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Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Apparently the current president called his attorney general a “dumb southerner” and made fun of his accent. This is one of many ugly incidents reported in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book Fear. Look, I don’t like Jeff Sessions. He is a racist, sexist, homophobic, and self-righteous little man. But “dumb southerner” is an insult too far. One of Trump’s most annoying verbal habits is that he slings broad insults rather than specific ones. Calling Sessions a “dumb southerner” implies that all (or most)…

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This is Not a Good Guy

This is Not a Good Guy

Paul Manafort is not the best people. Yesterday, as news came down about Manafort’s eight felony convictions, the president kept insisting that Manafort is really “a good guy.” He isn’t. Good guys don’t hide their money in overseas bank accounts in an effort to defraud the federal government. Good guys don’t lie about their assets to get bank loans. Good guys don’t drape themselves in python and ostrich. Truly they do not. Manafort was convicted primarily of fraud. He lied…

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Trump is Talking About Himself

Trump is Talking About Himself

Trump can’t shut up about ‘collusion’. First it was “no collusion” and now he insists “collusion is not a crime.” I’ll bet he uses the word ‘collusion’ several dozen times a day in both public forums and private conversations. That’s not normal. Trump and his ever more unhinged lawyer Rudy Giuliani are correct: collusion is not a crime. It is, however, the perfect means to commit a number of crimes. People with actual legal expertise have enumerated the many, many…

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All the World’s a Stage

All the World’s a Stage

Did you see the president’s press conference on Tuesday? The one where he tried to convince us that he isn’t treasonous, but only careless with language? It was an absurd piece of political theater and it was punctuated by a dramatic, mid-monologue plunge into darkness. I don’t know who’s directing this show, but he or she has a wicked sense of humor. Look at cast member Maria Butina, indicted this week on suspicion of being a Russian spy. Butina charmed…

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The Mansplainer in Chief is Throwing a Tantrum

The Mansplainer in Chief is Throwing a Tantrum

Why aren’t these women doing anything about it? Poor Theresa May. Apparently Donald Trump told her how to do Brexit, but she didn’t listen. If only she’d taken his advice England would be peeling away from the European Union like a week-old sunburn. No fuss. No muss. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel keeps agitating Trump by running her country without consulting him. She’s all pro-immigration and anti-trade war, which is exactly the opposite of what Trump would recommend. But she…

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Let Them Eat Crow

Let Them Eat Crow

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant because the owner and the staff of the restaurant didn’t want to serve her. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson was heckled by fellow diners when she visited a Mexican restaurant. White House advisor Stephen Miller was heckled in a different D.C.-based Mexican restaurant, but you have to figure Miller gets heckled on a daily basis. It probably didn’t…

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Politics and the Pulpit

Politics and the Pulpit

Preachers are making news this week. Bishop Michael Curry set the royal wedding abuzz with his animated, uplifting sermon about the transformative power of love. And longtime Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson lost his post at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary after delivering one too many sermons urging wives to stay with abusive husbands. Tonight, religious leaders including Bishop Curry will hold a candlelight vigil at the White House. The vigil is part of a movement to “reclaim Jesus” by rejecting…

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This is Not Funny

This is Not Funny

I don’t love insult comedy. There’s such a fine line between poking fun and being mean. One person’s idea of a gentle ribbing is another person’s scathing takedown. It takes real finesse to get it right. The strength of great comedy is that it exposes ugly truths while making us laugh. It tells us something new or shows us how to look at something in a new way. I didn’t watch the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with Michelle Wolf, but…

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A Matter of Character

A Matter of Character

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” —attributed to various people, but mostly Malcolm Forbes This week when reports started surfacing about Dr. Ronny Jackson, the nominee to lead Veterans Affairs, I said to my husband, “I know that guy.” I don’t actually know him, of course, but I know his type. When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked at a television station in Texas. One…

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Let’s Bury Roger Stone

Let’s Bury Roger Stone

My father liked to say that no one ever buries a son-of-a-bitch. What he meant was that no matter how awful someone is in life, people will praise him when he dies. It’s generally true, but the world is a weird place right now. Roger Stone recently took to Twitter and Instagram to air his noxious opinions upon the death of Barbara Bush. Look, however you feel about the Bush family, Barbara is hardly the villain. And yet, here’s Stone just…

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