Has there ever been a president as obscene as Donald Trump -- a president as obtuse, as ignorant, as base, as dishonest, as indifferent to precedent, as contemptuous of civil liberties, as critical of his own government and officials, as brutish, as cold to consequences, as hostile to the media, as casually racist and as self-centered? The ...Read more
It took a nanosecond to download Sean Spicer's new book on my iPad and, believe me, that was more time than it was worth. "The Briefing" is entirely forgettable, but it does offer some insight into the mind of a mindless apparatchik. After Spicer is told by President Trump that his first briefing asserting the historic hugeness of Trump's ...Read more
EDITORS -- Note quoted language in 2nd sentence of 4th-to-last graf.
The results of the Helsinki summit are in. President Trump couldn't handle statecraft or, for that matter, double negatives, but he came out of the meeting undefeated and invincible. Like the Charlottesville hatefest or the "Access Hollywood" tape, it was just another day at ...Read more
Franklin Roosevelt had "Happy Days Are Here Again," Harry Truman had "I'm Just Wild About Harry," John Kennedy had "High Hopes," Richard Nixon had the unsingable "Nixon's The One," and Barack Obama had several theme songs, but none that stick. That is the case, too, with Donald Trump. He's tried the Rolling Stones hit "You Can't Always Get What ...Read more
If you think history repeats itself, consider this: For the last 73 years, the Western alliance has been led by the nations that defeated Nazi Germany, foremost among them, the United States. For the last year or so, it has been led by the former Nazi Germany, reformed and reconstituted as a liberal democracy. The U.S., it is fair to say, has ...Read more
The trouble with left-wing Democrats is that they lack a proper respect for right-wing demagoguery. Hence, at the moment, many of them extol socialism -which is to American politics what curling is to sports -- and are calling for the abolition of ICE, generously giving Donald Trump yet another opportunity to demagogue on immigration. They will,...Read more
It is quite a tale John Carreyrou tells in his book, "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup." It is a story of jaw-dropping lying and greed so immense that billions of dollars fly by with every turn of the page. It's a tale of heroic cupidity on a scale that made the very best and the very brightest look like the very, very ...Read more
John Moore may have lost the midterm elections for the Republican Party and badly damaged the re-election prospects of President Trump. Moore is the Getty Images photographer who snapped a viral picture of a crying 2-year-old Honduran girl at the U.S.-Mexico border. It's not clear if the girl was separated from her mother, and, in fact, she had ...Read more
It is amazing to me that President Trump has not, on a rare day when he's in New York, exited Trump Tower, made a sharp left, and limoed down to Stuyvesant High School. It is New York City's crown jewel, where -- like in the fictional Lake Wobegon -- all the students really are "above average." And just to make matters more intriguing and ...Read more
Is Meacham right?
The Meacham I have in mind is Jon, the distinguished historian, journalist and television commentator who maintains in his new book that, as bad as things are now, we have seen worse and come out the better for it. From his lips to God's ear, as my grandmother used to say.
My grandmother, in fact, is just about the only ...Read more
Mark Cuban is mistaken. The brash billionaire, owner of both the Dallas Mavericks and a very short fuse -- surely no sports owner has been fined as much -- said of the next presidential campaign and whether he will be a candidate: "It's not about Donald Trump." Wrong. It's about nothing else.
Cuban's quote comes toward the end of a recent ...Read more
If Stanley Kubrick were making his classic dark comedy "Dr. Strangelove" today, the part of Strangelove himself would not be modeled on a German scientist, but on an all-American type, born in Baltimore, educated at Yale and with no ominous physical tics -- like a barely repressed Nazi salute. Instead, he would have a shoe-brush mustache and the...Read more
Gina Haspel, almost certainly the next director of the CIA, is almost certainly the most qualified person available. She's spent 33 years at the agency, rising through the ranks to deputy director, garnering the admiration and support of her colleagues but having an unfortunate association and identification with the agency's post-9/11 ...Read more
Donald Trump is the jester in his own court. He is the fool in his own village. He sputters lies by the bushel. In a single week, the Stormy Daniels story zinged back and forth like alternating current, the alleged payoff escalating, the lies bombarding each other until, as in some political cyclotron, critical mass was reached and even The Wall...Read more
The Economist, a news magazine of British pedigree, devoted a recent cover to an obituary. The stiff in question is the GOP, once the party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt but now decidedly that of Donald J. Trump. He has taken it over. He demands personal loyalty, refuses to abide dissent and rules by whim. For the once Grand Old Party, ...Read more
If Donald Trump knew anything about history, he would be worried about his success with North Korea. Never mind that there is no agreement yet, and never mind that no summit meeting has yet been held, the facts speak to a Trump triumph. Could it be that Trump's bluster and belligerence have convinced North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to play ball...Read more
I am the child of privilege -- or so I am being told. I am white, I am male. Put them together and you would think I've been sitting on a trust fund -- unearned, unappreciated and unjustified. There are people who think that being male has historically been an unalloyed privilege. The many dead of our national cemeteries suggest otherwise.
Let ...Read more