Douglas Turner, The Buffalo News
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Douglas Turner

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WASHINGTON – Pleadings for “states rights” are usually associated with the segregationist presidential candidates George C. Wallace and Strom Thurmond. Now this lame, discredited slogan is being sold by President Trump to justify the savage, disabling financial and staffing cuts in programs that are restoring the Great Lakes. Trump’s budget will undo nearly a…

WASHINGTON – President Trump has troubles with judges in Canada, too. However, former President Barack Obama did not appoint these jurists, and none are “Mexicans” or “haters.” Canada’s high court,  the Court of Appeal, has ruled in favor of two who felt willfully defrauded, cheated in their investments in the Trump organization’s 66-story Trump Tower in …

WASHINGTON – Thanks to congressional gutlessness, President Trump may not actually need a terrorist or other crisis to seize more power. Trump has committed an outrage a week – or is it an outrage a day? He’s getting away with it. The latest is Trump’s deployment of ground combat forces to the morass in Syria. The first combat boots on the ground in that endles…

WASHINGTON – There is a temptation to blame the many apparent flubs of the Donald Trump administration on the president’s supposed impetuousness, on the boyishness and inexperience of this 70-year-old mogul. As in the bawling out that Gen. George Patton got from a senior officer in the movie “Patton,” who said: “Remember, your worst enemy is your own big mouth…

“Elysium” is the way ancient Greeks described a piece of heaven. Let me explain: For you, it is like hearing guitarist Ana Vidovic play “Cavatina.” My Elysium was a bar hidden on Pearl Street in Buffalo, just behind what then was the Art Moderne W.T. Grant department store at Main and Huron streets. The place was called Jew Murphy’s Omega Steel Bar and Gril…

WASHINGTON – Where are the grown-ups? Part II. It’s way too early to draw tight parallels between the fall of France in 1940 and the opening moments of the era of Trump. But with President Trump’s election and widespread grief over Hillary Clinton’s Electoral College defeat, it is beneficial to keep in mind – somewhere at the back of the head – the factor…

WASHINGTON – Not so fast. Supporters of President-elect Donald J. Trump are boasting that their proposed nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court will change the political face of the high tribunal for more than a generation. They are claiming their set of jurists will be in the mold of the late, archconservative Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. The right wing thinks the …

WASHINGTON – This presidential campaign set new standards for being zany, bitterly ugly, dispiriting as well as the most expensive. And the disruptions might not end tonight, or this year. Yet there were other contests in the 20th century that had their wild moments: For example, the way President Harry S. Truman beat all the odds by outrunning the Republican ca…

WASHINGTON – The big job waiting for the next class of legislators, and the new president, is to clean up the colossal mess the U.S. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, has made of our government, our society and institutions. The calamity is created by three rulings of the Roberts court: One decision offers hope to Albany’s arch fixer, convicted for…

WASHINGTON – Are some of us expecting too much of our political candidates in the matter of virtue? Old-fashioned notions about honesty, truth-telling, financial responsibility and respect for others, for example? And decency? Hacked emails and old videotapes are showing us slices of these presidential nominees and their aides that voters might never have known about …

Taking a last bite into his cigarette, reporter Jimmy Desmond leaned toward then Assembly Speaker Tony Travia of Brooklyn and growled, “When you got bought last year, did you stay bought? Or is this a new arena?” Without blinking, the Democratic leader announced, “it’s a noo ye-ah, a noo bill and a noo arena.” In 1963, Desmond was Albany correspondent for t…

WASHINGTON – Here in the capital suburbs there seem to be no bumper stickers, no yard signs. Most people have stopped talking about the presidential election, except in hushed tones. It is a joyless election. Few want it. If this were a play, we would want to plaster “canceled” on the posters, strike the set and reopen it with new performers. November’s lead …

WASHINGTON – First of all, our prayers are with the people suffering in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.With a month remaining in this presidential campaign, if you are among the many who haven’t decided, don’t look to voter opinion polls to help you make up your mind. They will be of no use in a race as volatile as this one.This year, a completely new factor has surfa…

WASHINGTON – Weeks ago, the Alexandria Council in suburban Virginia moved to take down the name of Jefferson Davis, the traitorous president of the Confederate States of America, from signs marking U.S. Route 1 through the city.Even if successful, there are several hundred more miles of the good old “Jeff Davis Highway” to deal with before Route 1 touches the North C…

WASHINGTON – Next Monday’s initial presidential debate will mark some firsts. It will be the first such encounter between two New Yorkers. It will, of course, be the first involving a woman. It will be the first ever between candidates who are both wildly less than popular. And finally, the careers of both contenders have been notoriously undermined by their own preocc…