Donald J. Trump Posts

God’s Hot Mess

I think about obituaries more than many in my wide-circle of friends do.

This isn’t some age-oriented obsession, I’ve collected obits for years. People mail them to me from all over. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that when I learned that Reince Priebus had been fired, the first thing I thought about was how his obit would read: “Shortest serving Chief of Staff in White House history.” read more

Oh Brothers, Where Art Thou?


My sister has breast cancer.

While Republicans were meeting in closed door sessions with Speaker Ryan and Donald Trump, trying to figure out a way to gut health care for Americans, my sister was undergoing the genetic testing for the BRCA gene. The test costs $4,000. We aren’t sure yet if her insurance will cover the test or not.

We need the answer to the test because my aunt and my uncle have had breast cancer. Since they are siblings that throws my sister into the high risk category for the BRCA. If her insurance pays for the test, and the test confirms the family for BRCA, that affects me, my brother, all of our children and our cousins and their children. read more

About Hillbilly Elegy & Those Who Champion Us

Photo by Sue Counts

Photo by Sue Counts

I’ve been reading the book that everyone was talking about six months ago – Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. It has been touted as an insightful book about Appalachia and more specifically about the people who voted Donald Trump into office.

It’s not really either of those things. When Vance says he’s from Appalachia what he means is that his people are from Kentucky, which is unquestionably Appalachia. But he grew up in Ohio, which to people who are Appalachian, not Appalachia. read more


Crossville. 2011 106It’s the time now when I have finished one book and about to get started on another. It’s time for resetting. A time where I prepare for book tour. This last book in the Appalachian series will include a talk/presentation for ancestry buffs, so I’m working on that.

But it also the time I set aside for reading, replenishing, thinking, filling myself up.

I get out of the house more. I’ll be meeting with Sarah TheBarge in Portland next week for a girlfriend get-together. I am very excited about her upcoming book WELL, about her work in Togo. I’ll let you know when it’s out. read more

An American Myth: Not Always a Peaceful Transition of Power


Editor’s Note: For sometime now I have asked (begged) Tim to write for the blog. The following is his Epiphany gift to me. Tim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Oregon State University and a Masters in History from Washington State University. He is a James Madison Fellow and has taught public school for going on 34 years now. He is highly regarded among students as the hardest teacher they ever had but the most lenient, which means he’s tough but takes late work up, something I, a journalist/writer, rarely do.  We are polar opposites in many ways, which brings me to the title of this blog. Tim wanted it to be This Ship of State is Not Safe. I told him it needed to be less literary and more direct. We argued. Then we compromised. I am the editor after all, so that’s how it should be. All that to say, this is worthy read. Tim has been telling me for months that Jackson was a scoundrel worse than Trump. I have been telling him for months, who cares? I didn’t know Jackson. Trump is the one I’m worried about. Our household is a lot of fun.  Dinner conversations always enlightening.  read more