Some leaders rise to the occasion of a crisis. Others sink. And then others add a whole new category of chaos.
For the last two weeks, much of the nation — make that much of the media — has been gripped by a Category 5 hurricane that leveled parts of the Bahamas before churning toward the East Coast of the United States. Hurricane season has not been President Donald J. Trump’s forte, as the Hurricane Maria-Puerto Rico debacle two years ago can attest. That salient point has been underscored in recent days by Dorian, the latest in a series of Cat. 5 storms that are becoming a yearly event.
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“You’re only as good as your opponent makes you play,” Martina Navratilova observes in “Strokes of Genius.” It’s a documentary about Rafael Nadal’s hard-fought triumph over Roger Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final, which Jon Wertheim describes in his book of the same name as the greatest tennis match to date….
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Of all the venal, dangerous, incompetent people in President Donald J. Trumpet’s administration, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt may have been the worst. At least Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claims to be interested in schools. I don’t think she knows anything about them and she has no experience with them, but at least she’s interested in education and has a viewpoint, however wrongheaded, about it.
But Pruitt has no interest in the environment, only in dismantling the EPA. He’s fallen short of that goal, thanks to some dogged reporting by The New York Times and other members of the Fourth Estate and to a hubris and sense of entitlement that caused some of his ex-staffers to turn on him…
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Was that a great Super Bowl game or what? It had everything – an underdog (the victorious Philadelphia Eagles), a villain (the New England Patriots and Mr. “I’m Tom Brady and you’re not”), seesaw drama, frustrated placekickers, sleight-of-hand plays in the end zone and a modest hero (Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, the un-Brady). It was a most satisfying night, one that proved, as my beloved Aunt Mary always said, that if something is meant for you, it will be there for you – even if you’re an improbable second-string QB like Foles ...