Wiretap: All but lost amid the ugliness is the very American story of Sgt. La David Johnson

All but lost in the controversy over Donald Trump and John Kelly and Frederica Wilson and who got what part of the story right and who got what part so thoroughly wrong is the story of the life, and death, of young Sargeant La David Johnson, the Green Beret who was among four Americans killed in Niger. Michael Daly tells Johnson’s story in The Daily Beast — a tale, he says, of the American greatness of Mr. Wheelie King 305.

Eliot A. Cohen writes in The Atlantic of two wounded warriors — John McCain and John Kelly — who offered two widely divergent views of service and of America.

Kelly may not think much of Trump personally, but he seems to regard him in much the same way many of his supporters do — as someone who may be far from perfect but who symbolizes an America as they wish to see it. Via The Los Angeles Times.

The McCain-Trump fued just got even more personal. In a C-Span interview, McCain hit Trump where it hurts — spelling out his disregard for those wealthy families whose kids avoided the Vietnam draft by finding “a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur.” One of Trump’s five deferments was, of course, for a bone spur in his heel. Via The Washington Post.

Amy Davidson Sorkin writes in The New Yorker that Barack Obama and George W. Bush both made strongly anti-Trump speeches last week, but without ever mentioning his name. It’s time, he says, for them to stop being coy. In normal times, ex-presidents could be expected to stay above the fray. But there is nothing normal about a Trump presidency.

From The National Review, David French writes that it’s time for conservatives to dump Bill O’Reilly. If you missed it, the New York Times revealed that Fox News’ latest contract with O’Reilly came after it had learned of O’Reilly’s latest sexual-harassment settlement — this one for $32 million. French says it’s time for O’Reilly to be Weinsteined.

A conservative who was roofied by a stranger explains why, to her surprise, she has joined the #metoo hashtag movement. Because, Amy Swearer writes for The Daily Signal, she owes herself a voice.

Mitch McConnell puts the bipartisan health care ball (and bill) squarely in Trump’s court. McConnell says he’ll let it come to a vote once Trump tells him he’s ready to sign. Via New York magazine.

The latest gossip from the Supreme Court is that Neil Gorsuch is feuding with Elena Kagan. That wouldn’t be such big news — Kagan and Gorsuch are, after all, often take difference sides — except it seems that nearly everyone on the court is having problems with the first-year justice. Nina Totenberg has said Gorsuch “ticks off some members of the court—and I don’t think it’s just the liberals.” Via Slate.

Long read: Fifty years ago, tens of thousands came to Washington to protest the war and, as the older ones (like myself) in the audience will remember, to levitate the Pentagon. The Pentagon stayed in place, but the rally, the largest anti-war march to that point, did change the course of the war on the war and also inspired Norman Mailer’s brilliant non-fiction novel, “The Armies of the Night.” The New York Times offers an oral history.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army, via Flickr: Creative Commons


  1. Europe’s rightward lurch continues as Austria’s political “whizz-kid” Sebastian Kurz is set to become Europe’s youngest leader possibly with the far-right after its best result in almost 20 years. The conservative Kurz’s talked tough on immigration and vowed to slash taxes and red tape. Via Yahoo.com


    Apparently Democrats are not as inclusive as they think. At a seminar in Des Moines, Iowa called “Winning Back the Heartland,” Democratic pollster John Anzalone told the crowd that “now, when he asks focus groups who Democrats stand for, instead of the longstanding answer “the middle class,” what he hears is “immigrants, refugees, gays and those who kneel.”

    “This is more than white middle-aged men wanting to be the latest victims in America,” Anzalone said. “When you do these groups, you really get a sense of people, and they’re not racists, they’re not nativists. These aren’t mean people, folks.” Via The Kansas City Star.


    Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said, “I want everyone with a television to watch the show, but if they’re so turned off by my opinion on healthcare and gun violence, then, I don’t know. I probably won’t want to have a conversation with them anyway. I’m nobody’s moral arbiter. You don’t have to watch the show, you don’t have to listen to what I say,” No word as yet on whether Mr. Kimmel’s sponsors agree with his “you don’t have to watch” statement. Via realclearlife.com


    On Monday President Trump presented the nations highest military award the Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era veteran Army Capt. Gary Michael Rose who treated more than 60 wounded soldiers behind enemy lines. Via USA Today


    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) threatened to “take Trump out” at an awards gala for LGBT youth. The crowd roared its approval. Via townhall.com


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