You realize we’re less than one month into this circus, yes?
After a press conference today the problem at hand should be obvious to absolutely everyone – the President has a severe mental illness. Nothing else matters at this point. There will be many sentences written, many hours of panel discussions, and hundreds of facebook posts shared going around this simple and obvious fact. But like the vast majority of our politics, it will be irrelevant.
The only thing which matters at this time is the peril faced by the United States, and indeed the world, because so much power is in the hands of someone obviously not well.
What happens in a Democratic-Republic when the most powerful person has an agenda which seems at odds with the legislative body?
We found out today when Janet Yellen, who is not at all orange, testified before the Senate Banking Committee for the first time since … well, really since all Hell broke loose. Financial issues have largely taken a back seat since the circus came to town and the opportunity to return to such a basic issue had the wonderful air or normality to it.
That didn’t stop anyone from trying to bring in the clowns, of course. But real leaders, like Yellen, know better than to take the bait. It was delightfully boring, as all banking should be. But it still had its moments.
A few years ago, I found myself on Payne Avenue in St Paul after an absence of many years. It had changed, noticeably, and for the better. Shops were clean and bright, people filled the sidewalks, and traffic was impressively bad.
More interestingly, many of the signs on the newly refurbished shops were in Spanish and Hmong.
This process is hardly anything new in American history. A new generation of immigrants often arrives with little more than what they can carry but soon saves and scrapes enough to put a stake down. The first places they invest the rewards of restless work meeting boundless opportunity are neighborhoods like St Paul’s East Side. For those short on cash but long on vision Da Hood is not a problem but an opportunity.
This and many other examples show the real stakes in the immigration ban – the heart and soul of the relentless ability of our nation to renew itself.
Anger over the latest moves of the Trump administration continues to bubble over. There seems to be a fresh outrage every day – now including a major diss of the Australian Prime Minister. What can everyone do?
Stay positive. It’s hard, sometimes, but it’s critical. Fortunately, it’s becoming easier every day. As much as Barataria and others have criticized marching as not nearly enough, it’s still critical as a tool for organizing. More importantly, it seems that everyone has had a great experience so far and has kept hope alive.
Morale is critical for us to last out this administration and stay focused. So far, it’s working very well.
If you think things couldn’t possibly get worse, you may be in for a surprise. Then again, they may already be worse than you thought.
The chaos created by the current administration is unprecedented outside of a war zone. Then again, if you believe a few websites in particular, we are already at war. The war, in that case, is the fascist takeover of our government against the people, a kind of coup d’etat against our constitution and the system as we know it.
If that sounds like a bit much it’s understandable. But it’s still worth keeping an eye on just in case the paranoids are correct.
Mary Tyler Moore died on Tuesday at age 80. She was a remarkable person in many ways and truly groundbreaking as a cultural icon for an entire generation. It’s almost hard to understand just how important her work was, however, because she did it with such cool professionalism and care.
When James Garner died in 2014, I reflect on how he defined what it meant to be a man for me as a child. It is only fitting that I do the same for Mary Tyler Moore, who introduced me at the same age to what it meant to be a woman in today’s world. It was at least as important, if not much moreso, in shaping who I am as a person.
After the inaugural, some 3.7 million people took to the streets to protest the new president, or about 1% of the entire population. A dust-up ensued over how many attended the main event the day before, generally estimated at 0.5 million. Popularity is important in an era of perception, so the arguments over this are not going to stop soon.
More important than perception, however, is the immediacy of tactics. No one marching in protest believed anything is going to change immediately, but that was both the main point and beside the point. The marches are for nothing more than to hold on, to stop change, to paralyze. It’s not actually a strategy but a tactic.
We live in a time where actual strategy does not exist and there are only tactics – the raw emotions and gains of the moment. Nothing is actually going to change until that does.