1. It’s Tuesday, September 26, 2017.
2. It’s the 140th birthday of Edmund Gwenn, best known for his portrayal of Kris Kringle in the 1947 film “Miracle on 34th Street.”
To commemorate, somebody should stand at the Macy’s in Herald Square and direct people to Bloomingdale’s. Unfortunately, you can’t send them to Gimbels – it’s long gone.
3. Trump said today he’s going to Puerto Rico next week.
I’m sure the folks there will be thrilled to see him – so long as he brings some bottles of water and other forms of help.
The problem is that the storm hit the island six days ago. Six days in which the federal government, led by Trump, seems to have sat around waiting for some guidance.
That guidance came over the weekend from, among others, Hillary Clinton. She suggests sending the military to help – it’s really good at that.
What Trump could have been doing the past few days, if he was any kind of a leader, is muster support among the American people for the folks suffering in Puerto Rico. His five predecessors directed some of their fundraising efforts toward that.
Instead, he has tweeted more than 20 times about NFL players’ actions in bringing police conduct and racial inequality to national attention. Calling them sons of bitches and saying they should be fired.
He has trashed John McCain for taking a principled stand not to deprive millions of Americans of health care.
And he decided that Puerto Rico’s debt crisis had something to do with why a hurricane hit it.
I think we’re all so desperate to help the people of Puerto Rico that even this belated stuff is better than the neglect so far.
4. If you’ve been watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s outstanding “The Vietnam War” on PBS, you know we’re up to the Nixon years.
They echo nearly a half-century later.
The war divided the country. Support for it evaporated as people began to realize what this documentary makes absolutely clear – the war was a huge mistake, compounded by the deceit of American leaders of both parties.
Johnson knew victory wasn’t at hand when he was saying it was. Nixon sabotaged peace talks in an effort to ensure his election.
And Nixon played the people who maintained their faith in the country, turning them against those who questioned the war and the conduct of the government.
If you remember the proliferation of “Love It or Leave It” stickers on Fords and Chevys in the early ‘70s, you can see where Trump and his ilk are going with this crap about the NFL players.
It will work for the Trump faithful. They still think Hillary Clinton committed a crime somehow. They still think Trump knows how to run a business.
It won’t work for too many other people.
For one thing, protesters learned something. It’s one thing to protest violence, racial injustice and unending wars. It’s another to disrespect the country.
The NFL and other athletes have wisely chosen to express their total belief in the promise of this country. They have wisely expressed their admiration for the men and women who wear the uniforms of the armed forces, and the job they do serving the nation.
They’re also not condemning the idea of police. They’re just saying that a lot of the people who wear the uniform are not a credit to themselves or their communities.
Hopefully, we’re going to avoid the kind of divide that crippled our country through the 1970s and beyond.
Although not if Trump can help it. You get the sense he’d love to channel his inner Nixon as a way to keep power.
Even Nixon loved the country. Trump loves Trump.