There's a thing with today's US president about whether or not you shake his hand. Heard an anecdote told by a comedian - sorry, wasn't really listening, didn't pick up the name, sorry - about being told several times, before meeting the president, not to shake his hand. The punchline being that Trump turned up, said "I'm Donald Trump," and held out his hand - although the end-point was (comedian sitting down, The Donald standing up) a touch of the head rather than a handshake. Think I've got that right. Trump apparently has small hands. And now he's banned various media companies from his press briefings (one press briefing so far, but let's agree that it's a big deal).
We've established, or at least the media have established to their own satisfaction, that Donald Trump doesn't read (see also the post State of the Union earlier this month). Or at least - this is the media speaking - that he doesn't read but does keep a bound volume of a certain failed dictator's speeches in or on his bedside table (if this isn't making any sense, that earlier post will open in a new window - just glance at it). Not sure where I stand on believing that. But I would believe an unsubstantiated allegation that at least one of Trump's advisers reads Stephen King (and maybe Tom Clancy).
And if you went on to suggest that at least one of Trump's advisers has trouble distinguishing between fact and fiction, I'd go along with that too, And hey, yeah, you're right - the handshake thing. The Dead Zone, right? Copy of the paperback, on the bedside table? Right. Where's a damaged hero when you need one? Some of those journalists look pretty - no, you're right. The D-word here is dishevelled, which even the spellcheck doesn't like. But hey, don't let them get too close.
Meanwhile, back here in the old continent, Francois Fillon seems to be getting the French equivalent of the Hillary Clinton email treatment. Maybe Vladimir Putin sees something in Marine Le Pen that a lot of people don't. And in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn has come out fighting after his by-election defeat and by-election Pyrrhic victory. He's going to go on fighting against austerity and for various forms of justice. Forgive me, but I remembered something about mid-twentieth century communism. It was always in the future. The justification for current chaos was always - no, not jam, but a perfect society tomorrow. Similarly, I suppose, the Labour Party is going to emerge triumphant from its present total collapse.
Somebody should shake Jeremy Corbyn's hand.