Donald Trump just got thumped by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. There's no denying it. Even Kellyanne Conway can't spin her way out of this one. Three judges unanimously wrote a 29-page opinion explaining why Trump needed to be thumped. This means he can't even whine that it was a "partisan" decision, since these judges were appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents. Even more satisfying is the fact that even if the temporary restraining order which blocked implementation of Trump's Muslim ban is appealed to the Supreme Court, a 4-4 tie vote would just reconfirm the thumping the Ninth Circuit just gave Trump. We certainly hope this turns out to be just the first in a long line of setbacks the court system deals out to Trump, on a regular and continuing basis.
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But we digress. Donald Trump's Muslim ban, signed into existence as we were writing last week's column, was certainly the biggest story of the week. Spontaneous protests sprang up at international airports across the country as the chaotic implementation made it plain that this executive order just wasn't thought through all that much. Nobody knew what the order did cover and didn't cover, all the way from White House officials down to the border guards who were expected to somehow implement this vague and badly-defined policy. Clarifications had to be issued on a daily basis. The draft of the order simply did not go through any of the normal vetting channels, with some cabinet-level officials only seeing it hours before it was signed. The Trump administration is now starting to resemble (take your pick) either the gang who couldn't shoot straight or the Keystone Kops.
From the shores of Gitchee Gumee comes, as always, the official banished words list of the year. Every year (since 1976) the Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan graces us with this list of overused and annoying phrases and the 2017 list is longer than ever. Without further ado, let's get right to this year's crop of banished words and phrases.
Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column!
Normally we open our annual awards column with an explanation of why John McLaughlin shouldn't sue us. It's become traditional, in fact, to skate the thin ice of "homage" and "satire" versus straight-up theft of intellectual property (which, of course, we'd never ever do... or, at least, admit).
Next Friday (and the Friday after that), we're going to have a special "in memoriam" edition of our year-end "McLaughlin Awards." For the uninitiated, this means handing out basketfuls of prizes, in a myriad of categories.
So, today, rather than write a column we can all cheerfully bicker over, instead I am throwing the doors open to nominations from all and sundry.
This article was written in response to a Huffington Post article by Max Weiss, which was in turn written as a response to a Slate article. The original Slate article was titled: "So We're Still Blaming Jill Stein And James Comey, Huh?" and the Weiss response was titled: "Things I Blame For Hillary Clinton's Loss, Ranked." But the Weiss list was so far removed from my own feelings about the Clinton loss that I felt it was time to respond with my own blame list. It's been a month since the election, so hopefully enough time has passed that Democrats can discuss what went so wrong. So here is my own list of the things I blame for the 2016 election loss, ranked. And I have to quote Weiss in saying (while he was blaming Bernie Sanders): "I know this is going to piss a lot of people off, but so be it."
Program Note: What follows is a repeat column from eight years ago, and the only time I've ever sat down and typed out a transcript because I was shocked that it didn't already exist on the web somewhere. This was the first time I ever laid eyes on Craig Ferguson's late-night comedy talk show, and I have to admit I was hooked from this point on. Oddly, he almost never mentioned politics again (except for the occasional sex scandal jokes) -- this was a completely out-of-character rant for him.
I don't have any profound thoughts to share today, I should admit right up front. With one week to go before the election, I'm going to take the low road instead.
Yes, it's time once again for our yearly frightfest, where we toss out a spine-tingling nightmare for folks on both sides of the political chasm. Right and left will be quaking in their boots after contemplating the following twisted tales! [Cue: shrieking and chains clanking]