It is mid-Monday morning as I begin to write this. The news is filled with impeachment talk and speculation. I’ll try and keep that to a minimum today and instead concentrate on other political news. Let’s explore.

Checking my phone as I got out of bed this morning I saw that Steve Bullock had suspended his campaign for president. The first impact it had on me was to remind me that he was still running for president. CNN has reported that Bullock does not intend to run for the Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Steve Daines that is up in 2020. Bullock’s main selling point to the voters was that he could win in a red state that Trump swept. Governor Bullock, put your money where your mouth is and “play the position” your team has open; challenge Daines. The Democrats may not win every contestable seat but if the run their “first round draft choices” their chances are much better and they will make the Republicans spend more money defending close seats which will lead to a win(s) somewhere. (Do you think Stacey Abrams reads my column?)

Perusing the morning papers I saw that Joe Sestak also dropped out of the presidential contest. I like Sestak and have endorsed him in the past. I’m sure the Admiral will find something admirable to do in the future (bad pun intended) I’m just not sure what it is at the moment.

In a move that surprised everyone President Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina. I’m not going to attempt to explain Trump’s reasoning because I don’t understand it. (I have a lot of company.)

OK, I can’t go an entire article without some mention of impeachment; here it is. Monday morning we learned that President Trump has decided not to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings. If that was a surprise to you I have to wonder where you have been the last almost three years. Trump has nowhere to go with the facts – nor does his base have any interest in them – therefore all he can do is follow the old playbooks of people like Nixon and call it a circus, witch hunt, etc. How do you do that and take part in it?

Over Thanksgiving North Korea sent a message to Trump in the form of two projectiles that it launched. While those particular missiles lack the range to hit the United States they certainly can hit Japan and South Korea plus the Americans (mainly military) living there. North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un seems to have set a January deadline for further concessions from the United States and this is hardly breaking into our news. Keep in mind that North Korea is a nuclear power; the only questions are can they deliver a nuclear device on a missile and if so what range that missile has. I don’t think we want to learn the answers to those questions the hard way.

On October 12th there was a major collapse at the site of a New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel under construction. One of the survivor/witnesses, 38-year old Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma, spoke to a Spanish language media outlet about his experience and the history of safety violations at the site. He has been in the America working construction for 17 years. Two days after speaking to the media federal immigration officials arrested him while he was fishing at a wildlife refuge. He was swiftly deported to Honduras. The government says that was just a coincidence. I think the elimination by deportation of a key witness is just too convenient. What do you think?

I’ll conclude with a comment on Friday’s stabbing event on London Bridge. I’m waiting for the gun advocates to point out that a good guy with a gun settled it and that it was a knife not gun attack. Any terrorist act (and that is what it was) is bad but can you imagine how much worse it would have been if the terrorist had been armed with an assault rifle? As to the good guy with a gun argument; I am unaware of anyone calling for disarming the police.

Impeachment may be the dominant story but it is far from the only thing happening and I only scratched the surface above.

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