Trump Does the “Walk on Back”

trumphatA headline in today’s Washington Post reads Trump, amid criticism, walks back suggestion that armed clubgoers could have prevented Orlando massacre. Apparently the notion of several dozen clubbers – many no doubt at least half-drunk – simultaneously opening fire in a crowded venue in the dark against an unknown assailant was too loopy even for Donald Trump to support for more than a day. Trump asserted after the tragedy, “If in that club, you had some people — not a lot of people, ’cause you don’t need a lot of people — but if you had somebody with a gun strapped onto their hip, somebody with a gun strapped onto their ankle and you had bullets going in the opposite direction, right at this animal who did this, you would have had a very, very different result, believe me, folks.”

Almost certainly the very different result would have been even more people shot and killed as every person shooting would appear to be the “active shooter” to all the other shooters. Shortly after, Trump did what he always does – he walked it back.

“When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees.” Obviously. He did forget, however, to note that indeed an armed guard was present at the Pulse club in Orlando that evening, and fired some rounds at Omar Mateen, the assailant.

If you have any doubts that Donald Trump is the corporeal incarnation of an IHOP waffle, consider these headlines documenting his numerous walk-backs:

Fund Raising:
Trump fundraisers walk back goal of raising $1 billion for campaign link

Attacks on Republicans:
Donald Trump’s campaign tries to walk back his attacks on Republicans link

Abortion:
Trump attempts to walk back abortion comments link

Muslims:
Trump Tries To Walk Back Comments On Registering All Muslims In A Database link

Tax Plan:
Donald Trump Walks Back Tax Plan, Saying ‘It’s Going to Be Negotiated’ link

George Bush:
Trump walks back attack on George Bush link

America’s Debt:
Trump walks back pledge to eliminate debt in a decade link

Abortion Punishment:
Donald Trump Walks Back Statement on ‘Punishment’ for Women Who Have Abortions link

Visas:
Trump quickly walks back remarks on visas link

Bathroom Law:
Donald Trump Walks Back Criticism Of North Carolina’s Anti-Trans Bathroom Law link

Trump University:
Trump Walks Back Trump U Comments link

Supreme Court:
Trump Walks Back Supreme Court List link

Hillary Clinton:
Donald Trump Walks Back His Past Praise of Hillary Clinton link

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USGA Duffs it Bad

golf tweet

As 2016 U.S. Open victor Dustin Johnson stood over a par putt on the fifth hole of the final round Sunday, his ball imperceptibly rolled backward toward him about 5 degrees. Because he had not placed his putter on the surface of the green behind the ball, and did not cause the ball to move (according to him), that should have been the end of it. But in the hyper-anal world of the “Rules of Golf,” all professionals know to consult the army of circulating rules officials rather than make a decision on their own that could cost them a trophy or push them down the leaderboard. Better to inform an official that the ball moved on its own and let him or her give a blessing to proceed, than make an assumption. (Johnson more than most can appreciate that, as he took a two-stroke penalty on the final hole of the 2010 PGA Championship and lost a chance to win because his club touched a worn out spot on the course that had been deemed a sandtrap.)

The rules official at yesterday’s U.S. Open concluded on the spot that the movement was not caused by Johnson; DJ putted out for par and moved on.

Now, lay people may ask what possible difference could it make if a golfball moves a millimeter prior to being struck – and they would be correct. The USGA finally softened the rule recently which used to penalize players when, through no fault of their own, the wind kicked up and waggled the ball. Now, the rule stipulates that the player must be the culprit in causing the ball to move.

In Johnson’s case on number 5, it seemed pretty clear from the grainy video that he was not the culprit.

Watch for yourself.

Seven holes later, however, the USGA informed Johnson that, on second thought, he might get a 1 stroke penalty after all, despite the exoneration of the rules official (essentially the closest thing golf has to an umpire). Just keep playing and we’ll let you know when you’re done. A USGA official joined the TV sportscasters to give a laughable explanation of the situation, and yet neither Joe Buck nor Paul Azinger at the desk bothered to point out what an asshole-ish position the USGA had taken.

How can a sporting contest proceed if players don’t know the outcome of a ruling until after it’s all over? This is especially the case in golf where trophies are often won by a single stroke – the amount that hung in the balance for Johnson.

It turns out the USGA did assess a penalty on Johnson, but his margin of victory was sufficient to weather the ruling body’s retardation. (Sidebar: imagine if Johnson had signed his card with a par on 5, before the USGA belated assessed the penalty . . . would they have DQ’d DJ for signing an erroneous card? Did I mention golf’s rules are hyper-anal?)

The issue really isn’t that the USGA most certainly incorrectly assessed a penalty, but that they dithered forever to make that incorrect call.

If the USGA was running the NBA, we may not yet know whether the Cavs beat the Warriors because they’d still be trying to determine whether LeBron James traveled in the first quarter. And the USGA wonders why interest in golf is flagging. Morons.

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