(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
Mr. Trump came back to town and addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. His speech had all the gloomy hallmarks of a Stephen Miller production, although apparently Steve Bannon also contributed a few sentences from a distance. Miller, who is existentially hostile to everything good and respectable, is the White House favorite of the Alt Right, and he could be the reincarnation of Roy Cohn, one of Trump’s mentors, were it not for the fact that he was born a year before Cohn died. Highlight of the speech was the threat to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, which caused a significant amount of gasping in the assembly, not in the least because it was a deeply offensive insult to a body that was created to keep the peace among nations. And after her husband embarrassed himself for the whole world to see and hear Melania almost did him one better in a smaller and less public setting, by talking about her campaign against bullying and pleading for better protecting children against violence on the Internet, three days after the president re-tweeted a video that showed him knocking down Hillary Clinton with a golf shot.
In the meantime Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is picking up speed. He requested all documents from the White House that are related to FBI Director Comey’s firing, an indication that he’s looking for proof of obstruction of justice by Trump, while simultaneously increasing the pressure on Paul Manafort, who has already been informed by Mueller’s agents that he will be indicted. In the context of collusion by the Trump campaign with the Kremlin the question is becoming more prominent why Manafort, who is well connected with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, temporarily assumed the leadership of the campaign at a crucial point in time. Apparently Manafort, who was not getting paid by Trump but is always trying to make a buck, tried to peddle information about the campaign to at least one oligarch, but that cannot have been the only motive for the role he played, and Mueller might want to know if maybe other sponsors rewarded him for his efforts to guide Trump to victory. The investigation appears to already have uncovered sufficient fraudulent behavior by Manafort to put pressure on him to start ‘singing.’
While Kim Jong-un and Mueller keep Trump awake at night, in Washington the GOP is making one last effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Graham/Cassidy bill is meaner than all previous attempts, and prominent Republicans as well as Donald Trump are lying about it more blatantly than ever before, in particular when they deny the fact that coverage for pre-existing conditions would no longer be guaranteed. The bill, however, was already on life support, and it is now on its deathbed.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two votes, and Rand Paul and Susan Collins were all but guaranteed to vote against the bill, but this afternoon John McCain, who torpedoed the previous attempt, also declared that he cannot vote for the bill, in spite of his friendship with Graham. It makes ongoing attempts to bribe Lisa Murkowski with a special arrangement for Alaska futile.
If it wasn’t for the suffering and pain it would cause you would almost want the bill to pass, because Republicans would pay a very high price for its implementation, but eventually this is a desk-murderer’s design that didn’t deserve to see the light of day, let alone become the law of the land.