What do Americans want? Is it a good five-cent cigar or a chicken in every pot? More cowbell? Hard to say, but what we’re going to get, courtesy of our Bizarro President, is more methane. Whoopee, extra methane! Tell the children and grandchildren.
You remember Bizarro Superman from DC Comics. He was the polar opposite of the Man of Steel. Superman was good; his breath was super cold; and his X-ray vision could see through anything but lead. Conversely, his Bizarro mirror image was bad —with hot breath and X-Ray vision that could only see through lead.
President Biazarro, in his administration’s fourth major rollback of environmental regulations this year, is making it easier for oil and gas drillers on federal and tribal land to let methane escape into the warming air we breath.
You may remember methane from high school chemistry (or Google it, like I did): it’s the strongest greenhouse gas, 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in our deteriorating atmosphere.
But don’t be alarmed, we’r going to get more carbon dioxide, too, thanks to the president’s EDA (the Environmental Destruction Agency, the Bizarro version of the EPA). It’s also loosening restrictions on emissions from motor vehicles and coal-fired power plant.
Scott Pruitt, former head of the EDA, resigned in July under a gaseous cloud of ethics scandals—a dozen separate federal investigations were underway. So the president named Pruitt’s deputy, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, to take over. This is how to drain the swamp (and mix metaphors) in the Bizarro World: put the fox in charge of guarding the hen house.
How bizarre have things gotten? Let’s count the ways. In the very first week of his administration, the president, in a snit, hung up the phone on the Australian Prime Minister. Remember, in the Bizarro World allies are foes—like the European Union—and foes are BFFs, like Putin, Czar of Russia.
Our president can’t say enough nice things about Vlad the Poisoner, while he blasts Justin Trudeau, the huggable Prime Minister of Canada, as being “very weak & dishonest.” Putin is just one stop on the president’s Tyrant of the Month Tour. He has kissed and made up with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and a second date is in the works. An invitation for Putin to come to Washington was proffered, but he’s playing hard to get.
President “Biz” also has “a great relationship” with his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, and has lauded him for his war on drugs, which human rights groups charge has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings.
Elsewhere on the “diplomatic” front, in deference to his pal “Rocket Man,” our commander-in-chief called off long planned joint military exercises with South Korea—without bothering to consult with our ally or the Pentagon.
And who can forget when the leader of the free world shoved aside the prime minister of Montenegro to get to the front for a group photo of NATO leaders? Why he wanted to be seen with those “freeloaders” is unclear.
In July, on a visit to France, he told Brigitte Macron, wife of the French president, “You’re in such good shape.” He actually said it twice in case anyone had missed his faux pas.” Perhaps he was having flashbacks to being backstage at the Miss Universe Pageant.
Before the 2016 election, when he was simply Bizarro candidate, he promised, if elected, to hire “the best people.” In our brave new world, “best” encompasses those convicted of crimes like lying to the FBI (former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn) and money laundering, tax evasion, and illicit lobbying (former Bizarro campaign manager Paul Manafort).
The president’s reaction to Manafort’s felony conviction was classic DC Comics fare: he praised his crooked pal for not singing like a canary, Tweeting that he had “Such respect for a brave man!” It is what one would expect from Tony Soprano.
In addition to being arrested, the best people get fired a lot. Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communication director, was the best person at his job for ten days.
Some of the best people quit quite a lot (or get fired; sometimes it’s unclear which). Prez Biz hired Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former reality TV star, as communication director for the Office of Public Liaison (your guess is as good as mine). She was paid $179,700 a year, the highest a presidential aide can get, for duties that were “never especially clear,” according to Fortune magazine.
She insists that she quit. Then she wrote a tell-all memoir. Here’s president Bizarro’s take on her saga: “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
Now that’s some Bizarro presidential prose.
David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.