McCain Memories for Trump on July 4th
If President Donald Trump was hoping to get that whole John McCain public-relations disaster behind him, better think again. As a candidate, Trump drew heavy and well-deserved public criticism for deriding the 5 1/2 years Sen. John McCain spent as a prisoner of war, often under torture, in Vietnam. (Trump, of course, avoided service with a deferment for a bone spur.) Then Trump balked at issuing condolences when McCain died in March, followed by a complaint when the senator's family didn't thank him for his help with funeral arrangements.
During Trump's visit to Japan last month, a speech before service members would have placed the USS John McCain within the president's view, so White House officials arranged to have the ship's name covered up to protect Trump's fragile ego.
Now that Trump is planning a speech at the Lincoln Memorial on Independence Day, McCain will be back to haunt him in the form of T-shirts with the USS John McCain boldly depicted by veterans attending. The VoteVets website says the group didn't always agree with Sen. McCain, "but what has bound us together since 1776 — the belief in something larger than yourself — is always worth honoring on the Fourth."
And if it means one more opportunity to remind Trump what a real war hero looks like, all the better.
Thank You for Flying Air Canada
While Tiffani O'Brien was in a deep sleep — apparently a really, really deep sleep — after her flight from Quebec City to Toronto, the Air Canada crew members and cleanup personnel on her plane apparently were sleepwalking through their post-flight procedures.
O'Brien said she woke up from a nap to find herself utterly alone inside a pitch-black, empty plane. She apparently didn't wake up when the plane landed, and no one woke her up when the plane reached its gate and all the other passengers began disembarking. Crew members appear to have overlooked her when checking aisles and overhead bins for any items passengers may have left behind. And if cleanup personnel boarded the plane to prepare it for the next day's flight, they must have vacuumed around her.
O'Brien, in a panic, got on her cellphone and called a friend, but the phone died less than a minute into the call. She found her way to the cockpit, where she located a flashlight. Then she managed to open the main cabin door, only to pull back at the 40- to 50-foot chasm below. There were no stairs. Luckily, a luggage-cart operator saw her and came to the rescue.
Air Canada says it is investigating what went wrong. We can offer a few clues.
One of the architects behind first lady Melania Trump's weirdly named "Be Best" campaign is now the White House press secretary, replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Stephanie Grisham has helped first lady Melania Trump negotiate some major public-relations nightmares, including when it was revealed that the president paid hush money to a porn star and former Playboy model who had slept with Donald Trump. Grisham also helped deal with the fallout after the first lady boarded a plane to visit immigrant children near the border while wearing a jacket painted with the message, "I really don't care."
No one really knows what the Be Best campaign is all about, largely because of spokeswoman Grisham's inability to articulate it. Grammar websites have failed to make sense of it. Does it mean be better? Be the best? The White House (Grisham, presumably) explains that Be Best's three pillars are "well-being, online safety, and opioid abuse." Not to belabor the point, but ... be best at opioid abuse?
Under Sanders, the White House communications team operated like a well-oiled mess. Imagine what new heights of communication greatness will be achieved under Grisham's direction.
Husband Abuses Wife. Wife Goes to Jail
Whenever America needs guidance on how to push the envelope of weirdness, Florida shows the way. In Lakeland, Fla., Courtney Irby pressed charges against her estranged husband after he rammed her car repeatedly and tried to force her off the road. He was arrested on a domestic violence aggravated battery charge.
Irby sought and received a temporary injunction for protection, which invoked a federal law prohibiting people subject to a domestic-violence restraining order from possessing firearms. When local police didn't take action to remove guns from the husband's home, she took action herself. After she entered her husband's locked apartment and collected his assault rifle and handgun, she delivered them to police. They promptly arrested her for armed burglary.
Irby told an officer at the time of the car-ramming incident that she feared for her life. And as we know from a recent St. Louis case in which a woman was killed after her abusive husband's release from jail, the threat of spousal retaliation is real.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, has joined an effort to help Irby defend herself in court. Guttenberg tweeted that Irby was "an abused woman trying to protect herself from an abusive husband."
State Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando also has intervened on her behalf to get the charges dropped, citing research showing a five-fold increase in the likelihood a woman will be murdered when a gun is involved in domestic violence cases.
But Florida being Florida, any outcome is possible.
REPRINTED FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH