WASHINGTON—Even though an estimated 115 million Americans rushed to malls and big box stores for Black Friday sales, others were reporting that the annual spend-a-thon has lost its bang. Gone is the thrill of the stampede, the fist-fights over a big screen, the trample to grab the last Soggy Doggy.
WASHINGTON—The Senate health care bill, which was scuttled Tuesday until after July 4, was doomed by two narratives: Republicans are mean, and poor people would be dropping like flies. Assisting the opposition was none other than President Trump, who called the earlier version passed by the House "mean." Trump met with Senate Republicans Tuesday afternoon to plot their move to repeal and replace Obamacare, which remains the GOP's objective.
WASHINGTON—"If only he would stop tweeting." Those words came from a friend of mine named "Jack," quite possibly President Trump's biggest fan. A former secret service agent, Jack is your typical die-hard Trump supporter. That is to say, he's a white, Christian male, married with two kids. He's honest, hardworking—a true-blue patriot, brave and loyal to the core. He and I are at political odds these days and argue frequently about Trump.
WASHINGTON—The great thing about hiring family members: You can usually trust them more than others. The really awful thing about hiring family members: You can't fire them. Unless, of course, you're Michael Corleone. Poor Fredo. It's no mere coincidence that "The Godfather" comes to mind when considering the nation's first family and challenges therein. President Trump, like Vito Corleone, has surrounded himself with family members, especially daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, and for essentially the same reasons.
WASHINGTON—The shocking thing about Greg Gianforte's assault on a journalist isn't that he body-slammed and punched a reporter but that it took so long for the inevitable to occur. Such an attack was foreshadowed way back in March last year when tough-guy Corey Lewandowski grabbed a female reporter who, apparently, was too brash for the tender sensibilities of then-candidate Donald Trump's inner circle. A few months after his effrontery, Lewandowski left the campaign and joined CNN as a commentator. He now may be poised to rejoin Team Trump.
WASHINGTON—One thing we've learned the past several weeks is to ignore the White House and wait for Donald Trump to spill the beans. Invariably, the president contradicts statements from his communications team and other officials, and blurts the truth. As counterintuitive as it seems, Trump is a truth-teller among spinmeisters. White House: Baloney! The president did not share any classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval.
WASHINGTON — You know how it goes. You lose track of friends and then one day, someone gets in touch to say the friend has left us to our mortal pursuits. Two such messages came recently within the span of a few days. The first was an email from a stranger who knew I had been friends with John Vasconcellos, the California legislator who was a weaver of big dreams and a lampoon target of Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury.”
WASHINGTON — To hear tell, the mean ol’ GOP is waging war on Michelle Obama and, brace yourself, America’s children. Got it? The newest war on women/children relates to the first lady’s well-intentioned but disastrous school nutrition program, otherwise known as the Dumpster Derby. First to good intentions:
WASHINGTON — With The New York Times’ sudden dismissal of Executive Editor Jill Abramson and Karl Rove’s suggestion that Hillary Clinton might have brain damage, the curtain opened on a new theater in an old war. The targeting of these two powerful, accomplished women, albeit under different circumstances, may prove more predictive of the presidential election (assuming Clinton runs) than any other single factor. This is because women, who vote in greater numbers than men, have been reminded of how their sex is treated in a world that still favors men.
WASHINGTON — This is the time when Americans renew their hatred of Washington and Washington wallows in a bittersweet cocktail of self-love and self-loathing. Which is to say, this is White House Correspondents’ Association weekend, with the dinner Saturday night amid a galaxy of pre- and after-parties. Attendant to these events is the also-annual handwringing about the dinner’s value.