Archives for posts with tag: President

This election has been the most amazing one in my lifetime. From day one, the Trump campaign has been extraordinary, with regular candidates tossed aside like bowling pegs, one after the other. I do not yet know the outcome of today’s election, but I’m hoping fervently that Hillary makes it across the finish line today – finally stopping this runaway dumpster truck from seizing the highest office in America.

Normally, the dissection of a political battle involves picking through what the winning candidate did right and what the losing candidate did wrong. Should Clinton win, the story should be about how she fought an effective media battle, how she decisively won the debates, how she courted celebrities and rock stars, fought a well-financed ground war and made effective use of analytics. It should be about the long succession of Trump scandals, fiascos and unforced errors, from the Khans to Pussygate, to his atrocious debate performances; his alienation of Latinos, African Americans, women and Muslims; his unedifying spats with his fellow Republican politicians. In ordinary times, you could write a story of these last few months in terms of what was done right by Hillary and wrong by Trump. But these are not ordinary times. The real story of this campaign is how, despite all the errors and disasters, Trump remained in contention and how seemingly smaller setbacks and mistakes sent Clinton’s campaign into a nosedive. Trump survived a video laying his misogyny bare for all to see. He survived a leak which suggested that he paid no tax for decades.  He survived, despite being called out on lie, after lie, after lie. Any one of these should have been enough to put paid to his political aspirations. And yet, when Clinton suffered a bout of pneumonia, or called his supporters ‘deplorable’, or had the FBI resurrect the email investigation, she quickly found herself on the back foot, fighting a desperate battle to maintain her lead.

The story of this election was how, among a large number of supporters, Trump was treated like a demigod, while Clinton was treated with extreme scepticism, bordering on disgust. Trump effectively used hatred, anger and his charisma to marshall powerful forces in his favour, sending out a clear signal that America is extremely vulnerable to demagoguery. How the country recovers from this frightening state of affairs will be a whole other story.

A lady who has occupied a large plot of land in one of Ireland’s most famous parks has been served notice of eviction by the Irish authorities. “I’ve been here for the past 14 years”, says Mrs. Mary “Prezzer” McAleese, “and now they want to move me and my whole family out in one go”. McAleese (60) moved into the house in 1997 after the previous occupant was called away on urgent business, leaving the lands completely deserted.

The house stands on a large plot of land in Co. Dublin, where McAleese has busied herself planting trees in every available space since she moved in. “She has a thing about trees”, says Mr B. Obama, who witnessed her plant one recently during a visit to the park. Another lady, Elizabeth W. (name withheld), noted McAleese’s propensity to plant a tree every time she met a new visitor. “It was very odd”, she said, “all I wanted was a cup of tea, but instead she had the gardening gloves on before I had a chance to say hello”.

“Now, after minding my own business, they’re kicking me out and taking me away from my trees”, mourned Mrs. McAleese yesterday. She says that she will go to jail if necessary to stop new tenants from occupying her lands. “There is such a thing as squatter’s rights, you know”.

Meanwhile, suitable candidates are being lined up to occupy the lands once Mrs. McAleese vacates them. “I have quite a lot of experience burying things”, says Mr. M. McGuinness from Derry, who has expressed a strong interest in the lands. Another candidate for the park, Mr. D. Norris, also feels qualified, albeit in a different way. “I prefer metal detection to tree planting, quite frankly”, he pronounced. “After all, people enjoy dredging up things from the distant past, don’t they”? Ms. Mary “Kelloggs” Davis, another applicant, is apparently more keen to use the lands to rehabilitate the large number of telephone poles damaged by distracted motorists crashing into them over the past few days. Other applicants for the land: Michael D. Higgins, Sean Gallagher and Dana Rosemary Scallon were unavailable for comment, while we couldn’t be bothered asking the remaining applicant, Mr. Gay Mitchell, to comment at all.

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