US president Donald Trump: Weeks after taking office, he signed a Bill rolling back a regulation that made it harder for mentally ill people to buy guns. Photograph:  Eric Thayer/Reuters

We can’t even summon the energy to break the choke-hold that the NRA has on Republicans

President Donald Trump  glides through the chaos he craves and conjures, while everyone around him immolates and shivers. Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Maureen Dowd: the qualities required – and now lacking – of a US president have never been more clear

Uma Thurman: ‘Harvey Weinstein  tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself.’ Photograph: Peter Kramer/AP

Interview: Actor also details behavior of ‘Kill Bill’ director Quentin Tarantino

FLOTUS Melania Trump. Photograph: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Melania’s rebellion shows how this administration is a shattering moment for the US

Salma Hayek: “Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?” Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Maureen Dowd: As men fall, women are rising. Now the gender apartheid has to end

Senator  Al Franken (centre) and his wife Franni Bryson with others:   Mr  Franken will be resigning after being accused of sexual harassment. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Al Franken resigns for wet kisses while Trump skips past his braggadocio on groping

Cardboard cutout of Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court nominee. Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times

For Thanksgiving weekend - a list of things (mostly Trump related) that don’t bother me

Sexual misdeeds: President Bill Clinton walks to the Rose Garden to apologise in 1999. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/New York Times

Maureen Dowd: Institutional feminism died during the Monica Lewinsky affair

Mark Cuban: Steve Bannon reportedly  identified him  as the No 1 threat for 2020 because he could appeal to Republicans and independents. Photograph: George Etheredge/The New York Times

‘He’s overselling all the time. Donald Trump is not a problem-solver’

Former president Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter at home:  “[Barack Obama] made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that.” Photograph: Dustin Chambers

Former US president complains Obama did not forge better relations with Pyongyang

  Harvey Weinstein: There was resentment against  the producer   in Hollywood, not only for the stories bubbling around about women, but the way he humiliated men who worked with him. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

Producer protected himself by giving to liberal causes and cultivating friends in politics

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: dismissive of the idea that social media and artificial intelligence could be used for global domination. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Facebook’s Frankenstein moment in US election shows its power to warp democracy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar being interviewed for the New York Times. Photograph:Tom Jamieson/The New York Times

New York Times columnist interviews Taoiseach in Dublin

‘Donald Trump has followed the roar of the crowd to dark, violent places, becoming ever more crazed and isolated and self-destructive.’ Photograph: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The US president is becoming ever more crazed, isolated and self-destructive

Watching Trump  and Kim  trade taunts is particularly disturbing because they mirror each other in so many unhinged ways.  Photographs: Getty Images

Can two belligerent leaders living in fantasy worlds taunt us into a nuclear war?

Special counsel Robert Mueller (r) is seen as incorruptible, so his conclusions will most likely be seen as unimpeachable. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

US president fails to fathom how empowered Bobby Three Sticks is to look into his dealings

 US president Donald Trump uses an umbrella after stepping out of Air Force One in  Maryland. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

US president is trapped in a caricature of masculinity that corrodes his judgment

Donald Trump  arrives at the US Women’s Open golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, on Saturday. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US president thrives on the same philosophy espoused by Littlefinger in ‘Game of Thrones’

Trump: “Did you do it?” Putin: “Nyet.” Trump: “Whew! Glad that’s out of the way. So let’s do a joint cybersecurity program and share our passwords.” Putin: “Da.” Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Maureen Dowd: Steve Bannon wants to cut taxes for the poor. But the president’s too busy being played for a sucker

“Before he got to DC, Trump was used to media that could be bought, sold and bartered with. He is not built for this hostile environment, and it shows in his deteriorating psychological state.” Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Strongman reflex: US president’s vile tweets indicate his deteriorating psychological condition

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff delivers a concession speech after losing the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to Republican challenger Karen Handel. Photograph:  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Stuck in loser gear, the Democrats need fresh talent and a clear message

Donald Trump: If you investigate the current US president with a dream team, nightmares are bound to follow. Photograh:  Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

So much for the notion that Melania moving into the White House would restrain the president

Former FBI director James Comey testifies before a US senate committee. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

The US leader is constantly creating the kind of havoc that could end his presidency

Donald Trump with Emmanuel Macron. The ‘Washington Post’ dubbed the French president “the prince regent of Paris and Pittsburgh alike”. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/New York Times

Donald Trump’s latest antics merely cement his image as the highchair king

File image of US president Donald Trump. File photograph: Peter Dejong/EPA

Obama’s controversies pale compared with the daily traumas of the current White House

White House confidential: Donald Trump and James Comey in January, a few days before the president’s Luca Brasi request at dinner. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/pool/Getty

Fortuitously, a tape from that fateful wintry meeting popped up in my mailbox

Donald Trump turns to  Paul Ryan in the Rose Garden of the White House: The president feted his fake-news “win” there, sprinkling flimflam dust to deflect from his ludicrous legislation. Photograph:  Carlos Barria/Reuters

The Republicans have voted for something that will cause them a lot of pain in the future

US president Donald Trump. “You got worked over by the Republican leadership and the business community, who set you up to do their bidding.” Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times

Flashy marketing could not mask healthcare Bill was a wealth transfer to the rich

Senior White House adviser Steve Bannon  listens as US president Donald Trump speaks to the press before he meets with his cabinet in the White House. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Everyone is tiptoeing around the mad king in his gilded, sparse court

US president Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

George W Bush’s return to the public stage shows just how far likability can get you

Donald Trump now: “Back in the 1970s and 1980s, with a shameless talent for self-aggrandisement untethered to fact, Trump was able to turn himself into a celebrity.” Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

In his heyday, ‘President Action’ used fake news to sell himself as a chick magnet

US president Donald Trump:  “He thinks confidence is more important than competence and attitude matters more than aptitude,” says  biographer Michael D’Antonio. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

A fine-tuned machine spewing chaos, cruelty, confusion, farce and transfixing craziness

US president Donald Trump  may  have pierced a malaise, as more millennials show interest in running for office. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The president has breathed new life into everything from feminism to Senate hearings

Rarely seen: Melania Trump with her husband on  inauguration day. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

As the first lady vanishes, her absence from her husband’s side is making her a folk hero

Donald Trump: “The only thing you can do is keep him distracted for a day and then one more day so that he doesn’t do anything disastrous,” says his biographer Michael D’Antonio. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

For Trump, having the press corps captive in the White House is like mainlining heroin

Director and comedian Judd Apatow knows how the game is played:  he wasn’t as surprised by the election results as most people. Photograph: Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Downside of election result is people overeating and numbing out, says producer

Peter Thiel at his Manhattan home: “Whatever the superficialities of Trump might be, he was more authentic than the other politicians.” Photograph: The New York Times

The Facebook cofounder and funder of Hulk Hogan’s Gawker case is now on team Trump

President-elect Donald Trump with Secret Service: “I spent months never believing that he would be elected president,” said one Democrat. “I sincerely hope that the office makes the man.” Photograph: AP/Andrew Harnik

As Trump’s swearing in approaches, finally bipartisan consensus: It’s time to flip out

US president Barack Obama:  Lost touch with his revolutionary side and settled comfortably into being an Ivy League east coast cerebral elitist who hung out with celebrities. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

In trying to get Hillary over the line, the president forgot why voters chose him in 2008

The problem with Donald Trump is we don’t know which of the characters he has created he would bring to the Oval Office. The trouble with Hillary Clinton is we do know. Photograph:  Andrea Comas/Reuters

Clinton and Trump could not run for presidency without indulging worst instincts

‘The story of how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton rose and reinvented themselves and embraced and brawled is the story of New York itself.’ Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

The story of how Trump and Clinton rose is a tale of power, influence, class and ambition

Michelle Obama: The first lady says the stories about Trump remind women “of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office.” Photograph: EPA/CJ Gunther

The Donald dismisses the women accusing him as not attractive enough to assault

 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: Made a grudging apology for  remarks he made  about using his celebrity status to grope women. Photograph: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA

Trump won’t prepare for tonight’s debate, even as his future hangs in the balance

Doanld Trump unravelled after the first debate and has continued to do so since. Photograph: Getty Images

White House hopeful’s gossipy, shrewish character traits have been on show for years

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton  doesn’t even need an oppo-research team digging up nasty stuff about her opponent’s record. She just has to stand there and wait for Trump to open his mouth. Photograph: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Letting Democratic candidate evade all criticism is not good for her or the country

Donald Trump: “I’m sorry I pretended I was going to release my tax returns. Of course I didn’t pay any taxes.” Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Donald Trump is sorry he has to sacrifice so much to make America great again

Hillary Clinton “is a reliable creature of Wall Street.” Photograph: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Faced with the unpredictable Trump, Hillary may be best bet to defend US establishment

Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2017: “I’m going to make Ivanka secretary of state. And Tiffany will be over at defence. Keep it in the family.” Photograph: Damon Winter/The New York Times

And after all the cries of ‘Lock her up!’ Hillary Clinton finally gets what’s coming to her

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton embrace: Mr Obama once said “Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything and change nothing. It’s time to turn the page.” Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

On his way up Barack Obama criticised Hillary Clinton. Now he must praise her

Both of Donald Trump’s barbed-wire universes were on display at the convention last week. Photograph: AP

Nominee and Whitehouse hopeful continues to brag his brash way to general election

 George W Bush talked in Dallas about “finding our better selves”. If only he had found his in office. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Release of inquiry pages confirms suspicious links to Saudi royals rather than Iraq regime

 Barack Obama looks on as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Obama thinks Clinton has the specific skillset that is required of the next president. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

What should disturb the US president is that the email transgression is not a one-off

‘Boris Johnson’ and ‘Donald Trump’: a buffoonish “cocktail of charm, bluster and obfuscation”. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

After Brexit vote, the French aren’t Wilde about the world’s two most infamous blonds

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump:  has been unable to marry his often canny political instincts with some actual knowledge. Photograph:  Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Billionaire’s behaviour casting serious doubt on whether he is qualified to be US president

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves at supporters. Photograph: Adrees Latif

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren have a private chat about running together

 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as she hugs actors Sally Field (left)  and Elizabeth Banks  during a “Women for Hillary” event in Culver City, California. Photograph:  Mike Blake/Reuters

The Democrat’s failure to fully acknowledge the email controversy is just one barrier

Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders attend a rally in Carson, California, last week. “The 2016 race is transcendentally bizarre. We have two near-nominees with the highest unfavourables at this point in the race of any in modern history.” Photograph:  Monica Almeida/New York Times

Maureen Dowd: Sanders and Trump scent blood as Hillary campaign limps on joylessly

Republican front-runner Donald Trump: “Paul [Ryan] said to me that he has never seen anything like it because I’m a non-politician and I beat very successful politicians. He was really fascinated by how I won.” Photograph: Rob Kerr/AFP/Getty Images

Republicans wring their hands as the New York billionaire savours his unlikely victory

Donald Trump. Photograph: Travis Dove/The New York Times

Maureen Dowd: After House speaker's rebuff, the two sit down to hash it out

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: on some foreign policy issues, it’s Hillary the Hawk against Donald the Quasi-Dove. Photographs: Damon Winter/Zach Gibson/The New York Times

Republican has tender ego, whereas Democrat is so tough she is known as ‘the Warrior’

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:  her  decision on Iraq was put through a political filter and a paranoid mindset. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Has Clinton the confidence to act in ways that are contrary to political interests?

Peter Dinklage: “If it doesn’t boil the blood, especially in this genre, then we’re not doing our jobs.” Photograph: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Peter Dinklage talks dragons, fame and Donald Trump to superfan Maureen Dowd

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: it’s ridiculous how many mistakes he has has made in rapid order to alienate women when he was already on thin ice with them. Photograph: Marisa Wojcik/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP

Businessman may be the GOP front-runner, but he just keeps alienating women

US president Barack Obama dances the tango during a state dinner hosted by Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The US president proves he can go to a ballgame and still keep his eye on the ball

Republican would-be presidential candidate Donald Trump at Fountain Park, Arizona, during a campaign rally. Photograph: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Brand baron seems cool with being called a bigot and a menace – by his own party

Nancy Reagan: enjoyed dishing the dirt over lunch in the Polo Lounge. Photograph: Reuters/Sam Mircovich

While celebs officially shun Old Hollywood headquarters the Beverly Hills Hotel, my friend Max is not so sure

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: “The most enjoyable thing about the Trump phenomenon has been watching him make monkeys out of a lot of people who had it coming.”   Photograph: Robert F Bukaty/AP

No one is more shocked at how far Donald Trump has come than Donald Trump

Prof Anita Hill  Photograph:  Frank Miller

As per the OJ and Clarence Thomas cases, one theme dominates the US

Hillary Clinton is coming up drastically short on trustworthiness. Photograph:  Jim Young/Reuters

Maureen Dowd: Key demographic who deserted her in 2008 are still not convinced

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: Bernie Sanders’s populist surge has led some top Democrats to wonder if Barack Obama will have to step in and endorse her campaign. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Hillary’s campaign cries sexism too often and pales when compared to Bernie Sanders

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: while others cast him as a bully, Trump cast himself  at a New Hampshire rally as a tender soul trying for self-actualisation. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

Businessman claims he knows how to act properly and flexibly when he needs to

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump: “When Palin turned out to be utterly unqualified and unintelligible, spouting her own special Yoda-like language, it did not reflect poorly on women as a whole – only on her and John McCain.” Photograph: Cassi Alexandra/Bloomberg

Donald Trump’s endorser has way of getting her message across that few identify with

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures as she walks on stage at a Democratic fundraising dinner featuring all three candidates in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Getty Images

Contender seeks to be seen as dog with a bone compared with feline Obama

Former US president Bill Clinton  campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Photograph: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Hillary Clinton is on a sticky wicket when she accuses Donald Trump of bullying – and he knows it

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday: with all his bombast and incivility, Trump has joyfully debunked political correctness for the complete fraud that it is. Photograph: Scott Audette/Reuters

The Republicans and Democrats find no shortage of bones to pick over turkey

Former US president George HW Bush: “Like many uptight, upper-class families, the Bushes seem unable to directly confront tensions and talk to each other candidly. In the case of the Bushes, this ended up rupturing the globe.” Photograph: Aida Crawley/EPA

Bush patriarch has used his new biography to tackle some family politics

 Jeb Bush: this was going to be the year that settled sibling scores – he would get what his parents considered his birthright. Photograph: Joe Skipper/Reuters

Jeb Bush won’t turn around his listless campaign by channelling his brother W

Hillary Clinton at the end of her day-long appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill last week. Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

Benghazi hearing showcased ‘good’ Hillary, but there were flashes of ‘bad’

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign meeting in Keene, New Hampshire. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Its efforts to derail Democrat candidate have ruined credibility of Benghazi inquiry

US house speaker John Boehner: When asked whether he would advance a debt limit Bill before resigning from Congress on October 30th, he said: “We’ll have to see. There are a number of issues that we’re going to try to deal with over the coming month.” Photograph: Jonathan Ernst

The speaker’s mind must be racing as he gets set for the big countdown

Pope Francis greets inmates at a correctional facility in Philadelphia on Sunday during his US visit. Photograph: Tony Gentile/pool

Francis preaches against elites while keeping the church an elite boys’ club

‘The Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh. Photograph: AP/Museum of Modern Art

Questions surround Paris-based project aimed at digitally replicating all art

“A lethargic, insubstantial image of Jeb Bush that is at odds with the perky red ‘Jeb!’ campaign logo”. Photograph: Reuters/Jay Westcott

Maverick Donald Trump’s ‘gusto’ has shown up the timidity of the other runners

Donald Trump speaks at a rally  in Mobile, Alabama. Photograph:  Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

The pugnacious candidate has scrambled up the US presidential campaign

Republican US presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump: “I’m a solid, stable person . . . I am a man of great achievement. I win. I always win. Knock on wood. I win. It’s what I do. I beat people. I win.” Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Some see Donald Trump as a crude, cartoonish bully. He says he just lacks insecurities

Donald Trump: ‘Policy ideas are ripped from the gut instead of the head. Still, he can be a catalyst, challenging his rivals where they need to be challenged.’ Photograph:  David Maxwell/EPA

Businessman’s attacks can help smoke out more careful rivals in US presidential race

Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton:  Biden is talking to friends, family and donors about jumping in. The 72-year-old vice-president has been having meetings to explore the idea of taking on Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire. Photograph: Luke Sharret/The New York Times

As Hillary Clinton’s sheen is scuffed, the vice-president must make up his mind

 President Barack Obama:    far more energised than a couple years ago when  he acted as though he would like to quit, if it was a job you could stride away from. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

His supporters are thrilled to see the Barack Obama they voted for is back

 Monica Lewinsky: “It’s nice to see the 41-year-old move out of her self-imposed exile, looking lovely, acting graciously and speaking out for a good cause.”  Photograph: James Duncan Davidson/Reuters

Monica Lewinsky steps out of exile at Cannes festival to tackle cyberbullies

Hillary Clinton. ‘If you want to be president and you shape your principles to suit the shifting winds, then how can people on either side of an issue trust you?’ Photograph: AP Photo/Mathew Sumner

Ducking and diving on trade deal raises questions about trustworthiness

‘The president descended from the mountain for half an hour on Thursday evening, materialising at Nationals Park to schmooze with Democrats and Republicans at the annual congressional baseball game.’ Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/Getty Images

US president has learned the hard way that you shouldn’t abandon your allies

Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the US, next to a photograph taken by his partner, Pascal Blondeau, at his residence in Washington. After a distinguished career in the French foreign ministry, Araud is trumpeting his support for same-sex marriage. Photograph: Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times

French ambassador to US invents a new form of digital diplomacy for our cacophonous age

The joke circulates in Hollywood that Hillary is like Coca-Cola’s Dasani water: She’s got a great distribution system, but nobody likes the taste. Photograph: Eric Thayer/New York Times

Hillary may get cash, but she’ll get little enthusiasm from jaded Hollywood insiders

An Uber car in New York: an article in Business Insider advised giving an extra cash tip  if you want a five-star rating. Photograph: Sam Hodgson /The New York Times

I didn’t realise that while I was reviewing my drivers, they were doing the same to me

Tara suffered a stroke after playing tennis but was advised by a neurologist to stay active

Fit, healthy and not one to overindulge, my niece Tara was an unlikely victim

In 2008, Hillary Clinton took advice from two men – Bill Clinton and Mark Penn – and campaigned like a man. Now she must figure out how to campaign as a woman. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Is there nothing between Macho Man and Humble Granny for Hillary?

US congresswoman Carolyn Maloney speaks during a ‘Ready for Hillary’ rally in New York. Photograph: Darren Ornitz/Reuters

Lack of large-scale allure reflected in planned low-key start to campaign

Claire Danes in “Homeland”: the CIA sisterhood is fed up with the flock of fictional CIA women. Photograph: Didier Baverel/Showtime

Real female CIA operatives say they are tired of being misrepresented

Jeb Bush: though he is more apt to do his homework, he’s unformed on foreign policy, like his brother – except that his brother was elected before 9/11. Photograph: Jabin Botsford/New York Times

The neocons are swirling around Jeb, ready to inhabit another president Bush

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