Are we living, daily, in the vestibule of Dante’s Inferno, where all hope must be abandoned? Is there no light at the end of this dark, twisting Trumpian tunnel? Is there ever going to come a day with really good news?
Cheer up, my friends, for today I bring you more of the usual bad news, plus some good news, and even a tiny ray of hope that only persistent women activists can provide.
First, the good news:
Back on Valentine’s Day, intrepid reporters from CNN and The New York Times were on the spot, covering the story of ongoing communications between the Trump campaign staff and Russian intelligence.
The FBI and other agencies are investigating, but the White House staff must fear something really bad (maybe even something leading to impeachment?) will be revealed, because they brazenly asked the FBI to discredit the media reports as false.
This, of course, would be a no-no during an ongoing investigation, and it was reported as such. FBI Director James Comey said no way, so now let’s give him some credit for finally growing a pair.
Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary and walking Melissa McCarthy joke, tried to correct CNN’s characterization of the request.
“We didn’t try to knock the story down. We asked them to tell the truth,” he said.
Whose version of the truth would that be, Sean?
Our allies in Europe — so terrified of the implications of a Trump/Putin bromance (let’s give it a cute couples name: “Trumputin”) — have been monitoring communications between the two camps for at least seven months, according to Newsweek.
And Mike Flynn involuntarily “resigned” as National Security Adviser, obviously for some darn good reason, huh? Phone calls with a Russian diplomat? Is that enough truth for you, Sean? The truth is going to come out, one way or another.
Immediately after Flynn retired, an investigation was launched by the Senate Intelligence Committee, but some Democrats are not sure that will be enough.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “We need to get all the facts, so in the days and weeks ahead, the Trump administration needs to answer some serious questions. These questions must be asked by an independent and unbiased law enforcement authority.”
Anything less would constitute a “cover-up,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
“We’ve got to look at what our options are to send a message that a cover-up is not OK,” Murphy said. “By stopping a bipartisan, independent investigation from moving forward, we will continue to incentivize the separation of the intelligence forces from the executive. That’s terrible for this country.”
But controlling the investigation and sweeping the details under the rug seems to be the Republican strategy, and why are we not surprised?
Republicans are expected to use the media focus on Trump’s anticipated address to Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 28 as a way to hide the House Judiciary Committee’s decision to kill a “resolution of inquiry” presented by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). This constitutes a very transparent Republican roadblock to having the public know what’s actually going on.
The Texas Tribune posed a question to every Texas delegate: “Is Congress currently performing its appropriate oversight over the relationships between Russia and members of the Trump administration/transition/campaign and the potential ramifications on foreign policy? If not, what should Congress be doing that it currently is not?”
Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, thinks that body should be in charge of oversight, but Democrats have countered that the secrecy of the committee prevents the public from fully knowing what’s being uncovered. And then, Sen. Ted Cruz, on a San Antonio radio show, accused Democrats of “trying to make a circus out of this.”
No, it’s already a circus, Ted. We just want to know when your clown car is going to stop running over democracy in Ring Number One, when that Russian aerial act is going to fall from the highwire in Ring Number Two, and who is going to clean up all the GOP elephant poop in Ring Number Three.
Finally, there’s another small ray of hope, and we emphasize the word “small” because it may not go anywhere. But when you can’t find sunshine anywhere else, leave it to the women to step up and try to part the clouds.
Three Massachusetts activists, whose attempts to block Trump’s inauguration in January were unsuccessful, have taken up a new campaign.
Brazenly and optimistically, Nancy Goodman, a high school teacher in Rockport; Donna Soodalter-Toman, a shopkeeper in Gloucester; and Dianne Blumstein, a self-described humanitarian and volunteer of Brighton, Mass. have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to appoint a “special master” to investigate Russia’s influence on the election, to determine whether cyberattacks constitute an “invasion” from which U.S. citizens have a right to protection, and to address the need for a new nationwide vote. Yes, a re-vote!
The high court already has set the case for conference by the justices on March 17. Four of the eight justices have to agree that the case of Blumstein vs. the U.S. meets their standards to go to a full hearing.
It’s a long shot, to be sure, but nevertheless, women persisted.