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31 January 2017

Proud, fellow Americans?

In case you missed it, this week, the United Sates was downgraded from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" in the latest Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, which cites declining trust in the government as the cause of its new rating.

The United States' downgrade puts it at 21 in the international rankings, below Japan and tied with Italy.

Yesterday, Peter Sagal, host of the popular radio show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me tweeted

Trump Admin is going to kill me because I can't stop looking at Twitter and will walk into a fire.

I understood completely.  I am finding that the main problem with our new president is that it seems that there is something outrageous that breaks every few minutes.  I know Ned told me to turn off all media for four years, but with Facebook, Twitter (which I am reading more and more--how else are you know to know what DT is thinking?) and the news, it is like a train wreck that I can't turn away from and I can hardly get up from my desk.

Of course today it's Walt's fault.  He needed the car, so I'm stuck at home with the choice of housework or the latest from Trumpland.  Guess which won.

For about half an hour,  watched the debate in the House of Commons in Parliament, each more angry than the next about the Muslim ban (issued on World Holocaust Day, which just makes it that much worse.  Priebus said, "the omission of Jews from the statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day was deliberate and is not regretted....“I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including obviously, all of the Jewish people affected and the miserable genocide that occurred — it’s something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad.").

[aside:  Yes I know it's ban on immigrants from terrorist countries, but if the Affordable Care Act can be dubbed "Obamacare" forever more, this will always be, in the minds of thousands of people, a Muslim ban...mainly because it doesn't include all Muslim countries, as shown in the chart for the Photo of the Year yesterday.]

When was the last time you heard an elected official (Emily Thornberry) in a body like the House of Commons refer to the leader of a friendly nation as a "disgusting individual" ??  And Britain has traditionally been our friend.  What in the world are they thinking of us in countries that already don't like us?

My God...he's only been in office a little over a week!!!

Garrison Keillor says: ...he motored out to the CIA and stood before the memorial wall honoring the heroes who gave their lives in anonymity and he bitched about his newspaper coverage. The next day he boasted that his inaugural's TV ratings were higher than those in 2013. The day after that, he told the congressional leadership that he lost the popular vote because millions of illegal votes were cast, which everyone in the room knew was a bald-faced lie, except perhaps Himself. The man is clueless, tightly locked inside his own small bubble. A sizable minority of Americans, longing for greatness or wanting to smack down an ambitious woman and to show those people in the hellhole coastal cities what the real America is all about, has elected him. To him, this minority is a mass movement such as the world has never seen. God have mercy.

Look at what else he has done in a week.  He put a gag order on the EPA and the National Parks Administration and forbade them from posting to social media or giving interviews (because they might talk about climate change).  But you couldn't keep them silent.  Anonymous tweeters started putting up updates anyway and he was finally forced to remove the ban.

He started dismantling Obamacare without a hint of anything to replace it.

He's removed the experts from the National Security Council and replaced them with Bannon.

And just last night he fired the acting Attorney General for doing her job.  Echos of The Apprentice.  Did he call her and say "You're fired" ??

As Keillor says, Greatness is in the eye of the beholder. American self-respect is what is at stake here, ladies and gentlemen. The only good things to come out of that inauguration were the marches all over the country the day after, millions of people taking to the streets of their own free will, most of them women, packed in tight, lots of pink hats, lots of signage, earnest, vulgar, witty, a few brilliant ("Take your broken heart and make it art"), and all of it rather civil and good-humored. That's the great America I grew up in. It's still here.

When I woke up at the usual 3 a.m. this morning, the folks on Morning Joe were apoplectic in their opposition to the Muslim ban and how it was rolled out. 

I'm about to start putting my money (figuratively) where my mouth is  I don't have enough money to donate to every organization that asks for money, but this morning I am joining a group of people who are writing postcards.  I guess it's the first step in my getting more involved than reading social media.  Marching is not something I am likely to be able to do, but I can write.



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