Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Tale of Two Presidents

President Barack Obama gave his farewell address to the nation this past Tuesday, and apart from the unorthodox and somewhat mushy setting - giving it before an audience of 18,000 in a convention  center in Chicago instead of from the Oval Office in the White House - it was an exemplary speech.
He reminded the American people that democracy is not something you just participate in every two or four years and urged people to get politically involved in between.  He very skillfully touted his biggest achievements while acknowledging what remains to be done, and he defended the rights of immigrants and the grievances of racial minorities while reminding everyone that many if not most white males are likely to be alienated not by racism but by the enormous amount of economic change they cannot comprehend, as well as incomprehensible cultural change (nice to see that he noticed all the rock radio stations that have gone off the air lately! ;-) ).  But most of all, he urged Americans on different sides of the political and cultural debates to get out of their respective bubbles, listen to news and opinions that don't conform to their own world views, and engage with their opponents live in and person as opposed to trading insults on the Internet.
The speech, which included gratitude for his wife, his daughters, and Vice President Joe Biden, was very classy indeed.
And then there's this guy.
Donald Trump spent his first press conference in nearly six months defending both himself against charges of bizarre sexual activities in a Moscow hotel room that President Obama and his wife had slept in and defending his plans to put his business in a trust upon assuming the Presidency on Friday.  (He also declared that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee, though he only did so after almost everyone else did.)  As it turned out, defending himself against accusations of sexual perversity, which the Kremlin was thought to have evidence of for possible extortion purposes, was the easy part.  His plans to put his businesses in a trust held by his sons without actually selling them was universally panned by a bipartisan array of legal experts as being insufficient, and this move only raised more questions than it answered. Since Trump's real estate business earns foreign money, and since Trump would still own it, he would technically benefit from foreign revenue, which is unconstitutional.  Well, that's the layman's' explanation of it.  The bottom line is that Trump could violate the Constitution and open himself to possible impeachment.
But he likely won't be convicted, because then we'd get this guy!
Worry. Worry a lot.
Because the decline of rock radio is the least of our problems.

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