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Tue Mar 26, 2019, 10:30 AM

The Shroud of Trump [View all]

try it again
with a double axe.”
-- Thomas Merton; Notes for a Cosmic Meditation.”

I was reading some of Thomas Merton's “Raids on the Unspeakable” (1960). In fact, I brought it to the gym this evening, to keep reading more of it, as I helped train five boxers, ages 8 to 30. There are some periods where I have to concentrate on the training – especially sparring sessions – but shorter spots where I could read a few pages.

Towards the end of training, a women I met at work and remain good friends with stopped to ask what I was reading? I showed her, and said a few words about my impressions of Merton. She'd never heard of him. She's much younger than me, and it got me thinking how many young people are unaware of one of the great influences on my generation. I think it would help people put things in perspective, and help define what is possible – and what role we have to play.

In my mind's eye, which is admittedly limited, the combination of training people to fight in the ring while reading Merton, is similar to watching the news about the Mueller Report and reading Merton during commercial breaks. This became evident to me when I got home from the gym, and had a conversation with another friend.

I met this lady on the Democratic Underground many years ago. Although she, too, is much younger than I, she is familiar with Merton. However, yesterday she was feeling mighty frustrated with AG Barr's odd interpretation of the Mueller Report, and extremely annoyed by much of the media coverage it was getting. As I am of extremely little intellect and shallow grasp of understanding, I immediately responded by way of the discussion I had had an hour previous, with the two fighters that will be competing in the finals of the NYS Golden Gloves on April 14, for I am convinced that all that is important in life imitates the sport of boxing.

In a tough bout, there will be times when one's opponent unleases their best blows. At those times, one needs to keep moving, so as not to be a stationary target. Avoid as many punches as possible, and block those that you can't slip. Recognize that as unpleasant as this is, t is an essential part of the struggle. Do not watch your opponent's eyes; instead, focus on their mi-section. Know that the opponent will become over-confident – this being an important key – and thus will load up on their punches, which always results in their getting winded. Always. That is when you catch them coming into your power, as you dig in some hard body shots. When his/her hands come down (and they will!), you go to the head.

This weekend, our opposition started throwing punches at us. When Barr produced his brief interpretation of the Mueller Report, we could anticipate the over-confidence we saw on Monday. The republican base has been cheering wildly, assuming that meaningful shots are overwhelming our side. But most of those punches completely miss the mark, and the few that “land” are being blocked. More, we have some elected representatives landing some meaningful counter punches. And within a week's time, the Trump supporters will have shot their wad.

Now, back to the gym, at least figuratively. Before training, I had a rather long conversation with a close friend. He and I have worked on political activities for three decades or more. He asked for my impressions of what was going on per the Mueller Report, including the risks of accepting Barr's bit on face value. I will attempt to edit my long and winding response, as my response was even longer and more boring than my essays here.

Mr. Mueller determined that there was not enough evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to warrant legal charges. It is not as if Mr. Mueller was unaware of Don, Jr's meeting, etc. Rather, the report shows that the Russians made repeated efforts to influence the campaign, and that the Trump people were by and large unwitting dupes. What type of people do the Russians mark as easy targets for such things? As Malcolm Nance has repeatedly said, they look for people who are greedy, ambitious, and narcissistic. Surely Mr. Mueller is aware of this.

Mr. Mueller did not include a conclusion regarding obstruction of justice. Instead, he laid out the evidence pro and con. He knew that the DOJ has a policy of not indicting a sitting president. There is no evidence that he took the steps he did, and included the documentation he put in the report, as a means of asking Barr if he would overturn policy, and indict Trump. That is a very weak interpretation of what happened.

Instead, Mr. Mueller laid the case out for Congress to consider. Indeed, in our political system, it is Congress that determines if a president has attempted to obstruct justice, and/or has abused the power of his/her office. One of the primary reasons for this is that obstruction and/or abuse of power does not have to rise to the 95% level of certainty that I spoke of in my last essay here, in order to press charges. It's clearly the responsibility of Congress, not Barr, to interpret this.

Thus, we see republicans parroting the line that grand jury testimony cannot be legally released. In general, of course, this is true. The reason, as we all know, is to avoid damaging the reputation of a person who testified, but was not charged by the grand jury. Yet, there are exceptions, and the republicans are terrified of them.

Let's consider but one example. Take Hope Hicks, who quit the White House days after testifying in front of the grand jury. Gracious, I wonder why? Oh, that's right – among other things, Hope was with Trump on Air Force One when he dictated the cover-lie for Don, Jr., per the Trump Tower meeting. She has also admitted lying to help Trump. Now, if her testimony that is included in the Mueller Report is released – to both Congress and the public – it isn't going to hurt her reputation. No, there is still a future in plastics.

But it will knock the wind out of the republicans. And it is only one of a very large number of body punches that we are preparing to land …..because the law absolutely allows for the release of grand jury testimony in certain circumstances. And this is definitely one of them. It's coming.

Thomas Merton reminds us that we are participants in these great events. To not allow ourselves to be reduced to mere spectators, arguing the points that our opposition throws at us. No, it's time to work with our elected representatives in DC. Let's roll.

H2O Man

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H2O Man Mar 2019 OP
Uncle Joe Mar 2019 #1
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H2O Man Mar 2019 #5
Uncle Joe Mar 2019 #7
H2O Man Mar 2019 #13
anarch Mar 2019 #3
H2O Man Mar 2019 #6
coeur_de_lion Mar 2019 #8
H2O Man Mar 2019 #14
coeur_de_lion Mar 2019 #20
H2O Man Mar 2019 #22
coeur_de_lion Mar 2019 #23
H2O Man Mar 2019 #24
malaise Mar 2019 #9
H2O Man Mar 2019 #15
malaise Mar 2019 #17
H2O Man Mar 2019 #19
coeur_de_lion Mar 2019 #26
H2O Man Mar 2019 #27
coeur_de_lion Mar 2019 #29
H2O Man Mar 2019 #30
MBS Mar 2019 #10
H2O Man Mar 2019 #16
Hekate Mar 2019 #11
H2O Man Mar 2019 #18
kentuck Mar 2019 #12
H2O Man Mar 2019 #21
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H2O Man Mar 2019 #28
blm Mar 2019 #31
H2O Man Mar 2019 #32
blm Mar 2019 #33