Countdown for Trump

FLINT — Sorry, Trump doesn’t get to get away with the same sleight-of-tongue tricks he did during the election. He’s going to be president in a few days. The bar is higher now. That means he doesn’t get to call news he doesn’t like “fake news.” (The truth is we don’t know yet whether the startling intelligence dossier on him regarding Russia is fake or real. But I do know this: If it was deemed credible enough by our intelligence services to share it with both Trump and Obama, that’s damn well news, unsubstantiated or not.) He also doesn’t get to compare our intelligence services to the propaganda efforts of Nazi, Germany, and accuse them – without any evidence – of leaking the dossier. We have to rely on these people to keep the country safe, and he insults them at every turn. The Trump style, I think we’ve all noticed, is to say whatever pops into his head then walk it back if necessary. That’s fine for a candidate, dangerous when you’re president of the United States.

– Trump doesn’t take office until Friday but it seems like we’ve already had four years’ worth of weirdness and controversy, doesn’t it? It’s like his administration is aging in dog years. I think I am, too.

– Well, this is a whole bunch of “Your State Government in Action” fun. According to a Free Press report, a screwed up unemployment fraud detection computer program used by the state has falsely accused and fined as many as 50,000 Michiganders since 2007. AND many of those people might not get their money back because of the statute of limitations. AND it took Gov. Snyder a year to “reassign” the head of the agency responsible for the error (that zippy, proactive pace will sound familiar to Flintoids). AND this week he signed a law taking $10 million from a fund to repay the falsely accused to help balance the state budget. BUT they now say future “auto-adjudications” will require human verification, which is nice. UNLESS, of course, you’re guilty, at which the computer sends a guy named Vinny over to your house to auto-adjust your kneecaps until you pay up. (I’m joking about that last part, of course. I think.)

– It is my contention that if you showed me photos of 100 U.S. senators or representatives, I could tell you with 75 percent accuracy which party they’re from. They just have a different look, you know? Maybe you don’t. Maybe it’s just me. But let me give you an example: Mike Pence. See what I mean? He just looks … Republican, right? Here’s another: Nancy Pelosi. She simply looks like a Democrat. I can’t define either look, but I know them when I see them.

– At the auto show, Volkswagen hinted it may bring back the 1960s hippie microbus. And if that’s successful, you know what’s next, right: 1970s bell bottoms and disco, which is all by this former dude. Wooo!

– Last Sunday was No Pants Subway Ride day across the globe. Honest. It was. So there’s one reason to be grateful Michigan doesn’t have a true mass transit system.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw.

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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.