Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Zirpoli: Are we great yet?

The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump was continuing to use an unsecured iPhone, “even though his aides told him that Chinese and Russian spies were listening in on his conversations through it.” But what about Hillary’s emails?

Speaking of hypocrisy, The Washington Post reported that Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior aide to the president, “used a personal account to send hundreds of emails last year related to government business.” The emails were sent to other White House aides, Cabinet officials, and others, “in violation of federal records rules” according to the Post. And she conducted official White House business over a private email account she shared with her husband, also a senior aide to the president. Her response was that she did not know it was wrong because, evidently, she has been asleep the last three years while her father talked about locking up Hillary Clinton for similar behavior.


Remember the 5,900 troops Trump sent to the Mexican border? Now that the midterm elections are over and the “caravan” is no longer needed to scare Trump voters to the polls, the troops have started coming home. The Pentagon announced that, while they missed Thanksgiving with their families, all will be home by Christmas. How nice. And what did the troops accomplish while missing Thanksgiving with their families? According to the Pentagon, they set 12.5 miles of barbed wire on our 1,954-mile border with Mexico. Military experts say that the deployment cost between $100 and $200 million, so that would come out to $8 million to $16 million per mile of barbed wire. I bet there are contractors on the border who would have done the job for less.

Speaking of our military, Trump said he was too busy to visit Arlington Cemetery on Veterans Day. Interestingly, he wasn’t too busy to send out multiple tweets that day. Imagine if President Barack Obama said he was too busy to go to Arlington. Meghan McCain calculated correctly that she and her fellow Republicans’ “heads would’ve exploded” if Obama did the same. As stated by E.J. Montini in the Arizona Republic, as president, “Trump has traveled more than 200 times to properties that he owns … more than 150 of those excursions were to golf properties. But he didn’t travel the 2 miles from the White House to Arlington on Veterans Day. Two miles.”


Trump’s contempt for the military continued last week. During a Fox News interview, he criticized retired Adm. Bill McRaven who led the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. According to Trump, McRaven should have found bin Laden sooner because he was “living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.” Of course, it was up to the CIA to find bin Laden, not McRaven, who was tasked to kill bin Laden after he was located. Funny how a person who received five draft deferments — one for bone spurs — thinks he knows more than McRaven. Then, again, Trump did say he knew more than the generals. Guess he knows more than the admirals, too. My father used to say that “the more you know, the more you realize how little you know.” This confirms my suspicion that Trump knows very little, as he thinks he knows so much.

Speaking of knowing so much, Trump apparently knows how to prevent forest fires, too. Raking. Indeed, if we just rake all the forest floors, according to Trump, we could prevent the type of forest fires that have ravaged California. Trump said he got the idea from the president of Finland. For the record, the president of Finland said that he has no memory of this conversation. My guess is that Trump has no memory of this conversation, either, and just made it up. California has 33 million acres of forest and 60 percent of these forests are owned and managed by the federal government under Trump. I’m looking forward to hearing how Trump will implement his plans to rake nearly 20 million acres of federal forests in California. I bet some of those people in the caravan would be willing to help.

On top of all of this, Trump announced that he would not punish Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, even though the CIA concluded that he ordered the death of Virginia resident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump decided to side with Saudi Arabia over our American intelligence agencies because, he said, he was putting “America first.” Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul had it right, however, when he said that he was “pretty sure” the president was putting “Saudi Arabia first, not America first.”

Are we “great” yet?