As patriotic Americans increasingly focus on the effective attack we and much of the rest of the world have  been — and are — under from the murderous kleptocrat Vladimir Putin and the successor to the KGB, whence he came . . . an attack our unstable, incompetent, vulgar, constantly-lying President seems almost to encourage . . . I hope Republicans in Congress will begin to consider removing him.  They can, after all, interpret “treason” — let alone “misdemeanors” and “emoluments” — as they see fit.

How long will they tolerate this?  We’re at war — and we’re losing.

It seems quite possible that more Americans will die in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria than died on 9/11.  It’s too early to know; one certainly hopes this will not be the case; but it’s hard to live without food, water, or — in some cases — medicine and medical care.

One difference is that 9/11 came, quite literally out of the blue– apart from Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S. and other urgent general warnings the President had — while Maria was predicted for all the world to see days in advance.

Where were the contingency plans in case it did hit?  Did anyone at FEMA think Puerto Rico’s electrical grid could withstand a category 4 or 5 hurricane?  Why were ships and helicopters and supplies not pre-positioned to arrive within two days rather than three weeks?

Are there not such plans on the shelf for the inevitable and long-overdue Southern and Northern California quakes?  For the even longer-overdue and potentially more devastating Cascadia quake?  For outbreaks of various diseases?  For a suitcase nuke?  For cyber attacks?

And don’t quite a few of these contingency plans involve the Pentagon in some way?

If not — if such contingency plans don’t already exist — wouldn’t they be a good idea?

I’m not saying a President Hillary Clinton would not also have dropped the ball on Puerto Rico, bragging how “fantastic” things are going there and attacking Puerto Ricans who disagree.  But somehow I suspect she would not.  I suspect she would have known it took 20,000 troops to assist with Hurricane Andrew in 1992 — impacting just one-tenth as many Americans.

But elections have consequences, as Vladimir Putin clearly knows.

Here is David Remnick’s extensive debrief with Hillary, in the New YorkerHow is she dealing with all this?

And here, also in the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin’s brief review of Justice Gorsuch

. . . In his first fifteen cases on the Court, he joined Thomas, the most right-wing Justice, every time—and he even joined all of Thomas’s concurring opinions. . . .

I would just add that when Bush won the presidency with fewer votes than Gore, he got to add Roberts and Alito to the Court, putting Clarence Thomas (his dad’s pick), in the majority.  That led to Citizen’s United and McCutcheon, which gave the rich and powerful more electoral clout; and to Shelby County, gutting the Voting Rights Act, which gave the little guy less.

So there was the loathsome Mitch McConnell, who (as you’ll read in the Remnick piece) would not allow a bipartisan acknowledgement of the ongoing Russian attack (might the voters have had a right to know it was real?) . . . and who had made President Obama’s failure his party’s number one goal . . . saying that, no, President Obama could not fill Justice Scalia’s seat, as the Constitution prescribed.

Though a majority of voters had chosen Obama in 2008 and 2012, it would only be fair, he said, to wait nearly a year to see whether the voters still leaned toward having a Democrat fill that seat.  Which they did by a margin of millions of votes — even with the Russian attacks and Comey’s bizarre choice to suppress acknowledgement of that investigation “so close to an election” while announcing the “email” investigation.

They wanted a Justice like Merrick Garland, a moderate progressive.

Instead, we got another Clarence Thomas.

It is to weep.

McConnell and Trump deserve each other.

America, this wonderful country of ours, deserves neither.



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