Editorial: State of the union on April Fools’

  • Gov. Meldrim Thomson addresses lawmakers in Concord in this 1979 file photo. A group of Republican state senators want to create a commission to promote the building of a statue of Thomson on the State House campus. AP

Sunday, April 01, 2018

We know it’s April Fools Day, but these aren’t jokes.

– Donald Trump is America’s president. The joke is on us.

– As of this writing, there have been 17 school shootings in 2018 in which someone was injured or killed. New Hampshire’s Legislature has failed to take a single step towards limiting access to firearms for people who harbor murderous intent.

– According to the Deloitte consulting firm, 80 percent of American households saw their financial situation deteriorate over the past decade. The cost of basic necessities exceeds the income of the 20 percent at the bottom of the economic ladder.

– Meldrim Thomson Jr. was New Hampshire’s governor from 1973 through 1979. Thomson wanted to arm the state’s national guard with nuclear weapons, and he carried out a running feud with the states of Maine and Massachusetts, oversaw the reinstatement of the state’s death penalty and ordered the flag over the capitol flown at half-staff on Good Friday. A group of Republican state senators want to create a commission to promote the erection of a statue of Thomson on the State House campus. The statue’s base is to bear two Thomson quotes, “Low taxes are the result of low spending,” and “Axe the tax.”

– New Hampshire is suffering from a severe shortage of affordable housing. Ben Carson, head of the nation’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency charged with addressing the shelter needs of the poor, paid $4.375 million for his house in Palm Beach, Fla. Carson’s wife, Candy, in overseeing the refurnishing of Carson’s HUD office, ordered a $31,000 dining room set, an order that was subsequently canceled.

– Porn star Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, in a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, produced by former Monitor reporter Andy Court, said that in a 2006 hotel room encounter, she spanked Donald Trump with a magazine that had the future president’s face on its cover.

– EPA chief Scott Pruitt demands round-the-clock protection from a dozen Secret Service agents, presumably out of fear that someone who cares about the environment might try to kill him.

– Mick Mulvaney, the head of both the Office of Management and Budget and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is about to take over much of the Treasury Department’s authority to set tax rules. Mulvaney says he makes decisions using insights gained from Trump’s speeches.

– The Trump administration has proposed replacing half the financial assistance given families under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with boxes filled with surplus government food.

– New Hampshire’s Legislature wants to convince young college graduates to remain in the state. It also wants to make it much harder for college students to vote.

– Lawmakers, who sorely underfund public schools, are debating whether to redirect state money from what some call “government schools” to private schools, including institutions with a religious affiliation.

– President Trump, in throwing his weight behind a proposal to arm school teachers, said “We need to let people know, you come into our schools you’re gonna be dead.”