Working Vacation, Bolt’s Last Sprint
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 207
Working Vacation: President Trump assured the nation via Twitter yesterday that he’s working hard while staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ for 17 days. “Working in Bedminster, N.J., as long planned construction is being done at the White House. This is not a vacation – meetings and calls!”
Trump is reported to have extended his getaway because the White House heating and air conditioning systems are under renovation. He can be expected to spend some of his time playing golf.
One of the false judgments of presidents in recent years is how often they play golf. The unofficial count for Trump so far in his presidency is 19.
It wouldn’t matter, but Trump weaponized Barack Obama’s similar love for the game, and the expense of transporting and protecting him. Trump tweeted in August, 2011: “@BarackObama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a 10 day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Nice work ethic.” Trump pounded away on the golfing theme, promising a year ago, “I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”
How he spent his first day off in Bedminster is unknown. The White House print pool report says, “Your pooler did not see POTUS today and pool was never brought onto the grounds at Trump National Golf Club. White House has not provided any updates on POTUS’ activities today.”
A long piece in Newsweek says Trump finds time for a lot of things other than being president, or playing golf. The magazine reports, “In April, Elaine Godfrey of The Atlantic used news reports about Trump’s well-chronicled habits to calculate that he watches about five hours of television daily. That makes him an average American; whether it makes him a sufficiently engaged American president is another matter.”
Trump likes to brag about how much he has done in his short tenure, but most of it has been by executive fiat. He’s changing America by directive, not democracy. A NY Times editorial says, “Six months in, Mr. Trump can’t get legislation passed on anything much bigger than naming a post office. Indifferent to negotiating with Democrats and ham-handed in dealing with Republicans, he’s getting rolled on the major promises of his campaign — health care, infrastructure, taxes and jobs.”
Nation: Three Marines are missing after a V-22 Osprey vertical takeoff airplane went into the water off the eastern coast of Australia yesterday. There were 26 people on board at the time of the crash and 23 were safely rescued. The plane had taken off from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.
Hermit Kingdom: Following a series of missile tests, the United Nations placed new economic sanctions on North Korea, banning its export of coal, iron ore, lead, and seafood worth about $1 billion a year.
Sexting: Fox News has suspended host Eric Bolling after accusations that he sent lewd text messages to female colleagues. The Huffington Post originally reported that Bolling “sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News.” HuffPo said this happened several years ago.
Sexual harassment at Fox famously cost the jobs of the late news division founder Roger Ailes and conserve-a-mouth Bill O’Reilly.
It Can Happen There: Luisa Ortega, the attorney general of Venezuela who has opposed a total takeover by President Nicolás Maduro, has been ejected from office by unanimous vote of the new legislature elected without opposition candidates on the ballot.
Ortega was physically blocked from entering her office. She said later at a news conference, “We must continue to fight for freedom and democracy in Venezuela. This country has lost its freedom.”
Lightning Bolt: Jamaican sprinting phenomenon Usain Bolt finished a disappointing third yesterday in the 100-meters at the London world track and field championships in what he says is his last individual race.
American Justin Gatlin, who’s been Bolt’s sprinting nemesis, finished first, but still bowed to Bolt in praise. Bolt, who is the world record holder in the 100 at 9.58 seconds, has eight Olympic gold medals and 11 world championships.
He said in a trackside interview “I’m just sorry I couldn’t end it on a winning note.”
Little known about Bolt is that he has scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. His right leg is shorter than his left. If his legs were even, he could have been faster.