Trump behaving like a cornered rat…

March 18, 2018

Nixon had his Watergate and Trump is having his Russiagate and it could end the same. Not a new thought I realize. But not just a hopeful one from a Trump disliker (hate is such an ugly word and it reminds me of Trumpism). With Trump calling for the special counsel on the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, to end it all, the investigation that is, and the hint he might fire him, Nixon style, the end of the Trump nightmare presidency seems nigh.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham said dismissing Mueller would be “the beginning of the end of his presidency”. And Graham supports the Trump presidency, albeit sometimes reluctantly. He used to call Trump crazy and may still in private (but you know he is under pressure to support the team).

And I do realize that ever since Trump assumed office his imminent demise as president has been predicted only to be confounded.

And something else not original, the last paragraph of my last post:

<<Mr. Trump: Richard Nixon found that even though he was president he was not above the law. Hopefully you will find out the same. Right now you have your GOP enablers who are scared of you but are trying to make the best of things by using your cover to at least get some of what their fat cat contributors demand. But when the long arm of the law catches you they will desert you.>>

What’s got Trump bugged (well wrong choice of words, he claimed Obama bugged his campaign, didn’t he?) is that Mueller is now going after Trump’s personal business records. Trump may have no shame about consorting with prostitutes or porn stars (there’s a difference?) but he does not want to share with the world his questionable business practices. I mean we know a lot about them, but the actual records?

I opined in one recent post that in some ways the ongoing investigation dragging on through the Trump presidency could be seen as unfair and I think I was trying to say that it could set a dangerous precedent if forces counter to a president could interfere with a presidency by questionable investigations that turn up little to nothing. Actually we have already seen that movie — White Water on the Clintons. And in my last post I opined as how the FBI is right to investigate politicians but should not become part of the political intrigue itself. But I also closed the post with that paragraph I repeated in this post (above).

With all the staff dismissals and talk or threats of dismissals and the constant mad tweets, Trump acts as if he is a cornered rat.

After Nixon went down he was able to rehabilitate his image over the course of many years. I know I think better of him after reading about his upbringing and his life. But he let power go to his head, and he convinced himself that he had the right and the power to do things that for other people would be considered breaking the law. I believe he convinced himself that he was carrying out his patriotic mission. And maybe he did have a touch of evil in him (I cannot know).

It is hard to imagine Trump would be able to rehabilitate himself — there is just nothing to work with.


And then there are people who are willing to forgive or at least overlook Trump’s terrible, uncivil, boorish behavior, and his trampling of accepted norms and his disruption of the very stability of our government as a tradeoff for some greater good, a greater good that I cannot possibly identify. If you are one of those people I cannot expect to interest you in anything I have to say — apparently our brains are wired differently. And as for the evangelicals who support the sinner Trump, well you should be ashamed and embarrassed for making a deal with the Devil himself.



The FBI needs to be separate from politics; one agent pays terrible toll…

March 17, 2018

The FBI should stay out of politics. I mean it has to investigate crimes and sometimes that involves politicians. But the agency itself should not be part of the political intrigue, just like it is bad when journalism or journalists become the story rather than the independent third-party observer (or the Fourth Estate, as they are sometimes called).

Certainly under J. Edgar Hoover the FBI overstepped its bounds, blackmailing or attempting to blackmail various people, including presidents. It was job security for Hoover.

In more recent times we would hope that it has improved. But evidence indicates that in the last presidential election some of its operatives seemed to be favoring one side over the other. Or in the case of former director James Comey publicly commented on an investigation still in progress to the possible detriment of one candidate.

(No one but Comey knows what his intent was, in that he seemed to both convict and exonerate Hillary Clinton at different intervals but, whatever, that was not his job. He should have kept his mouth shut.)

Now that I think about it, firing Comey may have been one of the only correct things President Trump has done (and he may have not done it for the correct reason, if that makes sense).

And now a top FBI official received a cruel punishment. Andrew McCabe has apparently lost his retirement just hours before he was set to retire. I don’t know all the facts in the case or whether the action was warranted. Seems awful drastic. But supposedly he withheld important information from the special FISA court which grants permission to conduct surveillance on private citizens.

He claims the Trump administration is using him to thwart the investigation by a special counsel, which seems to be getting too close to finding wrong doing by the Trump administration (and that is my interpretation of his words, not his exact words).

Whatever the case, even if the administration is breaking the law, the FBI cannot and expect to safeguard its credibility at the same time.

Meanwhile the special counsel seems to be unnerving the administration.

Mr. Trump: Richard Nixon found that even though he was president he was not above the law. Hopefully you will find out the same. Right now you have your GOP enablers who are scared of you but are trying to make the best of things by using your cover to at least get some of the things that their fat cat contributors demand. But when the long arm of the law catches you they will desert you.



Go figure: Democrat apparently wins in Trump country by appealing to voters…

March 14, 2018

A possible lesson for Democratic Party candidates in the time of Trump, run as yourself, appeal to the actual voters who have the power to put you into office, make it clear you are not just a go-along party hack. Don’t waste your time running against Trump — I mean why throw away the votes from people who may actually still like him but like what you say too?

From what I have read, that is what a congressional candidate in Pennsylvania did and as of this morning (3-14-18) with the results still too close to officially call, a few hundred votes, it looks like he won. In fact, he has declared victory.

It was two little known candidates in a special election for a seat in a congressional district that may be dissolved due to a state supreme court ruling on gerrymandering. But the election was seen as a bellwether for whether Democrats could hope to retake the House.

Former Federal prosecutor and war veteran Connor Lamb, as of this writing, had a 641-vote lead over his Republican challenger Rick Saccone.

All I know is what I read on the net, but it was said Lamb has youth and looks on his side. But just as good, he ran as his own man and fought the Republican attack that he would just be a slave to Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the congress, by saying he would not support her. He also took various conservative stances popular in his district.

And I thought he chose his words wisely (and I’ll even presume he was sincere) when he told voters in declaring his victory that he did not run against Trump and that he realizes that many voters in the district may well like Trump.

What I think this election might prove is that, sure, Democrats have a good chance. They always have. Elections are theirs to give away by forgetting to appeal to the actual voters who have the power at the ballot box.

I know I and others have run this into the ground, but I am still scratching my head over why Hillary Clinton went to coal country and promised to put coal miners out of business. Some say she just failed to choose her words carefully and that she was quoted out of context. Yeah she was going for alternative energy but promising to provide re-training for displaced coal workers. But I say: maybe the coal miners didn’t want to work at McDonald’s. And if I were them, I would say, hey Hillary, how would you like to be told you need to be retrained?

And to top it all, the whole reason for the special election was that the former Republican congressman declared himself to be anti-abortion and then got caught up in a scandal where a woman claimed that he tried to pressure her to have an abortion. Whoops.


The Republican Party poured a lot of money into this one and Trump made his appearances in the district. But the voters have the last word.





Even if the boss is a moron, you can’t say it and keep your job…

March 13, 2018

A new lead to this post:

I have to admit upon reflection here that you just can’t call your boss a “moron” (even if he is) and expect to retain your job.

So Rex is out. Actually he was probably not qualified to be Secretary of State, but ironically, and sadly, he might have made a better president than Trump. I know little to nothing about his political views, but he seemed intelligent and rational.

And that is my new lead for a day-old story now. Meanwhile as I write this Tuesday night there is a tight congressional race in Pennsylvania where only a mere handful of votes may determine if a Democrat makes inroads into Trump country.

I’ll comment on that in the morning if time permits (I have a real job), for what it’s worth.

AND NOW AS I TRY TO WRAP THIS UP, THE DEMOCRAT HAS DECLARED VICTORY (I’m going to bed. Have to see if it stays that way in the morning).

My original post follows:

What we have is instability — “bigly” as Trump might put it — at the White House. The abrupt dismissal today (3-13-18), apparently done by tweet, of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, without even telling him directly, points to how irrational the president is.

(Of course that is basically how he fired Comey — don’t recall if he tweeted it. But Comey was informed by journalists.)

Trump demands sycophants. One wonders why he even needs a cabinet.

Tillerson has been at odds with Trump on a number of issues, such as Iran and North Korea. So yes, on the one hand it is certainly the right of the executive to decide things are just not working out but why does it have to be done in this fashion?

The only thing I can think is that Trump is paranoid. He is trying to instill fear into any objective thinkers in his cabinet. Don’t question me or you’ll be publicly humiliated about reading that you’ve been canned in the papers. The early risers may know before you do.

Trump may be coming undone.


Let’s just hope Trump does not do a Neville Chamberlain…

March 11, 2018

As far as the planned meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, dictator of North Korea, goes I would be more comfortable if it were two grownups talking but what can I do about that?

(Actually I would not be surprised if Kim has a stronger intellect than Trump but he like Trump is spoiled bully.)

And I hope Trump does not get bamboozled, as American negotiators have in the past, and come away looking and acting like Neville Chamberlain being hoodwinked by Hitler and declaring we will have “peace in our time”.

But if they make nicey nice to each other while they compare crazy hairdos and swap stories about what it’s like to be crazy and in charge and watch everyone else squirm, maybe there is less chance of the nuclear missiles being launched, at least for the time being.

(I want to mention right here too that I sometimes worry that the current thinking by many is that somehow there can be some type of limited nuclear war that does not end in near total disaster… a dangerous fallacy or complacency I think.)

It has been reported that Trump made a snap decision on whether to meet with Kim. He was told that Kim had proposed the meeting and immediately, on the spot, simply said “yes” and brushed off remarks of caution by advisors. He did not consult with any grown up, that is anyone who knew anything about foreign diplomacy. Some critics of conventional diplomacy say that is just as well because the experts haven’t had any success with North Korea. Not sure that is completely true. But North Korea does continue to be a thorny problem, and we failed miserably in intelligence it seems. They got a lot further with their nuclear missile capability than our people knew.

It would be better I think if we did not have a belligerent blowhard in our White House. We cannot do anything about the one in North Korea at this time, and it appears we cannot do much about ours either for now. Something went terribly wrong with our system.

If we had a more moderate and steady leadership in Washington we could move pragmatically to do what we have to do to defend ourselves but not make things more dangerous by offhand remarks and chest pounding by a vain leader which have no use other than to satisfy his own ego.

Whether he likes it or not or whether he admits it, Trump will need advice on how to approach and conduct the planned meeting and what to say and what not to say I would think.

I just wished we had a grownup in charge.


I read some time ago that poor Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who acquiesced to Hitler’s aggression, whose very name connotes “appeasement”, a word that in return connotes weakness, or having sand kicked in your face by the bully on the beach, politically speaking really had little choice. Demoralized from the terrible costs of World War I, the British public was in no mood for another war with Germany. But they got one.


Kim/Trump proposed meeting: talking peace is better than nuclear threats…

March 9, 2018

If I am blogging about topical things I should react to the surprise announcement that North Korean despot and nuclear saber rattler Kim Jong Un has offered to talk one-on-one with President Trump and Trump has agreed.

Seems like it has to be a good thing. However I think I did see this movie before. While no North Korean leader has ever met with one of our presidents while they were still in office, North Korea did promise not to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for aid to its nation from the U.S. and others I guess. But secretly it continued.

But talking peace is better than nuclear threats from both Kim and Trump.

Actually I think Trump’s method of standing tough is partially correct and may have worked, except I think one could accomplish the same or more with saying little but at the same time making it clear in various ways that we (the U.S.) would defend ourselves and possibly even take preemptive action if need be.

But I read recently that Nixon’s strategy in Vietnam was to make the enemy think that he would be capable of doing anything, even using nukes, to win. Keep them off balance. He did mine Haiphong Harbor. And I always thought that kind of tactic could have worked. But we had already lost the war by then. Oh, yeah, and while I am at it, I don’t think Nixon’s going into Cambodia was wrong — it was war. But then again, I probably ought to think on that one more. And the problem with Vietnam was we were in the wrong war. And it is all so very sad for those who fought it and died or were terribly injured, along with the suffering of their loved ones.

But back to the proposed summit of Trump and Kim — let’s hope it works.


Russian investigation needs to put up or shut up about Trump, but when? Watergate did take two years…

March 9, 2018

If this ongoing Russia investigation led to the removal of President Trump from office by way of impeachment or his resignation or whatever, I would not shed a tear — but even so I feel a little uneasy about it all.

What if something like this took place in local government? Say there was a mayor (in the type of cities that directly elect a mayor) and you had a district attorney (also directly elected) and that DA decided to investigate corruption at City Hall, maybe not involving the mayor or at least not specifically, but just corruption. And so along the way indeed evidence of corruption was found and various characters were indicted by a grand jury impaneled by the DA, many of them copped pleas to avoid jail or longer terms and did so by agreeing to testify, possibly against the mayor — but the public did not know for sure.

So now the mayor himself is under suspicion but of course he can’t face his accusers because no one has publicly accused him and responding to innuendo or vague allegations would in some ways seem to confirm there was some merit to the accusations (as in when did you stop beating your wife?).

And this investigation drug on with no direct allegations against the mayor, just constant innuendo via leaks to the press (or “media” as everyone seems to want to call it these days).

This would seem unfair to the mayor because it would put his administration under a cloud even though officially no allegations of wrongdoing on his part had been made and no evidence presented. This would also be bad for the public because it could hamper the workings of their government making it difficult for that government to do the things it was put there to do — fill the pot holes, supply drinking water, make sure the garbage is collected, provide protection via a police force and fire department, ect.

For a DA to conduct such an investigation it would seem like a fishing expedition. You don’t know if there are fish down in that pond or not but if you search hard enough you are bound to come up with something. Such an act by a DA would seem unethical.

But of course DA’s do investigate cases of suspected crime. And politics sometimes gets wrapped up in it all.

But the curious thing about this Russia investigation is that it is being conducted by a special counsel, a former director of the FBI, appointed by an acting director of the FBI, which is controlled by the Justice Department, which is a federal agency within the executive branch, which of course is headed by the President of the United States.

President Trump is not happy, to say the least, about the whole investigation. Before the appointment by the acting FBI director, Trump fired the FBI director over the Russia investigation and after he (Trump) demanded loyalty (read that “don’t implicate me”) from him and he refused. Trump had the legal authority to fire him (although I suppose some might contend it was obstruction of justice). Trump, some legal observers say, could fire the special counsel legally. But many observers suggest that if he did it would likely lead to his impeachment or force him to give up his office, as was the case when Richard Nixon fired a special prosecutor investigating him over the Watergate scandal.

While I think it is definitely necessary to investigate how and how much the Russians interfered with our elections, I am uneasy about a never-ending investigation casting doubt on an elected president by innuendo. It is unfair to the president and the American people, although in the case of Trump it is hard to worry about being unfair since playing dirty is his mode of operation.

And there is some merit to the charge by the Trump administration or supporters that Hillary Clinton should have been pursued about her own Russia connections and dealings with foreign governments through the Clinton foundation using the prestige of her office as Secretary of State — along with her sloppiness with classified information via unsecured email (although I think that is more of a failure to understand modern technology for which anyone my age or older has problems with).

There comes a time when the investigators need to put up or shut up but I am not at all sure when that is.

While I am not worried about Trump, what if someone was in office who I liked?


This ongoing case is a lot like Watergate but perhaps a little more complex. Watergate took two years. I guess the Russian investigation actually stretches back to 2013, according to a timeline I just read, but of course it only has been affecting Trump directly since he assumed the presidency a little over a year ago. So maybe give it another year?


And I neglected to mention in my original draft of this post that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who heads up the Justice Department, recused himself, much to the chagrin of Trump, from the Russia investigation in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, since he was appointed by Trump as a member of his cabinet. Apparently Sessions does have some integrity and sense of ethics, despite his reportedly racist past (and present?).