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A reader asked on social media over the weekend for a column of arrows to encapsulate all these madly moving targets.

I replied that I’d oblige on Tuesday, and yet I deliver a day late. I was forced by circumstance to focus Tuesday’s column entirely on the “****hole” business.

The Trumpian news cycle requires flexibility.

Donald Trump — His, so far, is the presidency of a value-added stock market and a devalued culture, of an improved equity position and misplaced moral compass, of happy news in the short term and dire news in the long. The stock market fluctuates, but the culture erodes. Money burns a hole in the pocket, but character hangs around and defines.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton — He’s the son Trump never had.

The news media — See The Post, a new movie. The hard work, the brave pursuit of truth, the standing up to political power, the persistence in the face of political ridicule and economic peril — they’re as prevalent now, and in some cases more daunting now, and at least as important now, as in the early 1970s.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack — Taking the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee is to choose a life of negative numbers, strife and threats of government shutdown in service to personal ego and the burning need to be important. That’s especially the case with one who is humility-depraved … uh, maybe I mean deprived.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson — He’s been around the block. He knows a right-wing threat when he sees her. He’s cutting Medicaid by throwing people off. He’s trimming his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. He’s reminding everyone on Twitter that he ended Medicaid for Planned Parenthood. He’s celebrating that the Trump administration will let him add a work requirement for the Medicaid-expansion population. He’s open-carrying a semiautomatic rifle. Just kidding on that last one. Which is nothing to kid about.

U.S. Rep. French Hill — That’s unless state Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock announced against him since I typed this, in which case you should flip the arrow.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders — I know she’s telling brazen falsehoods daily. I know that no one made her take this apologist’s job for the madman. I know history will treat her poorly. But, I’m telling you, just showing up every day to deny with a straight face whatever fresh evidence of instability the guy tweeted only hours before … it takes some spunk, nerve, guts, toughness. And it turns out to be a good job for one born with dad’s glibness, mom’s scorn and the shoulder-boulder bequeathed by both. The book contract and TV deal with Fox ought to be bountiful. She’ll have her own Ramada Inn-looking house next to daddy’s on the Redneck Riviera soon enough.

National Democrats— They think they can take back the House this year with Trump disdain added to the identity-politics coalition of women, gays, liberals, blacks and other minorities. And they may be right in the short term. But real and lasting growth as a party, producing something self-sustaining rather than wholly dependent on a disastrous Republican presidency, will require some kind of evidence of actual caring about, and clear policies designed to help, white working people.

Oprah — She might be an answer for Democrats. A strong conventional candidate from the political class, capturing the mood and connecting widely, would be infinitely better. But the national Democratic political class is devoid of freshness or talent.

Arkansas Democrats — They won’t be fully competitive again for a generation, but they must start somewhere and are doing so. Their new young chairman, farmer Michael John Gray, understands that they must blend Trump-resistance with new young candidates with new ideas that can connect with white rural conservatives. He’s at work on a set of policy goals designed to widen roads, improve early childhood education and enhance health-care quality and access for salt-of-the-earth country folks who are still enamored of Trump’s populist talk and remain alienated from national Democrats with their cultural liberalism that defies everything the preacher says at church on Sunday.

Chad Morris — He’s still unbeaten as Razorback football coach. He seems less a used-car salesman than sales manager for a new-car dealership. He’s saying these new models will be razor-fast and blow holes in the wind in the left lane with the hammer down. But the proof will be in the driving. Sales managers once touted the Edsel, you know.

John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, was inducted into the Arkansas Writers’ Hall of Fame in 2014. Email him at Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.

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  • Dontsufferfools
    January 17, 2018 at 7:47 a.m.

    After reading Fire and Fury, I'm starting to feel sorry for Trump. He clearly didn't intend to be president. He's a Cleveland Browns fan/armchair quarterback who shouted too loud one too many times and ended getting thrust in the game, where he clearly doesn't belong and can't perform. His offensive line consists of Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, that perpetually perplexed Tucker guy and Sarah Huckabee, and only one of them can block.

  • WhododueDiligence
    January 17, 2018 at 8:17 a.m.

    Yes, DSF, Sarah is an excellent blocker. And she can trash-talk with the best of them.

  • TexBack
    January 17, 2018 at 8:50 a.m.

    Have to agree somewhat on Trump’s negative impact on our moral culture code. But after only one year he has proven to be the best policy president in my 60 years on this planet. Reagan had great ideas, but was stifiled by a socialist legislature.

    But back to the moral code. We know a Clinton will lie when the truth would do. So I explained to my children that Trump’s bad behavior can be fixed. Hillary’s deceipt and dishonesty goes clean to the bone. Trump ain’t from Arkansas. But his unfiltered message and patriotic policies are blessings that give this Arkansan hope for the first time in my life. And isn’t it ironic that his liberal opposition from Hollywood and the media are the ones with true moral decay. #MeToo.

    But let’s not let the truth blemish a good editorial.

  • GeneralMac
    January 17, 2018 at 9:47 a.m.

    JB says Tom Cotton is the son Trump never had.

    I'll take Tom Cotton over Trayvon Martin any day !

  • mozarky2
    January 17, 2018 at 10:11 a.m.

    Arrows up for blacks and Hispanics, enjoying their best unemployment #'s in history!
    Who knows, it might even turn them into Trump voters!

  • drs01
    January 17, 2018 at 11:05 a.m.

    JB continues to misplace his moral compass. Is Trump any worse than Bill Clinton (king of the Oral Office) who was defended by another cheater from Arkansas in the US Senate, or even FDR who JB cited in his recent column as saying that the presidency is the moral authority,. Meanwhile, FDR was screwing his secretary. Or BHO who will be remembered as the racist president whose first official public TV appearance judged a white cop guilty in a case involving a black professor even before he knew all the facts.
    Obama would later make the same mistake twice. Moral culture??? Let's try to find one to cast the first stone.

  • 3WorldState1
    January 17, 2018 at 11:39 a.m.

    Best Policy President ever? Good one. My guess is Fox and Rush Limbaugh told him that.
    We know a Clinton will lie when the truth would do. Trump with over 2000 lies in first year. But whatever. I didn't care for Hillary. But she didn't lie 5 times a day. And she isnt a complete moron.

  • Slak
    January 17, 2018 at 12:32 p.m.

    LOL, yes, 3WS, no one can survive such a long record of evil-doing and be a moron. The Clintons are Lex Luther-class criminal genius. Hillary is the Red Queen of f'king the law into serving her purpose.

  • mozarky2
    January 17, 2018 at 1:11 p.m.

    Jen Kerns, in The Hill (excerpt):
    His list of female appointees is long: Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations (not only a woman but also child of Indian American Sikh immigrants); Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation; Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Dr. Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force; Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary; Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President; Linda McMahon, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education; Jovita Carranza, U.S. Treasurer (also a minority and first-generation Mexican American immigrant); Neomi Rao, Regulation Czar (also a minority and daughter of parents from India); Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (also a minority); Heather Brand, Associate Attorney General; Kelly Sadler, Director of Surrogate & Coalitions Outreach; Mercedes Schlapp, Senior Communications Advisor (also a minority whose father was once a political prisoner of Fidel Castro); Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President; Hope Hicks, Communications Director; Jessica Ditto, Deputy Director of Communications; and Dina Powell, Deputy National Security Adviser who according to White House sources will remain in her position through the end of January and will likely be replaced by another woman after Powell completes her first year in office.

  • 3WorldState1
    January 17, 2018 at 4:05 p.m.

    Moz cracking me up with that list. Most highly unqualified or donors.
    Slak, you can if your daddy dies and gives you 200 Million. It appears the jig may be up, though. Because as his great son said,
    We receive a disproportionate amount of our assets from Russia." Oh, and Hillary didn't lie 2000 times in a year. Your guy did and has. He's a pathological liar. I would demand Hillary be impeached if she did a tenth of what this bozo has done and said. But go ahead deflect.