September 28, 2017
This has been a week for the ages. Musical references straight out of the ‘70s (Graham, Cassidy, Elton John), public protests straight out of the ’60s, war with North Korea straight out of the ’50s, a senate nominee out of the ‘40s, and Trump’s approval rating still in the 30s.
We will start with the music/war with North Korea. As you know, President Trump used the name “Rocket Man” to describe North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (His formal title is Chairman of the Worker’s Party and Supreme Leader. Kim’s that is. Not Trump. No one has accused him of being a leader.) Kim responded by calling Trump a dotard, which caused Trump supporters to say, and we quote, “He’s such a looser. He can’t even spell or use libtard write.”
But this being the age of Trump, impending war with North Korea didn’t dominate the news cycle. The media were instead busy covering the devastation and despair caused by athletes kneeling while America was microwaving its nachos before the big game on Sunday. In case you have been living under a rock — or if you are Puerto Rican and are thus living under water…still — you know that the Colin Kaepernick kneeling-during-the-anthem controversy has captured the tiny attention span of our president, and thus the nation.
For extended coverage of the NFL/Anthem controversy, please click here.
Trump’s position on taking a knee has decidedly changed. As president he seems adamantly opposed to the idea of entertainers taking a knee to make a statement. As a reality TV host, he seemed quite enamored with the idea.
We have no idea why he wants to see this woman on her knees, but we don’t question or judge.
We should also note, in Trump’s defense, the woman did return to a later Trump franchise, “Celebrity Apprentice,” in 2016. And as a nod to the crude comment, we are told she did so under the pseudonym Vince Kneel.
While Trump’s position on kneeling has thus moved around a bit, in his defense, he has always loved the flag.
In fact, when he sees a beautiful flag, he’s automatically attracted to it. He starts kissing them. Like a magnet. He doesn’t even wait. Just kiss. And when you’re a president, they let you do it. You can do anything. He even grabs it by the pole.
As we alluded to earlier, a secondary story this week has been the near annihilation of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Katrina-esque response of the Trump administration. Trump himself was even a little self-critical of his response to Hurricane Maria, giving himself an A+ for his response to Houston’s Hurricane Harvey and Miami’s Hurricane Irma, but for Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria, he merely called his performance “terrific,” “amazing,” and “great.” He also added, for those who might have been unaware, that Puerto Rico “is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. And it’s a big ocean; it’s a very big ocean. You can’t just drive your trucks there from other states.” Unfortunately, this whole “truck” problem seems to have been Trump’s plan A for Puerto Rico. Plan B was to send relief flights, but unfortunately, Secretaries Mnuchin and Price had lunch dates, so all the planes were spoken for. Besides, Secretary Mnuchin was busy weighing in on the BIG issue of the day, rather than the possible demise of a territory.
The president has at times seemed inattentive to the plight of Puerto Ricans and preoccupied with the NFL protest controversy. It has been widely reported that the president tweeted about the NFL protests 24 times, while only tweeting about Puerto Rico 4 times.
When he finally did tweet about Puerto Rico, his tweet was devoid of what we experts like to call “information” or a “human fucking emotion.” Instead, his tweets were reprimands to Puerto Rico for inadequately addressing past financial crises.
Okay, we admit it…we made that one up. But we swear to you, we didn’t make these up:
Also missing from his response was Trump’s bragging about ties to the affected area (“Many people don’t know I own a winery in Charlottesville.”) In defense of Trump, he doesn’t own property in Puerto Rico. His golf course there went bankrupt. Further, Eric Trump says his father had very little to do with the failed course, he simply managed it — a response eerily reminiscent of the late Sean Spicer’s comments about Paul Manafort (R-Witness Protection).
So rather than admonish Puerto Rico for financial woes, he could have, you know…led. This actually is an area of expertise for Trump and one in which he has far greater experience than Puerto Rico — Trump has filed for bankruptcy six times, while Puerto Rico has done so only once. We are not saying that Trump’s business record is spottier than Steve Bannon’s face, we are simply saying that any honest book about Trump the businessman would have to begin with Chapter 11.
Trump pushed back at criticism that he wasn’t paying sufficient attention to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The president said he has been getting “terrific reviews” for his response. He also showed that he has vast knowledge of the issue, noting that Puerto Rico “is an Island. Surrounded by ocean. A big ocean. Really big.” He closed his remarks by saying “hey, Puerto Rico, see you next Tuesday.”
Speaking of see you next Tuesday types, this past Tuesday, longtime Trump sidedick Roger Stone testified before a closed hearing of the House “Intelligence” Committee.
Stone, who has been taunting the committee and accusing it of injecting politics into their political investigation, told the members that he has no ties to Russians — which should pretty much settle it. He tweeted this photo on the eve of his testifying, with the headline “preparing for my testimony.”
Stone’s testimony comes on the heels (as does Dick Morris, but we digress) of word that the FBI is now digging into tax records of former Stone colleague and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. That was not, however, the only intriguing and ironic story about Trump associates this week. We also learned that at least six of Trump’s top aides and top family members (the Ivana ones, not the Marla/Melania ones) used private emails to conduct official business. Yeah, we were going to write a joke here, but as the kids say, we can’t even.
In other political news, the “state” of Alabama held an election this week to select the Republican nominee for the United States Senate. A quick recap is in order here: President Trump nominated too-racist-to-be-a-judge Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III* to be Attorney General. That created an open seat. Philanderer and felony-committing governor Robert Bentley, who was being investigated by an aggressive (and tall — he is 5' 21") prosecutor/Attorney General named Luther Strange, nominated Luther Strange to end the investigation…err…fill the seat. Strange, who has been serving in the Senate to the pleasure of President Trump (a phrase we cringed while writing) since February, faced off in a special runoff election against twice-removed-from-office former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. To make a long story even longer, Trump campaigned for Strange, while Steve Bannon campaigned for Moore (delivering the message “a vote for Moore is a vote for Trump.”) During the penultimate rally of the campaign, Roy Moore pulled out a gun on stage. As such, he won. And thus will likely be the next Senator from Alabama because, well, it is Alabama.
That’s some good old country comfort. (And you thought we’d abandoned the Elton John theme!)
For those of you who are asking the question, “who is Roy Moore?” we can help. If you took the tact of Donald Trump, the intellect of the imaginary offspring of Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert, the attire of a cross between Liberace and Sheriff Woody, the compassion of Joe Arpaio, the charm and enlightened world view of Steve Bannon and the racism of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III, the thing that would plop out would be Republican Senate nominee, Roy Moore.
*We apologize to Attorney General Sessions. As we’ve written before, there are two things Sessions has zero tolerance for: being called racist, and people of color.
In other Senate news, Senator Bob Corker announced he will not be seeking re-election. You may know Senator Corker best as…oh, who are we kidding? You do not know Bob Corker. Like most Americans, when it comes to the Senate, you don’t know your Sasse from your Crapo.
Republicans also officially conceded defeat on the latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare this week. This was a rare event, as they hadn’t been defeated in this effort since last week, and prior to that, since the previous 62 tries.
Finally, this week we learned that in a series of wide-ranging interviews with Howard Stern in the ’90s, Donald Trump joked that, given the opportunity, he would have had Lady Di go to the back of his Lexus to get an HIV test. We also learned that he once eagerly grabbed the “sweaty and wet” hat tossed by Britney Spears at a concert in his casino back “when she was saying she was a virgin … and she was so cute.”
But don’t worry, being respectful even then, the president did confirm that he never pleasured himself to thoughts of Lady Di, whom he did confirm he “Could have nailed.”
And that’s the way the weak spent the week in a nation where misogyny had zero to do with the last election.
Note: For those of you wondering why we didn’t cover the firing of HHS Secretary “Doctor” Tom Price ostensibly for using private planes at great expense, but really because he failed to pass the world’s shittiest healthcare bill, it is because that hasn’t happened yet. His surprise firing won’t happen until later in the week.
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Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump: Captain Bombastic and The Brown Shirt Cowboy was originally published in Extra Newsfeed on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.