Reporters notebook: The madness never stops

Who’s a witch?

Donald Trump should know all about witch hunts. His mentor, the man he admired most, the one who taught him about counterpunching and a rocket-fueled defense, is the thankfully deceased Roy Cohn. And it was Cohn, chief counsel to Sen. Joe McCarthy, who put the bitch in witch hunts, terrorizing communist sympathizers, homosexuals and Jews in the early 1950s.

It was reported, but not admitted by him, that Cohn was a closet homosexual, dying in 1986 of AIDS while trying to keep it secret. Current Trump associate Roger Stone, who worked with Cohn, was quoted in the New Yorker: “Roy was not gay. He was a man who liked having sex with men. Gays were weak, effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blond boys around. It just wasn’t discussed. He was interested in power and access.” Can’t help but think that Trump was young and blond once.

New blood in the White House

There have been a rash of new hires in the White House. Oh, wait, those are just lawyers for Vice President Mike Pence, Trump personal attorney Mike Cohen and any staffer smart enough to know that when push comes to shove, The Donald will be shoving them under the bus.

And yet, there are some people new to the White House. But they turn out to be old hires for Trump. The new White House director of social media is Dan Scavino Jr., formerly Trump’s golfing caddie. And the new head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s busy New York office Lynne Patton, who had organized golf tournaments for Trump, and most importantly, planned Eric Trump’s wedding. She is a fundraiser or Eric’s foundation, now under investigation by the New York attorney general.

Sinking ships and sinking hearts

While we’re on the subject of hires, the internet brain trust pointed out that the United States had no top authority to speak on the near-sinking of the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan last week, and no top diplomat to express thanks to the Japanese Navy for its part in assisting the rescue efforts. Trump still hasn’t hired a Secretary of the Navy. And he refused to ask Caroline Kennedy to stay on as Japanese ambassador.

It’s inconceivable that a rational person would want to work for Trump, but that’s exactly what happened last week to dozens of bright, eager minorities and women candidates for Foreign Service posts. Many have completed two years of graduate-level education, at taxpayer expense, and entered internships in foreign countries. For their part, they would work for the Foreign Service at least five years. Now the best they can do is stamp passports. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to pass the whole thing off as a hiring freeze.

Nixon-Trump similarity #4,721

David Remnick’s June 17 article in the New Yorker, “Who in the White House will turn against Donald Trump,” is a thoughtful read. Remnick takes us back to Alexander Butterfield, an idealistic career Air Force officer who became Richard Nixon’s assistant. Butterfield ultimately turned on Nixon when he revealed under testimony the presence of tapes in Nixon’s office.

“He quickly discovered that Nixon was a fantastically weird and solitary man — rude, unthoughtful, broiling with resentment against the Eastern élites who had somehow wounded him, be it in his imagination or in fact. Butterfield had to manage Nixon’s relations with everyone from his Cabinet members to his wife, Pat, who on vacations resided separately from the President.” And they say lightning never strikes twice.

Never say you’re sorry

Politico caught up with Jill Stein (who?) of Green Party presidential candidate fame and she says she’s not sorry for siphoning 1.2 million votes from Hillary Clinton, possibly putting Donald Trump in the winner’s circus. Little known about Stein is that she was at that same Russian RT dinner that tripped up former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. And at the same table. She shrugs off any perception that she was subject to exploitation by Russia, or a Russian tool in the election.

“There was a large and in some states decisive vote for Jill Stein that would have helped stop Donald Trump from being president,” says former Clinton campaign communications aide Jesse Ferguson. “What is debatable is the extent to which the Russian intervention in the election included propping up her campaign.” Stein has been noticeably quiet about Trump’s decision to pull out of the international climate accord, which is, you know, a big deal for the Green Party.

Old Country goes to town

A lot of New Orleans residents were shocked to hear that House Rep. Steve Scalise was shot last week playing baseball with other House members. That’s because news reports said a representative Scalise (sca LEASE) was shot. New Orleans knows the native son as representative Scalise (sca LEASE ee), part of the large Italian community that made New Orleans home, and stand out in the restaurant and bakery scene.

Some paternal relative in Scalise’s family has anglicized the old-country Italian name into a divergent pronunciation. An alternate truth, so to speak. And you thought that robust complexion was a tan. Scalise was certainly born into an extended family of immigrants.

Liberals in strange places

Which state has the highest interest in the terms, “Trump” and “impeachment”? We are proud to say it is so-called red state Montana, where the Shinbone Star’s Mountain Bureau efforts for the Resistance are apparently paying off. New York Times op-ed writer Seth Stephens-Davidowitz did a Google analysis and found Montana’s one million or so residents showed the most interest in how to impeach Trump, or sign a Trump impeachment petition.

Places such as Montana, Alaska, Washington and Idaho have large concentrations of liberal activists (who apparently thrive in high altitudes), which is why Montana was able to draw 10,000 people for the Women’s March on a frozen mid-January day. Yes, Montana did elect convicted journalist beater Greg Gianforte to Congress in a special election to replace Ryan “Rubber Stamp” Zinke, but liberal activists are already working on running him out of office in mid-term elections in 2018.

The Iraqi war, Hurricane Katrina response, and a plan to constitutionally ban gay marriage notwithstanding, we never knew we would miss George W. Bush (but not his evil overlord Dick Cheney). Long live the Resistance.

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2 thoughts on “Reporters notebook: The madness never stops

  1. hi,
    good read… and a typo in ‘Nixon-Trump similarity #4,721,’ 2nd sentence: Remnick takes us back to Alexander Butterfield, and (s/b an) idealist career …”
    sad about the Georgia loss… though it might make the old white guys change their shorts!

    Like

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