Friday, January 31, 2020

Obstruction of Justice - 53 Tried and Convicted

There was an unfolding obstruction of justice case presented in the Senate over these past agonizing days. But there was not one defendant in this trial. Rather there were 53.

While President Trump had instructed his underlings in his administration not to cooperate with the House investigation into his misdeeds with Ukraine, the 53 men and women sitting on the Republican side of the Senate aisle were, by the very essence of our democracy, allegedly under no such constraint. You know, that whole co-equal branch of government thing, empowering Congress with an independent right of oversight to assure the basic workings of our government are not subject to the whims and abuses of a tyrannical ruler.

But there was clear conspiracy here, the line of separation between the White House and the Capitol blurred beyond recognition. Mitch McConnell and his cohorts acting in the acknowledged sole capacity of the President's protector. Charged not with seeking the truth but avoiding it at all costs.

In the end, they allowed two Senators, Collins and Romney, to give this charade a facade of being something it never was. 

This was not merely a case of one man overstepping his power but 53 abandoning theirs. The Republican Senators have changed the essence of their position and have irreparably damaged the fabric of our country.

And what should come at the end of this hearing is not merely a finding of guilt against the President of the United States but against all those who knew far better, yet shielded their eyes, and this nation, from the truth.

As to Count One - I Find the Defendant "Inappropriate"

As to Count One-  I find the Defendant "Inappropriate."

Wearing white after Labor Day is inappropriate.

Eating food from the next table at a restaurant is inappropriate.

The President of the United States withholding already promised and desperately needed aid from Ukraine unless and until they complied with the President's demand that they announce a bogus investigation against his potential rival in the 2020 election requires a word that is just a teensy bit stronger than "inappropriate".

It reminds me of the scene from "My Cousin Vinny" where the expert witness for the prosecution was faced with irrefutable evidence that his position was not sustainable:

"Is there any way in the world the Buick the defendants were driving actually made those tire tracks?"


Come on Mr. Alexander, you can say it. We already know the proper word concerning the overwhelming proof of the conduct of Donald J Trump.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I Wish Alan Dershowitz Had Spoken Up Sooner

If I understand Alan Dershowitz correctly, ANYTHING Donald Trump does in furtherance of his re-election is in the public interest and therefore sacrosanct. An extraordinarily impeachable expert, attempting to define the terms of an unimpeachable presidency. A match made in heaven, or maybe Hell.

We have finally come to the true thrust of the Republican argument on behalf of their leader. Forget all the obfuscation and the misdirection. Disregard the attempts to analyze, dissect and belittle the case of the House Managers and their alleged individual shortcomings. Don't need twenty four hours allotted to present a compelling defense to the charges. In fact, don't need twenty four minutes.Just require one declaratory sentence: Mr. Trump can't be guilty because there can be no boundaries in his pursuing re-election, it being his unfettered, God given right to do wrong.

Alan Dershowitz could have saved us all much time and effort if he had only informed us from the first that we were no longer operating under the confines of morality, the rule of law, the Constitution, or the dictates of a democracy.

Monday, January 27, 2020


He was born chasing the game as the son of a jumping Jellybean and he died chasing the game as the dad of someone whose time upon the stage was fast approaching.

And in between he was one of those one word answers: Kobe. Someone who lived seemingly an entire life in the public eye. Often invincible, but not free of blemishes. Driven to victory, with a grin that informed us that your best was not the same as his.

When someone dies before his time, in a moment of unexpected and terrible tragedy, we feel a loss multiplied by its suddenness and viciousness. For many, Kobe Bryant was a hero, his remarkable skills amplified by his unwavering devotion to his profession. And today there is a profound, numbing sadness in his absence.

His poetry on the court, in the end matched by his words as he departed, his love for what he was born to do spilling over in a remarkable anthem of thanks for a sport that filled his world from his first days. 

To his last. 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

I Would Like You to Do Us a Favor

Dear Republican Senators:

"I would like you to do us a favor."

Thank you, 

American Democracy

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Love, War and the Presidency of the United States

So if I understand this defense, Mr. Trump was just being a political animal, like Mr. Lincoln or Mr. Johnson before him, when dealing with Ukraine.

Except that Mr. Trump, unlike the others, utilized the coffers of this nation as his own piggy bank, withholding crucial monies otherwise due to a country and its new leader struggling to combat Russia and Mr. Putin's efforts to place Ukraine under its control.

What is missing from the analysis by Mr. Blackman is what threats, express or implied, these other Presidents used as leverage. Did Mr. Lincoln suggest he would dock wages of those soldiers not voting, send them into battle without their weapons or even withhold their rations? Did Mr. Johnson state he would refuse to fill the attorney general post unless Mr. Clark was confirmed or that he would take some other punitive step if he did not get what he wanted?

Being a politician, and seeking to gain LEGITIMATE advantage, even if it is distastefully obvious, is the nature of the game. But that does not mean that ANY methods to achieve those aims are permitted. 

Donald Trump abused the privilege and power of his office in a manner wholly inconsistent with the dictates and limitations of his authority. By taking $391 million dollars away from President Zelensky and Ukraine unless and until they conspired with him to smear Joe Biden, he became the very definition of a man who acted outside the scope of his PERMITTED actions, who deserved not our grudging praise for a clever political maneuver, but our condemnation and a vote of the Senate finding him GUILTY of the charges leveled against him.  

Despite the President's assertions, and those of his supporters, including Mr. Blackman, not ALL is fair in love, war and the presidency of the United States.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


"Probably"? What rock have you been living under these past three years?

The Republican members of Congress have long since abandoned any pretense of residing in a reality based universe. As they have defended Mr. Trump's abominations from his cruel and unusual punishment of immigrants to his head in the sand position on climate change, from his refusal to acknowledge Russian hands all over our election to his blatant and fixed determination not to cooperate with either this investigation or the earlier Mueller probe, the men and women who certainly, not "probably",  find this President a crude and ridiculous stain upon this nation, publicly not only support his aberrant and despicable behavior but pretend it is both perfectly normal and absolutely swell.

So don't suggest we hold out even a sliver of hope that these Senate proceedings will find a hero on the right to save the day, save the Constitution and save the country.

Mr. Trump does not need a "threadbare" legal argument to be acquitted. He needs absolutely nothing except those 53 folks who have long since decided that kissing Donald Trump's ring is the only thing standing between them and the unemployment line.

Monday, January 20, 2020


("The Democrats' Best Choices for President")


We were looking for a guiding light, for the hand of God to steer us in the path needed to rid us of a blight not only upon this nation but upon a world that is reeling from an incomprehensibly errant hand at the wheel. And instead we get the New York Times' proclamation that it is uncertain which road leads to salvation. 

While you state that all the Democractic candidates have fundamentally similar views on the major issues of the day, what you are really saying is that they all share visions fundamentally different from that of Mr. Trump. But Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren speak in dissimilar language and you cannot like both with equal vigor.

Don't inform us there are two platforms within the Democractic party and each has its strength and flaws. We already knew that. Tell us which one you find compelling. Which one you find most enlightened. Which one will better shape the nation and the world in the tomorrow's to come. And who the Hell can defeat Donald J Trump.

You have given us a non-answer. Your maybe this, maybe that is a cop-out which leaves me dissatisfied. And, worse, unsettled. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

A Baby's Vocabulary

I  am 16 months old and I am learning new words every day. I now know how to say:
Thank You
All done


Fake News
Witch hunt


No- as in
No climate change
No immigrants
No collusion
No obstruction of justice
No documents
No evidence 

And my favorite phrases

Get the hell out
Lock her up

Thank you Mr. President. You are a very good teacher. How am I doing so far?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Caught Stealing

The stolen base in Major League baseball has become a relic of another era, theft being deemed an unnecessary risk, the chance of success insufficient, the penalty too severe.

But it seems that not all robbery is equal. In the 21st century, the rewards of banging the can quickly far outweigh its drawbacks. And as they say in that old commercial, "a World Series ring", priceless.

Looking for advantage in sport, fair or not, is as old as the earth and as omnipresent as the sky. The Black Sox of 1919 did not introduce cheating to baseball, the Patriots were not the first to act outside the constraints of the rules in football, the substance on Sonny Liston's gloves that temporarily rendered Cassius Clay near blind not the first abuse of the mandates of the Marquess of Queensbury, Lance Armstrong not the one and only miscreant in cycling.

And the art of stealing signs in baseball from the dugout, with the aid of only the human eye, has in fact not been denigrated but revered. Carlos Beltran, now the one in the eye of the storm after the summary dismissal of two managers of recent World Series winners, was a renowned wizard in this arena.

But lines in the sand are drawn, and in the past generation in baseball, the use of steroids was that line. Yet for McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and many others the opportunity to prolong and enhance careers, to earn many millions more, to change the trajectory of one's life and provide financial security for generations unborn of your family, was too great, too enticing. The downside too remote and even should it come to pass, insignificant by comparison.

And now in pilfering intended messages from catcher to pitcher with an assist from modern technology, the possibility of championships acts as an aphrodisiac too powerful to be offset by what, a fine equal to maybe 2 to 3 percent of the payroll of the team and the loss of draft picks that might never have meaning for the team's future. Even the removal of a manager and general manager, acceptable collateral damage. Not one player on your roster penalized for participating in the wrongdoing. Almost too good to believe.

And, unlike Lance Armstrong, Houston did not have to forfeit its prize. Not even an asterisk by the designation as World Series winner. The commissioner's call: safe at home plate.

Who says crime doesn't pay? 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Black Magic

Donald Trump has a unique gift, on full display since his first moments as President: he can make any problem larger in scale, creating imminent potential calamity out of any circumstance.

This week's brush with all out war with Iran was the result of Mr. Trump's latest  effort at escalation but there have been many others of major significance:

 His obsession with the "Wall". Mexicans, and then an expanding array of South Americans presenting an existential problem to this nation, the rapists and criminals then followed by the "caravan" of women and children heading our way to destroy our very way of life.

 Muslims from virtually anywhere on the planet seeking to infiltrate the fabric of this country, each and every one posing a major threat, not one worthy of our compassion or our outstretched arms. Opening our borders to those fleeing the horrors of their homeland merely extending an invitation to terrorists.

Fire and fury. In the universe the President occupied, he found himself in a torrid relationship with the leader of North Korea, alternating between bromance and a threat of total annihilation. As the forerunner to this latest brush with this Creator's tsunami, we worried about whether our West Coast was now within range of a nuclear attack.

These are but a few of the endless array of foreign entanglements amplified by a wave of Mr. Trump's small hands. The trade wars so,"easy to win" not only with China, but with allies like Canada and Mexico, the withdrawal from the nuclear treaty with Iran based on some still to be discovered breach. The list stretches as far as Mr. Trump's imaginings take us.

And yet even as he can ratchet up, so can Mr. Trump ignore and minimize evident truths if that suits his purpose: the role of the Saudi leadership in the killing and dismembering of Mr. Khashoggi, the abandoning of the Kurds, allowing President Erdogan and Turkey a free path to invade Syria and put our ally directly in harm's way, Mr. Putin's attempted manipulation of our own country's election.

Even as we understood that the assassination of General Suleimani was predicated on nothing so much as Mr. Trump's desire to poke a stick in the eye of Iran's leadership,this presents but one more example of the smoke and mirrors tricks we have come to expect from our President.

Donald Trump is a magician making facts seem larger or smaller than they are, or having them disappear completely. Practicing black magic as our nation reels.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

It Should Have Been Enough

It should have been enough when he questioned, when he challenged, whether Barack HUSSEIN Obama was an American citizen.

It should have been enough when he hurled invectives at Mexicans on the day he announced his candidacy.

It should have been enough when he maligned John McCain, branding him a loser for being a prisoner of war.

It should have been enough when he denigrated Hillary Clinton and led the chants of "Lock her up".

It should have been enough when we watched the Access Hollywood tapes.

It should have been enough when he began his presidency by shutting our borders to Muslims seeking shelter from the storm.

It should have been enough when he openly embraced autocrats and dictators.

It should have been enough when he insulted the FBI, the CIA, the Justice Department and the judicial branch. 

It should have been enough when he acted with utter disdain for the environment, when he considered science as science fiction and fiction as if it were immutable fact.

It should have been enough when he broke our country's promises to others, and treated our commitments to NATO allies as if they were but useless illusion.

It should have been enough when he found reason to praise as good people white nationalists whose mission was to reign terror upon and bring death to those they believed to be inferior.

It should have been enough when he paid off women to remain silent about his sexual improprieties, when he took money for his own purposes from his "charitable foundation", when his scam university was shut down.

It should have been enough when he obstructed the Mueller investigation.

It should have been enough when the Mueller report chronicled his serial wrongs.

It should have been enough when he attempted to use the power of this nation's purse to bully President Zelensky into acting as his agent to destroy the candidacy of Joe Biden.

It should have been enough when we listened to the damning testimony of those who served only to preserve and protect this nation's standing and integrity.

It should have been enough when he dictated that those under his command not cooperate, not testify, not produce documentation to Congress in its investigation of his transgressions.

It should have been enough when he was impeached.

It should have been enough when we added up the thousands upon thousands of lies, when we watched him destroy the integrity of his office by a thousand incendiary tweets, when we saw day after day his narcissism, his petulance, his lack of preparation, his immorality, his inciting of hatreds, his total incompetence, his tearing to shreds this nation's standing and good name.

It should have been enough when he reneged on our long fought for nuclear treaty with Iran and thereby stoked the fires of their animus towards us.

But it was not enough. And now he has brought us to the brink of war with a gross miscalculation. He has once more turned this far away region of the world into a tinderbox, his bruised ego now the catalyst for the distinct possibility of almost unimaginable destruction and turmoil.

It should have long, long ago been enough. But it is never enough with Donald J. Trump.

And for our terrible mistake, the price we pay is that catastrophe hides forever in the shadows, lingering always but a moment away from revealing itself as a full, unfettered, untrammeled disaster.

It would have been enough if he had merely left us alone.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Today's Lesson on Don'ts

Don't ask questions and don't question answers

Don't learn from the past for it is no longer present

Don't wonder who they are coming for next

Don't do unto others as they would do unto you, just do unto them first

Don't think before you act, act before you think

Don't challenge your hatreds, just hate your challengers

Don't believe in mind over matter, for it matters not if they mind

But the one thing you must never, never consider: