Tag: Donald Trump

The adventures of Reporter Trump

Lost amid all the silliness that came out of President Trump’s first news conference on Thursday – and there was so much to choose from – was his statement that he felt he could have been a good reporter.

Nothing like a good challenge on a rainy Friday afternoon, so, let’s put on our editor’s hat and imagine what kind of stories we’d get from Donald Trump, reporter for the Hometown Commercial Scimitar.*

High school football

A big crowd came out for Friday night’s game between the Hometown High Cougars and those No. 1 tricky Clinton County Warthogs. Not as many as came to my inauguration, but more than for the Women’s March on Washington. I think Clinton got the plays in advance.

Pet of the Week

This is Rover. He’s three years old, has all his shots, is housebroken and loves children. He’s available at the County Animal Shelter. He’s all yours. I prefer dogs that weren’t in the pound.

When the circus comes to town

I got to ride an elephant! (and we thank you, Debbie Speer).

Man on the street

This week’s question: So,how do you like me so far?

At the courthouse

We all knew he was guilty, but the so-called judge ruled against those trying to protect our country. Sad!

And, his exit interview

I’m fired? Fake news! Crooked media is unfair!

* – this space’s tribute to the late Charles Stough, chief copyboy at the BONG Bull, who we think would have appreciated this. If not him, then chief photographer Herman “Speed” Graphic and his Faithful Companion, Typo the Wonder Pig.


Why Bowling Green matters, or, the White House that called ‘wolf’

It happened again Thursday night, and by Friday, it was a social media sensation, for all the wrong reasons.

Trump spokesman Kelllyanne Conway, in the midst of defending the president’s executive order banning travel from several Moslem countries, cited the “Bowling Green massacre” as a reason why the country needs such an action.

Except, as we know by now, there was no Bowling Green massacre.

It was just yet another figment of the collective mind of the Trump administration, just like the overflow crowds at the inauguration, the millions of illegal votes cast that denied Trump a victory in the overall vote totals and the threat grizzly bears present to American school children.

Social media responded as only it can, with everything from green bowling balls, green ribbons to remember the “victims” and faux historical markers.

It’s good for a laugh, but looking at the big picture, even Trump boosters should worry.

Call them lies, falsehoods, half-truths, or, in the Trumpian newspeak that’s all the rage nowadays, “alternate facts,” they’re a series of statements that we’re being asked to buy, even though they have no basis in reality.

And while inventing massacres (personally, I hope no Nate Thurmond memorabilia was destroyed) may seem like a minor sin, it raises the matter of trust.

If Trump and his followers are going to distort the truth on these matter, how do we know they will be telling us the truth when it comes to issues that could lead us into another Constitutional criss, economic calamity or, pray not, war.

It’s the least we could ask of the man with the nuclear codes, isn’t it?

In other news:

  • It’s needed now more than ever. Alas, we have to wait nine days for pitchers and catcher to report, as of Feb. 4.
  • That ancient tome, the Columnist Manifesto (not to be confued with the book by Karl Marx) requires a Super Bowl pick. So we’ll go with the old standby in this case: Good defense always finds a way to stop a good offense, so it’s the Patriots.
  • Can’t help but think the NFL was delivered a huge karma cookie over the past few weeks with a result that was opposite of what it wanted: The Chargers moving to Los Angeles, while the Raiders will remain in Oakland rather than a glitzy playpen in Las Vegas.
  • It’s still hard to see the NFL working in Vegas, the gambling question aside.

For all the talk of increased tourism from fans of visiting teams and “guys weekends,” look at the map. Outside of metro Las Vegas, what’s the nearest big city: Kingman? Barstow? San Bernardino?

And in between, a lot of sand and spent Acme products.

How much is too much for stadia?

And for the last blog entry of the Obama era, thoughts naturally turn to … sports!

  • T’was the Romans that first developed the theory that bread and circuses were all that was needed to keep the masses happy.

It’s become clear over the last few months the NFL has bent the words of Juvenal for its own purposes: Come up with the bread, and we’ll keep the circus in town, but keep the cash in your pockets, the league will load the wagons and go elsewhere.

After 55 seasons of entertaining the masses in San Diego, the NFL is taking its show elsewhere, much like it did in St. Louis and appears to be on the verge of doing to Oakland – again.

All for the lack of an adequate playpen.

The masses may be unhappy, but in the NFL’s thinking, they’ll get over it, right?

It’s part of a disturbing pattern in the high-stakes game of musical chairs called keeping the team.

Look at Atlanta, for example, where not only have the Braves have abandoned their home of 20 years, Turner Field (originally built for the 1996 Olympics) for a yard in the suburbs, but a new stadium is being built right next to the Georgia Dome for the Falcons.

Then there’s Phoenix, where not only are the Diamonbacks making noise about wanting to replace fairly-new Chase Field, but there’s talk of giving the Suns and Coyotes a replacement for their recenlty-built arenas.

And don’t forget the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where the Texas Rangers will be getting a domed stadium by 2020, which makes on wonder why one wasn’t included when their current ballpark was built in 1994.

How much is enough for deep-pocketed sports owners? Why are they afraid to open their own checkbooks, much like Walter O’Malley did when building Dodger Stadium, or seeking funds from the private sector, like the Giants did while building AT&T Park or the Warriors in the runup to this week’s groundbreaking for Chase Center in San Francisco?

And how much is too much to ask taxpayers to pay for? Especially after years of support through ticket sales and purchases of team swag?

San Diego and St. Louis taxpayers have given their answer. Oakland’s may be sending one soon.

  • We’ll acknowledge Friday will be a difficult day for a lot of folks. Me included. After all, I start to get antsy when it’s 24 days until pitchers and catchers …
  • Any truth to the rumor the Univesity of Montana Grizzly Band was not invited to the inaugural parade in case the route is detoured past a school?

  • And, finally, thanks Obama, for the last eight years and giving us hope. To think the next time we hear a presidential address, it might become a Festivus-like airing of greivances is disturbing on many levels.

Old Glory and false flags

Another Tuesday, another show … let’s get to it!

  • Flag burning? Really, Donald? Let’s forget that it’s already been declared free speech under the First Amendment (and we’ve seen how familiar Trump is with the Constitution). And let’s also forget this was not an issue in the campaign.

Instead, let’s call it what it really is: A diversionary tactic from a) Monday’s ridiculous and unsubstantiated allegations about illegal voters costing Trump the popular vote, and b) another round of Cabinet appointments destined to generate controversy.

Trump already has a chief of staff in Republican party chairman Reince Priebus. I’m starting to think he needs a nanny on staff as well, that one person who won’t let him tweet until he finishes all his vegetables, cleans his room, takes out the trash, walks the dog AND cleans the cat’s litter box.

Otherwise, it’s another play to his base that may still be pissed that charges won’t be filed against Hillary Clinton, Obamacare may survive in some form or same-sex marriages will remain legal. Or, if you’ll pardon the expression, a false flag.

  • The tweetstorms may play to the base, create a few laughs and provide something new for the cable gabfests, but consider this: In seven or so weeks, he’s going to be president.
  • Coaching vacancies make strange bedfellows, so it’s not surprising to hear former Fresno State football coach Pat Hill may have thrown his hat into the ring for the vacancy at San Jose State.

Some Bulldog supporters seem aghast that Hill would consider taking the gig with the school’s rival, but are these not the same supporters that ran Hill out of town a few years ago, only to wish he’d return before favorite son Jeff Tedford emerged as a candidate and eventually got the job.

Perhaps Hill just wants to get back on the sidelines after a few years in the broadcast booth. Or maybe it really is all about the Benjamins. But playing the loyalty card seems a bit far-fetched.

It’s happened before, perhaps never more famously than in baseball, when Leo Durocher moved across town from the Brooklyn Dodgers to New York Giants in mid season. Bo Schembechler was an assistant coach at Ohio State for several years before becoming head coach at Michigan. And Rick Pitino coached both Kentucky and Louisville sandwiched around a four-year stint with the Boston Celtics.

  • Hill would add a little star power to San Jose not seen since Dick Tomey took the helm. Otherwise, this seems like most other openings in the Mountain West, one for an assistant coach looking to have his own team with an eye on a Power 5 job, ala Mike MacIntyre, who left the Spartans for Colorado, which has a berth in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game.
  • Rumors the Red Sox and Giants were discussing a deal that would return Pablo Sandoval to San Francisco were shot down quickly last week. Not only did it not make baseball sense, but there wasn’t enough time to prepare Bay area restaurants for the return of the Panda, who, apparently, will have to be satisfied by joining Cliff and Norm for the Feeding Frenzy special at the Hungry Heifer.

Athletes are people. So are people

Trade talk is the bread-and-low-fat vegetable spread of sportstalk radio and social media. A lot of times it’s just that, talk. But there’s times when it not only is nonsense, but seems like a desperate plea for attention.

Take, for example, the talk Monday the Golden State Warriors were about to make a blockbuster deal involving Klay Thompson.

The very idea was preposterous from the start, considering the massive rebuild the Warriors’ roster went though over the summer to accommodate Kevin Durant, the fact that the season is just a few weeks old, and, after an early stumble or two, Golden State is starting to shed the training wheels and go full Tour de France.

Yet, it was out there, so had to be dealt with. And, thankfully, one local reporter had to remind us the players are human beings with families, feelings, etc., which seems to be quickly forgotten in this era of media hype and fantasy leagues.

It’s easy to dismiss that as so much fuel for the 24/7/365 news cycle sports has become.

It would be nice to be able to dismiss in the same way some of the incidents in the past few days, based on race, gender and other factors, in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

Take, for example, the African-American veteran who was denied a free meal at Chili’s on Veteran’s Day when his service was called into question – erroneously – by a white veteran.

Or, the San Jose State student who said she was attacked on campus in what’s believed to be a racially-motivated attack. Another Muslim student, at San Diego State, was robbed, with the suspects making remarks about her faith and referencing Trump’s election, according to news reports.

Yes, in an election cycle where the sleaze-o-meter was at an all-time high, has human decency been thrown out like the baby’s bathwater?

These victims, like athletes, have families as well. They’re like the rest of us, working to improve their lot in life and, one hopes, leave the world in a little better shape than they found it.

And here in Santa Cruz County, bless the high school students , even though their role in the voting process was limited, for their role in social activism on Monday.

Students from Harbor, Santa Cruz and Soquel high schools staged a march protesting the election on Monday, while pupils at Kirby Prep have been involved in discussions regarding immigration, which led to a sit-in.

Is the administration-in-waiting listening? From the appointment of the head of a news site with racist and anti-Semitic tendencies to a key advisory post in the administration, the continued attacks on news media reporting less-than-favorable stories and talk of bringing back the House Un-American Activities Committee, signs aren’t good. The echoes of finding “Second Amendment solutions” from the campaign trail are still ringing. And remember talk of rioting in the streets over the results? Those are becoming true.

Which is why protests, while nice, must also be turned into action after Jan. 20.

Going all-in: How the election was lost

This isn’t the blog post I expected to be writing today. But I’m not alone in that department.

Like it or not, in a few weeks, it’s gonna be President Donald Trump.

What happened?

What do you say we set the wayback machine to January 2008 – the last time a president was being termed out – and a Saturday night candidates forum in New Hampshire televised by ABC featuring all the candidates from the two major parties.

And quite a field it was, with about a half-dozen candidates from both parties, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards for the Democrats and John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney for the Republicans.

It was an exceptional night, that’s for sure. I recall the moderator, when the debate moved from the Republicans to the Democrats, calling all invited candidates on the stage and told the audience that one of the people before them, in a year, would be preparing to become President of the United States.

This time around, though, we only had that on the Republican side, which may be to the Democrats’ downfall.

Republicans were offered a choice of several candidates – Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, to name just a few – and made their choice.

The Democrats? T’was Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with a brief appearance by Martin O’Malley.

And, we’ve since learned via Wikileaks, the Democrats stacked the deck against Sanders to go all-in with Clinton.

Call it Wednesday-morning quarterbacking, but of the errors made in this campaign on both sides, this was a biggie for the Dems. As we know from our years of watching and playing poker, going all-in has its risks and rewards, so you better have the right hand.

Perhaps they thought Clinton would just pick off where Obama left off when she entered the Oval Office, riding the coattails of his enormous popularity.

Clearly, like so many political observers, they miscalculated the intense dislike many have for Clinton, dismissing it as so much noise from right-wing oriented media.

And, try as she did, like during the second debate, she couldn’t overcome the image of being a better policy wonk than a campaigner, which has become even more critical in the era of 24/7 election coverage not only on the cable news channels, but expanded to social media as well in ways that didn’t exist in 2008.

Trump, on the other hand, took to the social media aspect well. A bit too well at times, but it did keep his name in the news.

One other thing to consider too: Except for Obama’s two terms, the country has been led by a member of the Bush or Clinton family since 1992. And enough was enough.

Heading into Tuesday, it appeared to be the Republicans that were in disarray, torn between the true conservatives, the Tea Partiers and the religious right, with a few neo-cons and other hanger-ons along for the ride. It still is, since Trump can’t be pigeonholed into any one group.

But the Democrats are in bad shape too, trying to figure out what went wrong as well as finding a way to capture the energy Sanders and his supporters bought to the table.

Keep your seat belts fastened and your batting helmets on, the next couple of years are going to be a bumpy ride, no matter who you voted for.

Finding reasons not to support a candidate

Less than two weeks to go until this election cycle is over, and just when you hope the Republican party and standard bearer Donald Trump will give us a reason to vote for them, instead we get more reasons not to.

In case you’re scoring at home, and doing that nowadays is much like trying to track all the moves in a split-squad spring training game early in the season with a ball-point pen:

  • Trump continues to bring up the specter of a “rigged” vote, despite all evidence to the contrary demonstrating the integrity of a system that’s served this humble experiment in democracy well the past 200+ years.
  • Republican leaders in the Senate, after doing a dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge worthy of the gang at Average Joe’s Gym on why they couldn’t hold hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee during an election year, saying they wanted to be sure the people’s voice was heard, now indicating they may not hold hearings at all even after the election. http://www.salon.com/2016/10/27/ted-cruz-suggests-delaying-nomination-of-supreme-court-justice-to-replace-antonin-scalia-indefinitely/
  • And now we have the story of a Kansas state representative, in response to an African-American woman singing the national anthem on one knee before a Miami Heat game, suggesting she “go home” to where she came from. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article110408017.html

Is this really the type of country we want, with conspiracies around every corner, imagined or real?

Do we want one where our government leaders seem to draw their inspiration from the words of Eric Cartman, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTc3zcnIZOw

And do we really want one in which the way to deal with problems in our society is to shoot the messenger and pretend the problem is solved?

I don’t think so.

Not to say Hillary Clinton is without sin (and let’s face it, we’re all sinners). Some of what we’re seeing via Wikileaks does raise questions. But she’s not the ogre being portrayed via right wing radio.

Once upon a time there was an honest discussion of the issues facing our country, and our representatives not only kept it civil, but also found a way to work out our differences.

Let’s hope that day is not gone forever.