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Fever Dreams

Island Life

Last week, if nothing else, was an eventful one here on the farm, or whatever it is. As it was, we were named as the first family to lose power by the folks who came to get the troublesome half of the madrona off of our powerlines. It was Wendy who first noted that as a follow up to the airborne fir branch that took out part of her glass sunroof in that wind storm last October, that now a snow laden section of our majestic Nothofagus dombeyi had stripped her driver side mirror from the door. It was not until I ventured forth after the rains had dissolved most traces of show from my car’s roof that I noticed that I had not totally been spared the wrath of wood, snow and gravity, and that I had been graced with not one but two divots along the top of my rear hatch. In truth, it all could have been much worse.

This all would have been plenty to give that week a less than favorable rating, if  it weren’t for the fact that I was down with “that crud”, whatever that was, and I was mostly unable to sit up, let alone function in any form of normalcy. My appetite disappeared, and in the lemonade from lemons philosophy of treading water in the slop, I did manage to lose a few of those unwanted pounds I had been threatening to do away with somehow in this mostly unresolved new year. I had thought that, in my involuntary inactivity, I could have also made an attempt at turning the pages of Matt Taibi’s latest tome titled ‘Insane Clown President’, but whatever it was that had taken me down would not grace me with the ability to view and comprehend written words and sentences. Once the power was back on I toyed with the idea of venturing into daytime television, something I normally avoid like the plague. I will be one of the first ones to exclaim that there is indeed nothing on TV, in spite of the multitudes of available channels. I had however also just mentioned something somewhere about how news organizations were seemingly giving an extended pass to the current administration of the president known as 45* in these parts, so I decided to see if that might be changing and surfed over to the gang at MSNBC.

What I found upon tuning in midweek and mid-afternoon was a lineup of news programs that focused solely on various aspects of the current administration and its missteps. The celebration over our state attorney general’s victory in the 9th Circuit court was just starting to lose a shade of its luster when presidential spokesblonde and self-appointed queen of alternative facts,  Kellyanne Conway offered up what she termed some “free advertising” for first daughter Ivanka’s eponymous clothes brand on national TV. While I believe it was George W. Bush who implored the American people to go shopping following the events of 11 Sept. 2001, his intended encouragement was meant to help stimulate the stagnant and wounded economy of the time. Ms. Conway’s shilling for the Ivanka brand was in response to Nordstrom’s dropping of the Ivanka brand because of a precipitous drop in sales. It was met throughout the rest of that broadcast news cycle with both incredulity and a statement from most lookers on that “I don’t think you can do that.” As various guest commentators joined the conversation throughout the evening it seemed that all were in agreement that a fairly major ethics violation had just occurred. The next day it was noted that Ms. Conway had been “counseled” and that that, as they say, was that.

It was not long though before yet another disturbance in the 45* force shook the MSNBC lineup. This time it was the Russians and the discussions National Security director Mike Flynn had had with them about the sanctions the Obama administration had put on them because of their hacking and manipulation of the recent presidential election. Up until now, the whole Russian thing had kind of seemed to me to be secondary to the damage that Republicans had done to American voting rights as far back as the redistricting and manipulation that had gone on under Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich in the mid-nineties. And then there were the various repeals of voting rights acts and blatant acts of voter disenfranchisement and suppression that had gone on throughout the country in this election just gone by. So I thought, why should we be bothering with what the Russians might have been doing when the home grown voting rights terrorists in the Republican party had not even been held accountable for the damage they caused? None of that really seemed to matter, and when Flynn finally resigned because it was kind of hard to deny any of the allegations against him because all the evidence was on wire tap tapes from our own intelligence agencies, house oversight committee chair Republican Jason Chaffetz  then said that there would be no further investigation into the whole Russia thing because “it’s taking care of itself”.

Which all comes back to the question: what is to be done about all of this?    You can have all of the reporting and reporters in the world shining a light on all the nonsense coming out of administration 45*. You can have the organization Politifact testing the verity of what president 45* says and coming up with the result that 69.9% of it is not true. You can have the statement from a reporter covering the 45* White House, saying that: “This is what makes covering Donald Trump so difficult- what does he mean when he says words?” There are times when glimmers of hope emerge from the panels and the pundits that banter back and forth on the afternoon and evening talkathons, but for the most part it all seems like so much of a bad fever dream that one is caught in, neither able to wake from nor discern what it is all about. As it is, the night has fallen and the shows have begun. It’s time to go and see if more dominoes have toppled or if another shoe has dropped, and if either offer any hope that this fever dream has a chance of ending anytime soon.