NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

Sumter City Council says goodbye to Colleen Yates

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In The Sumter Item, Jim Hilley reports on Sumter City Council saying goodbye to Colleen Yates.

Mayor Joe McElveen called it a "bittersweet" moment at Sumter City Council's meeting Tuesday evening as council welcomed new Ward 4 Councilman Steve Corley and said goodbye to departing member Colleen Yates.

"Hers has been a lifetime of service," McElveen said of Yates. "The esteem you are held in your community was seen when you were given a standing ovation at our last meeting."

Council presented a gift to the former councilwoman who said being on the council was a wonderful experience.

"I want to thank all of you for playing a role in my life," she said, before promising not to disappear altogether.

"I still have a few years of stirring the pot," she said.

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an address to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph-so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

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In "Trump as Lady Gaga," The Wall Street Journal's Dan Henninger explains the president-elect as performance artist.

How is it possible that a man who selects Jim Mattis for Defense on Thursday can be in a tweet smackdown with Alec Baldwin Sunday morning?

The answer is coming into view. Donald Trump is Lady Gaga.

He is a performance artist.

He is challenging what we think is normal-first for a presidential campaign and now for the presidency.

He's Andy Warhol silk-screening nine Jackie Kennedys. You can't do that. Oh yes he can. Currently Donald Trump is silk-screening American corporations: Ford, Carrier, Rexnord, Boeing.

Andy Warhol called his studio The Factory. Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon are now in Donald Trump's Factory. Like everyone else, they've got to figure out what's coming next.

In four years it may be possible to say that making a performance artist president was a mistake. But that will only be true if he fails. If the Trump method succeeds, even reasonably so, it will be important to understand his art from the start.

So far, the media and the comedians are stuck in pre-Trump consciousness. You'd think the comedians would get it, but getting laughs from left-wing audiences has taken a toll.

Some of America's most charismatic presidents were also public performance artists who challenged and overturned status quos: Abraham Lincoln,Franklin Roosevelt,John Kennedy,Ronald Reagan. All of them knew that a successful American presidency would be measured by a totality greater than their public performances.

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The Washington Post reports, "U.S. life expectancy declines for the first time since 1993."

For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year - a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States.

Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. In all, death rates rose for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death.

"I think we should be very concerned," said Princeton economist Anne Case, who called for thorough research on the increase in deaths from heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States. "This is singular. This doesn't happen."

A year ago, research by Case and Angus Deaton, also an economist at Princeton, brought worldwide attention to the unexpected jump in mortality rates among white middle-aged Americans. That trend was blamed on what are sometimes called diseases of despair: overdoses, alcoholism and suicide. The new report raises the possibility that major illnesses may be eroding prospects for an even wider group of Americans.

Experts cautioned against interpreting too much from a single year of data; the numbers could reverse themselves next year, they said.

The largest rate jump for any cause of death was for Alzheimer's disease, which went from 25.4 to 29.4 deaths per 100,000 people. But several experts attributed that to greater reporting of the disease as a cause of death, not by any huge growth in the number of people who died.

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Notable & Quotable is compiled by Graham Osteen. Contact him at graham@theitem.com.