(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
This week Donald Trump’s America was treated to the outrageous spectacle of toddlers – many not able to speak English – ‘representing’ themselves in immigration court after being taken away from their parents. There has been little progress in the family reunification process the administration was ordered to facilitate, and parents who have crossed the border illegally are now given two options: they can either leave the US immediately with their children, or they can leave immediately without their children, who then remain in US custody. It’s not much of a choice, and children are effectively held hostage to deny their parents the constitutional right to request asylum, adding a whole new dimension to Trump’s modern fascism. In other legal matters, for the first time Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, has given off a signal in a Good Morning America interview that he might be willing to flip, and his choice of Lenny Davis, a Clinton confidant, as his lawyer shows that he’ll go to war with Trump. In the meantime the president is busy picking a candidate for the Supreme Court from a list conservatives prepared for him. He demanded a record of ‘good academic writing,’ but added that he would not read it.
On the international front Trump sent a letter to NATO members demanding that they raise their defense budgets. Coming just before the annual NATO meeting most member states fear that Trump will produce a public scolding, just like he did at the G7 meeting, before he travels on to meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. The big question here is how much the president, who called Putin ‘fine’ at a rally last night, will give away this time. Estimates range from recognizing Crimea as Russian territory to lifting all sanctions or a combination of both. Trump intends to meet with Putin one-on-one, without even a note-taker, so that he can freely report about his efforts to destroy the western alliance. In this context it is relevant that the Senate Intelligence Committee published its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf, confirming the prior assessment of all US intelligence services. The report came out on the eve of the 4th of July, with minimal publicity because a delegation of only GOP senators – which is more than unusual – was just visiting the Kremlin. To save Trump’s ‘deal’ with Kim Jong-un Mike Pompeo had to race to North Korea after it became known that that country’s nuclear testing sites had been expanded, not demolished.
Trump thanked Justice Anthony Kennedy numerous times for resigning during his presidency, bestowing him with the ‘honor’ of selecting a replacement, but it turns out that there is more than honor at stake. Kennedy’s son was the Deutsche Bank officer who lent the Trump Organization over $1 billion of most likely Russian money that needed to be laundered, so chances are that when Robert Mueller is done Kennedy Jr. needs a presidential pardon in exchange for his father’s gesture.
One of the heroes of the most deplorable part of Trump’s base, Congressman Jim Jordan, may soon not longer be available as a Trump ally. It turns out that as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State Jordan had to know that a doctor was sexually assaulting team members but did nothing about it, which puts him in the same category as the late Joe Paterno at Penn State.
And after a year and a half of scandals EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, one of Trump’s favorites, was finally forced to resign. It will take away the good feeling the president had after he reversed Barack Obama’s regulations regarding the application of affirmative action at universities and colleges.
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