NEW YORK—I don’t wanna say Donald Trump has contempt for established rules, but he’s planning his third term.
This is a boon for the media, though, because at least once a day the Trump press corps gets to say, You won’t believe what this guy did now.
The usual progression goes as follows:
(1) Trump does something mundane that would normally not be noticed—like taking a congratulatory phone call from the president of Taiwan.
(2) The Washington bureau chief of The Philadelphia Inquirer goes, “Wait! Was that normal? Is there protocol for that? Won’t that piss off China? I think I’ll go ask my blabbermouth source in the State Department what he thinks about it.”
(3) Stanley P. Macpherson Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia, answers his phone and says, “Oh yeah, Stu, he’s playing with fire. This is off the record, right? That one phone call could set the country back thirty years in terms of China policy.”
(4) Headline the next day: TRUMP CLUELESS ABOUT CHINA.
What is not stated in the Inquirer article is that (a) Stanley Macpherson worked for Hillary Clinton and liked her, (b) Stanley puckers up every time he hears Trump talk about “draining the swamp,” and (c) Stanley believes that, if there are budget cuts next year, his staff is likely to be on the “take no prisoners” list.
Probably the worst thing you can say to Donald Trump is “Mr. President, you have to do it that way because we’ve done it that way for the past fifty years.”
That’s like telling an alcoholic, “Don’t touch this Macallan single malt I’m leaving on your nightstand over the weekend.”
Fortunately I’m here to explain the Trump mind.
Let’s start with the Environmental Protection Agency:
Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, is being appointed by Trump to head the EPA because Trump wants to piss off the environmentalists. “Environmental” is in the name of the agency—hence, Trumpian logic applied, you need somebody who is gonna nuke the D.C. attitude. Pruitt has defended ExxonMobil, sued the EPA numerous times over the Clean Power Plan, and is basically in favor of fracking, canceling the Paris climate deal, and packaging mercury, arsenic, and California smog as ingredients in craft beers sold at minor-league ballparks. But those are not even the most annoying things about him. He’s also a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow and a trustee of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is located in “The Ville”—Louisville, Kentucky. People in Kentucky think the EPA was invented to destroy their coalfields.
I once participated in a seminar on Muslim immigration that included Anglican clerics from Oxford University and senior professors from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. By the end of the weekend, several of the Oxford dons had to be straitjacketed so that they wouldn’t go off in search of automatic weapons—that’s how fundamentalist SBTS is. Pruitt is not just a pollution-lover, he’s one of those annoying guys who comes to your house on Thursday night and makes you give money to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
But Scott Pruitt is really just a decoy. He’s an obvious target so that nobody will notice the rest of the upcoming Trump appointments. I just got off the phone with Steve Bannon and, in spite of anything you might have read, this is the lineup for 2017:
CIA Director: This will be Boris Vasilievich Mistrovokolsky, currently manager of a power plant in Tajikistan but well-known to Trump as the Interim Director of Construction Contracts for the new Trump International Hotel and Spa in Baku, Azerbaijan. Mistrovokolsky vows to make the CIA “more transparent.”
Drug Czar: Eddie “Fingers” Felson, former jazz trumpet with the Miles Davis band, thirty-year heroin user. Determined to get rid of the needle-free drug culture based around crystal meth and return the country to its roots.
Press Secretary: Heather McCrory, YouTube baton-twirling star voted “hottest on Snapchat” three years in a row by the glee club of Milhaus High School in Encino, California. Heather vows to live-tweet every press briefing and get rid of the “reporters” who work for “newspapers” and “television networks,” since she gets all her information from Netflix.
National Security Advisor: Vinnie Campesino, former head of security for both Miss World and Miss Teen USA, who can bench-press 400 pounds and once pried a spiked piña colada away from Charlie Sheen’s death grip. Vinnie is fond of quoting Rowdy Roddy Piper in a scene from They Live: “I’m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.”
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: In an effort to bring more diversity to the court, Trump’s appointment will be Pam Grier—black, female, and keenly aware of injustice ever since she was unfairly defeated by Roberta Collins in the mud-wrestling scene of The Big Doll House. Pam is a big supporter of oral arguments and thinks she can bring brevity and clarity to deliberations with lines like “Death is too easy for you, bitch!” and “You just handle the justice, I’ll handle the revenge myself.”
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Oliver Winstead, former treasurer for the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, who holds the record for number of times subpoenaed (174) and hours of depositions given (12,905) while extracting four bankrupt casinos from the court system without ever losing a night’s sleep.
Director of the National Security Agency: Barron Trump, age 10, currently a student at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York, because he’s “really good with computers.”
Ambassador to the United Nations: Alexandria Nichole Mills, Miss World 2010, who lives in Bardstown, Kentucky, home of both Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, and believes in world peace.
Secretary of Agriculture: Josh Sobel, former head of men’s fragrances at Tommy Hilfiger, whose brilliant combination of juniper, red currant, coriander, and frozen ginger resulted in the eau de toilette spray Trump Success getting into Target stores in the Midwest. Josh has a plan to stop growing all that wheat—ewwwwww, gluten, yuk!—and start growing lavender, jasmine, violet leaf, orange blossom, peppermint, chamomile, and gingko biloba because “HELLO, don’t they look a lot nicer and smell better?”
Secretary of the Interior: Heather Montana, former head of guest relations at Trump International Hotel & Tower Waikiki Beach Walk, who has some really, really great fantastic ideas about how to put a golf course on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in which every drive is threatened by a 6,000-foot drop and to create a health spa adjacent to Old Faithful so that the 204-degree water at the vent can be air-cooled to a perfect 120 in the National Park Service Unisex Steam Room.
Secretary of Transportation: Retired fighter pilot Chris “Iron Jockstrap” Ledbetter, responsible for seventeen chicken incidents in the eastern Mediterranean and South China Sea, currently living in a trailer house in the Chihuahua Desert but willing to move to D.C. if he can implement his “all jets, all the time” transportation strategy, which would create a system of single-occupant commuter planes in order to relieve rush-hour traffic congestion while providing a major boost to the energy industry since the amount of jet fuel consumed would cause a 50 percent hike in the benchmark price of West Texas Intermediate crude.
Secretary of the Treasury: One advantage of being President is that you have virtually unlimited powers of pardons and paroles. Since the national debt is at an all-time high, since it’s impossible to ever make good on our international financial obligations, and since most of the President’s triumphs have been in Palm Beach, Florida, that maelstrom of millionaires and billionaires where any deal can happen at any moment and any current problem can be solved by restructuring it into future promises, this is the most inspired appointment of all. The next Secretary of the Treasury will be Bernie Madoff.
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