Now we live in a time when the 45th president insults and threatens the press as his daily bread. The press has taken his verbal abuse on the chin. On Donald Trump’s first full day in office, he called the press his “enemy” at the CIA. In a Nixonian move, Trump just tweeted that NBC’s license might be revoked for a report on enlarging the nuclear arsenal. Yet Nixon hated the press privately. Trump is poisoning the public well of ink and airwaves.
The reason the Senate moves glacially is because its arteries are clogged — literally. Under the shiny white Capitol dome is a country for old men. The body politic needs an infusion of fresh blood. The old nickname, “the Plantation,” still fits.
Teach your children. Nonviolent resistance opens a way out of the dark. The legions of kneeling NFL players, whom President Trump tongue-lashed like a plantation overseer, should be congratulated, not condemned. They created a public stage of protest to be seen and witnessed. They moved the ball of progress forward.
But this is a different version of Herself — ahem! — herself. Ironically, this is the winning version, much more true and real. It’s a shame she didn’t show up at the carnival — ahem! — the campaign. She’s here to tell us “What Happened,” the title of her new tome. It may make you weep, but a good cry never hurt anybody.
Arthur Ashe, the late champion of infinite class and grace, was my favorite male player. I knew his life story, or thought I did. Ashe broke the color barrier in American men’s tennis and Davis Cup competition, overcoming a youth spent in segregated Richmond, Virginia, where Confederate statues lined Monument Avenue.
Confronted with the catastrophe still unfolding now, Turner sticks by his story. His defiant tone, under duress, falls flat. It seems clear now that those living in Houston’s 100-year floodplain should have been strongly encouraged to flee their homes, ahead of time, in an orderly process. That’s emergency preparedness 101.
Here in the nation’s capital, it was the happiest thing to happen in seven months. Looking skyward, people were moved to see the moon cover the sun almost totally. Strangers passing the time of day in Georgetown, and then passing a pair of eclipse glasses around, melted into mere fellow earthlings. It sparked a sense of oneness, just us and the cosmos.
The Virginia tragedy is the knell. It shook America with street scenes of violent white male supremacists. Young hooligans claimed the life of a young woman and injured other brave resisters. It was a terrible thing, made worse by the president’s defiant defense of new Confederates.
With crisp stage timing, Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, is making media rounds for a new book denouncing Trump, “Conscience of a Conservative.” (He took the title from a famed Arizona conservative, the late Barry Goldwater.) Flake, 54, is the first senator to speak out strongly, painting the president as an unclothed emperor.
Sad to say about the American president, but you can’t take him anywhere. Trump needs a tete-a-tete with his best friend on the world stage, President Vladimir Putin, the spymaster who loved him. There’s a lot of stuff to talk about. It’s a secret no more that Russia influenced the 2016 election and attacked American democracy to help his victory.
Strange thing passing, but the Republican repeal push on health care echoes Obama’s efforts to get it passed in the first place, six or seven years ago. First, neither the 44th nor the 45th president have strong ties or friends in Congress. Lacking discipline for unity, Trump will remain an obstreperous outsider to the political establishment; that’s what he ran on.
The body is still warm, though President Trump is gleefully pronouncing it dead. We are talking about President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. And part of this is personal. Repealing Obamacare, dealing a lethal blow to Barack Obama’s legacy, is truly the best part of the Republican fun.
At the end of the day, we heard The Washington Post’s earthshaking scoop: Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice. But there was no joy in Mudville, or Washington, even for those who saw big trouble coming. Universally, we were grief-stricken and gobsmacked at the turn of events for Congress and the rocky Trump White House — not even five-months-old.
Recently fired as FBI director, James Comey arrived at the teeming Senate Intelligence Committee hearing room. He rode a white horse into the big story, which casts him as a truth-teller versus a new president with few scruples. Sure, the white horse is in my imagination, but that’s the kind of guy Comey likes to be: 6’8″ tall and just as upright.
The truth is clear as a June day: Donald J. Trump has no idea how to play his part. He doesn’t have the class or the chops; nor does he have curiosity or compassion. To borrow a phrase from him, he does not “look the part.”
he president who tragically died at 46 never combed gray hair, as the Irish say about dying young. His 100th birthday is upon us Monday, May 29. Yo-Yo Ma, the great cellist, played at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to honor his memory.
The scene was straight out of Shakespeare. FBI Director James Comey played Cordelia at the loyalty dinner with President Trump, one week into his White House reign. Comey and the stage character Cordelia get punished severely for speaking truth to power’s face.
American history is a grand sprawling canvas. Scholars spent their lives writing about the Civil War. But Trump has given us a whole new window on it. He clarified that we needed a tough Southern slave plantation owner to hold things together. President Jackson has become his north star in a sea of ignorance. After visiting the National Archives on the National Mall, where Trump’s tweets will join the Emancipation Proclamation, my father asked me, “How many of these Smithsonian museums do you think he’s visited?”
A word of advice to gruff billy goat Trump, 70, and pal Bill. Go back to graceful Jack Kennedy, who charted courses for the country, but never combed gray hair. Self-deprecating wit is the secret sauce to disarming people. Try it sometime. Though it might be easier for these men to land on the moon. Yet it works wonders.
Murphy declared the center of the Senate might not hold any more, if the rules were changed for Gorsuch to be railroaded through. Once the rule changes, it is permanent. The rules changed by a series of votes Thursday. The final Gorsuch vote will move ahead Friday night — before they break for Easter and Passover.
In fact, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, a son of the South, lost no time in waging war on the federal government from within. Wielding the budget knife at the National Institutes of Health, the State Department and National Endowment for the Arts are skirmishes in what will soon be a siege.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) noted that millions of “dark” dollars had been raised to buttress the nomination of Gorsuch, without names attached. “They obviously think you will be worth their money,” Whitehouse said bluntly.
You see, he was rough-hewn, but Bush belonged to the political establishment as a genial governor when he ran. Trump is such an angry outsider that you can sense Washington wishing for the good ol’ days. Back then, presidents didn’t accuse others in the elite club of wiretapping.
Douglass, striking in appearance and speech, became the first public speaker to tell the story of American slavery from personal experience. After his spellbinding oratory on Nantucket Island, Douglass became a sensation on the anti-slavery circuit.
The fancy joint session address to Congress is not a place you can lead chants like, “Lock her up.” Best to avoid the word “carnage” if possible. If you’re the American president, please act like one. For the first time in a long life, Trump tried to do that. Fake gravitas does not become him, but his slick performance fooled half the people.