Joseph Wyatt: A presidential performance review for 2019 (Opinion)

My research team has considered the alpine heights to which President Donald Trump’s strange behaviors have risen. What follows is a presidential performance review for the year past, with an admitted preference for the bizarre.

Mr. Trump announced that prayer rugs are being found on U.S. soil near the Mexican border and that women bound in duct tape are being spirited across the border in vehicles at high speeds. The claims brought about head scratching among our border security personnel although, on the positive side, they parallel a certain cheesy action movie.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference the President gave a two-hour, 22 minute speech after first mugging at attendees as he hugged Old Glory. His speech contained 140 lies.

After a number of bloody shootings, he vowed to push for meaningful gun control, only to quickly wilt when faced with criticism from the NRA. He brought on a government shutdown that spanned December 2018 and January 2019 at a cost of $11 billion, promising to continue it until Democrats forked over millions for Trump’s prized border wall. After 35 days, he reopened the government, minus any concessions by the Dems.

The U.S. budget deficit rose to $891 billion, a 10 percent increase in one year. Along the way, Mr. Trump issued Photoshopped pictures that made him look slimmer and his fingers appear longer.

Six top Trump aides and associates have been either found guilty or pleaded guilty to various crimes. In eight years of the Obama administration, the number was zero.

It was revealed that 25 of Trump’s advisers were denied security clearances for such infractions as failing to list their numerous contacts with foreign nationals (especially Russians) on their security applications. Among them was Jared Kushner who, along with the others, subsequently received the security clearances anyway. The president is the only individual with authority to override the denials, according to career security official Tricia Newbold.

Mr. Trump has gone to court in an effort to prevent the release of his tax returns, even though he said he really wants to release them and there is no legal reason he can’t. Images arise of the president pleading with a judge, “Stop me from doing what I’d really like to do!”

Robert Mueller met with the media to say that Attorney General William Barr had publicly misrepresented the Mueller Report’s findings. Nearly a thousand former prosecutors signed a letter to Congress saying that Trump would have been indicted except that, as president, he can’t be.

Trump’s economic policies, including tariffs, contributed to a 30 percent increase in farm bankruptcies in one year, across six Midwestern states, according to the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis.

The president pulled America out of the Iran nuclear deal with the predictable result that Iran immediately began stockpiling more uranium. Mr. Trump announced that several congresswomen who criticized him should “... go back to the broken and crime infested countries” they came from, which is the U.S.

As the midterms approached in 2018, the president more than 500 times described illegal immigrants with the terms predator, invasion, alien, killer, criminal and animal. Meanwhile, children of parents applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border continued to live in squalor, often without soap or toothpaste. Several of the kids got sick and died. A Christian-oriented magazine, Christianity Today (founded by the Rev. Billy Graham), this year called for Trump’s impeachment and removal based on his border policies, along with the president’s behavior at odds with Christian ideals.

Noted biomedical researcher and epidemiologist Donald Trump said the noise from wind turbines causes cancer. In a July 4 speech, he took us on a trip in the Wayback machine, saying that during the American Revolution, “... the Army took over the airports.”

In December, Russia announced it has a rocket that can carry a 2-ton nuclear warhead at 27 times the speed of sound. As 2019 ended, Donald Trump had yet to utter a negative word about Vladimir Putin.

His supporters appear mostly unfazed. Just part of owning the libs, my team supposes.

Joseph Wyatt is a Gazette-Mail

contributing columnist and emeritus professor at Marshall University.

Funerals for Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Adkins, Kenneth - 11 a.m., Evans Funeral Home Chapel, Chapmanville.

Carney, Herman - 11 a.m., Poca United Methodist Church, Poca.

Chrislip, David - 11 a.m., Elk Funeral Home, Charleston.

Coon, Iverson - 2 p.m., Pleasant Grove Church, Reedy.

Fisher, Delmer - 1 p.m., Long and Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Frame, Joe - 2 p.m., Elk Hills Memorial Park, Big Chimney.

Gibson, Floyd - 1 p.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home. Malden.

Harmon-Ray, Barbara - 11 a.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Kennedy, Eva - 11 a.m., Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston.

Patton, Loretta - 1 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Peters, Bobby - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Phillips, William - 3 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Ritchie, Juanita - 8 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Scott, Jimmie - 11 a.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Taylor, Kenneth - 1 p.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Tribble, Harvey - 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Buffalo.

Williamson, Grayson - 11 a.m., Anderson Funeral Home, New Haven.