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Our customary optimism about how things are changing overall is diminished by the realities behind today’s headlines — and none more so than those generated by the incumbent President of the United States, that range from total embarrassment before the rest of the world to downright terror at the thought of what he might do to precipitate the planet’s premature end. To the extent that we can sound an alarm, this number 7 in the series of our reports does just that. To the extent that you can agree with our seriousness about the present course of events, we invite your joining in. The day may be fast approaching that the rest of the world will have to step in to save both us and themselves. 
Unthinkable? Just read your way through the narratives that precede all the major stories on pages one and two.  They are laced with disaster and only their enormity keeps us from realizing how close political calamity may follow on all that nature has done in the recent past to demonstrate the power that could be unleashed against mankind. 
That pessimism in general is lessened if not yet saved on the legislative front where a major disaster has been averted by a courageous coalition led again by John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine, aided and abetted by others determined not to sacrifice the possibility of universal health care to the clock of partisan politics. Not to mention a groundswell from both business and the public at large both threatened and outraged by the national failure to get it right.
And then there’s the story about Puerto Rico . . .
Yes, we still believe the sun will come up tomorrow. But given the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, do you?
Don West for New Times Always!
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Trump’s menacing United Nations speech, annotated
Narrative The war of words between the United States and North Korea did not end when President Trump threatened to blow that adversary off the earth. By week’s end North Korea told the United Nations that its firing rockets at the U. S. was inevitable. One Republican congressman in California was by then advocating that the U. S. make the first strike, proving that all the lunacy is not confined to Washington and Pyongyang.
The Wall
Narrative Remember Trump’s wall? USA Today hasn’t forgotten an issue that may yet come to take our attention away from Armageddon on the nation’s front pages.
Jimmy Kimmel doubles down on health-care bill
Narrative The odds are increasingly against the Republican-dominated Senate being able to work its way with health care, but it took a late-night TV host to put the brightest spotlight on the issue.
“What Happened?” Hillary joins a select club
Narrative Hillary Clinton is having her say — and her day — about what happened in the 2016 election. Given that it’s become everyone’s nightmare by now, it’s only fair.
An old-fashioned senator living in Trump’s Washington
Narrative If this one reads like yesterday’s newspaper, it may well qualify. There are still some old-fashioned politicians operating in Trump’s Washington, which may be a good thing.
The ambition collision
Narrative Broadening our view to the culture at large, we’ve found one other collision-course story that may surprise you. It’s the dilemma besetting a number of women who thought they had succeeded in the millennial generation only to face a midcourse crisis of disappointment if not disillusionment on their own.
RT, Sputnik and Russia’s new theory of war
Narrative Russia’s new theory of war. Just when you thought that country had become the lesser of the foreign affairs rivals with whom we have to deal, it turns out that Putin and company may be ahead on another cold or hot war front. It describes how the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons ever, and why it may be impossible to stop.
Is Trump mentally ill? Psychiatrists weigh in.
Narrative We added this story to page one at the last minute. It deals with the harrowing question of whether Donald Trump is crazy, or is it just that we are? Given all the headlines of the day, and what’s going on outside our control in so many areas, we think it’s not too early for the honest thinkers of the world to give it some thought.