Sept 9th 2019
It is time that the United Kingdom and the United States remerged into a single political entity. None of this master/colony business. This new Untied States of Clusterfuckistan would be all tail and no dog. No leaders, no followers; just large, mutually loathing loud packs of howling nuts.
The main difference between the two nations right now is that in the UK, there is a single voice of sanity, Commons Speaker John Bercow. His cries for “Orrrrrddeeerrrrr!” comes as close to logic and reason as is to be found. There are, of course, sane people in both Parliament and Congress, but it’s about as hard to make them out of the general din as it is to identify individual snowflakes in a howling blizzard.
The British Conservative Party recently made Boris Johnson their Prime Minister. Blojo, as he is colorfully known, is a Brexit hardliner who has been pushing for a ‘no-deal’ exit from the European Union, a move that would be catastrophic for the English economy and would, in fairly short order, lead to Scotland and Wales leaving the UK in order to rejoin the EU. As a result, the Tories have been exploding at the seams. Fourteen members, including the grandson of Winston Churchill, were thrown out of the party for not supporting a no-deal exit, and dozens more are leaving, defecting, and just generally going. Blojo’s brother was one of them.
One of the big sticking points is Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland is in the EU, and as long as the UK was also in the EU, the hated border between Ireland and Northern Ireland became an empty formality. There’s a rumor that Blojo is going to go to Dublin and propose reunification, which is a bit like hearing that Korea wants to become a duchy of China. I can’t imagine Blojo coming up with anything that would attract support of 10% of the population on either side of the border.
The UK is petitioning for yet another delay in Brexit while they continue to try to get themselves off the meat hook they seem to have sat themselves upon, but the French are threatening to stick to the Halloween deadline because they are fed up with the games Parliament is playing.
Britain has a long history, but it’s never been longer than it is right now. Nor is it likely to be much longer after right now.
In the US, we have a mad president who is redrawing meteorological maps with a Sharpie to try to buttress a forecast that nobody other than he had made. Worse, he’s threatening the careers of any weatherman or other scientist who dares gainsay his patently incorrect weather pronouncements.
Sounds like something out of a Marx Brothers movie, doesn’t it?
The problem is that he has already effectively eviscerated the Department of Agriculture by ordering its scientific staff to move to Kansas within 30 days, no exceptions. It’s not clear that they have anything at all to move TO. He’s now threatening to do the same to the National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. Mostly because they do things like study the weather and the environment and other anti-American stuff like that.
As I said, a Marx Brothers movie. Only they aren’t trying to be funny.
And Trump is still working as President to turn the entire country into a cash cow for his own personal enrichment. The story broke this week that he has ordered flights from the US to the middle east to refuel at a small, mostly unsecured airport that just happens to be near, and vital to, one of his Scottish resorts. While stuck in Scotland, US military flight crews apparently have nothing but their per diems ($30 a day or so) to live on. Yes, Trump wants to charge the military full price for the crews to stay at his resort.
Then there’s the Taliban fiasco. Trump announced yesterday that slated Camp David talks with the Taliban had been called off. This surprised many people, including those in his own administration, who had no idea that talks with the Taliban at Camp David had been scheduled in the first place. Some reporters, familiar with Trump’s management style, wondered if any such planned talks had existed anywhere other than in Trump’s head, but the Taliban sorta backed him up on that, angrily saying that the talks had been canceled by them because of attacks on their people by American soldiers, and that many Americans would die as a result of such perfidy.
This in turn led to outrage among Republican right wingers, who haven’t forgiven the Taliban for flying planes into the twin towers. Never mind that the Taliban did no such thing, and only peripherally had any involvement at all with the terrorist attacks. Nonetheless, it probably wasn’t a great idea to schedule the talks for September 11th. All the cardboard patriots who were mute over Senate efforts to defray coverage to first responders who survived the attacks have a real huff fest going over that one.
Of course Donald remembers 9/11. It was the day he got the tallest building in New York City, and he has the Sharpie-enhanced image to prove it.
I imagine in a few centuries, historians will attempt to depict these days as high drama that led to either the Glorious Reign of First Citizen Vladimir Putin, or the Final War Against Fascism, but don’t be fooled: it’s not high drama. It’s low farce.