Mark Wignall | The loathsome Donald Trump
Immediately after President Trump's tweet in which he referred to fired White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman as a lowlife and a dog, some thought that he had plumbed new depths of debasing the office he occupies in Washington.
They would have been wrong. The fact is, Trump was given relevance, and the White House, because a significant percentage of his cult followers are 'deplorables' who have long been uncomfortable with the reality of America's racial diversity.
That they (including more than 10 million 2012 Obama voters) have found a man like Trump who is willing to openly express the directions of the reprehensible, racist voices coursing through his underdeveloped brain and intellect is their own godsend. Surely, they surmise, they have found the champion they were anxiously waiting on.
With more evidence mounting that the Trump election campaign conspired with the Kremlin because Russia wanted a 'useful idiot' in the White House as a surrogate of Putin, Donald Trump, a dangerous, ignorant bully all his life, is deathly scared of an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.
In the throes of his need to echo the collective behaviour of his racist cultists, he is now at his most threatening where America's global order is giving way to the dictates of the Kremlin. Just about all allies of the US have been insulted and quickly dredged away, a Russian desire as it weakens NATO and gives Putin more global prominence.
Consistent with Putin's need to see America wilting internationally and at home, Trump has accelerated the internal decay of the American state by pitting his 35 per cent base as victims and all else as the enemies of the people. It is textbook fascist leader-in-waiting as he eagerly disconnects bits and pieces of the now fragile institutions of government.
HINDERED BY PRESS
Two factors are hindering his total takeover of federal and state power: free press and the voices of dissent among those people of importance who have decided to accelerate their criticisms of the vile presence in the White House.
America must now be beyond the point where the majority have asked, 'How did we get here?' Along with more than notional global support, Americans are looking forward to the midterms and even an interim Mueller report made public, plus the continued reporting from the media.
With editorials of hundreds of news outlets finding a common voice as Trump threatens First Amendment rights, Trump, a man with the morals of a shifty streetside scuffler, will be facing off with an electorate and a media community with both sides expecting cultural and political wins.
In this, no quarter will be given. It is more than possible that Trump's links with the Kremlin runs at the same frequency as his money worries.
With a GOP-controlled Congress that has abdicated its duty to the US Constitution and cares only about maintaining political power, a president who feels no shame as he wades across the swampy muck, and a pushback from the media and those caring about the ideals of democracy, we are in for one long, hot, scary summer.
Last in the ganja race?
Apart from a few reports of the odd, rich Jamaican entrepreneur entering the market in 'medical ganja', one doesn't get the sense that any wholesale free-up-the-weed economy will make it easy for ordinary Jamaicans to share in the potential wealth that, say, the recreational use of the drug will make possible.
One streetside vendor said to me last Wednesday: "Di police nah too trouble wi nuh more but a likkle ting puzzle mi. Dem sey wi nuh fi have no more dan a few ounces, but dem also sey wi can plant three or four plant in wi yaad. One plant can bring all three, four pound. So, if me waan carry a pound fi gi you, mi can get in trouble. Dat waan work out."
The National Post out of Canada reported on August 13: "Ontario says it will sell recreational cannabis through an online retail channel when it is legalised this fall, with plans to have pot in private retail stores early next year."
Ontario is quite obviously preparing itself for the expected windfall, while we in Jamaica, the place where many Canadians over umpteen years have spent their vacations in Jamaica beautifully high on Jamaican weed, have fallen into a state of torpor in developing a Jamaica-based ganja industry.
What about Jamaica participating in the ganja-seed side of operations? And who better than the Jamaican people, in collective groupings, are more suited to expand the tourism menu and push for a real ganja-based tourism experience with a multiplicity of products and packaged plans.
If ganja in Jamaica is freed up for recreational use, the big all-inclusives here will immediately move to begin cashing in as they develop packages suited for the stoners. What about those who exist outside of those ornate walls of paradise?
In the freeing up and development of an industry like ganja, the State, which will be collecting much-needed tax revenue from a market-driven and regulated industry, will be forced to make illegal those street producers that are not part of the tax-paying economy.
Which means, the streetside vendor now selling '50 bag' and '100 bag' will find themselves once again under the boot of the state.
Adding a few shelves to your cabinet, PM Holness?
In the PNP seeking an active and relevant political presence at its September annual conference, the party could not have been given a better gift that suspicions of corruption at Petrojam.
One also knows that Cornwall Regional Hospital and its sick-building syndrome will be rehashed and sufficiently embellished as the PNP party faithful gather next month.
For considerably longer than one or two brief moments, PM Holness, a man who prides himself on his take-charge leadership, found himself in a stall, gingerly picking his way in trying to bring about a well-needed Cabinet coherence.
"After the JDIP controversy with Mike Henry in late 2011 when a resignation was requested, the relationship between Mike and the PM was cold and they did not have a speaking relationship for a considerable period," said a JLP party insider to me last Wednesday.
"The PM has not retreated as you have written. I believe he thinks he acted too quickly on Mike in 2011 and he doesn't want to make his moves too early and repeat the same mistake, even politically so," he said. "That's what he did on the Wheatley matter."
"So, who is going to be the new minister of that important energy ministry?" I asked.
"I honestly don't think anyone of us knows at this time. If the prime minister knows it, he hasn't shared it with anyone who is authorised to talk on his behalf," he said.
I told him that the JLP has provided the Opposition PNP with new life, and the PNP has sensed in the prime minister a hint of weakness, of creeping vacillation. He responded by saying, "It is not all bad as the PNP is making it out to be. A lot of it is the PNP blowing hot air at the flimsiest of suspicions, so much of what is being disseminated is skilfully being manipulated and strategised by the PNP.'
"Oh, isn't that the reality of what we would expect a party in opposition to do?" I said. He didn't bother to respond and we went on to talk about other subjects.
The prime minister has said that changes to come in assigning new Cabinet responsibilities should not be seen as a reshuffle. One hopes that in the PM seeking a new committee to curb violence (useless in my estimate), he is not deliberately using that as a stalling tactic.
Cabinet 'realignment' is just a reshuffle by another name. You know that, PM.
- Mark Wignall is a public affairs communicator.