So, on a day when Democrats receive the votes to take control of the House of Representatives, there is Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a first step to obstruct the Mueller investigation. (And what a bizarre we live in where it's disturbing that Jeff Sessions is fired from...well, anything.)
And then Trump breaks all standards and not only doesn't hire the next in line to temporarily replace Sessions, but takes instead someone not even in the line of succession, and instead has almost no qualifications to be the top law official in the United States.
And further, the replacement is not only wildly unqualified but has his own conflict-of-interest issues, beyond just his public statements pre-determining his position, but worse, it turns out that he was the former executive director of an organization designed "to level ethics complaints against the Democratic Party," the so-called Foundation of Accountability and Public Trust.
Before getting to even more from the day, I'm going to stay here for just a moment. The actions by Trump are clearly disturbing for not only their intent but also what they accomplish. However, as problematic as they are (and they are deeply problematic), I learned a few things that added at least a level of relief.
One is that for all the real concern of the temporary AG Matthew Whitaker blocking Robert Mueller's report, the reality is that when the new Democratic majority comes into power in January, they can request any material that Mueller turned over to his superiors. Another is that if the Mr. Whitaker directs Mueller behind the scenes to stop investigating areas, the House Judicial Committee which will be chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler in January will be able to do do oversight on the investigation (hey, remember all those requests by Republicans that Rod Rosenstein and the FBI turn over documents to them in the name of "transparency"?...) and call the Special Prosecutor in to regularly question him about any interference or changed conditions being forced upon him. And also, for all the concerns that the new temporary Attorney General can cut back funding from the investigation -- he can, BUT funding for Mueller's team for the coming year was made in October, so the money is there until October, 2019.
This is not to say, "All is Well." All is not well, and far from it. But it's good to know there are safety valves in place.
Okay, moving along in our normal Day in Trump Land, then there was that press conference.
For all the details that came out of that event, I think the most notable is how stressed and concerned it showed Trump to be. For all his words about how Republicans did great (despite losing control of the House) and how all the GOP candidates who won were all because of him him him, the angry, petulant, pitiful meltdown was the result of someone under great nervous strain, lashing out in protective paranoia because he knows what's coming.
It wasn't just his actions towards CNN reporter Jim Acosta. There was him telling reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who is black, that her question about racism was racist. There was him telling reporter April Ryan, who is black, to sit down. There was him interrupting questions with snide remarks. And I loved that when reporter Pete Alexander got up to ask his question, he defended Acosta. And then of course, Trump went after him. (For that matter, what I also loved is that right before Acosta was called on, Trump cut off the previous reporter who had a follow-up – but then when the frustrated reporter saw that the person being called on next was Acosta, the guy said, “Oh! Because it’s Jim, I’ll let it go.”)
But of course, this being just another normal Trump Day, even all that at the press conference got worse. After all, in light of the so recent pipe bombs and Pittsburgh synagogue massacre committed by those clearly influenced by Trump's hate-filled words, the fact that Trump was so visceral about Acosta and other “fake news” reporters being the “enemy of the people” wasn’t just sick and a meltdown, but pathetically dangerous.
And then, of course, the Trump White House was even able to top that, but doctoring a video to falsely accuse Acosta of putting his hands on a female intern and therefore temporarily revoking his press credentials. The video -- especially when slowed down -- makes abundantly nothing of the sort happened (and that it was, in fact, Acosta who was grabbed and he was trying to block her from doing so. But for all that, there is something almost whimsical (in a galling way) for this White House to feign horror at someone touching a woman who's trying to grab his microphone while they dismiss and ignore the 16 charges by woman against Trump of actual sexual assault.
If you didn't see the exchange at the press conference, it is galvanizing.
What kind of a day was it in Trump Land? A day like any other -- except You Are There...