Ready or not, I’m back. To fill you in, the root problem was emergency gall bladder surgery. That’s enough about me. I can’t possibly catch up but I’d like to take a look at three occurrences since we last met. Let’s explore.
About 8:30 am on Wednesday July 24th Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee commenced as did my physical problems. (With the modern miracles of TV recording I eventually watched all his testimony of that day.) The still unanswered question is will the facts prevail in the minds of enough Americans to significantly sway public opinion or will right wing mythology retain its hold on a sufficient amount. Impeachment is largely a political process and in a democracy (theoretically) public opinion rules (at least somewhat) supreme.
As to the hearings – the afternoon was spent before the House Intelligence Committee- there were a few common denominators and no huge surprises. Mueller looked somewhat physically distracted but was mentally sharp. He stayed true to his statement that he would stay within the four corners of the report more to the disappointment of the Republicans who appeared to prep by reviewing right wing media.
The Democrats seemed to have prepared well for the sessions and their questioning displayed good teamwork. If you wanted the nickel factual version of both hearings you could have listened to the Chairmen, Jerry Nadler (Judiciary) and Adam Schiff (Intelligence) and then went on with your day. Both did a good job of succinctly covering the major facts.
Republican ranking member on Judiciary, Doug Collins, set the tone for his side when he didn’t even deal with obstruction (that committee’s area of concentration) in his opening questions. The right wing “star” was previously almost unknown John Radcliffe. His moment of fame hit its apex with a Cabinet nomination which crashed and burned in well under a week.
For those who think Russiagate is over I’ll put in baseball terms. It’s much more like the starting pitcher just got pulled after finishing the fifth. This one is far from over!
Somewhere between the manifestation of my health issues and early recovery from surgery the Supreme Court made a controversial ruling temporarily failing to stop Trump from using federal funds as his personal discretionary piggy bank to pay for his wall. (I never realized I was Mexican. Does that mean my past employers owe me retroactive pay for making my work on Cinco de Mayo?)
Fortunately the Court majority based their ruling on a standing issue so it is extremely limited and opens the issue to other litigation. Perhaps at some future date the Court will actually defend an eighteenth century document call the United States Constitution. I remember learning somewhere that defending the Constitution was their only real job – must be those lousy public and state schools again.
Now to the extremely disappointing Detroit debates; the highlight of both nights was Tom Perez’s warmup. CNN, I have a message to pass along from the RNC: Your check is in the mail. The network did its best to waste time and obviously instructed its moderators to start as many fights as possible. I’m not a guy who checks TV ratings much. But is CNN in that bad of shape?
The first night was billed as the Bernie-Warren showdown but they mostly played nice which illustrates that the differences among the leaders are much more shades of grey than black and white. The attacks mainly came from people at the fringes who will be answers to trivia questions by this time next year.
CNN, not having learned its lesson from the first night, tried to start a fight between frontrunners Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with the first question from Dana Bash. Harris did not take the bait and chose the high road. Bash, probably at the behest of “superiors”, stayed with it at with her second question and Harris no longer had a choice. Now seeing Biden and Harris hash it out is of value but again the invited attacked from the far reaches of the stage.
My major takeaways from the second night are that Bill deBlasio’s best quality may well be that he is really annoying and that Andrew Yang is very smart. The overall winners were probably Sanders and Warren mainly because the second night failed to overshadow the first. Other winners were Trump and the RNC because the raw footage for a lot of commercial is in those tapes.
I’m increasingly becoming a Perez fan. I know he was trying to be as inclusive as possible and give lesser known candidates an opportunity but suddenly that “kiddie table” doesn’t look all that bad. We need to get this race down to a manageable number and several presidential candidates need to realize that their immediate political future is either non-existent or lies elsewhere.
Glad to be back even if I’m still complaining!
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