The Triumphal arch was built in 1840 by the architect I. Zauschevic to commemorate the victory of the Russian Empire over the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War (1828-1829.) It stands in front of the Nativity Cathedral in central Chisinau.
Week 22 has, by far, the most items related to Trump-Russia ties. This week, the word “probe” progressed to “scandal,” signaling an acceptance that some sort of collusion occurred. Trump continues his attempts to divert attention from this story by bombing and provocation without a strategy or plan. Two days of bombing have earned him his first two days of positive press. Meanwhile, as we approach the 100-day mark, Trump has accomplished little and his regime is in disarray.
Six weeks have passed since Trump’s tweet accusing Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. He has yet to offer any evidence or apologize.
As news about the Trump-Russia collusion in our election seeped out this week, Trump and Putin sought to display a deteriorating US-Russia relationship, with Trump saying relations were “at an all-time low.”
During the hiring freeze, thousands of positions remain vacant including more than 350 at the EPA alone. CNBCblamed the pace on “Trump’s close involvement” and “turf wars” in his inner circle and Cabinet.
ICE quietly detained 367 immigrants this week in raids across the country. ICE claims the raids are focused on “criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives” — advocates say this is not true.
1. Trump will keep his private security force while in office. This is unprecedented, and potentially dangerous.
2. Upon winning the Elector College, Trump’s first official statement was a lie (electoral landslide).
3. The FBI search warrant used to gain access to Huma’s computer was made public. Most legal experts agreed, no probable cause. Nate Silver released additional data showing major moves in final days in swing states to Trump, around the time of the Comey letter. Almost no media follow up on this story. No politicians either.
4. A Politico article claims Trump was browbeating fellow Republicans into silence, by targeting those who speak out via Breidbart and his tweets.
5. On air, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said, “The left wants power taken away from white establishment….”
6. A Jewish family in Lancaster, PA was targeted by Breitbart and Fox with a false claim that they were behind the cancelation of an elementary school Christmas play.
7. Teen Vogue reported Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, met with the head of Austria’s neo-Nazi party.
8. Not a single A list celebrity is willing to perform at Trump’s inauguration (at which he tweeted his anger). Several Rockettes, being made to perform, spoke out in protest.
9. Gingrich suggested Trump should pardon his advisors who break the law.
10. Gingrich, after saying Trump wouldn’t actually drain the swamp, was forced by Trump to publicly apologize, and say Trump would.
11. The Embassy of Kuwait cancelled their longstanding reservation to host their National Day celebration at Four Seasons, citing political pressure, and changed it to Trump’s Hotel in DC.
12. Trump met the CEO’s of Lockheed and Boeing, after tweeting false/negative information that caused more their stocks to crater.
13. A senior executive at Oracle resigned over that company’s CEO participation on Trump’s transition team.
14. Eric and Donald Jr. offered a $1 million hunting trip, which included access to their dad, via a Foundation. Upon calls of conflict of interest, and investigation into the Foundation, the offer was cancelled.
15. Trump’s team instructed the State Department to turn over a list of “gender-related staffing, programming, and funding.”
16. Trump tweeted a planned build up of our nuclear arms, reversing three decades of disarmament.
17. Days later, he and Putin shared admiring letter exchanges. Putin publicly castigated Hillary as a “sore loser,” and Trump agreed via a tweet. No US elected officials responded to either.
– the arts (comedy) — a tweet attacking Baldwin, and calling SNL “unwatchable.”
– corporate America — Trump sent a false tweet about the cost of Air Force One after Boeing’s CEO spoke out against starting a trade war with China. Boeing stock cratered.
– private citizens — Trump’s tweet at union leader Chuck Jones, after Jones spoke out on the Carrier deal, led to death threats against Jones.
– protest march — Trump tried to squash the Million Women March by changing permitting. A new location was found.
– Variety reported that Trump will continue in his role as Executive Producer of Celebrity Apprentice. 2 days later, Trump called it “fake news” and blamed CNN.
– NBC, host of Celebrity Apprentice, also had refused to release tapes of Trump rumored to be damaging during the election.
– WAPO reported on a CIA report which claimed Putin interfered in our election to help Trump win. Trump’s response amounted to defending Russia, and questioning the CIA’s capabilities.
– According to WAPO, Mitch McConnell had refused to allow the CIA report out before the election. McConnell’s wife was appointed by Trump to a cabinet position.
– The next day, Trump appointed Exxon CEO Tillerson as SoS. Tillerson has no experience with government or diplomacy, but has a close relationship with Putin.
– In responding to why he has availed himself of only 4 of 31 intelligence briefings, Trump responded, “I’m, like, a smart person.”
– Attacks against Muslim Americans were reported nationwide, including a Congresswoman in DC, and a teenager in New York.
– An Atlantic article titled, “Are Jews White,” drew a response by former KKK leader, David Duke.
– Trump is seeking ways to include both his daughter and son-in-law in his administration, despite laws to the contrary.
– Trump appointed 3 generals into leadership positions in his cabinet — a disturbing trend, indicative of authoritarian leadership.
– Trump appointed another Goldman Sachs executive into a major leadership role. GS stock is up 33% since election day, and composes 1/3 of the DJIA’s rise.
– Trump invited celebrity types on the environment — Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio — for well-promoted, reality-tv-like meetings at Trump Tower, while appointing an EPA head who doesn’t believe in climate change.
– The RNC will hold it’s holiday party at a Trump Hotel (and pay him for it). Several GOP appendages are doing the same.
– Trump continues to keep full ownership of his businesses, brushing off the need to explain conflicts of interest.
– Trump economic team is all men and all white. Five of the 13 are named Steven or Stephen.
– Mark Burnett will help Trump plan the inauguration, with a reality-tv type build-up.
– Rudy Giuliani “withdrew” his candidacy for a cabinet position, and the lawyer of “Woman in Gold” fame, filed under the FOIA for Giuliani’s connection to the FBI’s search warrant.
– Trump changed his iconic hat from, “Make America Great Again” to simply “USA.” Said hat is sold exclusively by Trump for $40.
– Trump put out his first policy related post on Facebook.
– Trump continues his Victory Tours in states he won.
– Trump, with the help of the GOP apparatus, shut down the recount efforts in MI, where he won by 10k votes out of 4.8 million cast, with many anomalies. Efforts to do the same in WI, failed. Efforts in PA also have led to recount efforts being stifled.
Please keep following this continuing ‘art as expression’ series. Up next: POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 6
It’s truly a frightening time. Democracy being blatantly dismantled right in front of us daily. Totalitarianism, Fascism…a Theocracy (start with a read of “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power,” a 2008 book by American journalist Jeff Sharlet) being created right before our eyes. Are we powerless?
Art is the heart of expression. Representing the disenfranchised, the voiceless:
This will be a continuing series highlighting the effect the American presidency is having on the world.