Trumpster Diving

* When it comes to military matters and potential, geopolitical game-changers that will imperil–and cost–lives, it would really help to have a consensus definition of “imminent.” Otherwise, it has all the credibility of “with all due respect.” But it’s part of the new normal with a real estate-branding prevaricator-in-chief who’s thinking “imminent” domain.

* “We want Iran to behave like a normal nation.”–That was said by an international critic of Iran. Unfortunately that critic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, represents a parallel-universe administration that now lacks not just normalcy, but the ethical and moral high ground to criticize with credibility.

* Sen. Marco Rubio, who once mocked Trump as a “con man” and an “embarrassment,” has, like many of his fellow GOPsters, fawningly fallen in line behind this demagogic president. In fact, those who have taken issue with Trump’s impulsive escalation of tensions with Iran are, according to Rubio, products of “anti-Trump derangement syndrome.” That, of course, would be the self-serving prism of someone now three years into revisionist “pro-Trump sycophancy syndrome.”

* “I’m as accessible as I can be.”–That was the response of White House PRESS secretary Stephanie Grisham when asked–again–why she doesn’t do press briefings. She’s been on the job for six months–after replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders–and has yet to hold a briefing for reporters. An improbably candid response would have been: “I work for Donald Trump who, uh, speaks for himself. He has 68 million Twitter followers. I’m simply next up after (Sean) Spicer and Huckabee Sanders, who gave ‘Saturday Night Live’ way too much material.”

* I was over at the gym (actually the Jewish Community Center) pedaling to my heart’s content on cardio equipment, when I saw on CNN that Trump was addressing the media from the Oval Office. Awkwardly seated next to him, arching an occasional brow and rolling an eye or two, was another head of state. It’s what happens when the president doesn’t deign to do actual press conferences, even for really, really important stuff such as the drone assassination of an Iranian general in Iraq. Anyway, that foreign leader looked familiar.

Then it dawned on me. It was Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who the day before had been in Tarpon Springs for the Epiphany Celebration that included the Cross Dive from the sponge docks. Then I thought, that’s actually pretty good prep to visit someone who deserves his own dunk tank.

* New-normal update. Carnival Cruise Lines has a “cruise-casual” dress code, including a ban on bathing suit attire and men’s tank-tops in the main dining rooms. We get it. Now it has added overall bans on clothing considered offensive or hateful. Wonder if  “MAGA” hats played a part?

* If former national security adviser John Bolton doesn’t testify at the impeachment trial, maybe we’ll find out some impeachment-pertinent information from his book, which could be, well, imminent. Meanwhile, it’s good marketing for unconscionably bad priorities.

* As is Constitutionally mandated, Chief Justice John Roberts presides over the Senate impeachment trial of the president. The one who otherwise presides over the Senate is the vice president. Presumably, the always-prescient Founding Fathers foresaw conflict of interest if the vice president presided over an impeachment trial that could conceivably end with the Veep replacing his boss in the Oval Office. Plus, the 21st-century optics of Mike Pence presiding over the Senate trial of Donald Trump is beyond even an “SNL” cold opening.

* We are reminded, again, why Florida’s Lieutenant Governor is Jeanette Núñez. She co-chairs “Latinos for Trump.”

*Must Donald Trump also look, all too often, like “Il Duce”? Not even Alec Baldwin pulls that off.

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