I am foot-stomping mad tonight over several things, not the least of which is the horrific shooting that has killed at least 20 people and injured 26 in an El Paso, Texas, Wal-Mart.
There is plenty of blame to go around, and no, I’m not going on a tirade at the moment about gun regulation and the NRA, although it would be easy and valid to do so. But no, the blood from this shooting is on the hands of every single person in this nation who has cheered and applauded Trump’s anti-immigrant, racist rants. It is on the hands of every single person who has shouted “build that wall!” It is on the hands of every single person who believes immigrants do not belong in this nation. It is on the hands of every single person who believes that white skin is somehow better than brown or black. It is on the hands of every single person who has turned a blind eye to the maltreatment and abuse of children in detention camps. And most of all, the blood is on the hands of Donald Trump himself. It was only a matter of time before some damn fool took a notion to act on Trump’s words … after all, he has all but encouraged violence against immigrants, has painted immigrants as evil people out to murder those good, lily-white people and take their jobs, to boot.
In the past few weeks, as best anyone can tell, the only thing Trump has done is spend his days and nights carrying on with hate speech against people who happen not to be white. An example … at a campaign rally (if he were actually the president, he wouldn’t have time to do all these campaign rallies, for he’d be busy working) in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this week, he riled the masses as he always does, and when a small group of protestors unfurled a banner that read “IMMIGRANTS BUILT AMERICA”, Trump’s loyal band of assholes snatched the banner and set to beating up the protestors.
The shooter in El Paso traveled some 600 miles, from Dallas to El Paso, a city whose population is 80% Latino. The shooter, whom I shall not name out of respect for the victims, was Caucasian — white. He was not Hispanic, nor of Middle Eastern descent … he was a white Texan. He had kept a manifesto that includes remarks attacking immigrants and sympathetic to the man who killed 51 people this year at two mosques in New Zealand. The document lists “the Hispanic invasion of Texas” as one of several motivations for the attack. Let me just remind everybody that Texas was founded by Spanish conquistadors, and belonged to Mexico long before it became part of the U.S.
Meanwhile, #MoscowMitch McConnell and others in Congress expressed the usual “thoughts and prayers”. Meaningless, useless thoughts and prayers, whereas for years and in some cases decades, they have passed up the opportunity to do something positive about the gun problem in the U.S. Sorry, folks … keep your damn thoughts and prayers … give us action … address the gun problem. It is a crisis every bit as much as the “opioid crisis” that everyone is so concerned about. The gun crisis is more important, in my book, for these twenty who died in El Paso were innocent, some were even children. They were killed through no fault or action of their own.
I will almost certainly have more to say about the El Paso mass shooting soon, but for today, let us move on to one of the other reasons for my foot-stomping …
On Monday, July 8th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to a tax law that would require the commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance to share state income tax returns and reports when certain congressional committees request them. This was a huge step forward … or could have been … in the investigations into Trump, his finances, his business interests, and potential Russian financial ties. As Cuomo put it …
“This bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.”
But, the various committees, including the House Ways and Means committee, that had previously requested Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department, sat around the Capitol, twiddling their thumbs, debating whether to open an impeachment investigation or not, and they did not take advantage of the door that had been opened by Governor Cuomo. They did not request the tax returns from the State of New York.
Trump and his lawyers, however, feared that someday soon the congressional committees might wake up and remember they owed something to the people who had elected them, remember that they had a constitutional obligation, and so … Trump did what he does best … he filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, July 23rd! In the suit, he requested that the federal court prevent the House Ways and Means committee from seeking to obtain the New York tax returns, just in case they decided to do so … at some point.
Now for the kicker, the part that has me stomping my feet … last Thursday, federal Judge Carl Nichols granted a temporary order blocking New York state from turning over Trump’s tax returns. His reasoning? He wished to ensure that, “Mr. Trump cannot suffer any harm”. Trump can suffer no harm??? What about us??? We are suffering harm every hour of every day that he remains in office, but Judge Nichols wants to protect TRUMP???
I shall stop now, for I must go attend to my poor foot, which has been stomped so much that it has come open and red stuff is coming out of it. Besides which, there are words about to come out of my fingertips that you’d rather not hear. But, be advised that I am not done ranting … I’ll return later.