Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Peacful Day...

I woke up this morning with a sense of peace, for the first time in months.

I knew nothing terrible was going to happen.

dt has passed the high point on his ride around the wheel of fortune, and he's on the way down.

Monday: The FBI is investigating his campaign for possible collusion with Russians.  Good!  

Tuesday:  His nomination of Gorsuch to a seat on the Supreme Court is in jeopardy because 45 himself is in jeopardy.  Even if the nomination got out of the Judiciary Committee, even if he were approved in the House, still Senate Democrats will filibuster for a month or two--and in that amount of time, dt's presidency may become so discredited that everyone will recognize he doesn't deserve to have his nominee approved.

Wednesday:  An independent investigation of dt campaign collusion with Russian spies is all but guaranteed after the televised spectacle of Rep. Devin Nunes putting the House Intelligence Committee on hold to run off and brief 45 on upcoming bad news.

Thursday--today:  Word is that Republicans don't have enough votes to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act.  In fact, by late afternoon the vote had been postponed until Friday.  Whether Republicans can agree on some kind of replacement plan by tomorrow morning is doubtful.  

As a result, today was a peaceful day.  Don't worry, be happy.

Vanity Fair summed up the general mood of the nation with this article, "The Trump-Russia Scandal Is Beginning to Snowball" in its March 23 issue.  Thank you, Abigail Tracy.

I worked on my memoir for the first time since January 31.  (When the government is in chaos, I can't write.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WSJ: "Falsehoods... fake President"

We're passengers on a bus without a driver.

If the Wall Street Journal calls out your lies and calls you a "fake President," you know your credibility is low.

That is, unless you are dt, in which case this editorial does not penetrate the layers of unreality you have built around yourself.

This statement made by a conservative newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch confirms the realization I came to on Tuesday evening: we have no president.

We are passengers on a bus that has no driver.  No capable person has hands on the steering wheel, a foot on the gas but ready to move to the brakes.

No driver is watching signals, stop lights, and other traffic.

That's scary because if something serious happens in the world that requires US attention, no one is there to analyze, make a judgment, and organize an appropriate reaction--as the WSJ notes in the first sentence of this editorial.

Another scary factor is that a crazy person such as dt or Steve Bannon could grab the wheel or clomp on the brakes or make a sharp turn at any point.

Every day has held an unprecedented event for about a year now, but here's another: the WSJ comparing 45 to a drunk.

The editorial says that although FBI director James Comey exposed dt's wiretap tweet as a lie, " the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims... that perhaps the Obama administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence."

It's not a political rival making this comparison.  It's the conservative, usually, Wall Street Journal.  Anything can happen these days.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Now he's not anybody's president

Nice guy but not SCOTUS material

Yesterday I felt trapped by the unrolling drama in Washington, D.C., in the House Intelligence Committee.  

I couldn't turn it off, but I couldn't believe my ears.

Today I turned on MSNBC and became equally engrossed in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing as senators quizzed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

I felt favorably disposed toward Gorsuch as the day began.  Yeah, he's conservative, but he's from Colorado (cue: Rocky Mountains, blue skies between thunderstorms, mining towns, farming  & ranching, ski runs, wildlife).  He's handsome in an old-guy way.  He seems like a nice person.  He's the best nominee we're likely to see during the dt presidency, so he's a shoo-in.

But then he opened his mouth.  He explained why he made a ruling against truck driver Alphonse Maddin, who was fired from  TransAm after briefly abandoning his truck on a sub-zero winter night.  

Gorsuch said that the driver's only options were to stay with the truck (and possibly freeze to death) or drive the truck with stuck brakes.  Instead the driver unhitched the cab and drove it in search of help, returning in 15 minutes.  Gorsuch agreed with TransAm; Maddin remained fired and never got trucking work again.

Next Sen. Orrin Hatch invited Gorsuch to explain why he wrote a concurring opinion in the Hobby Lobby case.  Gorsuch explained that HL is owned by a family that plays Christian music in the stores, keeps stores closed on Sunday, etc.  If they wanted to avoid any link to abortion funding for their employees, they had that right because a "person" has religious rights and in this case the HL corporation was a "person... like other religious institutions."  

Once again, Gorsuch stretched to interpret the letter of the law, not its spirit.  I decided that I am against him being confirmed, even if he is the most reasonable candidate Republicans can find.  He focuses on technicalities and ignores the spirit and meaning of the law.

Meanwhile, I tweeted.  By reading other tweets, I learned that, however great a judge Gorsuch may be, many Democrats resent his being interviewed for the job:

1) after being nominated by a president who may have been elected while his campaign team worked together with Russians

2) after being nominated by a president under investigation by the FBI for this possible collusion with Russians,

3) after being nominated by a president who promised long and loud to nominate someone who would oppose abortion rights and do his best to overturn Roe v. Wade, and

4) after Republicans refused to allow President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, to come before any committee or the full House or Senate for questioning and a possible vote on his nomination--for 293 days, more than twice as long as any previous person nominated to the Supreme Court.

I did some errands.  I went to see my therapist.  I listened to some analysis of the last two days of hearings.

By 10 pm I realized that the US no longer has any president at all.  There's no one with a hand on the helm of this ship.  

It's crazy to allow this illegally elected president to tip the Supreme Court to the right.  

Republicans held up Merrick Garland for 293 days, and now they want Democrats to listen and vote on their unstable president's nominee.  Forget it.  

You only have a nominee if a legally elected, sane president makes the nomination.

We have a circus going on this week--FBI, NSA, DOJ, an attempt to push through an unjust new medical plan.  Rushing through a SCOTUS decision on top of all this is crazy.

Wait until dt's election is validated, his lies stop, and his mind becomes clearer.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Turning Point: FBI v. the Prez

J. Edgar Hoover, FBI chief 1924-1972

What an astonishing day.

I turned on the television at 7:30 am and landed in the middle of FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers speaking out against the 45th president.

First Comey confirmed that neither the FBI nor the DOJ can find any evidence behind dt's claim that President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower before the Nov. 8, 2016, election.

Then Comey revealed that there is an on-going investigation of whether persons on the Trump team colluded with Russia's efforts to influence and harm the election.

I'm a child of the 1950s.  In that world, J. Edgar Hoover was right next to God.  He was unquestionable, the Director of the FBI.  

He ruled from 1924 to 1972.  Everyone lived in fear of him, kids included.

Thus to hear FBI director Comey tell the world that the Trump campaign is under investigation for possible collusion with Russia is, for me, earth-shaking.

NBC called this event  an extraordinary public hearing.

I regard Comey as quite fallible--he probably cost Hillary Clinton the election.  

But still--the FBI director calling out dt's lies?  

Now I have no doubt that 45 will not last four years.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

How to make a right wing nut

Yet another article featuring little Stephen Miller: "What College Teaches Conservatives" is the front-page story on today's NYT Sunday Review.

Yes, it's interesting how these young conservatives turn into hard-boiled eggs while simmering in their liberal high schools or colleges.

May this kid live to regret his headline-grabbing youth and come to have some kindness and regard for his fellow humans.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

In Memory of Beth Woo (1915-2017)

For women's history month, read this life of Beth Woo (1915-2017), American-born child of immigrants to California from China.

What courage, what contributions!  

World War II interrupted her life in many ways--she ended up in China for most of it-- but she survived with courage.

She volunteered with the Asian Pacific Family Center.

Her son Mike served on the LA City Council 1985-93.

Her daughter Elaine is a writer for the Los Angeles Times.

Praise to God for this beautiful life!

St. Nick on Paul of Ryan

Nicholas Kristof is always worth reading.

His parody of Jesus handling Paul Ryan is hilarious.

Paul explains the parable of the Good Samaritan by praising the first two men who look at the wounded traveler, concluding

"So it’s an act of mercy for the rich man to hurry on and ignore the robbery victim.”

Here's another excerpt:

[Ryan speaking} "But let’s drop this bleeding heart nonsense about health care as a human right, and see it as a financial opportunity to reward investors. In this partnership, 62 percent of the benefits would go to the top 0.6 percent — perfect for a health care plan.”
Jesus turned to Pious Paul on his left and said: “Be gone! For I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; and I was sick, and you did not help me.”