That Was the Week That Was #2
(TW 3 - #2)
If you’re not familiar with the old TW3 show, scroll down and read the introduction to Blast #167 (March 24th). I’m not sure if it’s going to become a weekly feature but, given the week we just had, it’s certainly appropriate to bring it back again this weekend. The week started with the House Intelligence Committee “hosting” FBI Director Comey, followed by the “great Healthcare debate.” We watched the silliness of how we now confirm Supreme Court Justices and we may have learned something about the Tweeter-in-Chief/Big Dealer. So, let’s take a look at The Week That Was.
#1: The House Intelligence Committee
Well, we learned that there is a serious criminal investigation being pursued by the FBI into the Trump campaign. The FBI is also looking into whether the Russian government interfered with the United States’s electoral process. The Republicans on the Committee only asked questions about whether Director Comey was pursuing “leaks” and “leakers,” trying to distract the narrative away from the potential criminal nightmare that may erupt. There was also the bizarre action of the Committee Chair, short-bus rider Devin Nunes (who always has a “What, me?” expression), giving a “press conference” in the White House driveway after inappropriately sharing non-evidence with the President. In his attempt to give credence (?) to the “Obama wiretapped me” Trump hallucination, Representative Nunes gave several versions of a non-story about some kind of “incidental” surveillance that, by Friday, had disappeared. What a dunce!
#2. The Health Care Debacle
Thursday was the 7th anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Trump and the Republicans were determined to “repeal and replace” it on that exact day, creating some kind of warped “poetic justice” (in their minds). We saw the chaos that ensued and also observed that the Artist-of-the-Deal couldn’t get his own party to line up and pass the legislation. After all the campaign promises (“it'll be great health care for much less money. So it'll be better health care, much better, for less money. Not a bad combination.”) Trump, when he actually had to work on the legislation discovered it was not so easy (“nobody knew that health care could be so complicated”). The larger question --- which none of our media outlets seemed to point out with any vigor --- was this: what have the Paul Ryan led Republicans been doing for SEVEN YEARS??? While they voted on repealing Obamacare over 60 times in 7 years (when Obama was President) they apparently never worked on creating the “replace” ideas within their “conference.” Since 2010 the Republicans have had the majority in the House of Representatives. Neither John Boehner nor Paul Ryan has been able to tame the “Freedom Caucus” (Tea Baggers) from sabotaging their “conservative” agenda (theTea Baggers are more radically extreme in their conservatism). The bottom line: Trump lost. Ryan lost. The Republicans lost --- and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
#3. The Gorsuch Snorefest
Despite the best efforts by Democratic Senators like Al Franken to highlight some of the questionable decisions of Neil Gorsuch (the “freezing trucker” story), much of the 40 hours of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week was devoted to discussing fishing holes, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Ted Cruz’s flirting with the Judge with the Father Knows Best good looks and Neil making out with his wife. Let’s face it, the Republicans kidnapped this seat on the Court and, unless there are Anthony Weiner level Snap Chat fotos of Gorsuch out there, he will be confirmed. I’m not sure why Chuck Schumer is threatening a filibuster but if that’s how the Democrats want to vent their frustration and pay their respects to Merrick Garland, so be it. If nothing else, this kept the Trump/Russia story on a backburner for a day or two.
#4. The Toddler-in-Chief
Am I the only one who thinks that Donald Trump doesn’t really like being President? And that he’s never really had to work a day in his life? (Hence, every weekend off to Mar-a-Lago!) Not only that, but the man’s short attention span and clear reading disability lead to him acting like a cranky Toddler. Incapable of taking responsibility or admitting he is wrong, Trump sets up one stooge after another (Devin Nunes was this week’s model) to pay for his foibles. The whole Russia Connection may actually lead to us seeing his tax returns --- so get that fan whirring because if those returns go public, you know what’s going to hit it. Friday’s claim that he “didn’t really want to go after Health Care first” is simply another evasion of responsibility and fits perfectly in the Trump narrative learned from his dad: Never use your own money. Steal a good idea and say it’s your own. Do anything to get publicity. Remember that everyone can be bought. (from Jimmy Breslin, 1990) We’re not even three quarters of the way through the first 100 days and all three rings of this circus are humming.