Friday, December 22, 2017

Presents! These "Gifts" Are Coming for You in a Few Weeks!

My recovery is going great but I have been forbidden sitting at the computer for a couple more weeks.  When I get a green light, here's what I'll likely be posting.

The Alabama Miracle of the End of a Racially Divided South

The Alabama Miracle and How Grassroots Can Win for Democrats and Drive Big Money Out of Politics

The Alabama Miracle and the True Awakening of Women

The Alabama Miracle and the Young People Who Will Save This Country.

The Alabama Miracle and Ha Ha on Trump
I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah. Consider the above coming posts my rather tardy holiday gifts to you. We've gotten through a rough year together. And we not only made it through; we also gained a lot of important things. Now we can begin to celebrate!

Maybe the biggest miracle of all is that Scroogey Ol' Donald Trump even kicked in unwittingly with some excellent gifts that will aid us in knocking him and his minions into oblivion and having a cleansed and healthy two-party system again. I'll also be posting about these soon.

"Here comes Santa Claus..."

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Be Patient. Great Good News Coming!

Last week witnessed one of the most important and encouraging events in American history. A door slammed on three ugly aspects of our past, and other doors swung open on a better future.

Actually ten major aspects of American political life were ended, changed or newly-born in this event.

That's a lot of stuff to think about and write about. For a historian this is the gift of a lifetime. For one who helped make it happen, it is a fruition so joyous as to make me literally cry.

Yeah, I know. "There's no crying in baseball." But I'm near the end of my life, and last week's event was a wonderful going-away gift.

So be patient while I let the dust settle a bit and can go from staring in wonder at this great event to being able to describe to you what I see. I so want you too to have the joy of seeing "The Great Event" in all its golden glow.

Meantime be happy. There is much to celebrate, as this season of joy reminds us in the midst of winter's dark and cold.

Keep watching for the coming posts, my Christmas gifts to you. They may not shine in style but they will tell a heartening story. And don't fret about the attacks on Mueller or about Trump's mutterings about a pardon for Michael Flynn. All of that stuff is hog-wash.  Be of good heart and have peace of mind. Good things have arrived and more are coming.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama: the Greatest Victory Changes Our Future!

Last night the stunning result in the Alabama senate election did two things. First, it marked big changes in the social landscape of our country. One example: it showed that the historic curse of separatism between blacks and whites can be overcome.

At least five other major changes also occurred, including:

.... the end of Trumpism's rule by fear,

.....the advance of the women's movement,

.....the blacks' discovery of how to harness their political power,

.....the freeing of campaigns from the grip of big money,

..... the restoration of grass-roots campaigning after 40 years of neglect.

The second major thing the Alabama victory produced was a stunning "how-to" on the nuts and bolts of running a winning campaign. Indeed, this is a playbook for the ages!

I will be writing these analyses as soon as I can, given I'm still recovering from the hip surgery.  So watch for them!

And — yes! — the recovery from surgery is going great! Nothing like a dose of Trump eating crow to bring rapid recovery to the old mama, right?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Promise of Good News

I'm still recuperating but will be posting some good news this week. Part of the good news is the latest — and really heartening! — poll numbers on Trump. For now just be glad to know that Trump has gone down again even with his hard-core groups. 

I'll also be posting a catch-up on Mueller's latest moves and what they indicate. He's now such a threat to Trump that the GOP in Congress and the far-right media are trying desperately to smear him. The GOP Congress can shrug off its duty to impeach but can't stop a criminal prosecution even if Mueller is fired. Once a prosecution has officially started, e.g. with indictments, it will proceed even without Mueller. 

Ours is indeed a system of laws and not of persons. So be of good heart. Our long nightmare will come to an end.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Recuperating Even From Trump

I had a second hip replacement operation on November 29. Two days later I left the hospital and went home. I'm 81 years old and live alone, so this might seem like a brave decision. But the hospital is jammed with sickies, some even on cots in the halls. The post-surgery nursing homes are similarly overflowing with the sick. The staff at these institutions are also sick.

I'd rather be home struggling than get sick.

But when I decided to go home I didn't know about the tsunami of illness that was about to strike the post-op facilities.

Something just told me to go home.

Sort of like with Dorothy of Oz.

I've been home a week now and seem to be doing quite well. Walking is slow and somewhat painful, really hard work.  But as I do it, I get stronger. Each day there's some improvement; some days there's a big glob of improvement.

As for Donald Trump, he is collapsing and thereby providing much encouragement to me. It's good to see one's predictions come true. You'll remember our talking about Trump's inability to grab hold of government. He thought all he had to do was want something and it would happen. That's a dictatorshp, Mr. Trump, not democracy.

You'll also remember the articles I posted that showed his pre-campaign business criminality. It is this criminality that Robert Mueller has now begun to investigate.  As was said at the time of Watergate, "Follow the money!"

As for the Russian connections and Russia's interference in our election, a very big and very ugly picture is emerging, with one of Trump's top men, Michael Flynn, having pleaded guilty to telling lies to the FBI. (This is a minor offense but tells us Mueller is holding the big offenses as a way to maintain leverage over Flynn.) A business friend of Flynn states that within minutes of Trump being sworn in, Flynn was messaging a business partner to the effect that their nuclear project could go ahead because the  new Trump administration would tear up the anti-Russian sanctions that had been blocking the project.

Flynn started out as part of Trump's new administration but lasted only 21 days.

Sort of a prototype for the Trump longevity?

I'll keep recuperating, and you keep on being well. Plus enjoy the Trump administration's slide toward oblivion. And orange jump suits.

Monday, November 20, 2017

We Should Still Do These Anti-Trump Things

I'll be gone about a month to six weeks with recuperating from a second hip replacement on November 29. So I leave you this post I did right after the election. It's still relevant and still necessary. Please heed its call to save our country.

Together, yes we can!

Here's the link:   Now What Do We Do?

One change to what that posting suggests: Instead of spending time trying to get the Democratic leadership to adopt better procedures and a better focus, just elect new Democrats to office and get them to make the changes needed. As Donna Brazile's book "Hacks" makes clear, a serious clean-up of the DNC is needed. Among other things, it let the Hillary Clinton campaign swipe for its own use most of the money donated to the DNC for state and local campaigns. That was a waste of the money and a terrible strangulation of the Democratic party state-to-state. No wonder we have few Democratic governors and few state legislatures. It was also probably an illegal transformation of soft money into hard money, i.e. allowing contributors to effectively give Clinton more than legally allowed.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

At Last! The Smoking Gun! From Trump Sr's Hand to Yours!

This week the smoking gun of Donald Trump's election felony has at last emerged. Further, this smoking gun definitely has Trump's very own fingerprints on it, and —oh, the irony! — it exists because he can't control his compulsion to tweet.

The smoking gun turned up this week in a pile of material Donald, Jr.  submitted  to one of the Congressional committees investigating Russian aid to the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. We know that the Russians had feloniously interfered with our 2016 election. "On October 7th.... the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the National Intelligence Director had issued a joint statement, saying, 'The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.' Referring directly to WikiLeaks, the statement went on, 'These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”'Donald Trump's Trump, Jr., Problem -

What the Russians did was a felony, and the feds are now preparing to arrest six of them, but a greater concern is whether the Trump organization was involved in the crime. The nexus of the felony is a foreign government giving "something of value" to one of our campaigns.  We know the Russians were involved as the giver of the hacked emails because our intelligence community has so concluded. These are hard-headed prosecutors who clearly believe they have a case.

Until this week two questions have nevertheless remained. Most basically, was there a gift in the legal sense? Giving Trump the hacked Clinton campaign materials certainly looks like a gift, but to be a gift in the legal sense there must be "acceptance".  

Until now there has been no clear evidence that Trump or his campaign accepted Russia's offers of help. The Russian-Trump email exchanges during this period are frustrating because, while Donald, Jr., says he "loves" the  "dirt" material on Hillary Clinton, the campaign doesn't seem to openly agree to using it.

That has just changed. Finally, the missing acceptance has been provided. It occurred as the result of a message exchange between Donald, Jr., and Wikileaks on October 12, 2016. As quoted in the New York Times, Wikileaks says to Donald, Jr., "[G]reat to see you and your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us." The link in question is to the emails hacked by Wikileaks or the Russians from the Democratic chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign, John Podesta. Donald Trump Jr. Communicated With WikiLeaks During Campaign ...
Julian Assange,founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. (Axel Schmidt/Reuters)

Only fifteen minutes later, like a bolt of lightningDonald Trump Senior leaps into tweeting his millions of followers: “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!”

In his compulsion to tweet, Trump has handed us the smoking gun. By availing himself of the Russian &/or Wikileaks materials he has "accepted" it. Thus there is a gift proffered and accepted. Trump has joined in the commission of a felony. 

Further, he can't push the culability off on his hapless dim son or some other campaign underling. Trump the candidate holds the gun.

He is also criminally complicit in another way.  He has aided and abetted the commission of the felony. By tweeting a boast about the Wikileaks material he has arguable heightened its circulation and increased its impact. And if that isn't aiding and abetting, what is?

Compounding Trump, Sr.'s aiding and abetting, just two days later Donald, Jr. tweeted to his followers the link to the Russian/Wikileaks hacked material, prefaced by this: “For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here:”
One more issue: Had the Trumps accepted the gift from just Wikileaks, or were they accepting the hacked materials as a gift from Russia as well? It's important because if it was just Wikileaks then there's an issue of whether Wikileaks is a "foreign government"for the purposes of the federal statute.

Not to worry. For purposes of this case and this statute, the Russians and Wikileaks are virtually one, i.e. united in "a common enterprise". Since June 2016 the Russians had been promoting this material to the Trump folks and identifying Wikileaks as the immediate source for delivery to the campaign. Wikileaks and Russia were two hands washing each other. Luring in Trump and attacking our election was  their "common enterprise". 

Under another legal theory Wikileaks was Russia's "agent" in these transactions. Wikileaks either did the hacking itself and provided the results to Russia, or Russia did the hacking and then used Wikileaks as the distributor. 

 No matter the labeling, we are dealing with a Humpty-Dumpty, like your kids ganging up on you to swear you promised ice cream. These are two parties that are so close in motive, so united in purpose, and so conjoined in action that they are one. And please note that this theory of agency gets us out of having to  argue over whether Wikileaks itself is a foreign government. It's enough that Russia is.

Why did Trump do such a brash thing as to leap into this self-incriminating  twittering with no time to consider the possible result or to get advice from his attorney?  Because he is a brash and foolish man. He genuinely believes that everything he does is right.

But it isn't. In one reckless twitter he has scuttled the issues that might have saved him from being deemed in cahoots with Russia/Wikileaks.  He has demonstrated the moment that he and his campaign joined the Russians in attacking our election system. He has wronged us voters and his party. But most of all he has betrayed our system of government. He is in fact a traitor.

"Traitor" is a heavy word. It carries with it the thudding footstep of the executioner. And it should.

For treason is the one crime established in the Constitution as a capital offense. 

Sometimes I could almost support capital punishment. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hurrah! America Has Kicked Trump Hard! We're Taking Our Country Back!

I'm not allowed to sit long at the computer until after my hip surgery at the end of the month. So this will be brief. (Look for me to be back in January.)

Just want to say a BIG HURRAH! And a big thanks to the voters of VA, Montana, Washington State and elsewhere for kicking Trump into the weeds this past Tuesday. He and his kind lost virtually every contest! The voters said no to racism, homophobia, scare tactics, and all the other vile things he has used to attempt to divide our people.

America is still here. And it's still a great place.

In fact, one-third of the voters in VA who voted for the Democrat for governor instead of the Trumpish Republican told pollsters they voted that way in order "to send a message to Donald Trump."

Next year let's send lots of these anti-GOP messages so as to remove the Congress from the control of Trump's cohorts and enablers. Let's finish taking back our country!

Meantime Tuesday's results have made this 83-year-old Mama one happy kid!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Trump's Forces Rebel Against " Man Behind the Curtain."

The current rebellion in Washington against Trump is because most Americans understand our system, even if he doesn't. They also understand about climate change and other issues of the day that elude Trump in his ignorance.

   Burning of forest in Wildwood California last year. Large number of fires are attributed to climate change. Hottest Era in All of Civilization, Because of Man, U.S. Says
Trump is not a president. He is grossly inadequate and probably in deep legal trouble. Those around him have noticed. Trump's staff, his GOP allies in Congress, department heads, attorneys, and spokespersons are therefore just tuning him out. He seems to have ceased being president. I can't remember such ever happening in the presidency in my 80 years nor reading of it in American history. The closest is Woodrow Wilson's fade-out after his stroke.

Trump still goes through some of the steps of being president. But his cloak of authority has been pulled away. Remember that scene in "The Wizard of Oz"? A little black doggie from Kansas reveals The Mighty Wizard to be just a charlatan peddler. In vain the Wizard cries out,"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"?

We all knew quite a while ago that this Trump fellow isn't presidential material. He publicly lies on average seven times a day, exaggerates like a four-year-old, has no noticeable train of thought, has no principles, has no policies. He has no dignity but screams out on Twitter like the demented peddlerman he actually is. He is crude, vulgar, self-absorbed and quite ignorant.

Now, in just one week, his staff, his party, his attorney, and his federal agencies have joined in disavowing his authority. They have quietly removed his cloak of authority by just ignoring it. As far as I recall, it began this past week with his own attorney — the improbably named Ty Cobb of the improbable mustaches. Mr. Cobb advised the world to ignore Trump's harsh remarks about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating for any Trump/Russia conspiracy. Last Monday Mueller let the first shoes of his investigation hit the floor. Score to date: indictment of Trump's campaign manager and the latter's assistant, plus a confession by a campaign worker. There were not, as far as we can yet tell, revelations of a conspiracy, but the legal work showed the Trump campaign poised to go through that door.

Trump screamed, "NO COLLUSION!" (The capitals are his.)  He screamed other anti-Mueller, anti-investigation stuff over Twitter, but his attorney quietly maintained that Trump's remarks have nothing to do with the investigation and that Trump was cooperative with Mueller.  He isn't, but he would do well to be so because the public strongly supports Mueller. The public sides with Mueller - The Washington Post

Ty Cobb, the poor sod of an attorney, actually kept a straight face while announcing that Trump wasn't talking about Mueller. Cobb is trying to save Trump from roaring his way into yet another charge of obstruction of justice, one already looming from his firing of FBI Director James Comey, who began the investigation now in Cobb's hands.

Cobb's line was then taken up by Trump's press secretary, the smug and annoying Sarah Sanders.  She too kept a straight face while announcing that Trump's attacks on the Mueller investigation had nothing to do with Mueller and the investigation.

The Republicans in Congress this week also treated him like the man who wasn't there. Determined to get some kind of tax law enacted — no laws having been enacted all this year —  the GOP Congress gave only a cursory nod to Trump's urging they add a provision to the tax law so as to repeal Obamacare. As you'll recall, all year this Congress repeatedly failed to do anything about Obamacare.

Now, after several days of resounding silence from Congress, one chairman tentatively said they might consider including a repeal of the requirement that everybody get insurance. He was clear about this not being his idea:  “The president feels very strongly about including this at some step before the final process.” The Congressman soberly noted, however, that "the Senate has yet to produce 50 votes on anything related to health care that I’m aware of.”   G.O.P. May Repeal Health Mandate as Part of Tax Bill

So much for presidential authority in GOP law-making these days.

As if that weren't a slap in the face of presidential authority, look at the outright mutiny this week in thirteen federal departments.  "Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has occurred since the start of the 20th century, creating the warmest period in the history of civilization." Hottest Era in All of Civilization, Because of Man, U.S. Says

The federal prosecutors also have walked out on Trump, turning a deaf ear to him on sanctuary cities, immigrant bans, etc. Their job is to follow the law and the Justice Department rule book. Obviously it would be wrong for them to heed his bellowing of his prejudices. As for meting out justce, "Obviously, prosecutors don’t like to see people in positions of authority — including the president — commenting on possible penalties.’’ Mary McCord, a former senior national security official at the Justice Department, notes that “tweets and off-the-cuff statements make the jobs of career Justice Department people challenging. " When Trump speaks on legal matters, prosecutors try not to ...

In fact such commenting backfired on Trump this week when the ruling judge in the Army's Bowe Bergdahl desertion case refused to sentence Bergdahl to any jail time, taking into account that Trump had spent two years screaming that Bergdahl should be shot.  Trump just doesn't understand that demands by a high-placed office-holder can be seen as prejudicing the rights of an accused. In his persistent ignorance, Trump helped the man he considered a traitor!  Bergdahl Avoids Prison; Trump Once Urged Death Penalty

Words count, Mr. Trump. Learn that or no one who counts for anything will resume listening to you. Only your lonely little 33%. 

You can't govern with 33% and the ill will or disdain of everybody else, including your own federal staff.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

KGB Smarter Than Mueller? Questions About the Mueller Indictments/Confession

My son Matt in Norway just asked some questions of his old ma. Maybe some of the rest of you have been wondering about this stuff. I'll give it a try.


About Ty Cobb
What do you make of the recent indictments and this Popodopolous fellow? 
Trump's Lawyer Ty Cobb, allowed himself to be interviewed by the NYTimes and said that it is unfortunate that friends of Trumps are in such trouble but that his client is totally innocent, has nothing to hide, and wants to corporate fully with the investigation and get this waste of tax payer funded investigation behind him as soon as possible. So Ty Cobb is taking this confident posture. What do you make of that?

 Mueller vs the Used-To-Be KGB   Is Mueller actually up against the former KGB who may have painstakingly covered their tracks and created a clever firewall that protects their boy in Washington?

Ty Cobb being duped by Trump?  Is the real story here that we are dealing with a mental case who is so far removed from reality that he thinks he can outsmart Robert Mueller? And his attorney?

What do you think, Ma? The world wants to know. 



To begin, congratulations on seeing this as a struggle between Mueller and the Russians. Frankly, I hadn't thought of it that way. Trump is relatively a nothing in all of this. A pawn.

Generally, I think well of Mueller's work though I'm probably not qualified to judge (1) because I don't know what he knows, and (2) he's probably better at this than I. His pace and timing seem right. His tactics seem good, i.e. getting the confession and keeping it sealed until the indictments. The confession makes the indictments look scarier to the other future defendants. And suggests they too can come and talk to Daddy Mueller and maybe get a better deal.

Does Ty Cobb believe Trump innocent, you ask. Ty Cobb's job is to pitch, i.e. to pitch his client's case. It's irrelevant whether he believes Trump or not. We defense attorneys are not judge and jury. We are the hired gun. And a noble job it is. We can act as if we believe our clients but cannot lie to the court about actual guilt we are sure of, nor can we help cover up present or future crimes. Keep in mind that we aren't just defending criminals; we are defending our justice system and your rights.

Cobb is also trying to keep Trump out of more trouble. Trump has a bad mouth problem. He's already talked himself into a possible conviction for obstruction of justice by firing Comey and then blasting off about it. So Cobb is making real nice about this investigation, insisting his client is cool with it. This is to avoid Trump coming across as trying to intimidate the other possible defendants and witnesses. Given Trump's fondness for fighting on the playground, his love of bullying, Cobb has a tough job in keeping him quiet.

Is Mueller a match for the KGB, you ask. Of course. They aren't super guys, as your stepdad could tell you. They look brilliant now because they duped Facebook,Twitter, etc. to carry their propaganda to about half the people of America and used Wikileaks for a bad purpose. That merely shows they are smarter than the guys running the social media who preferred to take the ad money and look the other way. The lesson here is that we have to get the social media to adopt self-governing codes that are tough and work, like those followed by the respectable mainstream traditional journalism which has as its first requirement that the items published be true. Any reporter knowingly using  false material or misrepresenting  sources is barred from journalism for life.

You ask, are the KGB even interested in protecting Trump any more? Probaby not. They know he can't lift the sanctions that are barring Putin's  nearly  trillion dollar oil deal with Exxon. Congress stepped up to the plate on that one not long after Trump was sworn in. It  enacted even tougher sanctions on Russia as payback for intruding in our election. This new law even prohibits Trump from removing sanctions. Ha ha on Putin! His puppet's strings have been cut. So Trump is of no longer of use to Russia as far as we know. This was all about money, chiefly money going into Putin's pocket. Trump can't deliver.

As for whether Trump is a genius or a mental case. He's sort of both: a clever bastard, a con man and snake oil salesman who understands exploiting media very well. But he's also a spoiled four-year-old in the body of a 70+ man with bad hair. He could be a dictator ala Hitler but is too lazy, lacking in focus, dumb, and dim about strategies.

We have to keep in mind that the electoral college is why we have Trump. Only 33% currently approve of him and that same 33% have been a pain in the ass throughout our history. He rallied them with racism, and the Democrats will never wean them off of hate for blacks. We just have to wait a bit as the 33% die off and/or are being outnumbered by a birthrate among minorities that's rapidly ending the white majority in America.

Meantime we should get down to business and fix the damn electoral college. In the last three elections that stupid electoral college provision has given the presidency to the one who LOST the election. Out of the hundreds of millions of votes cast, Trump became president by only 77,000 collective vote total margin in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. That's not democracy. That's a devil's bargain with the slave-holding South to get it to join the Union. We have to change it, and there's a way to do it without a constitutional convention.

My hope is that we grab back one of the houses of Congress next year, thus preventing Trump from getting anything done. That's better than impeachment because we don't want Pence becoming president. He's horrible on issues and knows how do get things done. Trump's only interested in money for himself and isn't bright enough to figure out how to get stuff done.

My real hope is to see Trump in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs after we win a house in Congress.

Hope I've given you sufficient answers. Thanks for asking.

See you Thanksgiving!

Meantime let's all be thankful Mueller is on the job. He has a great reputation and a great team of highly skilled prosecutors. Since they are pursuing business crimes, this will take time. But the payoff is good. Some of these crimes carry 20-year jail sentences.  Keep in mind that it took two years and two months to nail Nixon.

The wait is going to be worth it.






Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Donald Trump Ends the Way Joe McCarthy Did

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." This saying is often attributed to Mark Twain, who said everything except what Winston Churchill, Will Rogers and Abraham Lincoln said.

Besides rhyming, history also whistles as it walks past our open door. That's what happened yesterday after I wrote a blog post entitled "The End of Donald Trump." It was about how a corner has been turned in the downfall of Trump. In the space of only two weeks, three Republican senators have denounced him, as have former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and a former GOP Congressman from Florida. Even Trump's own Secretary of State, a darling of the oil industry and a big shot of big business, has called Trump "a moron." Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly has contributed to the slide by revealing that Kelly is not a steady hand in the White House but a fellow patient in the "adult day-care center" that the White House has become. Those tolerating the unstable Trump can no longer rely on the steadiness they attributed to General Kelly as a barrier to a nuclear exchange with North Korea.

After I posted yesterday's blog, a phrase started going through my mind: "At long last, sir, have you no decency left." It was history whistling as it crossed my doorway, whispering to me that it was a time of deja vue all over again.

Then about 10 p.m. I recognized the phrase. These are the words spoken in the mid-1950's that ended the reign of terror of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Since Trump's inauguration we have been living through another era like the McCarthy era but now — as happened then — honest words of strong character will mark the end of the Trump awfulness even as they marked the end of the reign of terror of Senator Joe McCarthy. History was whistling a cheery tune last night. Just as I heard it, so did Senator Flake last night, and thus he announced today on TV that we are now living in another  McCarthy era. If Senator Flake and I both heard the whisper and whistling, they've got to be for real!

The lesson for us in the McCarthy era is that it doesn't take hoards of dissenters to remove a monster.  It may take but one person of courage and well-chosen words. More than one such person spoke out against Donald Trump in the past two weeks, but the words of Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona could have done the job all by themselves. If you haven't heard or read them, you should. Read them and then save them for your children. Of such is history made. Full Transcript: Jeff Flake’s Speech on the Senate Floor

I am also including at the end of this post the words that marked the end of the McCarthy reign of terror. They were spoken by a gentle, quiet attorney for the U.S. Army named Joseph Welch in defense of a young attorney recently hired at his law firm, whom McCarthy now sought to besmirch as a Communist. McCarthy was simultaneously trying to use the "Communist" charge to bring down the Secretary of State, having already caused thousands of people to be fired in government and in the defense industry, the public schools, the ministry and even the Girl Scouts. What he did to Hollywood and to writers has been well-publicized. (For a fact-based drama on Hollywood's sufferings, see "The Front" and watch how the McCarthy era drove a comedian to suicide.) No one was too big or small to escape the terror. At the top even President Eisenhower was afraid of McCarthy (see account at the end of this posting).  At the bottom of the heap, a new graduate like me lost a job I had just been given when the interviewer suddenly asked, "Did you say you went to Cal? That Communist school?"

Not everyone survived the McCarthy era, but America got through it and somehow we put the pieces together again. A famous Hollywood director quietly sought scripts for black-listed directors. (I was among those solicited for such script and was doing one on a pair of gun-slingers named Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, unaware another writer had the jump on me.) Meantime the Academy Award for the great classic "High Noon" had been denied the true creator because of the blacklisting.

The words that ended McCarthy's cruel abuse of power are simple and heartfelt. As with Senator Flake's words, keep them for your children. And let your children know that the attorney who spoke them in real life later became the judge in that fine, fun film "Anatomy of a Murder". I guess giving him the role was Hollywood's attempt to say thank you to the soft-spoken man who braved the monster. Within a couple of months of Welch having denounced McCarthy, the Senate found its backbone and sanctioned McCarthy. He died a couple of years later of alcoholism.

And please enjoy one particular grace note that the lovely rhyming of history bestows on us in these events. Participating with McCarthy in those Senate hearings was Roy Cohn, later the chum of J. Edgar Hoover in his abuse of power. So that history may rhyme even more insistently, the vicious Roy Cohn soon became mentor and model to no other than the young Donald Trump. You can't make up stuff like this!  What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy's Right-Hand ...

Let us hope the circle now will close on such Frankenstein monsters as Cohn, McCarthy, and Trump so that America can go back to the happy businesses of baseball, movie-making, and Russian-free elections. There may still be some final fireworks to get through but — like Trump himself — they will be mostly empty noise. And not loud enough to drown out such soft-spoken words as these:

Joseph N. Welch - Wikipedia
Welch to McCarthy:
"Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us....Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him:
Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild ... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Ike afraid of McCarthy:
"During the 1952 presidential election, the Eisenhower campaign toured Wisconsin with McCarthy. In a speech delivered in Green Bay, Eisenhower declared that while he agreed with McCarthy's goals, he disagreed with his methods. In draft versions of his speech, Eisenhower had also included a strong defense of his mentor, George Marshall, which was a direct rebuke of McCarthy's frequent attacks. However, under the advice of conservative colleagues who were fearful that Eisenhower could lose Wisconsin if he alienated McCarthy supporters, he deleted this defense from later versions of his speech. The deletion was discovered by William H. Laurence, a reporter for The New York Times, and featured on its front page the next day. Eisenhower was widely criticized for giving up his personal convictions, and the incident became the low point of his campaign....."   Joseph McCarthy - Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Ghost Whispers About the Coming End of Trump

Earlier today I posted a blog called "The End of Trump". Ever since then, all day long, a voice has been whispering to me, "At long last, sir........." This voice and these words kept teasing me. This evening, however, I discovered that this same ghost has been whispering this same mantra to Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

These words and this whispering ghost directly relate to the coming demise of Donald Trump. Further they tell a story of a time in our not too distant past when an equally horrible man ascended to power in our country and threatened our democracy more perhaps even than Donald Trump does now.

But the hour now is late, and this story will keep until tomorrow.

Good ghost stories can always wait a day or two, right?

Meantime get ready for this good ghost story by reading the blog I posted earlier today: The End of Trump.

The End of Trump

It's over for Trump.

There comes a day when something is in the air. You can tell that the end has arrived or draws near. For Trump the turning point came in the last two weeks as one GOP figure after another voiced condemnation of this "moron" who is "leading us into World War III."  It wasn't a lot of GOP Congressmen voicing their scorn, but it was enough.

Something had begun to slide downhill. It gained fearful momentum with Trump's Secretary of State calling Trump "a moron". Its paced reached a crescendo today with the farewell speech of Arizona GOP Senator Jeff Flake, a man with the courage to stand up to the little-Hitler bully that Trump is. Flake Speech Transcript: ‘Dangerous State of Affairs’ State

With his customary courage Senator John McCain has reiterated his condemnation of Trump this past week and so has Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. (Corker's is discussed at  Opinion | Corker shows how Republicans can dump Trump.)  This week too Trump has helped sink himself by verbally attacking a young pregnant woman widowed by her soldier husband's death in Niger. What is particularly ugly about this crude and callous attack is that it was a deliberate play to his base. The widow is a black woman and Trump's troops are racists.

Most fatal of all for Trump is that his Chief of Staff, the previously-venerated four-star general John Kelly, has attacked a spokesperson for the widow and did so by lying (or criminally forgetting) about what she had said in defense of the widow. This war of words certainly cost General Kelly his credibility. (No one comes near Trump without getting sullied.)

More important, Kelly's distortion cost Trump far more than it cost Kelly. With Kelly's emotional and shocking performance, Trump lost his last best hope of holding on to the presidency. Now the more sober of Republican power brokers have got to think about Trump's hand hovering over the nuclear weapon buttons without any restraining hand of General Kelly to stop the four-year-old's temper tantrum from taking us to oblivion. Kelly has destroyed his image of being "the grown-up in the White House" keeping us all safe from the unhinged Trump. In attacking the widow's spokeswoman with lies and distortions, Kelly showed himself to be just another untrustworthy resident of the "adult day-care center" that the White House has become.

As a former GOP Congressman from Florida said in this two week period, "Donald Trump has placed us all in great danger." One thing that can outweigh party loyalty and overcome fear of being out-Trumped in a primary is fear of having oneself and one's family vaporized in a nuclear exchange.

Like the old saying about being faced with hanging in the morning, Trump's hand on the nuclear weapons "focuses the mind wonderfully."

A lot of Republican Senators and Congressman have a lot to think about.

So do we all.

Friday, October 20, 2017

We Have Turned the Corner on Trump

At some point in these past two weeks we passed a marker on the downfall path of Donald Trump. He's toast now. He has lost all credibility. He is visibly floundering. Even the Republicans are turning against him.

Notice that not even his daughter and son-in-law Jared are on the scene any more. He's alone and obviously frightened.

I'll write more about this when I am allowed to spend more time at the computer. Just let me say for now that Trump's tough talk about nuclear war, which he intended to scare North Korea's baby president, has actually scared the American people.  And that includes Republicans.

People don't like being scared, Mr. Trump. They really don't.

Your day is over.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Outstanding Analysis Of A Disabled, Dangerous Donald Trump

 A must-read about our insane moronic president, written by one of our best writers, Andrew Sullivan, in New York Magazine, October 13. Here's a sample:

"[T]he reason we have a president increasingly isolated, ever more deranged, legislatively impotent, diplomatically catastrophic, and constitutionally dangerous, is not just because he is a fucking moron requiring an adult day-care center to avoid catastrophe daily. It’s because he’s a reactionary fantasist, whose policies stir the emotions but are stalled in the headwinds of reality."

It just gets better and better from that point.  Make your day by reading it! Trump’s Mindless Nihilism:America is seeing how dangerous and bankrupt political reactionaries’ politics are.   New York Magazine 10-13-17.

I wasn't going to do any posting until have my December surgery but this Sullivan article is just too good to miss!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time Out: So I Can Walk Again

I'll continue to be off-line until the New Year. And what a New Year it will be! On December 13 I get my second hip replacement and should be walking very well by New Years if the second replacement goes as well as the one I just had. Meantime, however, I can't spend more than an occasional few minutes at the computer because of circulation issues.

I hope you all have wonderful holidays and come back to this spot in the New Year.

Let's see what Trump's latest idiocy is then and whether he is yet being marched off to prison. So far he has dazzled the media with his craziness but he is actually just "sound and a fury, signifying nothing."

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Has Trump Derailed the Mueller investigation?

THE WORST THING about Trump pardoning the racist Arizona sheriff Arpaio is that his doing so may impede the special investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller to determine if Trump and his associates were in collusion with the Russians to distort the 2016 election. 

By pardoning the Arizona sheriff Trump has effectively signaled Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and other apparent Russian-collusives that they don't need to trade information to Mueller in exchange for immunity. Trump's pardons can give them immunity. They don't even have to respond to Mueller's court-issued subpoenas or else face contempt of court charges. The sheriff was on his way to jail for defying a court order, and Trump's pardon spared him being jailed for contempt of court. Let's hope Mueller can make his case without the testimony of Trump's associates, accountants, etc.

Trump Imposes a Dictatorship? Charlottesville Proves "No!"

Here's a hilarious video from last year, making fun of Hitler, Trump and Ann Coulter.  Watch and then let's get down to the real news: Trump isn't going to succeed in making America a facist country.

Hitler Finds Out Trump Supports Amnesty

When a young woman has been senselessly murdered it may seem inappropriate to say that some good came out of the spectacle of facism and racism in Charlottesville that produced her murder.  Nevertheless, some good has emerged. Because of Charlottesville we now know almost certainly that Trump will not be able to impose a facist dictatorship on America. Until now, one had to wonder. He has made various moves that are standard with would-be dictators: denouncing the courts, attacking the media, conjuring a conspiracy of enemies against himself and his "base".

But Trump's reaction to Charlottesville sparked the reassurance we needed that we are safe from his facist leanings. His clumsy and stupid attempt to blame "all sides" for the events in Charlottesville and his initial refusal to denounce the parading Nazis and KKK brought a swift and highly significant reaction from many quarters. Key among these was the reaction of the business community and the military.

Several dozen corporate leaders walked off his presidential business commissions, making clear they could not be associated with him because of his failure to denounce Nazism and the KKK. Joining them in condemning Trump was the leadership of the U.S. military. As the New York Times noted, "The top officers of the Navy, the Marines, the Army, the Air Force and the National Guard had come out one by one after the violence in Charlottesville to say that racism, hatred and extremism had no place in the military, and ran counter to its most important values. Though they did not refer specifically to the commander in chief, the sharp contrast with some of Mr. Trump’s comments was as clear as it was unusual."  Trump Tries Out a New Line on Charlottesville: Echoing His ...

These two reactions establish that Trump is lacking what made Hitler's power grab successful. Hitler succeeded in taking over Germany mainly because he had the support of the industrialists and the military.  Since Charlotteseville we have seen that Trump and his rotten ideas don't have the support of either of these key groups. At least so far.

Is that likely to change? Probably not. For one thing, a Hitler-type dictatorship is not in the interest of either group. Nor are Trump's ill-thought-out policies. Hitler wrested control of Germany's army  from the military, invaded Russia over the miitary leaders' objections, and thus doomed Germany to defeat and devastation. Anyone can see that Trump-the-Show-Off would similarly be tempted to grab control of military action. Hasn't he said that he knows "more than the generals"? Hasn't he denounced specifics of their actions against ISIS? He's already a "buttinski". The top brass can see what he is. And thank heaven that three of them are in the White House, babysitting this infantile president.  The generals have Trump surrounded - The Washington Post

As for the business community, the big players favor international trade unhamperd by the restrictiveness Trump would impose. Boeing Aircraft for example depends very heavily on foreign sales. Many, many other companies do too. The harsh tariffs Trump favors would cause revengeful tariffs against us and be devastating to American business. They could produce a Second Great Depression. The business leaders who previously accepted Trump's appointments to his commission  probably thought little about these things at the time. After all, these commissions are essentially no more than a tip of the hat. They are nothing. Then suddenly Trump made the commission appointments into toxic waste by seemingly supporting Nazis and the KKK. What businesses can tolerate huge numbers of customers boycotting them because of Trump's repugnant statements?

Unlike the American public, both the military and the business community have pretty good memories. No one remembers our past wars as thoroughly as does our military. Prior wars are their textbooks. The leadership of the military knows very well, right to the core of their bones, how a Hitler-type egomanical dictator can destroy a military and its nation.

The business community is perhaps less savvy about history. At present, for example, it has forgotten that a middle-class which is living hand-to-mouth cannot supply growth to an economy nor perhaps even sustain what we have now, i.e. the rich getting ever richer and the middle class getting nothing of the prosperity it makes possible as workers and consumers. As in the game of Monopoly, once all the money is in one player's hands, the game is over. The core of capitalism is that money must move around. The activity this movement generates — the buying and selling, the jobs and producing — are what we actually mean when we speak of wealth.  Money locked away by a few people in trusts or luxury goods is an idle symbol, only its potential being of any value. We learned this hard lesson in 1929 and enacted regulations and laws to protect against it happening again as a Second Great Depression. But the business community and the likes of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton repealed much of the safeguards. The result was the George W crash of 2008 that the decisive action by President Obama kept from being the Second Great Depression.

But even if greed dims memory in the business community, Trump's anti-trade demagoguery may be enough to keep them from supporting any further grab he makes for dictatorial power.

I say "further grab" advisedly, for he has indeed made prior moves toward a dictatorship. His pardon of the execrable Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one such move. He has as good as announced he will pardon anybody who chooses to defy our courts and trample on people's civil rights. But let's back off on that. Trump's moves toward dictatorship are a subject for another time.

Meanwhile, apparently the military and possibly the business community stand between him and the role of a Hitler. As do the courts and the media. Even the Congressional GOP is turning against him. (More on that later too.) These forces should be enough to hold him in check even if he can rile up his base to take arms against the rest of us.

At least I sure hope they can block him from creating a Fourth Reicht right here.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Trump Slipping Further With His Voters; McConnell's Big Worry

Trump's wobblier voters are wobbling away.

Until this new poll, so-called reluctant Trump voters approved of Trump's job performance by 83%. He has lost the approval of 20% of them. That's a whopping loss!

This bad news for Trump fits what we saw last week: that he has lost a large amount of approval in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the three key swing states that gave him the electoral college win by a three-state total of only 77,000 votes. He is now down to only 34, 35, and 36% approval in those three key states.

Trump is thus a one-term president unless, as a few voices yet wistfully murmur, he can reform who he is and save his presidency. On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was reported as saying privately that he did not believe Trump can "save" his presidency.

McConnell probably isn't regretful about Trump's dire prospects. McConnell is probably a whole lot more worried about saving his Senate majority and thus his Senate leadership post. Trump this week gave McConnell more to worry about. Against all common sense and political basics, Trump expanded his attacks on several Republican senators who are up for re-election next year and facing a tough fight. He has gone after Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, even supporting Flake's GOP primary challenger. Trump has also been harsh on the embattled Nevada GOP senator Dean Keller.

Trump is shooting his own team members!

Doesn't Trump know that one and one make two and that the GOP has only a two-seat edge in the Senate? Trump is shoving the GOP Senate forces right to the edge of their majority. Nothing worse could happen to MConnell than losing his leadership post. It's obvious he loves being leader, smirking with his power. And he would be going down as a huge —  historically huge — loser, having failed to get repeal of Obamacare and having failed to get anything else done, including stronger conservative control of the Supreme Court. All McConnell's dreams and those of the GOP have been stymied by Trump. Trump's bullying about Obamacare alienated key Republican Senate votes. Now he threatens to destroy the rest of the legislative prospects of this GOP Congress.

How is Trump doing this? By threatening to shut down the government unless Congress votes him the billions he wants for his "beautiful wall" between the U.S. and Mexico. With Trump gumming up the Congressional works this fall with budget fighting, government shut downs, and maybe even a battle over the debt ceiling, McConnell and his fellow Congressional Republicans won't have a chance to enact any legislation. With next year an election year, the possibility of them getting anything substantive done is minuscule.

The complete GOP control over the government has evaporated under Donald Trump, turning into no control at all. Trump's out-of-control personality has infected the entire Washington scene. He has created chaos.

McConnell is in a very bad spot. All the D.C. Republicans are.

When you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.  The GOP sat down at the table with Trump, even crawled up into his lap, letting this outrageous and ignorant man be president. What's happening to the GOP now is richly deserved and totally predictable.

The devil has turned the table on them!  Where's their Alka-Selzer?

NOTE: Trump has just added another GOP senator to his attack list, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee who is another one up for re-election in 2018. Hey, Trump, two plus one is three, and three plus 48 is 51, giving the Senate majority to the Democrats! When are you going to shoot yourself in the other foot?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Did Trump Have Russian Help in the Primaries?

The penny has dropped.

Trump has likely been the Russians' candidate from Day One.

When was Day One? Could it have been — hold your breath! — as early as the GOP primaries? It was certainly earlier than the June 2016 meeting Donald Jr. had with the Russians to get "some dirt" from them on Hillary Clinton.

The penny dropped for me last Friday night when Rachel Maddow pointed out that Trump had given a list of five names to the editorial board of the Washington Post back when he was interviewed as a candidate, these five being his "foreign policy team". Maddow noted two things about these five men: (1) no one had ever heard of any of them, and (2) we now know that each of the five has a connection to the Russians.

The picture of the Russians owning the Trump folks keeps growing.* (See footnote)  The Russian collection of Trumpies apparently even reached far enough in his orbit to include those on his "foreign policy team". It was a wide circle and it began early. He had these five names before newspaper endorsements were made. Compare that with how slow he was to name staff after the election. Even now most of the upper posts at the State Department lack nominees.

Not only is virually everybody associated with Trump also associated with the Russians, but the Russians own Trump and his cohorts. We know from the investigations already made public that the Russians have bought Trump with huge loans when his repeated bankruptcies lost him access to credit in America. We also know the Russians bought Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manaford, with a huge fee for doing Russian dirty work in Ukrainian politics. And we know about Mike Flynn's pay-offs from the Russians. As for Donald Trump, Jr., he boasted several years ago that "85% of our earnings come from Russia." And Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owes millions to the Russians.  All this is old news. To help facilitate some of these wheelings and dealings, a servor for Russia's biggest bank, one controlled by Putin, sat in the Manhattan Trump Tower that is home to Donald Trump. Pretty handy?

Everyone seems to assume that the Russian approach to Trump and his cohorts began in June 2016 with the "dangle" of some kind of trade for the dirt on Hillary Clinton. But why assume that was the actual beginning of the Russian presence? Looking back now, I see what struck me as odd about the reply emails from Kushner on the proposed June meeting: there was no expression of surprise.  Wouldn't you be a bit startled if you got an email from someone telling you that the Russians want to help you out with some important aspect of your life? I think I'd say   — and likely you would too —" The Russians? Why the Russians? Why me?" Especially concerning an American election! Who next? The Martians?

Donald Jr. just took it in stride. As did campaign manager Manaford and Trump son-in-law Kushner. Sure, the Russians. Of course, the Russians. Why not the Russians? Because, after all, they have been with us all along. 

When did the Russians decide to take over Trump and his campaign? I don't know, but I'll bet the farm it was before June 2016. Does it matter when they stepped in? Maybe. WAfter all, we need to know more about what they have done in our democratic politics, and the "when" may be an important clue as to the "what".  It certainly is a good thing that special prosecutor Robert Mueller is digging into Trump's earlier business history. We need to know when the Russian net closed around Trump and his minions so we can assess what that connection may have cost our election process.

Here's a question that no one has yet raised publicly: Did the Russian intrusion begin early enough to help Trump win the primaries?

Maybe the GOP could get more interested in the investigation of this mess if they began to suspect that they too had been victimized by Putin and his cohorts.

Oh, Lord, I'm 81 but I'm not ready to go! I want to see how this all turns out!

* Just when I finished this, the NY Times identified yet another Russian who was present at the June 2016 Trump campaign meeting. The article describes his background in computer hacking. Isn't it possible the Russians were offering the Trump people hacking services that were more than the just material previously hacked? Were they offering the on-going services of the Russian described in this article, the hacking manager himself, to get into the American election process? To get into our voting machines? Lobbyist at Trump Campaign Meeting Has a Web of Russian ...

The plot sickens!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Trump's Lost His Key Voters in the Three Swing States!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

You won't see this important news anywhere else today: Trump could not now get elected.  He has lost the key voters who made him president. The numbers have been published that point to this, but so far no one has connected the dots. Except you and me!

Trump won the electoral college last year by 77,000 votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan and thus became president even though he lost the national popular vote by 3 million.

Seven months into his presidency the present polls show he would not win those 77,000 votes today.

The three states — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — went for Trump last year by a vote in the high 40's. Now he is has severely alienated much of that vote, reducing his popularity by over ten points.

In Wisconsin, only 34% now approve of Trump's performance as president. 56% disapprove. Stunningly, 64% say he is an "embarassment".  Only 25% say they are "proud" of him. The numbers for Pennsylvania and Michigan are virtually the same as Wisconsin's. Together they mark Trump's failure to hold his key voters.

And don't overlook the "embarrassment" numbers. They are very important. Much of Trump's appeal was on a personal/identification basis. His voters forgave him all his campaign mis-steps and obvious lies because he seemingly "spoke" for them. It was his personal manner that was his strongest glue.

Not any more. They can't forgive him any more. He is embarrassing and thus embarrasses them. Can they come back to him? Well, if they don't like being embarrassed by their presidential choice, how can they trust that he won't embarrass them again and again? The difficult thing for presidents about character issues is that people who are alienated by character failures are very hard to win back. When George W hit a 34% low as "trustworthy", we knew he and his presidency were through. Once you don't trust someone, you go on not trusting them. Similarly, once nutty Uncle Fred embarrasses everybody at dinner with your boss by picking his nose, you aren't likely to ask Uncle Fred anywhere important again.

The above figures on the three key swing states are from the latest NBC/Marist poll, which was announced today on "Meet the Press". Trump's Approval Rating Stands Below 40 Percent in Three Key ...  Oddly enough, moderator Chuck Todd seemingly didn't grasp their import. He acknowledged the drop in Trump's numbers but didn't correlate them as compared with the 2016 result in the electoral college. He missed that Trump could not today win those three states and thus the presidency.

As of this writing, no one else has caught on. I am very happy to be the first to bring you this good news. I just wish that it had been true on November 8. But at least we know Trump is already a lame duck who can't get re-elected.

Now the question is when and how do we get rid of him without getting Pence. Remember that Pence's policies are as bad as Trump's and Pence knows how to get them enacted.

If my favorite old saying is correct maybe Pence will crash along with Trump. The old saying is "God takes care of dogs, drunks, and the American people." Maybe God can figure out how we get rid of both guys.

Somebody has to.