December 6, 2017

Wondering on Wednesday (v113)

Where to start with tonight's wondering?

Well, there's Senator Al Franken, who is most likely going to announce tomorrow that he's leaving the US Senate, because the allegations of  sexual harassment continue to roll in. According to reports, he and his wife met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and later, several of Franken's counterparts called for him to step aside.
Ms. Gillibrand was joined by Senators Mazie K Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington State, Kamala Harris of California, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Maria Cantwell of Washington State, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, who issued statements after talking privately with each other for weeks about what to do about Mr. Franken.
Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat added his support, as did Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of  Indiana, Patrick J Leahy of Vermont, Edward J Markey of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, as well as Mr. Perez of the Democratic National Committee. 
Meanwhile, president Trump, himself a multi-victim accused sexual harasser and admitted sexual predator, officially endorsed the Constitution-ignoring and accused sexual predator Judge Roy Moore to be the next senator from Alabama.  Falling in step behind the president were the Republican National Committee, which resumed their support, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who, after having second thoughts about the credibility of Moore's accusers (for no apparent reason), has now decided that it's perfectly OK for Moore to join the Senate if that's what the people of Alabama want.

But what about Al Franken, Senator McConnell? Yeah, he shouldn't be in the club,  now that he's lost the support of his colleagues and constituents. But if the people of Minnesota wanted to keep him, I wonder what McConnell would say then? Is that up to them, or up to his colleagues?

Separately, president Trump decided to hold a cabinet meeting, and invited the press for his 'opening remarks' again (or whatever the heck he calls it). I can almost do the talking points in my sleep:

  • North Korea will be handled
  • our military is going to be awesome
  • a Mattis joke
  • something about jobs coming back (which always includes jobs that were never here in the first place, so I have to wonder where they're coming back from)
  • the stock market
  • taxes, a new addition - actually, make that tax cuts, because that plays better than tax reform;
  • 2 million jobs created
  • media coverage
  • hurricanes ruining his numbers 
  • his Supreme Court

Did I leave anything out? Oh, of course -- the obligatory lies about the Democrats. Today, it was all about a government shutdown.  Take a look:
Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down. They want to have illegal immigrants; in many cases, people that we don't want in our country. They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime. We don't want to have that. We want to have a great, beautiful crime-free country...
Now, we don't have to wonder at all whether what Trump alleges the Dems want is a lie - we  know it is. Dems want to do something about the Dreamers. As Trump knows, these are people brought here illegally as children by their parents. They are not criminals pouring into our country, bringing crime, lots of crime, tremendous crime, bigly beautiful crime.

His cabinet knows what he said is not true, as does the press. On the former, I wonder how the heck they can keep a straight face when he says this stuff? And, on the latter, I wonder why they keep showing up to hear the same nonsense over and over and over?  Isn't there paint drying somewhere they can watch instead?  We know Trump has no shame, but why do they cover this?

Finally, Michigan Representative John Conyers announced his immediate retirement yesterday. Conyers, who has faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment, had served for almost as long as I've been alive. In announcing he was stepping down, he endorsed his son John Conyers III.  There's also a chance that another family member, State Senator Ian Conyers, may run for the seat.

I wonder, is now the time to maybe talk about term limits? And if not now, when?

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