Trump administration fails the empathy test
On Friday, the seven Republican members of the Suffolk County Legislature were slated to deliver lunch to two shifts of workers at Long Island MacArthur Airport who were laboring without pay since the federal government shutdown began right before Christmas.
If only some of their Republican colleagues in Washington could muster some semblance of that empathy.
Prior to Friday’s announcement that a deal had been struck to end the shutdown, the latest tone-deaf response to the mounting struggles of 800,000 federal employees — some furloughed, some still on the job, all unpaid — came from chronically clueless Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Responding to reports of workers seeking help at food banks, Ross said, “I really don’t understand why.” They can get loans, he said, dismissing the interest they’d have to pay as “a little bit.” All in all, he blustered, “There really is not a good excuse why there really should be a liquidity crisis.”
Spoken like a billionaire unaware that 20 percent of Americans in a Fox News poll this week said they’d have trouble paying bills after one missed paycheck, and 54 percent said they’d have trouble after missing two. On Friday, federal workers missed their second check.
After Ross’ comments, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, referred to those still on the job as “volunteering” and said they did so because they believe in Trump.
Earlier this week, presidential daughter-in-law and campaign adviser Lara Trump said workers were experiencing “a little bit of pain” but the shutdown “is so much bigger than any one person.”
Ross, who owns an estate in one of the toniest parts of Southampton, should join Suffolk’s lawmakers in taking lunch to MacArthur’s workers and listening to their stories, so he can feel the pain he doesn’t acknowledge being inflicted on people he doesn’t understand.
Really, Rudy? Giuliani’s credibility is gone for good
In just one week, Rudy Giuliani, acting as President Donald Trump’s lawyer, changed previous no-collusion denials to admit the 2016 Trump campaign might have colluded, backtracked from that, admitted Trump was negotiating a Moscow tower through the last days of a campaign in which he vociferously denied any Moscow deals, dismissed the notion there would’ve been anything wrong with Trump possibly directing lawyer Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony and suggested he knew Trump didn’t urge Cohen to lie because “I heard the tapes.”
“I shouldn’t have said tapes,” he said later.
Cry not for him, but for all those who cheered his inauguration as New York’s 107th mayor 25 years ago this month and applauded his ensuing victory against crime.
This is the way a man’s credibility ends — not with a bang, but a whimper.
— New York Daily News