademarks from the Chinese government.
• Named a climate denialist to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an enemy of public education to head the Department of Education, and an enemy of working people as Secretary of Labor
• Unveiled a tax-reform plan on the 96th day of his presidency that was less detailed than the blueprint he had campaigned on
• Declared the mainstream media the "enemy of the American people."
• Hiked mortgage premiums on homebuyers borrowing money from government
• Removed all Spanish content from the White House website
• Broke from decades of US foreign policy by abandoning a two-state solution for the Israel/Palestine conflict
• Skipped the release of the annual Human Rights Report
• Gave his daughter Ivanka an office in the White House and a security clearance — while keeping her immune from conflict-of-interest laws.
• Sought lobbying waivers for seventeen of his staff members – after vowing many times to "drain the swamp"
• Threatened to sabotage America's insurance markets as a means of coercing Democrats into voting for his plan to finance a large tax cut for the rich by throwing millions off Medicaid.
• Appointed a budget director who argued that cutting funding to Meals on Wheels is "probably one of the most compassionate things we can do."
• Held a nuclear strategy session in the public dining room of his Florida resort.
• Played golf twenty-three times
• Spent 25 days away from the White House in his first thirteen weeks of office (compared to George W. Bush–14 days; Barack Obama-4 days; and Bill Clinton-0 days)
• Replaced the White House website's page on climate change with a vow to drill for oil on federal lands.
• Reinstated the "Global Gag Rule," a policy that blocks federal funding to international nongovernmental organizations that provide abortions, services or information about them
• Jettisoned an Obama administration order to phase out the use of private prisons to hold federal inmates.
• Told congressional leaders at a private meeting that he only lost the popular vote because undocumented immigrants cast millions of ballots against him.
• Named his bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman — who thinks liberal Jews are "worse" than Nazi collaborators — as his pick for ambassador to Israel.
• Repealed the Stream Protection Rule, which prevents coal companies from dumping their waste products into rivers and other effluence
• Told a demonstrable lie about the size of the crowd at his inauguration — and threatened that the media would "pay a big price" for refusing to repeat it
• Tried to influence Britain into appointing Nigel Farage, a right-wing extremist and frequent Fox News guest, as its ambassador to the United States.
• Invited the manager of his blind trust onto a phone call with the president of Argentina. (The next day, the Trump Organization received the Argentine government's approval to move forward on its high-rise development in Buenos Aires.)
• Allowed his D.C. hotel to actively court the patronage of foreign diplomats.
• Took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consulting the State Department, and continues to urge world leaders to use his unsecured cell phone
• Deleted all references to climate change from the White House official website.
• Proposed a budget that would cut the EPA's budget by nearly a third
• Undermined transparency by not releasing visitor logs to the White House and shut down the Open.gov portal, which also makes information on public financial disclosures and White House staff
• Instructed the Interior Department to review dozens of national monuments to see if they could be scrapped or resized to allow better access for oil and gas drilling.
• Unveiled a tax plan which slashes the corporate income tax rate dramatically and eliminates the estate tax
• Imposed a gag order on the EPA on external communication, including press releases, blog posts, social media and content on the agency website.
• Froze a $10 million program to combat white supremacist movements
• Repealed the "blacklisting rule", which requires companies bidding for federal contracts to disclose labor law violations.
• Took credit for the fact that Ford will not be relocating a plant to Mexico (which they never had any intention of relocating to Mexico).
• Started to roll back the clean power plan by demanding a review to remove "regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production"
• Called for the approval of the controversial Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
• Vowed to "destroy the Johnson Amendment" which prohibits churches from engaging in politics at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status, blurring the line between church and state.
• Allowed debt collectors to charge usurious rates on past due student loans
• Suggested that Frederick Douglass is still alive in speech on Black History Month.
This is by no means a complete list. There are MANY more "bullet points" to be fired. I just got tired ... and depressed.
You can add your own.
It's only been a few months, and he has done such damage. I wonder how bad it will get.
Only 518 days until Election Day, 2018!!!
Until then, expect a blizzard of blunders, a storm of scandal, and a tsunami of tsuris.