"Fear: Trump in the White House," the new tell-all book by famed journalist Bob Woodward, confirms what most of us feel but wish were not true — our government is headed by a man utterly unfit for the office.
"Fear" is not an opinion piece, written by Trump detractors. It's the product of painstaking research, including interviews with White House insiders, backed up by tape recordings.
We'll say it again — backed up by tape recordings.
That's important, because Trump supporters will shout "Fake news!" just as the president already has.
But evidence is evidence, and the evidence shows that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told associates that Trump acted like — and had the understanding of — "a fifth- or sixth-grader."
The reported words of Chief of Staff John Kelly should chill us all to the bone. Kelly said, according to Woodward's reporting, "He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in Crazytown."
Economic adviser Gary Cohn reportedly said that Trump is a "professional liar."
We know Trump lied in a telephone conversation with Woodward, when he denied knowing Woodward wanted to interview him before admitting that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham had relayed a request from Woodward to do so.
We know because we heard the tape, made with Trump's permission.
In the same recorded conversation, Trump threw loyal adviser Kellyanne Conway under the metaphorical bus, denying that she had relayed Woodward's request and putting her on the phone to face the reporter.
The book also tells how Trump insults senior aides. He reportedly made fun of retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, for dressing in cheap suits "like a beer salesman."
One bit of bad behavior that might actually come back to bite Trump is his reported opinion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump reportedly mocked Sessions' Southern accent and said, "This guy is mentally retarded. He's this dumb Southerner. ... He couldn't even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama."
Trump enjoys a lot of support from people who sound like Jeff Sessions. Will it last?
Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, told CNN, "I resent that."
Graham, a Trump apologist, said such remarks, if real, would be "inappropriate."
In an astounding revelation from the book, it was reported that Cohn stopped Trump from signing a document that would have ended a trade agreement with South Korea and another that would have withdrawn the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The bottom line is, Woodward's book gives thorough documentation to what we can all see every day in Trump's tweets, and the picture is frightening.
— The Daily Star, Oneonta
Perhaps you've heard: Nike and Colin Kaepernick have teamed up to create a potent advertising campaign, a defiant political statement applauding the former NFL quarterback for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police killings of unarmed black men.
You can see it in magazines, on television and in billboards across the country.
But you won't see it yet in the common space almost all New Yorkers use daily: on subways cars, in subway tunnels or on city buses.
After trying and failing under an old policy to block a few message ads that made them queasy — basic First Amendment principle says you can't discriminate on the basis of viewpoint — the folks who run the Metropolitan Transportation Authority took the coward's way out.
The MTA banned any and all "ads that prominently or predominantly advocate or express political messages." Even as train cars are plastered with politically tinged taxpayer-funded public service announcements, many of which carry the name of elected officials, as well as ads for breast enhancement and erectile dysfunction products.
So, if Nike wants to reach electric railroad riders with its electric new campaign (and why wouldn't they?), the folks who run the subways will have a choice:
Pretend the ads aren't political and let them through — even as they ban ads that support standing for the anthem. Or acknowledge that the ads are political, and reveal the absurdity of shielding New Yorkers, in their subways, from a campaign that's as ubiquitous in America as they come.
The ad's tagline: Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. The MTA's ad mantra: Believe in nothing. Even if it means making yourself look utterly ridiculous.
— The Daily News, New York
World health officials are worried that measles may be making a comeback. During the first six months of this year, Europe alone reported more than 41,000 cases of the disease. Thirty-seven victims died.
Contrast that with U.S. statistics: This year, there have been just 107 instances of measles here. There were no deaths. (The last, a single fatality, was in 2015.)
Many of the European deaths are linked to health care disruptions due to violence in places such as Ukraine, which has had 23,000 measles cases this year.
But according to analysts, failure of many European parents to have their children vaccinated against measles played a role, too.
Worldwide, measles remains a scourge. It was not until 2016 that the global death toll dropped below 100,000 annually, at 89,780.
Our experience in this country has been unusual because the vast majority of parents do have their children immunized. But to guard against outbreaks, a 95 percent vaccination rate is required, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Junk science — some of it fabrication — persuades some parents vaccines are dangerous. In truth, they save lives. If your child has not been immunized, consider the statistics from Europe.
— The Post-Journal, Jamestown