Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Or mandatory vasectomies?

            I don't know the 17th century conditions that caused British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to describe conservative government as "organized hypocrisy." I do know what it means in the 21st century.

            Friday the U.S. House passed legislation to prevent discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. The bill is DOA in the Senate, though, where Associated Press said Republicans denounced it as "government overreach."

            Yes: the best government governs least. Reagan-Goldwater stuff, you know.

            One could grant this to today's Republicans if they in any way adhered to the bromide for all things.

            As small-government words were being mouthed in the nation's capital, Republicans in several states were adopting government policy that could not be bigger and more intrusive: state monitoring of wombs.

            So-called conservatives say they embrace small government, but that's not true. The biggest forms of big government are their passions:

            Prisons -- That's big government, even if specious for-profit contractors cut as many corners as they can.

            Drug policies -- Throwing the book at people for victimless offenses like pot possession is big government at its most vainglorious and costly.

            War -- No big-government endeavor is bigger. Add the tools for waging it – in our case a military bigger than those of the next seven countries combined.

            However, in scope and audacity, no big-government quest can match the newly revved war on reproductive rights.

            Clothed in verbal drapery like "respect for life" (war being a fertile field for propaganda), call this what it is: the move toward state-ordered gestation.

            State-ordered in Alabama: whether the pregnancy results from rape or incest; whether the victim is 12 or a mentally disabled 36.

            Should these new restrictions on a woman's decision to carry a baby get the go-ahead from the Supreme Court, which decided more than 40 years ago that "unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional," we await the first inquests into a miscarriage suspected as being self-induced.

            Alabama will then lead the nation into a new era of jurisprudence when it establishes its system of unwanted pregnancy courts.

            Don't laugh. States like Georgia would put themselves in similar legal straits with laws banning abortion except in cases of rape and incest.

            We would await the first trial in Georgia in which a 14-year-old victim tries to convince the court that the 23-year-old she fantasized to be a provider actually was a predator.

            It's hard enough for rape and incest victims to come forward to press charges anyway. Under said situations, a so-called rape-incest exception is simple cruelty by "pro-life" know-nothings.

            Not to suggest any more work for these busy reproductive-totalitarian states and those contemplating the same, but Sen. Kamala Harris had a good question for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

            Did he know, she asked, of any laws "the government has any power to make over the male body?"

            Excellent question in a country in which a tiny bit more than half of the populace is female. What is your answer, Alabama?

            A country truly interested in preventing abortion, rather than simply enforcing unworkable moral dictates in a complex medical world, must have laws that govern both genders.

            -- Mandated condom use for all males under penalty of death.

            -- Mandated seminars for all males on rape, incest and the definition of consent. With video and audio like those now presented to pregnant women seeking abortion.

            -- Mandatory comprehensive sex education in schools, regardless of religious objections.

            Of course, we know that the best way to "respect life" is to give women control over their reproductive choices, even that 14-year-old who can't yet vote. Colorado dramatically cut teen pregnancies with a state-funded program making contraception widely available. Religious-right Republicans opposed it.

            Indeed, if Republicans really wanted to do something about abortion (which is going to happen, safely or otherwise, whatever they mandate) the most effective thing they could do is dramatically increase funding for Planned Parenthood. It does more to prevent abortions than any Bible-quoting lawmaker ever will..

            They wouldn't dare fund contraception, sex education and more, because the proponents of "pro-life" laws aren't so much about "protecting the unborn" as punishing women for misappropriating their organs.

            Anti-abortion? If you are not pro-contraception as well, you are a 21st century hypocrite.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

A mysterious coverup that would make Richard Nixon blush

            Donald Trump Jr. is a big boy, purportedly, and is hardly shy around a microphone. So why not slide that chronically protruded chest toward a mike before the Senate Intelligence Committee?

            Republicans are throwing a toddler tantrum, all tears and slobber, at the thought. Why? Let the man talk.

            So many "whys" about what our president, his kin and his enablers have been doing:

            If the Mueller Report "totally and completely exonerates" Donald Sr., why would Trump not want to cooperate with Congress in every way to ease everyone's minds?

            If Robert Mueller found "no collusion, no obstruction," why would Trump seek to prevent him from testifying before Congress?

            So, too, with former White House counsel Don McGahn. What more does McGahn know that Donald Trump doesn't want you and me to know?

            The report says Trump leaned on McGahn to dismiss Mueller. McGahn refused. Then, McGahn says, Trump asked him to lie about that request.

            Maybe that's because with Mueller on his case, as the latter reports, Trump said, "This is the end of my presidency."

            How so, Mr. President? No collusion, no obstruction, you say. What then had you worried?

            Why concoct a lie about the reason for the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian contingent?

            Why ask FBI director James Comey to pull back from probing National Security Adviser Mike Flynn for his dealings with Russia?

            Why concoct another lie about the pretext for firing Comey (later admitting it was about stopping the Russia investigation and nothing more)?

            What don't you want Mueller, and Comey, and now Congress and well, everyone, to know?

            Prosecutors use a term called "consciousness of guilt." Look it up. Basically it describes just about everything Donald Trump has said and done regarding Russia.

            It means lying repeatedly even when the lies are self-evident. ("No communication" with Russia while Jared Kushner was discussing setting up a back channel for such a thing.)

            It means constructing false alibis (um, adoption as a pretext for Russians at Trump headquarters pre-election).

            It means intimidating witnesses, something Trump did in tweet after tweet as former enablers turned state's evidence.

            These things should tell us that Trump and his campaign broke the law in their dealings with the Russians and have engaged in a coverup that would make Richard Nixon blush.

            What continues in his resisting congressional scrutiny -- obvious and ongoing obstruction – should make every citizen demand the truth.

            A letter signed by more than 800 federal prosecutors asserts that Trump has done indictable things to thwart investigations of all stripes.

            Some assert that a bunch of Democrats and liberals signed that letter. That doesn't stand up to scrutiny. But you decide. Among them, Jeffrey Harris, a former assistant to former New York prosecutor Rudy Giuliani, says, "I have absolutely no doubt that the prosecutor Rudy Giuliani would have indicted someone who committed the acts that are put out on the Mueller report in a heartbeat."

            The same goes for Paul Rosenzweig, who was on the team of Special Counsel Ken Starr in making the case against Bill Clinton. Rosenzweig said that Trump's attempt to bully McGahn unto itself is indictable and impeachable.

            I can't imagine any American believing that if Trump were not president he would not be facing criminal indictment. Mueller's report lists 10 possible acts of obstruction.

            Add to that now an 11th: contempt of Congress. Trump appears dedicated to forcing the hand of House investigators by using their only remedy to get the truth – an impeachment trial.

            The fact is that this should have happened even before the Mueller report was released. It should have happened the moment former Trump fixer Michael Cohen was convicted of crimes done at Trump's bidding.

            If not then, it should have begun after Cohen testified in Congress on matters which legal observers said implicated Trump in at least 14 crimes, ranging from insurance fraud and tax fraud to threats and intimidation.

            There is no "if" as to whether Trump obstructed justice. The only question is "why" he lied so consistently about all things Russia. We should not be left to guess.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Brown-skinned laborers, white-skinned hypocrites

            I'm stunned at this late moment that we haven't seen a presidential tweet – exhausting all 280 characters and all 11 syllables of Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos' last name.

            Dot. Dot. Dot.

            If Donald Trump considers himself a Fox News hound, what's with his failure to exploit that name and all the angst and anger – angster -- he can further foment among his fearful followers?

            Surely the leader of the paleface world heard the name pronounced on TV. All those trilled Rs and alien phonics. Why, that "G" isn't even pronounced the way God intended it.

            Aguilera-Mederos was behind the wheel of a runaway semi that caused one of the most horrific traffic accidents in Colorado history – 28 vehicles, four fatalities, scores of injuries.

            That's bad enough, but consider: Using "Fox & Friends"-speak, the driver was from what would qualify as one of those "Mexican countries" (actual headline) down around the equator. Aguilera-Mederos is here from Cuba with a green card.

            The semi was headed down a steep incline on I-70 when the driver lost control. Charging down from the foothills, the truck slammed into cars halted by another traffic accident.

            Runaway trucks are nothing new in the Rockies. That's why emergency ramps are availed and signs advise the utmost caution. Aguilera-Mederos was negligent. A court will decide if he's criminally so.

            It's just the state of discourse, however, that the driver's ethnicity became a focal point of much of it.

            Someone whipped up an online petition to deport Aguilera-Mederos, and to remark on the harm wrought by "brown devils." It continued, "The wetbacks need to get out of R country and build the f---ing wall."

            Once again, Mr. President. Why no tweet? Your public awaits.

            Ah, but let's think about this a little further. What if the truck was defective? And if this man was unqualified, who hired him?

            It turns out a small Houston trucking company owns the vehicle. Not surprisingly, the company has been cited for vehicles with, ahem, brake problems.

            Yes, isn't that the way it works? We talk about invading hordes of brown-skinned people (actually people who demonstrate the highest qualities of resourcefulness, hard work and attention to family), but rarely do we talk about the people who exploit their labor.

            Like Donald Trump, for instance.

            Remember the tempest stirred during the Clinton administration – Nannygate it was called – when two candidacies for attorney general (Zoe Baird and Judge Kimba Wood) were withdrawn after acknowledging they hired undocumented individuals to perform household functions?

            President Trump didn't withdraw Andrew Pudzer's name from nomination as his secretary of labor though Pudzer acknowledged the very same thing. (Pudzer was rejected by the Senate.)

            And why should Trump have made a thing about it? His properties are well-known to have employed undocumented individuals. A recent Washington Post expose revealed a veritable Costa Rican pipeline of undocumented workers to Trump properties.

            If members of the MAGA set know this, it appears not to bother them one bit.

            Reportedly, federal investigators from the Southern District of New York, are not so sanguine. They are investigating the Trump Organization's use of illegal labor as one piece of a possible organized crime case under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.

            Rest assured, those who will made a big deal out of Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos' name have no complaint if people with all those dreaded syllables clean their motel toilets, harvest their produce or replace their storm-battered roofs.

            And of course they're completely satisfied if brown-skinned "devils" help prop up the business of a folk hero with a forked tongue.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Words to a child: One nation under the gun

            In Colorado the other day, it was time for many parents to have the talk.

            The talk about a dangerous world. The talk about safety at school.

            Many parents had time and motivation to do this because a woman with a gun made threats that shut down schools from Colorado Springs to Denver to Fort Collins.

            We're all busy, distracted, headed in every direction. In Colorado, nothing stops everything but blizzards and the Broncos.

            Add this: a Florida woman flying into Denver with apparent intent to kill.

            Sol Pace, 18, was said to be "infatuated with Columbine" and emotionally fragile. The horrors of that 1999 tragedy were about to be relived on its 20th anniversary. When she deplaned, she got herself a weapon at a gun shop not far from the school. Alarms sounded up and down the Front Range.

            Half a million students were told to stay home. Thousands who didn't have to stay home did so anyway. Education essentially stopped, all because of a gun that she ultimately turned on herself.

            As a search ensued, media outlets cued up advice on what to tell children about situations like this, with mass shootings increasingly commonplace. I don't have children at home, but if I did, here's what I'd say.

            My child: The first thing to understand is that the world isn't as dangerous as the news implies. The same for school. It is still the safest place to be outside of home with me. It has always been so.

            What's true, sadly, is that your world is not nearly as safe as it could be.

            Your world, your community, your nation, is less safe because politicians have put the interests of commerce ahead of keeping people safe.

            The commerce of gun sales. The songs of cash registers, of bar codes chirping.

            In Colorado, schools closed because a teenager not old enough to buy a gun in her home state of Florida (recently having barred gun sales to people under 21) did so only moments after arriving at Denver's airport.

            Federal officials said it was a legal purchase. Gun safety groups said no -- that the law prevents someone who can't buy a gun in her home state to buy it in another.

            A gun shop owner said it would be a bad idea to prevent fly-in transactions like this. It would crimp the "tourist industry."

            If that's the case, why did the traveler even have to go to a gun shop? Why not guns in vending machines at the airport? Why not guns for sale mid-air along with mini booze bottles? Would that serve the tourist economy?

            Any legislation that would slightly alter the equation in favor of gun safety is assailed as the end of the world by gun lobbyists and hobbyists.

            To them all guns are created equal – no distinction between the one that could kill one and the one that will kill scores.

            They say it's about fundamental freedoms. Listen closer and know that it's all about convenience, and of course profit.

            These are not good times for the gun lobby, with more and more Americans outraged over the dangers they face in deference to sanctified appliances of death.

            But the gun industry knows that its greatest ally is fear, so it hardly blinks in the wake of another mass murder with its products, while those who could do something about it choose to litter the battlefield with leaflets of "thoughts and prayers."

            Once, again, child, the world isn't as dangerous as the news will tell you. What's dangerous is priorities dictated solely by commerce – whether it be about the global climate crisis you are inheriting, about the basic human needs of your neighbors, or about your safety.

            Don't concede to these powers. Join other people, like the students of Parkland, Fla., in fighting back.

            An unsafe world? It's your world, and you can make it safer.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Curling into his Fox News cocoon

           Was it Moe? Or Larry or Curly?

            I had to roll the tape in my head to determine which Stooge our president portrayed as he climbed his figurative hook and ladder to advise Paris on how to save Notre Dame Cathedral from destruction.

            That he offered himself at all brought to mind a scene from the 1963 comedy classic, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," where the Three Stooges face a fiery calamity with blank stares.

            Cathedral aflame? Trump took time out of his governing day to advise the French to use "flying water tankers."

            Bad idea, said those who knew what they were talking about. A big water drop would cause the church's walls to collapse and also ruin anything still reclaimable.

            Such is the privilege of the know-it-all in-chief. Rest assured, Trump's water-dump strategy was portrayed as a stroke of genius that day on Fox News.

            The rest of the world cringes when he tweets, but he thrives on a kindred audience of people with opinions, backed up by nothing. Skillfully, he channels every grunt and gripe of the arm-chair set. As does Fox News.

            After the release of Robert Mueller's findings, I saw a man-on-the-street interview in which one individual, clearly versed by all things Fox, called the investigation "a joke." Sadly, the interviewer didn't ask, "Could you tell me why?"

            Even if the probe hasn't (yet) produced an indictment of this president, it resulted in 34 others, with several convictions: a scandal of Himalayan proportions.

            As Washington Post media critic Paul Farhi pointed out, the Mueller report "largely validated news reports that Trump disparaged." Translation: That "fake news" was mostly on the nose.

            As Mitt Romney is our witness – "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of the dishonesty and misdirection" -- the fakery is all on the other foot, whether it came from the slippery tongue of Sarah Sanders or just about anyone else who ever presented Trump's case to the people – Fox News especially.

            There was Sanders – the day after the Mueller report blistered her for lying about the pretext for firing James Comey – getting an aloe sponge bath from Sean Hannity. Yes, Sarah. Take your time to explain away nearly two years of steady and dedicated prevarication.

            It would be an interesting exercise for Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Co. to ponder what the Fox News spiel would be if even one page of Mueller's 400-plus pages, even one of the 10 instances of possible obstruction identified by Mueller, applied to malfeasance alleged against Barack Obama.

            Don't forget the crimes attested to by Trump's fixer, Michael Cohen: insurance fraud, bank fraud and tax fraud among them. What if Hillary Clinton's former attorney had alleged the same?

            Don't ask "Fox and Friends." Here, however, is what Ryan Goodman, who teaches law at New York University, told NPR about what Mueller found:

            "Any American but for the president would be indicted for these actions."

            "A big joke," says Mr. Fox News Viewer. Hmm. That's interesting. So, it was a big joke that, as Mueller writes, "without a doubt" Russia engaged in a massive attack on our elections system to ensure Trump's election, far exceeding hacked emails and Wikileaks (which at various points Trump said he loved; now he knows nothing about it – no-thing).

            That attack included attempts to compromise state elections systems. That attack included attempts to broker an end to sanctions on Russia from Team Trump before Trump actually gained office.

            What do you say, Mr. Fox News Viewer? It's all a joke?

            Sadly, the only joke is the man who remains our president until we can remove him.

            So, back on that imaginary red fire truck, siren wailing, which of the Stooges is he? Of course he's the one in the bangs, the one barking the orders.

            He's the one holding the high-pressure nozzle, with Curly (Sean Hannity) and Larry (Tucker Carlson) holding the hose.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

'Stick it to them’ policies that have stuck

            You didn't expect a pre-test, but: Which presidential candidate coined the term "rigged economy"?

            (A) Bernie Sanders; (B) Elizabeth Warren; (C) Jill Stein; (D) Donald Trump.

            Answer: D.

            OK, actual parentage may be in dispute. Patrick Henry might have uttered the phrase first. However, Trump – yes, him – is the one who plied it into a presidency.

            Trump convinced a lot of working-class voters that the system was rigged against them and that (D) was the answer.

            Were it not so tragic, it would be comedic.

            This man has done everything in his power to keep America's wealthiest and whitest in the percentile of their births, indeed to make them wealthier (can't make them whiter -- though their hero has shown how to be orange-er).

            What about those tax cuts that were supposed to benefit everyman? The IRS reports that the average refund is just about the same as last year's. Should this surprise anyone?

            Asked about the general health of the economy, Warren Buffett points out that we are at the tail end of a growth period that started in 2009, and that many of the voters Trump courted in 2016 with his "rigged economy" spiel have benefited hardly at all throughout.

            "I would prefer that the majority of the tax cuts go overwhelmingly to the people who are watching while the rest of the country prospers," Buffett told CNN.

            The big winners, he said, were the super-wealthy, mega-corporations and their shareholders.

            Any boost from those tax cuts is starting to wane -- the sugar high having left the economy drowsy.

            The cost of this indulgence? It is much more than the $2.3 trillion that Trump's own Treasury acknowledges over a decade. Project it across decades as the country pays down its debt, with interest.

            The four-month federal deficit -- $310 billion – is 77 percent higher than a year ago. And for what?

            Nothing Trump seeks to do benefits those ripped off by the "rigged economy."

            He seeks to abolish the Affordable Care Act without any alternative in mind. He seeks to eviscerate budgets in education and housing.

            As a candidate he said he'd never cut Medicaid and Medicare. And you believed him?

            Over the next 10 years, his 2020 budget would spend $1.5 billion less on Medicaid, $25 billion less on Social Security and $845 billion less on Medicare.

            Every one of these dollars is meant for people who can't survive on the sugar-high economy – the people who don't count in the Trump political equation.

            By now anyone who has paid any attention should understand that Trump is not interested in serving the people in general. He is interested only in serving his base.

            He's not going to do a thing to help uninsured Americans. He's not going to do a thing about the massive debts faced by college graduates and those to come.

            Indeed, if you don't support him politically, he's going seek out ways to stick it to you.

            Consider his brazenly childish threat to transport migrants to so-called sanctuary cities.

            Consider his threat to cut off wildfire relief to California as flames leaped. Consider his unconscionable vendetta aimed at the leadership of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

            Trump has cast his lot with voters who are fine with division and divisiveness.

            Convincingly or not, George W. Bush sought to project himself as a "uniter not a divider." No such pretense from Donald Trump. He is comfortable with an "up yours" presidency. So are his defenders.

            By the way, talking about the winners and losers under the man's stick-it-to-them policies – among the winners of his driving up the national debt are mega-investors, including the Chinese, who purchase the bonds by which our government continues to operate. They'll get back their investment compounded by the interest you are paying. Sweet.

            Longtime newspaper editor John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Please, Dems: Focus on matters that matter

            Behold the one-way window over there. An unseen audience is on the other side.

            Donald Trump preens before it, seeing only his likeness.

            He doesn't realize that on the other side beyond his gaze, viewing him and his party with disgust and alarm, are millions of young voters and independents.

            The one-way window is Youtube, or Reddit, shared video and posts on Facebook and Twitter.

            Young voters don't see everything that affects their lives, but through shared posts they have a front-row seat to the utterly ridiculous.

            They see Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee on the Senate floor saying that to remedy the world's ills, people just need to have babies.

            They see our president enunciate a link between windmills and cancer.

            Anything goes -- any lie will sell -- at a sub-coherent MAGA rally fueled by fear, myth and racial enmity. But those aren't the voters Republicans need in 2020.

            For one, young voters and independents are watching to see if this president has anything to offer – anything at all – for them.

            Tax cuts? Ah, the crumbs emanating from a windfall for stockholders and the hyper-wealthy: Even if benefits did trickle downward, they cost trillions of dollars in new and scary debt that young people will have to pay off.

            One strains to think of anything else Trump has done that deals with the most pressing problems faced by average Americans, particularly younger ones.

            This presents a staggering opportunity for Democrats -- to talk about what they can do. Here are the issues they should be addressing while Trump tilts at turbines.

            College debt -- Make babies, Sen. Lee? Do you realize the financial realities faced by so many? College debt -- $1.5 trillion, exceeding the nation's credit card debt – has tied the pill as America's predominant form of birth control. Or at least the two are working in tandem.

            Sure, most young Americans desire parenthood, but who can afford it with the crushing weight of college loans following them to bed each night?

            Democrats must address this matter hard and heavy. College debt is a far greater crisis than anything Trump can conjure.

            Affordable housing – Along with college debt, this problem sees a vast swath of young Americans trapped by circumstances.

            Ask a 20-something about the prospect of house ownership. He will say he imagines the colonization of Mars before he can afford a home. An affordable apartment is just as fanciful for most.

            Don't look now, but our president assigned noted brain surgeon Ben Carson to lobotomize HUD and bleed federal housing assistance. After all, we need that money for a big, beautiful wall.

            Fortunately, at least some Democrats are talking this up. They need to make it a centerpiece of their agenda. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called for $450 billion to be invested over 10 years to create and preserve affordable housing, including 3 million new apartments.

            So, we can afford to build whole cities overseas – military bases – yet we can't afford to help address the nation's critical housing needs? Of course we can.

            Health care costs – One area in which the ACA has proved insufficient is in lowering health-care costs. Hence, a troubling report finds that Americans borrowed $88 billion to pay for health care last year.

            Republicans have shown no interest in truly addressing costs, whether for prescription drugs, hospitalization or premiums. Trump's self-proclaimed bold brew about curbing drug costs is really weak tea.

            One of the first things Democrats did after taking over the House was fire off letters to major drug companies in an inquiry over the rapid rise of drug costs.

            For the time being, until the nation can find better alternatives, the best way to curb drug costs is to ensure the viability and survivability of the ACA.

            Democrats are the nation's hope that matters that matter, like these, will not be swept aside by Trump and the party of sub-coherence.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

GOP’s morning-after headache is a doozy

            That was fun, wasn't it?

            Since November, Republican leaders had nothing to celebrate. Nada.

            Last week, though, they tied one on after the 300-plus pages of the Mueller report were summed up on a Snapple cap.

            "Par-tay," rejoiced the party of officially sanctioned corruption. Mitch McConnell broke out the peach schnapps, Lindsey Graham the Southern Comfort.

            Then came the next morning.

            Dawn's blinding light saw these headlines on the same home page of Politico:

            "GOP shaken by Trump's health care plans."

            "Republicans want Trump to back off economy-wrecking tariffs."

            "DeVos defends Special Olympics cut amid outcry."

            Oh, and this:

            "Mueller grand jury 'continuing robustly,'" prosecutor says."

            Where to start? Let's start where the Democrats are picking up -- the central issue by which they routed the GOP in the midterms: health care.

            By siding with a suit out of Texas, the Trump administration seeks to end the Affordable Care Act in its entirety – its coverage of millions, its requirements about pre-existing conditions, its protection of coverage for young adults under their parents' plans. And get this: It would do this without any alternative to the ACA in mind.

            This is not a fight Republicans want right now. McConnell has signaled as much.

            In the morning after, if the Democrats wanted to get back to matters that have benefited them politically, Trump had just done their bidding.

            That same morning, reports showed the economy slowing down – a GDP growth rate of 2.2 percent in the last quarter as compared to a projected 2.6 percent.

            There's no question that, along with the lapsing sugar high of the GOP tax cuts, a key factor is Trump's trade war. His tariffs have barely benefited anyone on these shores, while driving up the cost of U.S. goods.

            Who's benefiting? Consider the report from Bloomberg about how a Chinese supplier of paper utensils found a way to get around tariffs it faced in supplying to U.S. restaurants:

            It opened a $4 million factory in Mexico.

            As the story pointed out: "Mexico has seen big gains in shipments to the U.S. in categories where competing Chinese goods were hit with tariffs."

            Nice job, Mr. President. In Spanish, that's, "Buen trabajo."

            We thought the whole idea was to boost the American economy. Oh, well.

            Well, let's shift our gaze to other Trump bungles. How about the horror show of bad publicity about zeroing out the Special Olympics?

            It was never going to happen. The funding is supported on both sides of the aisle in Congress. If someone with a brain the size of a walnut was looking at political realities as plain as the button nose on Betsy DeVos's face, that person would never suggest it.

            An actual walnut would have better instincts.

            Yep. Well, Secretary of Education DeVos, Trump and his party took a pounding for the idea for a whole brutal news cycle until Trump scrubbed the idea.

            Meanwhile, while Trump stomps and stumps about his supposed vindication regarding the Mueller report, the investigation of His Lowness continues.

            The grand jury in question involves matters Mueller handed off to federal prosecutors. We can't know those things they are, but they are not gone.

            Meanwhile, we know that state regulators are investigating whether the Trump Group committed insurance fraud and bank fraud. We also know about a probe into corruption regarding donations that footed the most expensive inauguration in history.

            We know that Trump is implicated in a crime for which his former attorney is going to prison in the hush-money arrangement for a porn star.

            This brings up another story from Politico headlined, "Donald Trump's talent for turning wins into losses," about the man's pathological hubris and tendency to overreach.

            It all adds up to a continuing, chronically debilitating headache for the Republican Party, and until 2020, for the nation.

            Back in the '80s, Ronald Reagan sailed the waves of public opinion with the shining slogan, "Morning in America." For the Trump era, it's "Migraine in America."

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.