Our 45th president spent the weekend trying on jewelry in Saudi Arabia so heavy he had to duck and lean into it. Later, he danced with swords.
At this point you should feel free to compose your own joke.
Meanwhile, his straight man, Vice President Mike Pence, gave a graduation speech at Notre Dame, my alma mater, the same university that candidate Hillary Clinton refused to visit. Her husband advised her to accept the invitation from South Bend Democrats to appear on St. Patrick’s Day (!). Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, nixed the idea, saying, “we don’t want those people.” Mook won, Hillary lost.
Back to last weekend, with the Vice President at the podium, about 100 of the approximately 1500 Fighting Irish grads walked to the exits, exercising their rights as Americans to get to the bars early. Unlike the protesting students of Cal Berkeley, no windows were broken.
Our national politics, however, are still broken. Walking out on our problems, evidently, doesn’t fix them. Nor does sword dancing.
We are a dean’s list country with a flunky government.
Look anywhere in America, say, in New York, and our people are busy working.
At the top of the page today is a map reimagining the routes run by every train — every single Amtrak, Long Island RR, Metro North, New Jersey Transit, and NYC Subway train — every day in and around the New York area.
The project called RUN, the Regional Unified Network, has drawn plans to build new infrastructure and renovate the old in the New York City area. The plans save energy, money, and time.
This next sentence is a sadly cynical one, but you’ll be nodding to it. “A clearly superior idea to solve actual troublesome problems will not be approved by our national government.”
Today we suffer from a total system failure in Washington and Donald Trump thinks it’s his job to throw wrenches at it as if he’s Patches O’Houlihan.
The Trump Administration is proposing its second failure budget so it can pretend to be planning for massive infrastructure investments and tax cuts, which in turn are dependent upon yuge cuts in healthcare spending on the poor and the elderly, against which, by the way, Donald Trump campaigned.
The question our New Yorker president does not ask, but should, is why does the richest metropolitan area in the world draw maps of plans it cannot realize without approvals and money — don’t hold your breath — from the federal government? The New York area’s economy is more than two-and-a-half times larger than the economy of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis were rich; we still are.
As a country, we have the money and the plans. What we don’t have are the federal permits.
Someone on his staff ought to remind Mr. Trump he’s a builder from Manhattan.