The weird Trump-Sessions-Mueller dance

Constitutional lawyers and political historians are going to have a busy time with the Donald Trump administration because it is shattering conventional norms of behavior on an almost daily basis. This is not a trivial matter. The laws that supposedly govern the actions of elected and unelected government officials have quite wide interpretations and it is custom that often limits how they should be applied. With this administration, customs and norms are being cavalierly ignored.
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John McCain is “The perfect American lie”

The news that John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer seems to have given people another bout of selective amnesia, resurrecting once again old tropes about his courage and goldarned maverickyness. His performance yesterday on the senate floor lamenting the lack of deliberation and bipartisanship in the workings of that body was immediately followed by voting in lockstep with his party leadership to ram through a motion to debate Obamacare even though senators did not even know what bill would be brought to the floor. All we can be sure of is that whatever legislation that is brought to the floor will deprive tens of millions of poor and middle class people of affordable health insurance and benefit the rich because that is the Republican dream. In other words, he voted to start the process to deny ordinary Americans the kind of health care that is keeping him alive, courtesy of the taxpayers. How brave and mavericky!
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What did you expect? It’s the Boy Scouts and it’s Donald Trump

The big annual event for the Boy Scouts is the Jamboree and this year they invited Donald Trump. Rather than deliver the uplifting bromides that are the usual fare at events like this, Donald Trump gave the 30,000 assembled scouts what sounded like his usual political rally speech, boasting about his election victory and ridiculing his opponents, drawing whoops and boos from the assembled scouts as they responded enthusiastically.

This has naturally upset some parents. But I am not surprised. What did they expect from this narcissist? Give him a large audience and, irrespective of their age or the nature of the occasion, he immediately goes into his campaign mode. The Boy Scouts, unlike their Girl Scout counterparts, are a pretty reactionary organization, having to be dragged into the modern era when it comes to social issues like equal rights for the LGBT community. Trump probably felt that these were the kind of people who come to his rallies and behaved accordingly.

The worst cockney accent in film history

Mary Poppins (1964) is quite an enjoyable film with some good songs and humor. But many people will also remember the absolutely awful English cockney accent that American Dick Van Dyke used as the chimneysweep Bert. At a recent event to publicize a remake of the film with Emily Blunt in the title role and in which he makes a cameo, the good-humored Van Dyke apologized for perpetrating on the public “the most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema”. Truer words were never spoken.
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