Thursday, May 31, 2018

Today's Trumpery

1.  The trade wars have begun.  Trump woke up today, checked what his current opinions might be, and imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the EU.  Canada is already promising to use retaliatory tariffs against the US:

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Canadian tariffs would amount to $16.6 billion, the value of Canadian steel and aluminum exports affected by the U.S. tariffs. They will hit not only steel and aluminum products but dozens of others, from soup to boats to toilet paper to playing cards. Freeland said the list was carefully considered and has been in the works for some time, signalling that Canada was anticipating Washington's actions.

 And both Mexico and the EU plan to follow suit:

Mexico quickly said the US action was not justified, and vowed to retaliate with comparable penalties on American lamps, pork, fruit, cheese and flat steel.
Europe also said it would start the process for enacting retaliatory tariffs. It did not announce details, but the bloc has previously threatened 25% tariffs on US products such as motorcycles, denim, cigarettes, cranberry juice and peanut butter.

Such fun and games.  Note that there will be both winners and losers inside the US, and the latter are not necessarily those who voted for Trump.  Note, also, that those countries used to be regarded as political allies.  But now Trump's BFF is Putin.

2.  Trump also decided to pardon Dinesh d'Souza.  Or, as the Guardian calls him: "the far-right provocateur and a key figure in the culture wars."

I always found his research sloppy and his arguments flawed and biased.  His tweet, in response to the news about his pardon, tells us much more than anyone should know about what matters to him:

A good reminder to be careful when tweeting.

3.  Where in the world is Melania Trump?  As I have written before, the job of the First Lady is one which really should not exist.  She is expected to work, but she is not formally elect and is not formally remunerated by the American people.

Rather, the wife of a president comes as part of the package, and she cannot have a career or job of her own.  Neither can she really have opinions which would hamper the main mythological job the First Lady has:  To model for the country what a "good wife"is.

All this could have changed if we had had the first First Gentleman*.  But alas, that was not to be, for reasons you all know as well as I do.

So where is Melania Trump, people on the social media keep asking?  I hope she is well and safe.  But it's not really our business.


* Because adult men are not viewed as part of the family parcel and cannot be treated as a mere useful appendix to the president, like a tail or a third arm. 

Or could they?  I doubt we will find out in the next decades.