Taking It in the Trump: Everything the President Did This Week (March 19, 2017) - News | MERRY JANE
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Taking It in the Trump: Everything the President Did This Week (March 19, 2017)

As Trump's carousel of corruption starts to spin faster, the most vulnerable Americans will be the first thrown aside.

by Tyler Koslow

The photo pictured above was taken by Jim Bourg for Reuters 

As we slowly crawl out from under the second month of Donald Trump's reign (yeah, it's only been two months...), the country has been left with more questions than answers about the divisive Commander-in-Chief and his controversial administration. With an endless barrage of potential corruption and questionable moves to trudge through, it's almost impossible to figure out what's a distraction and what vital news could help lead to Trump's demise. MERRY JANE has been sludging through the shit on a weekly basis, aiming to bring you the most important headlines (along with some much-needed comic relief) regarding the spray-tanned demagogue and his cronies. Needless to say, our dirty laundry list has gotten longer and longer each week... 

(Wire) Tapping Away At The Truth

  • Last week, President Trump made a completely unfounded claim that Barack Obama had “wiretapped” the Trump Tower phones while he was still in the Oval Office. Since then, Trump’s cronies have been busy trying to clean up the mess, but have only served to prolong the ridiculous accusation.

  • For starters, the administration’s spokeswoman and queen of alternative facts Kellyanne Conway suggested that the former president may have used microwaves to spy on Trump. According to her, all us know that turning microwaves into spy cameras are apparently “a fact of modern life.”

  • As if the situation couldn’t get any more ridiculous, White House press secretary Sean Spicer went on to accuse the British intelligence agency of spying on Trump under Obama’s orders. The allegations were first echoed by Fox News media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano, and spoken as an undoubted fact by Spicer during a press conference. His remarks sparked a rare public response from the GCHQ, which is the largest and most active spy agency in Great Britain. The White House quickly backtracked on these charges, promising to the UK government and intelligence community that they would not repeat the wiretapping accusations again.   

  • However, the wiretapping fiasco isn’t fooling Al Franken, the Democratic Senator from Minnesota. During an interview with ABC News, the staunch Trump opponent expressed his belief that the entire controversy was purposely construed to distract the public from the ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.    

Trump’s Reprised Travel Ban Fails In Court (Again)

  • A few weeks ago, Trump signed another executive order to implement his previously failed immigration ban. While he attempted to legal-proof his revised version this time around, it took only two weeks until the judicial branch stopped his allegedly unconstitutional ban in its tracks. The first to dissent on the executive order was District Court Judge Derrick Watson, who presides in Honolulu. In a 43-page ruling, the federal judge claimed that the executive order failed to meet necessary legal requirements, and that his state had established "a strong likelihood of success" that the ban would promote religious discrimination. 

  • After finding out that his travel ban was once again running into legal trouble, Trump decided to galvanize himself with an echo chamber-like rally held in Nashville. After introducing the judicial decision as "the bad, the sad news,” the president went on to state that the legal precedent made America “look weak.” He then proceeded to attack Hillary Clinton for no logical reason, mobilizing his disgruntled supporters into his campaign’s hallmark “lock her up” chant. While the contents of his speech are already questionable enough, many are left wondering why the already victorious Commander-in-Chief is still holding campaign rallies in the first place.  

GOP Healthcare Proves to Leave the Most Vulnerable Out to Dry

  • Earlier this month, the Republican party’s highly secretive replacement plan for Obamacare was finally revealed, and it was more horrid than anyone could have imagined. While Trump tried to separate himself from the plan proposed by his colleagues, House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t let him off of the hook that easily. On Wednesday, Ryan claimed that Trump had helped co-write the proposal, which is filled with tax breaks for the rich and terrifying prospects for the elderly and poor.

  • Not only will the wealthiest Americans receive $157 billion in tax cuts under the GOP’s repeal act, it would also force major cuts to Medicaid, something that Trump repeatedly promised he wouldn’t do while he was on the campaign trail. The repeal act would effectively cut a whopping $880 billion from Medicaid over the next ten years.

  • Attempting to give the Republican-controlled Senate and House a taste of their own medicine (or rather, lack of medicine), one man from Oregon started a petition to strip Congress of their own health care subsidies. Started on Thursday via Change.org, the petition has already garnered well over 600,000 signatures. Sign it here!  

Trump’s Tax Faucet Starts To Leak

  • In what many hope to be the first little taste of Donald Trump's tax returns, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow got her hands on a two-page filing from 2005. While the tax return showcased a bit of the president’s baggage, some skeptics believe it was leaked by Trump himself in order to distract the media from more serious matters, such as his proposed budget cuts, the ongoing Russian investigation, the wretched Obamacare replacement, etc. Regardless of the source of Maddow’s information, the 12-year-old tax return has definitely left others with hope that more leaks could be well on their way.   

Trump’s Budget (Or, How I Tricked America Into Building the Wall)

  • It’s been almost two months since Trump was inaugurated into the Oval Office, but how his reign would truly impact the everyday American has been slightly unclear, until now. This past week, the president’s budget plan was unveiled, and unsurprisingly proved to leave the country’s most impoverished and vulnerable out to dry. Trump’s proposal would cut funding for programs dealing with environment, diplomacy, housing, health services, and the arts. The budget plan would reduce funding for a number of anti-poverty services, including the senior citizen food program Meals on Wheels.

  • While programs put in place to protect the poor and old have room for cutting in Trump's view, the proposed budget proved once and for all that it would be American taxpayers, not Mexico, who would be paying for his expensive border wall. His budget requests that $4.1 billion is given to help fund the construction of the wall, even though he repeatedly promised that Mexico would foot the bill. One supporter of Trump's increased border security plan, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, suggested that money seized from drug cartels should be used to fund the project.  

  • The president has also had no qualms about spending time at his Mar-a-Lago club at the expense of taxpayers. According to Thinkprogress, each trip down to his Florida residence costs around $3 million, and he’s already made four trips there since his inauguration. In addition, the president seems to have backtracked on the campaign pledge that he donate his presidential salary if elected. 

Sessions Claims Cannabis is “Only Slightly Less Awful” Than Heroin

  • It wouldn’t be a normal week in Trump’s America without an ignorant comment about marijuana from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. During a speech on Wednesday in front of law enforcement officers, the former Alabama Senator claimed that cannabis use is “only slightly less awful” than heroin addiction.

Donald Trump vs. The Doggfather 

  • This past week, the one and only Snoop Dogg dropped a politically charged visual with YouTube star Jesse Wellens for the track “Lavender.” The video depicts Trump as Clown-in-Chief Klump, who is held up at gunpoint by Snoop before he fires off a comic book “Bang.” Even though the president has an entire global superpower to run, he still found some time to login to Twitter (shocking, right?) and start beef with the West Coast legend.  

  • The hip-hop community had a lot to say about the beef between Trump and Snoop, but the best commentary by far came from Atlanta rapper TI, who came to the defense of The Doggfather and roasted Trump via Instragram:

Stirring Trouble Around the Globe

  • Ireland: The leader of Ireland is receiving global praise after throwing a not-so-subliminal jab at Trump during a joint press conference together. During the event, which took place on St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny indirectly bashed the president’s anti-immigration stance through a monologue about the actual St. Patrick. Meanwhile, Trump stood slightly humiliated in the background as the PM shared the story of Ireland’s most prized immigrant.  

“It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy. He too of course was an immigrant. And though he is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, for many people around the globe he’s also a symbol of — indeed the patron of — immigrants,” Kenny said.

  • Germany: During a meeting at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the press called for the two leaders to shake hands for a photo op. As Merkel turned with intrigue and asked the president if he’d like to shake hands, Trump ignored the request and kept his eyes set straight ahead. While the two seemed to agree on maintaining NATO, Merkel split from Trump when she defended Germany’s refugee intake as well as the strength of the European Union.

  • Russia: Meanwhile, the president’s alleged ties with Russia have continued to grow. A recent investigative report by Reuters discovered that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses purchased at least $98.4 million worth of Trump-branded property in South Florida alone. The findings contradict Trump’s attempt to downplay business ties with Russia, and raise further questions about his conflicts of interest. In the meantime, FBI director James Comey is expected to reveal whether his agency is investigating Trump’s connection to Russia by Wednesday.

  • At a recent rally in Michigan, Trump went off about how the United States is treated unfairly by other countries when it comes to trade. Clearly inspired by the bridges he’s been burning throughout the world, the president even went so far as to say “we don’t need friends abroad.”
     

I’m Loving It

  • It only seems right to end such a disheartening list with a bit of humour, especially if it involve Twitter and Trump. On Thursday, the official McDonald's Twitter let out a scornful refute of the current Commander-in-Chief. The tweet called Trump “a disgusting excuse of a President” and also made poked fun at his “tiny hands.” The shocking message remained posted for 20 minutes before McDonald’s Corp realized what their social media account stated and deleted it. They’ve since claimed that the account was hacked by an external source. But for imagination's sake, I like to think Ronald McDonald was sitting at a computer and snickering away as he called out Trump for millions to see.


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Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with an intensive focus on technology, music, pop culture, and of course, cannabis and its impending legalization.



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