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The Caligula Presidency: a Weekly Ovi Column - Week 28
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2017-12-23 09:27:57
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Week 28 - Columns 185-191 (December 17-23)
On the subjects of: A fox and friends love letter, the least popular first-year president in modern US history, America messing up, comedy in GOP tax plan, Trump as sexual predator sitting pretty in the White House,
Mueller’s silent treatment, gifting each other for Christmas


Column 185

Tom Brokaw Declares “We’re At War” After Donald Trump
Tweets Another ‘Fox & Friends’ Love Letter


Trump has tweeted another love letter to Fox News Channel’s morning show Fox and Friends, asking “Was @foxandfriends just named the most influential show in news?”

Mistaking Mediaite’s “most influential” for “best,” Trump crowed that the Trump News Network morning show hosts “deserve it” and that “the many Fake News Hate Shows should study your formula for success!”

As described by Mediaite in crowning the morning show No. 1,  that “formula” works like this:

Trump regularly starts his day watching Fox & Friends and “then tweets about whatever they cover, and however, they cover it.” The rest of the media cover Trump’s tweets, and that makes Fox & Friends the nation’s assignment editor for the rest of the day.

”That is influence like few other media figures have ever enjoyed.”

Longtime NBC evening news anchor Tom Brokaw was asked to weigh in:

“[Trump] watches [F&F] because it reinforces what he believes,” Brokaw said. “Fox News…is on a jihad right now” against institutions of the government. “Newt Gingrigh looking into the camera and saying the FBI is a corrupt organization – three months earlier he’d said Bob Mueller is one of the great, distinguished public servants we have.”


Column 186

Donald Trump becomes least popular first-year president
in modern US history, polls find


Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating of any post-war US President at the end of their first calendar year in office, a string of polls shows.

The Republican’s favourability sank as low as 32 per cent in mid-to-late December, fully 10 points below Gerald Ford’s rating at a similar date in 1974. Also, a quarter of Republicans disapproved of the billionaire’s performance.

The 71-year-old’s first year in office has been marked by frequent Twitter spats with opponents and even allied foreign leaders – including UK Prime Minister Theresa May – as well as bruising scrutiny over allegations, which he denies, of collusion between his campaign team and Russia.

A number of his attempts at passing major legislation, notably repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, have been stymied and he faced criticism for his handling of far-right rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He has, however, fulfilled campaign promises on announcing the US’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and decertifying the Iran nuclear deal. Mr Trump has also signed a raft of executive orders, while more than a million jobs have been added to the US economy.

Two-thirds of Americans believe their country has become more divided since Mr Trump took office, AP found.

In December 2009, Barack Obama polled at 51 per cent. The month after John Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 Lyndon Johnson held a 73 per cent approval rating, compared to 68 per cent a year later.

Post-war presidential approval ratings (first December in office)

Dwight Eisenhower, 1953: 68

John Kennedy, 1961: 76

Lyndon Johnson, 1964: 68

Richard Nixon, 1969: 56

Gerald Ford, 1974: 42

Jimmy Carter, 1977: 56

Ronald Reagan, 1981: 48

George H W Bush, 1989: 71

Bill Clinton, 1993: 54

George W Bush, 2001: 86

Barack Obama, 2009:


Column 187

Chuck Schumer Warns GOP: 'You're Messing Up America.
You Could Pay Attention.'


Ahead of Senate Republicans’ vote, a deeply unpopular piece of tax legislation that will add a whopping $1.4 trillion to the national debt, Senate Minority Leader Chuch Schumer warned Republicans that they were “messing up America.”

In addition to labeling the tax bill “an absolute disgrace,” Schumer shut down Republicans who were chatting in the chamber as he tried to discuss how the GOP’s tax plan overwhelmingly favors America’s wealthiest individuals and burdens those in the middle class. 

“This is serious stuff,” Schumer said. “We believe you’re messing up America. You could pay attention for a couple of minutes.”

 Early Wednesday morning, the Senate voted along party lines to pass the tax bill, which is the largest overhaul of the U.S. tax codes in decades.

“It’s not just an ideological difference,” Schumer said. “It’s something dramatically opposite of what America needs.”


Column 188

Late-night host find comedy in GOP tax plan


Over on “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon attempted to give his audience a view of Trump’s private reaction to the ambitious tax overhaul.

“President Trump had a very good day. He's very proud. Republicans finally passed his tax bill, which means Trump's about to sign his first major piece of legislation,” Fallon said. “Yep, his chest was puffed out so far his tie was actually at normal length.

"Wow, that's at my waist. Amazing. Look down there -- I can hold water -- I can drink water with one hand. I don't feel like tweeting, I'm a new man," Fallon said in his best Trump impression.

Fallon also noted the White House’s official response to the plan, which called it the equivalent of “pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy.”

But Fallon said that may not have been the best analogy.

“If you've ever poured rocket fuel into a regular engine, you know, it ruins the engine,” Fallon said.


Column 189

Al Franken rips Trump in farewell speech to Senate


Over the course of a 40-minute speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, the Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, tore into Trump and Republicans over their “attacks” on voting rights, LGBT rights, science, health care and — most recently — the middle class.

“During his inaugural address, President Trump vowed that ‘the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,’” Franken said. “But the Republican tax bill represents a slap in the face to those forgotten men and women. I guess the president forgot about them.”

Franken decried what he described as the repeated “lies” of the Trump administration, including the president’s baseless claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

“It’s all based on a lie — and not a lie President Trump came up with,” Franken said. “Right-wing conservatives have been raising a false alarm about so-called voter fraud for years despite the fact that no credible evidence has ever been [found] demonstrating that it is a real problem.”

Franken also lamented Trump’s “attacks on science,” citing reports that that the Trump administration had prohibited the Centers for Disease Control from using such terms as “evidence-based” and “science-based.” “We now have enough evidence to conclude that climate change is real and it is man-made and it is a threat to our nation’s security and an existential threat to the planet,” Franken said. “President Trump didn’t launch the war on science, but now he’s leading the charge.”

 “There is some irony that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who preyed on young girls runs for Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said then, referencing Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.


Column 190

Mueller Gives Trump the Silent Treatment


Through all the controversy, threats and noise surrounding the Trump-Russia investigation, one person has been conspicuously silent: Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The former FBI director hasn’t uttered a single word in public since he was appointed in May to lead the probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

Instead of press conferences, Mueller has spoken loudly through a series of indictments and plea deals related to various Trump associates.

The vacuum created by Mueller’s silence has been filled by GOP critics and conservative media charging the investigation is tainted with bias against President Donald Trump. Several House Republicans have called for Mueller to resign, with Matt Gaetz of Florida going to the House floor last week to accuse him of “fishing in the never-Trump aquarium” in choosing prosecutors and FBI agents for his team.

Republicans have sullied his probe a bit with their attacks, but Mueller has won over key allies who would play instrumental roles should Trump try to force him out. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told House lawmakers during a Dec. 13 hearing that he is fully aware of what Mueller is doing and stands behind him. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and is the only official with the authority to fire him or stop parts of his investigation.

To date, Mueller has indicted Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and another campaign aide, Rick Gates. The special counsel also secured a guilty plea and cooperation agreement from Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russians. A low-level foreign policy adviser to the campaign also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate.

Each day is a test of the relationship between Trump’s legal team and Mueller, and that relationship could break down if Mueller probed too deeply into certain areas, such as Trump’s businesses. The new approach by Trump’s allies is to try to delegitimize Mueller’s investigation, such as by arguing members of the team are biased, Cotter said.

 “It’s a tactical change,” Cotter said. “If you convince people that whatever the investigation comes out with is bad, just because of the people who did it, then you don’t ever have to deal with the facts.”


Column 191

Mueller and Trump Gifting Each Other for Christmas


I have already predicted this but it seems that it is about to pass as we speak. There is afoot among Trump supporters a campaign smear against special prosecutor Mueller to prepare the ground for his firing and thus put to rest once and for all the investigation into the Trump Russia collusion. In other words, it is a race as to who will be the first to donate a Christmas gift: will it be Mueller with an indictment for crimes and misdemeanors (impeachment material) and obstruction of justice, or Trump with a summary firing. Mueller is being told that his job is finished and it’s time to wrap it up. The next few days may be turn out to be very interesting. It is usually during breaks that abuse of power occurs.

I also declare here in Ovi magazine, and you may not have heard it anyplace else yet, a sort of Cassandra-like prophecy: if the plot to remove Mueller is abetted by Congress, it will mean that the democratic system of check and balance of power in America, a free press, and an independent judiciary has failed and an authoritarian dictatorship will have been all but set up. They say that such a scenario could not happen in America. Think again. But we can keep our fingers crossed, and hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

In any case this will surely be a Christmas season to behold and to remember. Thankfully Christmas transcends Machiavellian politics.

 Merry Christmas everyone. 


End of Week 27



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 - Week 26 - Week 27 - Week 28 -


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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