Philly Accountant Claims Donald Trump Hat Got Him Kicked Out of a Bar

Left: Donald Trump shows off his Make America Great Again hat. (Wikimedia Commons) Right: The bar in question. (Google Maps)

Left: Donald Trump shows off his Make America Great Again hat. (Wikimedia Commons) Right: The bar in question. (Google Maps)

Back on January 28th, Philadelphia resident Gregory Piatek went to New York City to hang out with some friends and pay a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Piatek and company wound up at The Happiest Hour, a bar in the Village, for some food and drinks. But there was a problem: He claims the bartenders wouldn’t serve him because he was wearing one of those Donald Trump hats that reads make america great again. Read more »

Nooooo: Trump’s Hiring Freeze Shut Down the Best Bathroom in the City for Runners

I’ve fallen off a bit recently, but I do like to run. And one of my favorite runs is the Ben Franklin Bridge. It’s challenging. It’s pretty. And I get a hell of a thrill every time I run to Camden and back.

However, it’s also long. Running from my place to Camden and back takes me a while, especially as I get older and my running turns more into plodding. And sometimes I have to use the bathroom by the end of my run.

Fortunately, this wasn’t a big deal. There was an excellent bathroom open, year-round, at the corner of 5th and Chestnut streets. The Independence Mall bathroom was generally pretty clean, too (uh, not that I really care). And in the summer months there was a water fountain right outside, too, which was also helpful after a long run.

Anyway, now that bathroom is gone — thanks to Donald Trump. Read more »

Off the Cuff: March 2017

While I never supported Donald Trump in the last election, I felt strongly that once he was in office, he should be given a chance. The American people had elected him, and I assumed it would take some time — perhaps as much as a year — to understand just what kind of president Trump might be. Maybe he would surprise us — would grow into being presidential and, more to the point, would get some important things done. But I can’t wait a year, because Donald Trump — in the unilateral, crude and utterly disastrous way he has started his presidency — has already flunked out. And my great fear is that he will take the country down with him.

What I’m trying to do at this point is put my finger on just what’s wrong with Trump. It’s clear that his worst sides, on full display when he was running, are showing up in spades now. And I’m beginning to understand just how wrong it was to think that Trump might change when he assumed the Oval Office.

In The Making of Donald Trump, published in August, David Cay Johnston paints a brutal picture of Trump’s character. Johnston met him in 1988, as an Inquirer reporter covering Atlantic City; he quickly baited the casino mogul by saying something erroneous about craps to test Trump’s knowledge. The future president immediately embraced Johnston’s false fact, which taught the writer something fundamental, he told an interviewer: “Donald doesn’t know anything.”

And he doesn’t care to learn. At one of the presidential debates during the campaign, Trump responded to a question about the nuclear triad — which refers to our ability to launch a nuclear bomb in one of three ways, from a submarine missile, a land-based missile or a plane — with such gobbledygook that it was obvious he had no idea what the nuclear triad is. But here’s what’s really frightening about that: Trump had botched that very same question four months earlier, yet clearly saw no need to get up to speed on an elementary understanding of our national defense.

Nothing has changed. Trump reads little, has no real interest in policy, and can’t be bothered with the silly nuances of how the world, or even his own country, operates. Those things — which other world leaders might believe are crucial to doing their jobs — are just a waste of his time.

What rules the President’s mind, then? It’s simple. Winning, taken to the nth degree. That’s what all the bombast is about, and the late-night tweets, and the demeaning of the press and judges and women and anyone else who he believes stands in his way. Donald has to beat everyone. He views the world as a zero-sum game with him on top.

Suddenly it becomes pretty easy to understand Trump in a truly frightening way, and to see why he has already made a mess of his presidency. Author Johnston has cut to the bottom line: “[Trump] is a bully. He is someone who believes that whatever he thinks is in his interest in the moment is in the national interest.” What’s more, Trump sees no need to follow anybody’s advice. “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain,” he likes to brag.

So here we are. I was hoping, at least, that the importance of becoming president — the weight of the office itself — would have a sobering effect on Mr. Trump. I was wrong!

There’s a Pro-Trump Rally on Saturday in the Suburbs

Neshaminy State Park

The view of the Philadelphia skyline (c’mon, look closely, you can see it in there) from Neshaminy State Park | Photo: Dan McQuade

Are you a fan of Donald Trump? On Saturday, you can go out and show it.

A group called People4Trump is holding a rally at Neshaminy State Park to show support for President Trump’s policies. People4Trump is run by Jim Worthington, the Newtown Aquatic Club owner who hosted a teen-heavy Trump rally at his gym in October. Read more »

Did Trump Imply Threats to Jewish Centers Were Fake?

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

In a confusing remark at a White House meeting on Tuesday with the attorneys general of several states — including new Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro — President Trump seemingly implied that a troubling series of threats against Jewish community centers around the country might not be legitimate.

“He just said, ‘Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people — or to make others — look bad,’ and he used the word ‘reverse’ I would say two to three times in his comments,” Shapiro said, according to BuzzFeed. “He did correctly say at the top that it was reprehensible.” Read more »

How Trump’s Election May Have Changed the Future of Philly Politics

Illustration by Gluekit (protesters: iStock; City Hall: C. Smyth/Visit Philadlephia)

Illustration by Gluekit (protesters: iStock; City Hall: C. Smyth/Visit Philadlephia)

Something is happening in this city.

For years, many Philadelphians took democracy for granted. A pathetic 27 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2015 primary race. Only 89,000 people — out of the city’s roughly 1.2 million voting-age citizens — picked our current district attorney. The fact that voters don’t even have a choice in many City Council and state legislative races, thanks to one-party rule, has long been met with a shrug. Then came November 8th. Now, protests spontaneously break out in the streets and at the airport. Every Tuesday, a group founded by seven local women airs grievances outside Senator Pat Toomey’s Center City office. If that doesn’t convince you the wind may be blowing in a different direction, consider the fact that 800 people packed a downtown church in January to talk about gerrymandering. Gerrymandering! Read more »

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