Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

What the fuck just happened? The new POTUS

President King Baby has been in power for just over a week and the ensuing shitblizzard already demands a WTFJH? two-parter. Hannah Dunleavy is hitting the whiskey.

Trump official portrait
Friday 20 January

Inauguration day. I feel sick. I’m watching the unedifying spectacle at my aunt’s house. I’ve not really been in touch with the news since Trump won the election (those past three months coinciding with the worst three of my life). I’m trying very hard to convince myself that since Trump is a reality TV star, if I don’t watch, it won’t really have happened.

Who am I kidding? We watch. Obama has on the sort of stoic face you rarely see outside of a wartime ration queue and the whole thing is draped in a sombreness that makes it feel like a funeral. But a lot less fun. And a shitload more racist.

Ivanka TrumpIvanka Trump has come dressed like an ambassador from a different planet, which in many ways she is. The crowd is thin on the ground and very white.

Bernie Sanders is there, looking like he’s trying to work out who stepped in dog poo. Bernie, mate, it’s all of us.

Elsewhere there’s a lot of plastic surgery on show. Can I say that? Never mind, there’s Jimmy Carter, soon to have some hot competition for the title of ‘best living former President’.

Dear God, here comes Trump, walking like a mafia consigliere. He starts with a thumbs-up, like he’s on an infomercial for stupidly long ties. In the cold light of day, he’s almost luminous orange.

If you listen carefully you can hear Lincoln turning in his grave. Fuck, if you really listen, you can hear Nixon having a little spin.

There’s some religious types, one of them telling Trump to fuck off in Bible talk, which is the best use of Bible talk there is.

We have a bit of music from a choir who look like BA stewardesses dressed as Aston Villa fans, and Chuck Schumer manages to have a pop at Trump through the medium of Civil War quotes. He’s been the best thing so far. Which frankly, hasn’t been hard.

Mike Pence gets sworn in first. He looks like a secret service agent who walked through the wrong door and found himself here. If only that were true. Melania Trump looks so miserable, social media decides she needs saving.

Oh shit. It’s about to happen: “Please raise your tiny hand and repeat after me.” This is the dawning of the age of precarious/nefarious/despair-ious/insert your own arious here. Although, it is about to be the Year of The Cock, which works well too.

We get a speech, which appears to be a variety of song lyrics conjoined by the word “millions”. Some men briefly come and stand behind him and I get a bit excited that they are coming to take him away.

There’s something about “young and beautiful students” (*shudders*), something about crime and more “right here, right now”s than Fatboy Slim. He quotes Bane in Batman, as well as (I’m pretty sure) Star Trek, Johnny Mathis and Fievel in An American Tail.

At one point Trump talks about how Americans are going to build railroads again. My aunt and I both shout, “You didn’t build the railroads the first time, you dick, it was the Chinese,” at exactly the same time, but it’s a hollow victory.

“You will never be ignored again” he shouts like a tinpot dictator. That is, of course, unless you work for CNN. Michelle Obama’s face says it all. Twenty minutes of soundbites and bullshit. Oh, here’s a rabbi. I feel like I need one.

Someone from a singing contest does the national anthem and it’s about as comprehensible as the Cocteau Twins. And about one per cent as good. I think about that time Tracey sang it in 30 Rock until it stops.

Jon Sopel stops reporting in order to film Barry O’s helicopter flying in the distance on his phone. I think that’s a weird enough moment to stop on. Fuck’s sake. Let the chaos begin.

In other news, someone punches alt-right shitstain Richard Spencer, prompting a degree of alt-left hand wringing. I’m with her.

Saturday 21 January

Spend hours jovially penned into a square opposite The American Embassy, as 86,000 more people than expected turn up to the Women’s March in London. Fear losing a toe, despite wearing three pairs of socks, hold on to a wee for a personal record amount of time and hear Love is in the Air being played on kazoos. Everything else was cracking.

Similar marches across the world, including one with a staggering 750,000 people in Los Angeles, rile the bejesus out of the alt-right who start to collectively bedwet like they’re at the Ritz Carlton Moscow.

Mike Huckabee – yeah, that twat – is among the first to point out on Twitter that if women want to moan about something they should take a look at Saudi Arabia. As if caring about women in the US and caring about women elsewhere are mutually exclusive. (Sarah Vine, wife of Michael Gove – yeah, that twat – echoed the same sentiment in her Mail column later in the week. A column in which she also just couldn’t understand the fuss about the Oscars being whiter than an episode of Midsomer Murders.)

Although, to be fair, both Huckabee and Vine do run excellent schemes to help women in Saudi Arabia and if you want to donate you can go to www.ofcoursetheyfuckingdont.com.

Piers Morgan, in an early bid for the job of host of America’s first Hunger Games, fires off a series of tweets about the March with the confidence of a man who doesn’t think we remember those fake photos he put on the front page of the Mirror. Or that he couldn’t fill a stapler on Comic Relief’s version of The Apprentice.

Meanwhile, Trump goes to church and comes out with the kind of inner calm and humility of someone who’s trapped their balls in a vice. A vice that is positioned next to a television showing the Women’s March. Immediately, all sorts of shit starts to hit all the fans, although not, as of yet, the new gold* curtains in the Oval Office.
*Because classy.

“Where are all those people who said, ‘2017 will be better’ now? I need to punch something.”

Sean Spicer, the new White House Press Officer puts on one of his dad’s suits and attempts to sell the media a number of easily disprovable lies (later rebranded “alternative facts” by Kellyanne Conjob), while berating the press for being mean to his boss. It has all the style and substance of a Don King press conference.

Spicer immediately becomes a meme and many US journalists immediately decide White House statements can no longer be trusted. The first of which was really funny, and the second of which is pretty sad.

The National Parks Service has its Twitter account suspended for retweeting photographs that contradict the official White House line about Trump’s inauguration. Which was, as we all know, the greatest thing ever.

Come on, repeat after me: had more people there than had ever been recorded in human history and was visible from space. (As if this isn’t astonishing enough, reports later suggest Trump made the phone call himself. Because my word, is the administration leaking like it’s standing on Obama’s old bed with Trump dollars in its hand.)

The Park Service was back tweeting soon enough, starting with an apology. But it’s an opening salvo in a week-long battle that saw the combination of 21st-century media and good old-fashioned American folk culture turn the US’s park service into Davy Crockett with a Twitter account.

Is it still Day 1? My feet hurt. And also my brain. But no, there’s more to come as Trump goes to the CIA, who he recently, and apparently without irony, likened to Nazi Germany, stands in front of its memorial wall and has what can only, and indeed kindly, be described as ‘an episode’. The freshly retired director of the agency John Brennan says he is “deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandisement”. Trump later gives it a 10.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is cleared to take a job in the administration because, apparently, the president has authority to hire White House positions anyway. And rightly so, the nepotism rule is there to root out truly terrible stuff like Take Your Daughter To Work Day, not stop unqualified people working with their wife’s father.

The Palace confirms that the Queen will officially invite Trump to the UK but everyone is too tired to notice for a few days.

Day 1 is done. Up the women.

Sunday 22 January

Katie Hopkins writes a frankly batshit column about the Women’s March in which she says she can fit a 24oz can of beer in her vagina. Sideways. Which does nothing to further her argument but is really no less weird than anything Goop will tell you to shove up there.

Theresa May goes on The Andrew Marr Show to confirm that if Trump is inappropriate when they meet, she’ll say something. Maybe like she said something about what she’d known about a Trident misfire.

The Pope announces he’s going to “wait and see” before forming an opinion on Trump, which seems rather like “waiting and seeing” what happens if you let a rabid squirrel drive a car.

Trump continues his assault on the good health of the people of America (or, as we know it, Obamacare). He also tweeted about the Women’s March: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election. Why didn’t these people vote?” (NEWSFLASH: they did.)

POTUS was also caught on camera apparently blowing a kiss to FBI chief James Comey. Isn’t that the guy who dumped that Clinton email controversy just before the election, I hear you ask. Well, quite.

Oh, and the Dallas Stars crack the best joke of the weekend…

I don’t know what else to say. Where’s the whiskey?

Monday 23 January

Holy shit, is the weekend over yet? Yes? Yes. It must be, because the courts are open and ethics experts, including, according to Mother Jones*, the former ethics attorneys for George W Bush and Barack Obama, file a suit against Trump which claims his business interests cause conflicts of interests on constitutional grounds. Day 3, people. What you having for breakfast?
*One of a number of excellent US news sources continuing to fight the good fight in extraordinary circumstances. Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money, but they all need cash to do so…

Not content with attempting to stop poor women in America accessing abortion, Trump signs an Executive Order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding. To be clear, this means health workers in foreign countries can’t even tell a woman what the risks would be of having an illegal abortion. Because what they don’t know can’t hurt them. No, wait, it’s not that. There must be another phrase that fits the bill. Oh yes, it’s “Not our problem, love.”

Trump announces he’s withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and puts a freeze on non-military federal hiring, Meanwhile his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski fails to see that his newly opened political lobbying firm in Washington DC somewhat undermines the president’s pledge to stamp out influence-peddling. Because how fucking dare we?

And just in case you forgot, we’ve got our share of noxious cocks in the UK, too, Piers Morgan tries to hold WEP’s Sophie Walker responsible for everything Madonna said at the Women’s March. A mistake if ever I saw one.

“The HuffPo reports federal agencies have told employees to cease communications with members of Congress and the press. None of which sounds at all like an authoritarian regime. Not one little bit.”

And finally, the beady-eyed among us (for which I take no credit) notice the Government had seen inauguration day as a good day to bury bad news, rolling out plans that meant women who conceive a third child as a result of rape must prove to a third party that it actually happened in order to get tax credits. Because. No, I’ve got nothing.

Where are all those people who said, “2017 will be better” now? I need to punch something.

Tuesday 24 January

There’s more shit flying around than I’ve ever seen, and I say that as someone who was recently in a tiny room where two people were pooing and two were puking.

Let’s start with the Badlands National Park Service, which comes close to being the best thing ever with the word Badlands in it, extraordinary considering that includes a Bruce Springsteen song, a Terrence Malick film and the actual Badlands National Park, which remains the best place I’ve ever visited.

After going ‘rogue’ and tweeting a load of climate change facts, as in actual facts, its temporary closure leads to the establishment of a glut of alternative Twitter accounts, some of which are as fake as that Styrofoam cake, but some of which have a daring ring of truth about them.

Britain wakes up to the news that Ewan McGregor has cancelled his appearance on breakfast TV because he’d rather not breathe the same air as Piers Morgan. The journalist went on an extended Twitter rant and banged out a Mail column about how actors should keep their views to themselves, while ignoring a number of glaring contradictions in his mindset. Like, *coughs*, this one.

Another four journalists are charged with felonies after being arrested for covering the unrest on the night of Donald Trump’s inauguration, making it six media workers now facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. And to think, they could’ve just stayed at home and made the fake news up. Eh Donald?

Realising he’s yet to shit on Native Americans, Trump signs executive orders to allow construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Because global warming is not a thing people. SAD!

Il Douche decides to jump from the swearing-in crowd size row onto another bandwagon, the one called “loads of people voted twice for Hillary, see I won the popular vote after all, everything sunny all the times always.” Early checks suggested lots of people were indeed registered to vote in two states, including his daughter Tiffany and his boss, sorry, advisor, Steve Bannon.

Elsewhere, this clown attempts to mansplain communism to Martina Navratilova.

And that’s all folks. Oh no, wait, was there that one thing where the Government lost its fast-tracked appeal to the supreme court, forcing ministers to introduce emergency legislation into parliament to authorise the UK’s departure from the EU.

I think we’re going to need more swear words.

Wednesday 25 January

Dear God, has someone opened Pandora’s box?

Theresa May promises a Brexit Bill by Thursday, which is, er tomorrow, although it’s anyone’s guess if the world will make it to then anyway. There’s much ado about whether or not Jeremy Corbyn is going to pull Labour’s life support enforce a three-line whip. Which, given the looming crisis/fascist takeover looming around the world seems exactly what the left needs right now.

Meanwhile, Private Eye points out the alternative facts in a statement David Davis gave to the Commons yesterday.


Across the water, Trump signs Executive Orders and shows them proudly to the press, like he’s just drawn the tiger he saw at the zoo. (What Donald? It’s a penguin? My bad, of course it’s a penguin. Clever Boy.) They include one to start the construction of a wall (no, but really, that fucking wall) on the Mexican border. Another imposed a ban on refugees from the Middle East, prompting this from Madeleine Albright.

And one more targeted at “sanctuary cities” which offer safe haven to undocumented migrants. Because fuck ’em eh?

He still finds time to fire off a tweet threatening to send the Feds into Chicago. Meanwhile, the HuffPo reports federal agencies have told employees to cease communications with members of Congress and the press. None of which sounds at all like an authoritarian regime. Not one little bit.

Trump later gives an interview to ABC which is… no, I’ve run out of words for it… fixating on voter fraud like a fat orange baby and proclaiming that waterboarding works.

Later, the New York Times carries a story that involves a Trump dinner party and the golfer Bernhard Langer, which couldn’t have been madder if it had ended “and then we all fucked.”

Later still, Carl Bernstein – yes, Carl fucking Bernstein – appears on CNN to say Trump’s “emotional maturity and stability” are being discussed in private by senior members of the GOP.

More troublingly/frustratingly/what the fuckingly was the news that Trump is still using an unsecured mobile phone. (“Lock him up. Lock him up!”)

Fox News, for reasons that can perhaps most accurately be described by just repeating the words “Fox News”, does an odd segment where it pretends Trump is flashing the lights of the White House on and off when they ask him to. Which takes a lot of people in, although not those of us who know he hasn’t got time to watch TV. He’s got The Spruce Moose to build.

In other news, following everyone who stood in the primaries finally paid off…

And this guy just kept on keeping on. That’s not going to end well is it?

Read part two of WTFJH? here.

@thatdunleavy

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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.

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