The first forty days of the Trump presidency have been marked by characteristic mean-spiritedness, chaos, mismanagement and general confusion. An executive order banning the entry into the US of travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries was nullified by the courts, and promises to unveil a new plan have yet to occur, is just one of many examples of a general cluelessness with how to govern on the part of the new president and his staff.
The propensity toward mendacity is quite alarming, his spokespeople and even Trump himself inventing things and that are blatantly incorrect, outright false, or simply didn’t occur, like a terrorist attack in Sweden. This disregard for the truth is swatted away by the administration by claims that the mainstream news media, which had of course been wildly biased against him, just printed lies and fake news. Since there is a deep distrust in the country at this elitist, mainstream media, these kinds of accusations resonate with his supporters. Trump’s barring of correspondents of CNN, the Guardian, BBC, The New York Times and others from the latest White House press briefing demonstrates his willingness to take them on. Perhaps this will be his undoing.
The world is on egg shells to see what this new administration will bring. At times bellicose, at times more conciliatory but always incoherent, Trump’s foreign policy agenda is basically unknown. On the bright side, this presidency has been a boon for comedians.
Obama for President
A letter from French voters, distraught over their choices for the French election this year, has been sent to former US president Barak Obama asking him to run. This is of course impossible, since Obama is not a French citizen, but reflects the dismal reality that could see French elect a proto-fascist in the face of Marie le Pen, whose National Front party advocates policies deeply hostile to immigrants and nationalist in the aggressive way many had hoped to have been abolished with the defeat of Nazism. The left is in disarray and the center-right candidate considered most able to compete with le Pen, Francois Fillon is embroiled in a scandal in which his wife is alleged to have been paid hundreds of thousands of Euros of public money in a non-existent job.
Fascists looking civilized
Le Pen, whose father Jean Marie le Pen ran for president in 2002 and lost in a landslide, has tried to put a civilized face on her uncivilized values. She appeals to the same nationalist electorate who feel marginalized by globalization and that immigration is altering (negatively) the character of France. The resurgence of ultra-right parties in Europe is one of the many worrying phenomena that seem to be sweeping the globe at the moment.
Suing the state of mistreatment
The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who went on a rampage in 2011 killing a total of 76 people, was suing the Norwegian state for human rights abuses while in jail. The Norwegian state ruled against him. Norway is always top or near the top of the world’s most attractive countries to live, but even in this, one of the world’s most enlightened societies, monsters can emerge.
Goalkeeper Bruno to be released from jail
Former Flamengo goal keeper Bruno Fernandes, who in 2010 was convicted of killing his former girlfriend, has been released after serving six and a half years in jail. A body was never found, though Bruno now admits his error and said “he paid a steep price.” If Bruno had committed the same murder in many other countries, he would either be in prison for many years, or in the US he could have received the death penalty.