Monday, April 3, 2017

Betty MacDonald, Betty MacDonald biography and the real story


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mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT
Pippi, you're the best.     
Hello 'Pussy' it's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking: 


You sought to turn attention away from the Russia investigation on Monday, saying that “the real story” was what you called a “crooked scheme against us” by President Barack Obama’s team to mine American intelligence reports for information about you during last year’s presidential campaign.






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























 


Click images for alternate views
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



we'd like to introduce Betty MacDonald fan club biography and  documentary research team.

Their most important research item is an updated Betty MacDonald documentary with  lots of new info and interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.

Betty MacDonald fan club biography and documentary research team includes many Betty MacDonald fan club members. 

The organizers are Astrid, Mats, Martine, Denise, Tony, Anita and Eartha Kitt II.

If you are interested in joining this great Betty MacDonald fan club research team send a mail to us, please.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel  told us that Betty MacDonald fan club research team does an excellent job in supporting him with his several Betty MacDonald projects especially an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Reading this updated Betty MacDonald biography you'll learn the true story of many personalities in Betty MacDonald's books for example the mysterious and rather strange Ms. Dorita Hess from 'Anybody can do anything'.

By the way  Betty MacDonald was a convinced Democrat and she wrote in several letters about her political opinions.



Betty MacDonald fan club event team is very happy to hear from you and they got some really great ideas for the next International event. 

Thanks a lot! 



Vita Magica with Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Letizia Maninco was outstanding.

The audience enjoyed it very much.
 
Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica is  fascinating because he includes Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

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 our Betty MacDonald fan club fans. 




We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2017.


Join us in voting for your favourite city, please. 



Wolfgang Hampel's  Vita Magica guest was a very famous TV lady, author and singer and she is our new Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.


I guess our Casanova adores our Betty MacDonald fan club honor member very much because author and TV moderator Tatjana Geßler is a very beautiful, charming and intelligent lady. 


Tatjana Geßler's books are outstanding. I've read several of them. 

Enjoy Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island, please.





Great Betty MacDonald fan club news!
 

You can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society

Vita Magica

 

on Facebook.

 

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

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during March you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.

Send your email-address to our contact address, please. 


Great news!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back and his fans are delighted.

We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2017. 

Don't miss Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica March, please. 

You'll enjoy it very much. 



You can see brilliant Brad Craft. 



"This is Me," by Bad Kid Billy. [Official Music Video]


Seems I'm in this for a hot second.  I remember being asked to participate one day on the street in front of the bookstore where I work.  I didn't think to ask what it was for, or even so much as the name of the song or the band.  Didn't want to be late coming back from lunch.  Silly bugger.  The very nice young woman with the green hair also featured herein happens to work at Magus Books.  She mentioned she'd seen me.  Told me the name of the band, and here we are.



Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Monica Sone and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's new project 'Vita Magica'. 
 





We got very interesting new info for updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to include all these new details and info in updated Betty MacDonald biography.

If you'd like to join Betty MacDonald fan club you only have to press the join button on Betty MacDonald fan club blog.


New Betty MacDonald fan club fans will receive a special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift during March.  

Send us your email address to our contact address, please.


Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica February was outstanding and so was Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen


 
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.



 


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


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.



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.





WASHINGTON — President Trump sought to turn attention away from the Russia investigation on Monday, saying that “the real story” was what he called a “crooked scheme against us” by President Barack Obama’s team to mine American intelligence reports for information about him during last year’s presidential campaign.
The president’s broadside against his predecessor coincided with a string of reports in conservative news media outlets that Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, requested the identities of Americans who were cited in intelligence reports about surveillance of foreign officials, and who were connected with Mr. Trump’s campaign or transition.
Former national security officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the requests as normal and said they were justified by the need for the president’s top security adviser to understand the context of reports sent to her by the nation’s intelligence agencies.
The process of “unmasking” Americans whose names are redacted in intelligence reports, they said, is not the same thing as leaking them publicly.


But Mr. Trump and his allies seized on the news media reports to bolster his case that he was targeted by the departing administration for political reasons. As the F.B.I. and congressional committees investigate contacts that associates of Mr. Trump had with Russian officials and business figures, the president argued that he was the victim of dirty tricks and that, if anything, it was associates of his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton, who were doing the bidding of Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.

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!  Bildergebnis für Donald Trump and Lady Liberty   

Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?




I'm 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 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.
 

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.

Take care,

Astrid  



la_conner_daffodil_festival_photo_winner_2014
Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald



Don't miss this very special book, please.



you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

on Facebook



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




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

Trump Tries to Deflect Russia Scrutiny, Citing ‘Crooked Scheme’ by Obama



 
President Trump on Friday. He unleashed a series of Twitter posts on Monday, claiming once again that the Obama administration spied on him, and he attacked Hillary Clinton. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump sought to turn attention away from the Russia investigation on Monday, saying that “the real story” was what he called a “crooked scheme against us” by President Barack Obama’s team to mine American intelligence reports for information about him during last year’s presidential campaign.
The president’s broadside against his predecessor coincided with a string of reports in conservative news media outlets that Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, requested the identities of Americans who were cited in intelligence reports about surveillance of foreign officials, and who were connected with Mr. Trump’s campaign or transition.
Former national security officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the requests as normal and said they were justified by the need for the president’s top security adviser to understand the context of reports sent to her by the nation’s intelligence agencies.
The process of “unmasking” Americans whose names are redacted in intelligence reports, they said, is not the same thing as leaking them publicly.


But Mr. Trump and his allies seized on the news media reports to bolster his case that he was targeted by the departing administration for political reasons. As the F.B.I. and congressional committees investigate contacts that associates of Mr. Trump had with Russian officials and business figures, the president argued that he was the victim of dirty tricks and that, if anything, it was associates of his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton, who were doing the bidding of Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.
“Such amazing reporting on unmasking and the crooked scheme against us by @foxandfriends,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter early Monday morning in the opening burst of four messages aimed at Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and the Democrats. “‘Spied on before nomination.’ The real story.”
In another post on Twitter later in the morning, he added: “@FoxNews from multiple sources: ‘There was electronic surveillance of Trump, and people close to Trump. This is unprecedented.’ @FBI”
At his daily briefing later in the day, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said he would not discuss the reports about Ms. Rice specifically. “There’s a troubling direction that some of this is going in, but we’re going to let this review go on before we jump to it,” he said.
He chided reporters for showing more interest in the investigation into contacts between Mr. Trump’s team and Russia than in the conduct of Mr. Obama’s White House.
Mr. Trump first accused Mr. Obama a month ago of tapping his phones at Trump Tower during the campaign last year. He has refused to back down, even though Mr. Obama and his top aides have adamantly denied it. The F.B.I. director and the former director of national intelligence have said the phone tapping charge is not true, and congressional leaders of both parties have said they have seen no evidence of it.
In an interview broadcast on BBC on Monday evening, John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director under Mr. Obama, chided Mr. Trump for making an unsubstantiated allegation against the former president. Mr. Trump, he said, has “a solemn obligation” to provide information “that is accurate, that is measured and that is not just a spontaneous or impulsive number of words.”


While other officials have said there is no convincing evidence so far of collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russian officials who meddled in last year’s election, Mr. Brennan said that “it would be premature at this time to make any determination, or rule anything out.” At the same time, he agreed with Mr. Trump about the seriousness of leaks to the news media in recent weeks. “These leaks are appalling,” he said. “They need to stop.”

In trying to combat what Mr. Trump’s aides see as a concerted campaign of leaks to undermine his legitimacy, the White House last month provided intelligence to Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, showing that the president or his associates may have been “incidentally” swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies last year. Since Mr. Nunes made that public, Mr. Trump’s team has focused on whether Mr. Obama’s White House improperly used that information.

Republicans pointed to the reports about Ms. Rice on Monday. “Smoking gun found!” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, wrote on Twitter. “Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign.”

Intelligence officials are supposed to guard the privacy of Americans caught up in routine eavesdropping of foreign officials. In daily intelligence reports to officials like Ms. Rice, they typically refer to Americans who came up in recorded conversations as U.S. Person One or U.S. Person Two. But high-ranking officials, as Ms. Rice was, can ask intelligence briefers to provide names to better understand the meaning of the report.
It remains unclear how many names were unmasked by Ms. Rice. But several former officials said she did so for legitimate reasons: The Obama White House was concerned during the election about continuing attempts by the Russian government to hack Democratic email accounts and interfere in the campaign. Ms. Rice, they said, needed to understand if Americans were involved in that.

They also said Mr. Obama’s advisers worried during the transition — as he imposed sanctions on Russia for its election meddling — that the Trump transition team was trying to undermine American policy before coming to office.
The content of the intelligence reports at issue remains unclear. Some officials have said the reports consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to develop contacts within Mr. Trump’s family and inner circle before his inauguration.
The former national security officials’ description of the intelligence is in line with Mr. Nunes’s characterization of the material, which he said was not related to the Russia investigations when he disclosed its existence.
The White House and Mr. Nunes have not made clear whether they are concerned that actual names had been unmasked in reports, or whether one could tell who the person being discussed was from their context.

But at least one name is known to have been unmasked: Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. He was selected for that post during American surveillance of Russia’s ambassador in December, when the two talked about the sanctions Mr. Obama had just imposed on Moscow.
Mr. Flynn was forced out in February after it emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the calls. But Mr. Trump and other White House officials have suggested that the real problem in the Flynn case involved the leaks about his calls with the Russian envoy, not the content of the calls themselves — or what Mr. Flynn did or did not tell colleagues about his communications.

Intelligence agencies are permitted to record calls even if they involve Americans, and any American citizen who talks with, messages or emails a foreign official under surveillance would be picked up by intelligence agencies. During the transition, this would have included Trump associates and even Obama administration officials.




The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist

Trump Is Wimping Out on Trade






 
President Trump before signing two executive orders in the Oval Office on Friday. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times



First, back when Mr. Trump was railing against trade deals, he had no idea what he was talking about. (I know, you’re shocked to hear that.)
For example, listening to the Tweeter-in-chief, you’d think that Nafta was a big giveaway by the United States, which got nothing in return. In fact, Mexico drastically cut its tariffs on goods imported from the U.S., in return for much smaller cuts on the U.S. side.

Or take Mr. Trump’s repeated claims that China gains a competitive advantage by manipulating its currency. That was true six years ago, but it’s not true now. These days China is actually intervening to keep its currency up, not down.
Talking nonsense about trade didn’t hurt Mr. Trump during the campaign. But now he’s finding out that those grossly unfair trade deals he promised to renegotiate aren’t all that unfair, after all, leaving him with no idea what to do next.

Which brings me to Trumptrade’s second big obstacle: Whatever you think of past trade agreements, trade is now deeply embedded in the economy.

Consider the case of automobiles. At this point it makes little sense to talk about a U.S. auto industry, a Canadian auto industry or a Mexican auto industry. What we have instead is a tightly integrated North American industry, in which vehicles and components crisscross the continent, with almost every finished car containing components from all three nations.

Does it have to be this way? No. Slap on 30 percent tariffs, and after a few years those national industries would separate again. But the transition would be chaotic and painful.
Economists talk, with considerable justification, about the “China shock”: the disruptive effect on jobs and communities of the rapid growth of Chinese exports from the 1990s through 2007. But reversing globalization now would produce an equally painful “Trump shock,” disrupting jobs and communities all over again — and would also be painful for some of the big corporate interests that, strange to say, have a lot of influence in this supposedly populist regime.

The point is that at a deep level Trumptrade is running into the same wall that caused Trumpcare to crash and burn. Mr. Trump came into office talking big, sure that his predecessors had messed everything up and he — he alone — could do far better. And millions of voters believed him.

But governing America isn’t like reality TV. A few weeks ago Mr. Trump whined, “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” Now, one suspects, he’s saying the same thing about trade policy.







SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist

Trump Needs a Brain








 
President Donald Trump at The White House on Friday. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

THE series of columns I’ve been writing lately, floating implausible proposals for an ideologically unstable age, has been a useful way of avoiding the depressing subject of the Trump administration’s first 100 days — because really, in the face of such incompetence and chaos, what is there to say?
But precisely because this administration seems so hopeless, any constructive advice for the Trump White House automatically falls into the category of implausible ideas. So I can continue my ongoing series while also talking about Donald Trump — by proposing, as this week’s unlikely-to-happen proposal, that our president should go out and get himself a brain.
I do not mean a vat-grown cerebral cortex cooked up in some underground anti-aging lab funded by Silicon Valley immortalists … though I gather those may be soon available as well. I mean a brain in the sense that people (unkindly, but not inaccurately) used the term to describe Bill Kristol when he was the aide-de-camp to Vice President Dan Quayle 25 years ago: a person, or better a group of persons, who can tell Trump what specific policies he ought to support.
Because a core weakness of this White House, more devastating (for now) than the pugilistic tweets and permanent swirl of scandal, is the absence of anyone who seems to have thought through how one might translate Trumpism, the populist nationalism on which the president campaigned, into substantive policy on any specific issue except a temporary visa freeze.


The dearth of Trumpists in official Washington was always going to be a major problem for this administration, both in staffing the White House and in negotiating with Congress. But it’s been worse than anticipated, because Trump himself doesn’t know what he wants to do on major issues and there’s nobody in his innermost circle who seems to have a compelling vision that might guide him.


A certain Steve Bannon — perhaps you’ve heard of him — was supposed to help Trump figure all this out, perhaps with an assist from Michael Anton, the once-pseudonymous pro-Trump essayist now ensconced in the National Security Council. But there’s little evidence that either man’s policy vision has advanced much beyond, “The conservative movement has failed, let’s try something else.” Bannon seems to have been particularly useless during the health care negotiations, encouraging Trump to work with the Freedom Caucus one day and trying to bully them the next, while throwing out various critiques of the Paul Ryan bill that didn’t point toward anything coherent.
It was probably unreasonable to expect a sixtysomething whose life experience is all in media and Hollywood to suddenly turn into a one-man think tank, no matter how many French far-right agitators he name-drops. But a think tank is basically what Trump needs: a small brain trust committed to figuring out what parts of the mainstream G.O.P. vision he should support and what heterodoxies it makes sense for him to champion, so that he isn’t stuck governing on the Heritage Foundation’s austerity budgets while his friends outside the administration urge him to expand Medicaid.

Some Trump supporters — the folks behind the new journal American Affairs, most notably — are trying to play that role already. But they’re getting going slowly; Trump needs something sooner, faster, now. He needs, in effect, a think tank inside the White House: a small group, separate from the process-oriented Domestic Policy Council, whose only task is to brief the president regularly on how Trumpist premises should shape any given legislative deal.

The way things are going, there won’t be many such deals struck. But this brain trust would have a longer-term purpose, too: It would be assigned to build up an easy-to-explain agenda that Trumpish candidates could run on in 2018, that Trump could champion if he tries to triangulate between Ryan and the Democrats, and that the president could campaign on when he runs for re-election. (Aren’t you excited for 2020, dear reader?)
Who might staff it? The people involved with American Affairs would be candidates, but I would also look to other dissident-conservative publications like The American Conservative, junior (that is, not yet set in their views) staff at places like Heritage and the American Enterprise Institute, lesser known right-leaning outfits like the Institute for Family Studies, and the offices of creative populists like Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Possible brain trusters might include figures like F. H. Buckley, the George Mason law professor and Trump speechwriter who recently urged the president to come out for single-payer; Mickey Kaus, the once-liberal blogger turned Trumpista; and Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, author of a forthcoming book on Reagan’s populism.

All of this assumes that Trump cares about Trumpism as something more than a grift, and that he can accept advice and counsel in a sustained way, without changing his mind the instant someone makes a different case. As I said, it’s a deeply implausible idea.

But so is every solution to this White House’s struggles — and we’ve still got most of four years left to go.




Politics













Sean Spicer Repeats Trump’s Unproven Wiretapping Allegation

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday revived President Trump’s unproven wiretapping allegations against the Obama administration, insisting that there is new evidence that it conducted “politically motivated” surveillance of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
Senior government officials, including James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, and lawmakers from both parties, have repeatedly and forcefully rejected the president’s claim, saying they have seen no evidence of direct surveillance. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama has denied that Mr. Obama ever ordered surveillance of Mr. Trump or his associates.
But Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, asserted to reporters during his daily news briefing that members of Mr. Obama’s administration had done “very, very bad things,” just as Mr. Trump alleged without proof on March 4 when he posted messages on Twitter accusing Mr. Obama of “wire tapping” his phones at Trump Tower.
“The question is why? Who else did it? Was it ordered? By whom?” Mr. Spicer said. “But I think more and more the substance that continues to come out on the record by individuals continues to point to exactly what the president was talking about that day.”
Mr. Spicer appeared to be basing his assertions on reports from right-wing news outlets that took out of context a month-old interview with a former Obama administration official.
Mr. Spicer’s comments came in the midst of a drumbeat of developments in the multiple investigations into Russian contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates, and a week after the president failed to make good on his campaign promise to replace Mr. Obama’s signature health care law.
The two story lines have helped drag down Mr. Trump’s approval ratings, which slumped to a low of 35 percent in Gallup’s tracking poll on Wednesday.
Mr. Spicer’s remarks on Friday seemed designed to give new life to the allegations against Mr. Obama after weeks of trying to focus attention on the damage that Mr. Spicer said had been caused by leaks from the investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The allegations dominated his briefing, crowding out other parts of the White House agenda, including the president’s signing of two executive orders on trade and meeting with manufacturing executives.
Mr. Trump hastily left that signing ceremony without adding his signature to the trade orders as a reporter shouted a question about possible testimony in the Russia inquiry by Michael T. Flynn, his former national security adviser. The White House said Mr. Trump signed the directives later.
At Mr. Spicer’s news conference, the press secretary chastised reporters for failing to accept that Mr. Trump had been right all along. “The substance we are talking about continues to move exactly in the direction that the president spoke about in terms of surveillance that occurred,” Mr. Spicer said, even as he deflected questions about the White House’s role in providing intelligence reports to Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The senior Democrat on that committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, arrived later in the day at the White House to view the intelligence reports. In a statement, Mr. Schiff confirmed that they were the same materials Mr. Nunes had seen, and said that nothing justified Mr. Nunes’s failure to share them with the entire committee.
“The White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either committee, only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House,” Mr. Schiff said in a statement.
Mr. Spicer provided no evidence of the surveillance allegations. But he pointed several times to news reports that he claimed backed up the president’s accusations.
One was a March 2 interview with Evelyn Farkas, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration until leaving the government in September 2015.
TheGatewayPundit.com, a right-wing site, called it a “notorious” interview and said it proved Obama administration officials had disseminated “intel gathered on the Trump team.” Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show that Ms. Farkas had made “just an incredible statement.” Breitbart News reported on Mr. Priebus’s comments.
The comments by Ms. Farkas, Mr. Spicer said, were evidence that Mr. Trump or his associates “were surveilled, had their information unmasked, made it available, was politically spread.” He said that such stories were proof that Obama administration officials had “misused, mishandled and potentially did some very, very bad things with classified information.”
In fact, the reports do not back up the allegations that Mr. Trump or any officials in his campaign were ever under surveillance. In the March 2 interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, Ms. Farkas said she had expressed concern to her former colleagues about the need to secure intelligence related to the Russian hacking of the American election.
Ms. Farkas was commenting on a New York Times article a day earlier that documented how in the days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Obama administration officials had sought to ensure the preservation of those documents in order to leave a clear trail for government investigators after Mr. Trump took office.
In a statement she gave to The American Spectator, a conservative publication, Ms. Farkas said the furor over her remarks was “a wild misinterpretation of comments I made on the air in March.” She added, “I was out of government, I didn’t have any classified information, or any knowledge of ‘tapping’ or leaking or the N.Y.T. article before it came out.”
White House officials also confronted on Friday the disclosure that Mr. Flynn, who resigned in February over his contacts with Russian officials, has offered to testify before the two congressional committees investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia about those contacts in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Mr. Trump said on Twitter on Friday morning that he agreed with Mr. Flynn’s proposal.
“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!” Mr. Trump wrote.
The president has been eager to dismiss as “fake news” all allegations that members of his campaign colluded with the Russians, and the post appeared to be an effort to discredit the congressional inquiries that are examining those claims. It also appeared to be aimed at defusing any speculation that Mr. Flynn might be seeking immunity because he has incriminating information to share about Mr. Trump or his associates.
It was not clear from the president’s post on Friday whether he fully appreciated the potential effect on his administration if Mr. Flynn received immunity to participate fully in the investigation. Mr. Trump has said previously that seeking protection from prosecution is a telltale sign of wrongdoing.
“If you’re not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for, right?” he said in September at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla. Mr. Trump was referring to Hillary Clinton aides who received immunity during an F.B.I. inquiry into her use of a private email server.
Mr. Spicer declined to address the inconsistency, telling reporters on Friday only that Mr. Trump “believes that Mike Flynn should go testify.”
“He thinks that he should go up there and do what he has to do to get the story out,” Mr. Spicer said.
The F.B.I. is investigating whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with Russia in its efforts to disrupt the 2016 election. An immunity deal would make it extraordinarily difficult for the Justice Department to prosecute Mr. Flynn.
Mr. Schiff said Mr. Flynn’s decision to seek immunity from prosecution was a “grave and momentous step,” but not one that investigators were ready to consider at this stage.
“While Mr. Flynn’s testimony is of great interest to our committee, we are also deeply mindful of the interests of the Justice Department in the matter,” Mr. Schiff said in a statement. He added that before considering immunity for any witness in the inquiry, “we will of course require a detailed proffer of any intended testimony.”


 

Politics

‘We Must Fight Them’: Trump Goes After Conservatives of Freedom Caucus















President Trump at the White House on Monday. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump launched a vengeful tirade against conservatives in his own party on Thursday in an attempt to kick-start health care talks and show that he remains a force to be feared in the looming battles over the budget, a tax overhaul and infrastructure.
In an early morning Twitter attack, Mr. Trump singled out members of the House Freedom Caucus, which scuttled his health care overhaul last week. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” he wrote. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”
He continued on Twitter throughout the day, naming individual members of the caucus, likening them to Democrats and urging other Republicans to “fight them” in the 2018 midterm elections if they do not back his agenda.
But the Republican upstarts hardly cowered in the face of Mr. Trump’s criticism. They struck back, some of them ridiculing the president, using his own taunting and confrontational social media style.


“Stockholm Syndrome?” Representative Tom Garrett of Virginia asked on Twitter, suggesting that the president had become captive to the Republican establishment he attacked during the campaign.
“It’s a swamp not a hot tub. We both came here to drain it. #SwampCare polls 17%. Sad!” wrote Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who often sides with the caucus on votes, mocking the president’s drain-the-swamp campaign pledge.
This was the moment when Mr. Trump, riding a wave of populist anger, was supposed to be at his most fearsome — enforcing discipline on his fragmented party. But in the wake of last week’s stunning defeat of legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, which further eroded his already flagging poll numbers, Mr. Trump has made an abrupt shift from courting his party’s most conservative lawmakers to hurling threats at them, a vivid illustration of his difficulties uniting a still-riven Republican Party.

“Intimidation may work with some in the short term, but it never really works in the long run,” said Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who opposed the health overhaul pushed by the White House and written by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
Mr. Trump and his team believe the Twitter attacks will re-establish his tough-guy leverage in coming negotiations. It also has the added virtue of allowing the most expressive of presidents to give voice to his anger.
And they were not done out of impulse. Mr. Trump’s advisers have become more involved in his free-form Twitter feed in the last few weeks, ever since his impetuous, conspiratorial posts about President Barack Obama’s supposedly wiretapping his phones touched off a still-running controversy.
Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, has counseled a tough tone with the rebels, instructing his staff to use Twitter as a rhetorical prod to keep the party in line. Dan Scavino, an aide who controls Mr. Trump’s official White House Twitter account, recently moved into Mr. Bannon’s West Wing office, where he closely monitors social activity by and about the president, according to two officials.
A handful of people have always had access to Mr. Trump’s personal Twitter account, but in the weeks since the president’s accusation against his predecessor, there has been a stricter imposition by aides to make sure there is a strategic imperative behind his posts, according to two people briefed on the process.
The cannon blasts at the House Freedom Caucus followed nearly a week of the president’s stewing about the debacle over his failed health care effort. He did not take the loss especially well. His aides quickly began discussions about reopening negotiations that would at least demonstrate a commitment to what in the past has been one of his party’s most urgent priorities.


The House Freedom Caucus came away from the health care fight feeling emboldened, and Mr. Trump’s senior advisers are now mindful of the need to slow any momentum the group has going into other legislative battles, including the budget fight just four weeks away.

The health care bill that the many House members rejected was extremely unpopular. Only 17 percent of Americans — and 41 percent of Republicans — supported the proposal, according to a Quinnipiac poll released last week.
Presidents — from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Mr. Obama — have said they would campaign against rebels in their own parties, and the threats have mostly been empty. Mr. Trump seems especially ill-equipped to follow through, senior Republicans say. Beyond blustery Twitter messages, he has so far not shown even a willingness to take them on.

In the mostly conservative House districts where Mr. Trump could target lawmakers, voters are likely to be more in sync with their representatives, who felt that the rollback of the law did not go far enough, than their president, who simply wanted a win.
When Mr. Sanford, fresh off helping torpedo his party’s health care bill, showed up at a Berkeley County Republican meeting in South Carolina on Saturday, he was met with applause and praise.
“It’s fairly banal,” said Representative David Schweikert, Republican of Arizona and a member of the caucus, said of Mr. Trump’s attack. “We are used to it. It goes with the job. He is not the first president who has attacked us, just the first from our own party.”
If the back and forth between Mr. Trump and the House hard-liners inflamed tensions between the president and some of his most loyal, if not exactly ideologically aligned, congressional supporters, it bound the president more closely to Mr. Ryan, reinforcing the most unlikely of shotgun political marriages.

“I understand the president’s frustration,” Mr. Ryan told reporters on Thursday when asked about the president’s morning Twitter attack. “I share frustration.”

All week, the White House lurched between battering conservatives and trying to win them over. On Wednesday — about 18 hours before Mr. Trump’s Twitter blast — senior officials invited two dozen leaders from conservative groups for a closed-door session to plot a path ahead.

Participants, who were instructed by the organizers of the event not to divulge details of the meeting, or even the groups attending, described the hourlong session as a welcome but long overdue policy discussion. It included a candid, polite airing of complaints that they have been largely left out of the loop on major administration decision making, according to people who attended.
The meeting, put together by Mr. Trump’s conservative outreach director, Paul Teller, at the request of conservatives, included representatives of the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Limited Government and Judicial Watch, all of whom were critical of some administration policies, including the health bill.

Thomas Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch — a conservative legal advocacy group that successfully sued the Obama administration for the release of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails — made a pointed pitch for the release of all documents pertaining to Russia’s interference in the election campaign controversy, according to people who attended the session in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building beside the White House.
Mr. Fitton, the participants said, told Mr. Teller that the president needed to be committed to a policy of extreme transparency about contacts between Russian government officials and Trump associates during the 2016 campaign, including Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, and Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law.

He also asked Mr. Teller and other administration officials present to more rapidly approve bottled-up Freedom of Information requests about Russia and other topics — likening the foot-dragging on legally mandated disclosure to what he said was the Obama administration’s flouting of immigration laws.
An activist in attendance said that Mr. Teller nodded, took notes and was noncommittal.















Mr. Trump’s targeting of the Freedom Caucus came on a day of an unexpected change in his senior staff. Katie Walsh, a deputy to Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, announced her sudden departure after less than three months on the job to work for a “super PAC” allied with Mr. Trump. The White House offered no explanation for the timing of her departure.

 

 

 

Headlines March 29, 2017

Trump Signs Executive Order Dismantling Rules to Curb Climate Change

Mar 29, 2017
H01 oil drilling
Surrounded by coal miners, President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to dismantle a slew of climate rules established by President Obama. If carried out, the executive order will virtually guarantee the United States will fail to meet its 2015 Paris Agreement pledge to reduce emissions in order to curb the effects of climate change. The executive order marks the first step to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan to limit plant emissions and replace coal-fired power plants with new solar and wind farms. The Clean Power Plan is considered to be a critical element of the U.S.’s plan to meet the targets established in the Paris accord. Environmental and civil rights groups have vowed to fight the executive order.
On Tuesday afternoon, protesters gathered in the freezing rain outside Trump Tower in Manhattan to denounce the executive order. Other demonstrators gathered outside the EPA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., with a sign reading "Get this toxic dump out of the White House." We’ll have more on Trump’s executive order later in the broadcast.
Topics:

 

 

 

Fact Check: Trump’s Misleading Words on Energy and Jobs

WASHINGTON — In his first major move to undo President Barack Obama’s climate change policies, President Trump declared Tuesday the beginning of a “new era in American energy and production and job creation.”
Here is an assessment of his claims about energy production and jobs.

Mr. Trump said his executive order would pave the way for energy independence.

“First, today’s energy independence action calls for an immediate re-evaluation of the so-called Clean Power Plan.”
This is misleading. Mr. Trump’s executive order is the start of the process to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s signature rule that regulates carbon emissions from power plants.
The United States has been exporting more coal than it has produced for the past decade, and is expected to become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018, even with the Clean Power Plan in place, according to the United States Energy Information Administration.
Over all, the energy information agency projects that the United States will be a net exporter in most cases this year. The Keystone XL Pipeline, which Mr. Trump reminded that he had approved, will carry foreign oil into the United States.


Mr. Trump characterized the Clean Power Plan as a threat to coal miners.

“Perhaps no single regulation threatens our miners, energy workers and companies more than this crushing attack on American industry.”
This is misleading. The rule was announced in August 2015, and halted by the Supreme Court the next February. During that time, there were about 9,300 fewer coal mining jobs.
But Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that coal mining jobs have been on the decline since the 1980s, the earliest data available.
The trend is more attributable to an increase in natural gas production and an increase in automation, as The New York Times’s Coral Davenport has reported. Rolling back the Clean Power Plan will not change either of these two forces.


Mr. Trump claimed the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines would create thousands of jobs.

“We approved the permit to finally build the Keystone XL Pipeline and clear the way to completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, thousands and thousands of jobs.”
This needs context. Keystone would support 42,000 temporary jobs in its two-year construction period, about 3,900 of which are in construction, according to a State Department report from 2014. After this initial phase, the pipeline would create about 35 permanent, full-time jobs.

Similarly, the Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to support 8,000 to 12,000 temporary construction jobs and up to 40 permanent jobs, the Brookings Institution found.

Mr. Trump took credit for job growth in the first two months of 2017.

“We’ve already created a half a million new jobs in the first two jobs reports of my administration.”

This is misleading. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 238,000 jobs in January and 235,000 jobs in February. This is healthy, but it’s more attributable to the policies of Mr. Obama.
As Neil Irwin has reported for The Upshot, Mr. Trump “has virtually nothing to do with the most recent economic statistics.” The January jobs report was conducted before Mr. Trump took office, and the February report reflects conditions roughly three weeks into his presidency and before he had enacted any significant economic policies.

Mr. Trump took credit for Ford’s manufacturing expansion.

“And if you notice today, Ford, great company, announced massive new spending on three big plants in the state of Michigan, the state which I love very much. Do you remember what happened in Michigan? Remember, November 8, oh, that was an exciting Michigan evening.”
This needs context. Mr. Trump won Michigan by just under 11,000 votes on Nov. 8 and has repeatedly singled out the Detroit-based automaker for its investment plans during and after the election.

Ford announced a $1.2 billion investment in three Michigan facilities on Tuesday morning, which the president immediately praised on Twitter. But Ford had previously agreed to the investment in a labor contract with the United Automobile Workers. In November 2015, the company pledged $9 billion over four years in United States plants.

Mr. Trump said he has mandated pipelines to be built with U.S. steel.

This came up a little bit coincidentally when I was signing the pipeline deals. I’m all signing, I’ve got them done. And I said, folks, when do we get this deal? And they said, I think it’s from foreign lands. I said no good. Who makes it, who makes those beautiful pipes for the pipeline? Sir, they’re made outside of this country, and I said no more, no more. So we added a little clause, didn’t take much, that you want to build pipelines in this country, you’re going to buy your steel and you’re going to have it fabricated here.
This needs context. Mr. Trump signed a presidential memorandum requiring domestic steel in new pipelines four days after he took office, but the White House has suggested that the Keystone Pipeline is exempt because it is not a “new” pipe. By this logic, the directive would not apply to the Dakota Access Pipeline either.

Neither of Mr. Trump’s memos greenlighting the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines includes language requiring American steel.






















 

 

 

 

The Opinion Pages | Editorial

The Trump Administration’s War on Science



























Credit Script & Seal

“Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people,” President Trump said in his speech to Congress last month, after summoning a list of technological triumphs from America’s past. “Cures to illnesses that have always plagued us,” and “American footprints on distant worlds.”
Against those lofty promises, his first budget blueprint is a cramped document that sacrifices American innovation to small-bore politics, shortchanging basic scientific research across the government — from NASA to the Department of Energy to the National Institutes of Health — in ways that can only stifle invention and undercut the nation’s competitiveness. Meanwhile, more than 40 top government science positions, including that of presidential science adviser, remain vacant.
















Already Short of Needs

National Institutes of Health budgets have been falling for years.

Funding change for each sector,

fiscal years 2008-17.


Overall N.I.H. research and development

funding fell 16.6 percent over that time.

$6 BILLION

5

Figures in 2016 dollars.

–14.3%

Cancer

4

3

–15.2%

Heart, lung and blood

2

–15.7%

Diabetes, digestive and kidney

–16.1%

Mental health

–2.4%

1

Aging

–14.8%

Environmental health sciences

–15.5%

Human genome

–9.7%

Biomed, bioengineering

FY ’98

’00

’05

’08

’10

’15

’16

’17



Some research cuts, particularly to the N.I.H., aren’t likely to make it past Congress. But they show Mr. Trump’s lack of understanding of science’s role in national and domestic security, in protecting air and water and other resources and in preventing disease and lowering the cost of health care, which consumes one-quarter of the $3.7 trillion federal budget.
Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and biomedical research investor who is one of Mr. Trump’s few supporters in Silicon Valley, is an outspoken advocate for government-fostered science. A week before the election, he said: “Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians say that government never works. They know the government wasn’t always this broken. The Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, and the Apollo program — whatever you think of these ventures, you cannot doubt the competence of the government that got them done. But we have fallen very far from that standard, and we cannot let free market ideology serve as an excuse for decline.”
That, however, is exactly what Mr. Trump’s budget does. In service to small-government ideology, it proposes to whack 18 percent from the N.I.H.’s budget, and even more from the Department of Energy and the E.P.A.’s science programs. A $250 million annual grant program administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “supporting coastal and marine management, research and education” would be killed, including programs that provide important resources to help coastal states prepare for the coming effects of climate change (no surprise there, since Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change). The earth sciences division at NASA comes in for a 6 percent cut; other reductions take aim at the United States Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation, a big player in scientific research.


The cuts in human health programs have drawn the heaviest criticism. Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, nonprofit advocates for medical research, says Mr. Trump’s budget “doesn’t reflect the priorities of a nation committed to protecting and improving the health and well-being of its citizens.” The N.I.H.’s 27 institutes underwrite the bulk of the nation’s medical research; after hefty budget increases in the early 2000s, championed by Senator Arlen Specter, who was a Pennsylvania Republican, the economic downturn and internal turmoil have led to cuts that erased most of those gains.
Mr. Trump’s budget greatly worries medical researchers like Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of the psychiatry department at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Nearly 60 percent of Dr. Lieberman’s $240 million departmental budget is sponsored research, most of it underwritten by the N.I.H. “Each year we eat what we kill — there is no guaranteed recurrent revenue,” he said. “And this is true for all academic medicine.”
In its budget heyday, the N.I.H. approved about 30 percent of eligible grant applications. Since 2008, that number has fallen to 10 to 15 percent. “One would have hoped that biomedical research was spared from the political arena,” Mr. Lieberman said. Not under Mr. Trump.



















la_conner_daffodil_festival_photo_winner_2014

In the Garden: A Welcome Sign of Spring


By Charles Kidder

 



Perhaps the first plant I could recognize and name as a child was the daffodil, a welcome sight and fragrance after a long New York winter. And although native to the Mediterranean, daffodils (Narcissus species) have been in Virginia since at least the middle of the seventeenth century.
Beginning in the 1890s, Gloucester County became a center of daffodil production for much of the eastern United States. Much of this revolved around “wild” or naturalized daffodils that were cut and shipped north. By the middle of the twentieth century, this industry was rapidly dying off for a variety of reasons. But Gloucester County still has one daffodil breeder of note and continues to celebrate its floral heritage with the Daffodil Festival on the last weekend of March. More on that later.
The various Narcissus species, hybrids and cultivars are commonly referred to as either daffodils, jonquils or even simply narcissus, the latter especially when referring to the paper whites commonly forced indoors. The term jonquil is commonly used in certain regions for any daffodil, but technically refers only to one group that has narrow reed-like foliage. The various daffodils are divided into 13 divisions—or 12, if you believe some sources—that are based on flower shape and heritage. For example, Division 1 daffodils are called Trumpets, since the central portion or trumpet is quite long. Regardless of division, colors range from yellow to white, perhaps with some pink or orange in the trumpets. If you seek out specialty nurseries, hundreds of cultivars are available.



All daffodils have similar cultural requirements. As for the amount of sun they want, the more the better. Part sun, or about six hours per day, is sufficient, but less sun than that will lead to reduced blooming, even though the plants may soldier on for a long time. And sunlight in a deciduous woodland does not really count as full sunlight. As for soil, good drainage is important to avoid bulb rot. If your soil is unusually sodden, either amend it with gravel or put daffodils in a raised bed.
Daffodil bulbs should be planted at a depth equal to about three times their diameter, so a two-inch bulb should be six inches deep. Six inches is also a good distance between bulbs. Farther apart and they lose visual impact; closer, and they will require division sooner. Bulbs will look funny planted like soldiers in a straight line, so if you have ten bulbs, better to either plant them in two groups of five, or in a staggered double row. If you are planting a very large number, you can avoid an overly orderly appearance by picking up a handful and tossing them to the general area in which you wish to plant.
There are any number of “new, improved, back-saving!!” bulb planters out there. Use whatever works best for you, which might just be an ordinary trowel or even a garden shovel. And remember: nothing says you have to plant one bulb at a time. You can take a spade and dig up a good-sized hole with one or two punches, and then throw in three to five bulbs. For even larger areas, a rototiller might be the quickest option. And do the bulbs have to be pointy-side up? That’s the ideal, but the shoot will always get turned around and pointed toward the sky anyway. If you’re in a hurry, ensuring that the bulbs are at least on their side would be a good compromise.


Amending your soil with compost will definitely give your daffodils a boost, but there’s no need to fertilize when planting—which of course is not now, but in mid-to-late fall. In very early spring, a balanced fertilizer—about 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 is best—should be sprinkled around the plants just as their foliage emerges. (You can also do this in the fall, but that assumes you’ll remember where your daffodils are!) And speaking of feeding your daffodils, we all know what to do with their foliage, which is there to provide nutrients for the bulb, right? Doing nothing is perfectly okay. Or when the foliage turns yellow and lies on the ground, you can throw some mulch on it if the sight offends you. Do not cut the foliage off while it’s still green or tie it up in cutesy knots! That prevents movement of nutrients down to the bulb; plus, it takes a lot of valuable gardening time.


But back to Gloucester County. The annual Daffodil Festival takes place on the last weekend of March and includes the usual attractions: a parade, a queen, entertainers, a race, a car show, and of course, daffodils. (A full schedule is available on the county’s website. There’s also a link to the history of daffodil farming in this corner of Virginia.) On Saturday they will be running frequent buses over to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs for tours and shopping. Brent and Becky Heath own a business that has been in the family for several generations, at one time operating as the Daffodil Mart. Although they now sell many other types of bulbs, daffodils are still a specialty, with over 200 varieties available.



Once planted, daffodils tend to naturalize, meaning they spread slowly, but never seem to become invasive. Part of their secret to longevity might be their poisonous nature: deer and other critters don’t bother them, so you can enjoy your host of daffodils for many years.

 






















Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

we share a very special gift by beloved and very popular Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor member Letizia Mancino.


We know you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Thanks a Million, dear Letizia Mancino.


You are an outstanding writer and artist.

We are so proud and happy to have you with us.

Letizia writes: One should not underestimate Wolfgang Hampel’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty MacDonald’s friends.

We agree. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang Hampel for doing this. You founded Betty MacDonald Fan Club with four members.

Now we have members in 40 countries around the world. A dream came true.

Mary Holmes did an excellent job in translating this great story. 


Thank you so much dear Mary Holmes. 


We are really very grateful.

All the best to Letizia, Wolfgang and Mary and to all Betty MacDonald Fan Club fans from all over the world!

Lenard 






Following in Betty’s footsteps in Seattle:

or some small talk with Betty

Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
translated by Mary Holmes

We were going to Canada in the summer. “When we are in Edmonton”, I said to Christoph Cremer, “let’s make a quick trip to Seattle”. And that’s how it happened. At Edmonton Airport we climbed into a plane and two hours later we landed in the city where Betty had lived. I was so happy to be in Seattle at last and to be able to trace Betty’s tracks!

Wolfgang Hampel had told Betty’s friends about our arrival.
They were happy to plan a small marathon through the town and it’s surroundings with us. We only had a few days free. One should not underestimate Wolfgang’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty’s friends, even though it was holiday time. E-mails flew backwards and forwards between Heidelberg and Seattle, and soon a well prepared itinerary was ready for us. Shortly before my departure Wolfgang handed me several parcels, presents for Betty MacDonald's friends. I rushed to pack the heavy gifts in my luggage but because of the extra weight had to throw out a pair of pajamas!

After we had landed we took a taxi to the Hotel in downtown Seattle. I was so curious to see everything. I turned my head in all directions like one of the hungry hens from Betty’s farm searching for food! Fortunately it was quite a short journey otherwise I would have lost my head like a loose screw!
Our hotel room was on the 22nd floor and looked directly out onto the 16-lane highway. There might have been even more than 16 but it made me too giddy to count! It was like a glimpse of hell! “And is this Seattle?” I asked myself. I was horrified! The cars racing by were enough to drive one mad. The traffic roared by day and night.
We immediately contacted Betty MacDonald's friends and let them know we had arrived and they confirmed the times when we should see them.

On the next morning I planned my first excursion tracing Betty’s tracks. I spread out the map of Seattle. “Oh dear” I realized “the Olympic Peninsula is much too far away for me to get there.”
Betty nodded to me! “Very difficult, Letizia, without a car.”

“But I so much wanted to see your chicken farm”

“My chickens are no longer there and you can admire the mountains from a distance”

But I wanted to go there. I left the hotel and walked to the waterfront where the State Ferry terminal is. Mamma mia, the streets in Seattle are so steep! I couldn’t prevent my feet from running down the hill. Why hadn’t I asked for brakes to be fixed on my shoes? I looked at the drivers. How incredibly good they must be to accelerate away from the red traffic lights. The people were walking uphill towards me as briskly as agile salmon. Good heavens, these Americans! I tried to keep my balance. The force of gravity is relentless. I grasped hold of objects where I could and staggered down.
In Canada a friend had warned me that in Seattle I would see a lot of people with crutches.

Betty laughed. “ It’s not surprising, Letizia, walking salmon don’t fall directly into the soft mouth of a bear!”
“ Betty, stop making these gruesome remarks. We are not in Firlands!”

I went further. Like a small deranged ant at the foot of a palace monster I came to a tunnel. The noise was unbearable. On the motorway, “The Alaskan Way Viaduct”, cars, busses and trucks were driving at the speed of light right over my head. They puffed out their poisonous gas into the open balconies and cultivated terraces of the luxurious sky- scrapers without a thought in the world. America! You are crazy!
“Betty, are all people in Seattle deaf? Or is it perhaps a privilege for wealthy people to be able to enjoy having cars so near to their eyes and noses to save them from boredom?”

“When the fog democratically allows everything to disappear into nothing, it makes a bit of a change, Letizia”

“ Your irony is incorrigible, Betty, but tell me, Seattle is meant to be a beautiful city, But where?”

I had at last reached the State Ferry terminal.

“No Madam, the ferry for Vashon Island doesn’t start from here,” one of the men in the ticket office tells me. ”Take a buss and go to the ferry terminal in West Seattle.”
Betty explained to me “The island lies in Puget Sound and not in Elliott Bay! It is opposite the airport. You must have seen it when you were landing!”
“Betty, when I am landing I shut my eyes and pray!”

It’s time for lunch. The weather is beautiful and warm. Who said to me that it always rains here?
“Sure to be some envious man who wanted to frighten you away from coming to Seattle. The city is really beautiful, you’ll see. Stay by the waterfront, choose the best restaurant with a view of Elliott Bay and enjoy it.”
“Thank you Betty!”

I find a table on the terrace of “Elliott’s Oyster House”. The view of the island is wonderful. It lies quietly in the sun like a green fleecy cushion on the blue water.
Betty plays with my words:
“Vashon Island is a big cushion, even bigger than Bainbridge which you see in front of your eyes, Letizia. The islands look similar. They have well kept houses and beautiful gardens”.

I relax during this introduction, “Bainbridge” you are Vashon Island, and order a mineral water.

“At one time the hotel belonging to the parents of Monica Sone stood on the waterfront.”
“Oh, of your friend Kimi!” Unfortunately I forget to ask Betty exactly where it was.

My mind wanders and I think of my mountain hike back to the hotel! “Why is there no donkey for tourists?” Betty laughs:

“I’m sure you can walk back to the hotel. “Letizia can do everything.””

“Yes, Betty, I am my own donkey!”

But I don’t remember that San Francisco is so steep. It doesn’t matter, I sit and wait. The waiter comes and brings me the menu. I almost fall off my chair!
“ What, you have geoduck on the menu! I have to try it” (I confess I hate the look of geoduck meat. Betty’s recipe with the pieces made me feel quite sick – I must try Betty’s favourite dish!)
“Proof that you love me!” said Betty enthusiastically “ Isn’t the way to the heart through the stomach?”

I order the geoduck. The waiter looks at me. He would have liked to recommend oysters.
“Geoduck no good for you!”
Had he perhaps read my deepest thoughts? Fate! Then no geoduck. “No good for me.”

“Neither geoduck nor tuberculosis in Seattle” whispered Betty in my ear!
“Oh Betty, my best friend, you take such good care of me!”

I order salmon with salad.

“Which salmon? Those that swim in water or those that run through Seattle?”

“Betty, I believe you want me to have a taste of your black humour.”

“Enjoy it then, Letizia.”

During lunch we talked about tuberculosis, and that quite spoilt our appetite.

“Have you read my book “The Plague and I”?”

“Oh Betty, I’ve started to read it twice but both times I felt so sad I had to stop again!”

“But why?” asked Betty “Nearly everybody has tuberculosis! I recovered very quickly and put on 20 pounds! There was no talk of me wasting away! What did you think of my jokes in the book?”

“Those would have been a good reason for choosing another sanitorium. I would have been afraid of becoming a victim of your humour! You would have certainly given me a nickname! You always thought up such amusing names!” Betty laughed.

“You’re right. I would have called you “Roman nose”. I would have said to Urbi and Orbi “ Early this morning “Roman nose” was brought here. She speaks broken English, doesn’t eat geoduck but she does love cats.”

“Oh Betty, I would have felt so ashamed to cough. To cough in your presence, how embarrassing! You would have talked about how I coughed, how many coughs!”

“It depends on that “how”, Letizia!”

“Please, leave Goethe quotations out of it. You have certainly learnt from the Indians how to differentiate between noises. It’s incredible how you can distinguish between so many sorts of cough! At least 10!”

“So few?”

”And also your descriptions of the patients and the nurses were pitiless. An artistic revenge! The smallest pimple on their face didn’t escape your notice! Amazing.”

“ I was also pitiless to myself. Don’t forget my irony against myself!”

Betty was silent. She was thinking about Kimi, the “Princess” from Japan! No, she had only written good things about her best friend, Monica Sone, in her book “The Plague and I”. A deep friendship had started in the hospital. The pearl that developed from the illness.
“Isn’t it wonderful, Betty, that an unknown seed can make its way into a mollusk in the sea and develop into a beautiful jewel?” Betty is paying attention.

“Betty, the friendship between you and Monica reminds me of Goethe’s poem “Gingo-Biloba”. You must know it?” Betty nods and I begin to recite it:


The leaf of this Eastern tree
Which has been entrusted to my garden
Offers a feast of secret significance,
For the edification of the initiate.

Is it one living thing.
That has become divided within itself?
Are these two who have chosen each other,
So that we know them as one?

The friendship with Monica is like the wonderful gingo-biloba leaf, the tree from the east. Betty was touched. There was a deep feeling of trust between us.
“Our friendship never broke up, partly because she was in distress, endangered by the deadly illness. We understood and supplemented each other. We were like one lung with two lobes, one from the east and one from the west!”
“A beautiful picture, Betty. You were like two red gingo-biloba leaves!”

Betty was sad and said ” Monica, although Japanese, before she really knew me felt she was also an American. But she was interned in America, Letizia, during the second world war. Isn’t that terrible?”

“Betty, I never knew her personally. I have only seen her on a video, but what dignity in her face, and she speaks and moves so gracefully!”

“Fate could not change her”

“Yes, Betty, like the gingo-biloba tree in Hiroshima. It was the only tree that blossomed again after the atom bomb!”

The bill came and I paid at once. In America one is urged away from the table when one has finished eating. If one wants to go on chatting one has to order something else.
“That’s why all those people gossiping at the tables are so fat!” Betty remarks. “Haven’t you seen how many massively obese people walk around in the streets of America. Like dustbins that have never been emptied!” With this typically unsentimental remark Betty ended our conversation.

Ciao! I so enjoyed the talk; the humour, the irony and the empathy. I waved to her and now I too felt like moving! I take a lovely walk along the waterfront.

Now I am back in Heidelberg and when I think about how Betty’s “Princessin” left this world on September 5th and that in August I was speaking about her with Betty in Seattle I feel very sad. The readers who knew her well (we feel that every author and hero of a book is nearer to us than our fleeting neighbours next door) yes we, who thought of her as immortal, cannot believe that even she would die after 92 years. How unforeseen and unexpected that her death should come four days after her birthday on September 1th. On September 5th I was on my way to Turkey, once again in seventh heaven, looking back on the unforgettable days in Seattle. I was flying from west to east towards the rising sun.



Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham

 




 









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Is this Mr. Tigerli?


Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald
Betty MacDonald ART Photos of ICONS Amazing Ladies Pinter Betty MacDonald Quotes Famous Quotes by Betty MacDonald Quoteswave 1950s showing Betty MacDonald descending a staircase and other images  betty macdonald betty bard macdonald wurde 1908 in boulder colorado  photos and graphics betty family betty and friend photos and graphics betty family betty grandchild photo of Betty MacDonald and two children in 1950 costumes Click images for alternate views BETTY MacDONALD PHOTOGRAPH SIGNED DOCUMENT 281143  photos and graphics betty family betty and don on vashon  
          



Betty MacDonald