Donald Trump

As you surely know by now, President Obama released a copy of his long-form birth certificate Wednesday to prove to Donald Trump and the birthers that he was born in the United States.

I wish I could say with any certainty that this will end the birther movement, but I think it’s more likely those people who hate Obama so much they wouldn’t believe he was born in Hawaii now will find something else equally ridiculous to believe and pester the president about.

And while Trump is not to blame for those people believing such nonsense, he is responsible for stoking the fire that fuels their craziness. (Incidentally, Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” said “NBC has created a monster” in Trump. I agree with him.)

Since most of us who are sane are tired of hearing about the birther nonsense and Trump’s feeble attempts at logic, the president’s action Wednesday was most welcome (and sad that a sitting president had to produce his birth certificate to prove again that he was born in the United States). I just wish Obama would’ve done this on Friday so there would be something big to report that day other than the royal wedding that’s being covered way too much in this country. I’ve already accepted that the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, which will be attended by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (the shooting victim whose husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, is helming the Endeavour’s final voyage), will practically be ignored by comparison.

I expect to take a day off from watching TV news on Friday because of the royal wedding overkill. I’ll stick to the Internet (Twitter and websites of news organizations) for my news that day so I can avoid the royal wedding as easily as possible while still staying informed about whatever important is happening.


It bothers me — but doesn’t surprise me — that Donald Trump allowed controversial Miss California USA Carrie Prejean to keep her crown even though she failed to disclose that she previously posed for racy photos. As I said on Twitter earlier, this is just another case of somebody publicly breaking rules without consequence.

I don’t want to dwell on this topic too long because beauty pageants don’t mean much to me, but I want to share what Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogger Jay Bookman wrote about it. I think his take is spot-on:

I’m glad Carrie Prejean gets to keep her Miss California title, since it seems to be important to her. I’ve written before that the Perez Hilton character was well out of line and over the top in his criticism of the beauty queen.

But please. Let’s not pretend that racy photos of Prejean now emerging constitute some kind of political attack or vengeance for her comments about gay marriage.

There’s nothing exceptional about what’s happened; in fact, it’s an unwritten rule: When an attractive young woman becomes famous, any nude or racy photos in her past become public. It’s not nice, it’s not right.

But it’s also not about politics, and in this case Prejean is the victim only of her own poor judgment.

And this is the last word I will post on this subject, I promise.


I was pleased to hear Tuesday that U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel did the sensible thing and denied Rod Blagojevich’s request to travel to Costa Rica so the former Illinois governor could participate in NBC’s survival reality show, “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!”

Zagel said he doesn’t consider Blagojevich a flight risk, but denied the request because Blagojevich doesn’t seem to fully understand the seriousness of his legal problems. I think Zagel is right about that. Blagojevich faces 16 felony charges of criminal corruption that could land him in prison for 25 to 30 years, yet he seems more preoccupied with crazy, self-promoting stunts than saving his hide (and his dignity). I suppose that might say something about how Blagojevich views his chances of staying out of prison — not too good — so he wants to live it up while he is still a free man (constrained by bail requirements).

Blagojevich strikes me as the type of person who crammed a semester’s worth of learning beneath his hair the night before a big exam. He seems to be in denial about his probable future as a convicted felon, and therefore won’t do much about it until right before his trial begins. Then again, Blagojevich also seems like somebody who just acts oblivious to the seriousness of his position, all the while plotting some crazy defense strategy akin to metaphorically setting himself on fire as he proclaims his innocence in the courtroom.

Whatever the case, if Blagojevich decides to pursue a different reality TV show — one he can be on because it is filmed in the United States — Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal has a couple of “(bleeping) golden” ideas:

The network probably also should have offered Blagojevich a slot on “Celebrity Apprentice,” where he could have gone haircut to haircut with Donald Trump.

And “Deal or No Deal”? Suitcases full of money? A banker dangling cash offers to change your mind? What Chicago politician isn’t a natural for that?