|As the Trump presidency reaches the eve of its first year, the US government teeters on the verge of a shutdown. After 12 months of a nonstop, often madenning news cycle, one can forgive the federal government for needing a break. I know my news-tab gathering laptop has been wanting to shutdown for months. The crazy first year is ending with an ironic twist only possible in the Trump era: With the president invoking religion as he addressed the March for Life participants, shadowed by headlines that feature details of his relationship with an adult movie star, including his request that she spank him with a rolled up issue of Forbes that featured him on the cover (hey, at this point, old media will take any use case it can get).
In other words, it was just another day in the first year of a presidency the likes of which we’ve never seen. Here are a few links to provide a non-exhaustive (we’re all too exhausted for that) look back at the year that was.
+ From me: The Year of Living Normally. Trump ran as a narcissist. And Trump has governed as a narcissist. If anything, his narcissism has exceeded its promise. Trump’s narcissism is so powerful that run of the mill narcissists spent the last year thinking about Donald Trump.”The original Narcissus stared at his own reflection in a pond. Trump renamed the pond Trump Pond.”
January 20th: Trump Signs First Documents As President, Has Absolutely No Idea What He’s Doing
After Trump’s dark American Carnage inauguration speech, he got down to the official business of being completely in the dark. Shortly after the official ceremony, Trump gathered lawmakers to watch him sign his first documents as President. He was not prepared. Looking at the first document, he examines it, has to ask what it’s for, and has no idea where to sign (at the bottom). He openly states he thought it was for health care.
February 10th: Trump Gives Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe One Hell Of A Squeeze
In his first meeting with a foreign official as president, Trump shook Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hand so hard and for so long, that Abe silently screamed when Trump let go.
February 17: Trump’s Holds A Crazy First Press Conference
What started as an announcement about his pick for Labor Secretary turned into an unhinged, confrontational Q and A with President Trump that left viewers stunned. In one of the most shocking moments, he asked a black reporter to schedule a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
March 31: Trump Gets Chased Out Of His Own Executive Order Signing By Questions About Michael Flynn
After defending the now indicted Michael Flynn, who Trump previously fired, on Twitter, Trump fled from a signing ceremony in the face of questions about his tweets without actually signing the executive order. Mike Pence was forced to sheepishly retrieve the unsigned document from the president’s desk.
April 12th: Trump Incorrectly Brags About Firing Missiles At Iraq Over Cake
After firing missiles at Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people, President Trump told Fox Business that he made the decision over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake.” Making the statement even more absurd, he incorrectly said he fired the missiles at Iraq.
May 22nd: Melania Swats Donald’s Hand Away Because… Do We Need To Explain?
In May, President Trump visited Israel. When he walked the red carpet on the tarmac with Melania, he tried to grab his wife’s hand. Melania met the gesture with a quick swat. No further explanation needed.
June 19th: Trump Brags To Panamanian President About Building Panama Canal… Over 100 Years Ago
When meeting with the Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela, President Trump felt the need to toot America’s horn, saying “I think we did a good job building [the Panama Canal].” Varela wasn’t having it and shot back the clarification “100 years ago.”
July 28th: Trump Endorses Police Brutality
In a speech President Trump gave to police officers in Long Island, President Trump joked (?) that police were too nice to suspects, saying “please don’t be so nice… you can take the hand away.” The line drew laughter and then applause.
Aug 15: White Nationalists Are ‘Fine People’ Now?
In a stunning press conference President Trump abandoned all political norms in the wake of the Charlottesville rallies that resulted in the death of one counter protester by coming to the defense of protesters who attended a rally organized by white nationalist groups. Despite previously condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis, Trump said there were “very fine people” on “both sides.”
September 20th: Trump Can’t Say Namibia
When President Trump spoke to African leaders during a UN General Assembly Luncheon, he repeatedly referred to Namibia as “Nambia.” The mispronunciation wasn’t Trump’s only eyebrow-raiser during the speech. He also bragged about his “friends” going to Africa “trying to get rich” — a rather tone-deaf comment in the face of criticism that western companies are taking advantage of African nations’ natural resources.
October: President Trump’s Entire Reaction To Hurricane Maria Was Crazy
In his first interaction with the territory on what was supposed to be a tour of Hurricane Maria’s devastation, Trump blamed Puerto Rico for throwing the federal “budget out of whack,” and then downplaying the effects of the storm, comparing Maria’s death toll to Hurricane Katrina’s. After returning to Washington, President Trump flubbrf a call to pray for the devastated territory by using an exaggerated Puerto Rican accent.
November 27th: Trump Make ‘Pocahontas’ Jab At Event Honoring Native Americans
While speaking at an event meant to honor Native American code talkers, President Trump inserted a racist jab at Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying “we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
December 6th: Trump Slurs His Speech While Making Globally Condemned Announcement On Israel
In President Trump’s announcement that the US would now recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking outrage and protests around the world, the president was noticeably slurring his speech. The odd occurrence drew speculation that Trump was having issues with dentures or dry mouth. Trump’s doctor recently told reporters that Sudafed was to blame.
January 12th: Trump Asked ‘Are You Racist’ Immediately After Signing MLK Day Speech
Immediately after signing an MLK Day proclamation, President Trump was asked by reporters if he was racist — a question inspired by reports that he called certain African countries and developing nations “shithole countries.”+ Digg has a roundup of some of Trump’s strangest moments so far.
1.Sean Spicer’s debut, 21 January 2017, 2.Travel ban chaos, 28 January 2017 , 3.A prayer for Arnold, the Bowling Green massacre, 2 February 2017 , 4.The baseless wiretapping claim, 4 March 2017, 5.Spicer emerges from the bushes, 9 May 2017, 6.Covfefe, 31 May 2017,7.The 29-second handshake, 14 July 2017,8.The Mooch: blink and you’ll miss him, 21 July 2017,9.Trump talks politics with the Boy Scouts, 24 July 2017,10.Blaming both sides, 15 August 2017, 11.The anti-Muslim retweets, 29 November 2017,12.Stable genius, 6 January 2018. + The Guardian tries to narrow a list down to the 12 weirdest days from Trump’s first year. (The piece could have just as easily been titled, Twelve Random Days.)
+ A few areas where Trumpism had its biggest impact: From The Marshall Project: Nine ways the law-and-order president has smashed Obama’s legacy.
NatGeo with a running list of how Trump is changing the environment.Mounds of unsold coal stand above ground at ERP Compliant Fuels’ Federal No. 2 mine near Fairview, W.Va., April 11, 2016. With Donald Trump’s win in the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped the contours of corporate America over the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable
The excellent Dahlia Lithwick on the highly efficient way Trump is remaking the judiciary.Trump has stacked the courts with judges like James Ho, Don Willett, and Allison Eid.
And the NYT on how international perceptions of America have changed in just one year.President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday at the Capitol. Approval of American leadership has dropped nearly 20 percentage points since President Barack Obama’s final year in office in countries around the world, a Gallup survey found.
+ Adam Gopnik: A Year of Donald Trump in the White House.Those in the Trump-pessimist camp are inclined to point out not only that the final score is not in yet but that the game has only just started. In real life, as opposed to fifties sitcoms, the Ralph Kramdens tend to act on their instincts. Trump’s Justice Department has already reopened an investigation of his political opponent, after he loudly demanded it—itself a chilling abuse of power. And if, as seems probable, Trump tries to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel on the Russia investigation, we will be in the midst of a crisis of extreme dimensions.
+ FIveThirtyEight: How Trump ranks in popularity vs. past presidents.Based on approval ratings one year into a first term, Trump is the most unpopular president since at least Harry Truman (as far back as we have data).
+ This administration has had unprecedented turnover.Turnover among top-level staff in the Trump White House was off the charts, according to a new Brookings Institution report.Turnover in Trump’s first year was more than triple that in former President Barack Obama’s first year, and double the rate in President Ronald Reagan’s White House. A full 34 percent of high-level White House aides either resigned, were fired or moved into different positions in this first year of the Trump presidency.
+ And maybe, Christopher Hebert was the only one who had the right news strategy over the past year. “For the next year, I won’t turn the radio back on again. I won’t turn on the TV news. I won’t read a paper. I will embark on a journey into purposeful, determined ignorance.” My year of living ignorantly.