A Bad Week

March 1, 2019

I had a tough time being a proud American this week.

The week started with Mr. Trump’s intention to name Kelly Knight Craft as ambassador to the United Nations and ended with the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.   Ms. Craft is the wife of Joseph Craft, a Kentucky coal billionaire and donor to Mr. Trump.   Mr. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for coal interests.   Talk about foxes in the henhouse.

On the same day Mr. Wheeler was confirmed, Mr. Trump’s much heralded tryst (summit conference) was aborted.  Perhaps his lovefest with a murderous tyrant is over.  Let’s hope.

Inbetween, there was reference in a column by Paul Krugman to a “report” (most likely by  sociologist Michael Hout’s 2018 thorough and lengthy study) which rather convincingly maintained that if you’re born poor in America you’re not very likely to get “rich.”

Then there was my own research concerning poverty and hunger in America.  Statistics over time can be interpreted as demonstrating poverty and hunger are systemic in America, the tragic residue of slavery.

On Tuesday, I finished rereading “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”  The manner in which the Federal government managed the “Indian Problem” was tantamount to ethnic genocide (not my word.  Benjamin Madley is the author of  “An American Genocide.”)

Then there was the House Oversight Committee hearing where Michael Cohen, a convicted and hopefully reformed Federal felon described the sleazy life and dealings of the President of the United States before pitiless Republicans and fixated Democrats.  It was high political theater in which facts got lost in the sound and fury.  Then, late in the day, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked Cohen perhaps the most pertinent question of the day, one that expands the roll of those who enable Mr. Trump and judging whether, as Cohen claims, he is a “cheat:” “Did Mr. Trump ever provide inflated asserts to an insurance company?”  Simple, direct, and something that would get at how Mr. Trump lives his life and helps explain why he has told nearly 9,000 lies during his Presidency.  It’s all about the money.  (Maybe he wants first rights to develop condos along the ‘”fantastic” North Korean shoreline.)  I felt my faith being restored in my government by a 29-year-old who outclassed her elders.

And then Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, the son of a sharecropper and the descendant of slaves, extemporaneously delivered a political sermon, the theme of which, “We can do better!”   He was pleading for all Americans to rise up and protect our democracy.  His plea produced a few tears among the participants in the hearing.  All I could think of was the title of a book:  “Cry, the Beloved Country.”   I knew then that there is hope that one day, our nation will put this nightmare behind us, just as we have in other times.

But when?  Not this week.





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