What Fresh Hell Awaits Us?

By Susan Kuebler

Today marks the 10th day of the Trump Administration, although “administration” seems like an oxymoron in this case. It has been more like, in the words of William Shakespeare “A tale told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  If their intention was to demonstrate that nobody in the White House has a clue as to what is going on, with the exception of Steve Bannon, then they are exceeding expectations. The buses are lining up on Pennsylvania Avenue, in anticipation of which person is going to be thrown under one of them next.

Take, for example, the White House statement on the Holocaust Memorial Day.  Not only did it omit any reference to the 6 million Jews who perished, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus doubled down by admitting this omission was intentional because a lot of other people died as well.  For those unfamiliar with its Biblical connotations, a holocaust as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a sacrifice consumed by fire” and originally used to describe the large sacrifice of animals in the Temple in Jerusalem. You simply cannot divorce the Jews from the Holocaust.

Then, to add insult to injury, on this same solemn day, Trump signed an Executive Order severely restricting immigration from war-torn countries.  Not only was the EO poorly conceived and reviewed, its implementation was chaotic and disastrous. The Secretary of Homeland Security was flying back to Washington reviewing the order, when one of his aides, watching a television, told him the President was signing the order at that very moment. The White House, specifically Steve Bannon, overriding legal interpretations, ruled that these restrictions also applied to legal residents of the United States hold green cards.

Despite White House protestations that this was not a “ban against Muslims” Trump advisor and confidant Rudy Guiliani admitted on national television that he had been asked specifically how to legally implement a ban against Muslims.  That this was indeed a “ban” President Trump took to Twitter this morning referring to it as a ban to keep the “bad dudes” out of America and that it has to be implemented immediately for security reasons.  It is now obvious that our president is not familiar with the process of obtaining a visa for entry into our country.

Spontaneous demonstrations against this order broke out in airports around the country.  Not just the “coastal elites” but in Birmingham, Alabama and Boise, Idaho.  Attorneys for the ACLU were quickly able to obtain stays of the EO from multiple federal judges across the country.  There have been conflicting, and as yet, unsubstantiated reports that the Customs and Borders Department refused in some cases to honor this stay.  If they did, and if this was at the direction of the Trump administration, this could present the first constitutional crisis of Trump’s presidency.  But there is no clear evidence yet that this occurred.

Condemnation of this move by Trump resounded around the world as well.  Theresa May, prime minister of the United Kingdom, the first minister of Scotland, and Angela Merkel, leader of Germany all condemned the move.  In Great Britain, a petition calling for May’s invitation to Trump be downgraded from an official state visit to just a visiting head of state received over one million signatures in a little over a day.  The reason given was that it would “embarrass Her Majesty, The Queen.”

An additional Executive Order completely restructured the National Security Council, elevating a political appointee with no Senate vetting, to a premier position, while removing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from permanent to ad hoc roles.  Many experts in the field of national security expressed their concern, including Rep. Rick Larsen, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, who said on Sunday in regard to the removal of the JCS “I can only tell you this is a “Holy Crap” moment.”

Angela Merkel, in her telephone conversation with Trump, had to explain the Geneva Convention to him.

The Pope said, “You cannot reject refugees and call yourself a Christian.”

Kellyann Conway, in two separate interviews this week, invented the concept of “alternative facts” to explain the administration’s demonstrable lies, and lamented that no one had been fired for reporting negatively on Trump.

Donald Trump accused John McCain and Lindsey Graham of wanting to start World War III because they opposed him on immigration.

According to a poll conducted by Gallup, Trump broke the record in achieving a majority disapproval rating (51%) of his presidency in just 8 days.  The previous record had been held by Bill Clinton at 573 days.

The second full week of Trump’s administration begins today.  He has promised to announce his choice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.  There will be, no doubt, additional executive orders, and even more tweets.

What fresh hell awaits us?  I can’t even……………..

But I will not give up the fight. I will not let outrage overload overcome me. We must all continue to speak up, stand up, and shout out for what is right.

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