THE COHEN COLUMN--Trump's precipitous pardon of outlaw sheriff Joe Arpaio was such an outrageous blast that it pushed news of one of the biggest hurricanes this decade into a small corner of the cable TV screen.
If the idea was to try to sneak this into a Friday night news dump that would escape America's full attention, it didn't work. Everyone to tune in for coverage of category four Harvey instead heard news about category five Donny, and his contempt for contempt convictions.
When you hear Trump ask, at what can only be fairly described as an ugly mob, at one of his rallies if his political opponents should be prosecuted, they jeer as if some Roman emperor was asking if the Christians should be thrown to the lions. And when the same mob cheers wildly when Trump asks them if one of his political allies should be pardoned, as he did in Phoenix, we are still in the same arena.
Thumbs up or thumbs down, political friend or political foe? When that becomes the only metric, and when justice becomes a reality show popularity contest with nobody's vote counting but one partisan side, then rule of law is reduced to a quaintly antiquated concept.
The Supreme Court has held that accepting a pardon constitutes admission of guilt, and by justice department protocol a pardon requires contrition. But Arpaio immediately reacted by calling his prosecution just a witch hunt, and condemned his prosecutors. Sound familiar?
BTW Arpaio testified in court before Judge Bolton that he had no idea his deputies were blatantly violating the Judge’s order. So Arpaio is a weasel also. Click on this link to find so much more about Arpaio’s tactics and failure to actually protect the citizens and especially the children of Maricopa County.
The stench of all this is so bad that a category 4 hurricane could not blow it away. In the contempt for rule of law department, we are at category five Defcon Trump.
But here's the thing. Arpaio LOST his last election, badly, precisely because of his lawless behavior, even in deep red Arizona. Trump’s demagogy is to a more and more narrow fanatical fringe. He is
desperately pandering to his most inflammatory base in a desperate attempt to save his own skin. And he is clearly sending the message, in particular to those who might otherwise be compelled to testify against him, that he does not care how many people he has to pardon to do it.
Presuming the Democrats manage to nominate someone who is not a completely corrupt corporate toady, Trump would have no chance in the next general election, but we don't have the luxury to wait. We can't afford to take that chance as long as Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, and with him dismantling our democracy every day in every way.
We knew this was coming, we saw the whole thing in our political crystal ball, frankly obvious to everybody in 2016. No hindsight needed. Trump resistance can’t end till he is one and done. Even better eject him from the game – Impeach the Chief of Chafe.
So much more to talk about, the trans-gender ban, what will the terrorists do without their monkey bars, the Gorka firing, and more. But what about Houston being under 3 Feet of Fake Water?
It’s Time to Get Serious about the Catastrophe of Global Warming.
This is not a satire. This is not a joke. This is deadly serious.
We just lost the 4th largest American city, essentially in its entirety.
Hurricane Harvey dropped 3 feet of rain in Houston virtually overnight. So when you see pictures as far as the horizon in every direction with people up to their waists in 3 feet of water it's no coincidence.
It's also no coincidence that on a planetary basis there is more moisture in the atmosphere overall, significantly more, because of rising global temperatures. Warmer air holds more water. What goes up must come down.
There have always been hurricanes, including severe ones, but not like this. And so-called extreme weather events are happening more and more often. Extreme becomes the new normal and then gets even more extreme. Houston alone has had so many "100 year" floods in the last 10 years, they have to start talking about 500 and 1000 year floods, like it won't soon happen again.
Rather prescient Trump is rolling back an Obama-era order flood rules that would save lives by positioning new roads and buildings on safer ground, and protect financial investments by
ensuring that infrastructure projects last as long as they were intended.
When are the dolts on the Republican side going to get their heads out of the rear ends of their big fossil fuel donors?
It is not just the scale of one cataclysmic catastrophe like this. It is the escalating AVERAGE scale and frequency of these catastrophes. That is what is on the end of the hockey stick. On the current trajectory, it is just a matter of time before we lose Miami, for example, and half the state of Florida with it.
And when we talk about trajectory, we are talking in particular now about Donald Trump, the dolt in chief, who calls reality fake news, and his full lay down a patch of rubber screeching in reverse on initiatives to confront climate change. He perversely stormed out of the Paris accord, as undemanding as it was, and is accelerating every climate hostile carbon dioxide spewing project he can find. We weren't doing enough as it was, and now we're are doing destructively less than nothing.
The hoax is not the fact the global warming nearly out of control already. The hoax is in the person of the current seat warmer behind the oval office desk.
On top of which, Trump's personal response to the biblical Houston floods has been nothing but his usual empty word salad of platitudes, everything is going to be great, that kind of stuff.
Trump likely uses the money slated for The Wall for Hurricane Harvey repair and cleanup. Then he will try to look good and will use this as an excuse not to build it. A wall we all he knew he wasn't going get done anyway.
So two things.
Stand strong for a serious response to the existential threat of global warming.
And at the same time renew your call for Trump's immediate removal from office, before he can do any more ignorant long term damage to our future.
(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and a contributor to CityWatch.)
Tags: Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, The Cohen Column, Joe Arpaio, global warming, climate change, fake news, Houston, floods