Previous “This Week in Trump” posts

President Trumpsimus 

Friday, September 6th, 2019

One of the least important bits of recent ridiculousness from the Trump administration has been Trump’s insistence that he didn’t make any mistake when he said Alabama would be hit by Hurricane Dorian. He did, and no amount of changing-an-F-to-an-A-with-a-Sharpie will change that.

There are far more consequential occurrences which deserve our attention, from inadvertently releasing previously classified information via a tweet, to sparring with the Federal Reserve, to ratcheting up a foolish trade war with China. These stories, and many others, are more important than “SharpieGate”. Still, this mess has at least given us all a chance to be amused by a dictionary engaging in some top-notch trolling.

Don’t Be Distracted

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Yesterday, a story broke that Donald Trump had spoken in front of a fake presidential seal while at the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit.

This seal featured multiple shots at Trump, included a two-headed eagle alluding to his shady Russian dealings, a set of golf clubs, and a wad of money. While it’s still not clear how this image wound up projected behind Trump (the hosts have blamed it on a now-former member of the A/V team), the creator of the logo is known. Washington Post caught up with Charles Leazott, a former Republican who’s tickled at how this all went down.

This story is certainly good for a moment of levity, but unfortunately, it’s taking attention away from a much more unsettling story out of the very same event. The actual content of the speech Trump gave is disturbing. In short, Trump falsely claimed that he can do whatever he wants as president.

Trump claimed, “Then I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.”

“But, I don’t even talk about that,” he added, “because they did a report and there was no obstruction.”

This is, in one word, wrong. The trouble is, the way a president is held accountable is via Congress. Without an independent legislative branch, the power of the American presidency really can go unchecked. That is proving disastrous for our democracy, and it’s the real story we should be watching.

Well, Someone Had to Be Manning Those Amperts 

Friday, July 5th, 2019

During his speech for the 4th of July, Donald Trump stated that the Continental Army “manned the amperts, ran the ramparts and took over the airports, it did everything it had to do”. As you can imagine, folks in Boston had more than a little bit of fun with this stupidity.

Top-Notch Trolling 

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

You likely saw the recent news that the White House had asked the Navy to hide an entire destroyer named for former Senator John McCain’s grandfather and father, as well as the senator himself. This was of course utterly pathetic and worthy of not, but because it was widely covered, I didn’t write about it here. However, the British have now made good use of this latest bit of wretchedness.

This is hardly a one-time thing. From the original Donald Trump baby balloon to the exterior of the Tower of London, it’s clear that the British excel at trolling or execrable 45th president.

Let Freedom Gas Spread! 

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Yesterday, the Department of Energy issued a press release which included the phrases “molecules of U.S. freedom” and “spreading freedom gas”. Slate has the story.

As one of my colleagues put it, spreading freedom gas sounds like what happens when you’re newly single and suddenly have the apartment to yourself.

Those who were paying attention in the early 2000s will surely remember “freedom fries”. Still, as ridiculous as that whole episode was, it was (to my knowledge) never part of an official government press release. Also, it didn’t lend itself to obvious fart jokes.

Previously in bizarre government press releases: Grog Build Wall. Build Wall Tall!

The Shameful Wastefulness of Vampire Facials

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Imagine trying to explain to someone that you got HIV from a “vampire facial”.

Two people have tested positive for HIV after receiving “vampire facials,” a treatment that involves injecting blood platelets into a person’s skin, from VIP Spa, a clinic in New Mexico.

The spa in Albequerque was actually shut down last year, following reports that a patient had received an “unspecified infection” shortly after getting a vampire facial. An investigation by the New Mexico Department of Health later discovered unsafe needle storage and handling practices at VIP Spa, thus increasing the risk of the transmission of blood-borne infections.

When I got past the ridiculous name for this treatment, my reaction to this story was simple disgust at just how vain and foolish humans can be. For at least two unfortunate people, the contraction of a life-threatening virus occurred because of one facility’s poor needle-handling practices, coupled with a procedure which shouldn’t even exist.

However, my disgust was soon joined by no small amount of outrage. Upon further reading, I learned that this idiotic procedure involves extracting blood from a customer, then running it through a centrifuge to extract platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Their dumb face is then poked repeatedly with very fine needles, after which the previously extracted PRP is smeared all over it. The logic, such as it is, is that blood platelets will help repair damaged skin cells.

The outrage here is that this is an obscene waste of time, money, and a precious bodily fluid. Every two weeks, I take a couple hours to donate platelets.1 The process is similar to the above, with my blood extracted and run through a centrifuge to pull out the platelets, then returned to me. The difference is that at the end of my donation, cancer patients, victims of traumatic injuries, and others in need are helped, and nothing is slathered all over my skin. Also, I usually get a bag of Sun Chips, a treat few spas carry.


A small celebration for my 300th platelet donation.
[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

These odious narcissists are going through nearly all the steps to do some good in the world, only to blow it all with a procedure backed by exactly no evidence. Thanks a lot, Kim Kardashian.


Footnotes:

  1. You can (probably) donate too! If you’re near Boston, donate at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. ↩︎

Also Worth Noting, He’s Currently Hurting Nearly Everyone

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Earlier this week, I read a New York Times piece on the small Florida town of Marianna, and how it was being affected by the on-going federal government shutdown. The story ended with this quote.

“I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”

The utter awfulness of that line has been stuck in my head ever since. The initial reaction to this should be obvious: The president of the United States doesn’t need to be hurting anyone. That’s not the job, and if you think it is, something is deeply, sickeningly wrong with you.

There’s a lot to unpack in that line. Perhaps the most striking aspect of it is the solidification that for some people, cruelty is the point of a Trump presidency. For some percentage of his supporters, making America great again expressly means inflicting pain on others, not as a byproduct but as a goal. That’s extremely disheartening.

I hope we can be better than this. I wish I knew how to get there.

But hey, I ought to at least try to provide a dark laugh about this whole thing, right? So, here’s a tweet from over three years ago that applies perfectly to this story:


Via Adrian Bott

Haha! Haha…ha…*sob*.

Rocketing Himself to the Absolute Top Spot on the “Naughty” List 

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

For Christmas, I got you a reminder that Donald Trump is terrible at seemingly everything:

In a Christmas Eve call, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Coleman whether the child still believes in Santa Claus.

“Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?” Trump asked Coleman.

I’m sure this child has done extensive polling, and also understands the word “marginal”, you complete and utter waste of atoms.

Grog Build Wall. Build Wall Tall! 

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

At this moment, the following is real content on the Department of Homeland Security’s website:

It’s a “news” release entitled “Walls Work”, and frankly, it’s just weird. Did the DHS get hacked? Did they recently hire a caveman copy editor? Is this the work of a disgruntled employee? Anything seems possible, including the idea that this is the average level of education in America now.

The Crushing Dumbness of Donald Trump 

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Elliot Hannon has nailed it. Donald Trump is the idiot star of a show that we all have to watch.