Cognoscenti Cognoscenti

Support the news

The Week That Was: Trump Reaches 100, Bruins Bust, A Shadier Common And More

Saturday marks Trump's 100th day; Bruins get knocked out of the playoffs; and a new building could cast a long shadow on Boston Common. That and more from Tom Keane's weekly round-up of the top news stories.  Pictured: Melania Trump waves as she and President Trump watch Argentine President depart from the White House on Thursday, April 27, 2017. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
Saturday marks Trump's 100th day; Bruins get knocked out of the playoffs; and a new building could cast a long shadow on Boston Common. That and more from Tom Keane's weekly round-up of the top news stories. Pictured: Melania Trump waves as she and President Trump watch Argentine President depart from the White House on Thursday, April 27, 2017. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Editor's Note: Every Friday, Tom Keane offers up assorted observations, conundra and miscellanea about the week that was. Here's his round-up for the week ending April 28, 2017.


It was the week when we finally got to day 100 of the Trump presidency, on Saturday. Only 1,362 days to go!

Is Trump going soft? This week the president reneged on two key campaign promises, agreeing to hold off on building a border wall in order to get a budget passed and also agreeing with Mexico and Canada to keep NAFTA in place. But are Trump supporters worried? Not at all — a new poll shows only 2 percent regret voting for him. Why? Maybe it’s because his tweets are still as outrageous as ever.

The Bard and the president. Speaking of tweets, Trump was furious when a San Francisco judge this week blocked his attempt to withhold federal dollars from so-called “sanctuary cities.” “See you in the Supreme Court!” he tweeted. Maybe. He made the same promise when courts blocked his immigration ban. Since then, nothing much has happened. I’m starting to think these executive orders are a lot like tweets — “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Keep your money, please. Trump also this week unveiled a tax cut plan that would increase the deficit by $5.5 trillion over 10 years. Hmm. How politics has changed. I remember the days when it was Republicans who were the deficit hawks while Democrats were the blithe big spenders. When, exactly, was that, you ask? Oh yeah. Last year.

We’re all winners! To no one’s surprise, the Boston Bruins lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And let’s face it: They never should have been there in the first place. It’s a big problem facing the National Hockey League. More than 50 percent of the teams (16 out of 30) make the playoffs. Rather than a grownup sports league, the NHL is more like a Tiny Tots league, where there are no losers and every player receives a “participation trophy.”

Tom Keane: "The NHL is more like a Tiny Tots league, where there are no losers and every player receives a 'participation trophy.'” Pictured: Boston Bruins players after they lost 3-2 against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, April 23, 2017. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Tom Keane: "The NHL is more like a Tiny Tots league, where there are no losers and every player receives a 'participation trophy.'” Pictured: Boston Bruins players after they lost 3-2 against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, April 23, 2017. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Re-definition. The dictionary defines “diversity” as “different.” But judging from efforts on college campuses across the nation to stop conservatives from speaking — including this week’s ban of Ann Coulter from the University of California Berkeley — “diversity” actually means “stuff I agree with.”

Travelin’ man. Scott Brown’s nomination to be ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa was enthusiastically endorsed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Jeanne Shaheen. Warren originally beat Brown in Massachusetts in 2012. Then Brown moved to New Hampshire to challenge Shaheen, who also beat him in 2014. The old cliché is, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Even better, though, is to keep your enemies half a world away.

Shady dealings. In an epic session this week, Boston city councilors debated and approved a measure to allow a new building to cast early-morning shadows on the Boston Common. Whether you agree with the council’s decision or not, here’s what’s outrageous: Now the city must seek approval from the state Legislature. Why? Because state law actually controls what Boston can do with its parks. Apparently, Boston — and only Boston — can’t be trusted to govern itself.

According to the developer, here are the proposed tower's longest duration shadow impacts on the Boston Common, left, and the Public Garden. (Courtesy Millennium Partners)
According to the developer, here are the proposed tower's longest duration shadow impacts on the Boston Common, left, and the Public Garden. (Courtesy Millennium Partners)

Don’t they have anything better to do? Massachusetts regulators cited a Target store in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood for selling beer too cheaply. Really and truly. The state actually has pricing guidelines for liquor. Your government at work: Making sure we pay high prices.

How to lose friends and dishearten people. The Massachusetts Democratic party debated a resolution denouncing Israel's settlements in the West Bank until saner heads persuaded members that (a) they know absolutely nothing about foreign affairs and (b) the last thing the party needs (after having already lost white, blue-collar workers) is to alienate yet another longstanding and key group of voters.

We like picking on you because you’re easy to pick on. And finally, the Massachusetts Legislature is about to pass a law to prevent welfare recipients from using their benefits to buy recreational marijuana. Right now, those on welfare are also banned from using benefits to buy booze, pornography, cigarettes or lottery tickets. It’s an important message: If you’re poor, you’re not allowed to have fun.

Related:

Tom Keane Twitter Cognoscenti contributor
Tom Keane is a Boston-based writer.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news