Of Mice and Men

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

After his racist attacks on ‘the Squad’ Trump stayed on track by attacking House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, whose largely minority district in Baltimore the president called ‘disgusting’ and ‘a rat and rodent infested mess,’ suggesting that human beings cannot live there.  The attack was partly motivated by the fact that Cummings had subpoenaed the government related emails Ivanka and Jared sent from private accounts, and partly caused by the racism that is in Trump’s genes.  When Cummings responded and Al Sharpton supported him the president played ‘I know you are, but what am I,’ calling both men racists and himself ‘the least racist person anywhere in the world.’  Soon after Trump’s attack articles started circulating about New York City Health Inspectors who once found Trump Tower, in particular its restaurant ‘the Grille,’ infested with mice and roaches.  Simultaneously it became known that Jared Kushner is acting as a slumlord in Cummings’s district, where he owns thousands of apartments and town houses, many of which are almost uninhabitable because of mold, bedbugs, leaks and rodents.

On the foreign policy front Trump defended Mitch McConnell, who was very upset after having been called ‘Moscow Mitch’ for his refusal to bring election security measures to the senate floor.  ‘McConnell knows even less than I know about Russia,’ asserted the president, ‘and I know nothing.’  After thus reassuring the nation Trump created new panic by appointing Congressman John Ratcliffe as successor to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.  Other than half a year on the House Intelligence Committee Ratcliffe has no experience in national security policy, but he distinguished himself in Trump’s eyes with a shameless attack on Robert Mueller, whose report he claimed in an interview had really been written by Hillary Clinton.  The appointee tried to embellish his resumé by revealing that he had prosecuted terrorists, but that turned out to be a blatant lie.  The DNI is supposed to be the least partisan official in DC, because he or she has to give the president the best possible information available, and by appointing an ultra-partisan candidate Trump would have seriously undermined national security, but Friday afternoon Ratcliffe’s nomination was withdrawn.

On Wednesday the president called Putin to offer American assistance in fighting wildfires in Siberia, about which he apparently cares more than about California.  It’s unclear what other issues were discussed, but it’s always possible that Trump begged for the pee-pee tape.  In a brilliant move he put Lindsey Graham in charge of negotiations with Iran, while simultaneously sanctioning Iran’s Foreign Secretary so that Graham has nobody to talk to.  Dealing a heavy blow to America’s standing in the world the totally unqualified Kelly Craft was confirmed as US Ambassador to the UN.

Next to the report about rodents and roaches an impressive list was published of gangsters and crooks who once owned or still own condos in Trump Tower, the crimes they were sentenced or are prosecuted for, and the number of years they spent or might yet spend in the slammer.  And at a signing ceremony for the funding of health care for 9/11 first responders Trump, who has been spotted exactly once at Ground Zero, came awfully close to presenting himself as a first responder.

At a rally in Cincinnati last night  Trump didn’t mention the Squad, to avoid ‘Send her back’ chants, but instead blasted ‘inner cities,’ a dogwhistle for minority neigborhoods.  He singled out Baltimore,  where according to him there are more homicides than in Afghanistan.   Next to the fact that it’s in his blood Trump is running a racist campaign because with the economy slowing down he has nothing else to run on..

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