President Donald #trump intends to keep the visitor logs at the White House private. The announcement was made today. The #New York Times says Trump is creating a “cloak of secrecy” that will obscure the what goes on there. The lack of transparency is no surprise. Trump has not released his tax returns. Nor has he sought to clear his Russian relationships by allowing a special prosecutor to investigate. An administration marked by confusion and volatility marches on.

Advertisements

The White House is not our house

Predictably, the reaction to the Trump move was binary.

Advertisements

Critics said he was hiding potential conflicts of interest and public scrutiny. Defenders said it was a national security matter and that the White House logs are presidential records that do not need to be disclosed. President Obama worked to see the logs of his administration open while arguing for some areas of secrecy. On the other hand, Obama was not terribly friendly to whistleblowers and investigative journalists.

New York Times bashes Jeff Sessions

To hear the editors of the New York Times, #Jeff Sessions is as bad as Trump is at telling the truth. Last Tuesday he was at the border where Trump wants to build a multi-billion-dollar wall. The attorney general declared this location ground zero where we must take our stand against a flood of evil coming from Mexico.

The editors say Sessions experienced a bit of a glitch. As he went on about document forgers and criminal aliens, the flag behind him fell over. It was retrieved by a gun-toting agent who held it behind the speaker until his remarks were done.

Advertisements

The Times laments that Sessions who has uttered nativist ideas forever is now in charge of the country’s legal machinery. It seems he is turning the Justice Department into an adjunct of ICE and the Border Patrol.

Trump as a healthcare bully

Bribery and bullying were terms used to describe President Trump’s latest effort to keep Trumpcare alive. The issue is important and can be stated clearly. Healthcare relies on cost-sharing subsidies paid by the federal government. If these are not kept up there is widespread suffering among low-income families. The GOP has tried to end these subsidies. Trump now has the power to hold them over the Democrats as something he might be willing to keep. All this conveys is that we have a very sad period unfolding. The only result will be a protracted battle during which the true colors of all sides will be shown.

Trump's approach to healthcare has virtually guaranteed that his efforts will fail. That is good news. The bad news is that like a builder who tears things down to create new things, he can completely wreck the nation in the process.,