An Old Age Question

Whenever we ask out Trump-loving friends why they continue to support him despite everything, the most frequent answer we get is that Joe Biden is senile. It’s now a common trope on the rightwing talk radio shows and some of the Fox News opinion programs, where they love to endlessly replay a montage of the Democratic presidential nominee mispronouncing words, momentarily losing his train of thought, and stumbling through sentences.
style-“text-indent:20px;”>It is indeed pretty embarrassing, and enough to raise questions about electing a 77-year-old. Some of it is the sort of thing that even a hearty 50 year old might say at the end of a long day of non-stop talking on the campaign trail. Also, every cable network and late night comedy show has a montage of Trump that is longer and even more damning.
By now the 73-year-old Trump is well known for malapropisms. He wanted to look into the “oranges” of the Mueller investigation. He responded to a question by saying “When you say per capita, there are many per capitas so you have to ask yourself “per capita relative to what?” He boasted of the great work being done by his “adminstrazizess.” His always misspelled and randomly capitalized “tweets” have featured similar offenses against the English language.
just this week Trump has spoken of the “Yo-Semite” National Park, although he quickly changed that to “Yo-Seminite.” He also pronounced Thailand as “Highland.” ,Similar examples are far too numerous to list, and at least twice a day the president says something that subjects him too late night ridicule.
Which is not to mention Trump’s penchant for making such obviously insane suggestions as injecting bleach into Covid-19 patients and stopping hurricanes with nuclear bombs.
Both make a case for nominating younger leaders, as most people’s mental sharpness starts to decline after ge 60 even if they accumulate more knowledge and wisdom. Alas, none of the younger generations have stood out for their leadership, and America is left to decide which of two septuagenarians is less senile.

— Bud Norman

A Slow News Day Spent Mostly Waiting for the Coming Faster News

There was the usual amount of news afoot on Monday, but most of it was about the Academy Awards and a vote in the House of Representatives about the little noticed National State of Emergency and other matters of fleeting interest. Most of the media seemed bracing for the big summit in Vietnam between American President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and what might follow that.
The conventional wisdom at the moment is that “Russia thing” special counsel Robert Mueller is politely withholding his report as a by-the-book courtesy to a president abroad conducting foreign affairs, and that when Trump arrives home something more important than North Korea’s ongoing nuclear program will happen. Try as we might to always be contrarians, this time the conventional wisdom seems wise to us.
Except for a whole lot of pomp and circumstance — or pomp and circumcision, as the great malaprop comic Norm Crosby might have more aptly put it — we don’t expect much earth-shaking news to come out of Trump’s summit with Kim. We mean that in the most optimistic and best way, as we don’t much worry about any mushroom clouds arising as a result, but we also don’t expect it will result in the elimination of the nuclear threat that Trump has already bragged about eliminating. Each of Trump’s national security agency chiefs have given sworn and live-on-television testimony to Congress that they believe Kim is not likely to give up his nuclear program, and submitted a 40-page written report stating the same thing, and although Trump has claimed that they were misquoted and misconstrued by the “fake news” we think they’re likely right. We hold out some hope that our former fourth district Kansas congressman and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on the job, as he’s always seem grounded-in-reality fellow, but our faith was somewhat shaken when he denied to a cable news interviewer that Trump had ever said anything like what he undeniably “tweeted” about the North Korean nuclear threat already being eliminated, and assured us he was still hopeful.
We’re hopeful there at least won’t be any mushroom clouds, but Trump seems rightly worried that whenever the Mueller report lands it will be a significant bombshell. The Democrats now running the House Oversight Committee have impolitely summoned Trump’s soon-to-imprisoned longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen to testify while the president is abroad and attending to important foreign policy matters, and that will likely steal some attention. Cohen can’t talk about the “Russia thing” due to the ongoing investigation, but he’s expected to talk about his role in arranging hush money payments to pornographic video performers and nude models so as to get around campaign finance laws, along with other ethically and legally problematic business practices he has witnessed over his many years as counsel to Trump.</div>
It will take quite a breakthrough in Vietnam to keep that out of the news,

— Bud Norman