Jay Bookman blog posts

Opinion: Trump already has his wall

Opinion: Trump already has his wall

In the latest Quinnipiac poll, 83 percent of Americans say that it’s important to them that the president of the United States be loyal to his or her spouse. Among Republicans, it’s even higher, with 86 percent saying that it’s important that the president be faithful in marriage. Then comes the next question:  “Do you think President Trump has been loyal to his wife throughout...
Opinion: Parkland kids tell truth

Opinion: Parkland kids tell truth

A little more than five years ago -- it seems so much longer -- a gunman armed with an assault weapon walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children aged six or seven, along with six staff members who had tried to protect them. The children who survived Sandy Hook were too young to speak publicly about their trauma, and the parents who tried to do so quickly became targets of a right-wing...
Opinion: Kremlin 2016 intervention was significant

Opinion: Kremlin 2016 intervention was significant

According to a 37-page federal grand-jury indictment returned today, the effort by the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 elections and to promote the election of Donald Trump was significantly more substantial than previously understood. The indictment levels charges of conspiracy to defraud against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, and outlines a project that began as early...
Opinion: A case study in Russian meddling

Opinion: A case study in Russian meddling

His name was “Jermaine,” and based on his Twitter profile picture, he was a young black American male. In early November of 2015, Jermaine was angry and outraged about racial tensions on the campus of the University of Missouri, and also fearful of the violence being perpetrated there. “The cops are marching with the KKK!” he claimed on Twitter. “They beat up my little...
Opinion: A basic disrespect for women

Opinion: A basic disrespect for women

Back in the early ‘90s, a magazine profile of Donald Trump quoted his advice about how to handle troublesome women. “You have to treat ‘em like (human excrement),” Trump had allegedly said. In 1994, when asked about the quote by ABC News, Trump vehemently denied it and attacked the person who reported it. “The woman’s a liar, extremely unattractive, lots...
Opinion: Conspiracy: The IED of information warfare

Opinion: Conspiracy: The IED of information warfare

The conservative movement has created a pretty neat little conspiracy-generation factory, and these days it’s humming at peak output. In addition to classics such as PizzaGate and the Seth Rich murder, a partial listing of its recent product line would include the so-called “unmasking” scandal back in April, in which top Obama officials in the national security arena were accused...

Opinion: Ain’t short of much

With Carnival season coming to its peak soon, and Mardi Gras just a few short days away, I thought it would be right to toss out a little taste of New Orleans to kick off our weekend. Ladies and gentlemen, savor some Trombone Shorty. Stay dry this weekend, looks like this mini-drought we are supposedly experiencing is coming to an end. <iframe width="480" height="270" src="...
Opinion: A parade of insecurities

Opinion: A parade of insecurities

So now he wants a parade. You know who throws huge military parades for no real purpose? Countries that are insecure about their power and identity do. Also, dictators do. Dictators who equate a nation’s power with their own. Dictators who need to be flattered and groomed. Dictators who demand applause and cheers, and who treat the failure to applaud and cheer as some kind of treason. ...
Opinion: Throw more tax cuts on the bonfire

Opinion: Throw more tax cuts on the bonfire

Back in 2009, in the midst of the greatest recession in 80 years, with 800,000 Americans losing their jobs each month, congressional Republicans refused to support a major economic stimulus package needed to pull the country back from the brink. It was, they explained, a matter of principle. Even with the nation teetering on economic depression -- “this sucker could go down,” as President...
Opinion: Trey Gowdy has regrets

Opinion: Trey Gowdy has regrets

Citing the Nunes memo, Trump defenders want us to believe that a FISA judge might not have been fully informed by the FBI when asked to approve a warrant to spy on Carter Page. The charge is probably false, but that’s what they want us to believe. From there, however, things get ridiculous. They also want us to believe that the FISA controversy ought to be a much bigger scandal, and draw much...
Opinion: Nunes hoisted by his own petard

Opinion: Nunes hoisted by his own petard

The Nunes memo is more than the bust I predicted. It is a bomb. It not only fails spectacularly to live up to the hysterical Republican descriptions of its contents and impact, it actually detonates several of the most cherished narratives that President Trump and his backers have attempted to weave in his defense. Those narratives, and the evidence against them, are: WRONG. To the contrary, the Nunes&rsquo...
Opinion: Trump targets FBI, DOJ

Opinion: Trump targets FBI, DOJ

President Trump sends out a lot of tweets, as you may have heard. This particular tweet, sent Friday morning, will probably prove to be of historic importance: <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative...
Opinion: ‘ ... material omissions of fact’

Opinion: ‘ ... material omissions of fact’

On Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray both went to the White House to plead with administration officials not to release the classified “memo” churned up by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee in their effort to sabotage the Russia investigation. Their pleas apparently fell on deaf ears. “It will be released here...
Opinion: ‘Bloody nose,’ and then what?

Opinion: ‘Bloody nose,’ and then what?

A few hours before President Trump’s State of the Union speech, which focused heavily on the threat from North Korea, his administration announced that it was withdrawing the nomination of Victor Cha as U.S. ambassador to South Korea. Cha, a Korean-American foreign-policy expert who served on the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, knows the region, its challenges and its...
Opinion: The destruction of truth

Opinion: The destruction of truth

Hidden in the rush of other news, the Trump administration announced Monday that despite legislation passed overwhelmingly by Congress to punish Russia for interfering in our election, the United States would not impose additional sanctions on Russian leaders and oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin. According to a State Department statement, any further sanctions are unnecessary because simply having...
Opinion: Must be hard to be a genius

Opinion: Must be hard to be a genius

Unlike President Trump, I’m no genius, which must be why his strategy for dealing with special counsel Robert Mueller makes no sense to me. I apparently lack the IQ points needed to appreciate its subtle wisdom and brilliance, to see eight or 10 moves ahead when it all comes together as perfectly as a piece of Ikea furniture. I do know this much: Mueller spent 12 years as director of the FBI...

Opinion: Happy birthday, Miss Lucinda 

Happy birthday to the great Lucinda Williams, American poet, singer and songwriter. Have a great weekend everyone ... <iframe width="459" height="344" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7tUzhodl_rw?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>
Opinion: The scariest man in Washington

Opinion: The scariest man in Washington

President Trump has a lot of enemies, many of his own making or even invention. He rails endlessly against the media -- “the enemy of the people,” he calls us. He attacks the FBI and the nation’s intelligence agencies, infecting much of his own party with the notion that a “Deep State” conspiracy is being perpetrated to topple him and the Constitution. Yet his biggest...
Opinion: An FBI-led coup? Get real

Opinion: An FBI-led coup? Get real

Just about every night now, Sean Hannity goes on Fox News to tell his audience that a coup attempt is underway, housed in the FBI and the Justice Department, to overthrow the duly elected president of the United States and to destroy the foundations of our democracy. “This, so you understand, is so much bigger than Watergate. It’s about our Constitution, about the rule of law,” he...
Opinion: Dreamers as hostages

Opinion: Dreamers as hostages

Not wanting to criticize President Trump personally, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has directed his anger and frustration at Trump’s staff instead, more specifically at a particular senior aide. "As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere,” Graham said Sunday. “He's been an outlier for years."  That drew a response from the White...
Opinion: The price of losing

Opinion: The price of losing

President Trump and his fellow Republicans are claiming victory, insisting that they have forced Senate Democrats to blink in their confrontation over immigration. Well, they are 100 percent correct in that assessment. Heading into the shutdown, the primary goal of Democrats was to win protection for the Dreamers. The goal of Republicans was to block protection for the Dreamers. And anyway you measure...
Opinion: The shutdown and the Dreamers

Opinion: The shutdown and the Dreamers

The Republicans are trying to blame the government shutdown on the insistence by Democrats that Congress finally take action to protect the so-called Dreamers. “This vote should be a no-brainer,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it, “and it would be, except the Democratic leader has convinced his members to filibuster any funding bill that doesn’t include legislation...

Opinion: ... out of kindness, I suppose

Townes Van Zandt left us a true classic in the bittersweet “Pancho & Lefty,” which Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson later covered and turned into the anthem of the outlaw country movement.  "I realize that I wrote it, but it's hard to take credit for the writing, because it came from out of the blue,” Townes told documentarians for PBS back in 1984. “It came through...
Opinion: Not a shutdown, a meltdown

Opinion: Not a shutdown, a meltdown

What’s happening in Washington is less a government shutdown than a government meltdown, with most of the heat generated by a conflict between two starkly different visions of immigration. Let me propose what I believe to be a fair description of the GOP position on immigration, gleaned from statements by President Trump, congressional leaders and the conservative media: 1.) We need to build...
Opinion: Sorry, rural Georgia

Opinion: Sorry, rural Georgia

Rural Georgia is in deep trouble, and the attention now being paid to its challenges by state leadership is long overdue. Lifespans are shrinking; jobs are disappearing. Rural hospitals can’t keep their doors open, and health-care professionals and the network they sustain are evaporating. The opioid epidemic is taking a heart-breaking toll, particularly among young men.  Overall, Georgia...
Opinion: The lost art of the deal

Opinion: The lost art of the deal

If you listen to his fans, Donald Trump is a brilliant deal-maker and negotiator. He literally wrote the book on the art of deal-making, and he has promised repeatedly, endlessly, to put that skill to work to make America great again.  As his biggest fan of all once put it: <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"...
Opinion: Our sycophantic senator

Opinion: Our sycophantic senator

For U.S. Sen. David Perdue, memory works in a very odd way. Or so he claims. Last Friday, Perdue and a colleague, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, told the world that they “do not recall” racist comments made a day earlier by President Trump in an immigration meeting.  That lack of recollection seemed astonishing. In that meeting, Trump had dismissed all of Africa as “shithole&rdquo...
Opinion: Our racist in chief

Opinion: Our racist in chief

Imagine that you’re sitting at a bar, and you glance at the guy on the barstool next to you. He looks like he’s had four or five beers already, and before you know it, he strikes up a conversation. About immigration. He launches into a crude rant, complaining about immigrants from places like Africa, El Salvador and Haiti. “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries...
Opinion: Why is Mueller so scary?

Opinion: Why is Mueller so scary?

Somebody really, really doesn't want to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia &...
Opinion: Save us, Oprah

Opinion: Save us, Oprah

No, Oprah. Do not fall for it. Do not listen to the sirens' calls; deafen yourself to those political consultants no doubt working every contact they can find, eager to reach you and whisper sweet songs about your future. Pay them no heed, and none of your millions. The temptations are obvious: If you take a meeting, those consultants will tell you that if you want the Democratic presidential nomination...
Opinion: Russia is getting away with it

Opinion: Russia is getting away with it

"I think Russia has moved from plausible deniability to implausible deniability," national security adviser H.R. McMaster told the country in an interview last week, asserting that the evidence of Russian interference in our 2016 election is now conclusive and overwhelming. “The Russians were very active in Europe as well, in the French election recently, in the Spanish referendum...

Opinion: A little Choctaw bingo?

Larry McMurtry is one helluva storyteller, as you no doubt know if you ever read things like the "Lonesome Dove" series or "Last Picture Show." His boy James ain't a bad yarn-spinner his ownself. Stay warm. Go Falcons. Go Dawgs. See you next week.
Opinion: 'More for me, not for thee'

Opinion: 'More for me, not for thee'

Republicans would have us all believe that the economy under Barack Obama had been a catastrophe -- "American carnage," as Donald Trump described it in his inauguration address a year ago. We are also encouraged to believe that under Trump's inspirational leadership and business genius, the economy has suddenly begun to boom. As the president bragged just this morning: Trump is correct...
Opinion: The portrait of a scam artist

Opinion: The portrait of a scam artist

Here is author Michael Wolff, digesting his time as a "fly-on-the-wall" observer in the Trump White House and after hundreds of hours of interviews with top members of the Trump presidential staff: "My indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable...
Opinion: Bannon sees treason in TrumpLand

Opinion: Bannon sees treason in TrumpLand

The former CEO of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign has now publicly accused three of his former campaign colleagues -- Trump's son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager -- of committing treason against the United States. "The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor --...
Opinion: This story isn't about Trump

Opinion: This story isn't about Trump

According to Playwriting 101, Act One of a play must introduce us to our cast of characters, to their strengths and limitations, and also to the setting in which they operate. A loaded gun — in some cases literal, but more often figurative — should also be introduced somewhere in the opening scenes, and now sits ominously on the fireplace mantel. I think that's a pretty good description...
Opinion: '... bread crumbs luring the prey into the trap'

Opinion: '... bread crumbs luring the prey into the trap'

Thanks to the "tax cut" bill now being enacted by Washington Republicans, this is what the tax code will look like by 2027: -- American households making $75,000 or less will see an INCREASE of their federal income taxes totaling $28.5 billion a year. -- American households making $100,000 or more will see a DECREASE of their taxes totaling $23.5 billion a year. The numbers are clear. The...
Opinion: Merry Christmas, suckers

Opinion: Merry Christmas, suckers

For more than a generation, the most pressing economic problem confronting the United States has been the growing concentration of wealth among the already wealthy. Whether through government policy, economic transformation or a combination of the two, the share of income and wealth available to the middle and working classes has been shrinking steadily for 40 years, and as available resources have...

Opinion: An injustice corrected

I've posted here before about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a vastly underappreciated rock pioneer who has been cited as a major early influence by the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis and Johnny Cash. It's hard to think of a better list of people to vouch for your relevance, but somehow she has never ever gotten her due, not during her lifetime and not afterward. That is, until now. The Rock...
Opinion: Hey Mikey, about that pardon?

Opinion: Hey Mikey, about that pardon?

"I don't want to talk about pardons with Michael Flynn yet," President Trump said Friday morning. The word doing the work in that sentence, the word flashing in neon, is "yet." In his remarks on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump also announced that "we're going to rebuild the FBI," claiming that "when you look at what's going on with the FBI and the Justice...
Opinion: Spare us the Mueller conspiracy talk

Opinion: Spare us the Mueller conspiracy talk

I swear, these people have lost their ever-lovin' minds. They have snipped their last tethers to reality and gone floating off into a fantasy land of their own creation. Take our own U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, Republican from Georgia. In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Collins joined his GOP colleagues in confronting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over the supposed partisan...
Opinion: Hear that roar? It's women

Opinion: Hear that roar? It's women

As noted earlier, women voters played a huge role in the defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race on Tuesday, voting for Democrat Doug Jones by a 15-point margin and pushing him to victory. Black women in particular led the way, with 98 percent voting for Jones according to exit polls. You could argue that allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore played a role in his poor showing among...
Opinion: Alabama voters say no Moore

Opinion: Alabama voters say no Moore

Politics is a game of addition and subtraction. In Alabama on Tuesday, Democrats did the adding, turning out their voters in numbers well above expectations. Election officials had predicted a total turnout of 25 percent but instead got 40 percent, and a lot of those were supporters of U.S. Sen.-elect Doug Jones, D-Ala. Black voters in particular turned out, exceeding participation levels when Barack...
Opinion: No truth, and no consequences

Opinion: No truth, and no consequences

Read this, because the distinctions that it draws are important and well put: "There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people.... You cannot say that it's an honest mistake when you're purposefully putting out information that you know to be false, or when you're taking information that hasn't been validated, that hasn't been offered...
Opinion: The wildfire endangering American politics

Opinion: The wildfire endangering American politics

Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump's second favorite president, has left us a colorful political legacy that includes the term "kitchen cabinet," applied initially to the group of informal advisers that Jackson often turned to for support. Trump has his own version of Jackson's kitchen cabinet, in the form of Fox News hosts. From Fox & Friends in the morning to Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham...

Opinion: Free speech for me, not for thee

I saw this tweet last night from Fox News, based on President Trump's campaign-style speech in Pensacola, and I was struck by the tension, even conflict, between the two assertions that Fox chose to highlight. "Our rights come from our creator, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away, and they never will," Trump told the crowd. That's a fine if boilerplate sentiment, borrowed...

Opinion: Snow day!

Looking out my window on this Friday afternoon, this seemed an appropriate way to kick off the weekend.  
Opinion: A whiff of panic in the air?

Opinion: A whiff of panic in the air?

I swear, those red MAGA hats must come with the tin-foil inserts pre-installed at the factory in China. Listen to this stuff: "Mueller is corrupt, the senior FBI is corrupt. The system is corrupt and until you get back up and say -- realize how really truly corrupt this is, there's a sickness here ... I think it is frightening. If you believe in the rule of law and you believe in America, what...
More Stories