Menu

Editor's Notebook

The best speech Trump has made yet

White House Front TwilightIn the stifling heat of the muggiest day in recent D.C. memory, last Monday President Donald Trump made his most enduring and remarkable speech since he took office. With hundreds of spectators gathered on the South Lawn of the White House, president Trump spoke of sacrifice and challenges. He spoke of inspiration and hard work. He spoke of selfless leadership and victory over insurmountable odds. He spoke of teamwork and appealed to the spirit of cooperation and becoming a part of something larger than ourselves.

Read more...

Learning lessons the hard way

UntitledWednesday morning, shortly after I got up to go to work, I received a tweet that would change my day and should change our world.
While practicing for a charity baseball game, a GOP congressman (Steve Scalise) apparently got shot by a 66-year-old man from Belleville, Illinois.
Witnesses say there were as many as 100 shots fired, five people injured and the Capitol police along with the congressman’s security (he’s the majority whip and as a member of the leadership had security with him) “attacked” and took down the shooter.
The immediate, chilling affect soon gave way to accusations and finger pointing.
Again, we ask, “How can this happen?”

Read more...

Federal infrastructure and us

White House Front TwilightCongressman John Sarbanes, Senator Chris Van Hollen and a host of other federal elected officials say they have a bone to pick with President Donald Trump.
Van Hollen, along with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (talk about your strange bedfellows) are among those urging the Trump administration not to return two diplomatic compounds in the U.S. to Russian control. Intelligence reports indicate the two compounds – one in Maryland and one in New York – were used by the Russian government for intelligence-related purposes.
“The properties were seized because 17 U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that Russia used covert cyberattacks, espionage and harmful propaganda to try and undermine our democracy,” Van Hollen and Graham said in a letter to the president.
The senators say returning the compounds to the Russians is unjustifiable.
“It would both make it easier for the Kremlin to continue its intelligence operations in our own backyard and make it clear that they can avoid consequences for their actions,” the senators said in the letter.

Read more...

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen budget?

GODApparently having an appreciation for the absurd is necessary in assembling a budget for President Trump. “I feel like I’m in a Monty Python skit,” said OMB Director Mick Mulvaney in the White House briefing room.
Twice in two days Mulvaney trotted out to visit with reporters - while the president traveled to the Middle East - in order to try and sell a budget that many on the Hill aren’t buying.
On that Monday Melodious Mick did his act off-camera in a gaggle before the remaining White House press corps not currently flying with the president to the Middle East – where they’ve witnessed him complimenting the Saudi Arabian leaders and their shoes. “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes man,” he said to Saudi-Arabian leaders. (You really can’t make this stuff up).
President Trump’s wife has swatted away the president’s hand coming off Air force One and the president was photographed with a strange glowing orb rumored to sustain life and bring about peace in our days.
Meanwhile, Mulvaney, back on earth is trying to defend a budget that many on The Hill say is “Machiavellian and Draconian all at the same time.”

Read more...

Violence against reporters and a presidential solution

Bill BiggartRemember Bill Biggart (at left) or Chauncey Bailey?
I’ll get back to you on that.
Meanwhile, for the first time in my memory an American politician was recently charged with assaulting a reporter. Apparently the new paradigm in American politics is “intimidate, prevaricate, and physically assault,” the electorate. If it seems like reporters, and by extension the electorate is made of abused spouses, then I’d say you’re on to something.
There should be little argument from anyone there is a war going on against reporters. Some merely see it as divine retribution while others see it as anti-American.
Four months after Donald Trump’s inauguration a reporter in Montana is allegedly “body slammed,” by newly elected Republican congressman Greg Gianforte – who said the reporter aggressively interviewed him. Apparently the term “sticks and stones” is a call to arms for those like Gianforte

Read more...

While the President's away - who wants to play? Marijuana? Okay.

422390 4443156314825 1644154379 nThe president is away this week on his first international trip, and with just the normal cacophony in the District, it seems oddly quiet here.
The president made headlines in the Middle East with a billion dollar weapons deal with the Saudis and by saying things like, “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes man,” to Saudi-Arabian leaders. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

Read more...

One Little Tweet gave us this?

IMG 0454It was a very simple tweet.
“POTUS says GOP is coming together. Jovial as he cheers vote.”
I tweeted it from the Rose Garden as President Trump exclaimed how happy he was the House passed his healthcare reform legislation.
Because of that one tweet – which automatically feeds to my FB page, I got 13 private messages within a matter of about 10 minutes. Six of them accused me of being a secret “Trump loving fascist,” or “Hate-mongering racist” while six of them accused me of making fun of the president. “What do you mean by jovial? Are you calling the president stupid?” One guy asked.

Read more...

In Defense of Sean Spicer

Sean SpicerFor fans of “Firefly” – all you brown coats out there – there’s a wonderful quote attributed to Adam Baldwin’s character. “If you can’t do something smart, then do something right.”
I think of that quote from time to time when I’m at the White House – mostly to relieve intense boredom or justify my existence – take your pick.
I think of it now because of the swirling rumors about the man who leads the daily news briefings inside the White House. 
During the last four months I’ve grown to know Sean Spicer – and while we haven’t always agreed with each other in the White House press room, he’s never taken anything I’ve said or done personally and I’ve never taken any of his rebukes personally.
Spicer, as the president’s press secretary, visits with the members of the media on a nearly daily basis to update us, answer questions and speak for President Donald Trump.
Everyone in the White House press room knows why he’s there – and as Sam Donaldson used to say  there’s nothing illegal or even immoral in having someone to “put their best foot forward, emphasize their successes, minimize or hide their blunders . . . and generally use the press to the extent they can as a tool for governing and retaining power.”
Spicer, along with every other presidential surrogate in the Trump administration has tried to live by the Larry Speakes creed: “Don’t tell us how to stage the news and we won’t tell you how to cover it.”
Read more...

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

20170503 100417President Donald Trump. Saying the name is a joke and an insult all at the same time. Not since Richard Milhous Nixon has the nation faced a more direct and vile threat to its existence.
Of Nixon, upon his passing, Hunter S. Thompson opined, “He was the real thing -- a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family.”
It isn’t a stretch to imagine this as a description of President Donald Trump.

Read more...