BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Unbelievable, well, maybe not given its leader’s questionable relationship with legality, and disgusting, and politicized, and erosive of the law, and unprecedented according to experts in the field. In case you haven’t guessed yet, this is about the freeing, last week, of the Turkey-propagandist and former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn. The ludicrous excuse trotted out for letting this traitorous former high-ranking military man is that the FBI had conversations about how to approach his questioning. These conversations sound to me like they must happen in many investigations, so I suppose soon the real criminals (though not yet found guilty) leading the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will be releasing many convicts because of such conversations. C’mon! It’s clear this William Barr guy, head of the DOJ, is more of a Trump hack than the respectable leader he seemed to be earlier in his career. So now we have a guy being let off who has had dubious dealings with Russia (dealings that I can’t help but wonder might have correlated to Trump’s own questionable relationship with Russia). And who’s letting him off? Another Trump hack who has decimated the DOJ (another example of letting offenders off is the case built against Walmart for its culpability in the opioid crisis that that was never pursued to its conclusion because of political pressure through the DOJ), consequences of which will probably be felt for years to come in the form of reduced capacity to prosecute high-level criminals.
Another example of Trump administration malfeasance from last week is the quashing of the detailed guidance document prepared by the Centers for Disease Control for the reopening of business after the COVID shutdowns. At least one state governor has asked for it so they can proceed as wisely as possible. By doing so, Trump can only be attempting to mask his incompetent handling of the pandemic. The scientifically-medically unfounded statements made repeatedly by Trump throughout the COVID crisis make this latest act of malfeasance unsurprising. Trump is more interested in not looking bad than providing accurate, helpful, and healthful guidance to the citizens he supposedly represents who are trying to cope with the realities imposed by a pandemic but can’t because of the lousy information emanating from the White House.
Since we’re on COVID, and since the pandemic initially resulted in a run on toilet paper, it seems like a good segue into a lighter, more humorous, topic that would otherwise be strange, utterly mundane, even unworthy of attention, you might think. Yet even the New York Times had a piece about toilet paper back in February, pre-COVID-TP-rush. While the focus of that item was tubeless toilet paper, it mentioned a different aspect, too – bunching vs. folding of TP when wiping. It seems roughly 70 percent of Americans bunch, while 90 percent of Europeans fold. Think of the waste and the greater likelihood of toilets clogging with larger volumes, globs, of TP trying to exit the bottom of the bowl. It’s an example of the lust for convenience causing environmental harm. I hope most of our compatriots in the homeland are folders!
Getting back to Trump, another rankling scenario harks back to when Trump’s impeachment process had not yet run its full course, but had gotten to the Senate. You might remember a whole hullabaloo over whether additional witnesses should be called. Trump’s boot-licking senators argued that the House of Representatives had presented a “weak case” and it was not their obligation to strengthen it. The irony and self-fulfilling aspect of that argument is that any deficiencies that may have existed in the case presented by the House were extensively due to Trump’s PREVENTING various individuals from testifying and not complying with document requests and subpoenas. So we had a situation where Trump was presented as “innocent” because he prevented the production of evidence which was then used as an excuse to block the presentation of that very same evidence and witnesses. Couple that with the crass tactic of trying to distract the public’s attention from Trumps’ misdeeds by alleging wrongdoing by former Vice-President Joe Biden. There was no substance to those allegations. But, even if it merited attention, then the Senate should have “investigated” it as a separate issue. Using it to muddle the impeachment process was an example of how low some electeds will stoop. It gives politics a very bad name. Republicans’ behavior throughout the impeachment process was arguably the lowest ebb of American democracy. The icing on the cake, from an Armenian perspective, was that many on our community supported Trump and his minions. These are the same people who usually see through the veils of smoke put up by crooked government officials in all countries to which Armenians have been scattered, including our homeland. Yet in this case, they chose to turn a blind eye to the actions of the worst president the USA has ever had.