Little to nothing new happened this week. The supposed Democratic attempt to fry Moore by frying Franken only fried Franken. Franken’s seat is secure for Democrats; Moore’s seat would be up for party grabs in Alabama. The theory goes that the Democratic party viewed Franken as expendable since a Democrat would likely replace him, but Moore, a Republican, would be replaced by a Democrat, thus the Democrats would gain a seat in the Senate. By accusing and frying Franken of the same kind of sex scandal as Moore, it seemed to be non-hypocritical for Democrats to expect that Moore step down.
That’s the theory anyway as to why so many Democrat-leaning voices went after Franken.
Theory or no, it didn’t happen. The Clinton years cemented the unofficial Democratic position that “sex and morals” don’t affect politicians—that a man can cheat on his wife and remain loyal to his country. Republicans are the party of “morality police”, in a sense. Once a sinner proves he is a sinner, it’s time to hang a “scarlet letter ‘A'” around his neck and burn him at the stake. But, especially with the public being tired from having to remove Kevin Spacey from their “favorites” lists, the Republican voters don’t want anymore. “A Republican proves to be a sinner in need of forgiveness” no longer means that “moralless Democrats need to gain power” in the minds of Republican voters. The press “pooped in its diapers” over scandals one too many times and the Religious Right just doesn’t care anymore. The “scandal trump card” is no longer part of the rules as of this political season.
With the Alabama special election coming up tomorrow, and a tax bill about to get through Congress, headlines may finally change a little from what they have been for the past month. Thanks to the continued distraction provided by Mueller’s ongoing and seemingly directionless investigation of Russianewsgategate, the White House is moving forward and may start creating new headlines soon. Not having to write the same story week after week will come as a relief to some writers, but a disappointing alarm to get off the couch for the mainstream.
Demagoguery hit the fan. It’s never been more obvious. Reputable news sources—not the average British tabloids trying to tell Americans what to do—are rehashing old plays from the playbook: Congress is worried about the president saying things on Twitter. If the president doesn’t obey someone he hired and can fire, now that’s called “finding a loophole”.
The president can say what he wants. The president can do what he wants in the White House without having to find loopholes. That’s especially true with the village of cards Obama made with his executive orders that he knew would be so easily blown away by whoever the next guy was to take office. If Obama can create czars with no legal basis, the president should be allowed to talk to a White House staff member without getting permission.
But now, the Russianewsgategate scandal is making its full about turn, though the boomerang isn’t quite back in hand yet. The DOJ oversees the FBI; Congress oversees both. Whatever—whatever—Congress says, the FBI and DOJ must do, including answer questions. It seems that they didn’t answer questions. Congress is moving for contempt action, which isn’t pretty. Though the president kept his peace, now the “directionless” special investigation is so obviously without good purpose that the president feels it’s okay to say so.
The funny part is, had Jeff Sessions not caved into the anti-Trump pressure to recuse himself, he would be hit with the contempt action from Congress. But, he played by anti-Trump rules, so, ironically and poetically, Congressional action against a seemingly anti-Trump motive won’t hurt him. Grab your popcorn. This will only get more entertaining.
At the APEC summit in Vietnam, Putin told Trump that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election. Putin was sincere. At the same time, Taiwan is beefing-up cybersecurity, ostensibly to counter “daily” and “Russian style” attacks originating in China. If everyone’s rhetoric holds true, that means that there aren’t any threats at all.
Trump offered to help settle disputes in the South Sea. The Philippines’ finance minister complemented Trump on knowing “the art of the deal”. The Filipino president does not want any problems in the South Sea. China would rather settle disputes one-to-one. Will everyone get what they want? We’ll have to see. This is a chance for China also to earn compliments about negotiation skill from Filipino leadership.
Trump was very friendly in China. He underscored the importance of cooperation between the US and China. It was one of the kindest things he ever said. He publicly conducted himself in some of the kindest ways he ever has since running for office. China received him with respect and his public appearances went smoothly. If there ever was a good chance for peace, now is the best chance there has been for a long while and is probably the best chance there will yet be for a long while.
Many establishments are imploding—Europe, big entertainment, the political establishment. Many people press forward for love, truth, and life without animosity. Old establishments resist and impugn themselves.
Suspected Russian money dubiously making its way to Trump’s campaign advisor, Manafort, neither indites nor acquits Trump or Russian collusion, but suggests that someone was attempting to interfere, both through secret operatives and smear campaigns. Mueller is getting into deeper hot water, now including CNN. Russianewsgategate, continues to expose corruption, but not where originally purported by the “exposers”.
Reconciliation and loyalty are powerful. As of press time, the best bet for Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp would be to repair damage and cooperate against the immoral addictions that plagued their industry long before either of them became actors. Neither attacks the other, but they only speak in humility. They have a perfect recipe for lemonade. If NetFlix drops Spacey, their own “house of cards” will fail, just as “acquiesce-management” style backfired on the NFL, Limbaugh’s sponsors’ response over Sandra Fluke, General Motors’ surrender to union demands, politicians’ white flag addition, and others. If Spacey stays on, House of Cards ratings will rise and Hollywood corruption will fall. Anthony Rapp needs a soapbox role in Season 6.
The world is a different place from when Reagan left office. Just a few years after a long series of events, Russia and the US ended the Cold War under George HW Bush. Since then, three presidents—two Democratic and one Republican—have had double terms. Now, it doesn’t so much matter whether arming-up is right or wrong, but that arming-up makes sense now when it didn’t 25 years ago.
Russia has been more and more aggressive, retaking an old militarily strategic part of the Ukraine. China is getting ready to launch aircraft carriers with a 30 year vision to become a global power. While no decision has been announced, the US is getting ready for a Cold War era “standby” of nuked-up bombers ready to launch at a moment’s notice. North Korea’s fate will be the soonest test of whether the move was wise.
All the nuking up with Russia and the old enemies came up in the Mueller investigation. It’s starting to look like the Obama administration, along with the Clintons and an interesting list of others, made it possible for North Korea to get the nukes it did. Russianewsgategate backfired, just as Symphony suspected.
The NFL is also continuing to slip. For too many years, business theory touted the virtue of cow-towing to any and every form of criticism from everywhere and anywhere. If a mouse doesn’t like the cat food, the cat food company must change its formula. It happened with Limbaugh’s sponsors, now it happened with the NFL. By catering to demands from the wrong people, the backbone customers felt betrayed and took their business elsewhere. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything and the NFL, even for a brief moment, chose not to stand. Now, the NFL seems to be truly becoming historic, in more ways than one.