It’s too hot to write a coherent essay, so here’s some random noodling.
I think of Donald Trump more as a former game show host than as President of the United States. Now he’s stage-managing his second Supreme Court nomination, announcing the date he’ll announce his choice, scheduling the reveal during nationwide prime TV time, and — I’m sure — inviting multiple candidates to be present at the proclamation, all to heighten the “suspense.” He’s running the government just like a game show. And naturally Donald Trump is making it all about him.
She had her way with us for 20 years…
…and now she has left us behind, left our world. I can clearly remember the day she strolled into our lives, a skinny, hungry stray kitten, eyeing my yogurt. Barb and I had both grown up with dogs, and we were unsure about this little girl. We had just moved into the house, the first place we’d had together where we could get a dog, and here was this scruffy little thing, needy, persistent, too proud to beg.
I can’t seem to wake up from this nightmare.
Those who read here are aware of the litany of horrors that have proceeded from the election of Donald Trump — the Muslim ban, the sadistic “zero tolerance” policy at the southern border, the incompetent liars and buffoons appointed to the cabinet, the destruction of U.S. standing in the world, the reversal of efforts to deal with climate change, and so on ad infinitum.
And now Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring. The Court is currently made up of four liberals, four conservatives, and Kennedy. Kennedy is a Republican, but of the old-fashioned non-partisan persuasion. He believes in the law over ideology, and he has been the “swing vote” over the years, as the Court upheld Roe vs. Wade, acknowledged constitutional rights for same-sex couples, and found the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
Last month the Supreme Court OK’d an anti-gay cakemaker’s refusal to serve…
…a same-sex couple, saying authorities had not been properly deferential to his (Evangelical Christian) religious beliefs at his hearing.
This week, the Court upheld Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims entering the United States, an executive order that has been stopped by the lower courts for a year and a half.
So there you have it. The United States is now officially an Evangelical Christian nation. Muslims need not apply. I wonder when Muslims who are already in the country will be asked to leave? Right wing bigots are certainly getting their money’s worth out of their stolen Court seat.
Stagecraft, suspense, pageantry, rhetoric, photo ops, but no real results. Just like on the game show that made him famous, tune in next week to see what happens. After an hour of talking, the two leaders staged a signing ceremony, of a vague document containing promises to do something in the future, full of platitudes about security and prosperity for North Korea.
I’ll be happy if our dealmaker-in-chief pulls off some kind of binding agreement that actually reduces tensions or removes the threat of nuclear war, because hey — who wants nuclear war? But I’d feel a lot better about this whole thing if somebody smarter than Donald J. Trump were over there negotiating in my name. Political and military analysts around the world are saying that the North Koreans have reneged on too many promises over the years to be taken seriously this time without a specific agreed-upon set of requirements and on-the-ground inspections to guarantee compliance, neither of which are in today’s document.
As expected, Trump has made all the concessions so far:
The minority party in the United States — the Republicans —
— control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the majority of state governments. Because of this, they have been able to pack the Supreme Court with partisans, who are now assisting the party’s voter suppression activities. Neil Gorsuch is the only the first Trump appointee to side with the one-percenters over the rest of us. There will be more.
Today the Court agreed that the state of Ohio can purge eligible registered voters from the voter rolls if they don’t vote in two elections or if they don’t return a postcard sent to “verify” that they still want to be registered to vote. This is the strictest law in the nation, and — surprise! — it turns out that those most affected are those likely to vote Democratic: students, minorities, disabled and the elderly, for example.
Kim Jung Un must be pleased to be sitting down with an American president…
…who has, just a few hours earlier, blown off six of America’s closest and strongest allies. Trump has already backed down on joint U.S. – South Korea military exercises at Kim’s demand. This demonstrates not only that Donald Trump is a wimp who is getting outmaneuvered, but also that he doesn’t give a fuck about the rest of the world.