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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

There are a finite number of hours in every day, making time the most precious commodity of all. That’s especially true for someone stepping into the role of leading a world superpower. Donald Trump, the guy who won the election, has 1,000 projects he cares deeply about— and 1,001 projects if you also count the presidency. Trump has to find ways to divvy up his time, prioritizing some things and letting others fall by the wayside. There are frivolous issues and issues of national importance, and Trump must choose which ones get his attention. If there’s anything we’ve learned since the election, it’s that he will absolutely, positively, always choose wrong.

Here’s a quick post-election look at the things Trump does have time to do, versus the things he apparently does not.

1. Does have time to: Meet with business partners.

Trump, who is as busy as all our children will be once his administration scraps the child labor laws, is juggling a lot. Last month, he barely had time to meet with his business partners on this sweet Indian luxury apartment deal they’re putting together. Somehow he made it to that meeting, “which included discussions… about possible additional real estate deals,” according to one of Trump’s business partners.

2. Does not have time to: Explain how he will divest from his many conflicts of interest.

Trump has hundreds of foreign and domestic business interests that almost definitely present dangerous and unprecedented conflicts with America’s interests. He’s had 18 months to explain how he plans to extricate himself from his various business holdings, but he is a very important person—the importantest—and he just hasn’t been able to find the time. Finally, he tweeted last month that he would be “holding a major news conference… December 15” aimed at clearing that whole thing up.

3. Does have time to: Meet with Kanye—instead of clearing that whole thing up.

Three days before the press conference, Trump apparently realized he was too busy to explain how he plans to divest from his holdings, probably because he has absolutely no plan to do any such thing. Instead, he cancelled the media briefing, and had his press person issue a vague statement about moving it to sometime in January. On Tuesday, he did manage to locate the time to met with Kanye West, bringing the world’s two most gigantic fragile egos together for a publicity stunt that surprised everyone for a nanosecond before making total sense. The Trump inauguration outfit has reportedly been trying to barter ambassadorships in exchange for inauguration performances from very famous musicians, and Kanye fits the bill. Kanye later tweeted that he and Trump met to discuss “multicultural” issues, which means they stared into each others’ eyes and mouthed the word “diversity” to one another for an hour.

4. Does not have time to: Tweet at his racist supporters to stop committing hate crimes.

A Trump victory wasn’t just a win for the KKK, David Duke, new-skool white nationalists, and other racists, all of whom were vocal supporters of his campaign. They represented a small minority of Trump voters. No, it was also a triumph for wholly unaffiliated racists, who made up the entirety of the rest of Trump’s white voters. All their hateful post-election exuberance has come at the cost of marginalized peoples’ safety, with nearly 900 hate crimes committed against Muslims, people of color, LGBT folks, immigrants and other vulnerable populations in just the 10 days following the election (and plenty more since then). Asked directly about the crimes during an interview with 60 Minutes, Trump offered a tepid, “Stop it.” Apparently, outside of that moment, he has not found a single minute to tweet a more emphatic condemnation.

5. Does have time to: Tweet complaints about Broadway plays, the media, retweet teenagers, block people who criticize him.

But he’s been able to find hours upon hours to send more than 100 other tweets, though! Since the election, Trump has used Twitter to harass stage actors, whine about bad restaurant reviews, retweet high schoolers, disrupt longstanding bipartisan foreign policy, voice opposition to constitutional rights, spread conspiracy disinformation, whine about how the media drives him to write his stupid tweets, and tell lie after lie, just like every time he opens his mouth IRL. He also he blocks everyday citizens who hurt his feelings because he is the world’s most uncomplicated narcissist.

6. Does not have time to: Release his taxes.

Trump said he was going to release his income taxes back in 2014, when he went on an Irish television show and declared, “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely, and I would love to do that.” It’s so sad how secretly having a lot less money than you say you do, or being knee-deep in debt to the Russians, or not paying federal taxes for the last two decades has kept Trump from doing a thing he “would love to do” for all these years.

7. Does have time to: Watch every episode of Saturday Night Live.

Trump’s life is so hectic, it almost—almost—doesn’t leave him time to sit down every single Saturday night at 11:30pm sharp so he can catch SNL’s political cold open, featuring Alec Baldwin doing an impression of PEOTUS that Trump hates yet cannot bear to miss, feelings of arousal and anger simultaneously rising within him. Trump’s calendar is just a hair’s breadth away from being too crowded for him to get on Twitter before the episode is even over to hate-tweet at the show, enraged by its mockery and yet desperate for its negative attention.

8. Does not have time to: Explain Melania’s immigration violations.

Inconsistencies in Melania Trump’s immigration story, which officially holds that she followed the law to the letter when she arrived in the U.S. in the 1990s, have been covered by various outlets for months. In response, at a rally in South Carolina in August, Trump told an audience of supporters that Melania “has got it so documented” and that, to prove it, he would hold a “little news conference.” Unfortunately, both Trump and Melania got so slammed they didn’t have time for the press conference, and only had a moment to tweet out a letter written by the lawyer they keep on permanent retainer. (Here’s hoping that attorney invoices with regularity.) A November AP investigation found Melania took several early modeling jobs “before she had legal permission.” All of this would normally upset Trump supporters, who are notoriously xenophobic, but Melania is white so never mind.

9. Does have time to: Have useless revenge meetings with people out of spite.

Mitt Romney was very critical of Donald Trump during the campaign, saying he didn’t want to get behind “trickle-down racism,” and giving a speech in which he called Trump “a phony, a fraud” and lambasted his ideas as “flimsy” and “dangerous.” Then the election happened and Romney had a change of heart, for some reason. He was even reportedly being considered for the position of Secretary of State. Or maybe not. Roger Stone, a Trump adviser and longtime right-wing henchman who tweets stuff so racist even David Duke is impressed, now says the whole thing was just a big setup. “Donald Trump was interviewing Mitt Romney for Secretary of State in order to torture him,” Stone told (ugh) InfoWars. “To toy with him… Mitt Romney crossed a line.” The only souvenir from Trump and Romney’s peacemaking dinner is a photograph that captures the exact moment Romney’s soul exited his body.

10. Does not have time to: File and fight all those lawsuits he said he would.

During the pre-election period that was really just the start of our long national nightmare, Trump claimed he “never settles” lawsuits (lie). That’s why he planned to fight a fraud lawsuit against his failed university, which he maintained would be “an easy case to win.” After the election, Trump must have found that all his fighting time had dried up, and instead of heading to court decided to settle (like he almost always does). Trump did manage to scrape together the minutes to tweet, “The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!”

11. Does have time to: Attend a costume party at a big-money donor’s house.

Robert Mercer is a billionaire hedge funder who gave $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC run by his daughter, Rebekah, who also deserves credit for installing Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway on the team. Each year, the Mercers hold a very exclusive, lavish holiday party in Long Island, which Trump attended this year. The 2016 theme was “Heroes and Villains.” Trump stopped in for a few hours, wearing a super villain costume he made himself.

12. Does not have time to: Hold press conferences.

The last time Trump held a press conference was in July, when he graciously invited Russia to cyberattack Hillary Clinton and upset the democratic process. Since then he’s just been so swamped he hasn’t held a single press conference, a thing he and his team criticized Clinton for more than 70 times, not that hypocrisy means a damn thing to this administration.

13. Does have time to: Go on a ‘victory tour’ around the country.

Just after Trump’s win, the New York Times ran a feature that included this: “[Trump’s] aides say he has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that were a staple of his candidacy. He likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide, and his aides are discussing how they might accommodate his demand.” Staffers may have been concerned there wasn’t really much time for those rallies, considering Trump was so unprepared for his job Obama reportedly had to explain to him—this horrible orange nightmare who launched his political career by perpetuating a racist lie to undermine Obama’s presidency—what being president entails. But like he has so many times before, Trump cobbled together the hours and minutes, and is currently in the midst of needless “thank you” tour around the country. He found the time the same way anyone might—by doing a half-assed job at something else. In this case, leading the country.

14. Does not have time to: Attend daily intelligence briefings.

You do not have to make time for things you already know about, and Trump has said he already knows more than anyone else in the world about the U.S. military, ISIS and “the horror of nuclear.” This is why Trump doesn’t need to waste time with boring intelligence briefings every day—not when there are tweets to be sent and SNL to be rage-watched. Trump told Christopher Wallace recently that he doesn’t need to hear about the national security situation every day because he’s “like, a smart person.” Instead, his motto is, “Call me if something changes.” Which is just a really fantastic attitude for a president to have. Like, the best.

15. Does have time to: Executive-produce the reality TV show ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’

You might worry that with all he already has going on, Trump’s refusal to leave his position as executive producer of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” might compromise the quality of his work on other projects, like being the president that 60 million idiots voted for. That’s a groundless worry, because Kellyanne Conway says Trump will do his “Apprentice” stuff in his “spare time.” What’s also cool about this—aside from the image it broadcasts to the world—is that NBC is now in a joint money-making venture with a president its news bureau is supposed to scrutinize. What could go wrong? Aside from everything?

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

IMAGE: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a rally as part of their “USA Thank You Tour 2016” in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016 . REUTERS/William Philpott

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