An A+ President?

Today is a rare “catch up/clean up article” on a Wednesday; to compound that I am writing it on Monday morning. All this is being done because of Thanksgiving. Even with the hastened writing and posting I will not suffer from lack of material. Let’s explore.  

Sunday Fox News broadcast an interview President Trump did with their only real journalist, Chris Wallace, during which the President rated his performance when judged by the likes of Washington, Lincoln and FDR as an A+. In fact Trump was looking to see if he could come up with a higher rating. It will come as no surprise to my readers that I disagree with Trump. In fact if we graded on the curve he would be with presidents like Buchanan, Grant and Nixon in “F” territory.

Wildfires have been ravaging California where the climbing death toll is far from resolved and the missing now number in four figures. Trump continues to blame most of the disasters (there are multiple fires) on too many trees and leaves. He has made a major point of the need to rake the leaves. Until recently I lived on a property where my modest house was in the middle of a little over an acre (a park to a big city boy) much of which was wooded. Clearing the leaves on the 1/3 that was cleared was a major chore. It was also one that went on for weeks. Leaves don’t conveniently fall all at once, but over a time period. I wonder how many leaves Trump has raked on his various properties. No I don’t. I am willing to bet that most of those leaves are cleared by people not born in America; you know the people Trump wants to build a wall to keep out.

In yet another case of having the fox watch the hen house, last week Trump announced that he was going to nominate Acting EPA Director Andrew Wheeler to the Senate as the permanent EPA Director. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the coal industry. Am I the only one who sees a problem with that? Coal is anything but the future of America and Trump bragging about it making a huge comeback is simply malarkey.

I’m not predicting it, (yet anyway), but I wouldn’t be shocked if Trump ended up nominating Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to permanently hold that post. Trump thinks he has royal, not presidential powers.

I don’t often write about First Lady Melania Trump mainly because I think she is largely irrelevant and I’d like to pretend she simply doesn’t exist. Last week it appears she got the number two person in national security fired. Within 48 hours of an official statement on behalf of the third Mrs. Trump’s staff stating that she didn’t believe Mira Ricardel deserved the honor of working in the White House Ricardel was gone. Ricardel was offered the “alternate position” of Ambassador to Estonia which she declined. This is not the first time in my memory that a trophy wife First Lady has gotten an official fired. Nancy Reagan famously facilitated the demise of then Chief-of-Staff Don Regan. By that measure Nancy Regan was much more successful; but then again nobody ever credibly questioned her immigration status on her way to citizenship and being the “anchor” for chain migration.

The Trump administration is still waging its battle against anything but the reinforcing press. CNN, joined by several other news organization interestingly including Fox, won the first court battle with Federal Judge Timothy J. Kelly issuing a 14 day injunction against the suspension of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House Press Pass. The latest news is that the White House intends to reinstate the suspension when the injunction expires. Judge Kelly’s ruling was based on the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process not the First Amendment’s protection of a free press. Stay tuned. This is far from over and promises to get more interesting.

FBI stats show that hate crimes rose 17% last year along with a 37% rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. We know the number is low for two reasons. Many police departments do not report hate crimes to the FBI in the first place. Many crimes that any reasonable person would label as right wing white supremacist domestic terrorism (which is almost the textbook definition of a hate crime) don’t get categorized that way.

Another example of (largely) right wing mythology triumphing over science comes to us from the western end of my home state of North Carolina. In an anti-vaccination stronghold in the Asheville area the worst chickenpox outbreak in decades is underway with three dozen cases reported as of last Friday at the Asheville Waldorf School alone. Over two-thirds of the students in this school have claimed religious exemptions from vaccination. This isolation by ideology is insufficient to protect the public at large and is a threat to public health.

Last Thursday Mitch McConnell filed for cloture on the nomination of Thomas Farr to the federal bench in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Trump nominated Farr in 2017 and again in 2018. Farr is flat out a voter suppressor, there is no other way to put it and be accurate. He cut his anti-black racist voter suppression with the 1990 Jesse Helms Senate campaign. He hasn’t altered his stances over the years; he was one of the main architects and defenders of the North Carolina Voter ID law that was declared unconstitutional and cited for targeting African-Americans, “With almost surgical precision.”

To all those on the right that are hiding behind mythical illegal in person voting with busses full of undocumented people let me put these numbers to you. In order to cast 30,000 illegal votes you would need over 428 busses with 70 people per bus. Can you imagine organizing, paying for, coordinating all that and remaining undetected? I can’t.

Mr. Trump, only a bunch of flunkies would believe you deserve an A+.

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