The biggest etiquette blunder ever made by a US president?

A lot has been going on in the last couple of weeks, both in my life personally and in the news. My unintentional leave of absence could be said to be somewhat ill-timed, but the flip side of that was that the most prominent news story of the month, the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, has had plenty of time to develop. Oh, and develop it did. Next week, probably earlier rather than later, I may post about other aspects of the story. But for now, I’m going to focus on, as the title implies, a huge blunder made by the minority-elected “buffoon-in-chief” I refer to as DJT.

Among others, The New Civil Rights Movement covered this photo op that DJT went to in Florida, even though he wasn’t wanted. From the story:

Donald Trump left Washington D.C. on Friday to visit victims of the country’s latest mass shooting in Florida, although he wasn’t wanted, resulting in a new header photo for the president’s Twitter account.

Let’s step back a bit. Were this Barack Obama, or just about any other president in recent memory save for Richard Nixon, the reaction might have been different and at the least, the president’s presence would not have been specifically shunned even if not openly welcomed.

What I can read into this, though, is it’s quite likely DJT went down there mainly for the photo op. Damn the cost to the taxpayers, DJT’s got to feed his ego, right?

There are moments I’m proud to be an American. Seeing this weasel go and, er, weasel his way into Florida at the taxpayer’s expense, definitely is not one of them.

After the president told reporters that he saw some of those injured by a 19-year old gunman who killed 17 people and wounded 14 others on Wednesday, he praised doctors, law enforcement officials and first responders.

Trump subsequently ignored a reporter asking about the nation’s gun laws, but soon weighed in on his tone deaf visit via Twitter:

If you read the story linked above, it mentions that DJT didn’t mention any of the victims by name or age. Knowing what we know of DJT, it’s possible he made the whole thing up about talking to the victims. I wouldn’t put it past him. DJT is all about soaking up the good PR and feeding his ego, but when it actually comes down to doing the job of President of the United States, he folds like a poker player who knows he’s beat. It’s crazy. I know the personality. I’ve dealt with it before on a much smaller scale.

But let’s get back to that picture and the original story I linked to above. Of all things to do in this photo op, DJT decides to smile and do a thumbs-up gesture.

Fourteen kids and three adults are dead as a result of this violence. And DJT decides to do a thumbs up.

He gets asked a question about whether it’s time to change our nation’s gun laws. He dodges that question, so he can get to this photo op and do a thumbs up after seventeen innocent people lost their lives.

Those are the values of our Weasel-in-Chief. “Screw the country, this is all about me. Here’s a thumbs-up. I don’t care if seventeen people died and that it’s tacky to do this photo op with a thumbs-up like we’re opening a car dealership. I’m president, you’re not, so screw you.” It may as well have been a middle finger. That’s no doubt how at least some, if not most or all, of the surviving relatives are feeling about this thumbs-up if they found out about it.

These things together (the photo op, the thumbs-up, the whole “I look like I’m shooting a photo op for a used car lot opening” smile) all combine to show the intelligence and social grace of a very stupid worm. Not that it even matters due to the way we elected our president in 2016, but I’m so glad I didn’t vote for this bonehead. What is pictured in this photo is tasteless and disgusting. Actually, I take that back. It’s beyond tasteless and disgusting; it’s DJT’s biggest failure in etiquette as a president, possibly the biggest failure in etiquette ever by a sitting US president.

As repulsive as they may be, these photos need to be preserved. They should be preserved so we, the American people, know never to let this happen again: both an incident of violence such as the one that happened in Parkland, and the election by a minority of the worst excuse for a president this country has known at least since Richard Nixon, if not in its entire 240+ year existence.

Can we impeach him already, please?

Time served, money won

People get arrested every day. Accused criminals get found guilty and convicted every day. Convicted criminals get released from jail and prison, and start the road towards reintegrating into society every day. People play the lottery every day. Some of those players win every day.

So it stands to follow, every once in a while, someone with a criminal record is going to win playing the lottery. Every once in a while, a former felon is going to win a large payout. Such was the case with Timothy Poole in central Florida, as detailed in this CW39 NewsFix story among others. It was quickly found out he had served time for a sexual abuse offense some years prior, and was released in 2006.

There is, of course, no law against playing the lottery due to criminal history. Nor should there be. Yet some people think Timothy shouldn’t be allowed to keep the money because of the nature of his crime. The only way I’d possibly take the side that the winnings should be forfeited, is in cases where the winner was still on probation or parole and had a specific prohibition against buying lottery tickets or even gambling in general as a condition of release. Even then, it’s a stretch, as I’d question why the hell such a condition was there to begin with.

It is unrealistic to sentence more than the worst offenders to either life without possibility of parole or death. Not to mention, it’s a violation of their Eighth Amendment rights (in the US). So, at some point, the vast majority of individuals convicted of crimes will be released either from confinement, or even from parole or probation to unsupervised life in the free world. State lotteries, casino gambling, and many other things are part of life in the free world.

The stark reality is that Timothy did his time and his debt to society is paid; it’s not unlike paying off, say, a $10,000 credit card balance. It’s unfair to him to say just because he’s now $3 million richer from playing the lottery that there’s suddenly a larger balance due on that debt. It would be like a credit card bank deciding years later after one gets a large windfall, that one suddenly owes another $5,000 in interest for a debt paid off years ago. Most people would be outraged at this, and rightfully so. It’s the same principle here, except there’s a lot more than $5,000 at stake.

I’m not condoning what Timothy did years ago. Sex crimes are some of the most heinous. I’m not going to get into any details of the crime itself because it doesn’t matter, the sentence is discharged and I’m not even going to get into Timothy’s proclamations of innocence; if it develops into more of a story I may revisit it later. What I am going to get into is this: those who feel Timothy wasn’t sentenced properly should take it up with the judge who presided over his case, and/or the prosecuting attorney(s) who handled it. If that doesn’t work, vote them out, vote out the people who appointed them, hell, vote against every incumbent still around from 2006 if that makes you feel any better. But today, Timothy’s a law abiding citizen until proven otherwise, and to go after the $3 million that he won honestly playing the lottery is attempted theft. And I think you know by now how I feel about thieves.