Featured Post

Trump gets played by Putin days after U.S. indicts 12 Russians for election meddling

Editorial cartoonists around the world are lampooning President Trump's bromance with Russian dictator and Syrian war criminal ...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Our next prez -- a filthy rich con man and tax dodger -- will make America hate again

Supporters of  Donald J. Trump denounced a cartoon from Jim Morin, showing the president-elect beating Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights hero who says he is boycotting the inauguration of an "illegitimate" president.


Make no mistake. 

My use of the word "prez" in the headline just bought me room for "con man" and "tax dodger," but, alas, "pussy grabber" didn't fit.

I certainly didn't intend to confer on billionaire Donald J. Trump any of the coolness of the late, great tenor saxophonist Lester Young, who was called "Prez" and "The President" by his fellow musicians.

The inauguration of Trump on Friday will end government for all as we knew it under President Obama, and usher in a period of racism, hate speech and division unlike anything we've seen before.

The Record today carries the fifth and final installment of "Trump Tracker," a series in which the editors and reporters try to predict how a Trump administration will affect 14 issues important to North Jersey residents and businesses (1A and 10A).

They intend to update the stories "at least once every three months." 

That's hardly enough, especially if they spend the rest of the time merely reporting partisan politics and sound bites -- as they have done for the entire Obama administration, as well as during Governor Christie's tenure.


On 11A today, readers get a foreshadowing of how The Record of Woodland Park will cover the Trump inauguration, written by Elise Toribio, who is identified as "social-mobile editor" or do they mean "mobile social editor"?  

Poor Toribio reports that Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States "in front of thousands of Americans on the National Mall."

"Thousands"? One estimate is that 900,000 people will attend the ceremony. 

Toribio urges readers "to follow our reporters and photographers on their social channels ... for live updates before, during and after the event." 

Unfortunately, many older readers of The Record don't have smartphones or follow Twitter and other social media.

A dozen staff reporters or columnists and four photographers will be in Washington for the inauguration.

When their work appears in the print edition on Saturday and Sunday, much of it will be largely ignored by readers who watched hours of coverage and commentary on TV.

Obama farewell

In his final news conference, Obama told the White House press corps, "You're not supposed to be sycophants, you're supposed to be skeptics" (12A).

The president appeared to be urging them to "be skeptics" during the Trump administration. 

Many Americas are disappointed the press corps, as well as print, radio and TV reporters, acted like sycophants during the campaign, hoping to gain advantage with Trump and his supporters.


In his story on Trump reducing federal rules today, Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson reports "exactly what regulations will be rolled back and what businesses or individuals will be affected remain unclear" (1A).

That's quite a journalistic cop-out from a veteran reporter, who could have discussed regulation of the auto industry that affects nearly everyone.

Trump officials are expected to side with automakers who are pushing back against the latest fuel-mileage standards from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Auto emissions kill 53,000 people a year and aggravate climate change, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the upstart who is leading the movement to all-electric vehicles.

And no one wants to see a reduction in auto-safety regulations in view of the thousands of Americans killed by defective air bags, tires, cars and trucks in recent decades. 

Affordable housing

Page 1 of The Record today carries a decision from the state Supreme Court that is almost as significant as the landmark Mount Laurel rulings in 1975 and 1983.

The high court ruled towns must allow developers to build affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families "whose needs were ignored for more than 16 years" (1A).

The justices rejected arguments from several towns, the Christie administration and the League of Municipalities, State House Bureau reporter Salvador Rizzo reports.

But this story and previous accounts largely avoid the racial angle -- most of the people who live in affordable housing are black and Hispanic, and many towns oppose accommodating those minorities.