Is This the Beginning of Dementia? Plus The Alex and Ronni Show
INTERESTING STUFF – 25 August 2018

Our Poor Bedraggled USA

WTF just happened this week?

(NOTE: Sorry for the length but all this happened - and much more I haven't mentioned - in only four days.)

It's been a month since I announced here that I believe our national emergency is important enough that now and then we should trade in our single topic of age on this blog for our current political debacle. If any week ever called for it, this one does.

Whatever else we do in life, it is a requirement of citizenship that we pay attention to what our elected officials and their appointees are doing for (or against) our people, our country and our Constitution.

Although it has not been a pretty week, it has surpassed previous ones only in drama, not outrage. The president now stands accused of real crimes, not that the rational among us have doubted that all along.

But now it's official, on the record, hanging out there in the breeze waiting for those elected officials to damn well do something.

Is there anyone else, like me, who believes that the Republicans, who are in control of Congress, will pretend it didn't happen?

I'll circle back to the week's dramatic turns in a moment but first, here are a few other things that happened in Trumpland this week:

A new climate proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), admits within the proposal itself that the relaxed regulations will kill 1,400 people per year from power plants burning more coal.

"'We're canceling Obama's illegal anti-coal destroying regulations, the so-called Clean Power Plan,' [Trump] said during a rally in Charleston, West Virginia” reports CNBC.

“'Just today we announced our new Affordable Clean Energy proposal that will help our coal-fired power plants and save consumers — you, me, everybody — billions and billions of dollars.'"

The EPA likes to keep busy. As a bee, perhaps? The agency this week quietly delayed its final determination on bee-killing pesticides called neonicotinoids even after the European Union and now Canada have banned them.

In case you haven't kept up with the growing worldwide problem of bee decline, here is a little video about what will happen to all of us if they die off much further. (The video no less factual for have been produced in 2015. It just means you can skip the ad in the final 20 percent of the video.)

You can read more here and here.

In the “what could possibly go wrong” department, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss (she who registers at least one of her many yachts in a Caribbean nation to save a few bucks) announced she is considering allowing states to use federal school funds to arm teachers with guns.

Such a move, reports The New York Times appears to be unprecedented,

”...reversing a longstanding position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weapons. And it would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding on guns.

“As recently as March, Congress passed a school safety bill that allocated $50 million a year to local school districts, but expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms.

“But the department is eyeing a program in federal education law, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases.”

This change is not imminent but it is not unlikely to become reality given the massive number of other rollbacks of protective measures have been made during this administration. And how long after that will the first kid be killed, I wonder?

That's just some of the so-called boring news. What's got everyone banging on is the legal news. As you undoubtedly know by now, on Tuesday, former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud by a jury in Virginia.

Not 90 minutes later, President Trump's attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen confessed in court, under oath, that the president directed him to pay

”...hush money to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, to buy their silence in the run-up to the 2016 election...” according to New York magazine, “for the principal purpose of influencing the election.”

Since then, there has been a wall-to-wall news flurry of speculation about Trump's involvement in criminal activity, while resurrecting talk of impeachment that had been tamped down for the past few months.

Trump has praised Manafort for “refusing to break” - meaning he has not plead guilty to anything (some say Trump signaling that he will pardon Manifort), while trashing Cohen for “flipping”, an act the president told Fox and Friends on Thursday should be illegal.

Here is Trump's take on impeachment from the same Fox interview. (If the video does not play for you, here is the Twitter page.)

The president's response brings to mind his earlier boast that he is so powerful, he can pardon himself. For the record, he cannot. According to Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution,

”...[the president] shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

Meanwhile, the Republicans, who have total control of Congress, have nothing to say. They just want to cram through the confirmation of their Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and ignore their Constitutional duties.

Here's my question: what about the children? According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the ACLU, a month after the deadline to reunite immigrant families, 565 children (!) remain in government custody. Is anyone doing anything about the kids?

Now it's your turn. Have at it.



Comments

Love you covering this. It has been a “TV and popcorn” week.
I was really happy to see AG Jeff Sessions response back.

How to describe this week - a "good one!" or a "bad one?" It gave me hope, but with no follow-up from our inactive congressional arena, the lid didn't blow off the top and cause long-lasting effect. I want this over. Soon.

My prediction is for much more slinging mud back and forth, with all hell breaking loose after the election, regardless of its outcome. The republicans will ignore any Democratic elected majorities and make changes in its favor til January 2019. The Orange Herr-ing will go all out and rageously.

But someone will be standing - Mueller. And he's got a very big stick.

My discouragement is toward an out-of-control, lost-their-compass press. Thankfully, the television and now newspapers are out of the house door, so there's only places of my choice on radio and online to get reliable news. Their yellow journalism, sensationalism has taken over their position as the 4th state. Yes, the NYT and WaPo do provide a liberal view, but well thought out journalism doesn't seem to exist (there are exceptions in New Yorker, Atlantic pieces etc.). I like reading both sides' whether I agree or not.

In short, I'll be damned if the end of my life will be lessened or determined by any of them. And will fiercely fight for humanity to be restored.

I hope Mueller comes forth with all his findings soon!

Here is my take on the impeachment issue:
The Republican are sure the Democrats will take over after mid-term elections and will move to impeach Trump. The Repubs are sitting back and not doing/or saying anything so that afterwards, they like Pilate, can wash their hands and say “We are innocent.”

I watch with horror as each day brings forth another act by the orange one and his cabinet to destroy yet another good law that we have fought for for years. Regulations on corporations - gone. They can now pollute the air and water we drink with impunity. Private schools that cheat the students can carry on without being punished. These are just a couple of examples of what is going on behind the scenes. There is nothing good that -rump the destroyer does not want to ruin.

Will the latest revelation of criminal activity by the destroyer force the Congress to act and start impeachment proceedings? I doubt it. Those craven worms crawl back into their holes and tremble. Even if the destroyer is impeached we are still in big trouble. Pence would be even worse in some ways. He is a religious zealot and has a skewed view on what his job would be and agrees with many of -rumps actions

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC is a real journalist and digs deep into what is going on . If you want to know the real inside story of what is happening she is the TV personality to watch.

Thank you, so well said. And sad is an understatement when applied to the executive and legislative branches of our government. I don't know what decent fair people are telling their children. A serial liar, adulterer, racist and corrupt man in the White House who says some really dumb things to boot (flipping should be almost illegal? What? The justice system would be unable to operate, e.g., no Mr. Mobster we cannot ask you to reveal your boss. No Mr Fence we cannot ask you who supplies you with stolen goods. I believe the "almost" means legal for everyone except him.) I am consumed with watching but some days I must turn away to maintain my sanity. And get stuff done!

It really bothers me to read here and there that the president cannot be charged with a crime. I don't understand why that should be so. He is not, or should not be, above the law. Merely impeaching and convicting him is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. Nor do I like the idea that as soon as the smoke has cleared, he can and probably will pardon Mannafort. He likely wouldn't pardon Cohen, who turned on him.

I really despair when I think about the corruption and incompetence so deeply embedded in the highest levels of government. The nation is at risk in so many ways. And yet Republicans in Congress silently condone it all while working on their re-election campaigns.

I agree (wish I didn't) with Darlene's comments and, alas, this one line says all:
"There is nothing good that -rump the destroyer does not want to ruin."

The crimes that Manafort was convicted of were way before he even met Mr. Trump. In fact 9which is something you liberals who are practically insane, will have no part of) Manafort committed these crimes when he worked for Crooked Hillary. What Manafort did has absolutely no reflection on Trump. Get over yourselves!
As for Cohen and paying off those women? Yeah? So what? Bill Clinton and Hillary did it all the time. It's not a crime to pay off women. And Cohen didn't use election money. So why are you all jumping for joy?
Do any of you have any investments in the stock market?
I'd advise you to run to your accounts and clear them out now before the sky falls.
Hurry, before you become broke like Trump says you will. Hope so.
Don't you realize the 65million people who voted fro Trump see right through your left liberal maniacs. You guys can't even think straight.
Do you really think America would be in a better place if the corrupt Hillary won?
What a joke. You people are the real laughs. Not Trump. This will blow over just like all the other ones.
No Russian collusion. Nothing.
So Trump diddled with women? At least he didn't have some intern suck him off under the presidential desk in the Oval Office.

He is a terrible man. He has many psychopathic characteristics. I don't know how things could get worse, but they will. At this point, our politics just make me want to either cry or throw up. I frequently hope - intensely - that he will have a stroke and die.

The EPA can't even understand the need to save the bees! Is there no end to the destruction he's willing to rubber stamp for his big money donators?

Thank you for this post and others like it.

Feels like the tide is starting to turn though. Hallalujah!

Whoa! That one pro-Trump comment sounds--typical pro-Trump--incorrect, unsubstantiated, AND obscene.

Thanks for keeping on keeping on, Ronni. I'm buoyed by the Cohen/Manafort developments, and, sadly, I agree that the Republican congress will continue to lie there and be silent. They'll definitely be making it into the history books, though, and not for reasons their descendants will be happy about.

I believe no one in this country should be above the law; president included.

I am tired of comparisons to past presidents (no matter their party affiliation); I don't consider that entirely relevant, and no politician is entirely without fault. But we need to deal with the current president (who sadly, in my opinion) is a liar, racist, misogynist, sexual predator, draft evader, adulterer, corrupt businessman, and more which I am sure will be revealed. He goes out of his way to sully relations with our friends in other countries; while at the same time he admires and praises Duterte, Kim Jong Un, and Putin. Plus, throughout Trump's campaign and administration, he has surrounded himself with other crooks, liars, and cheats.

In my opinion, Trump is ill and feeling more and more cornered which in turn makes him more and more dangerous. I think he has no limits as to what he would do to divert all attention away from himself. Meanwhile, we have a GOP and some DEMs who sit in silence while our country is being grossly damaged and endangered. Trump needs to be out of office, and then we can begin the arduous process to repair the damage.

Let us not forget the damage to our health-paying system, the threats of more damage to said system, nor the tax cuts which have led to increased corporate profits and stock market rallies but FLAT real wages. Oh, yeah, and in case we thought it mattered, a ballooning deficit.

As for pardoning Manafort, the pardon power is only for federal crimes. Manafort is also due to be tried for state crimes as well, and has nobody to pardon him. This gives me some comfort, although this week has pretty much ruled out any comfort.

Oddly enough, as a political independent who voted for Clinton and Obama, I hope Trump survives. I may be your only follower that feels this way. And, I'm not toothless, uneducated nor ignorant. I'm fine with social program liberal trends, like health care, racial harmony/anti discrimination, environmental issues, etc., but my big stumbling point is open borders--I want them tightly controlled with our country deciding who gets in, how many, and when. The other issue is free speech where I'd like to see opposition opinion welcomed and debated versus shouted down sometimes with violence and destruction of property--flaming right and left wing should be excluded, but who determines which ones to block?
Political correctness trending toward thought policing is out of control. Still, your loyal follower, but not in the democrat camp at the moment.

I think Old Herman has been taking a few too many nips of the old bottle...or perhaps a troll. He typifies the ostrich with his head buried in the sand and unfortunately, the mentality of the trumper mindset.

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