Morning Headlines

New York Times: Policy shift helps coal, but other forces may limit effect

Washington PostHouse votes to wipe away Obama-era Internet privacy protections

Boston Globe: Trump administration reportedly sought to block Sally Yates from testifying on Russia

Chicago Tribune: Now we know why Trump panicked about Russia probe

Los Angeles Times: A trade war is brewing inside the White House between rival camps

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“Summer Wind” – Frank Sinatra (1966)

“Summer Wind,” originally called “Der Sommerwind,” was written by Heinz Meier with German language lyrics by Hans Bradtke – and released in 1965. Johnny Mercer re-wrote the song into English.

In America, it was first recorded by Wayne Newton, Bobby Vinton and Perry Como, but the best known version belongs to Frank Sinatra, which came out in 1966.

The Sinatra version originally appeared on his album, Strangers in the Night.

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New lower Gallup poll numbers suggest Trump is already tired of winning

Tracking polls are dicey thing, but low is low, and direction counts, as new Gallup numbers indicate.

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating fell to 36% for the three-day period of March 24-26, following Republican House leaders’ failed effort to pass a new healthcare bill that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act.

Trump’s three-day reading prior to Friday’s events was 41%. His previous low point was 37%, recorded March 16-18. His highest reading was 46% in the week following his Jan. 20 inauguration, and he has averaged 42% for his term to date.

As Gallup reports, “Trump’s current 36% is two percentage points below Barack Obama’s low point of 38%, recorded in 2011 and 2014,” which must be killing him. Though it is true others have gone lower before rebounding, being this weak this early suggests a special level of incompetence.

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Morning Headlines

New York Times: House Democrats ask Devin Nunes to recuse himself from Russia inquiry

CNN Politics: There’s a Russian storm over Trump’s struggling presidency

Washington Post: Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record

Boston Globe: Trump on health care: ‘Do not worry, we are in very good shape!’

NBC News: After health care loss, what’s next for a divided republican Congress?

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Listen Here: “Go Your Own Way” – Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Having come of age in the 1970s I’m always thinking about whether the music was as bad then as so many say. There was some bad; there was some good. For those who don’t think the 60s produced a few dogs, consider “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy” from 1968.

Fleetwood Mac was some of the best of 1970s. No doubt.  Rumours was of course an amazing album and “Go Your Own Way” one of the hits on it, as were “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop”, and “You Make Loving Fun,'” all released as singles.

Unfortunately ever since the 1992 presidential campaign I can’t listen to “Don’t Stop” anymore. Thanks Bill and Al.

Rumours won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978 and, though I don’t know how album sales are calculated in the digital age, it is surely still one of the  best-selling albums of all time.

The group consisted of Lindsey Buckingham (guitars, dobro, percussion, vocals); Stevie Nicks (vocals); Christine McVie (keyboards, vocals); John McVie (bass guitar); and Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion, harpsichord).

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This Day in American History: March 27, 1794 – The U.S. Government establishes a permanent navy

There’s seems to be a bit of a disagreement on this, unless you focus on the word “permanent.”

The United States Navy claims 13 October 1775 as the date of its official establishment, when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy. With the end of the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Navy was disbanded.

But…

The Act to Provide a Naval Armament, also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the United States Congress on March 27, 1794 to reactivate and establish a permanent standing naval force of the United States of America, which eventually became the present-day United States Navy.

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Super Boy Jared Kushner to the rescue

Trump son-in-law and senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner has no political or public policy experience, but who cares? He has been tapped to lead the new “American Innovation” office tasked with applying business ideas to solving America’s more intractable problems.

On the new appointment, Kushner told the Washington Post that “the government should be run like a great American company.” We hear that a lot, and for some reason it never works.

According to the article:

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.

So, here’s the point. Typically there are plenty of ideas available to address problems that can be addressed when the political will exists, unless of course the problems really are intractable and the best minds are incapable of making real progress.

But what the health care debacle should show us is that getting things done in Washington is about politics, give and take, lobbying, horse-trading and any number of things that have nothing to do with executives (usually men) who think that big balls and giving orders that are necessarily heeded are all that is required.

Politics requires politics and not the leadership of some boy who looks like he started shaving last week.

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Morning Headlines

I married the boss’s daughter

New York Times: GOP weighs less ambitious tax plan after health care loss

Chicago Tribune: Nearly 1 out of every 3 days he has been president, Trump has visited a Trump property

Washington Post: Trump taps Kushner to lead overhaul of government using business ideas

Philadelphia InquirerJared Kushner had undisclosed meeting with head of Russian bank under sanctions

Boston GlobeIn Trump country, voters know who’s to blame for the health bill debacle. And it’s not their president

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Listen Here: “Don’t Be Angry” – Nappy Brown (1955)

Don’t Be Angry” was written by  Nappy Brown, Rose Marie McCoy, and Fred Mendelsohn and published in 1955. Brown released it that year with it reaching #2 on the Billboard R&B charts and #25 on the US Best Seller list.

It was put out on Savoy Records in the U.S. “It’s Really You” (by Charles Fowler Singleton and Rose Marie McCoy) was the B-side. 

Bill Dahl at AllMusic writes this:

Nobody sounded much like Nappy Brown during the mid-’50s. Exotically rolling his consonants with sing-song impunity (allegedly, Savoy Records boss Herman Lubinsky thought Brown was singing in Yiddish), bellowing the blues with gospel-inspired ferocity, Brown rode rock & roll’s first wave for a few glorious years before his records stopped selling.

Sounds like fun while it lasted.

Sam The Man Taylor is responsible for the exquisite sax solo on this one.

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Disrespecting America’s allies for fun and profit

Was fur ein Idiot.

I’ll bet Trump’s base loves this kind of nonsense. According to the Sunday Times the president handed German Chancellor Angela Merkel “a bill for money supposedly owed to NATO when they met last weekend in Washington DC.”

The gesture was “outrageous,” the paper quoted an unnamed German minister as saying. “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” the minister is further cited as saying.

The Times reports that the amount listed was “thought to be for more than US$374 billion,” which was “calculated by adding the amounts by which Germany have fallen short on annual payments to NATO since 2002 — and adding interest.”

The point is not that Germany, and other countries, has failed to meet their spending commitments under NATO, but that Trump contorts himself to point out what a great relationship he has and wants to continue to have with Vladimir Putin, but then treats one of the United States’ key allies so disrespectfully.

How does this make sense unless Putin has pictures and all the negatives?

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