Tough Talk on Korea, You Get Egg Roll

DMZ: Vice President Mike Pence was talking tough on a quick trip to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Pence said, “The world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan. North Korea would do well not to test his resolve.” Wearing a leather flight jacket, Pence said, “The era of strategic patience is over.”

Dictocracy: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims he has won a narrowly-contested election giving him broader powers that are likely to solidify his one-man rule of the country.

With nearly 99 percent of ballots counted, “Yes” had 51.33 percent, and “No” had 48.67 percent, according to the state-run news agency, Anadolu. The opposition party says it will demand a recount.

The vote was on a constitutional change that will end Turkey’s parliamentary government and allow the winner of the 2019 presidential election to assume full control of the government. Expect that to be Erdogan.

The Tax Man: Demonstrators marched on the White House and in dozens of rallies all over the country Saturday, April 15th, the traditional day for filing income taxes, demanding that President Trump reveal his tax returns. Trump responded via Twitter yesterday, saying, “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over! — I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?”

Every president and presidential candidate since Gerald Ford has released their tax returns and their financial interests.

ICE, ICE Baby: Immigration arrests jumped 32.6 percent in the first weeks of the Trump administration, the Washington Post reports, accompanied by a spike in arrests of illegal immigrants who have committed no crime. Arrests of non-criminal immigrants by Immigration and Customs enforcement nearly doubled to 5,441.

Immigrants advocates say the stepped-up enforcement has resulted in a sharp drop in reported crimes coming from illegal immigrants, who are now afraid to have any contact with law enforcement.

Manhunt: Authorities in Ohio are searching for a man who showed live video on Facebook as he killed an elderly man at random. The gunman, identified as Steve Stevens, claimed to have killed 15 people, but no other bodies have been found.

The Obit Page: Bruce Langhorne, the guitarist who inspired Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” died in Venice, Calif. at age 78.

In 1964, Langhorne arrived at a 1964 recording session with an oversize Turkish drum strung with bells, inspiring the lyric, “In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you.”

Langhorne was known as a brilliant guitarist. In his 2004 memoir, “Chronicles,” Dylan said, “If you had Bruce playing with you, that’s all you would need to do just about anything.”

>Robert W. Taylor, who had the idea of linking computers together with he first went to work for the government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, died last week in California at age 85. Taylor’s notion to link three office computers grew into what became known as the Arpanet, which evolved into the internet. Just a few years later Taylor designed what became the personal computer, and he even had a part in inventing the mouse.

With 21,000 You Get Egg Roll: Dealing with Syria and North Korea  might be tough, but one of the tests of any new White House administration is the annual Easter Egg Roll, a 139-year old tradition that has drawn 35,000 visitors to the South Lawn in recent years. Only about 21,000 visitors are expected this year, and there’s a story behind that.

Planning for this year’s event has revealed the Trump administration’s lack of staff, planning, and a full-time First Lady. The Egg Roll falls on Melania’s beat, but she’s not spending much time being First Lady.

The White House social secretary described this year’s pared-down event as intentional. But the first signal came from the owner of Wells Wood Turning, the Maine company that makes the wooden souvenir eggs for the White House.  One of the company’s owners tweeted to the White House on February 20th, “FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near. Please reach out!” The White House had not ordered the eggs yet.

So the White House put in a late order and issued fewer invitations. The Egg Roll takes place today, and the political world will be watching.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

“I just read that the Trump administration has filled only 22 of the 553 key positions that require Senate confirmation. This makes me worry that the administration will not have enough manpower to produce the same volume and standard of incompetence that we’ve come to expect so far.”

-Columnist David Brooks writing in the NY Times.

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