She was Japanese, a temp sent over by some naive agency to fill a spot in the files department. Back then, before computers, an enormous room was devoted to files. This was at an insurance company where I worked. It was located in the Empire State Building, ninth floor. The company had only a corner of the floor; the rest was taken up by another...Read more
I don't know Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party (such as it is). He may be a very nice guy, what with a wife and kids and probably a car or two. Still, after watching him on the Sunday interview shows, I have concluded that the man has no pride, no shame and, almost certainly, no future. After Donald Trump loses the presidency,...Read more
I've read a fair amount of books on foreign policy in recent years, yet the one that's always made the greatest impression on me was assigned to our class in the sixth grade. It was Esther Forbes' novel "Johnny Tremain," and the lesson I took from it was the very one Johnny himself had to learn the hard way: "Pride goeth before a fall." Maybe ...Read more
If Donald Trump looked at a demographic profile of his supporters, he would emit a dismissive sneer. They are disproportionally out of work or not seeking it. If they do have a job, they're probably working with their hands, maybe something a machine will do better or someone overseas will do cheaper. A large share have only a high school ...Read more
Richard, I am planning to drive from Massachusetts to Florida and, while I hope it will not happen, I might have to stop in North Carolina to use a restroom. Do I need to bring a birth certificate?
The "Ask Richard" column, now the most popular on the Internet, has gotten many such questions recently and "Ask Richard" has chosen this one...Read more
NEW YORK -- The other day I spied a high Republican official walking on the street and called out his name. He stopped, hit his smile app and exclaimed how glad he was to see me. "What are you going to do about Trump?" I asked. He paused and then uttered the dreaded word: unity. "We have to have unity," he said. I got his message. He's selling ...Read more
I am reading a book about death. It is Katie Roiphe's "The Violet Hour" and it is about how some people, all of them famous, faced death or thought about it. I turned to the book because one of Roiphe's subjects is the writer James Salter, who was in good health when she interviewed him but who died last year at the age of 90, quickly and ...Read more
Donald Trump, sure to be a mystery to future historians, is heading for his preordained crackup, tripping over a tongue bigger even than his hands. To some, his performance has been appalling, not to mention frightening. To others, though, it has been downright fortunate. Among other things, Trump has averted our eyes from Barack Obama.
It was ...Read more
A week ago, I spent a good deal of time on the phone with a woman in Manila. Her name is Carolina and she works for Microsoft, which insists on compelling me to "upgrade" to Windows 10. I tried, and for some reason it did not work. My computer froze and so I had Microsoft walk it back to Windows 7, whereupon, a bit later, Microsoft struck in the...Read more
One of the oddest documents in a very odd political year is the transcript of an interview conducted by National Public Radio last week with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He had previously endorsed Mike Huckabee for the Republican presidential nomination and later Marco Rubio and now he was "without a candidate" and, it seems, without much in ...Read more
If Nathaniel Lewis is not careful, he's going to get Donald Trump elected.
Lewis was one of the organizers of the demonstration in Chicago that closed down a Trump campaign event. He is a 25-year-old graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an African-American, like many of the protesters. The idea was to shout something ...Read more
Among some people, the new parlor game is choosing who would make the worst president: Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. This is not a lady-or-the-tiger dilemma, but a tiger-or-tiger one. The choice is between a fiercely friendless reactionary and a bombastic, thoroughly dishonest egomaniac. You pick.
My choice is Trump. He wins in this close and ugly ...Read more
In my school days, I read a poem called "If" by the painfully dated Rudyard Kipling. He was a champion of imperialism, the white man's burden and other such drivel, but the poem is a bully-pulpit exhortation to manliness that is not yet out of date. Its last verse begins "If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue" and ends "you'll be a ...Read more
I may never forgive Donald Trump for what he said about Mexicans. I may never forgive him for what he said about Muslims or that smutty crack he made about Megyn Kelly. I may never forgive him for his lies and his bravado and his nasty personalizing of political differences. I may never forgive him for all these things, but I draw the line at ...Read more
Of all the surprises, of all the unexpected ironies, of all the unanticipated turns in the Republican presidential race, it's possible that Donald Trump has been hurt by telling the truth. Trump himself must be reeling from such a development and has probably by now vowed to return to lying and bluster seasoned with personal insult -- "You're a ...Read more
Let me tell you about my boat. It has a single mast and a cabin at the stern. It is painted white with a red stripe at the water line. I bought it in Denmark, at the port from where in 1943 Danish fishermen and others transported most of the country's Jews to safety in neutral Sweden. My boat measures 5 inches long. It is as huge as the human ...Read more
Monday was Parson Weems Day. This is my designation to mark the voting in Iowa as the end of the first lying season. The Rev. Mason Locke Weems (1759-1825) is the source of the story about George Washington and the cherry tree. When asked by his father if he had cut down the tree, the young Washington confessed. "I cannot tell a lie," he said. ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Has anyone noticed? If the presidential race were baseball, then what's shaping up would be called a Subway Series. But instead of the Mets and the Yankees, we're getting Trump and (maybe) Bloomberg of Manhattan, Sanders of Brooklyn and Clinton who is headquartered in the same borough. New York is back -- once again the "mudder" of ...Read more