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Crazy Smart?
I noticed the other day that Drump insult-tweeted fellow millionaire Mark Cuban. “He is not smart enough to be president” according to our president. Our leader has also informed us on many occasions that he, conversely, is very, very smart.

I don’t want to get into a discussion here of whether Drump is a pathological liar. We cannot deny, though, that an alarming number of his declarations of fact turn out to be untrue. Let’s just say that he is not a reliable source of information on any subject, including comparative intelligence. But that’s not what I want to discuss either. Instead, I want to focus on a disturbing dimension to his chronic inaccuracy. I see it mostly in comments like the one about Cuban. To my eye, there is a maniacal symmetry to these attacks.

Let me give an example. Drump repeatedly refers to Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Now, I’m not here to defend Ted, who does have some genuine issues with credibility, but it struck me when I first heard this that it might be an instance of the pot calling the kettle a bullshit artist. Our president does, as we have said, score quite high on the frequency of untruth scale — much higher than Ted Cruz. An impartial observer might well conclude that The Donald deserves the nickname more than The Ted. The mirror-image symmetry is striking. Accuse your opponent of the very thing you are guilty of. I know you are, but what am I?

And then there’s the “Crooked Hillary” meme. Drump promoted it relentlessly during the campaign in spite of the fact she’s never been accused of rape by her mate. Nor has she stiffed thousands of workers while skimming off profits for herself. Or ripped off customers on a Hillary University scam. Or broken the law by refusing to rent to black people. Or been fined for anti-trust violations. Or been accused of sexual assault by multiple victims. And despite walking very close to the line, she has never used her charity as a personal ATM…the way Drump has. Can we bring in our impartial observer again and ask him, who is the crooked one here?

Even his cracks about “low-energy” Jeb Bush might fit this pattern of symmetry. One could surmise, based on outward appearances, that Drump is lazy, incurious, incompetent, and willfully ignorant. He doesn’t attend briefings or read about policy or burn the midnight oil over anything other than insults and braggadocio. Aren’t these the hallmarks of a low-energy persona? It’s right there in the cracked mirror, Donald.

And so on. He decries fake news while making it in the very same breath. He loves leakers but hates to be leaked on. He drains the swamp by filling it up. And everything his opponents touch is a “disaster.” Has he been reading the news about the insane asylum he's running in the White House?

One might argue from all this that he, more so than Mark Cuban, is the one who is not smart enough to be president. We see the evidence every day in the media. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, and none of his hand-picked people do either. In this case, however, I must defend our president. He may not be very, very smart, but he is probably smart enough. The problem, however, is that he’s also a crooked, low-energy charlatan who knows you are...but what is he?

Crazy is scary no matter how smart you are.
One Man, One Vote
I dreamt last night
About the Drump
And about
Impeachment

He stood astride
The Senate floor
A colossus sprayed
In peach tint

You can’t fire me!
He thundered down
His lips all pursed
In fury

But nothing could
Prevent it now
These stiffs would be
His jury

Yet when they vote
It’s 50 – 50!
How will this tie
Be broke up?

I see Mike Pence
Step forward now…
And that is when
I woke up
Courting Disaster
This is why we have the Constitution. Just in case a few boneheads and bad actors get into power and start screwing things up.

The separation of powers will be particularly useful, because the executive branch is plain crazy and the legislative branch has sold its soul for power. So the courts are where the action is. We’ll need to dust off the emoluments clause, limber up due process, and max out the Bill of Rights.

All this will take some time — maybe even four years — so whenever we’re not speaking or assembling or suing like crazy, let’s get those impeachment papers drawn up, just so they’re ready to go when the time comes. We can fill in the blanks later, but be sure to leave plenty of space.
Forward March
It took 5 million women to make me do it, but I finally took part in a protest march. Okay, “make me” isn’t quite the right phrase. Inspired me is more like it.

I like to think of myself as a political person, but the idea of jostling along in a mob of unpredictable strangers does not appeal to me. The occasional letter is fine, or a phone call, and I have my cartoons of course, but marching and chanting and yelling has never been my cup of activism.

I know that makes me sound like an elitist, and maybe I am. On this one occasion, though, I’m glad I came out of my bubble. The vibe was nothing but friendly. There was no violence during the Women’s March on Washington…anywhere. And no arrests. The San Francisco march was brimming with positivity and determination. There was some anger, but mostly the event was a kind of joyous rejection of the Drump agenda and the brand of ugliness he’s sold to our country. As one sign pointed out, “So bad, even introverts are here.” I hear that, sister.

It was by most accounts the largest single protest march in the history of the planet. Red states, blue states, and plenty of other countries added to the 683 total marches (though nothing from Russia, it should be noted). Better yet, it was a completely grass roots event. Any politicians who participated were strictly late add-ons.

This was a people’s march — female people in particular. I was a little hesitant to join at first, thinking that men might dilute the impact of the event. But no. This mass expression of conviction was in no way exclusive. All genders, all ages, all issues were represented, and that fact in no way detracted from the power of this show of unity. We experienced as one the solidarity, the strength in numbers, the satisfaction of standing up and counting for something.

So we all felt better — even in the dark and the pouring rain at the end. We’d expressed our discontent in one big, newsworthy show of strength. That is certainly something good in itself. But is that it? I’m new to this marching thing, so I don’t know what happens next. In the past I’ve seen big marches covered in the media, and the next day it’s like they never happened. Will the Women’s March on Washington be one of those? It set records for turnout, tripling the numbers of the inauguration itself, and stomped all over Drump’s headlines from the day before. Those are all good things, too, but will anything come of it?

I can only say that I sent an email yesterday to Anna Eshoo (my congresswoman, in case you’ve never heard of her). My issue was women’s health. I wrote to Senator Lamar Alexander today on the subject of education and the godawful nominee Betsy DeVos. I’ll probably contact DiFi tomorrow about the suppression of climate change data. There are plenty of things to be pissed off about, that’s for sure.

But will I keep it up? It is kind of a hassle. Maybe I’ll eventually just punk out and shrug my shoulders. Maybe I don’t care about this stuff as much as I thought I did. Maybe my righteousness was just a contact high from that huge, chanting crowd of women. Maybe it will fade, and nothing will change.

I don’t know. I can only hope that all my fellow marchers continue to have the same doubts.
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No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee