Not Even Noon Yet

I woke up this Dyngus Day morning in a great mood, but with absolutely no idea what I was going to write about for Tuesday’s article. In the brief time it took me to shower, eat breakfast and peruse a few morning papers the Trump administration managed to capture my attention with two outrages. I’d like to briefly cover them and a few other tidbits from the last few days. Let’s explore.

The Washington Post had a story about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appearing at what was billed as an open press event with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin last week Wednesday. It seems a group of high school newspaper aspiring journalists received permission to travel to Lexington to cover the event. When they arrived they were denied entrance because they had not RSVP’d to an invitation they never received. Their “sin” was most likely that they were from a traditional public school. DeVos has all but formally declared war on public education. Bevin is part of the promotion of ignorance branch of the modern Republican Party. In his defense at least we know that while he was there his immediate mission wasn’t to purposely expose his children to a disease. Now I realize that having a basic idea of how many people will attend an event helps run it in an orderly fashion, but how can an invitation only event be called an open event?

Every president since and including Nixon publicly released their taxes; until Trump that is. Last week the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed President Trump’s accounting firm for his and several of his businesses’ financial record. Monday morning Trump sued to prevent the information from being given to the Committee. Trump has never released his tax returns and continues to fight their release to Congress. This all begs the question: What does he have to hide?

This is a president who put his assets into a “blind trust” that even a legally ignorant person wouldn’t call a blind trust! The only thing blind about it is that Trump is hoping enough voters will be blind to his scam.

If you want to cite privacy concerns it will invite open laughter from me. This is the same guy who openly cheated on his first wife and begged the newspapers to run photos of him out on the town with the other woman. This is the same person who called reporters while pretending to be his PR guy begging “page six” type coverage. He is a person who went on Howard Stern’s radio show to brag of sexual exploits. Trump is anything but a person who fiercely guards his privacy.

Sunday Ukraine elected a comedian with no political or military experience as its new president. Volodymyr Zelensky’s only “experience” is that he played a president on TV. In 2016 America elected what many though was a successful businessman as president when in reality Donald Trump just played that role on TV. Ukraine may have elected a comedian but the United States has a joke as its President.

As if all of the above wasn’t bad enough I’ll close with two items that need an eye kept on and could be cause for concern for progressives.

Last week New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall announced he would retire at the end of this term. That makes his seat an open seat in purple New Mexico. The Udall name is political gold in that part of the country and it is difficult to envision an Udall being beaten. While the Democrats should be favored to defend the seat it is now more vulnerable.

The Supreme Court accepted three cases dealing with gender identity/orientation protection for next term. These cases will call for an interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex. The optimistic progressive will view that as a chance for the courts to set president extending the protection to gay and transgender citizens. (That would certainly seem to be the intent and spirit of the law.) The pessimistic progressive will take a 180 degree opposite view. The pragmatic progressive will be contemplative. In any event, keep an eye on this one and certainly don’t count any chickens.

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