While much of Washington is currently atwitter (and a-Twitter, of course) over the growing possibility that in the near future, one or more top White House advisors may be shown the door (centering, so far, around Mike Flynn, Sean Spicer, and Reince Priebus), I personally think Trump should consider cutting his losses in a different way. Palace intrigue is always fun to speculate about, of course, but aside from personalities, President Donald Trump should really consider just cutting his losses on the whole idea of a "temporary ban" on immigration. He should, in short, declare victory and move on.
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No, that's not a Donald Trump hair joke. It is nothing more than the end of a simile on lying. Rugs are the epitome of lying, since nothing lies more obviously than a rug. Of course, I could have gone with a different motif, but Al Franken had already used the title: "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them," so I had to go with what was available, as it were.
I had fully intended to write another column postulating that our president and a few of his advisors are nothing short of blithering idiots (you know, the usual thing), but then I got hooked into the modern world of technology and instead sat through the entire hour-long oral arguments hearing in Washington v. Trump, which turned out to be fascinating. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals helpfully live-streamed the audio of a conference call where the lawyers from the Trump administration and the state of Washington made their case to a three-judge panel, on the merits of the temporary restraining order that a district judge in Washington issued that shut down President Trump's executive order banning people from seven countries from entering the United States. So any citizen could, in effect, sit in the courtroom and hear the cases made. I have to admit a certain level of wonky awe that this is the world we live in -- where such things are not just possible, but are now routine.
If it weren't such a serious subject, the irony would be downright hilarious. Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried his hand at being politically correct. Why he did so is a mystery known only to the inner workings of the Trump administration, but the eventual outcome was nothing short of utter failure -- undermined, in the end, by his own boss.
Tonight was (finally!) the last presidential debate of the 2016 election season. I thought it was a better debate (if less entertaining) than the first two, personally. A lot of actual policy positions were discussed, the candidates interacted with each other without so much of the "everyone's screaming at once" interludes, and the moderator kept the subjects moving along at a good clip. So my overall impression of the final debate was that it was a lot more like a normal presidential debate than the previous two.
Well, the first presidential debate is a done deal, and as always I like to quickly type out my own personal reactions before reading everyone else's, to give you an opinion uninfluenced by the herd mentality of the rest of the media.
One of the risks I regularly take as a blogger is to write and publish my own reactions to major political events (like debates) before I even look at what anyone else is saying. This assures the reader that my opinions and perceptions will be untainted by groupthink, and solely my own. I cannot follow the pack, as it were, if I have no idea where they're headed. But, as with any risk, occasionally it puts me in a position at odds with the political universe.
Tonight we saw the NBC pre-debate. The non-debate debate. Officially a "candidate forum," both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appeared on the same stage -- but not at the same time. The stage was an impressive one, or at least the exterior shots were, since it was held on an aircraft carrier in New York City. This was to highlight the subject of the event: foreign policy and the military.
Donald Trump finally stopped talking, so I can now start writing. His speech went on for almost an hour and a half, which was a bit much for me -- especially after an exhausting week of listening to Republicans talk. But that's the end of the evening, so let's go back to the beginning and see how we got here.
Heading into tonight's speechifying, I was convinced that Ted Cruz would emerge afterwards as the heir apparent to the Republican nomination in 2020, should Donald Trump fail to win in November. Now, I'm not so sure.
But before we get to the big story of the night, let's start at the beginning. Today, the realization finally dawned in the Trump camp that they had to do something to stop the bleeding over the plagiarism storyline. A staffer was summarily dragged out who offered to fall on her own sword, and magnanimous Donald pardoned her, saying "everyone makes mistakes." So they likely successfully prevented the story from continuing for another day. But it would have been overshadowed anyway (obviously) by the end of the night.