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Photos: top left: David Maril with the late Chuck Thompson, the voice of the Orioles and Colts, the summer he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993; top right: a perspective shot of Maril at Wrigley Field; featured photo: journalist Ken Decoste with the late, great Harry Caray and Maril.

Cavalcade of Columns

Is ‘Blue Bloods’ star Tom Selleck in the running for Trump’s new FBI Director post?

Comey needed to be replaced but did not deserve such bush-league treatment from the White House

With panel to search for non-existing voter fraud in place, investigators may be named soon to prove millions of spectators were edited out of presidential inauguration photos to make crowd seem smaller

By David Maril

While wondering if Donald Trump will nominate actor Tom Selleck to be the new Director of the FBI, it is interesting to note the following:

THE PRESIDENT admits he watches a lot of TV. It would figure he has to be impressed by the job Selleck, playing Frank Regan, does as New York City Police Commissioner on “Blue Bloods”.

Selleck probably would accept the position as long as he did not have to give up making those lucrative commercials pitching reverse mortgages.

THERE'S LITTLE question James B. Comey should have been fired a long time ago as FBI Director. Although a dedicated career public service official, he displayed a lapse in judgment, talking too much publicly, in the Hillary Clinton investigation. The former FBI Director became too much of the story.

To be fair, part of this was the fault of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his boss. She expanded his authority beyond investigative duties and recused herself from responsibilities as Attorney General after the ill-advised airport meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

However, the unprofessional and clueless way Trump handled the dismissal makes the affair look suspicious. You can not help but think Trump was worried about Comey’s focus on expanding the investigation of Russia’s political meddling and possible link to his campaign.

How could anyone on Trump's team keep a straight face while saying Comey was fired because of a report filed by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein critical of his handling of the Clinton investigation?

Of course Trump then contradicted his own storyline, revealing he’d planned to fire Comey for a long time. This was obviously true from the moment Comey refused to pledge his allegiance of loyalty to Trump over dinner after being summoned to the White House.

Trump’s response to criticism of his attempt to muzzle Comey’s independence was a Nixonian reference to the dinner conversation possibly being on tape.

No matter whether you think of Comey, the classless and bush-league way he was fired is way below even this White House’s standards. Comey deserved to be told in person and not learn from TV announcements while appearing in public.

The lack of class continues even after the firing. Trump’s non-stop criticism of him "not being up to the job" and calling him a “showboat and grandstander” would draw a flag and a 100-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct even in the NFL. Oh well, it takes a showboater and grandstander to know one.

“SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” would have the most to lose if Trump follows through on his ludicrous threat to kill the daily White House press conferences. Trump insists all the misstatements and false information from his White House surrogates are because he keeps up such a whirlwind pace.

SNL comedy writers feast off the zaniness that dominates each press conference. As the show’s ratings have prospered during Trump’s presidency, the trials and tribulations of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer have become known all over the world.

It had to be a bit galling for the press secretary when Parade Magazine’s job salary listings showed Spicer earns $176,461 annually while his impersonator, Melissa McCarthy, reportedly makes $33 million.

TRUMP SEEMS TO BE DRAWN to conflicts of interest and ethical murkiness like a dog to meat scraps. His EPA administrator recently axed several environmental scientists from a key panel and plans to replace them with representatives from the industries the EPA is supposed to regulate.

This is like putting mice in to guard cheese. Having Scott Pruitt run the EPA is like the Ford Motor Company being forced to take orders from General Motors’ biggest stockholder.

WHILE THEY WON’T admit it, you can be sure many Republicans in the Senate were secretly hoping the House would not be able to pass its disjointed replacement for Obamacare. The Senate now has to deal with a controversial and difficult measure that in the end will prove costly to them in the next few elections.

How they voted from The Washington Post

If they do not pass a healthcare replacement bill, they will be criticized by their base supporters for falling short on a promise. But if they pass a bill that pleases the base, millions of Americans will lose health coverage and this will prove costly in elections.

Many Republican governors also probably have mixed feelings. If a replacement bill becomes law, they will have to deal with finding solutions in their states to helping numerous people struggling financially and unable to maintain health coverage they need.

THE PROMISES FROM GOP mouthpieces is nonstop about eliminating mandates, taking government out of our lives and restoring the freedom of choice to Americans. This is the talking point with any proposed Republican healthcare plan that is, in reality, short on coverage and high on cost.

One can only wonder what will be proposed next. Will mandatory use of seat-belts, which saves lives, be repealed? Perhaps Vice President Mike Pence, who has traditionally been a big supporter of the tobacco companies, could lead a movement to throw out all the government warnings against smoking.

EVIDENTLY THERE ARE NO similar concerns about keeping church out of government. One of Trump’s latest executive orders directs the IRS to stop investigating religious groups for getting involved in politics and campaigns.

Ironically, reports around the country indicate that a number of clergy are uneasy about this order allowing pastors and religious figures in nonprofit institutions to endorse political candidates.

AS IF THE WHITE HOUSE isn’t dysfunctional enough, Jeff Sessions, Trump’s so called Attorney General, is finding ways, in those moments he doesn’t have to recuse himself, to display his shortsightedness.

Sessions, a law-and-disorder advocate, has ordered federal prosecutors to return to the same tough policies against drug abusers that proved to be ineffective and cumbersome years ago. Evidently the jails are not filled up to Sessions’ satisfaction and he wants them restocked with lower-level non-violent criminals serving long, mandatory minimum sentences.

At the same time, the White House would like to slash the “drug czar” budget by 95 percent, dealing with the opioid crisis.

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO WASTING time and money on nonsensical obsessions, nobody can take a back seat to the Commander and Chief. Trump’s executive order appointing a biased committee of his lackeys to investigate voter fraud is laughable, even for him.

Despite no evidence of voter fraud, the committee’s task is to somehow invent a way to pretend that Trump got more popular votes than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Any day now you can also expect a blue-ribbon panel to try and prove that millions of spectators attending the presidential inauguration were edited out of media photographs so the crowd would look much smaller.

YES, ANY AMERICAN prisoner-hostage situation in North Korea is disturbing. But why would anyone who isn't either a journalist or an undercover agent-spy venture into such a treacherous, inhospitable and horrible country in the first place? It defies reason.

USUALLY, AND WITH GOOD REASON, the ever-expanding Sinclair Broadcast Group draws criticism for deficiencies in its journalism standards. However the conservative media network deserves credit for its syndicated program Full Access.

The show is hosted by Cheryl Attkisson, a veteran hard-hitting reporter who had won a number of journalism awards at CBS. She relentlessly goes after the tough stories and covers politics instead of playing it.

THE SENSELESS DEATH recently suffered by a fraternity pledge at Penn State raises the question once again of why, after decades of tragedies in frat houses and sports programs, hazing in any form still is taking place.

ANYONE WHO IS NOT a right-wing zealot must have chuckled at the news the sanctimonious Jim DeMint, formerly U.S. senator from South Carolina, was dumped as president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint, who is so far to the right on social issues he makes Sessions seem like a Socialist, quit his job in the Senate on Jan. 1, 2013, to grab the posh position as head of the conservative think tank.

When Congressmen walk away from their elected positions to a higher paying private sector job it makes you wonder what happened to their commitments and obligations to the voters who put them in office.

David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.