Start of another week at the circus. It began with frantic denial, bravado and a raging Monday morning, fake-media-woe-is-me-obsessed tweetstorm that somehow failed to mention a Bloomington mosque bombing from the Not-On-Vacation-Beached-Whale-Liar-and-Golfer-In-Chief, thus making some wonder about the supposedly tough, Chief of Staff John Kelly's new well-oiled machine of a White House. But take glad note: For all the bluster, Trump's approval numbers continue to plummet - bottoming out at 33% - a methodical Robert Mueller keeps toiling away, and supposed fan-boy Peter Thiel is privately, increasingly hedging his bets on a coming Trumpocalypse.
Another thing: In the last couple of weeks, thanks to the GOP's evidently stellar marketing skills, we've gotten no less than 28 plaintive emails - ie: more than one a day - asking for contributions to help Make America Great Again. They are all addressed, "Friend." Their subject lines vary from "Keep fighting!" to the sinister "Liberals." Most are from The Trump Team, with a few from Little Eric and his propaganda-spewing wife Lara: "No matter what the Left throws at my father-in-law...the people are 100% behind him." They proclaim their triumphs - their "historic first six months," "record-setting fundraising," "incredible momentum," fab "DRAINING THE SWAMP and getting things done" in that "cesspool of corruption" even as "liberals (try) to obstruct us at every turn" and "thrive off of (sic) the swamp."
In return for their unnamed-but-inspiring achievements - "Friend, together you and I have made it a top priority to cut through the noise of the Fake News Media and get things done for the American people" - they ask for a $1 donation. Pitiably. Over and over. To special people like us on their inexplicable list, they also offer MAGA swag that gets cheaper with each email. "Friends, supplies are going fast!" they declaim. "For the next 24 hours, get your historic Trump gear for 75% off! Final chance!" Oddly, it's still full price at the MAGA Committee website: shirts, hats, the fabulous mug to remind you of the daily blessing that is our Narcissistic Nightmare. In a bizarre fuck-you to those who serve, they also offer a Veterans For Trump t-shirt for $25, or $5 more than the one to dodgers like Donald. What a schmuck.
It's entirely possible they'll just keep getting more tawdry and dangerous as they feel their power slipping away, and it's vitally important to keep speaking up, showing up, remaining vigilant. Monday's Vox Populi, a self-described "Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry," posted a poem by Jose Padua that reminds us of the constancy of change and hope, of the "concept/ of what it mean(s) to be an object in motion." Even in the darkest days, he writes, we are "always moving toward clear light."
On the same day in August 1967
when American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell
was killed, my younger
brother was born:
one bad guy down, one good guy up and running.
Four days later a girl was born
who would grow up smart and beautiful
like a flower by Georgia O’Keeffe
and who would marry me
and help me shine through sleepless nights
and wakeless mornings in the raising of our children
upon the gleaming landscape.
August 1967 was also the month
when Sam & Dave released their hit “Soul Man,”
a record that seemed to spin so steadily on the turntable
at 45 revolutions per minute
I swore it illuminated my concept
of what it meant to be an object in motion.
And somewhere in the universe
there is a city where dusty roads
and paved avenues intersect
like these days from 1967,
changing the world,
changing what’s in the air
from sound to song,
always moving toward clear light.
- Jose Padua