Politics

Donald Trump comes to Ypsilanti, MI

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What an unexpected treat! No, I’m not talking about the heavily redacted tax forms that were leaked from the White House…no, I’m talking about our Commander-In-Queef in the orange flesh! In my city! About 5 miles from my house, at the old Willow Run auto plant that has recently been converted to an autonomous car testing facility.

Will he use the word “bigly”? Will he take credit for the economic upturn, despite being a President for less than a financial quarter? Will he accidentally get run over by an autonomous car?

Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

Does Donald Trump have a child with ASD?

Barron Trump is a child who has already lived an amazing life in his first 10 years, and his life promises to become even more amazing now that his father and mother will be President and First Lady Of The United States.

There are rumors going around that he may have ASD (autism spectrum disorder). These rumors started about 2 years ago, and resurfaced during Barron’s appearance at one of Donald Trump’s speeches. It is said that he was showing typical ASD behavior, such as twitching, lack of eye contact, and nervousness.

Of course, the more likely explanation is that he WAS nervous! Try to imagine yourself at 10, in front of a massive crowd such as he was.

While there is no definitive proof to these rumors, there are some interesting points to be made:

-Donald Trump has been commenting on his belief in the largely debunked link between autism and vaccines since 2007…or since Barron was an infant. Trump has made these comments on news shows as well as on his personal Twitter webpage. Here is an article that has aggregated screenshots of his comments.

-Although the vaccine link is largely agreed to have been debunked, there is a definite correlation between parental age and risk of ASD. Donald and Melania Trump had the largest possible risk factors as parents, since Donald was almost 60 years old while Melania was 35 when Barron was conceived. It has been stated that older fathers and younger mothers have a higher risk for children with ASD, and in Donald and Melania’s case the risk was 4.4 times higher, with an almost 1:2 chance of developing mental illness in general.

-Trump has also donated to charities that support and try to raise awareness of the largely debunked ASD/vaccine link, in particular the charity of actress Jenny McCarthy, “Generation Rescue”.

Donald Trump wouldn’t seem like the most understanding person when it comes to children with special needs, especially with his disparaging comments of disabled adults in the past. But if Barron was, in fact, a child with ASD, it could do an enormous good for autism awareness in the U.S., and worldwide. It has been said that 1 in approximately 55 children are born “on the spectrum”, which would mean that there are millions of children and adults in the U.S. that have ASD. 

The last president to have a family member with special needs was John F. Kennedy, whose sister Rosemary was institutionalized. She was, by most accounts, an eccentric if basically normal adult who underwent a lobotomy in the 1940’s, which permanently incapacitated her. Whether due to strong familial guilt or a genuine passion for the cause, the Kennedys would thereafter donate money and resources to raise awareness of mental illnesses and disabilities, with Eunice Kennedy founding the Special Olympics in 1968.

Of course, this is all just speculation at this point. Donald Trump wouldn’t release his tax returns, and he wouldn’t even release a legitimate medical record, despite becoming the oldest POTUS (at 70) in history. He probably won’t be commenting on his child’s medical records any time soon.

But, then again, even if Barron does have ASD, he is surely on the high end of the spectrum, since by all accounts he is an intelligent and talented child. I don’t think that more kids have ASD than in the past, but that there has been more testing, and over-testing in some instances. The same kid who might have been “quirky” or “a loner” 50 years ago would probably qualify for an ASD diagnosis nowadays. It would not be surprising if Barron is on the autism spectrum due to his parents’ risk factors and his father’s sudden interest in ASD topics shortly after his birth, especially since Trump rarely comments on any topic that doesn’t affect him directly or indirectly. Although, it would not be surprising at all if Barron wasn’t on the spectrum, either.

Regardless of all the speculation, Barron will be living a once-in-a-lifetime dream of having a presidential Dad, and living in the White House. I genuinely wish him the best of luck, and I hope he gets to play with his toy cars and airplanes in the Oval Office…!

The Trump transition: the first 60 days

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Well, this past week has certainly been crazy. Donald Trump pulled the biggest political coup of the 21st century thus far by winning the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As shocked as you may be about it, keep in mind that no one is more shocked than Trump himself. He initially ran for president just to see how successful he could be in the primaries, with no expectation of actually securing a nomination. Trump was basically in a win-win situation: if he lost the election, which for much of his campaign he expected to, he would still have secured a lot of political capital and he would have leveraged his presidential run into more Trump-related business, such as the so-called Trump TV media venture.

But…here we are, with Donald Trump as commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation of the free world. A man who would randomly grab a woman’s genitals and not think anything of it will now grab onto the presidential suitcase with the nuclear codes in case all hell breaks loose. As much controversy as Trump received over his sexually explicit comments, they are minor compared to the other baggage that he brings into the White House. Here are some of the things that Donald Trump will be concentrating on in the first 60 days, instead of remedial American History and World History 101 lessons:

Lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits: The king of business litigation still has 75 pending lawsuits open against him, most prominently the one against his former for-profit college Trump University. This wasn’t a hands-off business venture: Trump owned almost 100% of Trump U, and his likeness figured prominently in the “university” advertising, recruiting literature, and coursework. It is in Trump’s best interest to get this federal lawsuit settled as quickly as possible, and he will.

There is also a New York state investigation of the Trump Foundation. Donald Trump spent a good portion of his campaign railing against what he sees as illicit practices by the Clinton Foundation, but at least the Clinton Foundation actually gives to charitable causes on a regular basis. Out of all of Trump’s despicable acts, one of the most despicable was promising to pay $6 million to veterans charities during a press conference, but not paying any of them until the media pressured him months later. What DOES the Trump Foundation do? Well, besides laundering money, there’s this: in 2007, $10,000 of foundation money was used to buy a painting of Trump, and in 2014, $20,000 of foundation money was used to buy another painting of Trump. This violates IRS rules against using charity money for personal interests.

One lawsuit that evidently went away was the pending civil suit that accused Trump of raping and beating up a 13 year old child. To be clear, this was a lawsuit that had been pending for quite some time, and was scheduled for a status conference in December. For unknown reasons, the plaintiff decided to cancel the lawsuit last week. Trump has been accused of walking into a locker room while teenage beauty contestants were changing clothes, and a recently released video from 1992 shows Trump telling a 10 year old girl that he would be dating her as soon as she became an adult.

Money, money, money: The O’Jays famous song “For The Love Of Money” took on new life as the theme song for Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice. Now, as Trump makes the transition from business owner to U.S. president, there will be lots of money moving around within his family. Trump plans to hand over managerial oversight of the Trump Organization (a conglomerate that controls all of Trump’s various business ventures) to his children Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka. The three children will have their hands full: along with handling these business ventures, they are also on Trump’s presidential transition team.

Advisers, yes-men, and cabinet members: One of Donald Trump’s most famous phrases during the election was “Drain The Swamp”, which referred to his intentions of getting rid of political insiders in Washington. This is ironic, because the list of Trump’s proposed candidates for his cabinet is as fetid and disgusting, and as full of political insiders, as any swamp imaginable. Here’s who is on Trump’s shortlist (some names are listed twice, as this is just speculation):

Chief Of Staff: Steve Bannon, of Brietbart.com; Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law; Reince Preibus, RNC chairman; Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager

Secretary Of State: John Bolton, former ambassador in the George W. Bush administration; Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor

Attorney General: Rudy Giuliani; Trey Gowdy, U.S. representative; Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey

Secretary Of The Interior: Newt Gingrich

Secretary Of Health And Human Services: Ben Carson, former 2016 presidential candidate

Secretary Of Energy: Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska

Secretary Of Homeland Security: Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County sheriff, Arizona

Adviser or spokesperson: Omarosa Manigault, reality TV star

Does that list send shivers down your spine as it does mine? If it weren’t so frighteningly real, it would make one hell of a reality show.

It looks like President-elect Trump has a busy few weeks ahead of him. Let’s hope that he can get all of this straightened out so that he can have a smooth transition into the presidency.

Canada tells America that we “are already great”

In the biggest viral YouTube video this election season since old Howard Stern archived videos of interviews with Donald Trump, a group of considerate Canucks have made a video telling us that we are great! Of course, this is in reference to the implication that we AREN’T already great and that we need to be made great again. Gee, thanks Canada!

I know a lot of people rip on Canada here in the U.S. In fact, a catchy little ditty called “Blame Canada” was actually nominated for an Academy Award back in 1999! As a Michigan resident, I am very familiar with Canadian culture. So, to return the favor, let me tell YOU how much you are great:

-The 19 year old drinking age (18 years in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec). This one is a given…although it used to be much easier to head over to Windsor for a night of debauchery, before border control and Canada’s (overly) restrictive laws on who can and can’t visit.

-Canada has many metal bands who are awesome: Voivod, Annihilator, Kataklysm, and Despised Icon are all good examples. Rush is seriously awesome, as well. We can almost forgive you for Nickelback and Justin Bieber…almost.

-Canada has some of the most beautiful country in the world, especially in the Northwest Territories. Of course, I’ve never been further north than Toronto, but I’ve seen pictures and they look cool.

-Justin Trudeau seems like a charismatic and laid back guy, and someone whom I’d like to have a beer with. That is usually our voting criteria here in the States…that’s how it works up there, also, right?

-Maple syrup is a very underrated condiment and ingredient. Forget the fake stuff, give me real maple syrup or GTFO.

-Canada has a strong market-based economy AND a relatively successful welfare system! Gee, imagine that.

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2005 was a very bad year for Donald Trump

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Hillary and Bill Clinton, with Donald and Melania Trump, at Trump’s wedding in 2005.

There has always been a huge division between what a politician says and does in public, what they actually say and do behind closed doors, and how the public ultimately perceives what they say. John F. Kennedy, one of our most beloved presidents, was a notorious drug abuser and womanizer. Ronald Reagan was basically a figurehead in his last four years in office due to illness and dementia.

Donald Trump, however, has blasted the traditional rules of politics to smithereens during this 2016 presidential election. No matter what he says or does, it seems like he is untouchable (as opposed to any women in his immediate vicinity, who apparently can get touched at any time by the Donald).

The leaked audio tape of Trump and Billy Bush (of the Bush political family), however, may just hit a breaking point. Trump and Bush conversate like tryhard frat boys who talk about getting laid but never actually seem to get laid. Trump talks about “grabbing women by their pussy” and having sex with a married woman. Keep in mind, this was in 2005. What else happened in 2005? Well…

-Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump. Marrying someone is normally a good thing, but the marriage was obviously already on shaky ground if Trump is talking about cheating on Melania that very same year. Trump said in an interview with Howard Stern that “he wouldn’t do anything to take care of (any kids that he would have with Melania)” that same year, as well.

Then again, Trump has never been the faithful type in his marriages. During his second one to Marla Maples, Trump has been accused in a civil lawsuit of raping a 13 year old girl on four separate occasions, the last occasion where he reportedly slapped her and threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone about it. This civil lawsuit is still active. The case is also scheduled for a court appearance in December, to determine if it should be brought to trial in criminal court as well. If Donald Trump actually does become president-elect, I would imagine it will be pretty awkward for the entire world if he is criminally charged with molesting and raping a 13 year old child.

-Despite what Trump says about Hillary and Bill Clinton, he was friends with them in the 1990’s and 2000’s. It went beyond the thousands of dollars that he personally donated to Hillary’s campaigns in 7 separate years. Hillary and Bill were actually invited to Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding. In fact, Hillary was sitting in the front row as they exchanged their vows.

-The 2005 cast of The Apprentice, Trump’s hit reality show, have given interviews in which they demean Trump as someone that verbally and sexually harassed them.

-In 2005, Trump apparently got an almost $40 million tax deduction on his taxes, simply for pledging not to build a golf course. This story was one of the biggest controversies regarding his taxes, or lack thereof.

And…if you want to see how our current Republican presidential candidate acted in 2005, here’s an interview (one of many) with him and Howard Stern, where he discusses his new marriage to Melania:

Gary Johnson just can’t catch a break

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Gary Johnson just can’t catch a break. Despite being a independent presidential candidate in a presidential race with arguably the two most divisive and disliked Democratic and Republican candidates in history, he has received almost no media coverage. He managed to get an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, however, but the interview didn’t go as smoothly as anticipated. Here’s a partial transcript:

(WILLIE) GEIST: Joining us now, the Libertarian candidate for president, former Republican governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico. Governor, good to have you with us.

(GARY) JOHNSON: Great to be with you. There was a — there was a super PAC that did an ad — Abe Lincoln ad, and it’s now had close to 20 million views —

(MIKA) BRZEZINSKI: My goodness.

JOHNSON: — in 12 days.

GEIST: Wow, which is really —

BRZEZINSKI: What does that tell you?

JOHNSON: Well, I think that there’s — I don’t know. Maybe a — maybe a little spice needs to get added to the two-person race that’s currently going on.

BRZEZINSKI: Maybe a little less —

GEIST: Right.

BRZEZINSKI: — by me.

GEIST: That’s a good place to start. For people who don’t know a lot about you and haven’t had a chance to hear and learn about where you stand on the issues, what is the lane for the Johnson-Weld ticket between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? What do you bring that’s different from those two?

JOHNSON: Well, I think there’s a big six-lane highway down the middle that encompasses 60 percent of Americans. And broadly speaking, fiscally conservative, socially inclusive, skeptical when it comes to our military intervention. Skeptical when it comes to our going in and supporting regime changes that have not resulted in a more safe world — free markets.

So I think that that encompasses about 60 percent of the electorate and I think that the two-party system has really, really got to the fringes on both sides.

BRZEZINSKI: Mike?

(MIKE) BARNICLE: Which of those candidates of the two-party system — Republican candidate, Democratic candidate — do you draw the most votes from?

JOHNSON: You know, in all of these polls it’s just, remarkably, 50-50. Amazingly, I think, though, that with the exception of just a few polls it’s more votes from Hillary.

BARNICLE: Do you —

JOHNSON: But I think — I think when it ends up it will really be 50-50.

BARNICLE: But do you worry about the Nader effect in 2000?

JOHNSON: I don’t worry one bit about it. I really do think that the two-party system is broken. I don’t think Democrats are able to balance a checkbook these days. That’s it’s all about bigger government and higher taxes. And then Republicans with, I think, the social agenda. Look, whatever your social inclinations are just don’t force it on me. And I think the Republican Party has gotten really extreme in that category.

BARNICLE: What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?

JOHNSON: About?

BARNICLE: Aleppo.

JOHNSON: And what is Aleppo?

BARNICLE: You’re kidding.

JOHNSON: No.

BARNICLE: Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the — it’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.

JOHNSON: OK, got it, got it.

The media coverage, unsurprisingly, has been fierce, calling it a “huge gaffe” and “embarassing”. It is embarassing, sure, but not only for Johnson. Mike Barnicle’s interview questions were poorly stated and explained. Here’s why:

-The awkward and immediate segue from talking about third-party candidates into foreign policy. As an interviewer, you should use some sort of lead-in question like “And now I would like to discuss (next subject)”. This is for the viewer’s benefit, as I guarantee that anybody watching that interview was as momentarily confused as Johnson was.

-The usage of Aleppo in the question. Aleppo, while an important city in Syria, is not a city normally used on a first-name basis like Los Angeles, Moscow, or Beijing. I would bet that most of the people calling Johnson an “embarrassment” over the Aleppo answer wouldn’t even be able to find Aleppo on a world map. Barnicle should have either elaborated on the context, or at the very least, he should have said “…about Aleppo, Syria?

Gary Johnson may have committed a foreign policy blunder, but with the 72-hour news cycle, I bet most people will have forgotten about it by this weekend. And hey, at least it’s not as embarrassing as Donald Trump being unaware of Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, despite his tryhard bromance with Vladimir Putin and despite his daughter being BFF’s with Putin’s mistress.

Presidential fashion: dress to impress…or depress

In an election with arguably the two most unlikable and repulsive presidential candidates in U.S. history, merch has played a considerable role. From Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hat, to Hillary Clinton’s array of fashion that looks like it was pulled off the Target clothes rack, there have been some interesting choices available. Here are some notable ones:

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Here is the most popular one of them all, the one that would be fashionable at an old school country club where people still drink Rob Roys, and also fashionable at a trailer park where people still drink Milwaukee’s Best 40’s.

Unfortunately for a hat that says “Make America Great Again”, this hat isn’t fully American. It is actually made in America, but from foreign fabrics.

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Here is the official Trump-Pence campaign shirt! Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), it doesn’t feature the infamous “TP” logo. Either way, this is a lazy logo, and I wouldn’t pay two pence for this shirt.

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Want to look like the world’s biggest hypocrite? Then slap this sticker on your car. Trump, a man who got multiple draft deferments for no reason but for being a rich daddy’s boy, is apparently for veterans now. Except for POW’s like U.S. congressman John McCain, who was a POW in Vietnam for almost 6 years, and who managed to survive and become a successful politician, only to have Trump say that he likes veterans that “didn’t get captured”, which was a dig at McCain.

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Now we move to Hillary’s merch, which is more creative, if overpriced and pretentious. This shirt is one of her better ones though: simple and clean design, with a subtle dig against Trump. I don’t know about the message though:   every time I turn on the news, it looks like hate is trumping love.

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This is a pair of shot glasses, apparently made from “shattered glass ceilings”. Which is an even more dubious claim than the Trump hats being American made. Clever feminist humor aside, this will be the perfect gift for all of us if Hillary gets elected. In fact, if she wins the election, forget the shot glass, give me the damn bottle.

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We sure have a lot of cards nowadays. Man cards, race cards, green cards. Now you can have an official Woman Card! Will this let us pick up any women that we want? Will this work as well as my “F.B.I. Federal Boob Inspector” card that I had as a kid?

Oh wait…never mind. I’m just surprised that Donald Trump hasn’t come out with a Trump Card yet.