first_imgDISCIPLING TRUMPMaking Sense by Michael ReaganUsually it takes a lot of boring three-yard runs and a thick cloud of dust to drive any important piece of legislation across the goal line in Washington.But at this late stage of the game QB Donald Trump and his Republican teammates are going to need a Hail Mary.During the seven months they’ve been in control of the political football in D.C. they’ve brought no significant legislation before Congress.Republicans in the Senate deserve most of the blame for the failure of health care reform.But the president — the owner, head coach, chief publicist and star quarterback of Team Trump — remains the biggest problem.Like a reckless rookie unable to learn from his mistakes, QB Trump is repeatedly scrambling out of the pocket, throwing incompletions in every direction — and then blaming his blockers, receivers and cheerleaders on Twitter for his team’s negative yardage.Meanwhile, for him and the GOP the 2017 congressional game clock is running down fast.It’s already August. Congress is going home for vacation. Then you get into September and before you know it, it’s time for Congress to break for Thanksgiving and Christmas.Then comes 2018 and the mid-term elections. And then nothing important will happen in Congress, except that Republicans and Democrats will point fingers at each other and work hard overtime at getting reelected.President Trump and the Republicans have to go into their hurry-up offense and pass something important on health care, tax reform or immigration and put their stamp on it, or they might be looking at a Democratic Senate in 2019.On healthcare, it’s clear that we can’t completely repeal Obamacare, but we can still completely fix it.Trump and Republicans, and maybe even some Democrats, now have to find areas where they agree, move forward and get some legislation passed. Then repeat and repeat and repeat.It’s frustrating to see how Trump keeps hurting his own cause and the future of the Republican Party.The stock market is soaring and the economy is showing signs of growth, but that good news is never heard in the media because it’s drowned out by the coverage of the president’s tweeting.President Trump took a giant step in the right direction last week by making General John Kelly his chief of staff.It was one of the best moves Trump has made and a sign of hope that he may finally be learning something on the job.General Kelly will bring some long overdue order and discipline to the White House operations, as he quickly proved when he had the president fire Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director.We’ve written about how important it is for a president to have an adult like Kelly in the Oval Office, but the real issue is whether our president will listen to advice from the adult.President Trump is never going to change his personality or stop thinking that he makes the Sun come up every morning.But if he wants to fulfill any of his campaign promises, or even if he wants to push his poll numbers back into the low 40 percent range, he has to become disciplined.He has to learn that presidents never slam their generals in public or talk out loud about firing generals like John Nicholson in Afghanistan.He has to learn to pat his people on the back, to uplift them, not stab them in the back.He has to learn what my father knew —- that when you have to attack your enemies your best weapons are a wink and a nod.Most important, President Trump has to learn that he’s now in the business of politics, not the business of business.And in politics the bottom line is that in the end the blame —- like the buck —- stops at the president’s desk.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Home-spun handiwork

first_imgOne book we’re unlikely to be reviewing is Knitted Cakes by Devon-based textiles author-cum-time-waster Susan Penny, which features a “mouth-watering” selection of mohair muffins and furry fairy cakes.This estimable tome to knit-wittery contains “twenty hand-knitted cakes to make and keep and twenty more to make and give away!” Yes, to Oxfam. If they’ll take them.There appears to be a cottage industry around knitted confectionery for pillow biters (if that term hasn’t already been mis-appropriated), as this “McKnitie’s Jam Sandwich Cream” (right) attests. One blogger put it down to “an eerie connection between knitting and cake”. Eerie? Actually yes, it is rather creepy. “Where there is the sound of softly clacking sticks and string you will probably find cake crumbs. Knitting-themed cupcakes seem the perfect way to connect the dots.”If you say so. Those of you intent on knitting cake, please endeavour to make the eating experience more pleasant than being gagged with a scarf. Here’s a guide on how to knit marzipan: http://bit.ly/doC03ilast_img read more

SMC celebrates ‘Potter’

first_img “I really liked making the chocolate pretzel wands,” sophomore Erika Wallace said. “However, I wish there were more Harry Potter themed foods.” The Student Activities Board, Residence Hall Association and Quidditch Club sponsored the event. “Seeing everyone out here playing Quidditch makes me want to go back up to my room and watch all six Harry Potter movies,” sophomore Kristen Rice said. As many students await Friday’s release of latest Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Saint Mary’s geared up with its own celebration entitled “Bellakazam.” The Quidditch Club hosted lessons on the library green and gave away scarves to the students who participated. The scarves were themed after the Saint Mary’s dorm buildings. The candle-lit dinner included long tables, such as those in the movie, and banners to represent each residence hall of Saint Mary’s. Students could also make chocolate dipped pretzel wands themed for dessert. The night included lessons in Quidditch, the popular sport in the series that is played on brooms, a Harry Potter themed dinner, a magic show and a viewing of the film version of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”center_img Many Harry Potter enthusiasts engaged in the various Quidditch games and broom races. Following the lessons, students were invited to a “Great Hall” themed dinner in the Noble Family dining hall. After dinner, Magician Norman Ng put on a magic show in Carroll Auditorium. “The dining hall was well decorated and it got me excited for the movie,” sophomore Kerry Stewart said. Overall, Bellakazam tried to bring a little bit of Hogwarts to the College campus while giving Harry Potter fans a chance to gear up for the release of the “Deathly Hallows,” and express their love for the Harry Potter series.last_img read more

LA Dodgers rookie Julio Urias learning to deal with uncertainty

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error WASHINGTON, D.C. >> Now what?For the third time this season, the Dodgers turned to 19-year-old left-hander Julio Urias to fill a short-term need in their starting rotation. Urias went four innings in Thursday’s 6-3 victory over the Washington Nationals after left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu went on the DL with elbow tendinitis.Whatever plan the Dodgers had for their precocious pitching prospect must have been written in pencil, erased and rewritten again. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he has been impressed with the way Urias has handled the uncertainty as well as being asked to make five of his nine big-league starts against first-place teams (the Cubs, Orioles, Giants and Nationals twice).“I am,” Roberts said. “It takes a special young man to handle what has been put in front of Julio. I think that all these experiences really are going to help him. We haven’t made it easy on him but he has really responded.” Roberts, however, said Thursday he doesn’t anticipate shortening the rotation, preferring to give starters extra rest when possible. The Dodgers might be able to do both, to a degree. Regardless, he also said the time has not come for Urias to take up permanent residence in that rotation.“After today, I don’t know what his fate is in the near term,” Roberts said. “But that is our plan for him — to get back in the bullpen to monitor the innings usage. After today we will reassess.“I think for Julio, No. 1 is his usage and where he’s at this year. With what we have left in the season, we’re not at a point where we can just run him out there as a starter. We’re going to need him through September and hopefully October. I don’t know what we’re going to do moving forward, in the near term.”The uncertainty, Urias admits, can be frustrating to live with at times.“It is a little hard. But when you get the opportunity you have to make the best of it,” he said. “Going up and down can be hard but you have to take advantage of the situation.”Roster shuffleAlong with Urias, the Dodgers added right-handed reliever Grant Davyton to the roster Thursday, shortening their bench once again by sending Zach Walters and Charlie Culberson back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Right-hander Chris Hatcher (placed on the DL Wednesday with a strained left oblique) was moved to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for Dayton. Hatcher will be unavailable until mid-September now. He also missed two months last season with an oblique injury.Originally drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2010, Dayton was acquired by the Dodgers in a trade for former first-round pick Chris Reed last July. He has 85 strikeouts in 48 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this season, holding hitters at both levels to a .165 average. He struck out nearly half of the batters he faced in Triple-A (57 of 125).“He’s a high spin-rate guy,” Roberts said. “He has a good fastball, good fastball life and obviously the data says high spin rate so he does have that swing-and-miss fastball.”AlsoCorey Seager missed his third consecutive game due to a stomach virus. Roberts said Seager was feeling better and was available to pinch-hit or play defensively Thursday. But he didn’t think Seager was ready to play nine innings in the heat and humidity yet. … Catcher Yasmani Grandal has also been dealing with the same type of illness and Roberts tried to avoid using either him or Seager in Thursday’s game. As a result, he sent pitcher Kenta Maeda up as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. Maeda struck out.center_img The Dodgers certainly haven’t made it easy on Urias despite their on-going desire to limit his workload. They sent him to the mound against the Nationals Thursday despite the fact that he had thrown just one inning (in relief for Triple-A Oklahoma 10 days earlier) since his most recent last — for now — start with the Dodgers on July 4.Urias said he threw two bullpen sessions as well during that time and was prepared to pitch in relief for the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Sunday but “during the game the manager told me I wasn’t pitching. They didn’t say why.”Urias has taken it all with calm and patience beyond his age.“Like I said at the beginning of the year, I’d be ready for whatever they ask me to do,” Urias said through an interpreter. “They’re giving me another opportunity so I’m going to do my best to help my team win a game.”The Dodgers have three days off in an eight-day stretch starting Monday and could go without a fifth starter until Aug. 6 if they wanted. By then, the non-waiver trade deadline might have yielded reinforcements and Urias could move to the bullpen — either in Los Angeles or Oklahoma City.last_img read more