Nothing Shocks Anymore

GELFAND’S WORLD--Here's one for the new House of Representatives to investigate: Yesterday, at a contrived and seemingly scripted performance at the presidential press conference, a young woman -- supposedly an intern -- tried to take the microphone from a senior White House Correspondent. 

As usual the White House Press Secretary lied about the affair and used the interaction as an excuse to bar this reporter from future press conferences. How about if one of the newly reorganized committees in the House investigates this event? Subpoena the intern who was sent to grab the microphone and ask her about her instructions. 

There is a serious point here, since the president resists giving credible answers to the most serious questions. The representatives of the people should at least be allowed to ask those questions.


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Jeff Session’s Shoe Finally Falls--We've all been wondering and waiting for the day that Jeff Sessions was removed as Attorney General. The only amusing element of the event was that marijuana stocks went up. Other than that, there was a sort of dread that came through in remarks by political pundits. 

Everyone is wondering how effectively the new regime will be in curtailing the Mueller investigation of Trump's relationship with Russia in stealing the presidential election. My guess is that Mueller and his associates have been preparing for this day from the very beginning. It may be that a federal judge will appoint a replacement special prosecutor. 

It may be that the House committee on intelligence will take over the investigation using Mueller's records and reports. It may be (a lot less likely) that the Senate will agree with the House that the investigation needs to be protected. In any case, the questions raised from the beginning are not going away, and all the Bluster by Trump demanding that there be no investigation won't carry much weight. 

Or we may see a collection of sealed indictments (including a member of the president's family) getting unsealed. 

I wonder why Trump's supporters can't seem to figure out that Trump is acting like the guiltiest man alive. Why else would he try to strong-arm the government into curtailing an investigation? If the facts proved his innocence, he should be supporting a fact-based analysis.


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Mass Murder Now Common Place--The latest mass murder wasn't a surprise. Put it this way: People have always gotten angry, but now they have the tools to escalate that anger to a higher level of destruction. For the bystanders and survivors, it is not such a trivial thing. The psychological wounds will last for years, and the bad memories will go on for decades. When the first televised news came on, the announcers were grateful that there were a few wounded and seemingly everyone else (except the killer) had survived. It turned out to be quite the opposite. Eleven dead plus the killer would have been the major national story even a few years ago. Now it is a commonplace event. For those who lost friends and relatives, it is a moment that will never go away, as long as they live. 

I can understand how realists and skeptics can point out that there isn't much we can do because there are so many guns in the hands of the populace. What I resent are the gun lovers who twist the facts and push specious arguments. Sorry, but guns do kill people, and high power semiautomatic rifles (not relevant to this case) are not really necessary to hunt deer. 

What's really tragic is that mass murder has become the event of choice for those who want to act out. We've all been waiting and hoping that this is just a fad or a phase, and that the crazies will go back to fighting in bars eventually.


(Bob Gelfand writes on science, culture, and politics for CityWatch. He can be reached at amrep535@sbcglobal.net)