by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
Moving from left to right, that would be Truth to Power. Look at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi standing up to president Donald Trump in the Roosevelt Room (I watched The West Wing, too, ya know) and telling him, “With you all roads lead to Putin.”
Look at the three men immediately to Trump’s right, one of them the Secretary of State and another the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all three staring laser beams into the papers before them. They’re embarrassed for him. They’re embarrassed to be there. We’re embarrassed as Americans.
The best part about this photo, of course, is that Trump tweeted it out as an attack against an upset and emotional woman. Of course, like so many of Trump’s master plans, it backfired.
You Can’t Jive Turkey
To be fair, you may have written a letter. The difference is that it was during third period Bio sophomore year and it was sent to Suzy Schmotz, imploring her to rethink the fact that she dumped you yesterday. And even then you were not so hysterical as to refer to her as “the devil.”
Again, we are only seeing this letter because the White House, and not The Onion, released it. And you have to appreciate that these are the types of missives he’s been sending out to foreign leaders for 1,000 days (today is the first 1,000 days of his presidency).
Okay, so let me be sober for a moment. Here’s how I think Trump sees the world and his presidency. He looks at it as if America gave him the mandate to be its CEO. And he’s not into diplomacy or leadership or the Constitution so much as he is into making deals. And many of those deals, most, are designed to financially benefit him and his family.
(That translator is you and I)
In Trump’s mind, as long as the Dow Jones Index and S&P are headed north and as long as Americans are safe, then everything else he does is fair game. And no one has the right to question it. So if he wants to “make deals” with Putin and Saudi Arabia and even Turkey on the side, deals that enrich him or benefit him, then that’s his right as America’s CEO. And if he wants to spend 310 days out of his first 1,000 on a Trump property then, again, that’s his right.
It isn’t, of course. But that’s the way he sees it.
Elijah Cummings Dead at 68
Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who represented a district in Maryland since 1996, one that the president recently referred to as “infested,” has died. Of course now that he’s passed the president is playing nice again. It’s the John McCain rope-a-dope revisited.
Cummings’ home was robbed earlier this year and Trump mocked him for it. Earlier Trump had referred to the city of Baltimore as being “infested.”
Sure, It’s Easy To Be A Great Interview When They Don’t Ask You About China
Whitney Houston? We Have A Problem
There are few institutions which we’d like to hold in higher esteem but actually hold so little for than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (also on that list, the post-1973 New York Knicks). Earlier this week the R&R HoF released its 2021 nominees and here are just a few of the problems I have with their list:
DMB, Soundgarden, the Doobie Brothers, Thin Lizzy, Whitney Houston, Motörhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Pat Benatar are the first time nominees. NIN, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, MC5, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Judas Priest and Todd Rundgren are also on the ballot once again.
–First, and I believe this should be the standard for all major HoFs, no more than two individuals should be inducted in any one year. That’s the limit. It’s the hard that makes it great. The lower you set the bar, the more of a disservice you do to everyone who has already made it. I don’t see MC5 and the Beatles belonging under the same roof, sorry.
–Second, once again, where is Boston? You’ve got 16 nominees, some of which are more my cup of tea than others (and yours, too) and none for a band whose songs continue to be played regularly on radio more than 40 years later? At this point Mumford and Sons will be inducted before they will.
–Third, and this is a big one: If you’re going to consider inducting Whitney Houston, who was a major pop star and had a few monster hits but was of all things NOT a rocker, then you have to explain to me how Barry Manilow is not already an inductee. Whitney Houston had 11 No. 1 hits; Manilow had 13. And this is totally subjective, partly a product of my age and maybe even my ethnicity, if you like, but Manilow’s songs will remain far longer in the public consciousness than most of Houston’s. One of her three top hits (“I Will Always Love You”) is actually a Dolly Parton anthem, re-made.
In the end, it’s silly for me to be upset by such things. I know it. But then again, what’s more important than rock ‘n roll? Not much, I’d argue.
As to the list above, going by the “only 2 rule,” it’s the Doobie Brothers and, if you want to go by impact, then yes, Whitney Houston. I like Soundgarden and Pat Benatar, too, but there’s no way either band should even be sniffing the front door of that institution.