A POSITIVELY GREAT DAY ON TRUMP'S TRAIL
WE RECENTLY PROMISED you that from now on we’ll do our best to focus on the positive, instead of simply dwelling on the zillion negative ways in which Donald J. Trump’s presidency increases the odds of nuclear war, weakens chances of saving our environment, tells four to five lies a day, degrades our culture, encourages racism and generally disgraces the traditions and promises of American democracy.
Today seems as good as any to give “positive” its due.
For one thing, the Blizzard of ’18 was yesterday. Today has been one of those great day-after-the-storm times when the sun is bright, the snow clean and soft, the wind speed is zero, the power is on, the trees and shrubbery are wrapped in with gleaming snow and ice.
(Cat says to mention that Newport was the only place in Rhode Island to officially experience official blizzard conditions, which is when it’s snowing so hard for at least three hours that you can’t see more than a quarter mile and the wind is a howling 35 miles an hour or better. Not that we were aware that was happening.)
Anyway, today was great day for a dog who’s part Husky to romp and roll in a foot of snow, run around the backyard like a mad dog, chew up sticks knocked to the ground by the wind and generally bury her head in a snowbank. In other words, it’s a perfect time to completely forget about Donald Fucking Trump for 15 minutes.
Not that Cat or I are recommending head-in-the-snow denial. We know the nation and the world are in crisis and that we have to pay attention to every awful thing that is happening today, has happened since the inauguration and will happen every day until Trump exits the White House and we can change the locks.
But consider the volume of good POSITIVE news going on right now!
COURSE IN DEMOCRACY
TODAY WAS THE DAY that thousands of students across the country left their classrooms to honor the 17 people murdered on Valentine’s Day at a Florida high school, and to push for real solutions to gun violence, not inane ideas, like arming teachers, janitors, principals and grounds crews in the fine arts of school shootouts.
The survivors of the last huge shooting in Connecticut were elementary students when their classmates and teachers were slaughtered in 2012, so they could be ignored because, while cute, they were so young.
But the high school teenagers at Parkland, Florida who survived the shooting a month ago are savvy, smart and articulate, and instantly they knew how to seize the moment, to lead a national movement that gun culture has to change, and to make simple point like military weapons are best left to the Marines, and that guns should be treated along the lines of what’s required to drive a car.
Also, memo to Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of “education,” who has been doing her best to wreck public schools, but flunked her oral exams on “60 Minutes” last Sundays:
The folks who are running the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. have obviously been doing something spectacular with their students, who seem to have pick up a thing or two about rewriting history.
TORTURE: JUST SAY NO
EVEN AS LOWLY domesticated creatures, Cat and I have some pretty definite opinions on people who drown, beat, scare and otherwise abuse bodies, human and otherwise, so we welcome the resistance that emerged today to confirming Gina Haspel as Trump’s would-be next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
News accounts immediately dredged up Haspel’s record, going back to the bad old days after 9/11 when the CIA tortured suspected terrorists. According to the Washington Post:
Haspel ran one of the first CIA black sites, a compound in Thailand code-named “Cat’s Eye,” where al-Qaeda suspects Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, better known as Abu Zubaida, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were subjected to waterboarding and other techniques in 2002.
Later, Haspel passed on orders from a superior that video tapes of the torture sessions be destroyed.
Democrats, including Rhode Island’s Sen. Jack Reed, yesterday were questioning Haspel’s nomination, and Republican Senator Rand Paul said he’ll actually vote against her.
There’s a hitch, though.
Media know-it-alls were pointing out that Haspel, as a CIA veteran, might run the spook agency professionally and would be less likely than a political flunky to cave into Trump’s looney demands. You might remember Trump’s often stated fondness for torture….
Some things are complicated.
TO THE NICE ONE
CAT AND I ARE pleased to see that a letter-to-the-editor by the Nice One was published in our local paper, the Newport Daily News, urging resistance to a Rhode Island budget proposal to charge co-pays to some people who receive Medicaid health care.
As usual, the Nice One was right on the money in pointing out that Medicaid is a program for POOR people. And, while she didn’t put it exactly this way: even a simple dog and an even simpler cat know that poor people don’t have much MONEY.
So asking them to fork over $4 for a prescription or $3 for a doctor’s visit is as pointless as it is cruel.
And trust that you did, too.