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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

There’s little difference between Trump working and being on vacation

Bannon forced the issue to jump off the president’s sinking ship

Democrats are relying too much on Trump’s ineptitude to be enough to regain majority status

By David Maril

While wondering how long it will it take for Donald Trump to claim his 17-day vacation was the most work-oriented and productive presidential vacation since George Washington was in office, it’s interesting to note the following.

YOU CAN BE CERTAIN that Stephen K. Bannon wanted out as the president’s chief strategist and set in motion himself the process that led to his departure from the White House on Aug. 18th.To even think he was outmaneuvered by Trump and his stooge presidential inner circle, is not giving this brilliant, egotistical fascist the credit he deserves for self-preservation.

Bannon is many things but he isn’t a fool. He could see, even if he postponed his firing, he was going to be butting heads with John F. Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff.

Kelly is inthe process of limiting access to Trump and attempting to establish a disciplined system of order and etiquette in the White House. This is exactly the opposite type of environment Bannon, anything but a team player,thrives under. Bannon’sfreedom to leak information that boosts his own personal stature, and backstab cabinet members and other insiders, would have been curtailed.

But even more importantly, Bannon could see that the Trump presidency is going nowhere and on the verge of collapse. If the investigations into Russian meddling aren’t a big enough detriment to the president’s so-called big promises to restore America’s greatness, he has lost all of his credibility and influence because of his own unforced errors.

It has become increasingly apparent to 70 percent of the voting public that Trump’s lack of ethics, honor, etiquette, character, trustworthiness and decency make him unfit to hold office.

Bannon wanted to get off the sinking White House ship as quickly as possible before it crashes into the iceberg of reality.

Does anyone actually believe that Bannon was caught off guard making controversial media comments about Trump’s polices? He knew if he was critical enough of the president, and also kept building up his own importance, it would be too much for the ego-driven Trump to tolerate.

Now, Bannon can rejoin the populist, rightwing nationalist media Breitbart news network. He can promote whatever serves his self-interests and political agenda.

Bannon will revel in being free to attack all of his enemies inside the White House and government.

When the Trump presidency does collapse, or fails to get anything accomplished, Bannon will claim that after he left everything fell apart.

I’M NO FAN OF TRUMP, but I don’t think he is a racist. To me, all of his crass, hurtful, ill-advised comments are more a case of being completely self-centered and only concerned about what seems to be expedient to him over the short-term.

He will do anything or say anything, even if it is a contradiction to something he stated the day before, if he thinks it will benefit him. And if you cross him, pointing out one of his factually incorrect statements, he will become obsessed with verbal payback, ranting in a reckless manner that often is demeaning to what this country stands for.

If something succeeds, he is obsessed with taking credit, even if he had nothing to do with it. He has no interest in fulfilling his responsibility of being president of the entire country. His focus is energizing his narrow, dedicated base and drawing their adulation.

When he is under heavy criticism that he can not answer, he turns back to the past and begins boasting about his electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton. It’s only a matter of time before visitors who have dinner with Trump at the White House will be subjected to watching an election highlight film of his presidential victory while dining.

The only thing he enjoys almost as much as taking credit for something he had nothing to do with is shifting into scapegoat mode. Nobody in the history of U.S. presidents was ever quicker than Trump in affixing blame and taking cheap shots at decent people.

IT’S HUMOROUS THE WAY Trump, who probably believes the United States didn’t exist until the day he was born, attempts to make a case that all of these Confederate statues are such an important part of the country’s history.

The truth is most were created in the 20th Century, long after the last battle of the Civil War, and were part of a racist political effort to fight the Civil Rights movement.

While it’s fair to make a case that many of these statues are part of our political and cultural history, they should be displayed in history museums, with responsible and accurate labeling and signage that puts what they represent in an accurate context.

To showcase these statues in prominent places on public grounds as tributes, celebrating what these war figures represented, is irresponsible and hateful.

WHY IS THERE such a rush to dedicate statues and name streets and highways after celebrity individuals?

In Boston, the current owner of the Red Sox is eager to take Tom Yawkey’s name off the plaza street alongside the team’s ballpark. Yawkey owned the team for several decades and, among other things, made certain the Red Sox were the last team in the American League to integrate and have black players on the active roster.

Although Yawkey’s foundation has supported numerous charitable causes in the Boston area, his reputation will forever be sullied by his refusal to sign Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, two of baseball’s all-time greats.

John Henry, the current team owner, has a legitimate point questioning the merits of having the road bear Yawkey’s name.

However, his eagerness to rename the road after David Ortiz, a player who recently retired, seems pointless. These types of naming decisions should be done carefully, with ample discussion time.

What’s the big rush?

YOU CAN’T MAKE STUFF UP LIKE Trump boasting he is the most presidential president since Abraham Lincoln.

Can you picture Lincoln addressing the Boy Scouts talking politics and bringing up inappropriate subjects?

Or how about addressing police and encouraging them to rough up arrested suspects?

Or Lincoln whining about the filibustering being responsible for the healthcare replacement rejection vote when it was not even part of the process?

How long will it take Trump to try and replace Lincoln’s face on $5 bills with his own?

MEANWHILE, WITH THE EXCEPTION of bashing Trump, there’s very little productive or constructive news taking place on the Democrats’ side.

Hillary Clinton’s new excuse book about how she lost the election to the worst president in our nation’s history, entitled“What Happened,” is coming out.

A better, more fitting title would have been her favorite Benghazi investigation quote, “What Difference Does It Make?”

THE WORST TITLE or theme, however, is what the Democrats came up with to turn the 2018 Congressional elections around and revitalize the base.

If it wasn’t so pathetic and the Trump presidency so embarrassing, new DNC chairman Tom Perez would draw laughter when he brags about the party’s new “A Better Deal” campaign slogan.

Wow, that should really fire everyone up,

With that type of bland, mediocre thinking, it’s surprising they didn’t come up with “Same Old Song And Dance.”

Or, even better, “Tell Us What You Want Us to Promise.”

I am half expecting to hear of a Nancy Pelosi autobiography: “We Have To Pass It So We Know What's In The Bill”.

Where’s the leadership candidate who displays statesmanship while combining vision with workable solutions?

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.