1344 days left in the Donald Trump’s first term

From the Boundless Reservoir — May 16, 2017

Hello all.

Well, today, for the first time since the inauguration, I got sniff that he just might not make it. Now, to be clear, I really don’t know anything. But, boy howdy, stuff is flying, isn’t it? And, he just keeps making it worse. You didn’t think things could spin any crazier than the Comey fiasco from last week (which got worse today with the release of memo’s that allegedly says Trump was pressuring Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn way back in February). I just have this sense that things are splitting apart at the seams. And, while the Russian connection may be much ado nothing (I don’t think so — but again, what do I know), it sure is being handled as badly as one could imagine it being handled.

These quotes, all from Republicans that had supported Trump, for me are indicative of how bad it has gotten for him:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “We could do with a little less drama from the White House.” With characteristic understatement, he added: “I think it would be helpful if the president spent more time on things we’re trying to accomplish and less time on other things.” Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin tweeted “for the purpose of transparency, The White House should share a transcript of the meetings with the House and Senate intelligence committees.” Republican Rep. from Michigan Justin Amash tweeted “ The administration should promptly share with Congress, in a classified setting, the precise details of the president’s meeting.”

David Brooks, a republican columnist in the NYTImes, wrote a piece entitled “When the World is Led By A Child.” I’ve linked it here. This has been my view all along — Trump is stunted, in my best guess, somewhere between 8 and 12 years old. I can only imagine the meeting with the Russians when he whipped out the intelligence — showing off what he got! I have yet to see any evidence that he is the least bit self-reflective, thoughtful or capable of carrying on any sort of sober conversation without it degenerating into how great he is, how massive it’s going to be, and how much “they” love him. It is, for me, frightening to think that a man with this lack of any sense of accountability, responsibility, curiosity, humility, etc is driving this ship of state. Ross Douthat, another writer in the NYTimes who is to the right of Brooks, writes tonight “The 25th Amendment Solution to Remove Trump.” It is, for me, a powerful piece. It is also linked.

These calls are all coming within his party. I hope the end is near, and in the meantime, a cornered animal is capable of doing intense damage.

There are a few other things that are happening, that I suspect are being lost in all the noise of Comey and the Russians. First, Jeff Sessions, our Attorney General, is reversing the judicial trend for treating non-violent drug crimes less harshly. Two articles worth reading — one from the NY Times, the other from the Washington Examiner, a paper that swings conservative. Here’s a quote from Rand Paul about it: “The attorney general’s new guidelines, a reversal of a policy that was working, will accentuate the injustice in our criminal justice system,” Paul wrote. “We should be treating our nation’s drug epidemic for what it is — a public health crisis, not an excuse to send people to prison and turn a mistake into a tragedy.” This goes hand in hand with an article I posted way back on February 23 about the Justice Department again turning to private companies to build, manage and expand the prison system. We lock up SO many people, and an appallingly large percentage of the people locked up are black. My friend Hilary shared an article with me about the real impact of our overzealous judicial system. I ask that you read it — it’s posted here.

Then, briefly, the administration is planning on expanding the Mexico City policy, which prohibits giving foreign aid to health organizations that consider abortion a method of family planning. We already prohibit spending aid money on abortion services. We are now going to withhold aid to the most underprivileged globally unless those organizations abide by the conservative religious views espoused by the current administration.

Finally, there really is a full, frontal assault on science happening. There’s needs to be an entire post to address this. From an article in the Huffington Post “Pruitt this week dismissed half of the members of EPA’s 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors, which advises the agency’s Office of Research and Development on scientific research programs.” Two more members resigned in protest this week. This is a non-political advisory board of scientists that exists to advise the EPA from a strictly scientific perspective. Pruitt wants to populate it with people from industry that are impacted by EPA regulations. This is so the fox guarding the hen house!! Then, there are bills popping up at the state level (where? You guessed it — “red” states) innocuously called “academic freedom” bills. These bills empower parents to challenge what is being taught in their schools — leading to, you guessed it, things like the basic biology of evolution being called into question. I thought we settled that? There’s a great article in Nature (a completely non-political, scientific journal) discussing the implications and ramifications of these bills.

In closing, I urge you to make sure you are taking care of yourself and doing things that inspire you. I played piano for three hours tonight — and could have kept going for another three. And, when I was done, I felt so full, so connected to what is eternal, and bigger than all that is going on right now. Take the time to create something beautiful. Struggle with something that stretches you, that has you use new parts of your brain (boy oh boy is my studying jazz doing that!). And, don’t forget to express your love and to be kind to those you encounter in the day to day living of your amazing life!

That’s it — see you later!


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