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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 23, 2017

 

Sad days

by Tom Sullivan

In the flood of news this morning what stands out is the general dyspepsia behind so much of it. Being pissed off now seems to be policy itself, or else the result of it.

In London, a yet-unidentified attacker in an SUV ran down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, crashed into a wall outside the Houses of Parliament, then stabbed a policeman to death before being shot and killed himself by police. Five are known dead, including the attacker. Dozens are injured, some severely. Police suspect a connection to "Islamic terrorism in some form".

In New York, police detained a white supremacist for murder:

A white supremacist used a sword to kill a black homeless man in Manhattan, telling investigators he went to the city because he "wanted to make a statement," reports say.

James Harris Jackson, 28, of Baltimore, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, is accused of driving a 26-inch sword with an 18-inch blade through the chest of Timothy Caughman, 66, at 11:15 p.m. Monday as Caughman was searching for cans and bottles to recycle, ABC News reports .
Jackson went to New York City for better media coverage.

These are bizarre and unhappy times for Donald Trump. Or should we say, Sad!? His Obamacare repeal may fail today in the House. And worse.

“There’s a smell of treason in the air,” historian Douglas Brinkley told the Washington Post after FBI Director James Comey testified on Monday that there is an investigation into Trump's Russia connections:
“Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-boggling event.”

Brinkley went on to say that he has never seen a new president grow so unpopular so quickly, as Trump’s low approval ratings combined with the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia have created massive storm clouds hanging over his presidency.

“This is the most failed first 100 days of any president,” he said. “To be as low as he is in the polls, in the 30s, while the FBI director is on television saying they launched an investigation into your ties with Russia, I don’t know how it can get much worse.”
At Slate, Katy Waldman writes about Trump's sad, angry tenure. Trump got the job he dreamed of. He'd be the boss of everybody. Turns out it's no fun. He has to meet with foreign leaders who make him look like a sullen, scolded child. The intelligence services listen in on his colleagues' conversations with Russians. At least Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has an excuse. He didn't want his job. Waldman writes:
Why is Trump so out of sorts? It could be that he’s simply found, in fire-and-brimstone Donald, his latest role. Yet it seems equally likely that Trump has stumbled into an Aesop’s fable of his own making. Having received what he so fervently wished for, he’s now found that leading the free world is a miserable chore. Trump, who loves Trump more than he loves anything else, used to jet around selling that self-love to voters. Now he’s stuck in meetings pondering policies and ideologies that matter a whole lot more to the American people than they matter to him. As a candidate, he got to accuse the establishment of trashing the country. He played hype-man for a future in which he’d refresh our ideals. Now he’s accountable in the present to all the men and women whose lives haven’t become fairy tales since he took office. That’s not fun. That’s a full-time job, and that’s the one thing Donald Trump has never wanted.
And take Sean Spicer. Please.