The first hundred days of Trump’s presidency have been a whirlwind. Every day has so far been “I said hey, what’s going on?” And the past few days have been a media circus-frenzy with every pundit getting their word in on Trump’s first 100 days. We can summarize it in one sentence: Trump feels the need to remind everyone to don’t you (forget about me) and as a result, it has been a say (or tweet) anything and a say (or tweet) something presidency.
We’ve struggled ourselves with where to box Trump but after reading about him and his doozies time after time, we think we have finally figured out his true colors. We have decided to add a new Daily Pnut section called “TRUMP’S NUTS.” For those who might accuse us of partisanship, please note that we are simply following existing naming conventions and that he is now blaming the constitution for the chaos!
|IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ|
President Trump Calls North Korea’s Leader a Smart Cookie: In a CBS interview, Trump described North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a smart cookie, had “no idea” if Kim was sane, and did not give any indication if he will call for US military action if North Korea continues to engage in nuclear missile tests.
In the US, mental health professionals have similarly begun questioning Trump’s mental status. These psychologists and psychiatrists have broken the Goldwater Rule that “forbids them from diagnosing public figures they haven’t been able to evaluate in person.”
Meanwhile, in South Korea and elsewhere, Trump pontificates while his staff earnestly avoids having to say whether or not the President equivocates. H.R. McMaster, US National Security Advisor, reassured his South Korean counterpart that the US will not ask its ally to pay the US $1 billion it costs to deploy the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. Trump said last Thursday in an interview with Reuters that “it would be appropriate” for South Korea to foot the bill. We bet that Trump’s defense officials might be wishful-thinking that they could tell their Commander-in-Chief: “Don’t speak.”
|NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ|
Turkey’s Erdogan Attacks Democratic Institutions as Country Hurtles Toward Authoritarianism: The media emerged this weekend with severe bruises after being bullied by President Trump at his Pennsylvania rally, by comedian Hasan Minhaj at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and by the Turkish government. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his crackdown on academia, public servants, and news sources, even banning internet access to Wikipedia and television matchmaking shows. His latest dismissal of almost 3,900 public officials means an estimated 120,000 people have now been purged from the state and private sectors. Since a failed coup last July, more than 1,500 civil society groups and over 150 news outlets have been shut down and at least 120 journalists jailed, more than any other country in the world. Looks like Erdogan is taking Turkey on a fast car toward autocracy.
|KEEPING OUR EYE ON|
Le Pen Names Her Would-Be Prime Minister: In an effort to normalize her candidacy, Marine Le Pen announced that if elected president, she would name former rival Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her Prime Minister. The two hosted a news conference together on Saturday, a day after the new head of the Front National (now Le Pen’s former party, after she resigned as its leader) quit after just three days for controversial statements made about the Holocaust. In the press conference, Dupont-Aignan, who is part of the right-wing party “Stand Up France,” said he does not consider Le Pen an “extreme” right candidate. Uh-huh.
Trump Invites Duterte to the White House: During a call on Saturday, President Trump invited Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, to visit the White House, and the administration braced itself for a flurry of criticism. Duterte is a controversial and authoritarian leader accused of ordering thousands of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects. Now to be fair, the prime ministers of Singapore and Thailand also received similar invites this weekend, though they might be easier for White House chefs to feed at a glamorous state dinner. Duterte has a diverse and perhaps not-so-easy-to-please palate, given that he once infamously declared that if presented with the body of a terrorism suspect, “give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver.” Might he enjoy a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti as well?
|SPONSORED NUTS: LOVEPOP|
Looking for something special to send your close friends and family this year? Designed by naval architects and marine engineers, Lovepop creates 3D laser cut cards that are mini works of art. Each card is assembled by hand and produced in limited runs. The product is so good, Mr. Wonderful from “Shark Tank” invested in the company and sales have exploded. Explore Lovepop’s collection of stunning Mother’s Day cards (P.S. don’t forget it’s May 14!) before popular designs sell out and send your mom something classy and unforgettable.
Is it no surprise that the Doomsday Clock is at two and a half minutes to midnight? The last time the nuclear clock was at two minutes to midnight was in 1953, the year the Korean War ended and a year after the US tested the hydrogen bomb. A hydrogen bomb can release more than 500 times the explosive power of an atomic bomb. We hope that we are all alive and kicking after Trump’s presidency is over.
At Trump’s 100th Day speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he promised once again that the wall with Mexico will be built. But the spending bill that averted a government shutdown does not include funding for Trump’s proposed wall.
Just when we thought there was a rapprochement between China and the US, with Trump saying he had “established a very good personal relationship with President Xi,” he goes off and says that it could have been China that hacked the Democrats during the 2016 election.
Sebastian Gorka will be leaving his advisor position in the White House. Gorka had ties with far-right groups. Thanks to the press, Michael Flynn and Gorka no longer have jobs at the White House. A famous George W. Bush impersonator asks, you all miss me now? #draintheswamp
We often pepper the Pnut with a fair bit of music and movie references. For those who are keeping track, here’s the complete list for today’s soundtrack.
Start of the Week Reads:
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU