Alden Graves | Graves Registry: The master of wind
The above quote is probably the only statement that Trump ever made that has the country in almost complete agreement. He should know about it. Never has there been a man who has come so far on sheer wind alone.
Of course, Mr. Trump wasn't referring to the emanations from his big mouth while his tiny hands flail the air around him; he was talking about wind turbines as a source of power. In one of his Romper Room seminars at a campaign rally in Michigan, the president restated his opposition to wind power because, among other things, it posed a danger to preoccupied birds and impacted upon farmers.
Mr. Trump has been very concerned about farmers lately. In a contortion of logic that could only have incubated in the president's vast empty cavern of a mind, they are victims of the exorbitant amount of money it is costing to restore luxuries like clean water and electricity to American citizens in Puerto Rico.
No mention so far about any concern for the devastating impact of his mania for tariffs on the farmers who once comprised a substantial segment of the MAGA crowd.
Even more ominously, if the wind wasn't blowing and generating electricity, his base might miss an episode of "Fox and Friends" and where would that leave them when every reputable news outlet in the country was telling a different story?
The real reason that Trump is so vocally opposed to wind turbines is the fact that he enjoys broad support from the fossil fuel industry, a major player in the systematic deterioration of the quality of life on this planet. The president has repeatedly — and despicably — reassured coal miners that he will be the guardian angel of their jobs and their livelihoods in much the same way that he would promise the makers of hula hoops that the fad was coming back if it got him enough votes.
Trump was feeling his oats after Attorney General William Barr released a Reader's Digest version of the report Robert Mueller has been working on longer than it took Leo Tolstoy to write "War and Peace." He claimed the report "completely exonerated" him which, to a man with Donald Trump's sleazy history, is probably more of a refrain than asking where the men's room is.
For a few days, it was like Popeye and a can of spinach. He was going to completely close the southern border. He was going to finally ring a death knell for the Affordable Care Act. All the wonderful Trumpian things he dreams about when he sets his orange head down at night.
Some adults must have explained to him that closing the border would wreak economic havoc (not to mention the human cost involved which, of course, Trump never considers).
The political mileage he got from Barr's letter also was being jeopardized by his insistence on resurrecting the health care issue that had cost the Republicans dearly in the 2018 midterms. Now we are going to have to wait for the absolutely fabulous Republican plan for health care reform until after Trump's triumphant reelection in 2020 when both houses of congress have been restored to the GOP and the Easter Bunny visits every home twice.
Try and look at the good side. If Barr's summation of the report is an accurate reflection of Mueller's findings, it may be one of the few instances when Donald Trump was actually telling the truth.
But William Barr's portly frame would not be settling into a chair in the Attorney General's office if he hadn't previously shown some —shall we say — affinity for sympathizing with the administration's "witch hunt" point of view. Installing a person who was scrupulously unbiased about an issue that Mr. Trump has expended so much of the aforementioned wind denying would hardly be in keeping with the president's tendency to place his own political survival considerably higher that of paltry annoyances like justice and truth. Even a devoted acolyte like Jeff Sessions wasn't willing to play along.
Another aspect of the 2018 elections has become very apparent: The unwillingness of the House to act as a surrogate fan club. Tricia Newbold, an 18-year veteran of the White House Security Personnel Office, told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that 25 administration officials were denied security clearance for reasons ranging from drug use to massive indebtedness to susceptibility to foreign influence.
At least two members of the 25 were described as very senior White House staff. Although the media has been somewhat coy about naming the pair, it isn't much of a stretch to imagine that Ms. Newbold is referring to the Prince and Princess of this decrepit Camelot. He, forever hustling to unload an overpriced white elephant of a building he bought in Manhattan that was dragging his family's real estate empire into bankruptcy. She, with her vast background in government service selling overpriced trinkets made by near slave labor in foreign countries while she offers platitudes urging women to succeed on their own merits.
All 25 denials were overturned and those extremely risky and/or incompetent people are now privy to some of the nation's most sensitive secrets.
I think another reason that the United States has to settle for the third- and fourth-rate people populating the Trump administration can be found in a metaphor: When you alienate, insult, or offend enough people, then you damn well better be willing to settle for Maroon 5 for your halftime entertainment.
Alden Graves writes a regular column for the Banner.
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