Countdown to Mueller

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

It’s not entirely clear if Trump lied about being informed in the last minute that there might be 150 casualties as a result of bombing military installations in Iran, and only because he asked ‘his very smart generals.’  Since these kinds of determinations are made in the earliest stages of the planning process it’s more likely that the president was briefed but simply forgot, or that he decided to put on an act that allowed him to draw out the following teaser: “Am I going to bomb the shit out of Iran?  Who knows, maybe we’ll find out next week, stay tuned folks.”  For Trump it’s all show business.  Be that as it may, the president is now 3 for 3 in calling off threats he made earlier.  First the tariffs on Mexican products, then the bombing of Iranian targets, and most recently the rounding up and expelling of ‘millions’ of undocumented immigrants, a number that upon verification turned out to be two thousand.  The threat of mass deportations was made as the debate about the president’s immigration policies intensified because of recent revelations about the revolting conditions in which migrant children are being kept in Border Patrol facilities.

Human rights lawyers who visited these torture camps told horror stories of overcrowding, teenagers caring for babies, children sleeping on concrete floors without blankets,  unsanitary conditions, diseases, unhealthy food and no soap and toothbrushes.  When asked about these reports Trump blamed it all on the Democrats, who had not made enough funding available to solve these problems.  The modern fascism that’s being practiced on the southern border was really exposed when a picture of a Guatemalan father with his almost two year old daughter, drowned in the Rio Grande while holding each other, hit the television screens and front pages.  Again Trump blamed the Democrats and said that everything was now much better than under Barack Obama, which may be the most blatant lie of his presidency so far.  It’s true that deportations increased significantly under Obama, but illegal border crossings were at an all time low because Obama didn’t shut down points of entry trying to force asylum seekers to stay in Mexico, and families were not separated unless children were considered at risk of being abused.

As a reminder that the US President is a sexual harasser and a rapist the writer E. Jean Carroll published a segment of her latest book that describes how in 1996 she was attacked and penetrated by Donald J. Trump in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.  Apart from the fact that Ms. Carroll told two friends of the assault at the time, the pattern of Trump’s behavior exactly followed the scenario he laid out in the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape.   Trump’s response was classic: the victim was ‘not his type’ or, in other words, not worth raping.

After lengthy negotiations and two subpoenas it was announced that on July 17th Robert Mueller will testify to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and that most of his testimony will be public.  It is expected that Democrats will ask the former Special Counsel to read, and on occasion explain, passages of his report describing collusion and obstruction of justice.  In anticipation Trump accused Mueller of the crime of having ‘eliminated’ 19,000 text messages.

On his way to the G20 meeting in Japan the president succeeded in insulting pretty much every American ally before he joked with Putin about Russia’s interference in upcoming  US elections.  Back home the Supreme Court established that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had lied about a citizenship question in the census, but it also allowed gerrymandering of districs by the states.

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