President Donald Trump (PDT) spent his first week as usual, diverting people’s attention from his destruction of the country by whining about media coverage of the crowds at his inauguration (much smaller than other inaugurations) and the majority of the popular vote for Hillary Clinton (lying about voter fraud). His MO is to keep people from noticing what he’s really doing.
To avoid falling into that trap, I’ve put together a few of his actions during his first week. You can sign up for continuing weekly summaries from Think Progress to keep posted on what PDT hides under his blustering, shallow complaints. Or as Bill Maher calls it, “The war on facts.”
An order to “ease the burdens” of the Affordable Care Act. This includes elimination of advertising that encourages people to enroll in health insurance before the cutoff date of January 31, this upcoming Tuesday. [Note: audio from the GOP meeting in Philadelphia show that congressional Republicans are terrified of losing the Affordable Care Act.]
A reinstatement of the “global gag rule.” Federal funding will be banned for all international organizations providing information to women regarding abortion services–just like in every other GOP administration.
Executive memoranda to move the stalled Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines forward. PDT has a good reason for expediting environmental checks to ignore pipeline problems: he owns stock in the companies building these pipelines.
Executive orders about immigration. PDT is threatening “sanctuary cities” with federal funding cuts and publishing a weekly list of undocumented immigrants committing crimes. He also plans to build additional detention centers and continue plans to “build the wall.” Because Mexico refuses to pay the $25 billion for the wall—despite promises from PDT—he promises to charge a 20-percent tariff on goods coming from Mexico, in essence making people in the United States pay for the wall through increased prices. PDT has a draft of his order stopping refugee resettlement and stopping travel from Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. These quickly prepared orders, spearheaded by senior policy advisory and chief strategist, white supremacist Steve Bannon—are most likely unenforceable and illegal.
Removal of the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP.
Doubling of initiation fees at the PDT-owned Mar-a-Lago and a tripling of PDT-branded hotels throughout the nation. Profits from these increased costs and expansion of hotels will go directly to PDT.
Elimination of a money-saving fee for new homeowners: PDT voided President Obama’s mortgage cost reduction, a .25 percent cut to federal mortgage insurance that would have saved first-time and lower-income home buyers about $500 a year.
Drone strikes in Yemen.
Promises to move the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If carried out, this action will likely stop any possibility of peace between Israel and Palestine.
Selection of John Gore for DOJ deputy assistant attorney general. In civil rights cases, Gore has only defended people accused of violating civil rights laws.
Declaration of a “war on the press.” Press Secretary Sean Spicer selected “reporters” from outlets that publish “alternative facts” (fake news) and PDT praise before mainstream outlets such as AP. Conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones claims his site Infowars was offered White House press credentials. White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon said that the media “should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut.” According to Bannon, the media’s role is to just “listen.”
Support for only two of 36 “Day One” promises from the campaign trail. PDT created a moratorium on new regulations and a federal hiring freeze, increasing costs and reducing transparency. His lie in this statement was that he wanted to stop the massive increases of federal hiring during the time of President Obama, an increase from 2.7 million to 2.8 million people. He has another 661 promises to go.
Continued nomination of Andy Puzder. His CKE Restaurants received 33 more legal complaints from workers on Thursday, including four allegations of sexual harassment, 22 complaints about wage and hour violations, and seven unfair labor practices charges.
A diverse cabinet. PDT promised that his cabinet would “absolutely” look like America, including at least one Hispanic person who is Hispanic. The billionaires he selected are mostly white and male.
Pay for play. PDT selected New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to serve as ambassador to the UK, contrary to his promise not to appoint political donors to negotiate with other countries.
Promotion of “alternative facts.” Kellyanne Conway, PDT’s counselor, introduced the term now commonly used for PDT’s lies.
“America First.” PDT’s isolationist statement during his inauguration supports the anti-Semitic organization opposing U.S. involvement in World War II.
Erasure of science. PDT put a freeze on all EPA grants and contracts; banned agencies from communicating with the public, including a social media blackout for the Department of Energy’s renewable energy team); and briefly banned the Department of Agriculture from publishing research until public outcry forced this ban to be overturned.
Crackdown on protesters. At least six journalists are facing felony charges resulting in at least ten years in prison if they are convicted after they were filming protesters at the inauguration. This is after a Trump supporter who shot a protester in the abdomen has been released without charges. GOP lawmakers in ten different states want to criminalize peaceful protests.
Targets on blue states. PDT has declared an investigation on “large states”—specifically California and New York—to find those three million undocumented immigrants who he claims voted illegally. (PDT must not consider Texas to be a “large state.”) Corrected for citing a Pew report that actually found no voter fraud, PDT accused the author of “groveling” instead of admitting he was wrong.
Control of Voice of America broadcasts: PDT can now use this State Department-run agency as his own personal propaganda network.
Martial law in Chicago. PDT’s “alternative facts” claim that the city is a place of “horrible carnage” and that two people were shot and killed there while the former president gave his farewell address on January 10. (Police stated that there were no fatal shootings on January 10 and no shootings at all during President Obama’s speech.)
Demands for more photos of Washington, D.C. from inauguration. PDT demanded new photos from the National Park Service director to give the idea that the crowd watching him matched his falsely inflated numbers.
Standing ovation at the CIA. PDT’s claim that he received a “standing ovation” from CIA members last Saturday meant that he didn’t understand they couldn’t sit down unless they had his permission.
Moving to reopen “black site” prisons. Because PDT believes that “torture … works,” he plans to have a place where this can happen—even after his new secretary of defense, James Mattis, got confirmed because he promised that the U.S. would not resort to torture.
Muzzling agencies. Agency employees were told to stop communicating with the public through news releases, official social media accounts, and correspondence.
Roll back fuel economy standards.
Blocking regulations. All regulations not formally published in the Federal Register have been frozen. These 62+ regs include a cancellation of sanctions against Burma and rules to give military spouses preferences in federal hiring, mistreatment of horses, and streamlining income tests for federally-subsidized housing. One that frequent fliers might find interesting is the withdrawal of a rule to inspect aircraft fuselages for cracks.”
Blocking Canadian border. Canadians were denied entrance to the U.S. because they honestly replied to the question of whether they were “pro-Trump or anti-Trump.”
Pillage countries for oil and other resources. The most frightening statement from last week is that U.S. will have another chance to keep the oil from Iraq. “To the victor belong the spoils,” PDT said. ISIL is now using his statement in recruitment videos, and military stationed in the Middle East are much less safe.
A recap of some of PDT’s lies in the past week.
PDT and other Republicans bitterly complained about President Obama “constantly” issuing executive orders “that are major power grabs of authority”—the tyrannical danger of the White House making policy without Congress. Tyranny has arrived.
It’s the end of the first week for the new president. Notable is that he is less popular than “Obamacare.”