President don Corleone Trump called Michael Cohen, his former fixer attorney and bagman, a rat. A rat is what one gangster calls another who turns on him and squeals. Rudy Guiliani, President don Corleone Tump’s current attorney and PR man says you can’t believe Cohen because he’s a liar. When noted that Trump has lied frequently, his response is “well, not under oath”. When asked if he would recommend that Trump be interviewed under oath by Mueller, his response is “over my dead body.” Cohen once said he’d take a bullet for the President. Well, now maybe it is Rudy’s turn.
In the meantime rats are deserting the ship of state in droves. Over half of Trump’s senior leadership has turned over. When General Kelly was scheduled to leave the Chief of Staff post Trump had a hard time finding anyone who wanted the job. Who can blame them? Employment ad:
“Wanted, Chief of Staff to Donald Trump. Must be available 24-7, do all the dirty work, advise the President who will ignore the advice. Must be willing to endure constant verbal abuse, belittlement, and name-calling. Must engage separate personal attorney in preparation for upcoming investigations and legal entanglements. African Americans, women, Mexican-Americans, gays and Democrats need not apply.” Sycophants welcome. Come join our team to Make America Great Again.”
After many turn-downs, Trump finally settled on an “interim” Chief in Mike Mulvaney, who also doubles as his budget director. Apparently he can do double duty. We’ll see how long he lasts.
Speaking of budgets, Trump is threatening to shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion for the border wall. When reminded that he promised that Mexico would pay for it, his response is a convoluted reply noting that his re-tooling of the North American Free Trade Agreement will save enough money so that in effect, Mexico is paying for it anyway. If that is true, then where is the savings, and why is he still asking for congress to finance it?
A young girl recently died while in custody of the government. The administration blames the father for bringing her into the country in the first place and insinuated he did not give her food or water. He denies that, and reveals how she became sick on the bus in the middle of nowhere. By the time they got her to the hospital it was too late. What’s driving the desperation of migrants from Central America, and why aren’t we focused on improving the conditions in their own countries instead of building a wall to keep them out? Maybe because other country’s problems are not our problem, that is, until they land at our doorstep.
In the meantime a judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. His reasoning: because congress voided the tax penalty for those not signing up for insurance, which was part of the ACA, therefore the entire law is unconstitutional. This despite the Supreme Court previously upholding the law as constitutional. In the meantime, the ACA remains in tact pending appeals. Trump thinks the Texas ruling is great and states that people will still get great health care. Presumably this means affordable health insurance that denies exclusions based on pre-existing conditions, allows children to stay on their parent’s plan until age 26, provides a menu of essential health benefits, and allows states to continue Medicaid expansion. You know, Obamacare.
The stock market is jittery due in part to the Texas health care ruling, trade tariffs, threat of rising interest rates, turmoil in Europe over Brexit, to name a few factors. Midwest farmers are holding the bag with lower soy bean prices due to China’s retaliation for our imposing tariffs on their imports to the U.S., storing their beans, and waiting for prices to rise. Some will go under as bank loans come due. Nevertheless, still many support Trump because he does what he says he will do.
As the walls close in on Trump through the Mueller probe, indictments of his former colleagues, investigations into how his inaugural was financed, his entangled business interests with Russia and other foreign governments, and the pending Democrat majority in the House that will surely subpoena his tax returns, it looks like our government will be busy with investigations and possible impeachment proceedings. In the meantime, our health care system needs reform, our infrastructure is crumbling, our climate is changing threatening our planet as we know it, common sense gun safety laws are not being enacted, comprehensive immigration reform is stalled, the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer. Those are just a few examples of what we should be attending to instead of rats.
In the meantime, the holidays are upon us. Peace on earth, good will to men. And women. And children, too.