Monday, July 24, 2017

Checking in on Trump: yup, still going about how I expected

More of a quick check-in than a real blog post here, but I had a moment to capture a few quick thoughts on how things are proceeding, so here goes. This is just a sample from the last month:

1. Trump reportedly warning special counsel Bob Mueller not to investigate Trump family finances.

2. Trump reportedly researching how to fire special counsel Bob Mueller, who has reportedly expanded his investigation to include Trump family finances.

3. Trump reportedly researching pardons, both for his family and himself.

And let's not forget Don, Jr., tweeting out that email in which he set up a meeting with a Russian attorney for the purpose of getting documents from the Russian government that were supposedly damaging to Clinton as what he was told was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

Trump, Jr.,'s reply? "I love it."

Then Trump, Jr., set up the meeting, which apparently also involved Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, and several genuine Russian spies.

Meanwhile, the US Senate this week is preparing to hold a vote on whether to gut Medicaid to give billionaires marginal tax cuts on investment income. The best estimates from the CBO on what they're planning have 18 to 34 million Americans losing health care insurance altogether, while most of the rest of us see sharply increased costs. The CBO also estimates that significantly upwards of 10,000 Americans will die prematurely as a result of this bill.

The number of hearings they've had on this bill thus far? Zero. In fact, nobody knows what exactly is in the thing that they're supposed to be voting on tomorrow.

This is what dying democracies look like: millions of citizens thrown to the curb solely for the benefit wealthy plutocrats who control the political process. All of it done behind closed doors.

Not very cheery, huh? Well, I never told you this was going to be a joy ride.

Right now it looks to me as if the best bet to restore the full rule of law and general sanity in Washington is Mueller's investigation. God only knows what'll happen if Trump does manage to get him fired somehow. I'd like to think that the Republican Congress finds it spine and starts conducting a genuine investigation -- maybe by just setting up Mueller and his team as their own special investigator. But they're too busy rushing their health-care bill ... or really, their lack-of-health-care bill through in secret to give me much hope that they give a damn about the rule of law.

Current Watergate Defcon Status: DEFCON 2, with the political equivalent of global thermonuclear war edging closer every day.

This is not going well.