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Gene Lyons

Trump won't testify

Spare us the interviews with Rudy Giuliani and the endless debates among cable TV lawyers about the terms and conditions of Donald Trump's testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Soccer as life

I suppose that if Ireland had played in the recent World Cup, I'd have cheered them on. As a child, I was taught to be Irish before American, although nobody saw those as conflicting identities.
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Trump takeover

How long do you suppose, before the initial "R" signifying "Republican" is also understood to mean "Russian?"

Outmatched

It's almost proverbial to say that every bully is a coward at heart. But that's wishful thinking. In politics, many strongmen are like Vladimir Putin: ruthless, cunning and sadistic. As the world witnessed in Helsinki, a posturing blowhard like Donald Trump is simply no match for the Russian dictator.

Soccer and the world

As I write, the first of two World Cup semifinal games, Belgium vs. France, is set to kick off in Moscow, and as soon as this column is finished and filed I'll be enjoying the spectacle on TV. Largely for the sake of my old friend Alain in Montpellier, I'll be pulling hard for France.

Minority rule

Assuming that the White House errs on the side of sanity, Democrats may be unable to prevent President Trump’s Supreme Court pick from being confirmed.

Sociopath-in-chief

Sociopaths live as permanent imposters. They function largely by imitating the behavior of others. Amoral and utterly lacking in normal emotional bonds, such individuals know right from wrong, but just don't give a damn. Their world divides into user and used; morality consists of fear of getting caught. And whatever happens, somebody else is always to blame.

Trump doctrine

Let's face it: President Trump enjoys hurting and humiliating people, and that's the thing some of his loudest supporters like about him. Making women and children cry makes him feel manly and powerful. The more defenseless, the better. He particularly enjoys punishing racial minorities.

Him, again

Now that President Trump has brought us peace in our time, can we all get back to stoning Bill Clinton? Because no Christian doctrine is so universally ignored among the influential tribe of Pundit-Americans as Jesus' admonition against sexual self-righteousness: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (John 8:7)

Above the law

So this is what Republican "conservatives" prating about limited government have brought us: an authoritarian cult of personality, the braggart crybaby in the White House insisting he's above the law.
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On Philip Roth

The recent death of Philip Roth, America's greatest living novelist, came as shock. Although he was 85, and had written movingly of his failing health, the strength of his voice never faltered. "Old age isn't a battle," Roth wrote in his 2007 novel "Everyman." "Old age is a massacre."

Like wrestling

So what's it going to be, America: a democratic republic, or Trumpistan? A nation governed by the rule of law, or an oversized kleptocracy, whose maximum leader uses the decayed shell of government to punish his political enemies and reward friends and family?

Talking baseball

"God bless America!" I exclaimed to nobody, as the dog and cat watching the Red Sox game with me were napping.

Trump under oath? No.

The ongoing made-for-TV spectacle of the Trump administration has more shocks and plot reverses than the most elaborate professional wrestling extravaganza.
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Home on the range

Another spring, another catastrophic wildfire season in the high plains. This year it was Oklahoma, where wind-driven flames consumed over 350,000 acres of pasture, killing thousands of cows, destroying barns, homes and fences.

Trump train derailed

So here's my question: If Trump's going to make America great again, when was America last great? And what was so great about it?

Trump and Comey

In the Bizarro World of the Trump administration, it's only fitting that the president serves as publicity director for James Comey's big book tour. (In the old Superman comics, Bizarro World was an upside-down reality where wickedness was virtue and vice versa.) Supposedly, Trump's stomping around the White House and various golf courses red-faced with anger, emitting smoke from his ears.

On the attack

"Happiness," wrote Jonathan Swift in 1704, "is a perpetual Possession of being well Deceived." If so, the United States under the blundering misrule of Donald J. Trump should be the happiest nation on earth.

No clue

So here's my question: If you're all about personal privacy, why are you on Facebook to begin with? Neither Cambridge Analytica nor any other internet marketing firm has any information about you that you didn't give away.

Perilous times

Should history record the sudden collapse of American democracy, it will be illustrated by CNN screenshots of Stormy Daniels strapped to a lie detector. You know, that staged photo of the porn actress in a tight yellow T-shirt with her preposterous fake breasts that the TV networks couldn't show often enough before her underwhelming "60 Minutes" interview on CBS.
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