On Sunday, a friend was talking with me about this site. I mentioned that I meant it when I write on occasion that I really, truly don't want this to be a Politics Website. But how can I not write about politics pretty much every day when Trump is president??? It's not that he does something outrageous virtually every day...but often two or three things outrageous things any given single day! And the challenge is not whether or not to write about politics, picking which one outrage to write about.
Like the very next day.
To start with, one of the favorite topics Trump likes to brag about is his amazing success with the stock market, how high it's gone, all because of him him him him him. Never mind that stocks are flying on the continued wings of the Obama Bull Market that had even far-greater success -- and never mind that the success of the stock market has next to nothing about the economy as he otherwise suggests, and really only benefits those well-off enough to invest heavily in it. Yes, there are some in the middle-class who invest, whether individually or in a pension plan, but not usually life-changing amounts. However, for most people in most-need of income, the stock market is meaningless to them. And then yesterday, the stock market lost 1,175 points, its biggest drop in points in history. And a plunge of over 1,800 points the last two days in a row. And total silence from Trump.
No one is quite sure of the reason for the massive drop. It might just have been a normal correction of a market that's so high. And the reality is that with a market that high, a drop of that many points only caused a decrease of 4.6% -- that's not good, but not remotely as bad as "the biggest drop in points in history" would otherwise suggest. The market had already plummeted on Friday. But remember, it's still up about 4,500 points from a year ago. But again, no one knows for sure The Reason for the plunge. It could be a lot of reasons together.
However, one of those reasons being discussed for the drop is because of Trump, and specifically so, far far more than the rise had anything to do with him. It's that with the debt ceiling upcoming in a few days, and the possibility of another government shutdown just days way, as well -- and with the debt ceiling having been moved up a month closer because of the $1.5 trillion increase to the budget deficit because of the Trump tax cut -- and Trump showing himself far from the "very stable genius" he likes to paint himself, there is the reasonable possibility that, in part, market investors are concerned that he is not the leader and this is not the administration to deal effectively with such issues.
And then on top of this, while the market was in free fall, yesterday was also when Trump gave a speech Trump (poorly timed about the economy, as whimsy would have it) in which he tried to smear Democrats in Congress as being "un-American" and (bizarrely) "treasonous." That's bad enough on any level, but far worse when the reason for his name-calling is because they didn't stand and applaud for him during the State of the Union Address. And this comes only a week after he himself at that very same Address called for bipartisanship!! Well, just swell, how do you think calling Democrats "un-American" and "treasonous" is going to play when Trump needs them to deal with the aforementioned debt ceiling and potential government shutdown. Such out-of-control ranting is not the action of a "very stable genius." It's closer to unhinged and poisonous. I suspect it also points to his growing concern of where the Russia investigation is headed, and the deeper it gets to him, the more out-of-control we will see Trump become -- and if that isn't a horrifying thought that such a thing is even possible, more out of control, you are untouched by the concept of either horror or thought.
And on top of all that, we still have yesterday's fall-out from the Nunes Memo (which Trump is believed to have help craft), when the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously -- as in "unanimously," meaning even Chairman Devin Nunes voted for it -- to release the Democratic response memo, which now has gone to Trump's desk and he has five days to decide what to do. If he refuses to declassify it, despite having declassified the Republican memo out of (his said) transparency, his blatant partisan hackery will be further exposed in all its obvious glory. (Know too, that in that case the memo will go to the full House which can vote to release it. Given that the Committee voted to do so unanimously, it stands a reasonable chance of passing.) Yet if Trump does agree to declassify it, he'll lay open all the clear evidence that gives complete and total lie to the Nunes Memo with documented facts. Know, too, that Democrats did with their memo what Republicans refused to -- and that's show it to the FBI to be vetted.
And whatever happens with the response memo, Trump has already cause a security disaster, having torn away at public confidence in any intelligence service, as well as created a reluctance for both domestic and foreign services to share secret intelligence, now that it's shown to be unprotected. And further, newspapers have already filed for access to the underlying intel in the Nunes Memo under the Freedom of Information based on the premise that, Trump having declassified the memo, nothing discussed in it is secret and protected.
And all of this was just yesterday. And yet still leaves out so much more... From just yesterday.
Which brings us back to my original quandary. I don't want to write about politics this much. But how in the world can I not, when this is pretty much the world we live in Every Single Day???!
Updates as the occur...
And you know they will occur.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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