Dearest Trump supporters: You moved to the fence. It’s time to jump and end the crazy

You, who voted for Trump — some of you will insist he’s behaving badly now because of the drugs they gave him at Walter Reed for his coronavirus infection. You will say he’s under a lot of pressure and that the Democrats and liberals in the media never gave him a chance to succeed. You’ll … Continue reading Dearest Trump supporters: You moved to the fence. It’s time to jump and end the crazy

The wretchedness of those selfish old people who fear the COVID

One of my elders, Bush Hog James, writes this epistle from his retirement home in Arizona, after having watched a segment on FOX News: Laden with self-disgust, I search about in the predawn gloom for a suitable tool with which to flay myself. I had been attempting, in my befuddled way, to find my niche here in … Continue reading The wretchedness of those selfish old people who fear the COVID

Vote for Biden, avoid Exxon, save the Planet

Had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic, Exxon Mobil Corp. might have by now increased, rather than decreased, annual carbon-dioxide emissions, eventually by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece. That’s according to Bloomberg, based on a review of internal Exxon documents. The company had plans to spend billions more … Continue reading Vote for Biden, avoid Exxon, save the Planet

Unmasked in the Rose Garden: A judge’s questionable judgment

The Rose Garden ceremony in which Trump officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a justice of the Supreme Court appears to have been a coronavirus super-spreader event. Trump did not wear a mask and few of his guests did. They also mingled like old times and sat shoulder to shoulder. … Continue reading Unmasked in the Rose Garden: A judge’s questionable judgment

Consequences of the con: Trump was a bad businessman, even worse president.

Millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 thought they were getting a successful businessman to run the country, despite ample evidence that Trump had in reality been a failure at several huge undertakings, his Atlantic City casinos most notably. His run as the host of “The Apprentice” on NBC was where the … Continue reading Consequences of the con: Trump was a bad businessman, even worse president.

Bob Gibson and the appearance of the duende in the 1967 World Series

It always takes a little explaining to my son and daughter: Back in the day, before cable television and long before the Internet, the dividing line between the National League and the American League was very clear. In the 1960s and even into the early 1970s, televised baseball was limited to regional markets; you watched … Continue reading Bob Gibson and the appearance of the duende in the 1967 World Series

An obnoxious ‘entertainer’ and little else

During Tuesday night's debate, Trump proved once and for all -- if you needed further proof -- that he's little more than an obnoxious entertainer, and 'entertainer' in the vein of some annoying freak in tights on WWE's SmackDown Live. He's in the realm of the professional wrestler, but without any of the physical skills … Continue reading An obnoxious ‘entertainer’ and little else

Unplugging From the Trump Noise Machine: The river restoreth my soul

One of many reasons to end the Trump presidency: To eliminate all the noise he makes and causes others to make about him. Millions of us are sick of the daily Trump show, sick of the hyper-tweeting, the blather, the idiotic statements and fraudulent assertions. It’s practically constant. And while we’re used to American presidents … Continue reading Unplugging From the Trump Noise Machine: The river restoreth my soul

“There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

We are accustomed to Trump's blather, lies, exaggerations and jabberwocky.  After a while it bounces off. Double that in an election season. But this week we got something special, something different.  Pay strict attention to the most horrifying words to pass through his puckered lips: "We'll want to have --- get rid of the ballots and you'll … Continue reading “There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

What we take from the amazing life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We are long past the point where things “go without saying.” So much of what we took for granted — that, for instance, medical science would predominate and prevail in a pandemic — has been attacked or left for dead that I no longer assume that a majority of Americans agree on basic values and … Continue reading What we take from the amazing life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Richard Striner, Maryland historian, on the Eisenhower Memorial and the ‘Trump nightmare’

Attention must be paid: The presidential historian, Lincoln scholar and prolific author Richard Striner, longtime professor at Washington College, served as a senior writer and advisor to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. In fact, Striner and Louis Galambos, professor emeritus of Johns Hopkins University, were among scholars who recommended Eisenhower quotes for inscription in the stone … Continue reading Richard Striner, Maryland historian, on the Eisenhower Memorial and the ‘Trump nightmare’

Climate clock: What a colossal waste of time the Trump presidency has been

What a colossal waste of time these Trump years have been. Look at California. Look at Oregon and Washington. Look at the weather maps. Listen to what the climate scientists tell us. Go back and review their warnings, their predictions.  What a colossal waste of time the Trump years have been. His first year in … Continue reading Climate clock: What a colossal waste of time the Trump presidency has been

Direct connection: Trump’s admitted dereliction and Kushner’s scrapping of a national testing plan

Given what the Woodward book confirms, with Trump’s own recorded words, Americans might want to note -- because you don't have enough to be outraged about yet, right? -- its connection to the nation’s lack of a diagnostic testing plan as an early check on the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Other reporting, and Trump’s … Continue reading Direct connection: Trump’s admitted dereliction and Kushner’s scrapping of a national testing plan

Don’t panic. Just look up your ballot status for the November election

Marylanders: Did you do what I did last month and request an absentee ballot from the Maryland Board of Elections? Are you worried that you haven't seen it yet, or confused because you received by mail a "Maryland Application for a Mail-in Ballot"? Let me help you out. (Of course, all these explanations and reminders … Continue reading Don’t panic. Just look up your ballot status for the November election

After Trump, we need a new Selective Public Service effort.

It is impossible to imagine any American saying what Trump is reported — reported, and now verified — to have said about soldiers killed in France in World War I, or while attending the grave of General Kelly’s son, or saying what he did about John McCain in 2016, questioning why we considered the late … Continue reading After Trump, we need a new Selective Public Service effort.

The peppers-and-eggs sandwich is the official meal of Labor Day in the U.S.

A reminder that, while Labor Day was never identified with a particular food item -- in the way Thanksgiving demands roasted turkey, St. Patrick's Day requires corned beef and cabbage, or the Fourth of July comes ringed in hot dogs -- the peppers-and-eggs sandwich has been the official sandwich of the first Monday in September … Continue reading The peppers-and-eggs sandwich is the official meal of Labor Day in the U.S.

Letters: About the rare American elm trees, and where to find some that survive

Here is some reader mail on Sunday's column in The Baltimore Sun about the rare American elm I discovered in my neighborhood. Always like to see an Elm get it's due. There are some stupendous Elms on the North East side of town. There is one on Harford Road at Kentucky Avenue that has some … Continue reading Letters: About the rare American elm trees, and where to find some that survive

Over-Wired: Calling on Baltimoreans who want to do something about this problem

Unless you live in a Baltimore neighborhood — and, more specifically, a Baltimore rowhouse neighborhood — you might not be able to relate to this problem: Wires. Not wires that are needed for electric power or communications, but wires now dormant and left hanging in tangled messes by the companies that installed them. I wrote … Continue reading Over-Wired: Calling on Baltimoreans who want to do something about this problem

Democrats must talk it up because Republicans don’t anymore, and for good reason

At last week's Republican National Convention, speakers mentioned Obamacare exactly once. This from the same party that consistently opposed government-backed health insurance for millions of lower-income Americans, whose members in Congress refused to support it and whose House members voted to repeal it dozens of times. The GOP's favorite policy for ridicule and court challenges … Continue reading Democrats must talk it up because Republicans don’t anymore, and for good reason

Who needs a Republican platform? We know what it is.

I don’t think it’s accurate to say, as The Washington Post does today in an editorial, that the Republican Party “stands for nothing.” The GOP officially offers no platform -- no policies or ideas -- at its 2020 convention and, instead, fully endorses Trump. Critics say that makes the Republican Party nothing more than a … Continue reading Who needs a Republican platform? We know what it is.

Are Republicans just going to let Americans go hungry?

The neglect by Senate Republicans of Americans out of work because of the pandemic is about to compound the misery already out here. Supplemental unemployment benefits expired at the end of July. Even if the additional funding Trump authorized were to materialize, it won’t reach anyone until the end of September. Eviction protections expired and … Continue reading Are Republicans just going to let Americans go hungry?

America’s Shame: Stephen Miller and Official Cruelty

Let us not forget, swamped as we are with outrages from four years of Donald Trump as president, the cruelty this nation inflicted on migrant families seeking asylum here. We separated at least 3,000 children from their parents, and Stephen Miller, this dark and racist young man who advises Trump on immigration policy and who … Continue reading America’s Shame: Stephen Miller and Official Cruelty

$25,000 if you know who killed Bryan McKemy; FBI develops leads in senseless 2018 murder

The FBI has established a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the men who killed Bryan McKemy in August 2018 as he worked on the renovation of a house on Woodlea Avenue in northeast Baltimore. Bryan was 27 years old, an innocent bystander. Police believe that the two gunmen who killed Bryan … Continue reading $25,000 if you know who killed Bryan McKemy; FBI develops leads in senseless 2018 murder

Two Minutes to Midnight: Hamill and the first draft of history

A note about a journalist I admired, Pete Hamill, who died this week in New York after a long, rich life as a reporter and editor. Years ago, the late Nick Yengich, Baltimore Evening Sun reporter and rewrite man, handed me a book of columns and essays by the New York journalist Pete Hamill. Published … Continue reading Two Minutes to Midnight: Hamill and the first draft of history

Quick history: The 1932 landslide election and the establishment of Social Security

In refreshing my memory for a recent column about the New Deal and the establishment of the Social Security system in 1935, I was struck by the facts about the previous presidential election, in 1932. That was the year Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat and governor of New York, won his first of four terms in … Continue reading Quick history: The 1932 landslide election and the establishment of Social Security

My fellow Americans: It’s time to be done with Trump. He’s gone off the cliff for good.

As my old friend Bush Hog says: "Every time I think we’ve reached the end of the line, Trump lays more track." And this time he’s gone off the cliff for good and free floating in some mystical neverland. He retweeted and defended a nutty video of “America’s Frontline Doctors,” who claim against all medical … Continue reading My fellow Americans: It’s time to be done with Trump. He’s gone off the cliff for good.

Here’s what LBJ said after the riots of 1967. The same could be said today.

Former Baltimore Sun reporter and editor Arnold "Skip" Isaacs, right, did some digging this week and came across the text of the televised speech of President Lyndon B. Johnson after the riots in Detroit, Newark, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cambridge, Md. and other cities in the long, hot summer of 1967. Johnson's opening words on July 27 … Continue reading Here’s what LBJ said after the riots of 1967. The same could be said today.

Wide Awake: Great song, and now an unearthly video to go with it

The subject of Aaron Yealdall’s song and music video, “Wide Awake,” is what the Navy calls “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or what we’ve always called UFOs. My reaction to Aaron’s song is much like my reaction to UFOs — I neither accept nor understand it all, but I believe there’s something deep there and I’m intrigued. … Continue reading Wide Awake: Great song, and now an unearthly video to go with it

Past presidents of Baltimore ministers alliance protest its leadership, endorsement process

Five Baltimore pastors who once led the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance released a statement Tuesday bemoaning the IMA's diminished role in civic life and its process for endorsing a mayoral candidate in the June 2 primary election. I refer to this in my May 20 Sun column, but not at the length it deserves. So I … Continue reading Past presidents of Baltimore ministers alliance protest its leadership, endorsement process