Friday, February 17, 2017

Betty MacDonald, Vashon Island and a fine-tuned machine

mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT
Hello 'Pussy' this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle: 

You said, "This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine."

Do you have any idea why they feel so ashamed? I do!  

Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration


The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

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Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island
<p>Time Out of Mind (1947) - avec Betty et Don MacDonald et Phyllis Calvert</p>

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

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Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck

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 Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest.

Did you ever visit Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island?

What about an International Betty MacDonald event in Washington State?

Linde Lund asked this question some time ago and several Betty MacDonald fan club fans seemed to be very interested.

Please don't miss the very interesting Vashon mystery: How did the bike become embedded in the tree?

by Eric Johnson

( see info below )

We are going to publish some new Betty MacDonald fan club interviews  by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.

Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

This very new Betty MacDonald biography includes all the results we got during a very successful Betty MacDonald fan club research which started in 1983.

You'll be able to find unique Betty MacDonald treasures in our Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald biography includes for example interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.

We got many letters by Betty MacDonald and other family members even very important original ones.

Our goal is to publish a Betty MacDonald biography that shows all the details of Betty MacDonald's life and work but also to present her fascinating siblings.

Dear Betty MacDonald fan club fans let us know please what you are interested most in a future Betty MacDonald biography.  

Do you prefer an e-book or a so called real book?
Vita Magica by Wolfgang Hampel is really fascinating and very interesting.

Wolfgang Hampel and Friends of Vita Magica visited Minister of Science of Baden-Württemberg, Theresia Bauer in Stuttgart.

They visited Landtag and had a great time there.

Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications? 

If so would you be so kind to share them?

Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.

If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.

Thank you so much in advance for your support.








Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.

You'll be able to read more info during January.

We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.

This interview will be published for the first time ever.

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New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.

We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 

Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.

Wolfgang Hampel's literary event Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.


Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world  adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.

I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.

Thanks a million!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.

Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please. 

Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites.

I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story  Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.

I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.

Trump held court during a news conference that lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, carving out a stunning moment in modern American political history. He displayed a sense of anger and grievance rarely vented by a President in public -- let alone one who has been in office for just four weeks.
"I have never seen more dishonest media, frankly than the political media," Trump said, later slamming leaks to the press from the intelligence community -- some of which led to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"The leaks are real. The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake," Trump said.
While it was a marked contrast with the normal dynamics of a presidential news conference, the East Room show was vintage Trump. He touted his own poll numbers, victory over Hillary Clinton and discussed cable TV ratings and panel discussions.
"I'm here again to take my message straight to the people. As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess."

Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?

We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows? - Dana Rohrabacher

Lately, it appears Trump has gone back into the field to drag in a whole new bunch of State contenders. 

My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Rohrabacher is also a surfer and former folk singer who once claimed global warming might be connected to “dinosaur flatulence.” 

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?

I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.

Poor World!    Poor America! 

Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.

The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career

mrs. piggle wiggle's magic_korean_2011_hardcover_FRONT

Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang! 
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Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?

I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.

Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 

Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.

He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!

Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!

Besides him ( by the way the  First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech. 

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.

Dear 'great-grandfather' continued  and praised the Democratic candidate.

He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.

He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.

She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt.  Do you know how corrupt she is? 

Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.

Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends. 

He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:

Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!

Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.

They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens. 

By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.

I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 

Real vs. Ersatz

I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.

I totally agree with these comments:

This is incredible! I'll You get what you pay/vote for and Trump is the epitome of this ideology. America I won't feel bad for you because you don't need my sympathy for what's coming but I am genuinely scared for you. 'Forgive them lord for they know not who they do' or maybe they do but just don't care about their future generations who will suffer for this long after the culprits have passed away. 

Is the USA like North Korea where you can't trust other politicians?

That's it. 

Put Ivanka in! Put Ivanka in! Put my whole family and friends in! '

What about Putin? 

Or the leaders from China and North Korea?

Wouldn't it be a great idea to put them in too?

What about very intelligent and qualified Sarah Palin? 

André Maurice Dayans Foto.

I found this in Wikipedia about her:

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport[88] and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases.[89] On her return journey she visited injured soldiers in Germany.[90]

That's the reason why very intelligent and brilliant Sarah Palin knows the World very well. 

Sarah and ' Pussygate '  will rule America and the World - what a couple. 

I am neither Christian enough nor charitable enough to like anybody just because he is alive and breathing. I want people to interest or amuse me. I want them fascinating and witty or so dul as to be different. I want them either intellectually stimulating or wonderfully corny; perfectly charming or hundred percent stinker. I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how. - Betty MacDonald

Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner. 

I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's  Vashon Island.

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding  Betty MacDonald biography.

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  

Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please. 

You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel. 

Good luck!  

This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum. 

Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans. 

Many Betty MacDonald  - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.

We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.

Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary. 


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to share very interesting info on ' Betty MacDonald and the movie The Egg and I '. 

Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.

The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952. 

Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.

Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.

I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.

Have a very nice Friday,

Don't miss this very special book, please.

Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald fan club fan Heiderose Teynor 

Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 

Vashon mystery: How did the bike become embedded in the tree?

The foghorn bellows out its long, lonely call as our ferry approaches Vashon Island. There is an air of mystery as we plow headlong into a thick bank of fog that seems to dissolve away in our wake.

It's a trip I've wanted to make for some time, because a mystery in the woods has been nagging at me.

I have come here to solve the mystery.

A couple miles outside of downtown Vashon there is a trail that leads into the woods. And at the end of the trail, there is something that stops you in your tracks, something that needs to be explained. Something of a legend, really.

Innocence and childhood are bound together here by the force of time, and the power of our own imaginations.

It is ... a bicycle in a tree.

Across from the woods there is a street, and directly across the street Nancy Weed sits in her office at Vashon Energy and watches.

"What do I see all day?" she says, knowing full well I already know the answer. "Cars pulling in all the time looking for the tree with the bike."

She says it goes on all day long. Twenty, thirty, forty times. They pull up, look around, and then wander off into the woods to get a look.

It is a sight to be sure. Quite literally, a bike in a tree. Not resting against or hanging from a tree, but somehow actually grown INTO the thing! It is a small bicycle, rusted and aged, weather beaten and corroded by the elements.

Who knows how long it's been there, eaten whole by a Douglas fir, gnarled and knotted into its timeless struggle with nature, held up like an offering to the bicycle gods or an allegory of childhood swallowed up by time.

A mother bends down to talk to her 3-year-old little girl. "How did it get up there?" she asks.

The girl has no answers, only, "It's stuck."

Indeed it is.

The thing begs you to fill in the blanks. How did it get there? Whose bike is it? Why was it discarded?

David Erue hears that I'm there asking questions, and he emerges from the trees. He's lived on Vashon for 30 years, and like everybody he has a theory.

"I think somebody just put the bike in the tree to get it out of the way and they were going to come back later, and they just didn't show up for it."

It's become the unlikeliest of tourist attractions. Pat and Sandra Volmer are visiting from Alaska, and they just had to see it for themselves.

Pat ponders the mystery before him. "Maybe some kid took his little brother's bike and hung it up in a tree where he couldn't grab it... then they moved away and the bike just stayed here."

Faroakh Rahmani stops with a group of touring bike riders to take a stab. "There was a man who used to live in this tree ..." he says, like he's telling tall tales to children. Then he stops and smiles, "Eck, I don't know!"

There are clues. Obvious ones.

It is a child's bike.

It is old.

And for some reason it was abandoned in a tree. But why?

It shouldn't bother me, really. It shouldn't matter. It just "is", I tell myself.

But somebody, somewhere knows the truth. Something tells me there's a story here.

Something that Nancy Weed had said struck me. "There's ANOTHER bike in a tree up in Vashon," she said. "At the bike shop."

My photographer Jon Martin and I drive back into town to investigate. And sure enough, there is a bike shop, and in front of it is a tree, and there is indeed a bike in the tree. It appears to be an homage to the bike in the woods, not nearly as old as the original but a bike in a tree, nonetheless.

Jeff Ammon owns the shop. He shakes the frame of the bike, but it doesn't budge. "This one's been here about 10 years, and it won't come out anymore."

Jeff is a good-natured guy, with old pictures in his shop of the bike in the woods, back before the handlebars had been stolen. He's heard all the theories.

"One of 'em was that these guys stole the bike, off somebody's porch, and then they felt really guilty because they were little kids."

He suggests we go to a local hangout, the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie.

At the Roasterie, there are tables in front with locals soaking up the sunshine and drinking coffee. There are gifts inside, all sorts of things really. And Eva DeLoach, who works there, sells postcards of the arbor-bound bike.

She says, "Well, the story is varied, and it has a lot of mystery."

"No kidding," I think to myself.

"But I think there is one woman on the island who might know the answer," she says.

And so, we go to meet a lovely lady named Anne Irish who works at the Vashon Heritage Museum.

She sees the camera, and probably already knows why I'm there.

"OK," I say, "so there's this bike in a tree..."

She laughs. "Yesssss."

She's heard about it, she gets asked about it, she has no definitive answers.

She does, however, show us a kid's book that was written with the bike as a backdrop. It's called, Red Ranger Came Calling, by Berkeley Breathed. It's a lovely Christmas book, with strangely wonderful illustrations.

But, it does not tell who the bike belonged to. Or how it got in the tree.

Ahhh, the legend is a slippery one!

I think about the bike some more. There is pitch from the tree oozing onto the frame in places. There are ants crawling over it. And the old rubber tires are still on it. Not innertube tires, but solid rubber ones. The kind you might find on a tricycle.

My own imagination starts to run away from me. Maybe it was some kind ghost-rider who crashed into the tree and somehow melded together with it.

Or maybe the old story about a boy going off to World War One and never returning is true. "But that can't be," I thought. "Nobody old enough to go off to war would be caught dead riding around on this child's toy..."

Back to the Roasterie we went, this time to talk to the coffee gulping locals.

One eccentric looking chap with Sally Jessie Raphael glasses and a straw fedora says, "Somebody put it there. Years ago. That's all I know."

I can't hide my disappointment.

He adds, "It's kind of a mystery I think.."


And then we meet Steve Self.

He's lived in Vashon his whole life, which is 68 years.

"My version, coming from some people that might know," he says, "was that Donny Puz was given the bike as a gift." He pronounces the name so it rhymes with 'booze'.

"Who is Donny Puz", I ask?

"Well," he answers, "come to my house and I'll show you."

And so, we drive about 5 miles outside of town to his house. He takes us into the garage and he pulls a box down off a shelf. It's full of high school annuals.

He opens the 1963 edition of the Vashonian. He rifles through page after page of black and white photos. When he comes to the football page he stops.

"There he is! Number eighty-two!"

And sure enough, there he is, a strapping kid with short, dark hair and a serious expression.

I wonder to myself how this boy, who, according to Steve moved away to the Tri Cities, was tied to a bicycle that was consumed by a fir tree. What twist of his early life led to the bike in a tree?

We found Don Puz, and yes, he was living in the Tri Cities. He had grown to become a sheriff, working for a time in his home town.

He told us that he was coming home for his 50-year high school reunion. So we agreed to meet up with him.

We first saw him on the ferry to Vashon, heading back to the Island to celebrate the passage of time and the lure of home.

He's a big man and he wears a big cowboy hat, and he keeps reaching up to hold it so it doesn't fly off in the wind.

We ask him flat out, "Are you the guy? Was it your bicycle?"

Don Puz doesn't hesitate. "No doubt in my mind, first time I saw it, it's my bike. And it's a couple hundred feet from my mom's house where I used to play in the woods."

He accompanies us back to the woods that were his own so many years ago.

He looks up at the bike and touches it. "I keep looking at the front tire to see if it's the same one. Yep. The back one's pretty easy to see."

He starts talking and the mystery unravels with his words.

He tells us about a fire in 1954, a fire that burned his family home to the ground. His father died in the blaze. Donnie was just 9 years old.

The Vashon community, as tight then as it is today, rallied around the family. Donations poured in. Clothes, furniture, toys. And a kid's bike.

Don says, "I had this bike for less than 6-months I bet.."

"Why?" I ask.

"'Cause I didn't like it. It's interesting now, but at the time it was just a little ... it was like a tricycle!" he touches it again. "These are tricycle tires."

So he took it into the woods and left it. He doesn't remember hanging it on a branch, or hoisting it into a tree. But he left the bike.

It's easy to picture, because it's so very human: a little boy trying to be a big boy, ashamed by a little girl's bicycle.

He looks up at the tree, so high now, 50 years later. "This was Christmas tree height when I threw the bike away."

And so the bike was left in the woods.

And the little boy's mother asked where it was ....

And the little boy said he didn't know.

And eventually the boy bought his own bicycle.

And then became a sheriff and lived a long and productive life.

"I don't think I own it anymore," Don Puz says a little wistfully, a little bit in awe, perhaps, of how time makes up its own stories. "I threw it away a long time ago. I think the tree owns it now."

Funny how it works. Our stories bubble to the surface on their own time, paying heed to neither schedule or calendar, or to any of our plans.

This one because ... of a bike in a tree.

An amazing moment in history: Donald Trump's press conference

Story highlights

  • Trump sparred with the press for over an hour
  • He touted his own poll numbers, victory over Hillary Clinton and discussed cable TV ratings and panel discussions
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary denunciation Thursday of his critics, complaining he inherited a "mess" and slamming stories that his campaign was constantly in contact with Russia as "fake news."
Trump held court during a news conference that lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, carving out a stunning moment in modern American political history. He displayed a sense of anger and grievance rarely vented by a President in public -- let alone one who has been in office for just four weeks.
"I have never seen more dishonest media, frankly than the political media," Trump said, later slamming leaks to the press from the intelligence community -- some of which led to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"The leaks are real. The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake," Trump said.
While it was a marked contrast with the normal dynamics of a presidential news conference, the East Room show was vintage Trump. He touted his own poll numbers, victory over Hillary Clinton and discussed cable TV ratings and panel discussions.
"I'm here again to take my message straight to the people. As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess."
That was the kind of message -- directed at large numbers of voters disgruntled with the performance of Washington's political establishment and delivered in a plainspoken, unvarnished manner -- that helped Trump win the presidency against all odds.
But his manner is also likely to offend or alarm other voters and may do little to alleviate skepticism towards Trump among political elites in Washington. Trump in fact predicted how his animated and unorthodox news conference will be interpreted in the press.
"Tomorrow, they will say: 'Donald Trump rants and raves at the press,'" Trump said. "I'm not ranting and raving. I'm just telling you. You know, you're dishonest people. But -- but I'm not ranting and raving. I love this. I'm having a good time doing it."
The general impression was of a president who is deeply frustrated at the way his new White House is being portrayed and who had decided to take matters into his own hands with a dramatic intervention.
The news conference was not scheduled until Thursday morning, but aides said Trump was itching to get out and defend himself.
A senior administration official told CNN's Jeremy Diamond that Trump walked into the Oval Office this morning and told his top aides: "Let's do a press conference today."
The news conference was "the President's idea, 100%" the official said.
"I'm here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last four weeks since my inauguration," Trump said, after quickly announcing his new pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta.
"We have made incredible progress. I don't think there's ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we've done," Trump said.
And saying he resented picking up newspapers and turning on the television to hear reports that his White House was in chaos, Trump said, "This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine."
Trump's appearance betrayed apparent deep frustration not just with the media coverage of his White House and a desire to talk directly to the American people but also possibly dismay with aides charged with defending him.
"I don't mind a bad story if it's true," Trump said, but complained much of what was reported about his administration was unfair.
The President lashed out, for instance, at coverage of his temporary travel ban on nationals of seven mostly Muslim nations that caused a weekend of chaos at the nation's airports before being suspended by a federal court.
"We had a very smooth roll out of the travel ban. But we had a bad court," Trump said. "We had a bad decision, that is the only thing that is wrong with the travel ban."
But the President also said a new executive order would be tailored to the court's ruling to ensure that it could legally go into force.
Trump also accused holdovers from the Obama administration of leaking out information about his alleged contacts with Moscow to hammer his administration.
Trump was repeatedly pressed on whether his campaign staff had been in contact with Russia, as a widening drama over his alleged connections with Moscow dominates news coverage.
"Nobody that I know of. How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years," Trump said.
"I own nothing in Russia, I have no loans in Russia, I don't have any deals in Russia," Trump said. "Russia is fake news."


Flynn’s Downfall Sprang From ‘Eroding Level of Trust’

Why Michael Flynn Resigned

Michael T. Flynn stepped down as national security adviser amid a scandal surrounding his contacts with Russia before President Trump took office.
By SUSAN JOAN ARCHER, DAVE HORN, A.J. CHAVAR and ROBIN LINDSAY on Publish Date February 14, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

WASHINGTON — Just days into his new position as President Trump’s national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn found himself in a meeting that any White House official would dread. Face to face with F.B.I. agents, he was grilled about a phone call he had had with Russia’s ambassador.
What exactly Mr. Flynn said has not been disclosed, but current and former government officials said on Tuesday that investigators had come away believing that he was not entirely forthcoming. Soon after, the acting attorney general decided to notify the White House, setting in motion a chain of events that cost Mr. Flynn his job and thrust Mr. Trump’s fledgling administration into a fresh crisis.
Mr. Flynn’s rise and fall followed familiar patterns in Washington, where ambitious figures secure positions of great authority only to lose them in a blizzard of contradictions, recriminations and scandal. But rarely has an official at such a high level risen and fallen in such a dizzyingly short time, in this case just 24 days after Mr. Flynn arrived in the West Wing to take his corner office.
Given his short stay at the top, Mr. Flynn’s case might be quickly forgotten as an isolated episode if it did not raise other questions, particularly about what the president knew and when. Even more broadly, it underscores lingering uncertainty about the relationship between the Trump administration and Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia, a subject of great interest given American intelligence reports of Moscow’s intervention in last year’s elections in the United States.

As leaders of both parties said on Tuesday that they expected the Senate to investigate and probably even summon Mr. Flynn to testify, more details emerged about a drama that played out largely in secret inside a White House riven by competing power centers. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, revealed that Mr. Trump had known about concerns that Mr. Flynn lied for more than two weeks before demanding his resignation on Monday night. But Vice President Mike Pence was kept in the dark and did not learn that Mr. Flynn had misled him about his Russia contacts until reading news accounts late last week.

Michael T. Flynn, right, stepped down as national security adviser on Monday night after President Trump demanded his resignation. He held the job for 24 days. Credit Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

Mr. Spicer described a deliberative process in which a new president took his time deciding what to do with Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star general who played a major role in his campaign. The issue, Mr. Spicer said, was not about legality but credibility.
“The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn’s resignation,” he said.

But other aides privately said that Mr. Trump, while annoyed at Mr. Flynn, might not have pushed him out had the situation not attracted such attention from the news media. Instead, according to three people close to Mr. Trump, the president made the decision to cast aside Mr. Flynn in a flash, the catalyst being a news alert of a coming article about the matter.
“Yeah, it’s time,” Mr. Trump told one of his advisers.
Until around that point, Mr. Flynn seemed to think he was going to keep his job. He told The Daily Caller, a conservative news site, on Monday that he had not violated the law. “If I did, believe me, the F.B.I. would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled,” he said. “There were no lines crossed.”
But by that evening, he was writing a resignation letter, admitting no deception, only that he had “inadvertently” passed along “incomplete information.”
The issue traced back to a call last December between Mr. Flynn, then on tap to become Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. President Barack Obama was imposing new sanctions on Russia and expelling 35 diplomats after the election meddling.Video

Michael T. Flynn: A Timeline of His Tenure

The events that led to Michael T. Flynn’s abrupt resignation as national security adviser stretch back to before President Trump’s inauguration.
By SHANE O’NEILL, NIRAJ CHOKSHI and A.J. CHAVAR on Publish Date February 14, 2017. Photo by Kevin D. Liles for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

The day after the sanctions were announced, Mr. Putin said Russia would not retaliate in kind, as has been the custom in the long, tortured history of Russian-American relations, instead waiting for a new administration that he assumed would be friendlier.
Inside the Obama administration, officials were stunned. Mr. Trump publicly welcomed the decision. “Great move on delay (by V. Putin),” he wrote on Twitter. “I always knew he was very smart!”
Around the same time, Obama advisers heard separately from the F.B.I. about Mr. Flynn’s conversation with Mr. Kislyak, whose calls were routinely monitored by American intelligence agencies that track Russian diplomats. The Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.
The Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal.

On Jan. 12, David Ignatius, a columnist for The Washington Post, reported that Mr. Flynn had called Mr. Kislyak, setting off news media interest in what was said. Mr. Spicer, then the spokesman for Mr. Trump’s transition team, went to Mr. Flynn, who he said told him that sanctions had not come up during the call. Briefing reporters the next day, Mr. Spicer repeated the misinformation, saying that the conversation had “never touched on the sanctions.”
Mr. Flynn told the same thing to Mr. Pence and Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, who were scheduled to go on the Sunday talk shows and expected that they would be asked about the matter, according to the two men. On Jan. 15, Mr. Pence went on “Face the Nation” on CBS and on “Fox News Sunday” and repeated that sanctions had not been discussed, while Mr. Priebus said much the same on “Meet the Press” on NBC.

Document: Michael Flynn’s Resignation Letter

The topic came up again after Mr. Trump and his team moved into the White House. At his first full briefing on Jan. 23, Mr. Spicer said that Mr. Flynn’s conversation had touched on only four subjects, none of them sanctions. That caught the attention of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department.
Sally Q. Yates, an Obama appointee held over as acting attorney general until Mr. Trump’s choice was confirmed, concluded that the disparity between what was said on the call and what Mr. Flynn had evidently told the vice president and others about it might make the new national security adviser vulnerable to blackmail. When foreign governments hold information that could prove embarrassing, it is considered a potential leverage point.
Soon after the Jan. 23 briefing, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, sent agents to interview Mr. Flynn. If he told the agents what he said publicly for more than a week after that interview — that his conversations with the ambassador had been innocuous and did not involve sanctions — then he could face legal trouble. If the authorities concluded that he knowingly lied to the F.B.I., it could expose him to a felony charge.

It was not clear whether Mr. Flynn had a lawyer for his interview or whether anyone at the White House knew the interview was happening. But they knew afterward because Ms. Yates, with the support of Mr. Comey, reached out to Donald F. McGahn II, the new White House counsel, on Jan. 26 to give him what Mr. Spicer called a “heads up” about the discrepancy.
Mr. Trump was told “immediately,” Mr. Spicer said, and directed Mr. McGahn to look into the matter. After an “extensive review” that lasted several days, Mr. McGahn concluded that nothing in the conversation had violated federal law, Mr. Spicer said.
But the president then set out to determine whether he could still trust Mr. Flynn. Mr. Spicer said Mr. Flynn stuck to his original account, making matters worse.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, learned that Mr. Flynn had misled him about a call to the Russian ambassador after reading news media reports last week. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

“We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, with the level of trust between the president and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change,” Mr. Spicer said. “The president was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others.”

Asked if Mr. Trump had instructed Mr. Flynn to talk about sanctions with Mr. Kislyak, Mr. Spicer said, “No, absolutely not.” Asked if Mr. Trump knew that the issue had come up before the Justice Department told the White House, Mr. Spicer said, “No, he was not aware.”
Mr. Spicer emphasized that there was “nothing wrong” with Mr. Flynn’s talking with representatives of other countries to prepare for the new president taking office, and that, in fact, Mr. Trump wanted him to.
By that point, Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Flynn had grown more awkward. One person close to the president, who asked to remain anonymous to describe private discussions, said Mr. Trump had been “uncomfortable” with Mr. Flynn for weeks. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had expressed concern about Mr. Flynn’s appointment even before the inauguration, according to another person briefed on the discussions.
Mr. Trump’s views were coming around to the same point. “What he knew was that Flynn was too much about Flynn, versus Mattis,” the person close to the president said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was seen as deferential to the chain of command. “He loves Mattis because Mattis is respectful and self-confident.”
Another key figure with growing concerns about Mr. Flynn was Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist whom Mr. Flynn perceived as a rival for control over national security. Mr. Trump began asking Mr. Mattis about two weeks ago for suggestions of possible replacements for Mr. Flynn. The defense secretary recommended retired Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward. Mr. Bannon reached out to Mr. Harward last week, two senior officials said.

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The situation escalated late Thursday when word reached the White House that The Washington Post was reporting that the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s call showed that he had discussed sanctions, contrary to his assurances to Mr. Pence and others.
White House officials confronted Mr. Flynn, who only then said that it was possible they had come up, but that he did not remember. “His story remained the same until that night,” Mr. Spicer said. “That’s when his response changed.”
That was also when Mr. Pence first learned that the Justice Department had proof that Mr. Flynn had not told the truth and had warned the White House two weeks earlier, according to Marc Lotter, his spokesman. “He did an inquiry based on those media accounts,” Mr. Lotter added, without elaborating.

Another person who speaks frequently with him said Mr. Pence went “ballistic,” or at least what qualifies as ballistic for the coolheaded vice president.
Mr. Pence, Mr. Priebus and Mr. Bannon urged Mr. Trump to fire the national security adviser, according to officials, but the president could not bring himself to do it, in part for fear of losing face. When a reporter on Air Force One heading to Florida on Friday asked him about The Post’s report, Mr. Trump said he had not read it. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “I haven’t seen it.”
As late as Monday, he was sticking by Mr. Flynn. He sent his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, to tell a television interviewer that he had “full confidence” in Mr. Flynn. And Mr. Flynn phoned a reporter for The Daily Caller on Monday to say the president had “expressed confidence” in him and urged him to “go out and talk more.”

In that interview, posted on Tuesday, Mr. Flynn said he had discussed the Russian diplomats’ expulsion with Mr. Kislyak. “It wasn’t about sanctions,” he said. “It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out.” Mr. Flynn added: “It was basically, ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as, ‘We’re going to review sanctions,’ or anything like that.”
Either way, it was too late. When the matter came to overshadow the president’s glitch-free meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and word arrived of another Post article on Ms. Yates’s warning to the White House, Mr. Trump ordered an end to the situation. “He made a determination late in the day,” Mr. Spicer said, “and he executed on it.”

Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser

Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Trump, resigned late Monday over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials.
Flynn stepped down amid mounting pressure on the Trump administration to account for its false statements about Flynn’s conduct after The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month that Flynn had so mischaracterized his communications with the Russian diplomat that he might be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
In a letter to Trump, Flynn said he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president.”

Flynn was referring to his disproven claims to Vice President Pence and others a month ago that he had never discussed U.S. sanctions against Moscow with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Pence, White House spokesman Sean Spicer and others, relying on Flynn’s accounts, publicly defended him and repeatedly declared in categorial terms that sanctions were never discussed.
President Trump accepted Flynn’s resignation letter and appointed Keith Kellogg, a decorated retired Army lieutenant general, as acting national security adviser.
Flynn’s resignation — after just 24 days on the job — caps a decorated career in public service for the retired lieutenant general and intelligence official.
Kellogg is one of three candidates Trump is considering as a permanent replacement for Flynn, according to a senior White House official. The other two are David H. Petraeus, a former CIA director and retired general, and Vice Adm. Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command.
One senior White House official said that Trump did not fire Flynn; rather, Flynn made the decision to resign on his own late Monday evening because of what this official said was “the cumulative effect” of damaging news coverage about his conversations with the Russian envoy.
This official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the situation, said Trump does not relish firing people — despite his television persona on “The Apprentice” — and had intended to wait several more days before deciding whether to seek Flynn’s resignation.
“There obviously were a lot of issues, but the president was hanging in there,” this official said. “Buying some time was part of the plan, and I think Flynn just figured, if it’s imminent to the boss, then let’s make it immediate.”
Flynn’s departure just weeks into the Trump administration compounds the confusion in the National Security Council that is supposed to serve as a disciplined coordination center for the administration’s handling of international affairs.
Instead, the White House faces an escalating court fight over an immigration ban aimed at Muslim-majority countries, has alienated key allies with Trump’s brusque phone calls to foreign leaders, and seemed so caught off-guard by North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test that Trump and senior officials were shown learning of the development on cell phones in full view of patrons at Trump’s Mar-a Lago resort.
Flynn was forced out less than a week after it was disclosed that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador before Trump was sworn in as president.
But Flynn’s undoing was more directly tied to his inaccurate accounts of those contacts to senior Trump officials including Pence, who officials said was incensed to learn that Flynn has not told him the truth.
Flynn again denied that he had discussed the subject in an interview with The Washington Post last week, only to back away from that statement a day later by acknowledging, through a spokesman, that while he couldn’t recall speaking about sanctions he could not rule it out.
In fact, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have said that sanctions was a main subject of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak on the day that the Obama administration announced a series of punitive measures aimed at punishing Moscow for its meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
U.S. officials said that Flynn told Kislyak that Moscow should not overreact to the sanctions, indicating that the two sides would soon be in position to revisit the matter, presumably in Moscow’s favor.
In conveying that message, Flynn may have broken a law against unauthorized individuals negotiating with foreign governments over conflicts. He is unlikely to face legal sanction, however, because that law dates to 1799 and has never been prosecuted.
But Flynn’s departure is unlikely to end the trouble the issue has created for the Trump administration. The Post reported Monday that then-acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told the White House counsel last month that Flynn’s misleading statements to Pence and others made him vulnerable to blackmail by Russia, whose own government would have known that sanctions were discussed.
The White House appears to have let its repeated false statements about Flynn stand for weeks after that notification from Yates, and has yet to account for what it did with the warning she conveyed. The disclosures about Flynn have added to the swirling suspicion about the Trump administration’s relationship with Moscow — suspicion based in part on Trump’s repeated expressions of admiration for Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.
Flynn’s resignation appears to end the career of a highly decorated U.S. military intelligence officer, who served repeated tours in Afghanistan and Iraq but became a polarizing figure in last year’s presidential campaign.
In a speech at the Republican National Convention, Flynn led vitriolic attacks on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, leading chants of “Lock Her Up” and declaring that if he had been even partly as careless as she was in her handling of sensitive material by email he would be in jail.
Flynn spent last weekend at Mar-a-Lago with Trump, staffing the president during his visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Back at the White House on Monday, Flynn attended classified briefings, helped orchestrate the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and led Trump’s morning intelligence briefing, this official said.
Some of Trump’s political advisers felt Flynn should not be fired in the midst of intense media scrutiny and calls for his resignation from Democratic opponents.
“Part of me said, nobody should be firing this guy — not on the day that Nancy Pelosi said fire this guy,” the official said. “You’ve got hashtag ‘Fire Flynn’ blazing across the Internet by a bunch of Trump detractors.”
But by Monday evening, Flynn had decided he could not survive.
“It was when you feel like you’re looking around the room and asking, ‘Where’s my friend?’” the White House official said. “The Pence thing was huge. He is not somebody who’s quick to anger. That was very telling to everybody.”
Flynn presented his resignation letter to Trump roughly around 9 p.m., shortly after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s swearing-in ceremony in the Oval Office. Trump accepted the letter.
“It was a sad moment,” the White House official said.

Trump’s Radical Anti-Americanism

As the President rejects our foundational principles, all we can turn to is our instinct for shared defiance.

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, the couple who did so much to bear witness to the terrible truths of the Second World War, came to town last week to introduce their new memoir to an American audience. In it, there is a photograph that can only be called heartbreaking in its happiness, unbearable in its ordinariness. It shows an eight-year-old Serge with his sister and their Romanian-Jewish parents walking along a promenade in Nice, in 1943, still smiling, still feeling confident, even at that late date, that they are safe in their new French home. Within a few months, the children and their mother were hiding in a false closet, as Gestapo agents took their father to Auschwitz, and his death.
What the photograph teaches is not that every tear in the fabric of civility opens a path to Auschwitz but that civilization is immeasurably fragile, and is easily turned to brutality and barbarism. The human capacity for hatred is terrifying in its volatility. (The same promenade in Nice was the site of the terrorist truck attack last year.) Americans have a hard time internalizing that truth, but the first days of the Trump Administration have helped bring it home.
Within two weeks of the Inauguration, the hysterical hyperventilators have come to seem more prescient in their fear of incipient autocratic fanaticism than the reassuring pooh-poohers. There’s a simple reason for this: the hyperventilators often read history. Regimes with an authoritarian ideology and a boss man on top always bend toward the extreme edge, because their only organizational principle is loyalty to the capo. Since the capo can be placated only by uncritical praise, the most fanatic of his lieutenants end up calling the shots. Loyalty to the boss is demonstrated by hatred directed against his enemies.
Yet what perhaps no one could have entirely predicted was the special cocktail of oafish incompetence and radical anti-Americanism that President Trump’s Administration has brought. This combination has produced a new note in our public life: chaotic cruelty. The immigration crisis may abate, but it has already shown the power of government to act arbitrarily overnight—sundering families, upending long-set expectations, until all those born as outsiders must imagine themselves here only on sufferance of a senior White House counsellor.
Some choose to find comfort in the belief that the incompetence will undermine the anti-Americanism. Don’t bet on it. Autocratic regimes with a demagogic bent are nearly always inefficient, because they cannot create and extend the network of delegated trust that is essential to making any organization work smoothly. The chaos is characteristic. Whether by instinct or by intention, it benefits the regime, whose goal is to create an overwhelming feeling of shared helplessness in the population at large: we will detain you and take away your green card—or, no, now we won’t take away your green card, but we will hold you here, and we may let you go, or we may not.
This is radical anti-Americanism—not simply illiberalism or anti-cosmopolitanism—because America is not only a nation but also an idea, cleanly if not tightly defined. Pluralism is not a secondary or a decorative aspect of that idea. As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 51, the guarantee of religious liberty lies in having many kinds of faiths, and the guarantee of civil liberty lies in having many kinds of people—in establishing a “multiplicity of interests” to go along with a “multiplicity of sects.” The idea doesn’t reflect a “weak” desire for niceness. It is, instead, intended to counter the brutal logic of the playground. When there are many kinds of bullied kids, they can unite against the bully: “Even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves.”

There is an alternative view, one long available and articulated, that America is not an idea but an ethnicity, that of the white Christian men who have dominated it, granting a grudging or probationary acceptance to women, or blacks, or immigrants. This was the view of Huck Finn’s pap, as he drank himself to death; of General Custer, as he approached Little Big Horn; of Major General Pickett, as he led the charge at Gettysburg. Until now, it has been the vision of those whom Trump would call the losers.
As the official ideology of the most powerful people in the White House, can that vision of America win? With the near-complete abdication of even minimal moral courage in the Republican Party, and the strategic confusion of the Democrats, all that Americans can turn to is the instinct for shared defiance, and a coalition of conscience, the broader the better, to counter the chaotic cruelty. (If the Koch brothers have some residual libertarianism left in them, let them help pay for it.) Few events in recent years have been more inspiring than the vast women’s marches that followed the Inauguration, few events more cheering than the spontaneous reactions to the executive order on immigration, such as the cabbies’ strike staged after Kennedy Airport seemed to have been turned into a trap for refugees.

Such actions are called, a little too romantically, “resistance,” but there is no need, yet, for so militant a term. Resistance rises from the street, but also from within the system, as it should, with judicial stays and State Department dissenters. Opposing bad governments with loud speech, unashamed argument, and public demonstration is not the part that’s off the normal grid: it’s the pro-American part, exactly what the Constitution foresees and protects. Dissent is not courageous or exceptional. It is normal—it’s Madisonian, it’s Hamiltonian. It’s what we’re supposed to do.
Democratic civilization has turned out to be even more fragile than we imagined; the resources of civil society have turned out to be even deeper than we knew. The battle between these two shaping forces—between the axman assaulting the old growth and the still firm soil and deep roots that support the tree of liberty—will now shape the future of us all. 

This article appears in other versions of the February 13 & 20, 2017, issue, with the headline “Americanisms.”

Review: ‘S.N.L.’ Targets Trump Again, With a Hint of Exhaustion

Alec Baldwin hosted “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday. Credit NBC

If President Trump’s shock and awe attack on truth, decorum and liberal sensibilities is designed to bludgeon his opponents into submission, “Saturday Night Live” felt like his latest victim this weekend.
Not that the show, which has been one of his most outspoken and popular antagonists, didn’t remain on the attack. Melissa McCarthy reprised her savage impersonation of Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, and Alec Baldwin (in his 17th appearance as host) donned his flaxen wig and prosthetic jowls to play Mr. Trump in a “People’s Court” sketch mocking the president’s attempts to have his travel ban reinstated. Kate McKinnon — who, in a Tatiana Maslany-style tour de force, also appeared as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Senator Elizabeth Warren — played the presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway trying to seduce her way onto CNN in a “Fatal Attraction” spoof.
But there was a sense of exhaustion — of “How long can we keep this up?” — that was made explicit in the court sketch when Cecily Strong, as the presiding judge, said to Mr. Baldwin’s Trump: “You’re doing too much. I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me.” It was delivered plaintively, not as a laugh line but as a weary, nervous plea.
Ms. McCarthy opened the show as Mr. Spicer, and the news-briefing sketch was again the high point. Its simple premise — take the thin-skinned venom and brazen duplicity the Trump administration has exhibited and render it as naked, schoolyard-bully aggression — was still effective, coupled with Ms. McCarthy’s absolute commitment.
But it was even more underwritten than before, name-checking controversies rather than illuminating them, which has been true of most of the show’s Trump-related material. In the absence of new ideas, old ones recycled from last week’s sketch were simply amped up — the wad of chewing gum was bigger, the weaponized rostrum was now motorized. The physical attacks on reporters now included an assault with a leaf blower, which was jolting and kind of fascinating when the machine was pointed at the face of a reporter played by Ms. Strong, but not so funny when it was used to blow her skirt up over her head.

Mr. Baldwin came out as himself for his monologue, which did not address politics. He finally appeared as Mr. Trump an hour into the show, facing off against the judges of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and asking for a reinstatement of the travel ban, plus $725. It was a routine sketch, briefly enlivened by the appearance of a bare-chested Beck Bennett as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, calling Mr. Trump “my little American happy meal.”

Mr. Bennett also played the CNN host Jake Tapper in the Conway sketch, which never quite found its tone and had a queasy edge of sexism, but at least wasn’t boring. Lying in wait for Mr. Tapper at his apartment, Ms. McKinnon’s Conway writhed and moaned in her desperation to get back on TV. (In real life, CNN turned down the offer of an interview with Ms. Conway last week.) When Mr. Bennett’s Tapper said, “You’re just going to keep lying,” she replied, “You need to reach inside me and pull out the truth,” before threatening him with a kitchen knife.
The episode’s funnier moments were mostly Trump-free. An amusing sketch in which competing ad agencies pitched a new Cheetos campaign had political overtones but no overt Trump references. A bit in which Kenan Thompson and Tracy Morgan played Beyoncé’s twin sons in the womb was pedestrian, but at least had the pleasurable jolt of seeing Mr. Morgan. The best moment of the night was when Mr. Baldwin appeared to flub a line, saying “cookie chillout” instead of “chili cookout.”
As Mr. Trump’s political fortunes have risen, “Saturday Night Live” has benefited, at least in terms of ratings, from its perceived status as the official television opposition to him and, now, his administration. Based on Saturday’s episode, it will be a hard if not impossible task to keep up for four years, if Mr. Trump stays in power that long and keeps making news — and outraging much of the country — at his current rate.

Trump finds the limits of executive power

Check and balance'

"I am pleased that our check and balance system is working in this country," Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "It shows that the courts are going to be there when President Trump uses his power and exceeds his constitutional authority. I think that is an important message that our constitutional system will work."
But the President's allies quickly moved to contain the damage and to frame the terms of the political and legal fight ahead.
Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton said the order was plainly legal and argued the courts shouldn't second guess the national security decisions of the president.
"This misguided ruling is from the Ninth Circuit, the most notoriously left-wing court in America and the most reversed court at the Supreme Court," Cotton said. "I'm confident the administration's position will ultimately prevail."
The Supreme Court could still rule in favor of the administration, either on the merits of the case or the issue of standing of foreigners on whose behalf the challenge to Trump's executive order was brought by the state of Washington.
But the possibility of the nation's highest bench being called upon to clear up a growing legal imbroglio will also open a new political fight. The Supreme Court is currently lacking its ninth member owing to the prolonged Washington standoff following the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Should the Court hear the case and split 4-4, the ruling of the 9th Circuit would be affirmed. That fact alone adds heat to the confirmation duel looming over the nomination of Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch.
Republicans now have even more of an incentive to ram the confirmation through the Senate using the "nuclear option" to sidestep a Democratic filibuster. Democrats are even less likely to cooperate with a swift process.
Who is Judge Neil Gorsuch?

The 9th Circuit decision, however, seemed designed to shape the future arguments about the content of the executive order and the administration's attempts to significantly stiffen the government's anti-terrorism campaign.
It went far further in its ruling than the simple question of the stay on the travel ban imposed by a lower court, taking pains to dismantle the administration's assertion that the travel ban was vital to protecting Americans against an influx of foreign terror threats from the seven named nations, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria.
"The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States," the ruling said.
"Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all."

Several options

The stinging ruling presented the President with several options, including an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court.
Trump also has the option of going back to the drawing board and coming up with a new way to impose "extreme vetting" restrictions he says are necessary.
But it seems certain he will not take the route since to do so would involve not only admitting the bitter taste of a high stakes legal defeat but repudiating the combative win-at-all-costs attitude that animates his character.
"The President has lost so he is now in a state of limbo. For weeks perhaps even months his order is going to be stayed," Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, told CNN's Erin Burnett. "He claims that this is a threat to the national security of the United States. If he is right, then he has only one option -- rescind the order, start from scratch ... write a new order that will both protect the security of the United States and avoid constitutional challenge."
Dershowitz added: "But it would require him to admit that he is wrong. So now there is a clash between the ego of the President and the national security of the United States."

Media Buzz

Did Neil Gorsuch distance himself from Donald Trump? It's complicated

Now we have the debate over the debate on federal judges, and one judge in particular.
If there’s ever been a time when a Supreme Court nominee criticized—or at least appeared to criticize—the president who picked him, I don’t recall it.
The reported comments by Neil Gorsuch, in private meetings with senators, will only boost his standing, in my view, by casting him as a champion of an independent judiciary.
But the remarks fueled what was already a storm of criticism of President Trump for taking on the Seattle judge who blocked his temporary travel ban. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post all led with Gorsuch’s comments yesterday, and there have been endless segments on CNN and MSNBC.
The president, not one to let a slight go unanswered, used Twitter to hit back at Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat who went public with what Gorsuch had told him.
Trump also got into a Twitter spat with Chris Cuomo over the CNN anchor’s interview with Blumenthal.
My initial reaction when I heard about this was that perhaps Blumenthal was betraying a personal conversation. But then I realized that Gorsuch is savvy enough to know that such remarks would become public. The senator told MSNBC he had Gorsuch’s permission to report on their conversation. And Gorsuch made similar remarks to other senators.
The New York Times said Gorsuch “privately expressed dismay on Wednesday over Mr. Trump’s increasingly aggressive attacks on the judiciary, calling the president’s criticism of independent judges ‘demoralizing’ and ‘disheartening.’”
Washington Post: “President Trump’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary drew denunciation Wednesday from his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who told a senator that the criticism was ‘disheartening’ and ‘demoralizing’ to independent federal courts.”
But Trump told reporters yesterday, “You misrepresented his comments totally. His comments were misrepresented and what you should do is ask Senator Blumenthal about his Vietnam record that didn’t exist after years of saying it did. So ask Senator Blumenthal about his Vietnam record.”
In 2010, the Times disclosed that while candidate Blumenthal had claimed to have served in Vietnam, he actually served in a Marine Reserve unit in Washington.
After Chris Cuomo interviewed Blumenthal on CNN’s “New Day,” Trump tweeted: “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!”
Cuomo responded by playing a clip of him asking Blumenthal about Trump’s criticism that “you misrepresented your military record in the past,” adding: “The president with all due respect is once again off on the facts.” (Blumenthal ducked the question and Cuomo didn’t press the point.)
Bottom line: What did Gorsuch say, and what did he mean by it?
Blumenthal apparently added the word “abhorrent” as his own commentary. But a Gorsuch spokesman confirmed that the judge said he was disheartened, and Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is working with the White House on the nomination, said Gorsuch used the words disheartened and demoralizing.
But Ayotte also said, in a version pressed by Sean Spicer, that Gorsuch was not referring to any particular case and was expressing general concern for the independence of the judiciary.
This is how it’s done, folks.  Neil Gorsuch sent a signal—an unambiguous signal—that he will be an independent justice, even when ruling on cases involving the president who chose him. And he wanted that message out.
But he has the camouflage of saying he was speaking generally rather than specifically criticizing Trump.
Now he gets to do it again, in front of the cameras, at his confirmation hearing.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of "MediaBuzz" (Sundays 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz. 

Trump's Supreme Court pick dispirited by president's tweets

By Lawrence Hurley and Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON

Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on Wednesday described as "demoralizing" and "disheartening" the U.S. president's Twitter attacks on a judge who suspended Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, a spokesman for Gorsuch said.Gorsuch's comments came as a federal appeals court in San Francisco was expected to decide in coming days on the narrow question of whether U.S. District Judge James Robart acted properly in temporarily halting enforcement of Trump's ban.
A Republican strategist hired by the White House to help guide Gorsuch's nomination through the U.S. Senate said that Gorsuch, himself an appeals court judge, used those words when he met with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Trump, who took office on Jan. 20, took to Twitter over the weekend to condemn the Friday night order by Robart that placed on hold the president's Jan. 27 temporary travel ban on people from the seven countries and all refugees.
Trump called Robart a "so-called judge" whose "ridiculous" opinion "essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country." Trump's administration appealed Robart's ruling to a three-judge federal appeals panel, which heard oral arguments on Tuesday.
Presidents are usually hesitant to weigh in on judicial matters out of respect for the U.S. Constitution, which ensures a separation of powers among the president's executive branch, Congress and the judiciary.
The Republican-led Senate on Wednesday confirmed immigration hardliner Republican Senator Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general despite strong Democratic opposition.
Trump says his executive order aims to head off attacks by Islamist militants. The order, the most divisive act of Trump's young presidency, sparked protests and chaos at U.S. and overseas airports. Critics said the ban unfairly targeted people for their religion.
"I don't ever want to call a court biased," Trump told hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs from major cities at a meeting in a Washington hotel on Wednesday. "So I won't call it biased. And we haven't had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political."

Trump nominated Gorsuch on Jan. 31 to succeed conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on the nine-member Supreme Court. Scalia died a year ago this month.
Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee that will hold a confirmation hearing on Gorsuch, said the nominee had a responsibility to reassure Americans that he would be an open-minded and independent jurist by going public with his concerns about Trump.
The appeals court decision on whether to reinstate the ban, will be just a first step in a fast-moving case.
The courts will ultimately have to address questions about the extent of the president's power on matters of immigration and national security. Traditionally, judges have been extremely cautious about stepping on the executive branch’s authority in such matters, legal experts say, although some note that the implementation of Trump's order presents unique issues.
Trump's order barred travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days, except those from civil war-torn Syria, who are subject to an indefinite ban.
Also at issue is whether the order violates a provision of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits laws favoring one religion over another, along with relevant discrimination laws.
Trump, a Republican, has made extensive use of presidential directives that bypass Congress and has appeared to be taken aback by legal challenges to his travel order.
He praised a federal judge in Boston who earlier ruled in his favor on the travel ban as a "highly respected" jurist whose findings were "perfect."
Last year, Trump accused Indiana-born U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of bias in overseeing a lawsuit against one of Trump's businesses, Trump University, because of his Mexican heritage.
Democrats and other critics have called Trump's comments toward the judiciary an attack on a core principle of American democracy: that the courts are independent and uphold the rule of law.
At the meeting with law enforcement officials, Trump read from the law he cited to justify the travel ban, quoting it in fragments and sprinkling in bits of interpretation. He said the law clearly allowed a president to suspend entry of any class of people if he determined them to be a detriment to national security.
The matter is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is ideologically split with four liberal justices and four conservatives pending Senate action on Trump's nomination of Gorsuch, a conservative jurist.
U.S. State Department figures showed that 480 refugees had been admitted to the United States since Robart's order went into effect, including 168 on Wednesday. Of those admitted, 198 were from war-torn Syria.
(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, David Shepardson and Richard Cowan in Washington; Writing by Will Dunham, Frances Kerry and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Howard Goller and Peter Cooney)

Asia Pacific

Donald Trump’s Tweets About a Judge Find a Critic in an Unlikely Place: China


A protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington last month against President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

HONG KONG — President Trump’s public criticism of a federal judge who blocked his immigration order was condemned across the political spectrum as an assault on judicial independence. Now the president is being taken to task from an unexpected place: China.
Judge He Fan of the Supreme People’s Court of China published a scathing blog post about Mr. Trump’s reaction to Judge James L. Robart’s recent ruling blocking key parts of his executive order that barred visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Judge He said that Mr. Trump had breached the principle of an independent judiciary, and that people who attacked judges were “public enemies of the law.”
“Even if you control the armed forces and have nuclear weapons,” Judge He wrote in the post, published on Sunday, “your dignity has been swept away and you are no different than a villain.”
The notion of a Chinese jurist remarking on the danger he believes Mr. Trump poses to the separation of powers may seem, at first blush, to smack of hypocrisy. In China, courts are firmly under the command of the Communist Party. Last month, the chief justice publicly condemned the notion of judicial independence, warning judges not to fall into the “trap” of “Western” ideology.
But the harsh public face presented last month by the chief justice, Zhou Qiang, obscures what is happening on his watch. Judges like Mr. He admire the American legal system and study it to improve China’s rules, such as how to handle plea bargains or what to do with evidence obtained illegally, said Susan Finder, an American scholar who publishes the Supreme People’s Court Monitor, a blog that focuses on China’s top court.

Ms. Finder said that Judge He was an avowed “Scotus junkie” who translates books about the Supreme Court of the United States and works on the court’s judicial reform committee. Works that have been translated by Judge He include “Making Our Democracy Work,” by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and “Becoming Justice Blackmun,” by Linda Greenhouse, about former Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

“The Supreme People’s Court looks more at the U.S. than you would ever think,” said Ms. Finder, who is a scholar at the School of Transnational Law at Peking University’s campus in the southern city of Shenzhen. “They are looking to try to improve the prestige of the Chinese judiciary.”
Unlike the United States Supreme Court, which has nine justices, China’s highest court has hundreds of judges, including those, like Judge He, whose main focus is outside the courtroom.
In his post, which includes an image of a caustic Twitter post in which Mr. Trump referred to the “so-called judge” who blocked his immigration order, Judge He also takes aim at violence against judicial officials in China, bringing up a case of the killing of a retired jurist in the southern region of Guangxi.

In doing so, Judge He, who could not be reached for comment, may be using Mr. Trump’s assault on the independence of America’s judiciary to safely and indirectly level some criticism against China’s own system.
“That could be part of the message,” said Ms. Finder, who has known Judge He for about three years and has written for his blog.

White House releases list of 78 attacks after Donald Trump accuses media of 'under reporting' terrorist incidents

The White House released a list of 78 terror attacks around the world on Monday, saying  most of them did not get sufficient attention from the media.

The release came after  President Donald Trump appeared to accuse the media of covering up terrorist attacks by not reporting them.

"You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it's happening," the president told military commanders at Central Command.

"It’s gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
Mr Trump offered no evidence for the claim.

Sean Spicer, Mr Trump's spokesman, later said the president was accusing the media of "under reporting" rather than not reporting terrorist attacks.
Before issuing the list, he said: "There’s several instances. There’s a lot of instances that have occurred where I don’t think they've gotten the coverage it deserved.
"Protest gets blown out of the water and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn't necessarily get the same coverage."
The list includes incidents like a truck massacre in Nice that killed dozens and received widespread attention, as well as less high-profile incidents in which nobody was killed.
One of the listed incidents was the fatal stabbing of British tourist Mia Ayliffe-Chung in Australia in August 2016, which Queensland Police specifically determined to be a murder case rather than a terrorist attack.

Show more

"Networks are not devoting to each of them the same level of coverage they once did," a White House official said. "This cannot be allowed to become the 'new normal.'"
It was Mr Trump's latest salvo against the news media, a favorite target for derision that he says broadly underestimated his chances during the presidential campaign. He has kept up the attacks since his January 20 inauguration.

Al Tompkins at The Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school, dismissed Mr Trump's criticism.
"To suggest that journalists have some reason not to report ISIS attacks is just outlandish," Mr Tompkins said, using an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. 
Mr Trump made the accusations while addressing a gathering of troops in Florida during his first visit to the Central Command headquarters.
The president said he wanted to allow into the United States people who "want to love our country," as he defended his controversial travel ban.
Mr Trump reaffirmed his support for Nato before military leaders and troops, and laced his speech with references to homeland security. But he did not directly mention the travel ban case.

The president told the troops and commanders that "we need strong programmes" so that "people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country are allowed in" and those who "want to destroy us and destroy our country" are kept out.
He continued: "Freedom, security and justice will prevail.
"We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we will not allow it to take root in our country. We're not going to allow it."

'Trump' replaced with 'Steve Bannon' in web browser extension 

A new Google Chrome extension replaces the word "Trump" with "Steve Bannon" as part of an effort to highlight the influence that the White House chief strategist has on the president, writes Chris Graham.
American Bridge, a Democrat-aligned super PAC, produced the internet browser extension to show the "power" Donald Trump has ceded to his controversial right hand man. 

“It also comes with a warning: Anyone who thought the news about the Donald Trump administration was terrifying should exercise extreme caution when reading about the reckless and bigoted policies ordered by President Bannon,” American Bridge Vice President Shripal Shah told Business Insider.
Mr Trump has become increasingly frustrated over reports suggesting Mr Bannon is the power behind the throne, with the New York Times bearing the brunt of many of his attacks. 
Read the full article here

Rosen... / Schleedorf

                                Mr. Tigerli's memories

Copyright 2017 by Letizia Mancino

Translated by Mary Holmes

All rights reseverd 

My birthday! 

I, Mr. Tigerli, can hardly save myself from being submerged in red roses!  Oh dear, a loving cat has his problems.

Surrounded by a sea of flowers!

Mind you I’ve earned it. I have risked so much for love in my life!
I have become famous because of being such a great lover.  I am a Casanova cat.

Am I exaggerating?  Are there not cats more famous than me, artists who paint or play the piano?
That may be so, but they are “nobodies” in the art of loving!

Look in the internet under “Erotica Felina”! You will see that my name immediately appears on the screen.

People boarding their plane in Singapore have found me at once on Google.

I am a world famous cat.

Oh no, I don’t loose my head over female cats. But women! I love women.  Yes only women. These wonderful creatures give me everything! Not only affection, good conversation and food.

I was four months old when I discovered my partiality for women.

One time I was cavorting on the bed with Roswitha, my first love – although it was strictly forbidden to get onto the bed – when under the woolen blanket I suddenly felt a wonderful soft plump area! Roswitha’s tummy! I was running backwards and forwards across it when suddenly a shot of adrenalin rushed through my cat brain. At an early age I became a slave to love!

But it was Roswitha’s foot that surprised me with my first erotic feelings. She had unknowingly stretched it out of the bed under the pressure of my four paws and for the first time I saw the naked foot of a woman. Five small tempting little sausages attracted my attention. How delicately the points moved. They were more attractive to look at than the mice in the fresh grass. I miaowed to them “I’m going to bite you”!
I understand men who kiss the feet of women so ardently. 
immediately lost my head and my innocence.

Now I began to nibble at these five little porkies.

Roswitha continued to sleep and sighed softly. Encouraged I licked her whole foot. Roswitha laughed sweetly and delightfully in her sleep.

Within eight months I was familiar with her leg.

I love beautiful legs. Without hair, without ticks or other insects. They have such a wonderful perfume. I could lick women’s legs without any saliva. Wonderful!   A refined lover begins with delicate movements, not by taking the female creation by storm. Only goats climb on the back of their females without paying a single compliment. You know, Betty, that a Casanova doesn’t come straight to the point!

Roswitha, I love you Oh, my first love! I felt so good in your bed. I lay at your feet in the night. But after two intimate years deeply in love with your feet, your husband came home. His field service away from home was over, and sadly my home service with you too.
“Get out of my bed”, he shouted. It’s not right to treat a loving cat so rudely, even when men have the right to be jealous of us. We are after all superior to them. We are supple and seductively beautiful until old age. We are not rude or, even worse, drunkards! A woman can spend romantic hours stroking us or even sleep with us in her bed and still believe in platonic love, which is hardly possible for them with a man. Women never become pregnant with us and this has advantages. Casanova was the inventor of the condom. We are the condom.

I was thrown out. Are men all so brutal, Betty? The bedroom door was locked. But I was still allowed to live in the house: three sofas in the living room, a bed in the guest bedroom, and an old divan in the cellar were available for me. Roswitha could come to these. But I was appalled!

Mr. Brummi avoided my dirty looks. Since then I have not befriended men, to say nothing of cats!

Without Roswitha’s feet I had to eke out a miserable existence in the house. And she complained that her feet were cold.
The husband however was obdurate. He tried, without success, to take my place: to stroke Roswitha’s feet, to rub them, to tickle them! But Roswitha’s five little white toes remained in the bed as motionless as if rigor mortis had set in.

There were no more giggles. The doctor recommended an evening foot-bath. To think that I should be replaced by a herbal bath! How outrageous!

Should I have scratched at the bedroom door every night? I am a proud cat! I would rather look around! She wouldn’t have heard me anyway. The husband snores as loudly as a vacuum cleaner on the point of collapse. Should I have dropped five dead mice in front of the door? But I don’t bring her these presents any more. If you love me, I thought, get divorced!
“Darling” I hear her say to her husband, “Couldn’t you snore more quietly?”

I comforted myself with her socks. The dirty ones, naturally. There were a few flakes from her skin that I swallowed with joy. Some men even sniff underwear. Idiotic love. That’s going too far for me. I, Mr Tigerli, don’t do that because I am an aesthetic cat. Gradually I’d had enough of the socks. Should I look for a new woman? The thought of being unfaithful came to me quite suddenly.

The nights in my basket passed peacefully  - and also the nights in Roswitha’s bed. Cold feet and migraines are two passion killers. The husband was sullen. She never suffered with me. I laughed - even if cats can’t laugh – behind my beard and knew that she had remained faithful.  I didn’t. I found the young servant in the house very fascinating. Her legs were not so beautiful as Roswitha’s , but the risks were low. The young woman was a Russian, temperamental, pretty and I liked her. Infidelity was for me a triviality.

“Oh, Mr. Tigerli”, cried Putziputzi  (that was her pet name. I’ll say no more, she had two brothers) “why are you licking me so tenderly?”
I could have answered. “You are my second choice. I am missing Roswitha’s feet.” But I wrapped myself round her leg, as all loving cats do.

She gave an even louder cry and ran away! I was perplexed!

I had no idea that genuine love-play begins with “No, no, I’d rather not, please don’t”.
I still had a lot to learn. Then I thought: Quick , Tigerli, follow Putziputzi and sing her a song! After that wonderful days followed: I showered her soft thighs with delicate little love-bites. It was intoxicating!

We constantly changed the spot we chose for our love-making. On Mondays and Fridays we lay on the three sofas, on Tuesday on the bed in the guest room, but most of the time we spent together in the cellar. She was crazy! Is this sex, I asked myself. What man can make a woman so happy?

Putziputzi was soon dismissed from her job.

I have no great opinion of husbands and I must admit I have good reasons for this. But that their wives should react with such jealousy was for me an insoluble puzzle.

It wasn’t long before I was lying in bed with Roswitha again.

The husband had probably seen that the loss of a servant can have serious consequences. Now it was his job to vacuum the whole house: from the cellar to the attic. Roswitha assured him this would only be for a short transitional period, until she had found a replacement for Putziputzi.

“Yes, yes!  But the replacement must be ugly and unattractive and she should only work in the house and she must not play with Tigerli”, he answered.

“Yes, yes! I agree”, answered Roswitha, “and it would be wise if you would allow Tigerli to sleep in the bed with me again”.

The husband willingly gave his consent.

He nodded his agreement and it was clear that he saw me in a new light.

I was no longer a competitor.

What the heck, he thought! The guy was sleeping in my bed with my wife when I was away anyway!

So thanks to the vacuum-cleaner I was able to continue my love-affair with my first love Roswitha.

                      Who is Mr. Tigerli?                             

Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham



Beijing Airpot

Mr. Tigerli in China

Copyright 2016 by Letizia Mancino
translation by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved  

Yes Betty, either or it seems he wanted to fly only with Singapore Airways.

Boeing or Airbus, it’s just the same isn’t it? Aren’t they both just fat birds with 500 passengers?

Yes, but Singapore Airlines has the most beautiful airhostesses: delicate, fine, graceful…  Mr. Tigerli had looked forward to the flight so much!

So the little man was disappointed?

You just can’t imagine how disappointed he was.
 But thank God one of the hostesses was a pretty Chinese girl. Mr. Tigerli purred loudly but she didn’t hear him because the purring of the Airbus 380 was even louder.

The poor cat!

You’ve said it Betty. Mr. Tigerli was in a very bad mood and asked me for a loud speaker.

I’m sure you can get one in 1st Class.

“”Russian Girl” had even heard you over the roar of the Niagara Falls” I said to Mr. Tigerli. “You are a very unfaithful cat. You wanted to get to know Asiatic girls. That’s how it is when one leaves one’s first love”.

And what did he say to that?

“Men are hunters” was his answer.

Yes, my dear cat, a mouse hunter. And what else did he say?

Not another word. He behaved as if he hadn’t heard me.

The Airbus is very loud.

I told him shortly “Don’t trouble yourself about “Chinese Girl”. There will be enough even prettier girls in China. Wait till we land in Guilin”.

Did he understand you?

Naturally Mr. Tigerli understood me immediately. Yes, sweetheart, don’t worry. They will find you something sweet to eat.

And he?

He was so happy.

No problem going through the immigration control?

Naturally!  Lots of problems. How could I explain to customs that the cat had come as a tourist to China to buy shoes?

Fur in exchange for shoes…

Don’t be so cynical Betty!

Cat meat in exchange for shoes?

I said to the officials. He isn’t a cat, he is Casanova.

He came through the pass control with no trouble!

Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham



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Is this Mr. Tigerli?

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