If anyone had told me two decades ago that I would be admiring, let alone praising, someone with the last name of “Cheney”, I’d have said they were nuts. But that’s just the sort of uncomfortable position many progressives find themselves in these days, when contemplating the recent performance of Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of the former Vice President, vis-a-vis the actions of Donald Trump and the bastardization of the GOP.
On 12 August 2022 Salman Rushdie, 75, famed author of “The Satanic Verses”, was attacked in public as he was being introduced for a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Hadi Matar, 24, rushed the stage and flung himself on Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times in the face, neck and abdomen. Airlifted from a nearby ball field to Erie Hospital, Rushdie remains on a ventilator, unable to speak; his agent stated that he may lose an eye and has extensive liver damage, as well as severed nerves in his arm.
On Monday, 8 August 2022, FBI agents executed a legal search warrant of former US president Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida, looking for classified documents still in his possession. When leaving the White House in January 2021, Trump absconded with reams of classified material, in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the National Archives has been trying to get them back ever since. In February, 15 boxes of such papers were returned, but investigators had cause to believe this was not the extent of the purloined trove, and a legal pas-de-deux had been danced between the Justice Department and Trump lawyers for months since, with negotiations and subpoenas having little effect.
She was once the toast of Manhattan society, but the recently deceased Ivana Trump, ex-wife of the former president, now rests in her gold-tone casket at a barely marked plot overlooking the first hole at her former husband’s Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Why? The tax break, of course! The Donald (a nickname given to Trump by his erstwhile wife, and which stuck) never saw a write-off he didn’t like, or fail to grasp a grift. In burying Ivana at Bedminster, the property now qualifies as a cemetery, bringing tax relief galore. New Jersey’s tax code exempts all cemetery land from all taxes, rates, and assessments, and includes no minimum on occupancy, so one human remain would suffice (though allegedly plans are in the works to dump the entire family there in due “course”). For now, Ivana’s grave is graced with a simple plaque bearing just her name, and the dates of her birth and death.
On Saturday, 30 July 2022, two actresses whose work is embedded in American nostalgia took leave of this life: Nichelle Nichols, 89, who played Lieutenant Uhura on the 1960’s sci-fi series “Star Trek”, reprising the role in several feature films; and Pat Carroll, 95, a staple of television for decades with supporting and guest roles on sitcoms and game shows, most likely known to more modern audiences as the voice of Ursula in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Torrential rains drenching eastern Kentucky in late July led to massive flooding on July 28, 2022, particularly of isolated rural communities in the poorest areas of Appalachia, where rivers and creeks swelled to overflow their banks by as much as 20 feet, filling the hollows and washing away some homes and businesses, inundating others in feet of standing water. Hardest-hit areas received 8-10 inches of rainfall within 48 hours. As of this writing (July 31) 26 are dead and dozens more still missing, while continued rain forecasts imperil search efforts and threaten to exacerbate an already tragic situation. Among the dead are four young siblings from Montgomery, Kentucky: Maddison, Riley, Nevaeh and Chance Noble, aged 2 to 8, torn from their parent’s arms by the current’s grip as the family’s mobile home was swept away.