Columbia University’s marching band has reportedly self-cancelled.
According to the Ivy League college’s newspaper, The Columbia Spectator, the infamous troupe said in a letter that it voted to disband after a Saturday meeting to address anonymous Facebook posts accusing band members of misconduct.
“The Band has maintained a club structure founded on the basis of racism, cultural oppression, misogyny, and sexual harassment,” the letter read. “While substantial efforts have been made in recent years toward undo-ing decades of wrongdoing, we as a Band feel ultimately that it is impossible to reform an organization so grounded in prejudiced culture and traditions.”
The letter from the band, which had a reputation for pulling pranks, said: “The current Band hopes that the Band’s dissolution will provide relief to the present suffering of the Columbia community and time to heal from the decades of harm caused by this organization.”
The group had long prided itself on politically-incorrect irreverence and frequently clashed with school officials.
The band often reveled in phallic field formations during football games and occasionally cheered for opposing teams.
The historic group, which has been around for over 100 years, didn’t have much to play for anyway, as the school banned the group from official campus functions last year after a prolonged fight over funding.
Reps for the band could not immediately be reached for comment.
But, according to the school newspaper, the letter asserted that the online accusations were grave enough to force a reckoning and included “allegations of sexual misconduct, assault, theft, racism, and injury to individuals and the Columbia community as a whole.”
“The Band has unanimously and enthusiastically decided to dissolve,” the letter stated. “The Columbia University Marching Band will not continue to exist in any capacity and will no longer serve as a Columbia spirit group.”
The group cryptically stated that it would issue further statements on its decision in the coming days — including a “more thorough apology” for its behavior.
Trump-Nixon letters reveal previously unknown relationship
Letters exchanged between President Trump and former President Richard Nixon in the 1980s and 1990s show a relationship between the two that is not previously known.
The letters were shared with the Associated Press ahead of their debut as part of an exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., Thursday.
In the earliest letter reviewed by the outlet ahead of the exhibit’s opening, dated June 1982, the current commander-in-chief lavishes praise on the then-president.
“I think that you are one of this country’s great men, and it was an honor to spend an evening with you,” Trump wrote to Nixon after the two were spotted together at the 21 Club in midtown Manhattan.
The then-real-estate-developer was writing to thank the former president for forwarding him a photograph of the two.
In another letter, dated October of that year, the future president wrote to the former one that “One of my great ambitions is to have the Nixons as residents in Trump Tower.”
Nixon and his wife, Pat Nixon, eventually toured the Fifth Avenue property. In his letter back, he wrote that while Pat “was impressed as I was” with the building, they felt “at this time she should not undertake the ordeal of a move,” given her stroke that August.
The existence of the letters was confirmed by President Trump in the days after winning the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking to TMZ’s Harvey Levin, he showed off one of the letters, dated December 1987, in which Nixon congratulated Trump for an appearance on a television show.
“I did not see the program, but Mrs. Nixon told me that you were great. As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics and she predicts whenever you decide to run for office you will be a winner,” the former president wrote.
“It was just amazing that he wrote it,” Trump said while showing off the letter, adding that it was not the only one.
He said that while he did not know Nixon well, “he would write me letters. It was very interesting. He always wanted me to run for office.”
Jim Byron, executive vice president of the Richard Nixon Foundation, touted the letters to the Associated Press as “perhaps the best documented relationship that our current president has with any of his predecessors,” as well as “an invaluable contribution to the ever-evolving group that we know as the presidents club.”
The White House did not respond to The Post’s request for comment on the newly released letters.
With Post wires
De Blasio still has no coronavirus recovery plan for NYC
Nearly seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted Thursday that a recovery plan for the city is still in the works as he touted the launch of a local COVID-19 testing lab.
Instead of delivering a detailed recovery and revitalization plan for a coronavirus-ravaged Big Apple, de Blasio outlined a vague vision during a rare in-person press conference outside of Manhattan’s Alexandria Center for Life Science where the new lab is based inside of.
“In the coming weeks, we will provide detailed plans to realize this vision,” de Blasio said.
That “public health vision,” Hizzoner explained, has “four core principles,” that include, continuing to fight back against COVID-19, investing in “innovation to make us a stronger hub for public health research,” the creation of “high quality jobs,” and focusing on underserved communities.
“What we will give you in the coming weeks is the next steps on how we get there,” the mayor insisted.
The recovery plan will have an “obvious focus” on combating the bug that has so far killed more than 23,000 city residents — confirmed and probable — and sickened more than 230,000 across the five boroughs, de Blasio said.
He added, “New York City must be a global hub for public health research.”
“Today we lay out the foundations of our recovery agenda,” de Blasio said. “Today we present a vision that focuses on public health and social justice…these will be the pillars of our future.”
Though de Blasio announced the creation of multiple COVID-19 recovery task forces back in April, he still could not provide any specific details for his plan on Thursday regarding what the revival of New York City entails.
“We have been bringing back our economy in phases…we have been bringing back our health situation…we have been bringing back our schools,” de Blasio said when pressed by a Post reporter on what his administration has been doing in terms of a recovery plan since the creation of those task forces.
Meanwhile, de Blasio announced the launch of the “Pandemic Response Lab” located inside of the Alexandria Center for Life Science that officials say will have the capacity by November to process about 20,000 coronavirus tests per day.
The lab’s primary client will be the city’s public Health + Hospitals facilities and it has a turnaround processing time of 24 to 48 hours, officials said.
So far, the lab — which costs the city $28 per test — has already processed 4,000 tests. De Blasio said the city will create a rapid testing program and is kicking off a rapid testing design competition.
“Rapid testing will be one of the keys to overcome this crisis,” de Blasio said, adding, “Quick, reliable testing is what will help” and he noted that the COVID-19-dedicated lab “will be a key part of that solution.”
Still, the mayor promised that the revival of the Big Apple is coming.
“There will be a rebirth,” he professed. “There will be a renaissance for New York City.
“Not only will New York City get back, but New York City will go further than it ever has,” said the mayor, who added, “And the best is yet to come.”
‘Holy s–t, I thought we had better technology’
Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester grew frustrated — and a bit profane — at a mostly virtual Senate committee hearing on Thursday after technical issues garbled his question.
“Holy s–t, I thought we had better technology than this,” Tester told Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the Senate Banking Committee hearing.
Mnuchin struggled to hear Tester’s inquiry about data security for American Indians amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the third attempt, Mnuchin heard the question and promised to look into it.
Tester, a farmer and former teacher known for his flat-top haircut and folksy manner, was reelected in 2018 to a third term representing Montana.
He’s far from alone in feeling frustrated about technology as the pandemic expands digital operations for disproportionately elderly lawmakers.
Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware threw a fit last month when he nearly missed his turn to grill Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a hearing on election mail.
“F–k, F–k, F–k!” Carper said, swiveling in his chair to bark the expletives at an aide.
The aide walked over to Carper’s desk and helped him work his livestream, which apparently had his audio feed muted.
“Like most Americans in 2020, Senator Carper got frustrated with technical difficulties this morning,” his office said.
Tester’s spokespeople did not immediately reply to an inquiry.
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