“Nous avons lu assez de livres”

Among the many news articles that have drawn my attention was one today about Trump son-in-law schmoozing his way around the world to make more money as the President’s plenipotentiary for foreign business deals. Since reading all this news cuts into my French studies I’ve tried to blend the two activities. When I read this story I was struck by Kushner’s ignorance and arrogance which were mentioned I take it are part of his qualifications for the job……if not for a national security clearance.

I translated part of a Kushner quote into French which you can read in the title above: “We’ve read enough books.”

The full quote: “We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books.” (Nous avons lu assez de livres) He might have been speaking for his father-in-law, the President, who can barely bring himself to glance at 5 and 10 page National Security briefs let alone full books. I’m not sure Trump has bothered to read his own auto-biography. Only one grownup seems to have survived the recent staffing blood spilling in the Trump administration. Fortunately he is a serious book reader.

The President’s Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, is my age, 67. He has been nicknamed the “Warrior Monk.” The President famously upgraded that to “Mad Dog Mattis” in one introduction. It was not a sobriquet that the monk appreciated.

He is resolute, so much so that he was bid farewell by the Obama Administration for being too much of a hardliner

This winning story in the New York Times magazine intrigued me, not the least because we are the same age, but also because this is one former official that Barack Obama may have under estimated. I can’t help wonder if Trump’s recent willingness to join our European allies in kicking out Russian embassy staff wasn’t the monk’s doing. Just a week ago Trump was calling up Putin to congratulate him on winning his fixed election. Oh, and in addition to hacking the last election, poisoning former Russians who have the goods on him and subverting the Olympics Putin’s minions have also been giving weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Of course, Putin calls all of these things “fake news.”

The Warrior Monk is no Jared Kushner. He visits service members in the field, never married so as to give full devotion to the military and, most arrestingly, always carts his library of 6,000 books to wherever he has been assigned a command.

You Go, General Mattis!

I know I should write something about Stormy Daniels and the recent marches to regulate guns. I find myself impressed by both the individual and the collective. I will just share this recent DNT column from an English prof about the students across our nation who are following the lead of “Dumbledore’s Army.” I love JKR. (She writes big books not that our President would understand them if he ever had the patience to read them.)