It is Tuesday afternoon as I “pen” this. I woke up this morning and shortly thereafter read the New York Times and the Washington Post as is my normal routine. I was glad to see that the players and soccer coach in Thailand were rescued; first from a humanitarian standpoint but also because it was the only good news. America is in trouble and so are many other countries. The danger is the growing influence of right wing extremists in positions of authority. Let’s explore.
Monday two members of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet resigned. They were Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Both are pro-Brexit. For those unfamiliar with the term, Brexit is the UK’s exit from the EU. It was narrowly and surprisingly approved in a 2016 referendum. Johnson was arguably its leading advocate selling the people a bill of goods about how great a deal it would be for the average Englishman. The reality is that Johnson and company had no idea of how to implement an exit and that it could never be a better deal than the sweetheart deal the UK already had with the EU. (Interesting sidelight: Cambridge Analytica was involved.)
Now May is in somewhat of a battle for her government to survive and the exit process is stalled. The bottom line that the Brits will have to resign themselves to is that “the club” (the EU) will never give them a better deal as a non-member than they had as a member. Furthermore the UK alone will not be able to strike better trade deals with non-EU countries than it could with the much larger bargaining power. This is similar to the isolationist trade policies President Trump is pursuing. Isolationism isn’t the way to go in an increasingly global economy. The big winner in all this is Vladimir Putin.
Back on this side of the pond Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was caught in another lie. It seems he was a tad late (like a year) in disposing of some stocks after he claimed to have divested himself of direct control of any equities that could pose a direct conflict of interest as required by federal law. I doubt that will even elicit even a passing comment from this White House.
The Liar-in-Chief, a/k/a President Trump, spoke at a rally in Montana last Thursday. Tuesday morning the Washington Post ran an analysis of the 98 factual statements he made during his speech 74 of which were determined to be false or mostly false (45) , misleading (25) or unsupported by evidence (4). In plain talk: lies. Without taking the trouble to do the math, this proves that Trump lies much more often than he tells the truth. Is it any wonder how long Scott Pruitt lasted? Does anyone really think that Trump will scold Ross?
Presidential attorney/mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani is working on the behalf of foreign governments and interests without registering with the Justice Department. He has admitted working for the governments of Brazil and Columbia. He is also working for a controversial Iranian dissident group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK). His firm represents Kharkiv, Ukraine whose mayor is aligned with the Russia-friendly Party of Regions which is involved in the Manafort controversy.
While the legality of Giuliani’s activities is somewhat debatable the ethics are certainly not. Why would Trump put up with this? I offer the “birds of a feather” reasoning; certainly not defense.
The day didn’t get any better as it went on. I caught a news flash that Trump had pardoned Dwight and Steve Hammond. They are the father and son duo behind the 41 day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that included one death in 2016. Speaking of Trump cabinet members embroiled in scandal, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke advocated for the pardons.
This sends a clear message to those who hate the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) that if you break the law in defiance of the BLM President Trump has your back. In today’s America if Trump considers a law, verdict or sentence unfair (one of his favorite words) he will just void it.
The title of this article – minus the word in parenthesis – sounds like the title to a si-fi movie or article. I wish it was because the “fi” stands for fiction and we are living in reality.
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