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Mr. Sean goes to Washingtonpolitics & government

Why Trump is so very Trump: a step-by-step analysis

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Shortly before the presidential election, I wrote if we had a Trump presidency, it would most resemble that of his fellow dark horse candidate Franklin Pierce: “Like Trump, Pierce was surrounded by chaos. (Though, unlike Trump, it wasn’t usually of his creation.)”

So far, so good.

It’s hard to remember sometimes, but from a historical standpoint Trump took office during an unusually stable moment in America’s history. We are a nation that’s fought two World Wars, suffered a handful of economic freefalls, seen our President die in office on eight occasions, had the British burn our capital, and for a time splintered apart completely.

By comparison—and this is no way ignores numerous massive problems, such as the fact you can’t refer to our nation’s infrastructure without using the word “crumbling”—America right now is a lazy summer day.

Of course, America doesn’t feel like a lazy summer day: nope, it’s the middle of winter and we’re freezing to death on the tundra, yet somehow simultaneously getting hit by a category 5 hurricane at the same moment the killer bees attack.

In what may be the biggest understatement of all time, there appear to be aspects of Donald Trump that could prove challenging to a successful presidency. Understand: most presidents have qualities or experiences that threaten their ability to lead. Pierce himself witnessed his son die in a train accident shortly before taking office and promptly went on to be a truly miserable Commander-in-Chief. However, we have also seen presidents overcome absurdly long odds to find success, as Lincoln’s struggles with depression and F.D.R.’s battle against polio didn’t stop either from being a great leader.

But if a president had depression and polio and refused to seek treatment for either condition and insisted on making fun of other people with depression and polio… well, that’s our Donald. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten prom themes for 2017

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10. At Least I Can Vote In the Next Election

9. I’ve Had My Fill of Clearasil

8. Give ’Em Enough Grope

7. Hide That Flask and Dance!

6. Journey to the Center of My Pants

5. Goodbye Textbooks! Hello Minimum Wage!

4. Fifty Shades of Bunting

3. 100 Seniors Standing Around a Ballroom Texting

2. Abstinence Makes the Hard Grow Fonder

1. You’re Not In the One Percent, So Why Even Bother
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten things Donald Trump said during his commencement speech at Liberty University

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10. “Relish the opportunity to be an outsider. You can be outside of so many things these days: a decent-paying job, the health care system,…”

9. “Betsy DeVos was going to be here to give a commencement speech, but she forgot how to read.”

8. “Liberty University ranks among the greatest institutions of higher learning, right up there with Trump University and Hogsworth.”

7. “I am amazed how many people are here today — there must be fifty or sixty million of you!”

6. “You aren’t going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you’re right. You don’t need a lecture from Washington on how to lead your lives. That’s how each and every one of you should lead your life, and I know about this stuff because I’m from Washington.”

5. “Can you keep a secret? Oh, sorry, for a second there I thought you were all Russian.”

4. “Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic. Just ask Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, or Crooked Hillary.”

3. “I’m really glad to be here today at this phenomenal evangelical Christian university. No Muslims!

2. “Can anybody tell me why the Democrats never get blocked from doing anything? — Why is it always obstruction of just us?”

1. “Today you end one chapter but you are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Now you must go forth into the world and turn your hopes and dreams into action. America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers. The future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics. The future belongs to the people who follow their hearts no matter what the critics say because they truly believe in their vision. Carry yourself with dignity and pride. The more people tell you it’s not possible, that it can’t be done, the more you should be absolutely determined to prove them wrong. And always have the courage to be yourself. You have to do what you love. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling a bit bloated, ’cause I just ate about a pound of fortune cookies!”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Vouchers and school “choice” — take a good look

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You’re probably hearing more lately about vouchers and what’s called “choice” approaches to schooling. Have your antenna up and look carefully into what these education approaches are about — and what they do to children. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Top ten least popular songs at funerals

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10. The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”

9. The Three Degrees’ “When Will I See You Again”

8. Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”

7. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”

6. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”

5. Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To”

4. Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”

3. Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy”

2. Amii Stewart’s “(You Better) Knock On Wood”

1. The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Motion pictures of everything

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My dad found an old grainy video of my brother and me when we were about 7 and 8 years old doing – what else? – some wrestling on a lawn. He had it converted from 8 mm to a DVD and titled it “Yesterday.” [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggoing parental

In honor of Mother’s Day, top ten worst pieces of advice my mother gave me

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10. When I was young, my mother said I could be anything I wanted to be and that the sky was the limit – which is why I gave up on my dream of becoming an astronaut.

9. My mother always taught me to fight fire with fire – eventually leading to my being booted off our local volunteer fire department.

8. My mother always advised me to quit while I was ahead – and to this day I’ve never won a race.

7. My mother said I should never run away from my problems, and once my problem was I was being chased by a bear.

6. My mother always told me, “You can’t blame a guy for trying,” but the police totally disagreed when they arrested me for attempted murder.

5. My mother told me that sixty was the new thirty – so now I have a one-year suspension on my driver’s license.

4. My mother always said that, when I grew up, I could be anybody I wanted to be – leading to my being arrested for identity theft.

3. My mother told me to always give 100% – which is why I nearly died at last year’s blood drive.

2. My mother said my life goal should be to light up the room wherever I go – and now I’ve been charged with arson.

1. I told my mother, “When I grow up I want to be a man,” and she replied, “Don’t be silly, you can’t do both!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddhealth & medical

Three weeks out

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Three weeks ago today my right breast and 25 of my lymph nodes were removed. Man, did it hurt. It’s getting easier, as far as the pain goes. The strangest part, physically, is that when it doesn’t hurt there is an emptiness. Having air where there used to be this part of me is a strange and sad adjustment to make. It feels ghostly, is that a word? The strangest part, emotionally, is coming to terms with that surgery being just the start.

People talk a lot about fighting. All these war references seem misplaced after a bit. You see it especially with breast cancer. We are all referred to as “warriors” pretty regularly, and we are doing battle with boobs. They make tee shirts that say: “Yes, these are fake. My real ones tried to kill me.” Some women begin to resent and hate their breasts and their bodies when they get breast cancer. I can’t relate.

I have certainly had a love/hate relationship with my body (when I was skinny I wished for curves and then when I wasn’t skinny I wasn’t happy with that either. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I realized I usually looked pretty great and needed to stop caring). It took having cancer to make me feel genuine love for my body. I didn’t get mad at my body. I didn’t feel like an angry warrior. I felt sorry. I have apologized to my self so many times since my diagnosis. I’m so sorry that I didn’t do better and know better. I’m most sorry that I didn’t love my body. I didn’t appreciate it, I insulted it, I didn’t take care of it. I’m not angry with it now. I love it now. I see it now as such a gift. Every day in this body is a gift. Some crap life lesson that we all know is true and never spend two seconds to think about until we are knee deep in the quicksand.

Apologies aren’t getting me anywhere with this body of mine, though. Not so far. And there are so many miles left to go before I rest easy. I’m maybe 20-25% there. I just did this hard thing, and all of these people showed up and fed us and cared and asked and helped. I was so grateful, and then at the same time I wanted them to stop. I wanted to remind everyone that they should maybe come next time instead, when maybe it will be worse. There is so much more to come. I now have two kinds of cancer. About 3% of women get thyroid cancer after they get breast cancer. Most of those 3% get it way after, but I couldn’t wait. I’ve never had any patience. So, this thyroid will probably be removed as well. Those appointments start soon. They want to focus on the breast first, and I have been doing the same (mentally, I mean). I am up to like 6 or 7 doctors now (including naturopath types). Last week I had four appointments in three days and afterward I just crumbled. I had started to feel a little better physically, feel like I was accomplishing something by healing from surgery, and then I realized that my sprint turned into a marathon turned into a triathlon. Is there a kind of race that you run for life?

Life is now the strangest mix of desperately trying to let myself feel joy in every possible moment, being ever diligent about my food and supplements, my doctor’s appointments, treatments, meditation and exercise, and trying to provide my family with the care and love that they need and deserve. I just keep thinking that I want more more more. More of everything. More of this exact life. I don’t think anymore about what I might have done differently. I would take more of exactly this forever.

 

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Donald Trump’s top ten favorite songs

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10. Crazy (by Patsy Cline)

9. Back in the U.S.S.R. (by The Beatles)

8. You’re So Vain (by Carly Simon)

7. Crazy (by Seal)

6. What’s New Pussy Cat? (by Tom Jones)

5. Electra Avenue (by Eddy Grant)

4. Catch a Falling Czar (by Perry Como)

3. Crazy (by Gnarls Barkley)

2. Urine My Heart (by Rod Stewart)

1. Putin on the Ritz (by Taco)
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.