Donald Trump is such an absurdly powerful character, that there is a risk of his changing the nature of what we expect in a president, that some might grow up thinking his angry and threatening appearance at the United Nations was normal occurrence. I suggest going to YouTube and take a moment to watch Barack Obama in his first appearance to the UN. With the applause interruptions, it is to be reminded of where the bar has been set on how to deliver an address on the world stage and what presidential majesty is supposed to look and sound like.
The sanity, the humanity, the acknowledgement of challenges, the need for coalitions, the hopefulness are all themes lost on the current President of the United States. Apparently, presidential aide Stephen Miller had a hand in writing the script and you can hear his nasty, grating voice throughout as the president embarrassed the nation and raised concerns around the world by reading whatever is placed in front of him. And if he is able to be removed from office for reasons of delusions or collusion, waiting in the wings is the blandly sinister Vice President Mike Spence, ready to enact all of the anti-climate, anti-people agenda but without the overt craziness, instability and Tweets of Trump.
The only hope for a regime change is to elect a Democratic House of Representatives, impeach both Trump and Pence, and have the Democratic Speaker assume the office. But that’s not likely as Senate Republicans wouldn’t go along and Trump supporters would probably make a fuss. So we’re left to fighting the Trump Administration state by state and city by city, electing the best we can on the local level and fighting hardest against voter suppression.
Republicans Determined to Rip Up Affordable Care Act
The Republican determination to remove health care from millions of people is an effort that just won’t die. The Times reported that the current incarnation will take $700 billion out of the health care system and the Republicans say that will make it better. That’s not savings, that’s less care, longer illnesses and more dying. And the money they take out of the system by taking away health care, they then give to the nation’s richest, including themselves, their friends and those they want to be friends with. It is perverse and as the Times calls it, “mean”.
And they insist on going forward despite the objections of over 50 medical associations, including the American Medical Association, AARP, American Hospital Association & Federation of American Hospitals, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, American Health Care Association (AHCA), America’s Essential Hospitals and America’s Hospitals and Health Systems. But as far as the Republicans are concerned, they only represent patients and the people who directly deliver health care. They can’t be expected to have an affinity for the politics and bought loyalties of the health care system.
Extreme Weather: Our New Normal
After Superstorm Sandy, we had warned of hurricanes becoming a 2-week norm with the changing climate, but we never expected it to manifest so soon. The Caribbean islands are being savaged by a string of hurricanes that have left only land and soaked rubble. Debt-ridden Puerto Rico, not yet recovered from Irma’s glancing blow, has now been hit by Maria, a Category 4 storm that has left the entire island, with its already fragile electrical grid, without power for a projected several months.
There is no stopping this onslaught. Nature will keep producing these hurricane winds because that is what it does, given the new warmth of air and water. Therefore, this is the new normal, with the threat of a series of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes sweeping across the Caribbean and up the east coast throughout hurricane season, which runs to the end of November.
Rebuilding in the usual hurricane path would have to be done knowing that reality and family homes will need to be capable of withstanding regular hits of 150-175mph winds and rain. And that’s going to be hard to contemplate when you’re standing in front of a home destroyed, with a lifetime in wreckage all around and having only the clothes on your back to start with. This is what a changing climate looks like up close, and as the suffering is being mirrored in climate events around the world, we are led by climate change deniers whose immorality we must fight on every front.