Thursday, July 25, 2019


Paying for groceries at the little Mom and Pop store, I saw two young men walk by. They were not from here. They seemed to answer the description of two murderers who made a getaway from Edmonton and were said to be anywhere.  The young clerk said they seemed odd.  

At the post office was a car, packed to the gills with clothes and household goods, with a bad license, dark green with a teal front right fender.  Inside the post office the postmaster was on the phone with some supervisor trying to figure out what the vehicle meant and what to do about it.  The post office parking lot is on technically federal land, but the FBI is busy. The sheriff stiffed her.  We seem to have gone from a vulgarian who talked tough and did little to a nice man who talks nice and does little.

At home the cat had lost her newborn kittens and searched and grieved all night, so I got little sleep.  Up at 6:00 AM anyway, I've been glued to the Mueller hearings all day.  I've been following the Rachel Maddow reports all these months.  A resourceful personality from New Hampshire who likes to fish and research history wouldn't seem likely to have for a fan a cranky old Montana writer, but there you go.  I follow Twitter quite a lot.

Today Epstein was found curled on the floor of his cell with red marks on his neck.  Three theories: he attempted suicide, he made the marks to invite sympathy and possibly bail, a murderer attacked him.  The name and history of the murderer was in the story.  I thought Epstein was in solitary confinement.  Now he's on suicide watch.  I assume that includes murder watch.

The man on Twitter who is following Trump's dementia points out new symptoms: protruding tongue, uncontrolled rage, and what most people are interpreting as lying, though they are really psychotic ideas about an imaginary world where he is the King.  Several possibly related overseas arrests have  been made.  The Trump business, Trump himself, and his two older children had sued to prevent a civil lawsuit against them for deceptive business practices.  The judge announced today he will allow the case to proceed.  Eight minutes after the end of the hearings, Trump's lawyers sued to prevent the release of his NY income taxes.  Haven't heard a date for the hearing yet.

Two big patterns have seized the imaginations of the media, who must write fast and are too young mostly to have many other ways of coping.  One is the idea that this is a fight to the finish in the binary way of literature and cage fights between the Dems and the Repubs,.  This entirely blocks out the idea of a body of people who are Independent and could even be interpreted as a third party, one that may be crucial to any election.  Unorganized. Unpredictable. Uncontrollable.  Invisible to the media.

Another group everyone refrains from mentioning is the Mafia, which we are now assured (briefly, by those who dare) is mainly Russian.  Mueller barely mentioned the criminal money stuff, laundering and deception, failure to report and so on.  He concentrated on the issues relevant to impeachment, mostly collusion with Russia and the invasion of our election by several countries.  

The sex trafficking is not the usual distraction at the moment.  I fear that Americans just don't consider sex to be a bad thing, even if it's forced.  They pretend, and use the stigma, but have fantasies about the Mar-a-Lago parties even though their horizon is basically a reclining armchair in front of a very big TV screen.  I mean, if someone dropped them into one of those glittering shin-digs, they wouldn't know what to do -- and neither would I.  

Morality, rather likewise, is just a bother.  "Law" is only another game.  But decades of heroic men, now frankly right out of the comic books and with the occasional token heroic woman, have taught us to expect -- even demand -- that leaders be larger than life.  Everyone had fantasies about Mueller swirling in with a cape thrown over his shoulders, waxing eloquent with facts that would nail Trump once and for all.  He would know more than God about the truth.  He would be more terse than Gary Cooper.  We didn't expect a silent sidekick.  We didn't want fixing this to be up to us. 

There was nothing wrong with Mueller's mind, but his ears weren't dependable.  The Repubs picked up on it and talked to him faster, like the barely-past-adolescence scramblers they still seemed to be.  Jim Shirtsleeves sat directly behind a Dem, dangling his eyeglasses, swilling pop, twisting in his chair, distracting.  Then there was the man who brought props, big law books.

Schiff was the hero of the day.  He was clear, sensible, brisk and inclusive. Mueller could hear him clearly.  Schiff's list at the beginning was invaluable and his summary at the end restored our sanity after some of the addled theatrics.  A few of the Repubs seemed to wish they were on the other side of the issue.

At the end of the day I called up on the computer the story about the murderers up north.  The two by the story in Valier didn't quite fit the description.  If it was accurate.  Life is a little ambiguous these days.  The murderers not caught yet.  But I learned that the governor of Puerto Rico has quit.

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