I keep looking for the stories by the mainstream media that President-elect Donald J. Trump won’t be sworn into office on Jan. 20. It is the logical next step.

At every turn in Trump’s journey to becoming president, the mainstream media have said he would fail, with the most recent being that members of the Electoral College wouldn’t vote for him. It is now time for the mainstream media to come up with some harebrained scheme where Trump isn’t allowed to take the oath of office.

Really, the mainstream media should try to remain consistent, and they have been consistently wrong about Trump. Is it really so hard for them to invent some reason why he won’t be allowed to take the oath of office? Certainly they can find some extreme left-wing professor who they can quote who will say that he isn’t eligible to be president or that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts will refuse to swear him into office.

*****

All through the primaries and the general election, Trump said that if elected he could keep companies from moving jobs to other countries. He was, of course, made fun of by the mainstream media and the other candidates because he refused to outline exactly how he would do it.

Now he is not even in office yet and Carrier and Ford have both announced that they are not moving jobs to Mexico but are going to, in the case of Carrier, keep the jobs here, and, in the case of Ford, build a new plant here in the US instead of in Mexico.

Trump is not president yet and has no power, except the power of persuasion, but evidently he has been very persuasive.

One huge advantage Trump has over President Barack Hussein Obama is that Trump knows how to speak the language of the major business leaders in the country because he is one of them. They are the folks that he has been hanging out with for the past 40 years. He knows them and knows how to talk to them in terms they understand.

Obama had never been involved in business and, according to his economic advisors, didn’t know much of anything about economics. He could plead with business leaders, but he couldn’t discuss options with them because he didn’t understand what those options were.

Having someone who understands business and economics elected president has already made a difference. Just look at the stock market – and Trump isn’t even in the White House yet. When those calls come from the Oval Office instead of Trump Tower, he will have immensely more power.

*****

It was heartening to see that former President George W. Bush has put his family’s hurt feelings aside and is going to attend the inauguration. It would have been a huge affront, not to Trump, but to the presidency itself, if Bush had refused. But still, this is such a strange political year, it seems like anything could happen.

Former President George H.W. Bush is the only former president who has not made his plans for the inauguration clear. My guess is that with Bush Senior, it is more of a health issue than anything else. He is 92 years old. It doesn’t matter how much you want to be somewhere, at 92 sometimes your body won’t let you go.

*****

Obama, released from having to be concerned about what anyone thinks, is being himself – and it turns out that he is a spiteful, petty man.

Obama has never liked Israel, and has a strong personal dislike for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But because Democrats depend on the support of Jewish voters to get elected, Obama had to grin and bear it when what he really wanted to do was stab Israel in the back.

So now that he can do what he wants, that’s exactly what he did. The United Nations resolution certainly won’t help relations in the Middle East and will hurt Israel for years to come.

Then Obama made a feeble attempt to get back at Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s embarrassing. Putin has been slapping Obama around for eight years, and when Obama finally got his nerve up to do something, he expelled some diplomats and closed some Russian vacation houses.

Putin must have laughed until tears rolled down his face. Putin took Crimea, invaded Ukraine and then went and helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad kill as many of the rebels that Obama supported as possible. Putin didn’t stop with killing actual soldiers but killed the families of rebels and those unfortunate enough to live in areas where the rebels operated.

And the result is Obama gives diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. If he had any gumption at all it would have been 24 hours. He can’t even expel people with any authority.

But Obama has 15 days left. A man can do a lot in two weeks. Of course, a man can’t get a lot done if he is on the golf course every day.

You might think that since Obama will be on a permanent vacation after Jan. 20 that he might have foregone his last vacation as president, but it appears getting one more multimillion dollar vacation in at taxpayers’ expense took precedence over whatever else he wanted to do.

I suppose we’re about to find out just how many pardons one man can sign in two weeks, and how many illegal immigrants can be herded across the border.

*****

Opening day, the Republicans in Congress learn a valuable lesson – Trump isn’t one of them. Trump was elected without the assistance of many Republican office holders and he is not a professional politician, so he doesn’t owe the Republicans a bunch of favors. Trump got elected president by being Donald Trump running against Washington, and he would be foolish to give that up.

The new Congress wanted to do away with the Ethics Office. Trump, who will soon be president, didn’t like the idea, so he did a very Trump-like thing – he sent out a tweet about his concerns.

Twitter should be paying Trump a fee for all the free publicity that he has given them, and in this case a tweet changed the policy of the US government; that’s a powerful tweet. It isn’t likely it’s the last time this is going to happen, but Congress should have gotten the message that there is a new sheriff in town and they would be wise to run their ideas past him first, or he will go right over their heads to the American people.

And that is the other part of the message. Trump has not and is not likely to forget that those guys in Congress didn’t support him, and that some refused to offer support even when he was the Republican nominee. He owes them nothing. But Trump is immensely popular with many of the people who got them elected to Congress, so it is wise not to go head to head with him. All Congress has to do is look around at all the folks who went up against him on his way to the White House. Trump steamrolled over all of them by going straight to the American people.

*****

The mainstream media were in the tank for Hillary Clinton and convinced most of the people in the country, including Trump supporters, that Hillary Clinton was going to win, and that there was a good chance she would win in a landslide and the Democrats would take over both houses of Congress.

The mainstream media were dead wrong, but they haven’t given up.

I was just reading an article about the performers who won’t be performing at the Trump inauguration. The implication is that these are performers who Trump would like to have perform but refused.

The list of performers who won’t be performing at any event is far longer than the list of those who do, and it doesn’t mean that they refused to perform; it means they aren’t performing. And the vast overwhelming majority, something like 99.9 percent of the performers who won’t be performing, won’t perform because they haven’t been asked.

What sense does it make to list who won’t be performing? Look at the list of performers who didn’t perform in Times Square for the New Year’s Eve celebration. It includes just about everyone, and Mariah Carey wishes she were on that list of those who didn’t perform.

*****

The tradition in the US is that when there is a transfer of power, as in this case where a president of a different party is elected, the sitting president who will be leaving office tidies up his desk, finishes a few projects that have been lingering and takes care of the daily business of being president.

What is unusual is for the sitting president to launch entirely new initiatives that he knows are diametrically opposed to what the new president will be doing in a matter of days or weeks.

Obama has been president for nearly eight long years. During those years, at anytime he chose, he could have not vetoed a resolution condemning Israel in the United Nations. Obama didn’t choose to do that even though he has allowed his personal animosity toward Netanyahu to cloud his judgment. So in his last weeks as president Obama has decided to thumb his nose at Netanyahu and Israel.

Obama also hates Great Britain, evidently for personal reasons. Maybe he will find some way to insult Great Britain more than he already has.

*****

Sean Spicer, who will be the White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, has said that changes are on the way for the White House press corps, which is great news for anyone interested in news.

Has White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest ever supplied the White House press corps with anything that could be considered news, meaning something that they didn’t know already? He doesn’t get asked many real questions, but he doesn’t give out many real answers. He repeats the White House party line or passes it off to some other department. Judging from the White House press conferences, no one in the White House knows much about what the government is actually doing.

It appears the White House press corps from years of not getting any answers has given up.

It doesn’t appear that Trump has any intention of following that policy. I would imagine that the White House press corps under president Trump is going to come to work in the morning with a ton of questions about the tweets that the president sent out the night or early morning before.

Tweets are only 140 characters. It’s hard even for an experienced tweeter like Trump to include all the nuances of a presidential policy in a tweet. But the news will be the tweet and what the pundits think that it means.

The question the White House press corps has to be worried about is whether or not Trump will bother to explain his positions through them, and that doesn’t seem likely. Why should Trump allow a group of people who have no respect for him filter his words?

The White House press corps hasn’t been told much with Obama as president and it seems likely they will be told even less under Trump.

*****

In Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former White House chief of staff for Obama, the government decided to go after the police and make policing more difficult. The result was 762 murders in Chicago in 2016; that’s up from 485 in 2015.

Police officers now have to fill out a lengthy report every time they stop someone, so they stop fewer people.

The police are also terrified of becoming the stars of the latest cop hater video so they steer clear of confrontations whenever possible.

Anyone who thinks videos don’t lie hasn’t spent much time around cameras, and the police are well aware that videos taken of their actions are likely not to show the culprit hitting the police officer but will show the police officer responding.

*****

In the waning days of the Obama White House, Obama should reward his most loyal and most powerful aide with a title fitting her status. Valerie Jarrett should be named Supreme All-knowing Top Number One Aide to the President, or something befitting her true position.

Before hooking her cart to Obama’s wagon, Jarrett’s experience was in Chicago politics – a city known as one of the most corrupt in the nation – and real estate. When Obama was asked if he had one advisor who he consulted on every issue, he said, yes, and that advisor was Jarrett.

The fact that his primary advisor was Jarrett helps explain why in foreign affairs Obama has no successes, unless someone considers giving Iran everything it wanted, including a ransom of $400 million in cash, to sign an agreement is a success.

Negotiating by saying yes to every demand the other side makes is not really negotiation, it is appeasement. The European powers tried appeasement with Adolf Hitler and it didn’t work out too well, but Jarrett’s strong suit is in making real estate deals, not history, which may explain how the deal with Iran happened.

It’s incredible that someone who was involved in shady politics and questionable real estate deals in Chicago suddenly became the chief advisor to the most powerful man in the world.

For the past eight years anyone who even mentioned the fact that Jarrett had neither the education nor the experience for the job was labeled a sexist and a racist, which means it didn’t get mentioned very often.

*****

The mainstream media have missed the huge message the American people sent to them on Nov. 8. Just to help them out, here is the message: “We don’t believe a word you say.”

If the American people had believed even a little bit of what the media was reporting, they never would have elected Donald Trump president.

This was not, as everyone has written, your normal every-four-years presidential election where two people who most Americans don’t like or trust run against each other and the American people pick the one they think is the lesser of two evils. This was a race in which the American people were told day after day that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified person ever to run for president and Donald Trump was not qualified at all.

The mainstream media always favor the Democrat, but even by their own admission they made no attempt to be unbiased or report fairly on the two candidates. The New York Times justified the bias in its reporting because Hillary Clinton was, in its view, such a superior candidate that it couldn’t require its reporters to abide by the normal journalistic standards of appearing to be unbiased.

Trump realized that he didn’t need the media and he communicated with potential voters using massive rallies where he said whatever he wanted, and he tweeted.

The mainstream media took his off-the-cuff statements and tweets and treated them like they were well-thought-out and researched policy statements that his staff had labored over for weeks.

But the American people knew better. Hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions, went to see Trump speak. Once they heard him live on stage, they knew that what the mainstream media were reporting about him and about the things he was saying wasn’t true.   The people who saw him have friends and family, and many were not shy about bashing the mainstream media’s reporting and telling people what Trump was actually saying. It was a true grass roots campaign where Trump spent far less than Hillary Clinton.

Like a lot of people, I wondered how Trump was doing so well in the primaries until I watched a number of his speeches from beginning to end. I realized that what the mainstream media were reporting that he said and what he actually said were entirely different. Anyone can take an hour-long speech, pull a few quotes out of context and make a candidate appear to be whatever they want.

I didn’t think the mainstream media would allow Hillary Clinton to run a presidential campaign the same way she ran her senatorial campaigns – where she kept the media as far away as possible, refused to answer questions and generally campaigned through advertising and with carefully orchestrated campaign events.

Having more faith in the mainstream media than I should, I assumed that the reporters would rant and rave until Hillary Clinton came out of hiding and campaigned like other candidates, frequently taking questions from the media on an impromptu basis and holding press conferences where she would be asked real questions by real reporters.

But she is Hillary Clinton, so the mainstream media allowed her to hide. If it had not been for one person with a cell phone who filmed her collapsing at the 9/11 memorial service, the world never would have known about it.

But the mainstream media accepted the absurd explanation that she collapsed because she had pneumonia, which had been diagnosed several days before.

The mainstream media didn’t question why the Secret Service, with an unconscious presidential candidate in the car, didn’t drive with lights and sirens to the nearest hospital but instead took her to her daughter’s apartment.

People who are not members of the mainstream media knew that this was a bizarre incident that was never adequately explained. And that was simply one event in a long campaign.

The mainstream media accepted all the lies that Hillary Clinton told about her private email server, but the American people did not. Or enough of the American people did not for her to lose the election.

In this election you had someone who had never run for public office before, and who broke all the rules that politicians had written about how to run a campaign. He did something no candidate has done in the past 50, maybe 100 years – Trump went out and talked to the people. He told them what he was thinking and what he thought was wrong with the country.

According to the mainstream media and all the highly paid political pundits, this was a recipe for disaster, and right up until Trump’s delegate count went over 270, the mainstream media were still talking about how Hillary Clinton could win.

When Trump won, not with 270 Electoral College votes or 271, but 306, the mainstream media had to admit that it had been wrong about the election from the beginning.

But where is the mea culpa from the mainstream media? Where are the apologies for attempting to mislead the American people? Where is the explanation for how they could have been so wrong for so long? Where is the explanation that the mainstream media reported that the outcome was going to be what they wanted, not what the information they said it would be?

It’s difficult in election coverage to go with your head and not with your heart, but that is what the media are supposed to do. Reporters are not supposed to write about what they feel as if it were factual, but that is what the mainstream media did.

Now the mainstream media have a huge problem that it doesn’t appear to be doing anything to solve: The American people have proof that what they have suspected for years is true and that the media are not fairly reporting events.

How does the mainstream media get back the trust that they have lost? The answer so far is that they are doubling down on their mistakes, by not admitting that they made any.

The mainstream media seem to be blaming their own mistakes on people believing fake news, when in fact it was the mainstream media that was reporting fake news.

*****

Evidently the question about the Electoral College and Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote is not going to go away.

People who don’t understand the purpose and value of the Electoral College are not taking into account how this nation was founded.

Consider the name of our country – the United States of America. The name really says it all. Our nation was formed when 13 states got together and agreed to form a country. To get the 13 independent states to all agree to join together into one nation was not an easy task. The new government they were forming had to recognize the sovereignty of the states or there would have been no government.

Imagine if the Constitution had not included electing the president by the Electoral College but by popular vote.

Do you think that Rhode Island would have signed on to be a part of such a government knowing that the people of Rhode Island would not have a say in who was elected president?

For that matter, North Carolina, which was not a very populous state and had big problems with the Constitution anyway, never would have considered becoming part of a country where New York, Philadelphia and Boston were going to choose the president.

The Electoral College, like the US Senate, gives each individual state power. California has no more US senators than Wyoming. If the country is to be ruled solely by popular vote then the US Senate has to go, but if that goes then it is no longer the United States of America because the states would become meaningless geographical divisions of the federal government.

*****

Some great news for Republicans on Capitol Hill is that the Democrats reelected Nancy Pelosi as minority leader.

From a political standpoint – and what is Washington if not political – it is almost inconceivable that the Democrats would stick with Pelosi, who is 76 years old, and, since she has been the Democratic House leader, the Democrats have lost 60 seats and have the fewest number of seats in the House since the 1920s.

But then look at who the Democrats nominated for president this time – a 69-year-old who has few if any political accomplishments other than winning a couple of elections to the Senate where, because of her husband’s political power, the Democratic Party cleared out any meaningful opponent.

The first time Hillary Clinton ran for president she got beat by a candidate who was virtually unknown before the election.

Going in she had 100 percent name recognition, and most people in the country didn’t even know how to pronounce her opponent’s name.

So electing Pelosi to lead the Democrats in the House is following the same strategy, but it is a strategy that failed in the House and in the last national election.

In fact, I think if the Republicans could have voted in the minority leader’s election they would have voted overwhelmingly for Pelosi, who they know won’t do anything.

The Democrats in Congress had the opportunity to elect a bold young leader who might have been able to keep all of those young Bernie Sanders supporters active.

It’s odd that Sanders, who is even older than Pelosi, appeals to young voters, but he preached much the same message as Trump, that the system is broken and needs a massive overhaul.

The difference is that Sanders sees the government as the solution and Trump sees the government as the problem. Pelosi is the government. She embodies everything that Sanders supporters and Trump supporters see as wrong with the current government in Washington and she is once again the leader of the Democrats in the House.

It’s more good news for Republicans.

 

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden