A beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?
This last week may prove to be the week that was perhaps the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning of Donald Trump’s Presidency. Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. Another 10 charges remain to be decided on and Manafort faces another trial next month in Washington D.C. for another seven charges and, short of a miracle, which could happen, faces a possible lengthy jail term.
On the same fateful Tuesday former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen entered a guilty plea in court over election hush payments at the direction of a candidate; there can only be one. The media debate moved more seriously to whether a sitting president can be indicted for a crime and the possibility of an impeachment process after the mid-terms.
Astonishingly Trump then gave an interview to Fox TV where he seemed to admit paying the hush money out of his own pocket not campaign funds so that’s OK. How about no? From my take of the law the act itself could be an indictable crime.
So, what next? Distraction and denial is the usual course. I’m not sure it’s going to work this time. The mid-terms are coming soon as is Mueller’s report. I don’t expect Trump’s core support to waver overly much that leaves the rest. The rest may just deliver the House to the Democrats and the opportunity to start an impeachment process.
I’m in prediction mode now and I could be wrong. I think there are several ways this could play out. Trump could pull a startling distraction, maybe start a war. He could, given his personality, say, you know what I’m quitting and blame everybody else for being losers. Or, stick it out for the duration and risk impeachment maybe even criminal charges and conviction. Out of the three I favour number two maybe with a deal on or under the table. We’ll see.
Wildfires, over 500 of them are burning in B.C. as if the smoke doesn’t tell us that. California and Ontario have also suffered greatly this season. Alberta, at the time of writing, seems to have missed the worst of it. The fire near Hinton was a bit dicey for a while but a combination of brave and diligent firefighters and a change in the weather got it under control. Hopefully, no Fort McMurray or Slave Lake, this year.
Fire is a natural phenomenon in the forests. Even without camp fires, cigarette butts, off road vehicles and more we would still have them. I have heard numerous people in authority say that this is the new normal. OK if that’s the case then I guess we must throw fire fighting budgets out of the window. More and newer firebombers, more firefighters, more and better equipment, larger FireSmart programs, maybe a major national force that can be deployed post haste to bad fires to augment local forces before they become exhausted. Common sense, transparent emergency plans that people can understand and also question to their circumstances. All of this and more. I can’t see the point or merit in sitting back in the halls of office and asking, “do I feel lucky?”