I take one day off from writing about “he who would be king” and look what happens! I will be busily pounding the keyboard this afternoon!
First, Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chief … former campaign chief, who was already superseded by Steve Bannon earlier this week, resigned this morning. I was not surprised, though the mainstream media seem to be all agog. I thought he might wait a week or two, but the handwriting was on the wall. His opinions were no longer the ones that mattered, and furthermore, it would appear that Manafort is about to have his own troubles. Trump already got what he wanted from Manafort anyway, and it was not campaign advice. Let that one sink in for just a minute.
Yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump gave his first speech since announcing the campaign shake-up that placed Steve Bannon in the position of campaign chief. It is being touted as an “apology speech”, and as a ‘departure’ from his usual brashness. Don’t buy it, folks. He apologized to no one in particular and for nothing specific. Here is all he said:
“Sometimes in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues. But one thing; I can promise you this: I will always tell you the truth.”
77 words to make up for thousands of insults to women, Hispanics, Muslims, disabled people, African-Americans, and a multitude of individuals who disagreed with him at one point or another. Certainly he regrets it, but only because it cost him in the polls. And “where it … caused personal pain” refers only to his own ‘pain’. There is no sincerity here whatsoever, and if anybody buys into this faux ‘apology’, then please give me a call, as I just happen to have a really lovely bridge in New York City that I am looking to sell!
Particularly note the last line of the ‘apology’, the one where he promises to “always tell you the truth”. One must wonder when he plans to start said ‘truth-telling’. Thus far, almost every sentence out of his mouth has been either an insult or a lie, sometimes both. I cannot imagine he is going to change his spots at this stage of the game, but I wonder what he hoped to accomplish with this 77-word blurb? Does he think that those of us who have been offended by him are so stupid that we will buy into it and suddenly develop a love for the man? If he does, that is nothing more than yet another insult.
And lastly, Donald Trump and his #1 minion, Mike Pence, visited flood-ravaged Louisiana today. His first faux pas came before he even arrived: he failed to contact Governor John Bel Edwards to let him know of his arrival and discuss his plans. Trump seems to pride himself on not being politically correct, but this failure goes beyond politics, beyond respect for the governor, it is a matter of safety and respect for the victims of the recent floods. Governor Edwards warned Trump not to use this human tragedy as a photo-op for his campaign, but how can one otherwise interpret Trump’s motives? What other reason could he possibly have for going to Louisiana at this time? The official response from the governor’s office was, “We welcome him to (Louisiana), but not for a photo op,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm.” Apparently they do not know much about Trump … to get his hands dirty or write a check is not his way. However, he might be counted on to give out free tickets to his next rally, or a free round of golf at one of his golf courses.
Some people in Louisiana have urged President Barack Obama to cut short a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to visit and view the flood devastation. However, Governor Edwards urged the president to wait a few weeks before visiting as the huge security undertaking involved would interfere with recovery efforts. As did Trump’s unannounced visit. I was watching this morning, as CNN wasted quite a bit of time filming the stairs of Trump’s plane, awaiting his descent. As Trump left the airport, I counted more than nine full-size GMC police vehicles departing, one presumably carrying Trump. Imagine the cost of protecting this Bozo, some of which was born by the Secret Service, but some also by the State of Louisiana. Would not that money have been better spent to help with clean-up and disaster relief? And what can Trump possibly offer to the people of Baton Rouge and outlying areas? He is not the president, not even a Congressman, so he can offer nothing in the way of federal aid, and we all know that Trump does not give from his own pocket. All his visit can possibly accomplish is to hinder clean-up and relief efforts, cost the city and state money, while he toots his own horn. If Mr. Trump truly wishes to help the flood victims, I would direct him to this link where he can find multiple organizations to which he can donate and make a real contribution.
Hillary Clinton has no immediate plans to tour the area, nor does President Obama. It is likely that both will do so at some point, but they are currently exercising discretion out of common sense and respect … two words that are non-existent in the Trump dialogues. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush drew criticism for flying over extensively damaged New Orleans, Louisiana, and then giving a speech in the still-flooded city following Hurricane Katrina. Politicians need to stay home, send money, and let the experts do their job without having to worry about the security of a politician who is there more to be seen and heard than to help.
Some 40,000 homes were damaged and at least 13 people died in Louisiana after a deluge of more than 2-1/2 feet (0.76 meters) in what has been described as the worst U.S. storm since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. President Obama has declared it a federal disaster, freeing up emergency resources. Although waters have receded in many deluged parts, some areas around Lafayette, in the southwestern part of the state, are now experiencing major flooding as the water moves, according to the National Weather Service. Some 86,500 people have already filed for federal aid. Thousands of people must now contend with flood-hit homes and about 4,000 people were in shelters, according to state officials. The Red Cross has said recovery efforts will cost at least $30 million.
Last night I read of a family who had lost everything in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, rebuilt their lives in Baton Rouge, and now have, once again, lost everything. What can one even say to people who have struggled so hard and lost so much? I am at a loss for words, but my heart and thoughts go out to all those who were affected by this disaster.