Steve Allen brings you the latest from the newspapers as you wake up.
26 February 2017, 01:05
I think I have figured out what is going on here.
The six-foot, bright orange, whiny carnival barker lumbering around the Whitehouse is a giant distraction machine.
He is the only fine-tuned machine in the whole place.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump’s administration revoked a key piece of guidance to public schools, which allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
You would hardly think that was top of the list of priorities in a country that is beset with gun violence and poverty and health problems.
Republicans and the religious right-wingers are thrilled because they would like to ban everything that happens between a person's knees and waist, but Trump is not really a Republican or religious, so why spend time on this, knowing the public storm that will accompany it?
In May 2016, President Obama instructed schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms they feel most comfortable with.
The decision had been hailed as a victory for human rights in general.
The new administration bizarrely placed rescinding those rights at the top of their to-do list and it was championed by the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was initially against the revocation, and it was only after the President compelled her to sign the directive that she did so, according to the non-fake, highly reliable New York Times.
Why would he be insistent on this, especially as he previously stated that if the newly transitioned Caitlyn Jenner wanted to visit Trump Tower, she could use "any bathroom she chooses".
This all came after the furore about the Muslim ban and the "big beautiful wall" and the Mexican stand-off and the Australian telephone incident and the constant trolling on Twitter.
Commentators were predictably furious and fascinated about all of those things.
But what if that was the plan?
What if all those demented missives and Tweets pouring from the freakishly small hand of the Screaming MeMe from Mar-a-Lago were designed to distract the public from what was really going on right under their noses?
What if Trump was acting like one of those magicians that wave one hand in front of your face while picking your pocket with the other?
Because, while all that was happening, the Trump administration and the Republicans controlling government have:
- voted to abolish the rule brought in by Barack Obama to subject those with mental illnesses to a background check before they could buy guns.
- overturned an Obama administration rule that sought to reduce climate change by decreasing the emissions by the oil industry of the harmful gas methane into the environment.
- quashed an Obama era regulation that prevented coal mining companies from dumping toxic waste directly into rivers and streams
- moved to eliminate Obama's fiduciary rule on financial advisors that required them to act in the interests of their clients and not just sell whatever products that would generate the highest returns for the advisors.
All that has been done pretty much under cover and was barely discussed because of the attention generating tool that is the unhinged 70 year-old toddler in the Whitehouse.
Now it all makes sense. The blatant lies, the fights with the press and celebrities, the unhinged outpourings of Captain Chaos - they were all classic diversion tactics.
The Trump administration is great for Americans, as long as they don't like air, water or money and don't mind being shot.