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The

Drumpfster Fire

chronicles Week

8


The

Drumpfster Fire

chronicles Week

8

A Talbot‑‑Heindl Experience LLC Zine By: Chris Talbot‑‑Heindl


March

1 2017

reet Bharara was fired after refusing to resign as a US State attorney. While requests for resignations are common in a transition from one administration to another, they are usually done gradually, when their replacements are confirmed, and usually the president doesn’t call them directly, breaching protocol like he did with Bharara. Plus Drump and Bharara met in November 2016 when Drumpf told him he could stay on.

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recording of Republican Representative Mike Kelly was leaked that showed him accusing Obama of running a “shadow government.” He commented on Obama staying in DC until his daughter graduated, stating, “He is only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.” When reached for comment, his defense was that the comments were supposed to be private and to folks that were already frustrated about the “deep state” conspiracy.

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uring a town hall event in Texas, Republican Representative Joe Barton angered his constituency by saying that he opposed federal legislating protecting women from violence, because he considered it a state issue. A constituent stated, “Violence against women – that’s a national issue! That is an issue that impacts everyone, everywhere – not only in this country but everywhere. Representative Barton’s response, “You, sir, shut up.”

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March

12 2017

epublican Representative Tom Cotton, one of Drumpf allies, slammed the Congressional Budget Office ahead of its report on Drumpfcare (expected in the next couple of days), telling ABC, “The director of the CBO is not Moses. He doesn’t come down from the mountaintops with stone tablets…They can make mistakes...We don’t have to accept everything and ever conclusion at face value.”

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ick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget went on ABC to pre-emptively cast doubt on the CBO report as well. “I love the folks at the CBO. They work really hard. But sometimes we ask them to do stuff they’re not capable of doing. And estimating the impact of a bill of this size probably isn’t the best use of their time.”

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ealth and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told NBC also tried to discredit the CBO’s score before its release. He cited the fact that CBO estimated that 20 million people would have coverage 10 years after the start of ObamaCare. There’s no real way to tell, but currently there are 16 million people enrolled. But he claimed the #altfact, “It’s about half of that right now. So the CBO has been very adept in not providing appropriate coverage statistics.”

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irector of the White House National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, went on Fox News to discredit the CBO. “We will see what the score is, in fact in the past, the CBO score has really been meaningless. They’ve said that many more people will be insured than are actually insured.” Previous administrations have all considered the CBO as a neutral arbiter and have never discredited its findings.

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12 2017

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ouse Speaker Paul Ryan said on CBS that he couldn’t answer how many people would lose coverage under Drumpfcare, “It’s up to people…Because this isn’t a government mandate. This is not the government makes you buy what we say you should buy and therefore the government thinks you’re all going to buy it.”

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enate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain called for Drumpf to either prove his wiretapping claim or retract it in an interview on CNN. “I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute…If the allegation is left out there, it undermines the confidence the American people have in the entire way that the government does business.”

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epublican Congressman Steve King blatantly tweeted whitenationalist ideals supporting Dutch politician Geert Wilders who is Islamaphobic and anti-immigrant. He tweeted: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” King’s tweet was retweeted and praised by white supremacist and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.

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former State Department official who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents, R. Nicholas Burns, said that Drumpf’s transition was the slowest in decades. “It is a very, very big mistake. The world continues – it doesn’t respect transitions.” Drumpf keeps blaming Democrats for slowing down confirmations, but in truth, he hasn’t appointed crucial senior positions, a lot of which he considered “unnecessary.” There are currently more than 500 vital posts that carry out daily functions that he hasn’t bothered to fill, and his “loyalty test” has eliminated a lot of qualified candidates.

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nother white terrorist attacked a restaurant employee with a pipe in Salem, Oregon. Jason Kendall entered a restaurant because he thought a woman inside a Mediterranean restaurant was being held hostage because that’s “what Arabs do.” He told the woman she was free to leave. Then he started yelling at a “Saddam Hussein-looking guy” inside the restaurant, telling him to “Go back to your country, terrorist. Get out of America.” Other employees of the restaurant were able to get him to leave, but he returned with a pipe that he called “the horn of Gabriel” and started beating the man he said looked like Hussein.

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nother white terrorist in Florida attacked a convenience store, attempting to burn it down, because he thought the owners were Muslim (they were not, they were Indian) and he wanted to “run the Arabs out of our country.” The nonprofit group South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) found in a recent study that the incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric has been on the rise, and 95% of the incidents were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. “Notably President Trump was responsible for 21% of the xenophobic political rhetoric we tracked.”

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March

13 2017

he abrupt calls for resignations/firing of state prosecutors on Friday took its toll on Monday. The dismissals were done with no explanation and abruptly, without any thanks for service, which angered those left behind and also left offices grossly understaffed. Email chains were exchanged expressing condolences and support. One US attorney was out of the state on Friday and had to say goodbye to his office by email blast.

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he Congressional Budget Office’s report on Drumpfcare that Republicans spent the weekend debunking before it was released came out. It estimated that the number of uninsured Americans would be 14 million higher than expected under current law and that average premiums for those buying their own insurance would actually be 15-20% higher for 2018 and 2019, but after that, it would be lower than projected under Obamacare, around 10% lower by 2026.

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he CBO’s report on Drumpfcare went on to estimate that 52 million people would be uninsured in 2026, compared to 28 million projected under Obamacare, almost bringing it up to what it was before Obamacare. Medicaid would cover 14 million fewer due to the changes; with the repeal off the employer mandate, 7 million fewer would be covered by their employers. Drumpfcare would marginally lower costs for younger folks, but dramatically increase them for the elderly. The Republicans will get what they want, which is $337 billion savings in the next ten years.

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he report also analyzed the effect of defunding Planned Parenthood, finding it would result in thousands of additional births since it would leave many women without basic family planning services. It stated that excluding the women’s health organization from the Medicaid program for one year would affect low-income areas leaving 15% of people “without services that help women avert pregnancy.” The health centers provided 3 million contraceptive services in 2015.

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rumpf met with people he called “victims” of Obamacare in a political stunt to promote Drumpfcare. Drumpf continued with his #altfact go-to of triple digit increases in premiums. That happened in one state and was covered by tax credits – meaning the government picked up the tab for the increases. The Kaiser Family Foundation report stated that most people would see no change or even a slight reduction in all but two states.

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rumpf went on to say that Obamacare had very little impact on the number of insured, which is an unbelievable lie. The uninsured rate fell to 10.9% from 17.1% at the end of 2013. Independent analysis has determined it was due to Obamacare.

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rumpf then lied and stated that millions of Americans lost their health care under Obamacare, “when you start deduction those millions of people from the so-called people who are happy, you have a very small number of people that are happy.” Researchers at the Urban Institute estimated that 2.6 million people reported their plans were canceled for noncompliance. Half of those people were eligible for Medicaid or subsidized insurance plans. Fewer than one million people ended up with no insurance.

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ecretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price told the #altfact of people losing full time work and taking on multiple jobs as a result of Obamacare, “individuals who need to take three, four, five jobs.” While Obamacare required businesses with more than 50 employees to over health insurance to employees who work 30 hours or more per week, there are very few instances of a shift to part-time employment. It certainly wasn’t a widespread issue. And if it were, that would be the employers’ fault, not Obamacare.

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13 2017

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ecretary Price also made the #altfact claim that Medicaid was the reason for more coverage. “Well, in fact the number of individuals who actually got coverage through the exchange who didn’t have coverage before, or who weren’t eligible for Medicaid before is relatively small. So we’re turning things upside down completely for three or four or five million individuals.” The actual numbers are – out of the 20 million people who gained coverage, 11.2 million enrolled in Medicaid who weren’t previously eligible.

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ress Secretary Sean Spicer slammed Democrats during the introduction of his press briefing again. “Unfortunately, this afternoon, you’ll see some empty chairs around the table representing the President’s four nominees who have yet to be confirmed by the Senate…Senate Democrats have drawn out this entire process for way too long, and these key agencies and departments will not be represented at the President’s first Cabinet meeting.”

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fter both the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee requested evidence for Drumpf’s wiretapping claim from the Department of Justice, Press Secretary Sean Spicer finally didn’t let Drumpf’s tweet “speak for itself.” Instead, he stated that Drumpf didn’t mean that Obama tapped his phone personally. He explained there were quotes around “wiretapping,” so the tweet actually “spans a whole host of surveillance types of options.”

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ress Secretary Spicer then blamed the whole thing on The New York Times and other media saying, “It is interesting how many news outlets reported that this activity was taking place during the 2016 election cycle, and now are wondering where the proof is.” The thing is, The New York Times did not report on it, but farright conspiracy theory websites, like Infowars reported that they did.

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reporter followed up and asked if the President, once the investigation is over and the findings released, would feel an obligation to release some sort of statement. Secretary Spicer’s response was not to “presume what the outcome is going to be.”

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ress Secretary Spicer was asked if Drumpf donated his February paycheck like he promised. Spicer answered, “The President’s intention right now is to donate his salary at the end of the year.” He then joked that the press should decide where, to “avoid scrutiny.” The suggestion given was “The Correspondents Association Journalism scholarship.”

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13 2017

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n an attempt to get clarity, a reporter asked, “When can we trust the President when he says something is phony and when he says it’s real?” He mentioned the CBO reports and the job reports – reports Drumpf said was phony when it didn’t present him in a favorable light, but were real when it did. Press Secretary Spicer rambled on about numbers and when it was “phony” versus “real,” claiming, “That’s not a question of our credibility. It’s a question of theirs.” The reporter asked, “Can you say affirmatively that whenever the President says something, we can trust it to be real?” Spicer answered “If he’s not joking, of course.”

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allie, my new favorite press person, asked Press Secretary Spicer, “You said just a minute ago that ‘what the President meant when he tweeted about the wiretapping was’ – and you sort of explained it. But you’ve also stood at that podium and said the tweet speaks for itself. When do you decide when a President’s tweets, when his words are open to interpretation and when those words stand on their own?”

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nother press person asked Press Secretary Spicer point blank if Drumpf made a commitment to keep Preet Bharara. Spicer answered, “I don’t think it really matters,” to which the reporter responded, “It matters in ongoing investigations, and it also matters in the sense that the President made a commitment.”

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n an interview with USA Today, Drumpf aide and cosmic joke, Kellyanne Conway suggested that Obama could have used newfangled technology to wiretap Drumpf. “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other. You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets – any number of different ways…microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. So, we know that that’s just a fact of modern life.”

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ellyanne Conway appeared later on NBC, trying to claim that the media was using the wiretapping claims as a way of not talking about the big issues – like how horrible Obamacare is. Savannah Guthrie cut her off with, “The media did not bring up this topic. President Trump did.”

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outh Dakota lawmakers passed a bill that would keep LGBTQ people from adopting children or from allowing LGBTQ relatives of orphans to assume custody of children. The law was authored with the help of Catholic Social Services, a anti-gay religious adoption agency. Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard signed it into law. It allows any “child-placement agency” in the state including those that receive taxpayer money - to descriminate on the basis of “any sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction.” It also allows for the agencies to discriminate against single and divorced people, couples who engage in premarital sex, interfaith couples, amongst others.

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March

14 2017

epresentative Steve King was asked on CNN what he meant by his white nationalist tweet. When he refused to answer the question outright, Chris Cuomo asked him point blank if he thought that all Americans regardless of their religion or race were equal. King’s answer was, “They contribute differently to our culture and civilization. There are moderate Muslims that are equal to all these categories – “ Chris interrupted to state, “I said a Muslim-American.” He responded, “If they are similar, that’s what we want.”

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epublican Senator Lindsey Graham asked the Justice Department and the FBI to provide copies of any warrants or court orders related to the wiretapping allegation. When he didn’t receive anything, he said he might push for a special committee. “They’re about to screw up big time if they keep running to the intel committee and not answer that letter. If they don’t honor this request and give us an answer, then I would say that we need a joint select committee because regular order is not working.”

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ress Secretary Sean Spicer told his favorite anecdote in response to a straightforward question asking, “President Trump said that under his plan there will be insurance for everybody. How do you square that with the CBO numbers? And is that a promise he can really keep?” Spicer told his anecdote about how when Americans have no choices, they don’t really have insurance. It ain’t coverage – it’s a card. He then proceeded with #altfact numbers of the amount of people in with insurance. When asked what the White House then projects the numbers will be, Spicer tossed off the question saying it wasn’t something they did – they don’t do projections…He probably said that because the frickin’ CBO does them.

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reporter asked, “You keep pointing out that the CBO did not take into consideration phases two or three…in their scoring of the first phase of this. How are they supposed to take into account something that doesn’t yet exist?” Spicer blamed the press for not reporting properly on the fact that it’s a “three prong” effort.

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nother reporter pressed on how Drumpfcare will be rated if not by the White House or the CBO. “If you’re advocating for a plan that you say the President wants to cover everyone, how are you going to be able to assess whether you’ve been successful if you’re not going to project that yourself and CBO’s projections, you’re saying, are invalid?” Press Secretary Spicer answered it’s all about the choices. “Economics 101 and basic common sense that dictate that the more competition and the more choice that we institute in the system, the greater likelihood of more and more Americans getting healthcare is something that is easy.”

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14 2017

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rumpf’s first tax return was revealed. It showed that Drumpf paid $38 million in federal taxes in 2005 after reporting a $105 million write-off in business losses. $31 million was in the form of an “alternative minimum tax,” (AMT) a supplemental tax designed to cut down on filers with excessive deductions. A statement from the White House indicated that it is authentic, but Drumpf took to twitter to deny it: “Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!” It should be noted that Drumpf has called for eliminating the AMT so that he could make more deductions in the future.

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ours after being sworn in, Drumpf’s top official for Medicaid, Seema Verma, sent a letter to governors urging states to alter Medicaid by imposing insurance premiums, charging them for emergency room bills, and urging them to get jobs. Medicaid covers low-income people, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the disabled.

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March

15 2017

rumpf took to twitter early in the morning to take care of the important matter for Americans, Snoop Dogg’s new music video where Snoop aims a toy gun at a clown named Ronald Klump and pulls the trigger revealing glitter and a banner reading “Bang!” Drumpf’s tweet: “Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @ SnoopDogg, failing career and all, and aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!” I don’t care to imagine that, but I’m now imagining what the outcry would be if Obama had responded to every single perceived slight during his tenure as President…

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ffice of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney held a press briefing to preview Drumpf’s FY 2018 budget and could not answer a single question with specifics in a performance that made Press Secretary Spicer look like a professional. Most answers were, “I don’t have that document in front of me,” “I can’t remember that number off the top of my head,” or “I don’t have that yet. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.” And then, he asked the press what day of the week it was.

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reporter asked why there were so many significant cuts to the Housing and Urban Development office. Director Mulvaney responded, “One of the other things the President said was he was going to go after wasteful programs, duplicative programs, programs that simply don’t work. A lot of those are in HUD. We’ve spent a lot of money on Housing and Urban Development over the last decades without a lot to show for it.”

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nother reporter asked Director Mulvaney, “Where is the money for the wall coming from?” Director Mulvaney’s answer, “From the general treasury.”

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15 2017

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fter not answering and getting confused with other questions, Director Mulvaney abruptly ended the press briefing with “Look, I’m going to stop this, because, quite frankly, my mouth is dry and I need a glass of water – but I don’t want a Marco Rubio. But I’ll be coming back again to do this tomorrow.”

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epublicans egan to show signs of getting sick of being told that an investigation was being opened for all of Drump’s ridiculous evidence-free #altfact claims. They took to the airwaves and turned on him. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham went on NBC saying he might subpoena and hold up Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rodenstein’s nomination if he didn’t get proof one way or the other about the wiretapping allegations. “Congress is gonna flex its muscle here, and you see that all over the place.”

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ouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes openly stated, “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.” The former president has denied it, the former national intelligence director, the FBI director, the speaker of the House and the chairman of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have all denied it.

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rumpf went on Fox News to defend himself saying, “wiretap covers a lot of different things… Nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes, but that’s a very important thing…I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

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udge Derrick Watson of United States District Court in Honolulu issued a temporary restraining order blocking Drumpf’s Muslim Ban 2.0. The wording was damning, “The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed...It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%. It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam. Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not.”

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udge Watson’s slammed Drumpf’s coverage the ban stating, “The Government appropriately cautions that, in determining purpose, courts should not look into the ‘veiled psyche’ and ‘secret motives’ of government decisionmakers…there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’…Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude…that the secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.”

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n Maryland, Judge Theodore D. Chuang also ruled against the order, with a separate order blocking the Muslim Ban 2.0, ruling that banning the travel from half a dozen countries could not be enforced. He said, “Simply because a decision maker made the statements during a campaign does not wipe them” from judicial memory, basically saying it’s Drumpf’s own fault his Muslim Bans are being blocked, concluding that there were “strong indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for the travel ban.”

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rumpf lashed out at Judge Watson in his campaign rally in Nashville, accusing him of blocking Muslim Ban 2.0 “for political reasons” and slamming again the Ninth District Court. “This ruling makes us look weak, which, by the way, we no longer are, believe me.”

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rumpf honored his first president, and he chose Andrew Jackson – known as the Indian Killer for the Trail of Tears. He visited Jackson’s tomb, placed a wreath, announced he was a “big fan,” and tweeted a thank you to him. This earned him the accolades from The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, who congratulated him for honoring the “white supremacist extremist” as it refers o Jackson.

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March

16 2017

rumpf’s budget proposal was unveiled, and its largest hit was unsurprisingly against the Environmental Protection Agency. He slashed the budget by 31%, calling for the elimination of 3,200 staff, which is over 20% of the department. It eliminates all funding for the Clean Power Plan, discontinues funding for climate change research. It includes an ever so slight increase for funding on drinking and wastewater infrastructure to prevent another Flint. It completely defunds climate-change initiatives at the United Nations.

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rumpf’s budget also slashes and burns the Department of Agriculture with a 21% cut. It makes deep cuts into the National Forest System, eliminates the loan and grant programs for water and sewage systems. It continues funding for farmer-focused programs, because while he’s stupid, he ain’t crazy. He knows those folks are his based.

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rumpf made deep cuts in the Department of Labor (21%), by significantly reducing job training programs – specifically those for seniors, disadvantaged youth, and the unemployed. It also eliminates grants for OSHA.

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rumpf also made deep cuts to the Department of Justice (20%). While he has hired more immigration judges, increased the FBI budget, and added a new budget item to hire 20 lawyers to obtain land in the Southwest through land seizures, he has made tons of cuts to funds classified as “mandatory” to offset it – funds for things like the Crime Victims Fund.

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rumpf’s budget also cuts Health and Human Services by 16% by eliminating tons in community service programs, like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, as well as the National Institutes Of Health. To keep his peeps in Congress happy, the budget includes a 21% increase for the Cures Act, which passed with bipartisan support in December.

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rumpf also slashes the Department of Commerce by 16%, eliminating the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s grants, programs for coastal and marine management, the Minority Business Development Agency (which supports minorityowned businesses).

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he Department of Education also got the chop, at 14% cuts. It provides $1.4 billion increase for school choice programs while eliminating funding for before and after school programs, summer programs, and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (which is reserved for college students with the greatest need for financial aid). Federal work-study would be heavily reduced. While Drumpf bragged that he would be the best to Historically Black Colleges and Universities while they were visiting, the funding for them would remain the same.

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rumpf’s budget or the Department of Transportation didn’t fair much better with a 13% reduction. It reduces subsidies for public transportation options, including Amtrak and commercial air flights from rural airports.

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he Department of Housing and Urban Development gets a 12% chop, eliminating completely the Community Development Block Grant Programs, which funds local improvement efforts and anti-poverty programs. Meals on Wheels was entirely cut – a program that served over 219 million meals to 2.4 million seniors in 2016. If Drumpf skipped just one weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago (excuse me, the Winter White House), it would pay for the entire program.

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he Department of Interior gets a 12% cut, cutting funds for programs like the National Heritage Areas and the National Wildlife Refuge Fund and increasing funding for oil and gas drilling on public lands.

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he Drumpf administration hosted Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in what began and ended as a total shitshow day full of offensive Irish clichés. Vice President Pence hosted a breakfast with the Prime Minister, starting it with a “Top of the morning.” This was after an Irish petition signed by 40k people demanded that Kenny cancel the trip entirely. The petition was aptly titled, “Shamrock for Trump: Not in my name.”

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rumpf shared an “Irish proverb” during his luncheon that the Irish folks on twitter seem to have never heard before. “As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb – and this is a good one, this is one I like, I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it. ‘Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.’” A spokeswoman said that the proverb was supplied in an email on March 8 by the State Department “as building blocks in advance of this event.” Social media channels have determined, it’s actually lifted from a Nigerian poem by Albashir Adam Alhassan.

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lso during the luncheon, House Speaker Paul Ryan confused his cultures. He said, “Americans, especially American Irish, are always trying to endear ourselves to the Irish. Think about it. We went from a president who plays a lot of golf to a president that owns a lot of golf courses. That is about the closest thing you can get to royalty in Ireland.” He may have made that confusing comment because he misappropriated the origin of golf to Ireland, although it was actually created in Scotland. Also, mentioning royalty in relation to Ireland is probably not a good idea.

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peaker Ryan then pulled out a pre-poured pint of Guinness (no foam) from under the podium for his cheer. A Guinness without foam is a “despicable pint.”

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rime Minister Kenny referred to the estimated 50,000 Irish people thought to be living in the US without a visa during his luncheon statement, saying “We would like to this to be sorted,” asking that Drumpf allow them to be “free to contribute to America” as they want to. “That’s what people want.” He mentioned how out of the “4,000 Congressional Medals of Honor given out to the defense forces, over 2,000 go to the Irish Americans…All they want is the opportunity to be free.”

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ress Secretary Sean Spicer slammed the courts that blocked Muslim Ban 2.0 for not quoting the code that states that Drumpf has authority to block people. “Whenever the President finds [that] the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he [shall] deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem [to be] appropriate.” He then stated that the Department of Justice is looking at defending the Executive Order.

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ffice of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney avoided questions from the press for a second day. A reporter asked “The United Nations said the world is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II -- 20 million people in just four countries facing starvation or famine. And yet you’re cutting funding to the U.N., cutting funding to the foreign aid budget. Are you worried that some of the most vulnerable people on Earth will suffer as a result?” Mulvaney’s response was, “That should come as a surprise to no one who watched the campaign.”

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nother reporter pointed out that Mulvaney claimed that the President was keeping his campaign promises with the budget. “For Housing and Urban Development, this budget blueprint calls for a 13% reduction, $6 billion. During the course of the campaign, President Trump said, specifically to urban black voters, he says, ‘What do you have to lose?’ It turns out what they have to lose is at least $6 billion that goes to many programs that benefit those communities. What do you say to those Americans who feel that?” Mulvaney responded, “Nobody is going to get kicked out of their houses.” He then said that the money will be allocated for infrastructure that will somehow trickle down.

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he reporter followed up saying, “the Community Development Block Grants aren’t exclusively about housing. They support a variety of different programs, including, in part, Meals on Wheels, …So what do you say to those Americans who are ultimately losing out?” Mulvaney responded that Community Development Block Grants “were just not showing any results…We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good. And Meals on Wheels sounds great…I can’t defend that anymore.”

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irector Mulvaney then began to slam after-school programs. “They’re supposed to be educational programs, right? That’s what they’re supposed to do…Guess what? There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually doing that. There’s no demonstrable evidence of actually helping results, helping kids do better in school.”

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irector Mulvaney stated that when deciding what got funded and what didn’t, he thought of the steelwork in Ohio and the coalminer in Pennsylvania and how he was going to tell them they wouldn’t be funded so that things overseas could. A reporter asked, “But those workers may have an elderly mother who depends on the Meals on Wheels program, who may have kids in Head Start. And yesterday or the day before, you described this as a hard-power budget, but is it also a hard-hearted measure?” Director Mulvaney claimed it was “one of the most compassionate things we can do” to not take a single mom’s hard-earned money.

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irector Mulvaney abruptly stopped answering questions citing that he’d been up since 4:00 am and turned it over to Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

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uring the daily press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a rambling exposition of all the coverage of supposed wiretapping, repeating the #altfact that Obama used British spies to surveil Drumpf. “He used GCHQ. What is that? It’s the initials for the British intelligence-spying agency. So simply by having two people saying to them the resident needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump’s conversations, involving President-elect Trump, he’s able to get it and there’s no American fingerprints on this.” The British were pissed.

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n response, a reporter asked, “Yeah, you were just quoting Sean Hannity there. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are quoting the FBI Director. You’re citing Sean Hannity and Andrew Napolitano.” Spicer responded, “I get you’re going to cherry-pick – no, no, okay, you also tend to overlook all of the other sources that – because I know you want to cherry-pick it. But at the – no, no, but you do. But where was your concern about the New York Times reporting?”

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reporter expounded, “But it sounds like, Sean, that you and the President are saying now, well, we don’t mean wiretapping anymore because that’s not true anymore, so now we’re going to expand that to other forms of surveillance. What’s it going to be next?” Spicer responded, “No, no, Jim. I think that’s cute, but at the end of the day – we’ve talked about this for three or four days. The president had ‘wiretapping’ in quotes; he was referring to broad surveillance…The bottom line is, is that the investigation by the House and Senate has not been provided all of the information.”

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rime Minister Enda Kenny spoke about Drumpf’s antiimmigration views during a press conference. “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.” He spoke of the 35 million people of Irish heritage. “Ireland came to America because, deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of safety, of even food itself, the Irish believed…We believed in the shelter of America, the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came, and we became Americans.” Drumpf’s face did not change – he may not have been listening.

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ecretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked by a reporter how he was going to deal with the 29% cut to the State Department’s budget. He replied, “The level of spending that the State Department has been undertaking, particularly in the past year, is simply not sustainable.” He said that the would review the programs and make them more efficient without providing any sort of idea of how he would do so.

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March

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rumpf met with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The most notable moment of the visit was when she suggested a handshake for photographers and Drumpf literally ignored her.

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rumpf claimed he had “strong support for NATO” in the joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then he continued, “as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense. Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations much pay what they owe.”

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uring the joint press conference, both Drumpf and Chancellor Merkel were asked a lot of questions regarding immigration and the US’s new isolationist policy. Merkel responded, “Migration, immigration, integration has to be worked on, obviously. Traffickers have to be stopped. But this has to be done wile looking at the refugees as well, giving them opportunities to shape their own lives where they are; help countries who right now are not in the ability to do – sometimes because they have civil war. I think that’s the right way of doing it.” Drumpf answered: “I am not an isolationist by any stretch of the imagination. So I don’t know what newspaper you’re reading, but I guess that would be another example of, as you say, fake news.”

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reporter asked Drumpf if he regretted the wiretapping allegations, blaming British intelligence for it, or if he regretted any tweets in hindsight. Drumpf responded, “Very seldom. Probably wouldn’t be here right now – but very seldom. We have a tremendous group of people that listen, and I can around the media when the media doesn’t tell the truth, so I like that.” He passed off Spicer’s comment about British intelligence stating that the reporter should be talking to Fox News.

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ress Secretary Spicer and National Security Advisor McMaster have been forced to apologize for the British surveillance accusation. A spokesperson for Britain’s Prime Minster, Theresa May, has said, “we’ve received assurances from the White House that these allegations would not be repeated.” There has been no proof of this allegation either. It seems it was lifted directly from a Fox News segment where. The official White House statement was that Spicer only referenced a story, not endorsed it.

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ecretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke in South Korea stating that he would not open any negotiations with North Korea regarding its nuclear and missile programs. And that the US would consider taking pre-emptive actions “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program.” He went on to slam the Obama administration’s diplomacy, stating, “The policy of strategic patience has ended.”

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Profile for Chris Talbot-Heindl

The Drumpfster Fire Chronicles Week 8  

A zine about the eighth week of Drumpfster Fire's reign.

The Drumpfster Fire Chronicles Week 8  

A zine about the eighth week of Drumpfster Fire's reign.

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