MAGNIFYING GLASS

1. It’s Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

2. My grandfather was born 121 years ago today in San Ferdinando di Puglia, Italy. I would give a lot to hear him rant about Donald Trump and the Republicans. I believe the word cetriolo would come up quite a bit.

3. Instead of “Make America Great Again,” should Trump’s slogan be “Make Someone Else Pay”?

That’s the takeaway from his answers to foreign policy questions asked by The New York Times. The Mexicans will pay for the wall. The Saudis and other Middle East nations will pay for our protection or we won’t buy their oil. Japan and South Korea need to pay for their own defense. The Europeans need to pay more for NATO. 

All of which highlights the problem with our bankruptcy laws. They discourage responsibility. Trump figures he made money off of them when he was floundering. Maybe there’s some way he can make a few bucks for the USA by stiffing people who have been our allies for generations.

4. We’ve been waiting for the time when Trump would get at least a modicum of scrutiny. The Republicans sure as hell didn’t provide any when they began their nominating process last summer. Now that it’s spring and the GOP has discovered who their front-runner, it’s panic-stricken.

And yet, of course, it’s not the Republicans providing the scrutiny on issues that matter. It’s those lefties at The Times. The Republicans are barking up the “don’t you insult my wife” routine that sounds like it’s from some bad comedy.

Will any of this matter to the Trumpettes, the livestock that actually vote for this maroon? I’m not sure. I don’t live in that world, even though it’s down my block.

5. President Obama is embarrassed by Trump’s success up until now. He echoed comments Secretary of State John Kerry made when he said world leaders are concerned about what they’re seeing in the American political campaign. 

The President also blasted journalists for not holding candidates accountable in this campaign, a remark The Times interpreted as aimed not just at Trump but also, in his own party, Bernie Sanders. “When people put their faith into someone who can’t possibly deliver his or her own promises, that only breeds more cynicism,” Obama told journalists at an award ceremony.

The problem here is simple. Trump is good for business. The news chiefs at the various networks, including my alma mater CNN, have all been quoted about how this campaign has been a windfall. Ad revenue has soared.

Which is why anything Trump says, no matter how ridiculous, gets live, breathless coverage.

Now, however, we’re getting closer to an actual decision, and the thought has to cross people’s minds – is this what kind of campaign we want?

We’re going to find out.

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