Weatherman Donnie Sunshine Edition
APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
FiveThirtyEight Poll: 41.4% — up from 41.3% last week
Rasmussen Poll: 46% — down from 47% last week
Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all of the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines about the POTUS, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our outdated political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our Commander-in-Chief.
So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:
Whether He’s Right or Wrong
The week of our Trump — Aug. 31, 2019: Forecast: Pathetic with no chance of rain.
This could have been the forecast for the state of Alabama back on Aug. 28 when initial models were attempting to chart the path of killer Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. However, the cotton state has stayed in the news as our petty commander-in-chief insists he was right to report the hurricane would batter ‘Bama – It didn’t.
With winds between 185-mph to 220-mph, Hurricane Dorian has accounted for the deaths of at least 30 people and had obliterated at least Bahamian islands, including Great Abaco Island and Grand Bahama. At press time the storm had been downgraded to Category 1 after making landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The high winds and rain from the storm have finally blown out to sea after passing New York state and Massachusetts. However, while we cheered the exit of a killer storm, the president of the United States of America could not let it go.
Now six-days since the storm first began its path of destruction, President Donald Trump has chosen to not focus on coordinating efforts to help the islands, or rescue and humanitarian efforts. Instead our narcissist-in chief has chosen to focus on himself and how he was impacted by Dorian.
Initially angry that the storm might hit Puerto Rico like Maria did two years ago, Trump shifted his focus to those who were gleeful that the hurricane might damage the “southern White House” — Mar-a-Lago at Palm Beach, Fla.
The next day, he was giving out his own weather forecasts and believed the deadly storm would greatly impact Alabama, as well as parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The only problem was that his data was old and he had not tracked changes in the weather pattern. Once it made landfall, the storm destroyed parts of the Bahamas, but did not significantly impact Puerto Rico. It tracked along the East Coast to bring destruction to the Carolinas and parts of coastal Florida.
“In addition to Florida — South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
But for a president who can never be wrong, his erroneous Sept. 1 tweet showed weakness. The incorrect fact that predicted Alabama would be hit seemed to haunt him and touched off almost a week of bickering between the White House, the media and weather services that have outlasted the storm itself.
Trump’s incorrect tweet was followed by a clarifying tweet from the National Weather Service that immediately contradicted the president stating:
“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”
ABC-News’ reporting of the contradictory quote angered Trump, causing him to attack the reporter issuing the “the phony hurricane report.” He pointed to certain “original scenarios,” that predicted the storm would hit Alabama as proof he was only wrong due to bad early information. But he couldn’t leave it there.
Over the course of the next few days, the bickering over why he was wrong became its own story. Trump insisted he was not wrong because he was given the wrong information from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Advisories and County Emergency Management back on Aug. 28. He began pathetically pleading his case to Fox News and anyone who would listen.
Then on Sept. 3, the nation entered the “Sharpie-gate” portion of the absurdity as tweets and the repeated press conferences were called by the president. During one press conference in the Oval Office Trump went as far to present a copy of a hurricane tracking map that had been altered with his pen of choice, the Sharpie.
Trump said he had no idea who had drawn lines on the map to suggest Alabama would be hit, but Internet trolls unmercifully memed the president by changing images by scrawling over the original images with black ink.
Sadly, none of the press conferences focused on providing aid to the devastated or helping those being hit by the storm, but instead only on ways to try and legitimize the incorrect information on Alabama and who gave it to the president.
By Sept. 5, Trump had cited Aug. 27 reports from the National Hurricane Center; an Aug. 28 map from the South Florida Water Management District; an Aug. 30 tweet from the Alabama National Guard predicting the storm could hit the state. Even the Rear Adm. Peter Brown, a Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, was brought in to say he had briefed Trump “multiple times” about the hurricane and where it could have hit. His Sept. 1 briefing also erroneously included Alabama being hit by the storm.
The matter continued to spin toward insanity until yesterday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a statement from a spokesman stating that the information provided by the NOAA and the NHC dated Aug. 28–Sept. 2 he advised Trump that “tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama.”
It was unclear whether NOAA’s reversal would end the president’s tweet storm, even though Dorian was long gone and Alabama was not impacted.
Daughters of the Dust
The daughters of Donnie Dum Dum grabbed a piece of the limelight from their dimwitted Daddy’s meteorological dalliances this week when Tiffany got someone fired for fat-shaming her and White House aide Ivanka actually got off her rusty dusty and did something.
The dust-up began last week when President Daddy’s personal assistant Madeline Westerhout unexpectedly resigned her post on Aug. 30. A typical Trump staff departure, the “resignation” was reportedly a force out from The Donald after he caught wind of some comments allegedly made some unwelcomed remarks about Trump’s daughters.
Westerhout, 28, known as Trump’s gatekeeper, ran into trouble when she allegedly made comments to pool reporters no Aug. 17 while at dinner with reporters in New Jersey. Her comments suggested she believed she was closer to the president than both Tiffany, who is the daughter of second wife Marla Maples, and daughter/wife Ivanka, a senior aide.
According to published reports, Westerhout said the president avoided Tiffany because he thought she was overweight and didn’t like being photographed with his 25-year-old daughter. She also allegedly said the president probably could not pick Tiffany from a crowd.
A law school student at Georgetown University, Tiffany Trump, was raised by her mother following Maples’ very public split with the real estate mogul in the 1990s. A fixture on Trump’s re-election campaign, Tiffany is also rumored to have strained relations with Daddy.
During a presser outside the White House before leaving for Camp David, the president confirmed that Westerhout had reached out to him and acknowledged her exit was essentially automatic. Trump said the comments involved his children and were seen to be inappropriate:
“I don’t say ‘fire’ or ‘not fire.’ I really think she had a bad night, I think it was unfortunate, She said she was drinking.”
He went on to chastise the press as being “very dishonest” for publishing what were supposed to be off-the-record comments. “Still, you don’t say things like she said which were just a little bit hurtful to some people,” he said of his longtime aide.
Trump also later denied what was alleged by Westerhout, stating his daughter was “a great person” and that he loved her. He also noted he said he expected Westerhout to comply with “fully enforceable confidentiality agreement” and did not expect to have to bring legal action against the former aide.
Days later it was Ivanka who was making news by traveling to Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay from Sept. 3–6. Ivanka, an official adviser to the president, said the trip was held to further strengthen U.S. partnership in the region on women’s economic empowerment in support of White House’s Women Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.
Sporting a new, shorter haircut and some of her personal designer duds, Ivanka met with Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez and Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez of Colombia to launch her Academy of Women Entrepreneurs aimed at giving impoverished when practical skills to create businesses. She also visited migrant children on the border of Colombia and Venezuela in an ironic twist.
The next day, she moved on to a remote area of Argentina where she sampled pastries in the remote city of Jujuy before meeting with the Province Governor Gerardo Morales and Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie just in time for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a government finance body to award the country with $400 million for highway repair in the country.
The funds are expected to upgrade a 500-mile toll road that stretches from Buenos Aires to the border of Chile. Ivanka ended her South American jaunt with a visit to Paraguay.
Despite her presence on the trip, it was the first daughter’s wardrobe what seemed to catch the attention of the internet. Be it wearing a $1,600 light blue Proenza Schouler frock with red flowers or dancing with farmers in Paraguay while wearing flat shoes and a yellow floral print dress, it was her $1,600 outfit designed by Johanna Ortiz that did more than turn a few heads.
Described by some as “some sort of cabbage,” or a large “oversized succulent,” by others, the green, Ortiz dress, which was compromised by gusty conditions, caused the internet to churn out endless jokes about the president’s daughter.
Not to be outdone, President Trump’s boys took their place on the media stage this week when Eric Trump announced he would begin suing media outlets for a un-vetted MSNBC story and Don Jr. decided to give a speech to nobody.
Eric’s time in the sun arose out of a misstep from veteran MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell who was forced to retract a story about the president that suggested Russian ties to his finances with Deutsche Bank.
O’Donnell reported on Aug. 27 that an unchecked source told him the president’s funds with Deutsche Bank showed that Russian oligarchs had co-signed a loan application for Trump.
When Trump attorney Charles Harder challenged legal action the next day, O’Donnell retracted the story and stated it was an error in judgement to run the piece.
That same day, Eric Trump, who once boasted of endless financial resources in Russia, vowed the O’Donnell apology was not enough and that the Trump Organization would take legal action against MSNBC and O’Donnell for running the story:
“This was a reckless attempt to slander our family and smear a great company. Apologies are not enough when the true intent was solely to damage and cause harm. As a company, we will be taking legal action. This unethical behavior has to stop. @Lawrence @MSNBC.”
Finally, called the “saddest” rally on Aug. 29, Donald Trump Jr. headlined a rally for gubernatorial candidate Gov. Matt Bevin in Pikeville, Ky. And drew only a few hundred attendees. Held in Pike County, an area won by his father in 2016, the event attracted about 200 people to the Appalachian Wireless Arena, which can hold as many as 7,000 people.
As active a social media user as his old man, the event was curiously not trumpeted on Don Don’s Twitter feed — hmmm.