Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Interesting Times

Sometimes, a blogger is struck with the ennui that comes from "ticking away the moments that make up a dull day" when there just isn't a good bit of blog-bait that makes you want to bite. But then--there's days like these, target-rich and portent-laden, that make you wish you had more time to get all your impressions down.

We started with the confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions, which was a little bit contentious, what with protesters dressed as Klansmen and the actual questioning to sort out whether Sessions was basically copacetic with the Klan or merely had some overlap with their general outlook.  Good times. These are exactly the kinds of questions we want to have in the second decade of the 21st freaking century: "How do you really feel about people of color voting?" "Should police be able to do all the available violent things?" "Do we dislike torture because it is wrong or because it is illegal?" Knowing the answers regarding a potential US AG is vital, but having to ask seems really horrid, like, "goddamn this is a pretty unacceptable choice".

But we also had a Senate panel looking into the IC consensus on the Russian hacking which had some fairly freaking droll moments--such as FBI Director Comey making light of his obvious "tone deafness" regarding politics (yeah, uh-huh, the letter about Clinton emails on the Carlos Danger device that went nowhere) and also his bold statement that he would not comment on an existing investigation regarding whether the FBI was investigating any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia with "I would never comment on investigations." Hah? Get it? Hah?

Oy. If only. But also revealed--the RNC was also hacked, albeit not to the extent the DNC was.

There was a momentary respite where some folks could try to wrap their heads around what a "soft sensuality" meant when applied to a presidential inauguration as opposed to some kind of historical romance movie or soft-core porn. (It has something to do with a "poetical cadence" and "the people", if that at all helps!)

But then apparently Buzzfeed got hold of something pretty damn interesting. And there's some interesting stuff on The Guardian, too. It's all to do with whether there are obvious connections between the Trump campaign circle and Russia (well, yeah) and whether Trump himself might be compromised by some kind of blackmail. I can't let the larger narrative of whether the Trump campaign was colluding with a foreign power go without mentioning the odd detail that the Buzzfeed dossier includes the image of Trump paying hookers to have water sports (golden showers--or, to be real blunt, pee play). Because this is deeply weird and not substantiated and has so much comic potential that Twitter has been entirely on about. This sort of thing would be very upsetting to someone like Trump who seems to care a lot about his image-making or branding. He seems to be in ALLCAPS denial. (This is a very strident form of denial. I guess.)

But we also had the bittersweet farewell address from our exceptional President, Barack Obama. He put the historical event of the peaceful democratic change of leaders into context and highlighted (the way conservatives claim he never does) our exceptionalism in that regard, and our potential for great positive change and innovation, the strength in our diversity, and the need for us all to pitch in and understand that "yes we can" always meant all of us. He recapped his achievements and reminded us we can't lose hope.

What a day. What a day. I am sure I am living in interesting times, and it's either a mixed blessing or a livable curse.

3 comments:

Nasreen Iqbal said...

I can't believe how good President Obama looks right now. Maybe it's the old notion of standing next to a fat person in order to look thin: When you compare him to what's to follow, he looks incredibly thoughtful and dignified. But the press called him "No drama Obama" even back in 2008.

I wish that his successor wasn't planning on undoing everything he's done.

mikey said...

Yeah. I don't think there's been any doubt about this from the very first discussions of Russian state sponsored cyber espionage targeting the DNC and the Campaigns. The reasons Putin wanted Trump elected were clear, although one could certainly make a case for arranging them in a different order:

1.) US help in destabilizing NATO
2.) US leadership in lifting Crimea/Ukraine sanctions
3.) Putin hated the Clintons for their perceived humiliation of Russia under Yeltsin
4.) US acquiescence to Russia's leadership in Syria
5.) US/China tensions
6.) A US President that they could manipulate with the 'kompromat' they have gathered on Trump over the years

There's more, of course: Oil, trade, the arctic, missile defense installations etc. But those are the biggies...

Anonymous said...

Fear Not! the republic will outlast him! (I hope!)