PARIS — Barack Obama's family searched the country for a dog at the beginning of his presidency. Bo's first paw steps turned the Obama White House into a home. Is it time now that his successor, President Donald Trump, should also acquire a pet?
Caitlin Gibson wrote in the Washington Post that getting a dog would generate good press for the president; it would make him more likeable, bridge political divides, lower stress and satiate Trump's need for loyalty. Remember Richard Nixon's infamous "Checkers speech" in 1952 that mentioned the family cocker spaniel? Nixon, then a senator accused of abusing a political expense fund, turned around public opinion when he referred to the "black-and-white, spotted" dog.
Could this work for Trump? Unlike Nixon, Trump doesn't have just one financial scandal to distract his audience from right now. He'd need a pack of dogs for the number of controversies he's embroiled in: tax compliance, antitrust violations, Trump University court cases, four bankruptcies. And those are just those related to his finances.
Gibson's suggestion has stirred debate. Trump's temperament could be compared to that of a dog. When a dog barks, it won't stop until it gets your attention. But it could also be argued that a cat is a better fit for the president considering his feline attributes. He is known to have late-night spurts of energy scratching on Twitter; he also has the same orange and yellow coloring as Garfield.
But Trump is not likely to be able to look after a cat. Cats take time to win over. They don't like loud, boisterous humans chasing after them; they prefer to cuddle up to the one person who ignores them. If you want a cat to like you, the best strategy would be to act aloof and pretend to be uninterested. Such subtlety isn't really the Trump administration's style. For instance, confronted with North Korea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the country that U.S. would consider military action. So much for playing coy.
It doesn't look like Trump is well suited for a dog or a cat. Maybe he should leave animals alone. Humans too.
A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.
A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."
The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.
Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021
Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?
The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.
The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.
The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."
The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."
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