August 17, 2022

California Gov. Newsom hasn’t “cleaned” the forest so Trump threatens to withhold disaster aid for fires

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Despite swearing an oath of office that required him to be the president of all of the United States, Donald Trump continues to act as if his only duty is to the small minority of the country that constitutes his base and the rest of the country can simply go to hell.


Trump said essentially as much to the state of California, currently experiencing a record number and size of fires as climate change has exacerbated the already dangerously dry conditions that prevail in the state.

Criticizing California’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsom for his “terrible job of forest management,” the president threatened to cut off federal disaster aid for the state in yet another example of the type of political extortion that he exhibited in the Ukraine phone call that has subsequently resulted in the all-consuming impeachment inquiry within which he now finds himself.

Trump puts the word “clean” in quotes, which only served to remind Californians of the highly ridiculed words he actually used when speaking with Governor Newsom last year at the site of the deadly Paradise Fire:

“I was with the president of Finland and he said: ‘We have, much different, we are a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem,” Trump said, prompting many a satirical meme.

Trump ignores the fact that the environmentalists he denigrates are actually citizens of California and that Newsom does, indeed, serve at the pleasure of them and the other citizens of California rather than taking orders from him, so they have every right to “DEMAND” that the state government look after their concerns about their habitat.

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Trump’s nonsensical analysis of what he considers California’s excessive rate of fires compared to other, smaller, less arid states ignores basic geology, meteorology, and per capita statistics in addition to failing to find similar fault with Florida, Texas, and the other largely Republican states along the southern Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico for their excessive rate of hurricanes.

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The president also proposes solving one environmental disaster by creating another one, suggesting that rivers in the northwest be diverted to solve California’s lack of stable water resources. That idea completely ignores the fact that diverting the river waters would adversely affect the salmon runs along the river and destroy the delicate ecosystems along those rivers.

Anger, bluster, and scientific ignorance are the hallmarks of these particular Trump tweets, but their true significance is in their proof that the president cares nothing about the people in states that didn’t vote for him and are even less likely to vote for him if he survives the impeachment process to run again in next year’s election.

Perhaps Governor Newsom should reply to Donald Trump in kind. Perhaps something starting along the lines of:

The President of the United States, @realDonald Trump, has done a terrible job of government management. I told him from the first day we met that he must “clean” his administration regardless of what his bosses, the Russians and the coporate oligarchs, DEMAND of him.

Follow that up with a few lines about raking the White House floor like the President of Finland does with his official residence, and Newsom’s tweeted reply will surely go mega-viral.

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Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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