By Risë Birnbaum

Call me nearsighted (I am), but I just do not see how anyone believes a word Donald Trump says.  The latest kerfuffle happened today (it’s a daily thing now), and involves the new luxury hotel he’s building in downtown DC.

The Washington Post recently stated there are illegal immigrants working on the hotel, so Anderson Cooper decided to ask Trump directly about the allegations.  Trump’s answer:  “I can’t guarantee that all the workers I employ have legal status in the United States, but if I were to discover any illegal immigrants…we’d get rid of them immediately.”

I guess the same illegal immigrants that Trump believes are “raping our women” are OK to have around as long as they help him put up his luxury hotels.  Remember, this is the same guy who re-tweeted that “Jeb Bush has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife.”  Where does this guy come off?  And he doesn’t regret a word.  Nope.  Not one, single word of his nonsensical rants.  He also called conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer a “rodeo clown.”  Now, Krauthammer is not my favorite guy in town and maybe he should cut down on the hair dye, too, but he sure doesn’t deserve what Trump dished out.  Neither does Jeb.

Really, folks, can anyone out there actually take their precious vote and pull the lever for this guy?  If anyone’s a clown, it’s Trump, and if our country is going to get through this election cycle, he either better take some xanax, or we should.  Some noise-cancelling headphones would help, too.

Ride Sally Ride

Sally had the ride of her life.  The first woman in space went where no woman had gone before.

Sally Ride died this week of pancreatic cancer.  Too young.

What a trailblazer – a woman growing up in the 50s and 60s to become a scientist, space traveler and, as the world has just learned, a lesbian.

So now pundits are coming out of the woodwork taking potshots over whether Sally should have come out sooner to show the world “it’s OK to be gay.”  Kinda like Anderson Cooper did.

For me, it was Sally’s choice.  No one else was in Sally Ride’s skin as she grew up and made a career and life choices.  If she wanted to keep her relationship on the down low for professional or personal reasons, who has the right to dispute her decision?  No one.

And when Anderson came out because he felt it was the right thing to do, slam dunk for Anderson.  He, too, did what he needed to do at the time that was right for him.

Every one of us has issues and each of us has to deal with them in the way that works best for us.

To me, Sally Ride was a brave astronaut who must have plowed through some heavy duty politics to become a national hero.  And she died as bravely as she lived, with the understanding that her private life would finally be in the spotlight.  It was Sally’s last call.

2,300 Feet Down

Every time I start thinking about those first 17 days (not to mention months to come) for the Chilean miners I get goosebumps.   Guess is they were doing lots of praying.  Given two spoonfuls of tuna and half a cookie every two days, they sure weren’t doing much eating.

And then the miracle happened.  The drill bit through the rock and the desperate miners stuck a note to the bit saying they were all alive.  Speaking of rock, that kinda rocked the world.

For the next chunk of time, they were funneled food, medicine and even soccer videos to help them stay physically and emotionally fit until the workers above cleared the path for the NASA designed rescue “rocket” to ferry them up the 2,300 feet to the surface.

And up they came, one after one into the xenon light to hug Chile’s ever-present President and their wives, families and even mistresses.

I was watching the first miner come up….the fittest in case he had to deal with falling rocks or sudden drops.  It played out live on Anderson Cooper’s show at about midnight.  As I watched the miner emerge and hug his wife and the President as the crowd roared and air horns blasted, I thought that this could be the biggest PR boost that Chile has ever seen.  It also felt like a terrible invasion of the privacy of these miners (though they sure looked no worse for the wear).

Think about it, live TV cables, reporters, politicians, family members…yes, even mistresses…all whooping it up as the shade-wearing miners surfaced one by one.  Lots of people win – the world in need of good news, the government of Chile that produced “the greatest show on Earth,” the families and the miners who will probably ink a deal for a TV movie within 48 hours.

What’s lost?  I think a bit of humanity.  These guys were 2,300 feet down for 69 days.  Who needs the world watching as you emerge, blinking, from a near death experience?  I felt a bit vindicated in my thinking when Anderson said out loud exactly what was on my mind.  Great TV story…too public a re-entry.