The USA at her best

(Pictured: Verdict Manafort & Cohen… “No phones allowed in the courthouse so the news comes via fleet feet.” Photo: Jaquelyn Martin, AP)

At the end of a beach day, toward the end of August, a YMCA bus, whose tagline reads: “YOU BELONG HERE,” pulls up to the bulkhead and lets off its riders alongside two accessible vans delivering those in wheelchairs to the monthly “Special Surfing” event on Gooches Beach, while just off the surf a dark boat belonging to the Secret Service floats at attention, perhaps to protect a member of the Bush family, whose century-long retreat is located just around the corner of this rocky coast in southern Maine.

Barbara Bush died this past spring and it was under her husband’s administration that the civil rights legislation, The Americans with Disabilities Act, was enacted almost thirty years ago; and which has been used of late by the GOP in the state of Georgia to block voters ahead the first black woman nominated by her party for Governor.

Some of Barbara’s last political remarks before her death (at the age of 92) were directed at the current occupant of the White House.

“I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly, and we know what he meant.”

Her son Jeb ran against Trump in the primary, and Trump mocked Jeb Bush for his mother’s support.

Of course, everyone knows Trump takes pleasure in belittling others, particularly women and other marginalized groups, and one we’ll never forget– the New York Times reporter with a disability.

Meanwhile as the beach fills with wheelchairs, Trump takes to the sky on Air Force One, as within minutes of one another (in what should be a scene from Netflix’s chilling House of Cards) his campaign chairman Paul Manafort is found guilty on 8 counts and his lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to 8 counts, declaring, under oath, that Trump directed him to commit a federal crime.

“Big crowds,” is what Trump has to say when he arrived in West Virginia to this refrain:

“Lock Her Up!”

His supporters were apparently oblivious to the charges set earlier in the day, along with corruption charges against Duncan Hunter (and his wife) and those earlier in the month against Chris Collins–the first two representatives to endorse Trump’s campaign; while in the past year Trump’s Oklahoma campaign chair pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking and his Kentucky campaign chair was sentenced for human trafficking (& other felony sex crimes involving minors) and then, of course, there is his National security advisor: guilty and Foreign policy advisor: guilty; while just that week 175 former US officials spanning service across intelligence agencies, the State Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense added their names to a list of intelligence officials denouncing his decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.

As if that was not enough, on this same day in 1959, Hawaii, the birthplace of the 44th President became a state while on this day in 1776, the Continental Congress enacted the first law in America against espionage, authorizing the death penalty for the crime; while in present time Facebook announces that it has removed more than 650 pages, groups & accounts linked to Russia and Iran intending to disrupt US election.

Meanwhile President Jimmy Carter, who was elected after Nixon’s impeachment, regularly prays for Trump, and announced that a recent surgery uncovered the spread of cancer. “I’m at ease with whatever comes,” he said, as at 94, he lightens his load of monitoring safe and fair elections abroad and building homes for the disadvantaged here.

At the close of that day, we left the beach and its special surfers and friends, concurring with the Washington correspondent from the Toronto Star who wrote:

Really well-written episode of today: Manafort jury deliberations interspersed with Cohen plea deliberations, Trump rally at night. Washington thunderstorm a bit cliched but forgivable.

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