Nothing affects Trump more than what people say about him

January 7, 2018

(CNN)With his latest tweetstorm, addressing everything from North Korea’s nuclear threat to the mythical “Deep State” inside the Justice Department, Donald Trump has fallen through the floor of comedy and into the basement of tragedy. From his earliest days, when he fashioned himself into a character worthy of the stage, he was guided by dramatic impulses. Referring to his life as a “comic book” and “show,” Trump anointed public figures as …


Do we love our guns more than our children?

November 25, 2017

(CNN)When I was 12, in the sixth grade in El Cerrito, California, one of my classmates brought a gun to school. She was a bright fellow student — flamboyant, funny, sometimes moody — occasionally in trouble, fun to play kickball with. I still remember her throaty laugh. I also remember the awful day while we stood on the play yard, as she pulled a gun out of her backpack and pointed it at a group of sixth-grade girls, threatening to shoot. Nearly 30 years later, my son goes to …


Harvey Weinstein and his enablers

October 17, 2017

(CNN)Viewers of Saturday Night Live noticed something missing this weekend. NBC’s late night sketch show sets out to skewer the cultural zeitgeist. And what showbiz story captured the cultural zeitgeist this week better than the tale of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood titan who has (finally) been accused in print of decades of sexual harassment? Michaels was serving up flat-out nonsense about our interest in the case, of course, but also about Weinstein’s influence. Weinstein …


The thing ‘SNL’ does to Trump

August 12, 2017

(CNN)Trump’s “locked and loaded” standoff with North Korea has Americans in high anxiety, hair-pulling among White House officials may be stalling his agenda, Robert Mueller’s Russia campaign-interference probe appears to be heating up with the recent FBI raid of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump faces the lowest-ever approval ratings for a president at this time in his first term. The first episode served as a reminder of …


Congressmen: Our bipartisan plan for health care

August 11, 2017

(CNN)People are sick of politics and politicians. They have had it with the finger-pointing and blame games while the world is engulfed in chaos. We’re freshman members of Congress from different political parties, but we know there is more that unites us than divides us. That’s why we’re part of the Problem Solvers Caucus: a group of more than 40 lawmakers, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, committed to — you guessed it — solving problems. …


Spare us the shock over Scaramucci

August 4, 2017

(CNN)It was in the final years of the 1990s that British columnist David Aaronovitch experienced that inevitable moment that befalls all parents of small children. Watching a news program on the unprecedented spectacle of an American president facing impeachment over his lies about liaisons with a White House intern, he heard the presenter utter the phrase, “oral sex in the vestibule.” Turning nervously to his adolescent daughter by his side, Aaronovitch felt an unexpected mixture …


Congress’ message to Donald Trump is tough

July 29, 2017

(CNN)Even by the standards of Donald Trump’s presidency, this week has been extraordinarily chaotic and, more importantly, disastrous for the President’s agenda. Just hours before Senate Republicans failed to choke the life out of the health care program known as Obamacare — a top domestic priority for the administration — the entire Senate, Democrats and Republicans, voted on imposing new Russia sanctions, effectively tying the President’s hands on dealing with …


Trump’s transgender tweets are an affront to the all-volunteer military

July 27, 2017

(CNN)There is a lot to dislike about President Donald Trump’s decision this morning to reinstate the ban on transgender service. As long as they swear the oath to defend our ideas, meet the professional standards, complete the training and thereafter serve with honor, they have the privilege of defending our country. It’s led to a highly professional, well-led and motivated force that continues to be the world’s example of professionalism in military service. Right now, …


‘A Better Deal’ is more of the same from Dems

July 25, 2017

(CNN)Democrats would like voters to believe the party’s slogan for its new economic agenda rolled out Monday, “A Better Deal,” describes a program aimed at fighting for regular people — even though it mostly rings like a sales pitch for a discounted item at a shopping mall. Worse, the specifics of the strategy are a path to more electoral failure, because “A Better Deal” embraces falsehoods about economic power while leaving a bankrupt system unchallenged. …


What we need to learn from Linkin Park frontman’s death

July 21, 2017

(CNN)It’s a tragic day for the music industry. The lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, was found dead in his Los Angeles home at 41. Sadly authorities were treating the case as a possible suicide. Eerily, Bennington died on what would’ve been his dear friend Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday — the Soundgarden frontman hung himself on May 18, 2017. Both men are now part of a long, disturbing history of rock and roll and untimely death. Chester …