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The Caligula Presidency: a Weekly Ovi Column - Week 25
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2017-12-02 12:29:07
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Week 25 - Columns 168-174
On the subjects of: CNN’s Boycot, Trump’s faltering mental health, deranged tweets, first Impeachment Vote,
the “best” president ever, Jeff Session’s refusal, unmoored behavior,
some timely reflections: “from republic of virtue to madness.”


Column 168

CNN Staying Home for the Holidays


The news network CNN, repeatedly dubbed “Fake News” by Donald Trump will be boycotting the annual White House Christmas party for the media. What has precipitated the situation is the ongoing feud between Trump and the media on the issues of freedom of the press and free speech. CNN does not feel it is appropriate for them to celebrate with him as invited guests. They will be merely sending a reporting team to the event in case “news warrants.” That is a wise move since the actions of an unhinged individual may become news at any time. Think of this vignette: latest reports on Emperor Caligula’s latest moves: the Emperor who is now in Normandy getting ready for the invasion of Britain, has given orders to his generals to scour the beach for shells to be added to his private shell collection. Some say this is fake news, others say that it is real. Some say it is trivial, some say it is important in as much as it reveals the state of mind of an emperor.   


Column 169

Art of the Deal Ghost Writer Questions Donald Trump’s Mental Health


Tony Schwartz, a former ghostwriter for President Donald Trump claimed recently that according to White House staffers Donald Trump is gradually “losing his grip” on reality. He also gave his own reasons for why he believes Trump is gradually deteriorating.

“He is more limited in his vocabulary,” Schwartz said. “He is further from, as I say—this connection to what is factual and real. He is more impulsive. He is more reactive. This is a guy in deep trouble,” There is little doubt that following his retweets of videos from a far-right group called Britain First, which many perceived as anti-Islam and anti-Muslim, Trump’s recent actions appear rather unmoored.” 

The president’s mental state has been a hot topic since before he was elected last year and throughout his first 11 months in office, so much so that a California congresswoman, Jackie Spier, has worked with a group of mental health professionals in an attempt to oust Trump under the 25th Amendment.


Column 170

Trump's Tweets only provide Lawyers with
Ammunition for Their Case against His Administration


Bradley Moss, a lawyer who works for a government transparency group (the James Madison Project) has filed a freedom of information request after Trump fired off a series of tweets back in March accusing President Barack Obama of having his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower. The DOJ wrote back that it couldn’t confirm or deny the existence of any surveillance orders or documents about it.

However, Trump tweeted Wednesday that members of Congress are looking to issue contempt citations “against the Justice Department and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump.” The president called this “big stuff” and ordered the DOJ and FBI to “Give this information NOW!”

Moss has promptly submitted the tweet to the court in support of his case. “The president's tweet this evening is a rather clear and concrete official acknowledgement of the existence of records responsive to the Plaintiff's FOIA requests,” he wrote.

Trump’s tweet, Moss argued in his court filing, should be “more than sufficient to nullify” the DOJ’s refusal to neither confirm nor deny whether the surveillance and documents about it exist.

Trump’s tweets potentially undermine the two cases being fought by his administration and could lead to the release of information that would be damaging to him and embarrassing to the government.


Column 171

Trump’s First Impeachment Vote Will Happen Soon


The first vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump will take place in the House of Representatives next week, at the beginning of December, Texas Democrat Al Green announced Thursday. “I don’t know what the vote will be but I do know this: Next week there will be a vote to impeach,” Green said on the House floor. “Next week there will be a resolution brought before the Congress and there will be a vote to either table it, to send it to committee, or to vote it up or down. That’s what the people I represent expect me to do.”

The vote has little chance of success: Not only do Republicans have a majority—and they have shown no desire to move toward removing Trump—but leading Democrats have displayed notable caution on talk of impeachment. Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez have attempted to quiet such calls ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

 Green has insisted that, despite an ongoing investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, no crime needs to have been committed for a president to be impeached. On Thursday, he returned to the issue of race and discrimination as being at the forefront of his urgency to remove Trump from office. “I refuse to stand idly by as a billionaire bigot does irreparable harm to my country,” he said. “A billionaire bigot who tolerates the KKK, but won’t tolerate Islam. A billionaire bigot who tolerates anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia and homophobia.”


Column 172

Trump Claims that there’s never been a President
who has accomplished more in 10 months


 “I will tell you this in a nonbraggadocious way,” President Donald Trump said during a speech in St. Charles, Missouri, on Wednesday. “There has never been a 10-month president that has accomplished what we have accomplished.” This rather braggadocious 10-month statement can be debunked by fact checks on multiple fronts.

On legislation, the president had made a very similar claim on April 18 in Kenosha, Wisconsin: “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.” Three months into his tenure, Trump had not come close to topping the plethora of laws that former President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed in his first 100 days in office in an attempt to bring an end to the Great Depression. Roosevelt had signed 76 bills at the 100-day marker, while Trump had signed 28.

On jobs, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” Trump pledged in June 2015. At six months, Trump was only the eighth-greatest among postwar presidents. Job growth under Trump was 0.7 percent, lagging behind the growth for the first six months of the first terms of Jimmy Carter (2.7 percent), Richard Nixon (1.9 percent), Lyndon B. Johnson (1.5 percent), Bill Clinton (1.1 percent), and George H. W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower (0.8 percent each).

On the Stock market, Trump’s recent statement also rings false The gains since Trump’s November 8 election ranked third among first-term presidents, going back to Eisenhower, who won the presidency in 1952. Kennedy had the best market in the first 250 trading days among presidents in their first terms, with the S&P 500 up 26.5 percent, according to a recent comparison by. George H.W. Bush had the second best market, with the S&P up 22.7 percent. Third-place Trump saw the S&P rise 21.2 percent.

On promises, ten months in, Trump has broken a minimum of half a dozen promises he made on the campaign trail, including repealing and replacing Obamacare, building a wall along the Mexican border and creating a tax plan with cuts for people of all classes. (it appears to favor only the wealthiest Americans.) His accomplishments in no way parallel those of Roosevelt, or even those of a number of other presidents.


Column 173

Jeff Sessions has refused to say whether Trump
asked him to hinder Russia Investigation


Attorney General Jeff Session has refused to say whether Donald Trump asked him to hinder the Russian investigation, a member of the House Intelligence Committee has claimed. Representative Adam Schiff updated reporters after a closed-door meeting between Mr Sessions and the Intelligence Committee, of which Mr Schiff is a ranking member. The committee is one of several investigating possible Russian meddling in the US presidential election.

"I asked the attorney general whether he was ever instructed by the president to take any action that he believed would hinder the Russia investigation, and he declined to answer the question," Mr Schiff told reporters after the meeting.

Mr Trump tweeted about the tensions the day before, writing: "The House of Representatives seeks contempt citations(?) against the Justice Department and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump." "Big stuff," he added. "Deep State. Give this information NOW!"


Column 174

Is Trump Unmoored?


President Donald Trump is unmoored—and it's getting worse, according to the New York Times's chief White House reporter. In the midst of a week featuring the president attacking the media, retweeting anti-Muslim videos, suggesting that Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough killed an intern, and calling using an anti-Native American slur at an event honoring Native Americans, Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN Wednesday that Trump bizarre actions have “markedly accelerated (and are) seeming a little unmoored.”

“Something is unleashed with him lately,” the White House correspondent said. Haberman was particularly concerned with the president's anti-Muslim video retweets, which she said give "a huge permission structure to people in this country and outside of this country who have anti-Muslim sentiment to act on that." 

White supremacist David Duke praised Trump for showing videos that he said the "fake news" media doesn't show. 

After retweeting anti-Muslim videos, the president called out MSNBC host Scarborough for what Trump suggested was involvement in the “unsolved mystery” death of Lori Klausutis in the former Republican congressman’s Florida office in 2001. The president, Scarborough noted in a tweet, is “not well.”

The president is also backtracking on his own comments this week. Trump previously apologized for an "Access Hollywood" tape that showed the president bragging about grabbing women "by the pussy," but The Times reported that Trump has been going around claiming the tape was a fake.

Vico had it on target on the Romans: they started as a Republic of Virtue, and proceeded from frugality and utility, to well being, to luxury and waste, to corruption and at the end they went mad. Enter emperor Caligula.

Benjamin Franklyn when asked what had just been created by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia famously answered: “A Republic of Virtue. If you can keep it.”

The process for the Romans tooks a thousand years. Alas, for our republic, it appears that it may be much shorter.


End of Week 25



Week 1 -Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5 - Week 6 - Week 7 - Week 8 - Week 9 - Week 10 - Week 11 - Week 12 - Week 13 - Week 14 - Week 15 - Week 16 - Week 17 - Week 18 - Week 19 - Week 20 - Week 21 - Week 22 - Week 23 - Week 24 - Week 25 -


Check Dr Emanuel Paparella's NEW BOOK
"The Caligula Presidency: A Satirical Debunking Critique"
is online now and you can download it for FREE HERE!



Check also Dr Emanuel Paparella's other EBOOKS
Aesthetic Theories of Great Western Philosophers
& Europe Beyond the Euro
You can download them all for FREE HERE!

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