Tough Talk to Russia, Fox Moves on O’Reilly

Big Talk: The Trump administration is telling Russia to abandon its support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad or face further deteriorating relations with the US. The US says that by supporting Assad, Russia is at least in part responsible for last week’s nerve gas attack on a Syrian town that killed 80 people.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who goes to Russia for talks later this week, said on ABC News yesterday, “I hope Russia is thinking carefully about its continued alliance with Bashar al-Assad, because every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russia closer into some level of responsibility.”

National Security Adviser HR McMaster said on Fox, “I think what we should do is ask Russia, how could it be, if you have advisers at that airfield, that you didn’t know that the Syrian air force was preparing and executing a mass murder attack with chemical weapons?”

Permawar: The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that killed at least 40 people yesterday. The patriarch of the Egyptian Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, was inside the second church in Alexandria, but was not injured. Authorities said a security guard intercepted the bomber, who blew himself up outside.

Who’s Who: The log of visitors to the White House has been an open book in recent years, but it’s been closed under the Trump administration. Reporters can’t track the comings and goings of visitors. The administration says only that the policy is “under review.”

Opening the visitor’s book has been a matter of conflict at times, with some administrations, including President Obama’s, trying to keep it private. The Washington Post reports that a coalition of watchdog groups is preparing to sue to open the book again.

No Spin: Fox News finally woke up and responded to a NY Times story about Bill O’Reilly and sexual harassment of women. They say they are going to investigate the claim of Wendy Walsh, who was edged out as a commentator on O’Reilly’s show after declining his invitation to his hotel room. Fox and O’Reilly have already paid $13 million in settlements over his behavior.

The Obit Page: Eugene Lang, a self-made businessman whose impulsive promise to pay for the college education of a class of New York sixth graders led to the establishment of a foundation that’s helped 16,000 kids, has died at age 98.

In June 1981, Lang was delivering a commencement address to 61 sixth graders at P.S. 121., which he had attended as a boy. In mid speech Lang abandoned banalities about hard work, blah, blah, blah and said he’d help pay the college tuition of every kid in the class who made it that far. There was a stunned silence before the room erupted. About half the class went on to college.

Green Jacket: What do they call overtime in golf? Well, really, it’s all overtime. The Master’s tournament in Atlanta went to an extra hole yesterday as both Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia missed putts on the 72nd hole and finished tied. Rose teed off into a bed of pine needles on the 73d and the Spanish Garcia, who’s 37, won his first major tournament since going pro as a teenager.

Eating Green:  The Fresh Express company has recalled some of its packaged salads from Walmart stores after two people in Florida found a decomposing bat in their Organic Marketside Spring Mix. It wasn’t even a fresh bat.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

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

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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