Share this article

print logo

DOUGLAS TURNER

NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU


WASHINGTON – When President Trump strides into the Oval Office in the morning, there are at least two people breathing in that body. One is the super-energized conservative populist who is undoing and amending executive orders that President Barack Obama rammed through in his second term. The other is a vain, thin-skinned bully given to great and elaborate fantasies, hallu…

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s legacy is still emerging, as is the man himself. On Friday, the Obamas will move into a large house in a quiet neighborhood only a few miles from the White House. Because he will be very involved in this town’s affairs, there’s no need to issue a final grade on his eight years. First, he and Michelle Robinson Obama and their two handsome d…

WASHINGTON – The atmosphere around the inauguration of the 45th president is already ugly, but it promises little more than chaos. President-elect Donald J. Trump just called the minority leader of the Senate, Charles E. Schumer of New York, “the head clown” of congressional Democrats. This is language a president-elect may not use regarding any member of Congress, leas…

WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned by Twitter, is having trouble parting with his money, and his problem can’t be solved in 140 characters, probably not even in 14,000. The oddity portrayed by 1950s comedian Jack Benny tells the story. A robber, gun drawn, approaches demanding, “your money or your life.” Benny’s notoriously cheap character stan…

Politics

WASHINGTON – As president-elect, Donald J. Trump is proving that he will govern, if that’s not too flattering a verb, in the way he campaigned. There is no Christmassy way to put this: He is still pushing distortions – lies, really. His judgment on appointments is alarming, one in particular. Trump, who lost the popular vote widely, is claiming he won a “massive Elector…

WASHINGTON – It’s early in the process, and one can place too much emphasis on a single phone call, but we need to be hopeful about the new presidency. (Republican Donald Trump will be the next president unless something changes when the Electoral College votes are counted Dec. 19.) The call was from President-elect Trump to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the incoming Senate …

WASHINGTON – In December 2008, President-elect Barack Obama slipped away from a White House press pool assigned to cover his every waking move. Obama and his family were vacationing in Hawaii and Obama ducked the press to visit Sea Life Park, according to a CNN dispatch at the time. No one – absolutely no one – made any fuss about the future president betraying solemn p…

President Obama set off a populist firestorm about three years ago when he denounced the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.The president charged in his 2010 State of the Union message that the judges had opened "the floodgates" to unlimited campaign contributions, while many of the judges squirmed in the front row.Since the address, several states and hundreds of mu…

With congressional approval ratings at all-time lows, people naturally ask, "Is there anybody any good down there?" The answer is: plenty. One who comes quickly to mind is Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, whose dragon-shaped district weaves from Fairport, along Niagara County's shorelines and into downtown Buffalo.Members who have served as long as 13 terms begin to ride …

Half-dressed celebrities can't get enough of them when posing along the rope lines of Hollywood or Dubai. Then there is the stale but true remark about how dicey it is to get between a certain legislator and the lens of a camera.Beyond serving our amusements, the work of press photographers and reporters is deadly serious. The crux of the matter is that press pho…

The fine print in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's plan for "public-private partnerships" to pay for highways and bridges isn't out yet. So far, the state outline looks like a rip-off of President Obama's stillborn plan to pay for construction.Obama's Stimulus II initiative was pushed hard by Lawrence Summers, a Wall Street player who was a disaster as Harvard president and …

Mirroring the George W. Bush presidential campaigns, the Democrats have rolled out their religious platform of faith and values. But their agenda shows they're not looking for much support for President Obama among conservative Evangelical Christians and traditional Catholics the way that Republicans did in 2000 and 2004.In an announcement made in behalf of Young…

While protesters encamped from Manhattan to Oakland were fighting off police and in some cases, tear gas, two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court were making speeches at a fundraiser for their pals in the corporate community.The scene was a banquet of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society in the ballroom of the posh Omni Shoreham resort. Among the largest dono…

Texas Gov. Rick Perry got bad marks from the pundit class here when he suggested that it would be "treasonous" for the Federal Reserve to print money to ease the nation's debt crisis.But what is the right word for Defense Department contractors putting our military personnel in danger by slipping defective, counterfeit parts that are jerry-built in Communist China …

The Republicans, so-called, are cooking up a way to snatch defeat next year from the jaws of victory over one of the least effective presidents of modern times.The GOP seems to have forgotten that elections are not about grasping and collecting power, but about getting people to like you. Last Tuesday's election should have been a wake-up call, but it probably wo…