Trump Reaching All the Way Across the Aisle on Immigration
Remember the days when talks of amnesty torpedoed Marco Rubio? What about when “low-energy Jeb” was destroyed by, then, candidate Trump for referring to illegal immigration as an “act of love”? Those days were so five minutes ago. Yesterday, in a rare glimpse into a meeting between the President and lawmakers, Trump said DACA should be a quote “bill of love.” Eat your heart out Jeb Bush.
Getting a fly on the wall view into one of these meetings isn’t normal - so you gotta wonder - why did the cameras keep rolling yesterday? Was it a mistake or was there something else going on here? The news of the day was dominated by Michael Wolff’s book and questions over Trump’s mental stability. Does anyone see a mentally unstable President in that meeting? To the contrary, he looks - uncharacteristically - reserved, attentive and engaging.
Some have criticized the President’s willingness and ability to reach across the aisle and compromise. That definitely wasn’t the case yesterday. Actually, it was hard to determine whether Trump favored the Democrats at the table or the Republicans. When Feinstein posed the question about the President’s willingness to do a “clean DACA bill now”, Trump went into full-on agreeable mode. It took House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to butt in and remind Trump that Feinstein didn’t mention the wall or border security.
Trump eventually made his intentions a little more clear, but it all kinda seemed like an afterthought for him. He even seemed to want to hurry it all along by saying that - whether he liked or agreed with it - he’d sign anything they put in front of him. There’s not much leadership there, but this meeting had an ulterior purpose.
For those that are pissed off on Twitter that Trump is considering DACA, you might as well get used to it. Trump knows it as does everyone in both the House and the Senate. Without DACA, Trump and the Republicans have ZERO leverage to do anything with border security and immigration reform. Because of that, DACA ain't going nowhere. In fact, I bet all this was already agreed upon before the cameras even turned on.
So why did they keep rolling? The real work on immigration had already happened and was going to be finalized during the closed-door session, but Trump, the Democrats AND the Republicans wanted their constituents to know something. Feinstein wanted to project the appearance that DACA was their primary motivation. McCarthy wanted Republicans to know that border security and immigration reform was the higher priority than any kind of amnesty. And Trump? He wanted to show everyone that he was mentally stable, and - as I’m sure Kushner and Ivanka coached him - willing to reach across the aisle and cooperate.
They should rename Pennsylvania Avenue to Broadway because the theater is just as good.
Bannon Out at Breitbart
Jay Gatsby didn’t like who he was, so he created a new identity for himself.
He didn’t go about his transformation in the most upstanding and moral ways, but he succeeded in becoming a self-made millionaire.
As I reflect on the news of Steve Bannon’s firing from Breitbart yesterday, I can’t help but see a Gatsby-like figure constantly reinventing himself.
Bannon was born to an Irish, working-class family in Virginia. They had nothing. He spent his childhood working for pennies at a junkyard.
But Bannon always wanted more for his life.
He became an officer in the Navy and later worked at the Pentagon.
In the 1980’s he entered investment banking after attending Harvard Business School. He became a Goldman Sachs banker.
After banking, he decided he wanted to get into the movies. He became a screenwriter and a producer.
His film credentials ultimately led to a relationship with Andrew Breitbart.
When Andrew died, Bannon saw an opportunity to create a new chapter in his own book. He saw Breitbart News as a tool to wedge himself into a White House position. In order to court the Trump Administration, he turned the news site into an embarrassing propaganda outlet.
His plan worked. He was named Trump’s chief strategist.
But it wasn’t long before he fell out of the White House’s good graces. He started bragging that he was the brains behind the President.
Bannon and his inflated sense of influence were soon kicked to the curb and he was back at Breitbart.
His return ushered in more of the same dangerous alt-right commentary and yellow journalism as before. And after leading a disastrous campaign for Roy Moore, the Breitbart News board fired him for good yesterday.
Today is a glistening new beginning for Breitbart.
With Bannon gone, they have a chance to restore their dignity and return to reputable reporting.
Let’s hope they take it in that direction.
As for Steve Bannon, he will beat on, his boat against the current. But I have no doubt he will create a new life for himself once again.
Only time will tell where we will see him next.
The Irony of the Popularity Spike of the Lazy River on College Campuses
Water parks are a growing trend on public university campuses. Especially lazy rivers on campus. Just let the irony of a lazy river on a college campus sink in for a moment. This is what higher education has come to.
From a student perspective, this is awesome. Who wouldn’t want a lazy river at their school? Of course, it’s going to be a selling point for the male high school senior trying to decide where to spend all his parents’ money. Colleges don’t have to put anything else in the brochure but pictures of the water park.
For adults who actually care about the future of our great nation, the question is why? Who was the genius that said, “You know what would really motivate our students, set them apart from students around the world, really inspire them to aim high and become productive citizens? A lazy river on campus!”
Now we’re even removing our students’ need for creative problem-solving when it comes to recreation and procrastination. “Don’t waste brain cells on that kids – here’s a water park!”
Many of these water park colleges are public universities originally built on the premise that educated citizens are vital to a democratic society. But now college administrations and trustees are way more concerned with building their university brand than maintaining any kind of public trust. So, they’re turning colleges into all-inclusive resorts.
Auburn University’s water park has a giant paw-print-shaped hot tub that can accommodate 45 students. The lazy river at Louisiana State University spells out “LSU.” Texas Tech’s water park has Wi-Fi, because, I mean, you gotta stay connected. The indoor water park at the University of Missouri features a grotto modeled after the one at the Playboy Mansion.
Booker T. Washington is rolling over in his grave.
Most of these projects are paid for by raising student activity fees, on top of regular tuition. Tuition and fees at public four-year colleges have grown over 60% in the past ten years. Which begs the question of Bernie Sanders and Democrats – how on earth are you supposed to make college free when you have to pay for lazy rivers?