March 30, 2016

The Battle of the Wives:  It started when an anti-Trump Political Action Committee ran a nude picture of The Donald’s wife, the former model Melania Trump. The photo from 2000 shows her in Trump’s 747 jet, handcuffed to a brief case, wearing diamonds and furs that strategically cover some of her formidable assets. Trump responded enigmatically claiming that he would “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, a former investment manager at Goldman-Sachs and then re-tweeted side-by-side photos of his wife next to an unflattering picture of Ted Cruz’s wife. Cruz angrily called Trump a “sniveling coward” for his attacks on his wife.

PeoplearesayingModern Politics 101:  How to start an ugly rumor to discredit an opposing candidate.  Sounds easy, right?  The problem is that responsible news media will not report on slanderous, unsubstantiated rumors.  So here is the plan:  (First) write something on the internet about your opponent’s sex life.  The more outrageous the better.  (Second) Then get a supporter to reference it on CNN, forcing (Third) your opponent to deny the story.  (Voila) It is now News, and fair game for all commentators and news organizations to report on it.  It is an old technique.  This is what Donald Trump did last week in (surreptitiously) spreading the story that Ted Cruz has had numerous sexual affairs outside of his marriage.  The story is a complete lie.  Or is it?

In the real world:  Four days after the police raid that netted Salah Abdeslam, one of the ISIS terrorists accused in the murder of 130 people in Paris, suicide bombers killed 35 people and injured over 300 in Brussels, Belgium. Police are looking for an accomplice, “the man in the hat,” seen on closed-circuit TV at one of the bombing sites. Belgian police have been criticized for inability to “connect the dots” that could have revealed terrorist plots, failure to interrogate Abdeslam for hours after his capture, and for mis-identifying a Belgian journalist as one of the terrorists. Time to call in Inspector Clousseau.

In a public park in Lahore, Pakistan, 71 people, mostly women and children, were killed, and 341 others injured in suicide attacks on Easter day. Less noted terrorist attacks have occurred recently in Turkey, the Ivory Coast, and Yemen.

The United States and Cuba almost went to war in 1962 bringing the world the closest it has ever come to a nuclear conflict that would have led to the deaths of millions and forever changed human history. Although the U.S. still has an economic boycott of the island nation, President Obama’s visit to the country last weekend, following a concert by the Rolling Stones, seemed to bury “the last remnant of the Cold War.”

In other news: Republicans are still blocking hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court; Bernie has the momentum, but Hillary has the math (i.e., the greater number of delegates to win the Democratic nomination); and the oceans are still rising.