Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

What the fuck just happened?

Just come back from holiday? Fear not, Hannah Dunleavy‘s here to condense what you missed. This time, she’s looking at the first 12 days of the nuclear-powered shitblizzard that is the US election. WTFJH?

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
Friday 29 July

Donald Trump responds to news that the Democratic National Convention (DNC) earned higher TV ratings than the Republican one by denying it was anything to do with him. Maybe he should put his name in huge letters above things he is involved with so we can… Oh, hang on.

Trump rally with massive 'Trump' sign above stage
Later, he announces it will be no more Mr Nice Guy (no, me neither), calls Hillary Clinton “the devil”, berates a fire marshal for not letting more people in and says weird stuff about a Second World War General, George Patton, not liking emails. This would make a decent comedy sketch, the punchline of which is Patton’s face when he realises he and Trump are on the same side.

Trump’s running mate Mike ‘Permission to Speak’ Pence says there is no place for name calling in politics, as his boss unleashes a barrage of tweets about “Crooked Hillary” and “Little” Mike Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York who failed to endorse him. Which would have set the irony klaxon off, had it not already been sounding continuously since Trump first announced he was running.

Hillary and her pick for Veep, Faceless McSome-Guy, have a successful first outing in Philadelphia. Her camp later confirms it was hacked in the same cyber-attack that saw the DNC’s emails end up on Wikileaks. Sadly, no word on what Patton would’ve made of it.

Saturday 30 July

Trump insults the Khan family, whose son was killed in action in Iraq, in retribution for their “vicious attack” at the DNC. You know, when he was asked if he’d read the Constitution. Albeit rhetorically. Trump suggests Mrs Khan didn’t speak as she was a Muslim, sparking a wildfire of criticism from, well it would be easier to say who didn’t criticise it: Trump supporters. And other racists.

“Perhaps John McCain is just grateful that Trump has made the world nostalgic for the 2012 McCain presidential campaign, in the same way having your nipples attached to a car battery might make you nostalgic for a time when you were just being punched in the face.”

To prove she’s still there, Jill Stein of the Green Party walks into a small-scale media storm after being accused of having anti-vaccination sympathies. Thus proving that a truth is a truth the world over: give the Green Party an open goal and they will accidentally stab themselves to death with the javelin they were attempting to throw in there.

Sunday 31 July

The National Football League denies Trump’s claim it wrote to him agreeing that the timing of two of the televised presidential debates to clash with football games is “ridiculous”.

As the Khan family row rumbles on, Trump suggests he has made sacrifices for America, including working hard, employing people and being successful. Twitter goes insane. And fair enough.

In the same interview, Trump looks like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and like he wants to stroke Putin, saying Russia would never invade somewhere it’s already invaded.

Hillary does marginally better in a Fox News interview, answering questions on Benghazi, emails and the Hillary Foundation. And doing OK in the general knowledge round.

Monday 1 August

Hillary, Barack Obama and John McCain join the chorus of “WTF?” about Trump’s unwillingness to back down over his comments to the Khan family.

Trumpy eating KFC on his jetBut McCain, who’s had his own military record questioned by Trump, doesn’t refuse to endorse him. Perhaps he’s just grateful that Trump has made the world nostalgic for the 2008 McCain presidential campaign, in the same way having your nipples attached to a car battery might make you nostalgic for a time when you were just being punched in the face.

Two of Donald Trump’s top advisers retweet a frankly shameful piece of shit accusing Mr Khan of being a “Muslim Brotherhood agent”. Meanwhile, the New York Post puts photographs of a naked Melania Trump, taken prior to her marriage to the businessman, on their front page and Politifact reports that the fire marshal harangued as a “Democrat” by Trump, was in fact, a registered Republican.

And while the Hillary-Whatshisface tour bus hits Ohio, where they eat some cheese, Trump kicks off a social media riot by saying if his daughter was sexually harassed at work he’d advise her to change jobs. That’s the same woman about whom he once said, “If she wasn’t my daughter I’d be dating her.” So maybe not the best person to go to for advice anyway.

Trump tucks into a KFC on his private jet using a knife and fork. Man, does he have the common touch. He later makes the toy from his Kinder egg using a power drill and declares it: “The greatest thing anyone has ever made.”

Meanwhile, queues form outside media organisations to condemn Trump. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria calls him “a bullshit artist” and Sally Bradshaw, a top adviser to Jeb Bush, plumps for “a total narcissist, a misogynist, a bigot.” Journalists start to wonder if they will ever get to tuck their kids into bed again.

The Simpsons unveils its view on the election.

Have a nice weekend all. What? It’s still Monday? Are you shitting me?

Tuesday 2 August

New York congressman Richard Hanna becomes the first sitting Republican to say he will vote for Hillary.

Eric Trump doubles down on the sexual harassment shite by saying his sister isn’t the sort of woman who’d allow herself to be sexually harassed. Patriarchy successfully dismantled, girls; let’s go home.

Chris Christie breaks from the Trump camp for the first time since surgically attaching his lips to its arse and criticises his behaviour towards the Khan family. Obama goes full out, calling Trump “unfit” to be president and virtually begging the Republicans to disavow their nominee.

The CEO of the DNC resigns in the wake of the email hacking that revealed anti-Bernie Sanders sentiment within the party’s leadership. Seemingly upset that someone else is getting headlines, Trump goes on a bad PR rampage, starting by refusing to endorse three of the country’s top Republicans: McCain, House speaker Paul Ryan and New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte.

Later, he is given a Purple Heart by a war veteran, and takes to the stage claiming he’d always wanted to get one of those. Begging the question, why, if he’d always wanted to be injured in the line of duty, he dodged the Vietnam draft five times. Oh wait, it’s because “this was easier”. That makes more sense.

Then he demands a mother take her child out of a rally because there’s only room for one crying baby in his campaign and, to finish up, claims the election is going to be rigged.

French president François Hollande is asked what he thinks of Trump and answers, “His excesses make you want to retch.” They do François, they really do.

Wednesday 3 August

Two Democrats in the senate demand Ted Cruz hold a hearing into whether Donald Trump’s plea to Russian hackers to go after Hillary’s private emails violated federal law. Earlier in the week Trump explained his statement as “sarcasm”, which I don’t think he really understands. Even though he’s obviously really intelligent.

Republican cashpoint machine Meg Whitman calls Trump a demagogue and defects to the Hillary camp, and The New York Times releases terrifying footage shot in the crowd at a series of KKK, sorry Trump, rallies.

Meanwhile, a stunned silence sweeps across American’s breakfasts when MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says a source has told him the Republican nominee asked three times why the US can’t use nuclear weapons. Which sounds kind of biblical. And by that, I mean like the end of days.

On the same theme, John Noonan, a former national security adviser to Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, lets loose a torrent of tweets about why Trump shouldn’t get the keys to America’s nuclear arsenal, which was neatly summed up in this one tweet.

Pence diverted from the Trump path for the first time by endorsing Ryan, proving that, while Trump may be keeping his running mate’s balls in a jar, he does sometimes let him hold it.

Trump himself decided to round up his greatest insult hits, bringing up the Megyn Kelly blood comments and his mocking of disabled journalist Serge Kovaleski, before launching into a tirade about hostages in Iran and making claims about watching a film that proved everything he said was right. That’s not a film Donald, it’s the mirror.

Comedians were given a little hope that, although Trump may be killing political satire, there’s still work available to them as the Hillary campaign releases an anti-Trump advert which is merely a clip from his appearance on Letterman.

The actor Will Smith describes America of being in the grip of “a collective insanity”, something he’d know a lot about, having been in Wild Wild West.

After less than a week (yes, it’s been less than a shitting week) of drama, the Republican Party is said to be planning an intervention with Trump’s children, which got somewhat lost in the much bigger news that Madame Tussauds have Trump’s actual hand measurements. Someone give them a huge hand. Not you Donald, yours are “smaller than average”.

That’s Wednesday, people. Maybe pack a lunch for tomorrow.

Thursday 4 August

Trump starts the day with an “everything’s sunny all the time, always” statement, as Obama gives himself the birthday present of tearing apart Trump’s plan to deal with Isis.

Pence experiences the most intelligent level of debate in the campaign yet when an 11-year-old asks him a question. Meanwhile Ben Carson – remember him? – says the Khan family and Trump should apologise to each other, which is like your mum saying “make friends” after you told your sister to tidy her half of the bedroom and she drove over you in her car.

The naked photoshoot that came back to haunt Melania Trump came back to haunt Melania Trump when questions were asked as to her right to work in the US when they were taken. She denied any wrongdoing. Well, obvs.

Elsewhere, Trump’s new friend Paul Nehlen, who is challenging Ryan’s seat and was praised by Trump in a tweet on Tuesday (remember Tuesday?) suggests the US should consider deporting all Muslims. He sounds great, right?

Angry US military veterans arrive at Capitol Hill urging Republican leaders to withdraw their support for the party’s nominee and Clint Eastwood tops the empty chair speech with the news that everyone should just get over the racism and sexism of Trump. People get their DVD of Unforgiven and consider hitting it with a hammer. OK, maybe that was just me.

Meanwhile one-time Republican strategist Liz Mair sums up Trump’s campaign strategy as “being a loud-mouthed dick”, a statement so wonderfully succinct, people think about carrying her around on their shoulders. Again, maybe just me. (Perhaps bring some sort of protective headgear, Liz.)

Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons.

Friday 5 August

Oh, thank Christ it’s Friday.

Trump is forced to retract his statement about the video he saw of the US giving Iran money for hostages, saying he’d mixed it up with a dream he had after watching Argo. OK, not that, but something equally fatuous. Still, doesn’t mean it’s not true, eh Donald?

He later unveils his economics crew: 15 men, six of whom are called Steve. This really helps back up his claim that no one respects women as much as Donald J Trump.

Later, he calls Hillary “a monster”, “unhinged” “unbalanced” and “brainwashed”. At a rally in Des Moines, calls of “kill her” come from the crowd. Since that person was probably unhinged and brainwashed, I’m guessing it was Hillary herself. That bloody woman.

Trump finally endorses Ryan, Ayotte and McCain and claims the media are stitching him up.

Hillary said she “short-circuited” while answering questions about her classified emails. Defections from the Republicans continue regardless.

Saturday 6 August and Sunday 7 August

As everyone sits back to enjoy a weekend of shitting themselves about the future, a second Republican in Congress announces he’s not backing Trump, but instead voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who is also a thing.

Buzzfeed picks up on a radio interview given earlier in the week in which the leader of the American Nazi Party said the election of Trump would present “a real opportunity for people like white nationalists” to start “acting intelligently”. Well, there’s no doubt it would give them an opportunity but I’d put good money on no one acting intelligently.

“A stunned silence swept across American’s breakfasts when MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said a source has told him the Republican nominee asked three times why the US can’t use nuclear weapons.”

Florida senator Marco Rubio, one-time Republican candidate wannabe, takes the lull in the news to state that women infected with the Zika virus should not be allowed to have abortions, even if their babies have microcephaly. The colossal fuckstick.

Monday 8 August

An open letter signed by 50 veterans of Republican presidencies calls out Trump’s “alarming ignorance” of basic international affairs, as New South Wales Premier Bob Carr warns a Trump presidency could mess up Australia’s relationships in the Asia-Pacific region. Someone presumably shows Trump where that is on a map.

Meanwhile, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is arrested at a sit-in at the office of a Virginia congressman to demand a hearing on the Voting Rights Act.

Tuesday 9 August

The families of two Americans killed in the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Libya file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Hillary. Which should have been the news story of the day, except that Trump pulled the trigger on his most controversial speech (read shameful shit) yet.

While he denied that the statement he’d made about Hillary and the Second Amendment was a call to assassinate her, huge swathes of humanity took it to mean just that. Many of whom have guns. #PeakTrump achieved. I’m done. When are the spaceships coming to take us to our new planet?

Read Hannah’s previous What the fuck just happened? recap here. Then weep.


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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.