‘When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat’. – said George Carlin, American stand-up comedian, actor, author and social critic, 1927-2008.
This is certainly not the craziest year in the American republic’s history (there was the Civil War, and there was 1968, after all) .. but some days sure feels pretty surreal.
1. On Friday, President Trump called NFL players that kneel during the anthem to protest racial inequality ‘sons of b****es’. Surely, a first for any US President in public. Is the F word next? The N word?
2. We all survived the latest apocalypse on Saturday. Some guy called David preached about a biblical doomsday of Sep 23, which came and went .. and hey! we’re still here. He simply issued a new doomsday date.
3. Today Republican Senators Graham & Cassidy (boo! boo! to you) still pushed their zombie healthcare bill that propose to drain tens of billions of dollars out of healthcare. They lied about its effects in the public hearing today. Again confirming Republican health policy: die if you’re sick, and make it quick; you’re costing us money. (The New York Times reports that Republican Senators’ billionaire donors are getting antsy and want their tax cuts). Before the hearing started, Capitol police carried out screaming (disabled) protesters in their wheelchairs.
4. I watch the Vietnam War documentary and think: history repeated itself with Iraq, and is repeating itself right now in Afghanistan. We sent thousands more troops there just a few weeks ago – with no exit strategy. Just last week, the Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill, far more than what Trump requested. Someone calculated that the increase in the defense budget can fund free education country-wide for a year.
5. Trump finally acknowledged the post-Maria hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico (tweets), but criticizes them for their poor infrastructure, instead of offering help or support. Houston and Florida is yesterday’s news by now, and I assume they are doing OK.
6. North Korea now threatens to shoot down American warplanes – even outside their airspace, saying Trump ‘declared war’ on them. There are reports that commercial airlines have started to give the airspace there a wide berth. Not a great feeling, this game of chicken between President Trump and Dear Leader Kim Jong-un.