One of the more amusing tidbits to emerge from the 60 Minutes Stormy Daniels interview is a new nickname for The Donald allegedly used by Washington politicos. Reflecting off Stormy’s swatting him on his derriere with a rolled up magazine bearing his face on the cover during their tryst at the Beverly Hilton bungalow that apparently was his preferred pied-à-terre-les-liaisons-dangereusese, the cheek-in-chief is being called President Spanky
It seems overblown to label Stormy’s sexcapade with Spanky an actual affair as she claims they did it only once during their months-long relationship. It was more like a frisbee fling that so far has not officially landed.
The kerfuffle over Stormy’ nondisclosure agreement brought to light Trump’s alleged demand that administration officials sign NDAs. If adhered to, one wonders how detailed a view the public will get of Trump world. One can only imagine the stories ex-secretary of state Rex Tillerson or ex-national security advisor General H.R. McMaster could tell. Or ex-press secretary Sean Spicer. But, according to The Washington Post, the NDAs include a penalty of $10 million if classified information is ever released without authorization. The fines would be paid to the government, not Trump (https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/trumps-nondisclosure-agreements-came-with-him-to-the-white-house/2018/03/18/226f4522-29ee-11e8-b79d-f3d931db7f68_story.html).
If anyone would dare test the NDA it might well be David J. Shulkin. Fired within hours of being told by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly that his job as head of the Veterans Administration was safe, Shulkin said he was let go because he did not support Trump’s plan to privatize the VA (https://nyti.ms/2uuSXaZ).
“They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed. That is because I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans,” he wrote in The New York Times.
“I can assure you that I will continue to speak out against those who seek to harm the V.A. by putting their personal agendas in front of the well-being of our veterans.”
Let’s hope he follows through and that others place loyalty to country ahead of NDA’s to an egotistic leader.
Turn of Phrase: To be a television commentator or political show panel guest it seems one has to be able to put Trump’s actions in comic terms. I was particularly taken by a remark Republican strategist Ana Navarro made on a recent Real Time with Bill Maher.
“The only consistent thing about Donald Trump is his inconsistency. We saw it with guns. We saw him doing it with barring gays from the military. The guy, you know, can hold more positions than the Kama Sutra.”
Safety First?: Mississippi governor Phil Bryant was quoted as saying he wants his state to be the safest for the unborn child. That’s why he is trying to prevent any abortion from happening in Mississippi. He signed a law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law has been stayed in court pending a constitutional challenge (https://nyti.ms/2GL6X39).
But what Bryant doesn’t talk about is his state’s position on health care for expectant mothers and their babies.
A new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention “showed that, from 2013 through 2015, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. ranged from 9.08 deaths per 1,000 infants born alive in Mississippi -- which had the highest rate -- to 4.28 deaths per 1,000 live births in Massachusetts, which had the lowest” (https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/04/health/infant-mortality-by-state-study/index.html).
Moreover, Mississippi ranked 40th when it came to maternal mortality (https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/2016-health-of-women-and-children-report/measure/maternal_mortality).
Passover begins Friday night: Time of liberation. A template story for Africans bound into slavery in the New World. Some 40% of all slaves brought to North America landed in Charleston, SC.
A new International African American Museum is planned for the city. But as The Times pointed out, South Carolina still has a ways to go to balance its dedication to the Confederacy and slavery with the inalienable rights of Black residents. “The state’s most recent proposal for social studies standards in public schools doesn’t mention the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks,” The Times noted (https://nyti.ms/2uvYcar).
Harbinger of Spring: Passover also is known as a celebration of spring. I have my own signal spring is upon us. My harbinger is not a crocus that keeps trying to reveal itself through the lingering cover of snow across our yard. Or the robins bobbing along each morning.
No, my signal reveals itself in the middle of the night when I turn on the bathroom light, freezing any silverfish that, resurrected from a winter’s sleep, has chosen that moment to emerge from a crack where the baseboard meets the tiled floor.