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Monday, March 19, 2018

Trump's crazy train or daily D.C. shit show has the world mocking the United States

Graffiti on a building in Mary Ellen Kramer Park at the Great Falls in Paterson.

In N.J., The Record reduces
Bergen County news even further


Editor's note: The Celebrity Birthdays feature on Page 6BL in today's Better Living section notes "film producer Harvey Weinstein is 66." I guess even sexual predators deserve a listing. See a reader's comment at the end of this post.


A cornered President Trump is lashing out again on Twitter at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a fellow Republican.

Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, as well as the finances of the Trump Organization, the 500 real estate and business entities of which the president is the sole or principal owner.

Late Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, less than two days shy of McCabe's retirement.

Like fired FBI Director James Comey, McCabe has handed over to Mueller memos documenting his conversations with the president.

Meanwhile, "60 Minutes" plans to air an interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels next Sunday.

She has offered to return $130,000 in hush money she was paid to keep quiet about her affair with Trump in 2006 after Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron.

Daily shit show

What a daily shit show Trump is putting on in Washington, D.C., turning our democracy into a laughing stock around the world.

No president has been tarred with so much scandal or has proven to be such a loose cannon -- insulting others and praising himself in an endless stream of lies the news media seem obsessed with spreading around the world.

'A scam ... a fraud'

Also on Friday, The New York Times and The Observer of London reported a voter-profiling company called Cambridge Analytica "harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission...."

"The breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump's campaign in 2016."

"This was a scam -- and a fraud," the social network said in a statement.

Editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers of The Charlotte Observer commenting on the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon Mobil.
Rick McKee, editorial cartoonist at The Augusta Chronicle, capturing the chaos of the Trump administration.
Many observers are betting the meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will never come off or that the two leaders are so illegitimate, nothing will come of the summit, says editorial cartoonist Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch.

Local news?

I could not find a single local-news story from Bergen County in The Record's Local section on Saturday, with the exception of a police brief on a missing Paramus woman.

This from a local daily newspaper that began life as The Bergen Record, and is still called that by many older readers, decades after it became just The Record.

On Sunday, even Mike Kelly's column on the Opinion front (1O) was about Paterson.

The Record's local-news operation was on life support when the Gannett Co. took over from the Borg family in July 2016, and slashed the payroll of North Jersey Media Group, publisher of daily and weekly papers, and (201) magazine.

Now, residents of the 70 Bergen County communities can go days or weeks without seeing any news of their town.

Legal marijuana?

Gannett's reporting is weakest when trying to predict the future, as James Nash did on Sunday's Page 1.

Nash questioned whether the state Legislature will approve a bill to legalize marijuana by the June 30 deadline, and if it does, whether the state can develop rules by July 1, 2019, when weed would be sold to anyone.

Instead of speculating about the future, why doesn't Nash and other reporters write balanced stories seeking opinions on each side of issues such as legal marijuana, taxing millionaires and so forth.


In redesigning The Record's print edition, Gannett eliminated the "by" in reporters' bylines.

Now, a reporter's name appears in boldface type and the publication appears next to it.

But "The Record" has been eliminated in favor of a fictitious publication, "North Jersey Record."

So it's no surprise #gannettruinedmypaper is appearing more and more on social media.

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