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Trump was orange before light bulbs became efficient

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During a speech in Baltimore, President Donald Trump went after environmental initiatives like eliminating plastic straws and energy-efficient light bulbs. CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports.

Posted: Sep 14, 2019 8:00 AM
Updated: Sep 14, 2019 8:00 AM

Let's get one thing straight, Donald Trump was orange long before the government phase-out of incandescent light bulbs began more than 10 years ago. Like his bizarre, pumpkin-colored coiffure, the President's complexion has been an unnatural phenomenon for at least a decade.

But with a quip delivered to Republican House members in Baltimore Thursday, Trump admitted he looks strange, though he insisted it's because of modern fluorescent and halogen lights. Bulbs have become an issue because the Trump administration is easing restrictions on the incandescent types that consume far more electrical power and, thus contribute to the pollution from fossil fuels that causes climate change.

"People said what's with the light bulb?" Trump told the group. "I said here's the story, and I looked at it: The bulb that we're being forced to use — No. 1, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you!"

The audience laughed at Trump's remark and it was funny, especially the part about how everyone looks orange because, in fact, we don't. Whether indoors, or outdoors, or bathed in the extreme light of a TV studio, nobody in public life is as orange as the President. It was the first thing I noticed about him when we first met back in 2014.

We were in the boss's corner office in Trump Tower, where windows that offered views to the north and the west admitted so much natural light that Trump could read his press clippings without even switching on a lamp. Like his hair, which is fashioned into mysterious swoops, even then the exact source of Trump's skin color was difficult to discern.

On TV he sometimes sports a powdery look. But the white skin often evident around his eyes suggests the goggles people wear for protection when they use a tanning bed. In person I thought I saw a cosmetic tanning agent at work and one expert quoted by the press agrees.

Whatever the cause, Trump has made such a bold statement with his skin tone that, as with his hair, there's no way he can retreat. There's no way he'll ever appear in public in his own, unaltered skin and if you think he'll let himself abandon that hair you haven't been paying attention. This is the man who in the 1990s said the worst thing an executive might do is go bald, according to John O'Donnell, a casino executive who ran the Trump Plaza.

Everyone at the White House seems to be playing along with the President, one senior administration official declaring that while Trump may sometimes use a translucent powder, his ruddy skin tone is the product of "good genes."

Check any photo archive and you'll see that Trump's genes didn't make him orange until sometime after the year 2000. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Trump featured a tanning product company on the Celebrity Apprentice TV show. The firm was owned by one of his rich friends, whose skin is also a rather unnatural-looking color. Among its brands is one lotion that encourages customers to "take your color to the extreme." Indeed.

Sure, that the President is able to joke about his appearance is a good thing. It shows he is more human, and less deluded, than his most ardent critics would suggest. However, the presidency is about policy, and this rare self-appraisal about his appearance should not be understood as merely a light-hearted moment—it is a distraction from a serious issue. The switch to efficient bulbs has cut household energy use and allowed everyone to play a part in addressing climate change.

Although some have tried to make a libertarian-type cause out of the light bulb mandate, complaining of government overreach, it's not exactly a burning -- forgive the pun -- issue with voters.

The real-world implications of the administration's change on bulbs ruined Trump's joke. And so we are left with the incontestable fact that the Orange Don's reversal on electric lighting is simply another example of his determination to destroy norms and defy common sense. In his businesses, and his politics Trump has consistently and callously shown a willingness to break the rules. And he often gets away with it. (At last count the President's lies and misstatements total more than 12,000, according to the Washington Post.)

Apparently the brazen attitude has been passed from the President to his offspring. As Politico reported this week, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, a White House official, recently told Republican donors that the main trait she acquired from her father is her moral compass. Presumably this wasn't a joke.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 750432

Reported Deaths: 13764
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
LaPorte12415221
Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
Bartholomew8164157
Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
Wayne7160201
Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
Dearborn589578
Henry5895109
Noble580787
Jackson508975
Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
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Steuben399759
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Scott270156
Clay266448
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Starke227958
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Sullivan214343
Owen211658
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Jay200932
Carroll193420
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Newton113736
Brown104043
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Switzerland8118
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108146

Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
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