Trump To Saddle Up With Yet Another Authoritarian Leader

After making odd comments about the tough time the twenty-something leader in North Korea had in taking control of his country, President Trump now makes a play to another authoritarian leader.

The New York Times reports.

President Trump “invited the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House, embracing an authoritarian leader who is accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects and who crudely disparaged Mr. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.”

“Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs has resulted in the deaths of several thousand people suspected of using or selling narcotics, as well as others who may have had no involvement with drugs. Human rights groups and many Western governments have condemned Mr. Duterte for the bloody campaign.”


Take Virtual Tour Of Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Journal scores a solid home-run with this link!  Check it out!

Watch Complete Remarks Of Hasan Minhaj At Most Important White House Correspondents’ Dinner In Our Lifetime

It was simply a perfectly toned evening from start to finish about the role of journalists, the importance of the First Amendment, and the need for reporters to never relent in the hunt for the truth. With the foundational remarks about why journalism matters from Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward to the powerful and perfectly pitched humor and honesty of Hasan Minhaj–this was the most important White House Correspondents’ Dinner in our lifetime.  The nation is in the midst of political turmoil and rudderless leadership and it is more important than ever that reporters do their job with excellence.

100 Days: Bob Dole Reflects On Richard Nixon

Readers know I am a history buff, admirer of Richard Nixon when it comes to international relations, and not at all confident this country currently has a well-balanced or skilled leader in the White House. As we observe and ponder the first 100 Days of President Trump it also merits some backwards glancing to see what can be learned so when we move onwards it might be more productive.

Former Senator Robert Dole wrote the following this week about a man he knew well, President Richard Nixon.  The following portion was perfectly stated.

Amid partisan strife, what can today’s leaders in Washington learn from a man who thought with great depth about his era, and the long-term impact of the tough choices he would have to make for his country?

They can learn what a cohesive, well-thought-out and well-executed, America-centered foreign policy looks like.

The core elements of Nixon’s transformative foreign policies are still with us, especially with regard to America’s relationship with China. It is important that both the U.S. and China see the benefits of working together on geopolitical issues of importance and consequence, and President Donald Trump’s recent meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping seems to have been an important first step in reaffirming that ideal and building personal relationships.

Nixon realigned geopolitical pillars throughout the world to fit American interests. As I said in my eulogy, he was without a doubt the 20th century’s greatest architect of peace.

Today’s leaders can also learn to think in terms of national interest, versus becoming a prisoner to ideology. Of course Nixon was a partisan, and few possessed such seasoned political antennae as he did. But above all, he was a pragmatist, not an ideologue.

(Almost) 100 Days of Page One Headlines About Presidents Trump, Obama and Bush

This is simply brilliant.

Here are headlines from the print front page of The New York Times that covered the first 100 days of President Trump’s administration, as well as a look at what former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were going through at the same point in their first terms. Headlines shown are from the next day’s print newspaper.

For instance Day One

Trump, Sworn In, Issues a Call: ‘This American Carnage Stops’

Or Day Sixteen.

Trump 2017

Borders Reopen to Visa Holders Barred From U.S.

100 Days=A Seat-Of-The-Pants Psychodrama

There are countless ways to view or sum up the first 100 Days of the presidency of Donald Trump.  There are countless reporters and pundits who have written their pieces, and many deserve attention.  But what Gideon Lichfield of Quartz penned is–in my opinion–among the best.

The New York Times published its collection of page-one headlines for the first 100 days of the Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush presidencies. They make instructive reading. Bush’s are a melange of domestic and foreign stories. Obama’s have slightly more narrative, since many are about his battle with the US’s financial meltdown. And Trump’s are a seat-of-the-pants psychodrama.

Day 1: “Trump, Sworn In, Issues a Call: ‘This American Carnage Stops.’” Day 2: “Defiant Voices Flood Nation’s Cities.” The headlines on days 5-10 are full of the travel ban, legal challenges, chaos at airports. On days 17-22 the White House tussles with the courts. On days 24-27 the Russia scandal breaks open. Day 28: “Trump Delivers Heated Defense of First Month.”

The chaos accelerates, as freewheeling policymaking meets angry resistance from all quarters. Day 39: “Trump Concedes Health Overhaul Is a Thorny Task.” Day 55: “Federal Judge Blocks New Ban.” Day 57: “Britain Furious as Trump Pushes Claim of Spying.” Day 65: “Trump Becomes Ensnared in Fiery G.O.P. Civil War.” Day 72: “Divide in G.O.P. Now Threatens Trump Tax Plan.” On days 75-85, the president who wanted to stop being the world’s policeman gets embroiled in Syria, North Korea, and Afghanistan. Day 95: “Trump Rejects 100-Day Test, Yet Seeks an ‘A’.”

Two things stand out. One is the febrile atmosphere of those early days, when Trump’s blitzkrieg of executive orders amplified liberals’ fears of an impending dictatorship. The other is how quickly the blitzkrieg ran into quicksand. Since then, the sense has been of a White House desperately trying to break out of the quicksand, no matter in which direction—to create, in one pundit’s words, “an illusion of progress.”

With the first 100 days behind him, Trump’s need for visible, quick successes may diminish. Many in his circle surely must know that to win in Washington you must persistently chip away at resistance, not change course each time you meet it. The question is, how many more days in office will it take for the president to learn that himself?

FDR vs. John Nance Garner

It was a tradition of sorts that following my dad mowing the lawn back home he would take a few minutes to sit at the picnic table or on a lawn chair to see the outcome of his work.  Mom would have trimmed around the flower beds and buildings as he mowed and the results of it all was really welcoming.  Add in the scent of freshly cut grass and the scene is easy to recall.

So it was today that I mowed our lawn and trimmed. But just as I finished the first light raindrop fell.  My own thrill of sitting outside while drinking a cup of coffee and reading while gazing about the lawn was not to be.

So I showered, sat in a chair, and picked up a book I had read years ago while going at once to a chapter featuring the great rancor between President Franklin Roosevelt and his Vice-President, John Nance Garner.  I had been thinking about these two for much of this week.

I am not sure exactly why this combo got into my head but I think it had something to do with the political absurdities that now make for daily headlines.   The fight and high drama between FDR and Garner was real, fiercely fought, and told with relish by one of the best researchers and historians alive today, Robert Caro.  In The Path To Power there is somehow the nostalgic retelling of this feud that serves my need to escape the less seasoned and far less insightful bumbling’s of Donald Trump.

As I mowed I knew I wanted to recapture that story and so opened this afternoon to Chapter 30, A Contract and Three Telegrams, and traveled back in time.  For those who wonder about jumping into this book so far removed from the first page let me assure all the story is contained here and easily sweeps up the reader.  All at one you too are back in 1939.

Thankfully so far removed from todays headlines.

Unique Finding At B.B. Clarke Beach Brings Smile

While working on some plantings at B.B. Clarke Beach I spotted something that was truly smile producing.  Someone made cairns that were truly impressive to view.  And might I add with Lake Monona as a backdrop perfectly placed.   Whoever took the time to make this addition to this gem of a park let me add my thanks.  And some photos!