Saturday, February 16, 2019

Emergency Declarations, the Democratic Sweepstakes, Republican Tactics, Wealth Redistribution and Immigration



A National Emergency

Trump Loves to Sign Things

A recent posting on this blog suggested that the need for declaring a national emergency was not on our Southern border, but instead in the area of reducing gun violence.  I note that on the anniversary of the Parkland murders, House Speaker Pelosi said the same thing.  Even Ann Coulter, from the far right and for different reasons, has chimed in saying “the only emergency is our idiot President.” 

Well, our White House occupant is indeed declaring a national emergency on that border, a declaration which is certain to be challenged in courts and in the Congress.  The Judicial and Legislative branches of our government will draw the line and slap down this sleazy and ignorant real estate peddler/deal maker who sits at the head of the Executive branch who daily flaunts the Constitution.  

The only deal he should be making now would be with Robert Mueller.  But that won’t happen because no one trusts him anymore to live up to anything he says, even Ann Coulter.  Soon enough, America will be saying “good riddance to bad rubbish.”  

                                                       

 Jack Lippman 

                                          


Democratic Horn of Plenty


In picking candidates to run for President and Vice President in 2020, Democrats must accept certain realities.   In my opinion, they are:

1.   For a “West Coaster” to be on the ticket, he or she must come from a Governor’s chair.  Being in the Senate or House is not enough.  Because the West Coast is usually secure territory for Democrats, geographic appeal is not a plus but strong executive experience is.  Following this same logic, for a Texan to be on the ticket, they similarly should offer executive experience in a Governor’s chair. Being in Congress is not enough.  Hence, I do not see Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke or Julian Castro being on the ticket.

2.   There will have to be a woman on the ticket and there will have to be a man on the ticket.

3.    One of the two candidates on the ticket MUST come from the Midwest, because doing well there is a priority for Democrats.  That candidate can be either a man or a woman, so the other candidate must be of the opposite sex.  Right now, there are three possible candidates from the Midwest, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Amy Kolbuchar and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg.

4.    The other slot on the ticket would have to come from the East Coast. There are many seeking to be on the ticket.  These include Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand, Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg, the last three of whom have not yet declared their candidacy.

Based on the above realities, here are some of the possible ticket combinations.  If Biden, Bloomberg, Sanders or Booker is the Presidential nominee, Amy Kolbuchar will be their running mate.  If Warren or Gillibrand is the Presidential nominee, Brown will be their running mate.  If Brown is the Presidential nominee, Warren or Gillibrand will be his running mate.  If Kolbuchar is the Presidential nominee, Biden or Booker will be her running mate, the other male candidates from the East not being interested in the number two position.  This leaves out those yet to throw their hats into the ring and some of those who have already done so, but I think the choices will come down to those mentioned above.
 JL

 

Republican Strategy 

The Republican nominees in 2020, whomever they may be, are in a weak position.  Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump, nationwide, and his margins in the three states which gave him a victory in the Electoral College were so small that there is no chance of their repeating their performance for a Republican, Trump or otherwise, in 2020.  And G.O.P attempts at voter repression nationwide are falling short.  The Republicans cannot win on their own in 2020, and they know it.  What they can do, however, is make the Democrats lose!  And that will be their strategy.

Watch for Republican criticism of all Democratic candidates, picking out and exaggerating details which will soil their image, hopefully turning the process of choosing the Democratic (note that I never use the pejorative adjective “Democrat”) ticket into turmoil. 

Examples:  Biden makes misstatements and gaffes, Bloomberg is a Republican and is really too pro-business for the Democratic left, Sanders is a wild-eyed Socialist, Booker has no real experience governing outside of Newark where no one goes out at night anyway, Kolbuchar is mean to her employees, Warren, another wild-eyed socialist, lied about her racial background, Brown and Gillibrand are too unknown to have a national impact, Harris, another Socialist, plays the race card in an unspoken manner and the two Texans, Castro and O’Rourke, do it openly, appealing to Latinos. 

Republicans will spend millions to lie about the Democratic field hoping that enough of it will stick in the minds of the gullible to enable the Republican nominee to slip through to the White House.  Beware!

This has already started.  Last week, a relatively mild column by National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg proves it.  It is aimed at making voters uncomfortable with Democrats.  CLICK RIGHT HERE TO READ IT.  And if that doesn't work, here's where to find it.  
  
Expect more of this kind of thing, but even stronger, over the next nineteen months.  Texas Senator Cornyn has already quoted Winston Churchill declaring that "Socialism always starts with good intentions but always ends up with the Gestapo" to paint a sordid and dishonest image of the Democratic Party.  Republicans fear any increased role whatsoever which government assumes, and call it 'socialism' because that means higher taxes and that is precisely what the G.O.P.'s supporters and donors abhor with a passion.  That's their bottom line.
 JL

A Favor 

Do me a favor.  I am experiencing some problems with Google Adsense, a service which provides advertisements on blogs.  Last year, this blog included ads on every posting but supposedly isn’t continuing doing it this year.  I understand, however, that some of you are still seeing advertisements on blog postings.  I would appreciate your letting me know if that is the case with you, and on what kind of device (desktop, tablet, smartphone) you are getting them.  Just drop me a note at riart1@aol.com or jacklippman18@gmail.com.  Thanks.
 JL


Wealth, Immigration, Opportunity and Some Ideas

There is a determinable quantity of wealth in the world.  It is based on the possession and extraction of natural resources and crops, the utilization of those resources through manufacturing, consumption and their distribution through national and multi-national economic systems.  It is augmented by the value of intellectual property, a significant recognizable resource in our electronic age.  And through investment of that wealth and increases in its value based on supply and demand, that wealth of the world is constantly increasing.

The problem is that this wealth is not equally distributed throughout the world.  Some nations or regions have more of it and some have less of it.  And while some individuals control or possess very large portions of this wealth, other individuals possess far less of it, with some even possessing next to none of it.

The availability of electronic communications in most of the world through computers and mobile phones, augmenting television, and the spread of  the internet, including social media, has widened the knowledge of this wealth, and its uneven distribution, throughout the planet.  People living in unheated huts with dirt floors are now aware that much of the world has housing with floors and heating.  People who know only unpaved roads now have seen superhighways and high-speed trains.  And most importantly, they are aware that in nations or regions of the world possessing a lot of this wealth, there are opportunities and ways of earning a living which are not present in areas with less wealth.

It is natural, then, for people in places without much wealth to want to get to those places where there is plenty of it, and ultimately be able to share in it.  Hence, the desire arises to emigrate to these places, legally or illegally if necessary.  Add to this the impetus to emigrate which comes from living in places where not only is wealth in short supply but where there also is social and political disorder as well, at times dangerous.  Places with wealth appear to be much more stable and orderly and usually are less hazardous for residents. 

'I lift my lamp beside the golden door'
Throughout history, these factors influenced migrations such as the tremendous exodus of Europeans to North America during the past five hundred years.  Today, Africans and Middle Easterners see more prosperous Europe as their goal.  Millenniums ago, Asians crossed a land bridge which is now the Bering Straight to populate North America because things looked more promising there than on the Asian land mass where they were.  These became the “Indians” in both Americas that Europeans found here.  

And why did the Hebrews leave the land of Canaan to settle in Egypt?  The Biblical explanation doesn’t tell the whole story.  Egypt offered more opportunity.  And when they were no longer welcome as immigrants there, they left on a generations-long exodus to the “land of milk and honey.”  This is the same reason Africans risk crossing the Mediterranean in overcrowded and leaky boats to get to Europe, why Central Americans seek asylum, or any excuse, to get into the United States and why Haitians pay smugglers to bring them from the Bahamas to Florida’s shores.  People will try to get to places where the wealth is, because that’s where opportunity lies.  It has always been that way and it always will be.  Immigration follows the money.

Locking the gates will not solve the problem.  A more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth on a national or regional basis would go a long way toward solving the problem.  Institutions like the World Bank and international monetary practices designed to ultimately redistribute some of the world’s wealth on a more equitable, but nevertheless deserving, basis may be the answer.  This is what monetary gatherings such as the one periodically held in Davos are about.  That can lead to an answer to making poorer nations richer.  Nationalism cannot.

As for individual personal wealth, there are many innovative ideas around.  In Germany, companies with over 500 employees are legally required to have significant employee representation on their Boards, sometimes approaching fifty-percent.  This serves to divert some of a firm’s profits from shareholders and highly paid executives to employees.  Another “wealth redistribution” plan involves “Modern Monetary Theory” by which the government prints all the money it needs to provide “entitlement” benefits and guaranteed income, the only brake on this practice being the inclusion of steps to prevent inflation.  Ideas like this deserve a hearing rather than instant condemnation.
JL


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Jack Lippman 




 







Saturday, February 9, 2019

Jeff Bezos, the National Enquirer, Robert Redford, Blackface and Donald J. Trump




Robert Redford's Letter and The President's State of the Union Speech

Last week, Robert Redford, wrote a letter to many American newspapers, including the Palm Beach Post, where I read it.  A copy, courtesy of the Salt Lake City Tribune, can be read by CLICKING HERE. Redford, clearly aware of the President’s manifest deficiencies, feels that the likelihood of impeachment is mired in politics, and fears that the report of Special Counsel Mueller will similarly be bogged down once released.  Instead, he urges Americans not to be detracted by these things and to start working vigorously right now to make things right through the electoral process in 2020.  That is the path he recommends.   Read the article.  Click here.

While Redford is right about the necessity of becoming politically active right now, aiming toward 2020, I happen to disagree with him about possible impeachment.  I feel that going for it now will not impede the 2020 electoral process. Even if stalled in the Senate, impeachment proceedings will at least force some Republicans who really oppose Trump but fear primary challenges from the right, to at last be honest with themselves and their constituents.  To some extent, impeachment might unify Trump’s base, but in Congress and among the population, that base will be shrunken  because of the overwhelming evidence the process will reveal. 

If impeachment is successful in the Senate leaving us with a President Pence, it would at least replace the fraud in the White House with someone who understands politics and government, despite his adherence to many positions I oppose. He at least appears to know the rules of the game, something which Trump does not.  So, efforts at impeachment should not be abandoned.  At a minimum, they will keep the pot boiling. 

The thrust of the Republican position in 2020 will be that, basically, the world is at peace, the economy is growing and unemployment is decreasing, so why change things.  

Trump Addressing Congress
That was what the President said on Tuesday evening before he got nasty. The truth, however, is that this is really just an illusion.  Forget for a moment the destruction Donald Trump and his base have caused to the foundations of American Democracy, the rule of law, freedom of the press and the integrity which always goes with the Presidency, replacing it with the ethics of sleazy real estate promoters and greedy confidence men.  
 

Bear in mind that threats to peace from North Korea, Russia and Iran remain, that nuclear limitation agreements with Iran and Russia are being thrown aside, that the unity of NATO and the solidity of the European Community are being threatened and that Syria and Yemen remain open wounds.  Worldwide, democracy is being challenged by autocracy, to which the President is more than friendly.  Our economy is being threatened by China which takes pleasure in our withdrawing from globalization, leaving the way open for them. Wages here, despite job increases, have not kept up with prices, and gross income disparities have made the plight of America’s have-nots, even the ones with jobs, more painful.  We have yet to establish a firm handle on control of the country’s healthcare costs and the restoring of our deteriorating infrastructure.  Regulations to protect our citizenry and our environment, including undeniable climate change, eviscerated by Republicans,
Abrams
cannot be ignored either.  Republican claims that things are going very well, as Trump did in his State of the Union speech, are not to be taken seriously.  That just is not true.  Stacey 
Abrams’ Democratic “Response” remarks made that clear. 

And aside from Trump’s State of the Union speech’s attacks on abortion rights and his fear-mongering description of those seeking asylum at our Southern border, the address also attacked the investigative process which is slowly creeping toward the Oval Office. He commented that “an economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only things that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations."

Going further in this vein, he offered a very confused (and rhyming) equation which compared the very obvious claim that war is what impedes peace with the illogical analogy that investigation is what prevents legislation. (The President’s actual words were “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”)  I suppose he believes the work of Special Counsel Mueller and the various Congressional committees charged with the responsibility of investigation are what prevents the reactionary laws he wants passed from being enacted.



Let’s get rid of Trump as soon as possible, by impeachment or otherwise, and turn to the job of making America great again, the way it was on the way to being before the Republicans were stupid enough to nominate Donald Trump as their candidate and millions of gullible, Fox News-fed Americans, deceived by Russian meddling in our election process, were foolish enough to vote for him.  
Vladimir Putin

The role of Russia is not just conjecture.  It has been proven.  That’s what our counter-intelligence experts keep telling Trump but he won’t listen.
  
I agree with the President’s concluding plea for Americans to “Choose Greatness.” But the presence of Trump in the Presidency is the antithesis of that.  He is clearly the worst President the country has ever been forced to suffer, a sad and unqualified figure who makes slavery-sympathetic Andrew Johnson and underhanded Richard Nixon seem angelic. 

(Followers of this blog know that I advocate Impeachment, followed by indictment and Conviction, followed by, in lieu of incarceration, Exile.  In short, I.C.E. This is what our system of justice can serially and legally accomplish.  I am sure Russia or Saudi Arabia would welcome him as a resident.)

Jack Lippman




The Blackface Discussion 
Olivier as Othello - 1965
Throughout history, theatrical and operatic performers have used blackface when playing the role of a person of color. In the 1965 film “Othello,” Sir Laurence Olivier played the leading role in blackface.  Today, the presence of many highly skilled Black actors and singers has made blackface a thing of the past in casting those roles.  But historically, the use of blackface in theatre and opera has never been the cause of recrimination.

In the United States with its history of Black slavery, however, in addition to such historically acceptable theatrical uses of blackface, it has been used to by musicians and comedians whose humor included a stereotyped imitation of American Blacks as ignorant and comical characters.  It took a century after the end of Black slavery in this country for this practice to be recognized as insulting and repugnant. 
Joelson Singing "Mammy"
Apparently, it lasted somewhat longer than that in the South, even among educated people.  Even in Al Jolson’s sympathetic rendition of “Mammy,” his use of blackface when assuming the role of a man of color when singing it, while acceptable in the 1920s, would be totally unacceptable today.   
Virginia Governor Northam

Clearly, the use of blackface in any performance during the past half century or so in this country which makes fun of Black people identifies the performer as a racist.  Whether it can be disregarded as a “youthful indiscretion” might depend on the life the supposed racist subsequently led.  Otherwise, it is inexcusable.
 JL


The National Enquirer, Jeff Bezos, David Pecker, and Potentially, Someone Else 

Bezos
Diverting from its usual role publicizing scandal among show business and political people, the National Enquirer recently publicized Amazon billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos’ recent divorce.  Angered by this article, which was a strange departure from the type of people the Enquirer usual “exposes,” Bezos proceeded to investigate how the Enquirer obtained the information used in the article.  This did not sit well with them. AMI, the Enquirer’s publisher, then demanded that Bezos cease his investigations and take back his claim that they had political motivation, threatening further exposure including the release of embarrassing photographs if he did not, an act which in the eyes of some, borders on extortion or blackmail.  Bezos has gone public with AMI’s threats.

This just scratches the surface.  There is much, much more going on here!  Note the following facts, and they are facts:

(1) We know that AMI has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Federal 
A Lovely Couple
Attorney for Southern District of New York thereby gaining immunity from being prosecuted for generously paying 
President Trump’s mistress, Karen McDougal, for her story with the understanding that it would not be published. The funds for this apparently were funneled through former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen, accomplishing the killing of a story which would have damaged Trump’s reputation during the 2016 election campaign.  Under this agreement, AMI can be questioned further, and risks losing its immunity.

(2) We know that, again departing from its usual menu of show business and political scandal, the Enquirer published an issue a few months ago lavishly praising the current leader of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, supposed friend of Trump son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner.  (The Saudi prince is suspected of being implicated in the recent murder of Washington Post contributor, Jamal Khashoggi.)

(3) We know that David Pecker, AMI CEO, has access to material in that company’s “safe” which it has not published, and which the Southern District’s staff knows includes the McDougal article and potentially other unpublished material related to Donald Trump, with whom Pecker has had a long relationship.

(4) We know that among Amazon billionaire Bezos’ holdings is the Washington Post, a newspaper in the forefront of criticism of President Trump and which is still investigating the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

(5) We know that Bezos’ investigation was aimed at finding out how AMI’s Enquirer obtained the information which they published about his divorce.  

This is What Moved Bezos to Act
These are the facts. From here on in, it's conjecture. This is where two and two (or actually the “facts” numbered 1 to 5 above) get put together.  Why was AMI so interested in getting Bezos to end his investigation, even to the point of risking being charged with extortion or blackmail and losing its immunity in the McDougal matter?  That is the real question!

With his unlimited resources, Bezos (the world’s richest man) is able to fund the kind of investigation which would go much, much deeper than how the Enquirer obtained the information about his divorce and mistress.  Were they afraid it would also go so far as unearthing the thus-far unspecified and unknown material locked in AMI’s safe?  Only time will tell.  

More Conjecture: If an investigator from the Federal Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York ever gets to question David Pecker further, will he ask if the information locked in that “safe” includes something, however obtained, gotten from someone whose first name is Christopher?  If the answer is “yes,” that might explain why AMI and Pecker are willing to take such a great risk and, of course, the game will be over and Robert Mueller can go home.  Checkmate.  

This will all be in a movie someday and it will win an Academy Award.

Meanwhile you can do your part by not patronizing any supermarket which peddles the National Enquirer or the Globe (which is also an AMI publication) at its checkout counters.  I doubt that many followers of this blog read them, but a lot of Trump voters do.  That figures.
JL





HOW TO BE ALERTED TO FUTURE BLOG POSTINGS.
Many readers of this blog are alerted by Email every time a new posting appears.  If you wish to be added to that Email list, just let me know by sending me an email at Riart1@aol.com.

HOW TO CONTACT ME or CONTRIBUTE MATERIAL TO JACKSPOTPOURRI.com 
Contact me by email at Riart1@aol.com.   YOU ALSO CAN SEND ME YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO BE PUBLISHED IN THIS BLOG AS WELL AS YOUR COMMENTS AT THAT ADDRESS.  (Comments can also be made by clicking on the "Post a Comment" link at the blog's end, though few followers of the blog have done that lately.)

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HOW TO VIEW OLDER POSTINGS.                                                
To view older postings on this blog, just click on the appropriate date in the “Blog Archive” midway down the column off to the right or scroll down until you see the “Older Posts” notation at the very bottom of this posting.  The “Search Box” in the right side of the posting also may be helpful in locating a posting topic for which you are looking. THESE FEATURES, ALONG WITH OTHER VALUABLE “SIDEBAR” ITEMS, INCLUDING ADVERTISEMENTS, MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE ON ALL MOBILE DEVICES.  CHECK THEM OUT ON YOUR DESKTOP OR LAPTOP COMPUTERS.

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Jack Lippman 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

If Men Were Angels, Nance's Book, Declalring a National Emergency, a Michael Gerson column and the President's Big Success


The President Should Declare a National Emergency

Indeed there is a National Emergency!  And in the absence of remedial action by the Congress, it is necessary for the President to declare one to exist! Yes!

But it has nothing whatsoever to do with our Southern border.  It is the gun violence which exists in this country today manifested by periodic mass shootings such as what took place at Parkland, Sutherland Springs, the Las Vegas concert, Aurora, Sebring, San Bernardino, Columbine, Pittsburgh, Newtown, the Pulse Night Club and other locations almost too numerous to mention.  True, the perpetrators of these shootings were mentally unbalanced, all of them, but that is not the avenue to pursue to find a remedy.  It is impossible to keep track of all of the disturbed people in our country, or those whose anger might push them over the edge into irresponsibly dangerous behavior involving weapons. (And of course, we have terrorists as well to consider.) 

This is the National Emergency which the President must address. It is time to recognize that beside the unpoliceable and warped mental state of the killers, there is only one thing these tragedies have in common: guns.  The proliferation of firearms in the hands of Americans is the emergency we face!  

Congress and the Supreme Court have failed to deal with it properly and people continue to be killed.  And they are killed with bullets shot from guns, of which there are over 300,000,000 in this country in civilian hands. Three Hundred Million guns! And this is because of the perpetuation of a gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. This is the National Emergency which the President must address.  Lives are at stake, and far, far, more than any perceived danger on our Southern border.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution should be suspended until it can be properly rewritten to allow the possession of weapons by civilians only for hunting, target shooting, and to a very limited and carefully defined extent, personal protection.  During such a National Emergency, possession of a weapon for other than these reasons should be treated as a felony.

I call upon the President to declare such a National Emergency today!  He has the power to do it.
Jack Lippman


If Men Were Angels, No Government Would Be Necessary James Madison


In the previous posting, I recommended Federalist Papers 47 and 51 as required reading for our Congress, and anyone else with some time to spare.  (the Federalist Papers were a collection of essays written back in 1787 and 1788 in support of ratification by New York State of the new Constitution.)  They were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.  (No slouches!)  Numbers 47 and 51, quoted from here, were written by Madison.
 
James Madison 
Both dealt with the “separation of powers” in the new government.  Number 47 pointed out the dangers of not having that separation and illustrated the necessity of having it protected in the proposed Constitution and Number 51 described how the checks and balances built into the Constitution would work.  Here follow some excerpts from the words of James Madison.  (The highlighting is mine, not Madison’s.) 

When you read them, please think about how they today apply to our three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial, and more specifically, how they apply to our President well as to the Republican leadership in the Senate and the  Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.  Read on:
 
From No. 47 “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” 
 
“where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department, the fundamental principles of a free constitution are subverted.”

“When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body,” says he, “there can be no liberty …” (Here Madison quotes the political philosopher, Montesquieu)

“the legislative departments shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them.”  (Here Madison describes how the several State constitutions have dealt with the separation of powers.  This example, he cites, was from the Massachusetts Constitution.)



From No. 51 “To what expedient, then, shall we finally resort for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments as laid down in the Constitution?  The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate,
Talking to one another is necessary
the defect must be supplied by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places.”

“each department should have a will of its own.”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

“the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other.”

“In republican government the legislative authority necessarily predominates.  The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches.”

“As the weight of the legislative authority requires that it should be thus divided, the weakness of the executive may require, on the other hand, that it should be fortified.”

“Justice is the end of government.  It is the end of civil society.  (By “end,” Madison means “goal” or “aim.”)  It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.  In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and, as in the latter state even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves …”

JL


Dealing With the President's Success

Gerson








The one thing the President has done successfully is to have avoided the kind of direct contact with already convicted criminals and those under indictment sufficient to justify his impeachment and removal from office.  It is clear that he is unfit for the office he holds (check out a recent column - published on Jan. 28 - by the Washington Post's Michael Gerson BY CLICKING HERE) but unfortunately, we will be stuck with him until 2020 unless he resigns.  Gerson makes clear that Trump's campaign promises were worthless. 

Robert Mueller's report, if and when released, I predict, will fall short of justifying indicting Donald Trump.  But it will still cast a great shadow upon him, enough to religate his presidency to the sewer of American history, where it will force the rats already there to scurry away in horror. 

Unidentified Occupant of White House
Needless to say, the President has numerous supporters, but look who they are and what they are saying. Examine both their credibility and their arguments and it becomes clear that both have the substance of tissue paper.  As I repeatedly have urged, watch Fox News to understand how Trump’s supporters have been brainwashed with half-truths, outright lies and innuendo.  (Malcolm Nance's book - See "Politicklers" below - attributes this to Russian efforts.) But this support, sadly, is what, along with that of those legislators who knowingly and hypocritically depend on the votes of Trump's "base" to remain in office, enables the President to avoid impeachment, regardless of the damage he does to the nation.  (And in the background, the Russians and perhaps the Chinese are smiling.)

The answer:  Only vote for those candidates who openly oppose not only the President, but all elected officials who support him.  Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio are no better than Donald Trump. They are his enablers. There are no good Republicans unless they strongly denounce and oppose the President, and this is not the time for seeking shelter in the middle of the road. Too much is at stake.
JL


Some Politicklers

  • The United States is  definitely NOT a banana republic.  If it were, by this time the military would have engineered a coup and for the country's good, seized the government and sent the President into exile. That's the way it is usually done south of the Rio Grande.  But we are not a banana republic.
  • Actually, Donald Trump is not the problem.  The millions of Americans who voted for him and who support him for any number of reasons, most of which won't hold water, are!  He is the legitimately elected President of the United States and because of them, we are stuck with him.  And when Trump is gone, they will be the problem, a very big one.
  • Well, I’ve finished Malcolm Nance’s “The Plot to Destroy Democracy.” 
    Nance
    Despite its lack of good editing, making it a more difficult read than it should be, its message cannot be ignored.   Vladimir Putin’s massive effort to weaken democracy in the Western world, using every intelligence, communications, electronic, social, political and most importantly, psychological, tool available provided him with what was initially a na├»ve, gullible and unwitting asset … but once ensnared, one that has become a more willing asset to be used in the destruction of democracy, replacing it with Russia-centered autocracy.  That asset is Donald J. Trump, whose vanity, ego and no more than modest intelligence prevent him from understanding how he is being used.  I am sure the intelligence apparatus of the United States, and Special Prosecutor Mueller as well, know everything, and far more, than is contained in Nance’s book.  That will save democracy unless it is already too late.

JL


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