Bob McKinney

It had been my intention to write a column about the weather — the absurdly hot September we had; the autumnal equinox being ushered in with record high temperatures; and the continuation of same right into October, the month we’re supposed to be feeling that nip in the air.

I had planned a pretty good tirade about it.

As I submit this piece, however, we have finally had a small break. And by that, I mean we might have temperatures in the 80s during the day rather than the high 90s. I’ll take it.

I don’t pretend to know anything about global warming. I have long suspected the extremists who tell us the sky is falling (figuratively speaking) are a little overboard, and those who deny it exists are not wanting to face reality. I always tend to believe the truth lies somewhere between the polar ends.

Does global warming have anything to do with the unseasonable heat we have had? I don’t know, but I know it’s been hot — hotter than I ever remember in September or October.

But I’ll leave that debate to the scientists (or the non-scientists who like to talk about it).

Although I hate to be disagreeable, I simply cannot abide the kind of oppressive hot weather we have had for the last month. It has surpassed anything we had from June through August, what we think of as the summer months.

We bought new deck furniture a few months ago, including a nice outdoor table at which we can have leisurely meals and entertain guests. I knew we would not be able to immediately enjoy it but surely, I thought, come mid-September or so, we could spend some evenings out there. The joke was on me.

Folks so badly want things to cool off that they pretend. Wilted mums adorn front porches, along with sad-looking pumpkins and gourds that look like they might melt if that were possible.

A humorist I enjoy put it this way: “It’s going to be 93 degrees today, and my wife is putting on a scarf like she can just make fall happen on her own.”

It’s true. You can start wearing wool while consuming Oktoberfest beer and/or pumpkin spice latte, but it’s not going to make it cooler outside.

And I have no doubt, with the lower temperatures we are finally now experiencing, we’ll see all kinds of sweaters and scarves. That will be a little much, since we’ll still be having very warm temperatures during the day, but we’re desperate for the season to change.

So I won’t chastise anyone. We’ve waited too long. I’m taking my blanket out to the deck where I’ll be enjoying some hot apple cider.

Could it happen?

The national political climate is not much better these days. (How’s that for a segue?)

Democrats have wanted to impeach President Trump since the day of his inauguration, and it’s not for lack of trying (by some) that it has not yet happened.

While there are those who would have proceeded after the Mueller report, cooler heads, guided by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, knew the political risk would be too great. There was not enough there.

But with the whistleblower report of the telephone call to the Ukrainian President in which Trump allegedly pressed his foreign counterpart to investigate the son of former Vice President Biden (frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination) regarding business dealings in that country, Democrats might finally have something with legs.

If Trump did, in fact, seek personal gain during that call, then the standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors” prescribed in the Constitution could be met.

But it’s a tricky situation. Democratic House members need only think back to former President Clinton and the articles of impeachment delivered by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives to a Senate with a Democratic majority.

There was never a chance Clinton would be removed from office, even after having committed perjury. He now enjoys life as a popular former president and fell just short of becoming the first U.S. First Husband.

Party lines are even more distinct today. Unless the investigation turns up something more implicating than what we know thus far, causing GOP moderates to consider jumping ship, it’s a virtual certainty a Senate trial will go in Trump’s favor.

Democratic operatives, beginning with the end in mind, must weigh the effect that would have on the election.

Even without a conviction by the Senate, could impeachment proceedings taint the Trump presidency enough to cost him a second term? Or would it work to his advantage, with Trump chiding the Dems for wasting everyone’s time with a groundless impeachment, and then sailing triumphantly back into the Oval Office?

I wouldn’t venture a guess. But it’s a safe bet, as the air cools down in the weeks to come, this little matter will be heating up.

Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at

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