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Trumped Up: The First Seven Days In Trumplandia

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Trumped Up: The First Seven Days In Trumplandia

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Trump, Allies

Does it feel like a coup to you, too?

Here in the eye of Donald, the police presence on corners, even in my peaceful Cathedral neighborhood, is slowing traffic and sounding sirens. President Obama was a peaceful neighbor, but as Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe wrote, that was another country.

We’re living in Donald Trump’s reality now. Let’s say it this way: If there were a coup to take over America, it would look like this. A glowering old man — who looks his age, 70 — seeks to silence and intimidate all sources of dissent and moves to consolidate power as quickly as he can.

Trump’s new freeze on hiring in the federal workforce, a highly educated sector, hit home here. (The military is exempted.) Taking down the latest news and findings on climate change on the Environmental Protection Agency website amounts to a blackout on planetary science. Just as if there were a five-alarm fire in their library, some EPA people are scurrying to save what has been published before going dark.

Organizing a Scientists March on Washington is underway.

At the State Department, four senior managers have resigned in protest. Maybe they don’t want to work for the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, a man who has zero government or diplomatic experience. Texas oilman Tillerson is not even Trump’s most egregious Cabinet pick. Trying to translate his nonsense, it’s clear Trump actively sought several people opposed to the mission of their agencies.

One federal worker whose job is secure is James Comey, the FBI director who hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the end with a fruitless email “investigation.” Trump says he’s going to keep him. They owe each other.

True to his Teutonic roots, Trump aggressively started up two huge pipeline projects, which were halted by the Obama White House after careful study, and then he announced building that wall along the Mexican border, all in a day.

It’s better that way, breakneck speed, because bewildered opponents are lost in a blizzard of executive orders and cabinet appointments. Do you think this president lost a wink of sleep over the predicted environmental damage or the land theft from American Indians at Standing Rock?

As for investing billions in a wall: He had a promise to keep.

Authoritarians love walls. That will be his scrawl across America. It will make an enemy of our neighbor, Mexico, but who cares? That may be his foreign policy in a nutshell.

One week in, we saw this president hates to lose by numbers and ratings. Living in a fact-free zone, he thinks by saying stuff he can make it so — to wit, that his inaugural attracted more people than Obama’s joyous first inaugural and the mass uprising, the Women’s March on Washington, the next day.

Wrong on both counts, but he still had spokesman Sean Spicer, his young doppelgänger, pushing falsehoods — excuse me, Kellyanne Conway, “alternative facts” — without taking a question. Rough seas from the start on the press front.

White House correspondents are concerned at this ranting debut and other early signals. “There’s a lot that he (Trump) doesn’t know,” said Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents Association. The press are braced for trouble, perhaps being thrown out of their precious small space in the complex.

And first impressions count. They foretell. Trump’s first inaugural address was a pedestrian piece of work that insulted all the past presidents sitting right there. It was astonishing.

Trump also repeated a false claim to visiting congressional leaders — that three to five million people voted illegally. That’s the margin by which he lost the popular vote to Clinton. Let him eat his heart out, but did any of the leaders speak out to correct him? That’s not clear from the record. Again, if he says so, it makes it so.

In Harper’s Bazaar, Madonna noted the entertainment industry is feeling silenced along with government: “Nobody takes a political stance or expresses an opinion.” She spoke at the Women’s March.

City sophisticates who think watching Saturday Night Live is a form of protest are being jolted out of that slumber.

In our new reality, the truth is what Trump says it is.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he holds a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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28 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila January 28, 2017

    I witnessed similar authoritarian behavior during my 30 years overseas. I never thought I would see it in the USA. Arrogance, narcissism, prejudice, vulgarity, ignorance, and fear influenced by insecurity, have become the norm, and it is getting worse by the day. I already feel sorry for whomever has to put the pieces back together four years from now, and is blamed for the mess he/she is going to inherit.

    Reply
    1. Rhodawmax January 28, 2017

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    2. Independent1 January 28, 2017

      Dominick, here’s an article with a good assessment of what drives Trump’s incessant lies.

      Has Donald Trump been caught lying?

      https://www.quora.com/Has-Donald-Trump-been-caught-lying/answer/Andrew-Gumperz?srid=zS4X

      1. Jan123456 January 28, 2017

        Really good article. Puts into words what a lot of people can’t. Going to save that one..

      2. Dominick Vila January 28, 2017

        Excellent analysis of what drives Trump’s rhetoric, especially his contradictory statements. Thank you!

  2. Godzilla January 28, 2017

    Trump has accomplished more in 7 days than Obama has in 8 years. Of course, this article has twisted a few facts and outright lied, which is typical of Liberal Journalist’s. They can’t brainwash the readers with facts, so outright LIES work well for them, especially considering the weak minded dolts that believe the nonsense.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 January 28, 2017

      I’ll agree, he’s accomplished more in moving America backwards to the early 1900s; and in further inalienating foreign governments and even more Americans by signing more BS EOs (Executive Orders) which will waste billions of dollars than any previous president in American history!!

      1. Dominick Vila January 29, 2017

        One of the greatest ironies associated with building the Keystone pipeline is the fact that his EO was signed about a week after China announced a $32B investment in alternative energies that is expected to created about 12 million jobs in China, and is likely to promote exports as well. While we seem determined to move back to fossil fuels, the rest of the world is well on its way to solar, wind, hydro-thermal and other non-polluting energy sources that have the added benefit of creating a new industry and good paying jobs. Fear not, the neanderthals will blame a boogeyman when they finally realize we stand alone in the list of polluters, and fall behind other industrialized nations in what is shaping up to be a major industrial export.

        1. Independent1 January 29, 2017

          Absolutely, and it’s not just energy, it’s also America’s infrastructure and mass transit. The GOP’s resistance to spending money on infrastructure has let America fall dramatically behind other similar countries in high speed rail. We’ve been recently watching travel videos from Europe recently and have been amazed at how efficiently Europeans get around from city to city and country to country primarily using trains of all sorts and have actually turned many of their cities into virtually being autoless; cities where only certain types of vehicles are allowed which are otherwise nothing more than large shopping malls which only allow pedestrians.

          And something I really wasn’t that aware of, is that Europe is actually a much larger overall economy than America with 200 million more people; so if Trump and his GOP handlers choose to isolate themselves from the rest of the world’s economic markets, businesses in America could well suffer mightily. The economies of Europe, China and India can considerably outpace the American economy and leave America isolated from the rest of the world.

          1. Dominick Vila January 29, 2017

            I watched British and Spanish TV almost every day. In part because I love football (soccer), but also because I enjoy their news broadcasts better than ours. A couple of years ago I learned that Spain was awarded a rail contract to connect Riyadh to Mecca. The contract included bullet trains, with plush royal cars. Another area where we are being left behind is in development and marketing of solar and wind energy at affordable prices.
            Our political fragmentation, or partisanship, as well as our insistence on preserving our dependence on fossil fuels, apparently to maximize short term profits at the expense of long term goals, is doing tremendous damage to our ability to compete and get greater market share. Investment in infrastructure should include modernizing our ports and airports, replacing our antiquated, and dangerous, potable water supply system, making our power grid more efficient, taking steps to protect our resources from cyber attacks, and many other things.

          2. Independent1 January 29, 2017

            I couldn’t agree more. Had Republicans not stymied development of high-speed rail the past couple decades; it could be American companies installing bullet trains around the world. I read an article recently about Amtrak looking to “upgrade” their trains to ones that will go over 200mph; China has trains already that exceed 300mph. We’re even falling behind on the technology of futuristic developments like high-speed rail. So Amtrak’s “upgrade” is already outdated.

        2. FireBaron January 29, 2017

          The real sad thing about Keystone, Dom, is 100% of that Canadian crude oil is slated for delivery to the Gulf Coast for shipment to overseas markets.
          And why was this build in the US to deliver Canadian oil, instead of in Canada? Because the Premiers of the provinces it would have to travel through banned it due to the operating history of the pipeline company, with their regular spills and contaminations.

          1. Dominick Vila January 30, 2017

            That’s exactly right. The only thing I can add is that the government of Canada, including all its provinces, enjoyed the full support of the Canadian people, who refuse to allow anyone to destroy their environment, and the country they love, for a few more silver coins in the coffers of billionaires.

    2. Independent1 January 28, 2017

      And Trump’s not even authoring his EOs; it’s Steven Bannon with idiot help:

      Ex-Breitbart Alt-Nazi promoter Steve Bannon is author of Trump’s executive orders

      GOP lawmakers complained they weren’t sure whether some of Trump’s executive orders, including his action to start the repeal of Obamacare, might conflict with existing laws because they hadn’t reviewed them.

      Others have pointed out that Trump’s executive order on immigration includes only vague language on where funding would come from and does not consider the role of Congress in approving those payments.

      Besides the problem of “looking like your getting things done” when you’re really just spinning your wheels with impractical and unworkable ideas we basically have a rank amateur adviser writing executive orders for a rank amateur President. Wonderful.

      http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/27/1625663/-Ex-Breitbart-Alt-Nazi-promoter-Steve-Bannon-is-author-of-Trump-s-executive-orders?detail=email&link_id=6&can_id=a411792ec3538dd9b3c310bcf6fda8aa&source=email-rachel-maddow-just-nailed-it-russia-is-guilty&email_referrer=rachel-maddow-just-nailed-it-russia-is-guilty&email_subject=rachel-maddow-just-nailed-it-russia-is-guilty

      1. TZToronto January 29, 2017

        Of course Brannon is writing them, with the help of people who are actually aware of the details of existing laws (e.g., Section 6 of this law, Section 2a of that law, etc.). Trump has no idea of what he’s signing other than what he’s told. “This will keep the Muslims out while protecting your properties in Muslim countries. “This will get the wall started.” “This will make money for your pipeline investments.” Trump: “I don’t need to know unless I’m going to lose money or The Boss is gonna get mad at me.”

        1. Independent1 January 29, 2017

          The DailyKos article I read implied that the people helping Bannon write Trump’s EO’s are not even familiar with all the ramifications/implications of the EO’s they’re writing (they’re not taking the time to check with the government agencies that will be impacted by the EOs); resulting in most of Trump’s EO’s in some cases actually violating laws and creating hazardous situations even putting people’s lives in danger(see the DailyKos article link if haven’t already.)

          1. TZToronto January 29, 2017

            This is the problem with fascists. They look for the shortest route to what they want to accomplish, even if it means breaking the law or hurting many people along the way. I suspect that even a conservative Supreme Court with their new “strict constructionist” justice, if Trump can get him past the Senate (and it will be a him), will recognize the un-Constitutionality of most of what Trump has ordered–and he probably thinks he has made law by issuing his EOs. All he’s doing is, he thinks (he doesn’t actually know this), activating provisions in existing laws to accomplish his (Bannon’s) stupid agenda. However, his application of these provisions likely violates Constitutional guarantees, and the Constitution supercedes what Bannon wants.

      2. Dominick Vila January 29, 2017

        The immigration EO, like Trump’s endorsement of torture (he finally backed off and laid that hot potato on the lap of his new DoD Secretary, the elimination of environmental protections, and authorizing the construction of the Keystone pipeline, regardless of how much damage it does to our environment and Native American rights, are going to backfire politically, and may turn out to be a boost for Democrats. The best thing that could happen to us, politically speaking, is Trump over reaching and pursuing things that most Americans don’t want.

        1. CPAinNewYork January 30, 2017

          I’d like to agree with you, but it seems to me that the Democratic Party is in such disarray that it’s totally ineffective.

          1. Dominick Vila January 30, 2017

            I agree. That’s why the future of what is left of the Democratic party depends more on Trump, and Republicans in Congress over reaching, than whatever little the Dems in Congress say or do.

    3. Independent1 January 28, 2017

      And just as an example, is this what you call accomplishments??

      From Human Rights Watch:

      Fact #1: Two days after some 5 million people marched demanding respect for women’s rights across the globe, Trump signed an executive order that
      will threaten women’s lives.

      The “Global Gag Rule” prohibits international aid to groups that in any way
      engage with abortion. It will restrict women’s choices and censor critical health options in clinics worldwide. This destructive policy will contribute to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and more women dying around the world.

      Fact #2: Trump signed executive orders on immigration and border policy that
      could severely harm millions of immigrants and US citizens.

      These actions not only put in motion the construction of a proposed border
      wall extension between the US and Mexico, but set the stage for the expansion of abusive fast-track deportation procedures and overly-broad enforcement laws that could terrorize communities and break families apart.

      Fact #3: Just yesterday, Trump approved an executive order to temporarily
      ban nationals of some Muslim-majority countries from entering the US that could intensify xenophobia.not only will the executive order heighten discrimination against affected communities and fail to address national security threats, but Trump’s plan is sure to alienate US allies and wrongly send a message to autocratic regimes that policies like this are acceptable. They are not.

      1. Dominick Vila January 28, 2017

        Interestingly, people from the Muslim countries he targeted never attacked the USA, while people from the countries he considers allies have. For example, 16 of the 19 people that carried out the 9/11 attack were from Saudi Arabia, one from Egypt, one from the UAE, and one from Yemen. Saudi Arabians and Egyptians are welcome! The ancestry of the woman that carried out the attack in San Bernardino was from Pakistan. Pakistani’s are welcome!
        Another faux pas was his endorsement of torture. When someone got through to him he left the final decision in the hands of the DoD Secretary, who is on record as opposing torture, making the latter the Oliver North of the 21st century!

        1. Independent1 January 28, 2017

          I saw one article that mentioned Trump didn’t include any Muslim countries in his banned countries list where he has business dealings; just a little bit of conflict of interest going on.

    4. OK thanks for the neo-Nazi perspective, traitor.
      We’re going to turn the South into parking lots.

    5. Also you misspelled Putin as Trump, for some reason. Trump is the First Lady’s name.

    6. Lastly, Obama halved unemployment, killed bin Laden, won the Nobel Peace Prize, slashed the deficit, and stopped several wars.

      Trump, so far, has not actually achieved anything (except having some US intelligence assets arrested and killed by the Russians).

      1. Dominick Vila January 29, 2017

        I hate to disagree with you, but I have to. In just one week Trump managed to discredit our intelligence agencies, endorsed torture only to back off when Theresa May told him in unambiguous terms that she disagreed, created a crisis with Mexico, provided a recruiting tool to ISIS, endangered our environment by cancelling environmental regulations, angered China to the point that the ever cautious Chinese began to talk about war, backed off the TPP opening the door for China to start direct economic and trade negotiations with all the remaining TPP participants, and the list goes on. To the best of my knowledge, no former Administration, Republican or Democrat, never managed to create so many crises, and angered to many people as Trump’s “accomplishments” managed to do in just one week. Can you imagine what he may accomplish in 4 years? Please excuse the sarcasm. I couldn’t resist.

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