November 22, 2018

Trump Terrible 10: What the Actual FFFF Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and yours have a beautiful day.

This week, I firmly resolved in my mind, because of other urgent priorities, and in the spirit of love, to stop writing this negative feature. But also this week, OMFG. OMFG.

Next week, maybe I will and maybe I won’t! That being said, since 2017, Republic Report‘s “Trump Terrible 10” has ranked the week’s 10 most disgraceful people in Trump world.

Republic Report, which focuses on how money corrupts democracy, has met its abusive dream mate with the kleptocratic administration of President Donald J. Trump. Trump and his lieutenants personify how money and greed, mixed with disrespect for constitutional values, know-nothing ignorance, serious bigotry and misogyny, and an endless capacity for lying, can really, really corrupt democracy.

Permanent spoiler alert: We can’t imagine anyone other than Donald Trump ever occupying the top spot in the rankings. But we won’t get tired of him winning. Believe me.

10. Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator (R-MS)Last week’s ranking: 8

In Hyde-Smith’s Senate runoff debate with Democrat Mike Espy, which she refused to allow citizens or reporters to attend, her robotic delivery of mindless right-wing talking points, lies about her position on pre-existing conditions, rote follow-up to her incendiary “hanging” remark, and repeated invitations to attend her rallies with President Trump, made her the perfect MAGA candidate. Which is to say, awful.

9. Ivanka Trump, Assistant to the PresidentLast week’s ranking: — 

Surprise. The self-proclaimed First Daughter (sorry, Tiff) thought the rules did not apply to her, and, like Jared, in 2017 used a private email account to conduct White House business. Once again we sense the greatness of Ivanka’s then-ethics lawyer, award-winning Jamie Gorelick. As for Ivanka herself, did she really not understand what MAGAheads were shouting “Lock Her Up!” about?

8. Charles Grassley, United States Senator (R-IA)Last week’s ranking: — 

The Judiciary Committee chairman sided with Trump in his beef with Chief Justice John Roberts. Maybe he’ll introduce legislation to make Brett Kavanaugh the chief.

7. Rudolph Giuliani, counsel to President TrumpLast week’s ranking: —

Trump’s supposedly hand-crafted responses to Mueller’s collusion questions having been submitted, Rudy announced that the Trump legal team will resist a Mueller subpoena for more. Completely lawless. But then, lawlessness was the original basis of “Giuliani time.”

6. The American Petroleum Institute and its membersLast week’s ranking: —

Turns out API’s chief executive gave a speech warning that “time is running out” to address the dangers of climate change — in 1965. Yet into this decade, under CEO Jack Gerard (2008-2018; peak salary $6.8 million) API and its member oil companies like ExxonMobil have continued to deny climate risks and fight against limits on the burning of fossil fuels.

It’s a real tribute to the Trump administration that a bunch of its officials (below) are more disgraceful than a group of corporations that have knowingly acted to destroy our world.

5. Matthew Whitaker, Acting Attorney GeneralLast week’s ranking: 6

Matt went from low-paid Iowa lawyer/patent grifter/affordable housing scammer to getting $1.2 million from a secret-donor right wing group to attack Democrats and the Mueller probe. To whom does our new acting attorney general owe his riches and his rise?

4. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. Last week’s ranking: 10

In a Thanksgiving eve disgrace, DeVos reinstated ACICS, the discredited accreditor that ignored blatant abuses of students by predatory colleges like ITT, Corinthian, and many more, and thus has allowed billions in taxpayer dollars to flow to scam artists. Most ACICS colleges have found a new accreditor already, or collapsed, leaving only a handful of mostly questionable schools. So why bother saving this accrediting body? I guess for DeVos and her aide Diane Jones it’s the principle of the thing, or lack thereof. It’s also meant, I guess, to send a message to other accreditors that they can relax — no need to hold bad colleges accountable as far as the Department of Education is concerned.

Also: It’s apparent now that the DeVos Department concealed evidence of deceptive practices by student loan servicing company Navient.

3. John Kelly, White House Chief of StaffLast week’s ranking: —

Kelly has been the White House chief of staff for a year and a half. And the White House has remained a complete cesspool, with lurching decision-making, awful and unlawful actions, endless backstabbing, erratic and unqualified staffing, insanely dumb and misspelled public statements, and so much more. The exiling of John Bolton deputy Mira Ricardel, who “developed a reputation for shouting at subordinates, plotting against White House officials she disliked and leaking stories about her administration opponents to the press,” and then was slammed by a press release from the First Lady’s office was, as Donald might put it, another beauty.

Sure, the mess is largely because of POTUS, and yes, maybe it would be even worse with no grownups around. But also, Kelly is an anti-rurallying bigot. And Kelly himself signed a troubling order this week authorizing U.S. military forces at the Mexico border to use lethal force against migrants.

2. Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the InteriorLast week’s ranking: 3

The ethically-empty Zinke, with his job on the line, followed Trump’s lead in blaming liberals for the California wild fires. “It’s not time for finger pointing,” Zinke said on Breitbart radio, and then immediately pointed his finger: “We know the problem, it’s been years of neglect, and in many cases it’s been these radical environmentalists that want nature to take its course.”

1. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. Last week’s ranking: seriously?

This week, Frightened Donald:

— Declared that it didn’t matter whether the Saudi crown prince was involved in the brutal murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi because we need to make great deals, and falsely denied he had business ties with Saudi Arabia;

— Was revealed to have pressed the White House chief lawyer earlier this year to compel the Justice Department to prosecute political foes Hillary Clinton and James Comey;

— Invented on Twitter that the Mueller team is “screaming and shouting at people”;

— Insisted that private-emailing offspring Ivanka was not guilty like Hillary because “No Deletions”;

— Un-presidentially mis-tweeted the name of a congressional critic as “little Adam Schitt”;

— Made lame excuses for not visiting our troops overseas and was described by an ex-senior aide as too scared to go;

— Attacked former Navy SEAL commander Admiral William McRaven, who has criticized Trump for his attacks on the media, as a “Hillary fan” and a slacker in finding Osama bin Laden;

— Twice referred to fire-devastated Paradise, California, as “Pleasure” until Governor Jerry Brown, standing next to him, finally spoke up; also lied about a conversation with the Finnish prime minister above raking forests;

— Claimed without evidence that Democrat supporters sometimes “go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again”;

— Posted another dumbass “it’s really cold out today so global warming is fake” tweet;

Warned Antifa that his Nazi supporters were stronger and more violent than them;

— Argued — in the wake of a California federal court decision blocking his asylum order — with Chief Justice Roberts about whether there are “Obama judges” and said he would “take a look at” the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which he called “a disgrace”;

— Issued some ridiculous rules for press conferences in an effort to provide a legally-sustainable excuse for kicking out Jim Acosta;

— Proclaimed himself the only choice for Time Person of the Year; and

— Said you need Voter ID to buy a box of cereal.

Oh, and also we were reminded of Trump’s sleazy and legally dubious involvement in consumer scams.

Trump is again number one — the most disgraceful person in Trump world. Trump is not merely a disgrace; he’s a total and complete disgrace. UPDATE 11-22-18 9:00 am: He’s also a complete & total disaster.

OK, I think I’m finally done discussing what an irredeemable bag of garbage our current USA president is. (Maybe.) The real question is: What will each of us do over the next two years to make sure he is removed from the White House?

Recent disgracefulness:

Trump Terrible 10: Kavanaugh Kloture Kanye Edition
Trump Terrible 10: Saudi Edition
Trump Terrible 10: Horseface Caravan Body Slam Edition
Trump Terrible 10: Jewish Edition
Trump Terrible 10: Post-Election Horrible Authoritarian Edition