1. A friend of mine grew up in Jamaica Estates, Queens, right behind the Trump house. They were mostly nice people, my friend said, but when a ball went over their fence one young Trump would grab it and say, nyah-nyah, you can’t have it back and scurry into the house. My friend says Donald Trump was always a nasty little kid.
2. When John McCain came back from Hanoi with broken arms and unbroken spirit, he and some other vets organized a pipeline for sending goods to the poor people of Vietnam. My wife sat next to one of McCain’s guys on a flight out east; he said the senator did not like publicity about the operation. I once interviewed him in his office (about Olympic business) and asked him about the pipeline and he shrugged, eloquently, as if to say, it’s the right thing to do. I sometimes scream at the tube at the loopy things he says, but I really like him and have not the slightest doubt that he is an American hero.
3. Make no mistake about it, the Republicans have made this an easier world for Donald Trump to spread his foolishness. For over six years they have run a campaign of ignorance and malice and, yes, prejudice about the twice-elected President. McConnell and Boehner and Graham have questioned Obama's motives, his actions, and, with their silence, even his birthplace in Hawaii. I think it is because they cannot handle having a moral and educated man of African and American descent, as the smartest man in their room. Their behavior has created a monster. Donald Trump is their golem.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.