(I want to give the political gist of some of last week. To give more would be way too much for a post. As is this may be my longest post ever. It was a big news week.)
School slaughters have become part of our new normal but one thing different here is how a number of the teenage victims seem new born activists determined to not let the rest of us forget this time. To begin with, several have tweeted to Trump to forget his hopes and prayers. They want actions. Maybe just maybe….
The other points are the more normal incidents of Trump’s governance by chaos. The scandal of the week grew out of his WH staff. His staff secretary, Rob Porter, resigned after allegations he abused his two former wives. The bigger issue was the poor vetting process that allowed him to handle top security papers, which raised questions about WH chief of staff General Kelly’s handling of that, which Kelly appears to have lied about. Most interesting to me is Representative Trey Gowdy opened an investigation of the matter. I only hope he is half as tenacious as he was in grilling Hillary Clinton about Benghazi over several years.
The issue of Russian interference in our elections figured prominently last week in various ways, most misinterpreted by Trump to suit his narrative that any efforts Russia made were negligible and, most importantly, his campaign had not colluded with them.
In stark contrast to Trump’s assertions, the heads of the major intelligence branches testified to Congress Monday and all of them believe Russia interfered with the last election and will continue to do so as long as we let them. Also, upon questioning, it became clear that the WH had not given them specific instructions on how to deal with it. I might add Trump has refused to enact stricter sanctions on Russia voted by Congress almost unanimously last summer.
Then later in the week Special Prosecutor Mueller’s team announced indictments of 13 Russians for their interference in 2016, removing all doubt. As he always has done, Trump ignored the interference, stressing that “no collusion was proven.” Well, not yet, but the investigation seems far from over. And, collusion or no, what about the interference, Donald? What about that? It’s OK with you as long as it helps you?
I’m continuously stunned by how Trump ignores Russian interference while never criticizing Putin, and most Republicans say nothing. If the situation was reversed they would never stop yelling traitor. I can imagine only two reasons for Trump’s behavior, one being his supreme narcissism that makes any admission of interference diminish his win. And/or Putin has information that could sink him.
As he said he would, Senate Republican leader McConnell took up the immigration issue Monday. Four bills were brought up but none received more than 54 votes while it takes 60 to pass under Senate guidelines. The one reflective of Trump’s proposal got the fewest votes, 39.
The Dreamers remain in limbo while Trump blames the Democrats, of course, even though he showed no willingness to make a deal, I. E. show some give and take in the process. Trump doesn’t make deals. He gives fiats and when the other side isn’t willing to accept his position in total, he blames them for not wanting a deal.
By the way, remember how Trump said he would rewrite our trade deals and make much better ones. Can anyone come up with a single new trade deal he has actually made this past year? He has broken deals and threatened to break others, but give me an example of one new deal he has made. If he had he would have tweeted up a storm.
The Infrastructure Week that Wasn’t: The Porter scandal dominated the headlines in the first half of the week and then the Florida massacre took over from then on. No matter, Trump’s infrastructure plan is just more of his B. S. He talks about $1.5 trillion investment, but the federal government will only pay 200 billion of that, the rest is to come from states and public/private investments.
State budgets have been creaking for years so forget that and the other part is guesswork at this point. Also, Trump’s new budget plan shows infrastructure cuts, not hikes, so some of the that 200 billion will be needed to get back to previous spending levels.
By the way, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates it will take $3.6 trillion invested by 2020 just to raise the country’s support systems to acceptable levels, so under the most optimistic vision Trump’s Great America will still be undergirded by crumbling roads, bridges and airports.
Trump Sexcapades – Trump has given so many signs of being a sexual sleaze bag, that recent stories about big hush money payments to two mistresses prior to the election are hardly a surprise and not worth going into unless they turn into something prosecutable.
The Weekend Tweet Storm: Trump reportedly spent the weekend largely watching TV news and commentary while growing more and more furious about the ongoing Russia investigation, spewing out a dozen or so emails blaming or criticizing others, mischaracterizing situations and continuously emphasizing “no collusion” while now arguing he has always meant the “hoax’ was the collusion part, not Russia’s meddling itself. No, he continually conflated the two until Mueller’s Russian indictments this week. He is an expert at saying things imprecisely, so later he can always say he didn’t mean what had seemed obvious.
His last tweet target was Oprah who was on 60 Minutes last night with a panel of voters talking about Trump and the election. His tweet began calling Oprah “insecure” and went on to state: “The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect.”
Leaving aside that last accusation from the King of Falsehoods, let’s take a vote as to who is more insecure: Oprah, who rose from poverty to become hugely successful and gets along with most people while loved by many, or Donald, who began rich and though he’s had his own share of success is always puffing himself up while battling with others, usually tearing them down?
And Oprah is the insecure one?