On Tuesday, 17 April 2018, former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away peacefully at home at the age of 92, with her husband of 73 years at her side. A few days previously, Mrs. Bush, whose heart had been failing for years, refused further medical treatment and opted for comfort care.
On 11 April 2018, Paul Ryan, 54th Speaker of the US House of Representatives, announced that he would not run for reelection in November. Ryan is not resigning, and will serve out his full term, but his political power and especially his fundraising ability, will be substantially eroded. Ryan stated as his predominant motive for the move that he wanted to spend more time with his family, particularly his three teen-aged children.
Early on Monday, April 9th, the FBI raided the Manhattan office and hotel room of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidante, Michael Cohen, known as Trump’s “fixer.” For a decade Cohen has acted as Trump’s consigliere, smoothing rough patches and paying out hush money to who knows how many of his sexual partners (Steve Bannon once characterized this as “hundreds”). Cohen, in short, knows where all the bodies are buried.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has come under heavy fire recently for alleged abuses of taxpayer money in his extravagant, sometimes paranoid, expenditures. Pruitt maintains a vast security detail of more than 20, operating on an expanded 24-hour schedule, and overtime pay for several agents has already reached the yearly cap, just four months into 2018.
In a stunning announcement from the “Winter White House” at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump has scrapped the entire Cabinet in one fell swoop. The political spring cleaning began with the Department of Veterans Affairs, where Trump had already fired Secretary David Shulkin, nominating White House doctor Ronny Jackson in his place.
April 4, 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. The much-lauded civil rights leader, whose impact on legal racial equality in the US cannot be overstated, had spent the better part of his adult life fighting for freedoms which White Americans took for granted, but which were habitually denied to Blacks.