Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More Question than Time Allows

If all goes as scheduled, the American people will hear the President-elect answer questions from the Washington press corps today (Jan. 11) in his first press conference in five months, his first since his election two months ago. The Agent Orange Emperor will stand before the world, without the clothing of privacy or the escape of a string of short tweets. He will answer questions on the involvement of Russian in election-hacking activities, and what he may have know about it; he will be asked about his business empire, and how he plans to dispatch any possibility of conflicts of interests; he will be asked about his appointments to key positions in his government, including members of his own family; and he will be asked about many of his campaign policy positions, probably foremost the repeal of the ACA. He will be asked those questions and whatever else may fit in the time. Some answers may satisfy, others not; and there may be much denial, deflection, deferral, and dismissal punctuating  tough patches of the public interview, because these topics can all be Pandora’s boxes, each on their own. These are on the A-list of questions, and demand answers before he takes control in less than two weeks.

If there were B-list of questions—a set of questions that could follow once that everything on the first list had been answered as satisfactorily as possible—what would it be? Check out a few of these, or come up with a few of your own. The guidelines are...well, there aren’t any guidelines: the apparent gravity (or lack thereof) of the question-answer needs to have no bearing on it’s place of order on your list. Like so: Mr. President-elect,
  • You have called for an expansion of our nuclear capability. We currently possess about 7,100 warheads, most of them more powerful than those used ending World War II. The outgoing president and the defense machine have pledged to spend $1Trillion on modernizing this capability in the next 30 years. This is not enough for you?
  • There is a history of the President distancing himself from the intelligence community and military chiefs of staff beginning back as early as WWII. Are you beginning this divorce even before you are sworn in to get your own group of personal advisors together early; or are you doing it to discredit the recent findings of the intelligence community about Russian hacking breaches? Or both?
  • Do you think there are a few extra bucks to be earned renting the Lincoln bedroom, with Melania serving as hostess-”model”? Maybe in one of those skimpy, lacy, maid outfits?
  • Will your solution to the murder rate in Chicago involve an overwhelming military troops or a clandestine group of snitches and undercover agents, or both?
  • Would you be able to have your architects and construction people erect a few full-scale prototypes of the Southern Wall so the public could see what it is paying for that Mexico will eventually pay them back? The Mall in Washington would be a good place to show them off.
  • If, in economics, r>g (as Piketty maintains), how do you expect to get most Americans good-paying jobs again without really shaking up the capitalist system? Also,have you considered a guaranteed Universal Income?
  • You do realize you are starting to look fat on TV, don’t you?
  • Does your infrastructure improvement idea include a commitment to green energy projects? No? I thought not.

Try this and you will find that once started, the questions will soon start rolling off your fingertips onto the keyboard. Having no guidelines helps, and adding  humor is a necessity for your sanity.

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