Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Week in Review

What else did Donald Trump do this week?

He lost his temper on a phone call with the Prime Minister of Australia, abruptly ending a planned hour-long call after 25 minutes after the discussion turned to refugees that the United States had promised Australia it would shelter. Aides later claimed that the call went well--but also that Trump was fatigued. Regardless, Trump was still angry enough four days later to tweet his disapproval of the refugee settlement plan.

In that call, Trump told Prime Minister Turnbull that his call with Vladimir Putin had gone much better. In an interview with Bill O'Reilly recorded on Saturday for broadcast before the Super Bowl, Trump vigorously defended Putin and said he had "respect" for him. O'Reilly pressed Trump: "But he's a killer though. Putin's a killer." Trump responded: "There are a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?"

He issued new ethics guidelines on lobbying by ex-White House staff. Trump campaigned on a promise to restrict the practice. The new guidelines allow for much more lobbying by former government employees than the Obama administration rules they replace.

He lost a $5,770,000 lawsuit brought against one of his businesses by former members of the Trump National Jupiter Golf Club, who successfully argued that when Trump took over ownership he illegally confiscated their refundable membership deposits. This is the second multi-million dollar judgment or settlement against Trump or his businesses since the election. Approximately 75 others are still pending.

Why are these bad things?

  • It is extremely dangerous if a president cannot control his emotions, whether or not he is tired.
  • A president who can excuse the murder of political dissidents and journalists is morally bankrupt.
  • A president who can shrug at political murder but be outraged by a Broadway musical's curtain call is unstable.
  • Voters may have believed Trump when he said he was going to reduce, rather than increase, lobbying by former government officials.
  • It speaks poorly of a president's character if courts repeatedly find that he swindled people in his private business life.