Dictionary.com defines “surrealism” as having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic.
We believe that is the best definition of what we have been hearing directly from the mouths of President Donald Trump and Gov. Matt Bevin.
Trump, now a full-fledged conspiracy theorist, said last week that Democrats had rigged the death toll count in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and that it was only about 18, not the 2,975 reported by the Puerto Rican government.
He also claimed again that his administration had performed in superior fashion in sending relief aid to the battered island during last year’s storms.
But he had no explanation for the recent discovery of 20,000 pallets of bottled water in storage at the Puerto Rico airport, all of it shipped there by the U.S. for relief during and after Hurricane Maria.
After nearly a year sitting unsheltered in the tropical sun, the water now has a foul taste, according to Puerto Rican authorities.
Not to be outdone, our governor paused between corporate expansion announcements to compare industrial apprenticeship programs with indentured servitude, a system often confused with slavery.
Indentured servants typically worked four to seven years in exchange for passage to the U.S., room and board, and freedom dues. They had limited legal protection. Slaves had none.
Bevin is the same governor who has been touting apprenticeships as a faster, more cost-effective means of developing a trained workforce for new and existing industry in Kentucky.
His off-the-cuff comments likely will make it more difficult to recruit some participants into apprenticeships.
But the prizewinner for the governor was his decision to give a $215,000 pay raise to the state’s information technology chief, Charles Grindle, now the highest paid such employee in the U.S.
Bevin justified his action by saying Grindle could make far more than his $375,000 state salary in the private sector. What the governor didn’t tell us was that he and Grindle are old Army buddies and that Grindle’s company did IT work for Bevin’s 2015 gubernatorial campaign.
We suggest Trump and Bevin review the quotations attributed to Mark Twain, especially this one:
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”