GOD (OR WHOEVER) BLESS

1. It’s Friday, July 1, 2016.

2. Do you get the sense that Bill Clinton is getting a little dotty?

I’m saying this because, earlier this week, the 42nd President’s private plane stopped in Phoenix. He got out and realized that the plane was someone he knows was nearby.

That someone was Attorney General Loretta Lynch. And if this country were in a different state of being, Clinton stopping by to say hello to a former employee would be something you’d expect an ex-boss to do.

But the problem is that Lynch’s department is involved in investigating whether Clinton’s wife, who wants his old job, was involved in a crime when she set up a separate e-mail server as Secretary of State.

Now you and I probably believe what Hillary did is, at worst, a case of bad judgment but hardly a crime.

But not the nuts who believe she is evil incarnate – probably because she’s this close to the White House.

They’ve been wailing about the Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch meeting, seeing it as his way to try to influence the investigation.

That’s why Lynch (full disclosure: she’s my brother’s ultimate boss at the Justice Department) is announcing today that she will not interfere if the FBI brings charges against Hillary Clinton or anyone else regarding the e-mail server. That’s probably what she was going to do anyway, but now she’s got to make a statement. 

Bill Clinton is supposed to be a great politician. But he doesn’t seem to have a clue about appearances. It’s hard to believe there was no voice in his head, no voice among those traveling with him, screaming “If you go over there, the nutcases’ sirens are going to go off.”

Those are the kinds of shoot-off-your-own-foot things that get the Clintons, both Hill and Bill, in trouble. It’s not evil or malicious. It’s just plain eye-rolling.

3. And as if you need a reminder about why Hillary Clinton needs an untarnished path through the next four months, here’s today’s Trumpidity:

In New Hampshire, 2,235 miles from the Mexican border, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate was addressing the lemmings excited by the winking racism of his campaign.

All of a sudden, a plane flew overhead. And Trump, who was foaming about trade, said, “In fact, that could be a Mexican plane up there. They’re getting ready to attack.”

Classy.

What a freakin’ jerk! There might be some differences with Mexico. But we are blessed to have a neighbor so reliable and peaceful, and taking cheap, stupid shots at it and its people is not what any leader would do.

It’s a reminder that this guy has gotta lose. Big. I want all 50 states; I was heartened by the first fivethirtyeight.com election forecast that makes states such as Mississippi and South Carolina more of a tossup than Ohio or Florida.

But I want Hillary Clinton to run the table on this horse’s ass. And her husband would do well to think three times before acting on impulses.

4. Every now and then, there’s an act of op-ed courage that needs support – especially since the world is about to crash on the writer with a level of opprobrium he couldn’t have imagined.

So I want to second the sentiments of Gersh Kuntzman of The New York Daily News: “God Bless America” should not be played in the 7th-inning stretch of Major League Baseball games.

To be fair, 29 teams play it only on Sundays, holidays and Opening Day. The Yankees, of course, insist on playing it every game, usually cranking up an old, tired recording of the song’s most famous singer, Kate Smith.

In his column this morning, Kuntzman says “God Bless America” is an awful song. It invokes the deity – remember, this is a country that’s supposed to be neutral when it comes to religion – to bless just us.

Anyway, didn’t God already bless the country with the mountains, prairies and oceans white with foam? It would be nice if the people singing the song actually took care of those things themselves, but I’ll save the environmental rant for another time.

The song also changes the flow of the game for the people in the ballpark. You’re cheering loudly and interacting, and then all of a sudden comes this mock-solemn moment incongruous with what’s come before and will come after.

You’ve got to stand up – and you’re told to do so by the PA announcer – and remove your cap (which, by the way, I’m wearing to help protect against a recurrence of skin cancer). Then the players – not all of whom are from the United States – stand on the field for this pseudo-patriotism.

It’s as though Baseball feels its patriotism is questioned and it needs to prove it. So it coughs up this song to show it’s in line.

Anyway, I’m on Kuntzman’s side in this. I’m old enough to still second-take the thought that the Daily News, which once stood for the type of conservatism that Trumpists would embrace, published this column. One that is going to anger the people who believe how the flag is displayed, instead of acting on the values that make America special, is the be-all and end-all of showing patriotism.

I’m afraid, though, that what Kuntzman’s column will do is solidify the position of those who think this is a good idea. That’s generally what happens when someone dares to question this kind of orthodoxy.

But, hey man, thanks! It takes guts to go against the foam.

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