No Deal: Inside Trump's Decision to Walk on North Korea Summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un may be the deal that got away. Trump and his team weathered insults, tolerated unanswered phone calls and waited hours for negotiating partners who never showed up as they sought to keep the planned Singapore summit with Kim on track. With prospects dimming and aides increasingly skeptical, Trump at first […]

House Prospects; Clash of Communities; Gold Star Memories; Madam Marie

Good morning, it’s Friday, May 25, 2018. Marie Castello was born in Neptune City, New Jersey on this date in 1915. If you don’t know that name, you’re probably not for the Jersey Shore. I’m not either, but I know rock ’n’ roll, which is why several years ago on a trip to Asbury Park, I checked out a fortune […]

President Trump's 'Spy' and the Dark Art of Branding

President Trump has many limitations, to put it mildly, but he is brilliant at the dark art of branding. Those seeking to hold him accountable had better study his technique — and learn to fight fire with fire. Witness how Trump is trying to use the word “spy” as a weapon against the FBI, the Justice Department and special counsel […]

Trump's Risky Breakup Letter to Kim Jong Un

WASHINGTON — President Trump‘s letter canceling his June 12 summit with North Korea‘s Kim Jong Un is a coy piece of manipulation — flattering and threatening Kim at the same time. It‘s like the letters people send when breaking up a romance that hasn‘t quite ripened. The words seem heartfelt, even as they stick in the knife. “l was very […]

How Trump's Pardon of a Boxer Beat Obama to the Punch

As President Donald Trump ended an almost-century-long campaign by granting a pardon to Jack Johnson, the unfairly convicted boxing champion, a question hung in many minds like a ghost: Why didn‘t President Barack Obama do it when he had the chance? If it slipped anyone‘s notice as to who was beating whom to the punch in honoring the first African […]

Commencement Season 2018

WASHINGTON — In 2014, commencement season stood out for the list of high-profile speakers pushed off the graduation stage at top-tier universities. At the peak of academia‘s podium purges, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice backed out of her planned commencement address at Rutgers University amid protests over her support of the Iraq War. The free-speech Foundation for Individual Rights […]

Barbarians at the White House Gate

Donald Trump isn’t the only president I’ve heard call another human being an “animal.” Richard Nixon was the first, although he wasn’t alluding to murderous gang members from a foreign country. Nixon was talking about his predecessor in office, Lyndon Baines Johnson. To be fair, Nixon was out of the White House then. Also, he didn’t call Johnson an animal […]