Forgive the radio silence, my friends. Every time I go to write, the thing I planned on writing is already old news five minutes later, not to mention so depressing I don’t want to talk about it.
Still, we really do have a duty to keep abreast of what’s happening if we can.
Let me try something different, and see if I can re-construct the events of the weekend in an itemized list, with commentary if I can muster any. That might be more useful than attempting a blog post on just one of them. Mind you, by the time I hit “publish,” something else will have happened, but I’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Here we go.
- Starting on Saturday, TV’s Donald Trump and those close to him went into hysterics because the tricksy hobbitses in “the media” reported that the inauguration ceremony was not well attended. This report was confirmed with aerial photographs and in other ways, but Trump could have sworn he saw millions of people. At one point he claimed to have seen people backed up all the way to the Washington Monument, despite the fact that Mr. Qasim Rashid was there at the time and took these photos of himself, alone, in front of the monument. Perhaps the Trump supporters all ran and hid when they saw his Islamic hat. My take: Narcissists gonna Narc. I don’t see that the number of people at the inauguration affects us in any way, and I’d far rather President Trump wasted time throwing tantrums than actually fulfilling the majority of his ghastly campaign promises.
2. Also on Saturday, women all over the world took part in peaceful protest against the president, wearing jaunty pink hats and promoting a number of causes including protecting the environment, supporting refugees and minorities, religious freedom, preventing violence against women and such. Many of the protesters were specifically marching in favor of abortion rights, but many pro-life feminists crashed the party and marched along with them. Some woman I don’t know appeared in my Facebook conversations informing Catholics who marched that these protesters were no longer practicing Catholics, they ought to go to confession, and that they made her feel “shaken.”
My take: maybe someone should call her a snowflake and see what happens. I applaud the pro-life feminists and I want a pink cat-eared hat of my own. The fight for women’s rights in this country has always been a matter of women going where they’re not supposed to go, whether this is the voting booth, the nation’s capital, or just to a rally to which they were officially un-invited. Pro-life feminists should be no different. Further, we ought to march with people who disagree with us on some issues, in solidarity for issues we can all agree on, and there were plenty of those in the mix. Battle on, pro-life feminists.
3. Kellyanne Conway troweled on some more eye liner and went on Meet the Press, where she coined the phrase “Alternative Facts” and told Chuck Todd “we’re going to have to rethink our relationship here.” My take: I didn’t even know they were dating. I thought Kellyanne was married. Also, I think that Kellyanne and Donald Trump believe they’re dealing with a “media” which is comprised of plucky newspaper reporters, a relatively small group of people the government is free to boss around and suppress like in 1940s Germany. “The Media” nowadays is comprised of several enormous multi-billion dollar corporations. If the president crosses them, it’s my belief that the president will eventually lose. And this is good, because freedom of the press is pretty darn important. Battle on, Media.
4. Conservatives suddenly lost their squeamishness about presidents who sign large numbers of executive orders. Trump has signed quite a few, and by the time you read this he will have signed more. Let’s run down the list, and I’m sure I’m going to forget a few:-Allowing agency heads to waive requirements of the ACA to the “Maximum extent permitted by law.” You can go here and here for my commentary on why the Affordable Care Act, while imperfect, cannot just be yanked.
-A freeze on all regulations that are in process, including those signed by Obama in his final weeks, until they are reviewed by Trump.
-Re-instating the Mexico City Policy which, yes, is pro-life, but which is always re-instated by any GOP candidate who makes it to the White House since its inception, so it hardly counts as anything other than checking the “I am a republican” box.
-A freeze on government hiring. This is supposed to save us tax money, but people who actually work for the government say it’ll do the opposite by forcing them to hire private contractors.
-Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership. I actually like this one.
-President Trump re-instated the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, endangering the health, safety and religious freedom of Native Americans once again. You can go here, here and here for Steel Magnificat’s previous takes on the pipelines.
My take: I don’t want to hear a Republican claim that a president governing by executive order is tyranny ever again.
5. President Trump instituted media blackouts at the EPA and USDA. In defiance of this, a rogue employee at Badlands National Park started tweeting climate change statistics and instantly became my favorite person in the world. When I woke up this morning, I found that he or she had started their own unofficial twitter feed that Trump can’t silence (yet), sharing facts about climate change and the environment. And these aren’t “alternative facts,” either; these are the old fashioned kind which are based upon science. My take: Who is this masked man? Hi-Yo Silver, Away, Lone Park Ranger. You are a national hero.
6. The president also threatened martial law in Chicago. Specifically, he tweeted that ” If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” I should note that the claim of a 24% increase seems to be alternative facts. My take: I want to snark on that use of scare quotes around “carnage,” but frankly I can’t muster a sense of humor about this one.
7. Trump also tweeted yesterday that he has a “big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow.” He is expected to block visas to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and to order a multi-month ban on refugees overall today. My take: I want to snark that gratuitous use of caps lock, but I’m not feeling very humorous about that one either. People are desperate to get into this country because they are going to be slaughtered otherwise. We just became the moral equivalent to the folks who sent the Jewish passengers on the Saint Louis back to Europe in 1939. I really wish he’d keep on disputing the size of the inauguration crowd instead.
I really meant for this to be a side-splittingly humorous list when I got started, folks, but wow. I keep telling myself “maybe nothing will happen,” and here things are happening, most of them horrible. Lord, have mercy.
8. I think we need Bad Lip Reading to take us away at this point. Enjoy:
Ahhh, that’s much better.
(image via pixabay)