A different kind of American–a real one–looks at Haiti and sees love

Megan Coffee

Eight years ago today, an earthquake struck Haiti and killed more than 200,000 people. I was sent there twice by The Star-Ledger to write about what happened. While there, I renewed my acquaintance with Dr. Megan Coffee from Maplewood, who, 12 years earlier, had been named a Star-Ledger Scholar, a program I helped run to recognize the brightest New Jersey high school graduates. Instead of pursuing a career that would make her wealthy, she became a healer in the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. It seems especially appropriate now, on this anniversary, with this national leadership, with the sickening language we’ve heard and read in the last 24 hours, to recall there are Americans who look at Haiti and see love. Here is an article I wrote about Dr. Coffee for The Star-Ledger in the summer of 2010:

RODNEY: The cowardly end to the Frelinghuysen line

Donald Trump cannot wreck democracy, as my parents used to say, “all by his lonesome.” He needs help and he’s getting it from the Republicans whose legacy once included destroying the careers of those who said nice things about Russians–the same Russians who are now Donald Trump’s pillow-talking bedmates. Trump needs help and he is certainly getting it from some surprising places–like from a nerdy little guy named Rodney Frelinghuysen, the forever Republican congressman from New Jersey’s 11th Congressional district.


Paul Robeson as a member of the RU football team–a two-time All-American.

The Rutgers University football stadium is named after a company in Sparta, High Point Solutions,  whose owner, Thomas Mendiburu, is an active  supporter of President Donald Trump and served on Trump’s finance transition committee. Trump, famously, is a great admirer of Russia and of its president, Vladimir Putin, someone who may have interfered with the 2016 American election.

Trump Time Capsule #3: Fuming about the “disgusting media”


Editor’s Note: In the spring of 2016, James Fallows, the senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly magazine, began what he called a series of “time capsules” that could, in the future, provide a key as to what Americans were thinking during the election campaign–as Trump began his march to the presidency. He finished with 152 of the “time capsules” just before the vote. This site will publish one of the capsules every week or so and that should bring us to the doorstep of the 2020 election.

BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–The “extraordinarily weird” twist in the month-long trial.

Bridget Anne Kelly (from The Daily Beasty).
Bridget Anne Kelly (from The Daily Beast).

The prosecution’s case in the Bridgegate trial has been living with a possibly fatal flaw for weeks–and, on Friday, that flaw threatened both the chances for convicting at least one defendant and also the credibility of the two-year federal investigation into the closing of entrance lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September, 2013. It has to do with an oddly worded email:

BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–A wrong turn for the defense, laughter, and thuggery

Bill Baroni--WSJ Photo
Bill Baroni–WSJ Photo

Attorneys for Bridgegate defendant Bill Baroni rested Wednesday–and the case for the defense seemed to fall with a crash at the feet of the jury. Instead of the defense ending on a high note of chipper character witnesses or rebutting damaging cross examination, Baroni wandered  into a testimonial trap about a non-existent school in Jersey City.