It’s The Fourth of July! Yay! But real Independence Day doesn’t come until November of next year.
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 was the worst political event of my long life. For the past two and a half years I feel as if I’ve been babysitting a hyperactive 5-year-old who has a hand grenade. No need to go into all the details here. From day one Trump has committed outrage after outrage, so many that there is no time to comment on them all, or rebut his thousands of lies.
Each morning for the past six weeks or so as I backed out of the garage I saw this weed in my rear view mirror. It was growing right out of the paved alley, and getting bigger and bigger. The nerve of some weeds!
With family members Molly the Cat and Buddy gone forever I started a couple years ago tossing random crumbs out in the backyard for any critters who happened to be interested. Turns out the neighborhood sparrows were quite interested, but they soon demanded water, too, so I put out a big bowl for them and filled it a couple of times a day.
Cleaning things out today and I found this. I only started using GPS a couple of years ago. Until then I actually referred to this book to find things in So Cal.
In the old days when I was playing a lot of one-nighters I would look up the address in the index, find the page(s) containing my destination, and work back from there to my home. Sometimes the trip would span two or three pages, and the way the book is laid out these pages were not necessarily in consecutive order. When a road went off the edge of a page it would sometimes be picked up 50 pages away.
I was, shall we say, deeply disturbed by the results of the 2016 presidential election, and I was not mincing Facebook words in those days about my feelings. Shortly after the election and before Trump’s inauguration I had a run-in with a Facebook friend who mocked my concern and told me not to worry about it, because, she said (paraphrasing), “…just wait until he gets to Washington and comes up against the existing power structure. He’ll be brought to heel in short order.” I was saying that through a fluke, a dangerous wannabe dictator had been elevated to the White House, and she was saying the system would rein in his hateful instincts and that I should hope for his success and give him a chance.
Bear with me on this. The good stuff is at the end.
Anyone with their lights on knows that the presidential election of 2016 was — and has continued to be — a disaster for the United States and the world. The election of the incompetent and corrupt Donald Trump will have damaging repercussions for at least a generation after he is out of office. Our intelligence community as well as the recently concluded Robert Mueller investigation have found that the Russian government engaged in a sweeping and systematic attack on our electoral process for the purpose of putting Trump in office. And they succeeded in this effort.
At the time, Mitch McConnell had already refused to give even a preliminary hearing for almost a year to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Right wing evangelicals and other deplorables understood that a Trump victory would give them a chance to place a right wing partisan on the Court, and Trump was given a list of “acceptable” hard core ideologues which he promised to use when he was president. The right wing partisan turned out to be Gorsuch, who now sits on the Court.
After the election, Trump’s lawyer (White House Counsel) Don McGahn conned Anthony Kennedy into retiring, and a second political hack (Kavanaugh) was appointed to the Court, effectively guaranteeing that the Supreme Court is now — and will be for the next 40 years — an arm of the Republican Party. So we can say goodbye to much of the progress we’ve made over the last 75 years:
women’s reproductive rights
consumer protection from predatory corporate practices
the rights of workers to organize and demand safe working conditions and decent pay
the right of Americans to be safe from crackpots with machine guns
the rights of legal American citizens to go to the polls and cast their vote in elections
the rights of communities to receive a fair share of federal funding and equal representation in Congress
These last two are being addressed in the Court today, as they “deliberate” on the question of whether the 2020 census can include a question about citizenship. It’s for sure that if such a question is asked, many minorities will simply hide from the census. They will then be underrepresented, and national policy will be determined for the next ten years based on those false numbers, even thought the Constitution requires that all people in the country be counted. The best guesses from Washington watchers today is that the Court’s right wingers are “leaning” toward undercounting and vote suppression in this case. And of course they would, because they know the Republicans would never win another election if every citizen voted. They will probably render their decision in June.
There is nothing we can do about this. The Supreme Court makes the final decisions on these matters, and they are now determined to remake The United States in the image of the John Birch Society. All of us will deal with a dystopian future, in which rich people and corporations determine the rules for 99% of us, and our only appeal will be to — oops! — the Supreme Court.
And the danger is not past, as the Trump gang is currently trying to get Clarence Thomas to retire, so they can replace that bitter old man with a fresh, bitter young man, so as to keep the “dynasty” in place an extra 30 years. The moral of this story is you should have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and you should vote for whichever of our great Democratic candidates wins the nomination to run for President in 2020.PS: We need a “blue wave” in the Senate, too, so the Democratic President might be able to get her appointments confirmed, and not blocked by Mitch McConnell.
I’ve been depressed and unproductive for the past couple of years, but these days I’m starting to feel better. My Christmas song this year, I hope, reflects this. Of course, it’s a song that is beyond my ability, which has become an unwritten rule for The revision99 Holiday Recording Pageant. This year the song I’m trying to do that I can’t really do justice to is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
Four-hour memorial tribute to John Lennon this morning on “Breakfast With The Beatles,” the 38th anniversary of his death. Listening, I found myself wondering what John might have done if he’d lived as long as I have.