Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump

Being President Will Be Harder That It Looked | Opinion | thepilot.com

Dear President-Elect Trump:

First off, congratulations on the win. It certainly came as a shock to a lot of people, including yours truly. Judging from what I’ve seen since, it also came as a major surprise to you. That look on your face as President Obama and Speaker Ryan showed you around — well, Mr. President-Elect, you looked like you’d just been walloped in the head with a two-by-four.

I just wish I’d been a fly on the wall to see your expression when the national security team gave you your first “deep secrets” briefing. You know, the one where they tell you about what’s really hidden at Area 51, and about that thing they discovered buried under the ice at the South Pole.

Also, I hear from both NBC and The Wall Street Journal that you and your people were surprised to find out that when one administration leaves the White House, they take all their staff people with them, so you have to replace all of them. This is probably something someone should have researched if you really expected to win. Is there a “Presidential Transition for Dummies” book out there? Probably not, since we never needed one before. Sad!

It looks like the presidency is turning out to be a lot harder than you thought, doesn’t it? I see from your “60 Minutes” interview that that big border wall (“taller than this stadium!” you said) is apparently now going to be a fence, at least in some places. Mexico’s still probably not going to pay for it, but I bet you can find some Latino fence company in Texas or Arizona who’ll cut you a deal.

Don’t be surprised if they ask for payment in advance, though. I imagine after hearing about all those other contractors you stiffed, your credit’s not that good.

Of course, since your good buddy and loyal sock-puppet Rudy Giuliani now calls the fence just “a campaign device,” and since the Republicans in Congress don’t like big projects that cost a lot of money, it may not get built at all. Good luck dealing with your fans if that happens.

Speaking of projects that cost a lot of money, I’m glad to see that one of the things you’re talking about is a big investment in infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports and the like, in order to stimulate the economy and put Americans back to work. It was also an excellent idea when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had it. Some might call that “stealing,” but that would be mean-spirited. Just don’t ever use the words “stimulus” or “shovel-ready,” or the Republicans in Congress will make fun of it. And we all know how you react to being made fun of.

On the subject of jobs, I keep hearing that all of these people in the streets protesting against you are “paid protesters.” First, congratulations on creating jobs before you even get into office! But I’m not sure where you apply for them. Please advise.

Hey, remember those coal-mining jobs you said you were going to bring back to places like West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, etc., by cutting regulations? You might want to check with Mitch McConnell. He just said it’s “hard to tell” if just rolling back regulations will lead to an increase in mining jobs.

Also touch base with this guy Nick Carter, president of the Kentucky Coal Association. He told an interviewer, “I would not expect to see a lot of growth because of the Trump presidency,” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Man, those miners are going to be ticked. If I were you, I’d steer clear of those states for a while, assuming you ever intended to go back there at all once you harvested their electoral votes.

Oh. Before I forget, I have a question. You ran against the Republican establishment as well as the Democrats, promising that you’re going to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Yet your chief of staff is going to be Reince Priebus, Mr. Republican Establishment himself. Your transition team is also chock full of the very kind of insiders you ran against. People like Gen. Mike Flynn, who lobbies for defense contractors and who’s been offered the post of national security adviser.

Fox News also reported that Rudy Giuliani, who’s lobbied and been a “consultant” for Venezuela, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is the front-runner for Secretary of State. So my question is, how do you drain the swamp if you’re hiring so many of the alligators?

Anyway, here’s to an interesting four years. Love to Melania and the kids.

Your pal,


Hey, 'Memba When?

This week's Pilot column:

This week, a little trip down memory lane:

Remember back when a public official using a potentially unsecure personal line of communication was a threat to national security and an offense that not only disqualified one for the presidency, but also required that the perpetrator be locked up?

Well, it seems that President-Elect Donald Trump has discovered that having one’s own personal device, however unsecure, isn’t such a big deal.

He’s reportedly demanding that he be allowed to keep his personal Android phone with all its contacts, and has also been taking and making calls to world leaders on the unsecured device.

Oh, and tweeting, of course. Lots of tweeting.

Speaking of tweeting, remember when “safe spaces” were something that the right sneered at? I seem to remember The Pilot’s own Bob Levy doing so just last week. But now it seems that the Republican president-elect is a fan of safe spaces, at least for his Veep.

After the cast of “Hamilton” delivered a speech at curtain call that respectfully told Mr. Pence that “we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us,” Trump took to his unsecured Twitter account to complain that “The Theater (sic) must always be a safe and special place” and demanding that they apologize for their “rude behavior” toward Mr. Pence — an apology that, to his credit, Mr. Pence said he didn’t want because he didn’t consider the speech rude.

That didn’t stop King Donald’s fervent supporters from demanding that the peasants pay a price for their act of disrespect to the sovereign and that the most popular show in the country be boycotted. Yeah, good luck with that.

Speaking of rude behavior, remember when Trump and his minions were chanting “lock her up” in reference to Hillary Clinton’s emails and foundation and Trump himself was telling Secretary Clinton to her face that if he was president, she’d be in jail? Good times, weren’t they?

Now it seems those days are gone, just like Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, etc. Trump told interviewer Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” that he doesn’t “want to hurt the Clintons,” and just this past week, his spokes-harpy, Kellyanne Conway, confirmed that Trump “doesn’t want to pursue” those charges and that, while he was “thinking of many different things” right now, “things that sound like the campaign” are not among them.

Speaking of foundations and the misuse thereof, remember when the Clinton Foundation was, for unspecified reasons, just more evidence of the dastardly secretary’s foul sink of corruption and even more reason to “lock her up”?

The Trump folks seem oddly silent in regard to a recent IRS filing found by the Washington Post concerning the Trump Family Foundation, in which they had to fess up to multiple acts of “self-dealing” and “transferring assets to disqualified persons,” such as Mr. Trump or his family members.

If that language seems a little obscure, it might help to know that if you or I did it, it’d be called “embezzlement.” I guess being indignant about using one’s foundation for personal gain is one of those “things that sound like the campaign” that our new embezzler-in-chief isn’t interested in anymore. To paraphrase Sarah Palin, how’s that drain-y swamp-y thing goin’ for ya?

Oh, and remember when waterboarding was something Mr. Trump thought was pretty keen? Well, in Tuesday’s interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump talked about how he’d spoken with his potential defense secretary, Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, and Mattis told him he’d “never found it to be useful,” so, in Mr. Trump’s new and improved opinion, torture is “not going to make the kind of a difference that a lot of people are thinking.” It’s a heck of a thing when a guy nicknamed “Mad Dog” is the voice of reason.

In the same interview, Mr. Trump, who was adamant that the idea of climate change was a “hoax by the Chinese,” now says he’s going to have an “open mind” on the Paris climate change accords and “look at them very closely.”

Yes, times have certainly changed since Nov. 8, haven’t they? Either that, or nothing Donald Trump said in his presidential campaign has any meaning to him now whatsoever. One wonders if anything does, or if it was all just “campaign devices,” to use Rudy Giuliani’s phrase.

On the one hand, I’m happy if he’s really breaking those awful promises. On the other hand — man, you Trump supporters really got played.