Current Events Write-Up: Trump, Trump’s Appointees, Star Wars, Introverts, and Nixon

Time for this week’s Current Events Write-Up, where I link to news and opinion pieces and comment about them.

Trump, Trump’s Appointees, Etc.

Christianity Today magazine had a status above its article, “Here’s Who Will Pray at Trump’s Inauguration.”  The status states: “Trump’s inauguration will be the first in decades to include Jewish and Catholic clergy.”  It’s times like this that I love that man!

Jia Jiang at Fox News Opinion had an article, “How Trump Used the Incredible Power of Rejection to Win the White House.”  Trump was rejected, yet he used rejection to his advantage and never gave up.  That has distinguished him from previous, traditional candidates.

Washington Post: “I’m a Muslim, a Woman, and an Immigrant. I Voted for Trump,” by Asra Q. Nomani.

No comment here, except “I liked this article.”  Of course, it got nitpicked.  But guess what?  I still like this article.

Polizette: “Trump Should Never Stop Tweeting: President-elect Has Hamstrung a Hostile Press by Tapping a Direct Line to the American People,” by Eddie Zipperer.

Not only that, but Trump’s tweets get results.  For example: Republicans on the Hill plan to gut an ethics office, Trump tweets, and the Republicans abandon their plan.  Maybe Trump’s tweet was not a resounding opposition to their plan, but his tweet still got results!

Robert Reich is no fan of Trump, even in the status that I am about to quote.  Still, I liked this part of the status: “Ford has come under heavy criticism from Trump for its plan to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico. Today, Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company had canceled the plan and would instead invest $700 million to increase production of electric and hybrid cars at its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.”  Reich goes on to criticize Trump, for understandable reasons, but isn’t it cool that Ford will be making more electric and hybrid cars?  Isn’t that what we want: clean energy?

Forbes: “Pickens is Right about Trump’s Energy Priorities—-and Here’s Why,” by David Blackmon.

Technically, this is advice from T. Boone Pickens to Trump.  Pickens makes good points about how the government can coordinate energy policy more effectively.

I liked this line from Clarissa’s Blog: “Trump is defending Assange and soon probably Snowden. Cognitive dissonance is awaiting many liberals.”   That’s what I like about Trump.  He doesn’t follow the party line!

Speaking of Assange, Politico had this status: “A former CIA analyst writes: ‘The next president of the United States is siding with Julian Assange…over the U.S. intelligence community – thousands of smart, patriotic people who work long hours for middling pay, some risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe.'”  Here’s a question: Why aren’t more progressives applauding Trump on this?  Haven’t they been fierce critics of the CIA and the national security state?

Moving on to Trump appointees.  Julia Hahn at Breitbart writes about Richard Lighthizer, Trump’s choice for U.S. Trade Representatives.  She looks at Lighthizer’s writings that lean towards protectionism.

Dan Rather is no fan of the President-elect, but Rather states that “the selection of retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense strikes me as one of the most sober-minded choices in his cabinet” (after offering reservations about “recent military men and women heading the civilian control of the Department of Defense”).  Rather links to a New York Times article about Mattis’ opposition to torture.

Omarosa Manigault was appointed Trump’s Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.  She is known as a contestant on The Apprentice, and, according to this article, she has worked for Gore and Clinton in the past.  But she became a Trump supporter, and she says that other African-Americans are moving towards the Republican Party.  I remember her saying on the Frontline profile of the two candidates, “The Choice: 2016,” that every critic will bow down to President Trump (see the trailer here).  I saw that before Election Day, and my reaction was “President Trump?  Dream on!”  But Trump went on to win the election!

Star Wars

Jonathan V. Last of The Weekly Standard (often associated with neoconservatism) defends the Empire.  My reaction was “Typical neocon!”, but the article was still an enjoyable read, for this Star Wars geek.

Marc Barnes at First Things has an article entitled “Rogue One and the Return of Reverence.”  Barnes praises Rogue One for having a more religious conception of the Force.


The Atlantic had a slightly depressing article about how the teaching profession caters to extroverts, when introverts can be fine teachers.  It said academia is better for introverts.  I remember one professor saying, though, that having students do private research does not completely equip them for academia, in which they will have to interact and work with surly personalities.  He may be right.  Still, academia does involve a lot of private research.

Historical Interest

I wrote about Richard Nixon on my blog for a whole year, 2013.  I should probably mention the latest findings that seem to indicate that Nixon tried to sabotage Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam talks.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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