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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 60,380

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Fahrenheit 784

“History is to the nation what memory is to the individual. Honest history is the weapon of freedom.”
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Is the Trump presidency just a nightmare? How might it end?

On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested after they broke into an office complex in the Watergate building in Washington, DC. On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon's resignation became official at noon. This 784 day period was among the most important in our nation's history.

Those of my generation will never forget those times. Younger people interested in politics likely have learned about that era, including from some outstanding coverage in recent times. I have not seen all that others have told me about, as I have limited access to television. And so I apologize if much of this repeats what you have recently watched. I'm going largely from the internet films of the Senate and later House hearings on Nixon and Watergate.

There are, obviously, differences between Nixon and Trump, and the nature of their criminal behaviors before, during, and after elections. Nixon was not schooled in “white collar” crime by his father, who apparently was a hard working, though not financially successful, man. Perhaps more importantly, Nixon's mother's existence had a positive influence on him.

There are some interesting similarities. During his first term, an officer from Naval Intelligence used to meet with a “former” INO officer, then serving in the FBI, in the basement of the White House. The pair were Nob Woodward and Mark Felt; they made a greater impact on Nixon's second term. Also, in December of 1971, Nixon learned that a young man in the Navy who worked for Henry Kissinger was spying on the president, and turning materials over to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Trump, of course, knew by the transition period that, at very least, the FBI was aware of the Trump-Russian scandal. While Nixon was too intimidated to call out the Joint Chiefs, Trump has publicly – and usually incorrectly – been accusing the intelligence community of conspiring against him.(Neither had a secretary named Lincoln or Kennedy, however.)

Being “watched” played upon both men's natural predisposition to being paranoid. They share this trait with others who have both superiority and inferiority complexes. This results in having few, if any, true friends, as opposed to associates. Nixon had one friend, Charles “Bebe” Rebozo; Trump has had zero true friends in his adult life. (Through Rebozo, Nixon came to spend time in Florida, in what the press called the Winter White House. However, he spent less time than Trump spends in Florida.)

Both Nixon and Trump showed personality pathology before being elected, that was related to crimes they committed during their campaigns. Nixon injected himself into the peace negotiations involving the US and Vietnam in 1968; Trump was dealing with Russia in 2016. Nixon, being anti-social, would later show some loyalty to select associates involved in his many crimes; Trump, a sociopath, has zero loyalty to his co-conspirators.

Now, let's look at a few important dates. In July of 1970, Nixon signed off on the infamous “Huston Plan” for illegal domestic spying on his enemies. The plan called for the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, and National Security Agency to conduct the types of “investigations,” using the same types of tactics the “plumbers” would employ a year or so later. Hoover, who was aware of Nixon's interference in the 1968 Vietnam peace talks, refused to sign off on it. Instead, he noted his objections/ Nixon, as John Dean later noted, never officially ended the program.

Hoover kept track of the Huston program, because he could use it to blackmail Nixon, had the president attempted to force him to retire. However, on May 2, 1972, Hoover died. While in and of itself, his death was surely a good thing, it allowed for Nixon to put his illegal activities into action at a higher level. His re-election committee, known as CREEP, hired a “retired” CIA man named Hunt, who Nixon was familiar with since his days as vice president.

Hunt hired another CIA veteran, James McCord, along with a former FBI agent named G, Gordon Liddy. One fact that is too often overlooked is that soon after being hired, McCord made an effort to befriend Martha Mitchell, the wife of the Attorney General. Then, they became operational, hiring some Cuban-American associates that Hunt knew from Nixon's vice presidential era. They broke into a number of places, including quite likely Dan Rather's home.

After being caught in the second break-in at the Watergate, a number of entities would begin investigating what the heck they were up to. However, these investigations would not influence the outcome of the 1972 presidential election, any more than the on-going investigations of Trump-Russia did the 2016 election. We can only speculate how the voting public might ave reacted in both cases, had they been fully informed.

A couple of newspapers began investigating the break-in, leading to a bit of competition between reporters from the Washington Post and New York Times. The Post had an advantage: Bob Woodward had become a reporter for them. A few years before, in the White House basement, Mark Felt had advised Bob to become a reporter – despite the fact Felt despised the media. And Felt would be assisting Woodward as he and Carl investigated Watergate.

Besides the reporters and DC police, the FBI was investigating the break-in. At Nixon's direction, several aides contacted CIA director Richard Helms, asking him to stop the FBI. Helms could have done so, by declaring a secrecy privilege based upon national security. Nixon said the investigation could bring up issues related to the “whole Bay of Pigs thing.” Like Hoover, Helms had come to distrust Nixon, and refused. The White House requests came back to haunt poor Richard.

The Watergate burglars had been tried in front of Judge John Sirica, starting in January of 1973. He did not believe the defendants had been acting on their own. Eventually, James McCord presented him with a letter that helped uncover the CREEP and White House's role.

On May 16, 1973, Nixon's Secretary of Defense – and nominee for Attorney General – Elliot Richardson contacted Archibald Cox to ask him to serve as the Special Prosecutor in the Watergate investigations. Because Cox was subpoenaing White House tapes, he fell victim to theSaturday Night Massacre on October 20. However, his replacement, Leon Jaworski, would carry on the fight for the tapes, much to Nixon's surprise.

The US Senate would hold televised investigation hearings on Watergate. The tesimony of two witnesses in particular caused severe damage to the White House attempts at a cover-up: John Dean and Alexander Butterfield. Dean told of Nixon's corruption, while Butterfield told of the taping system. These hearing began on May 17, 1973, lasted through the summer, and resulted in a 1,250-page report the following June.

The result of these sources of information – the media, the televised hearings, and more – led to a growing number of citizens believing that their president was a crook. It was no longer just the political left – which was a combination of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the New Left. It included some of the moderates in our party, and even some republicans.

It's important to note that there were several attempts in the House to introduce the topic of impeachment, before it would be taken seriously. Some were not about Watergate. On May 9, 1972, Rep. William Ryan introduced a resolution, and the following day, John Conyers introduced one; both had to do with other abuses of power. On July 31, Rep. Robert Drinin introduced a resolution, based on Nixon's illegal bombing of Cambodia. At the time, Drinin recognized his resolution would lose 400-20, had there been a vote. But these leaders were confident that the tide would turn ….and it did. The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee were well prepared: in September and October, they put together a 718-page history of impeachment.

Still, when on February 6, 1974, the House voted to have its Judiciary Committee to begin hearings to consider possible articles of impeachment, there were many who believed Nixon would survive. This included Nixon himself: he considered the members of the Judiciary Committee to be “bench players,” and that he would maintain the active support of both the republicans and southern Democrats on the committee.

However, the requests for tapes had not ended with the Saturday Night Massacre. Neither the public nor Jaworski were satisfied with what Nixon was willing to give. When Jaorski subpoenaed additional tapes, the White House appealed directly to the US Supreme Court. Nixon was confident, based largely upon the number of Justices he had appointed, that he would either win,or, at worst, lose a split-decision that he could call inconclusive in regarding to executive privilege.

The Judiciary Committee's hearings were acrimonious. Even as the tide had turned on Nixon, many republicans aggressively supported the president. But the Supreme Court would rule against Nixon on July 24, 1974, thus ordering the release of the tapes. These included what was called the “smoking gun.” On July 27, 29, and 30, the Judiciary Committee voted on five articles of impeachment, passing three. (Those on Nixon's tax problems and bombing Cambodia failed.) A little over a week later, Nixon resigned.

The Nixon presidency was not brought down by any one thing. T was a combination of the polic, the press, the intelligence community, the House and Senate, Cox and Jaworski, and the public outcry. And, of course, from Nixon's criminality. The same factors are bringing Trump down now, before our very eyes.

When You Dance ...

“Like a mountain that's growing, a river that flows ….”
– Neil Young; When You Dance

In the last month of his life, as Alvin Adams noted (Jet; March 5, 1965), Malcolm X traveled to the south to deliver two important speeches. The first was in Jackson, to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The second was to young people attending an event in Selma sponsored by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This was at a time when Martin Luther King, Jr., was being held in jail.

A newspaper reporter wrote about how King's aides were unset by how intensely the young people were moved by Malcolm's powerful presentation. Two aides – Andrew Young and James Bevel – confronted Malcolm after his speech. They were concerned that he was interfering with King's plans. This led to Malcolm uttering his classic line: “Remember this – nobody puts words in my mouth.”

Malcolm met briefly with Coretta Scott King before leaving. He explained that he was not there to disrupt her husband's efforts. Rather, he was intent upon showing the white leaders in Selma that if they wouldn't deal with Martin, they'd soon have to deal with him.

Mrs. King understood. She was aware that her husband and Malcolm had been quietly communicating with one another through an attorney in Chicago. And, of course, the intelligence community of the time was also aware of these communications. Everyone involved recognized that any coordination between Martin and Malcolm would change the dynamics of the Civil Rights movement. Individuals such as J. Edgar Hoover were intent upon stopping this by any means necessary.

History does not repeat – rather, it rhymes. Thus, when we look to the past for insights on the present and future, we cannot expect circumstances to be exact. There is no Martin or Malcolm today, yet we can still learn valuable lessons by way of their experiences. We can use those lessons as models that can be applied to current events.

There are forces today, for example, that want to create divisions within the Democratic Party. These forces are not exclusively domestic. They seek to exploit similar fractures as were created in 2016. They want you to believe that as a Democrat, you cannot support Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a Representative that danced in college, or one that used a “curse” word to accurately describe Donald Trump.

More, they are invested in creating fissures within the Democratic Party as we enter the 2020 presidential primaries. They have identified areas that have the potential to divide the people in our party, including age, ethnicity, and gender, along with various candidates' backgrounds and positions on issues. In every instance, they will seek to inject emotional – rather than rational – energy into discussions ….thus pushing discussions into debates, and debates into arguments.

Malcolm used to teach that not every man who throws worms into the water is a friend of the fish. There is wisdom in that teaching that is of value today, in our day-to-day lives. It doesn't mean that individuals or groups within the Democratic Party are not going to favor a specific candidate. Or that women are not going to advocate for a female candidate on the 2020 ticket. No, we can anticipate with certainty that good Democrats will make a very strong case for the candidate they prefer, because we have so many qualified, high-quality candidates.

Rather, it means that we should all – and I include myself – should take care to focus upon the strengths of our preferred candidates, without belittling and insulting other candidates, and hence their many supporters. To the exact extent that we do this in a positive way, we strengthen the party. And we can compare this possibility with the divisive primaries of past, that led to eventual defeats.

If we do this, two things will happen. Those seeking to divide, including the divisive voices on the internet, will be easily isolated and ignored. And we can reconstruct the Obama coalition's excitement from 2008, and not only win the White House, but reclaim the Senate. That will take all of our best efforts

Remember! Only you can prevent boorish liars (republicans) from winning elections.
H2O Man

White House Rats

“Dead cats, dead rats
Can't see what they were at, all right
Dead cat in a top hat, wow
Sucking on the young man's blood
Wishing he could come, yeah
Sucking on the soldier's brain
Wishing it would be the same
Dead cat, dead rat
Can't you see what they were at?
Fat cat in a top hat
Thinks he's an aristocrat
Thinks he can kill and slaughter
Thinks he can shoot my daughter
Yeah right! Oh yeah!
Oh right! Yeeah!Dead cats, dead rats
Think they're an aristocrat
Crap, now that's crap!”
-- Jim Morrison

Mark Twain said the only difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives. We can skip the cat, since the rat in the White House has told 6,420+ lies while acting as president, repeating many of these over ten times. A number of those oft-repeated lies have been coming back to haunt him in 2018. It seemed appropriate that his worst time in the White House came around the time of the winter solstice, which suggests the old fool is going to be facing progressively longer days for the next six months.

A while back, I posted an essay here that focused on Trump's personality – if it can be called that – followed by another essay predicting what behaviors could be anticipated in the near future. We have already seen some of the things that people on those threads spoke of come to pass. As the pressures continue to grow in the weeks and months between now and the spring equinox, we can be confident that he will become more unhinged, and likely more destructive in his efforts to damage the institutions of our federal government.

This is, of course, the bad news of my New Year's predictions. Yet this, too, shall pass. We have already seen a growing resentment of Trump on the part of some republicans in the House and Senate. It goes without saying that this to too little, too late, to warrant any praise of these cowards. But it is a hint of things to come, and Trump knows this.

He cannot afford a significant split in the republican party, but it will become harder for him, before it then becomes impossible. To try to prevent this, Trump will continue to try to divide the Democrats and republicans with actions like the government shutdown. He will follow up on attempts to destabilize the world with his “policies” in international affairs. Predators – and Donald Trump is a predator in the most literal sense – are always ready to sacrifice others for their own entertainment and comfort.

The good news is that such predators are often, like Trump, without deep intellect, much less common sense. They eventually become the victim of their predatory behaviors. Among other dynamics, those lies not only catch up, as in the Mueller, the Southern District of New York, and two lesser-known federal investigations into decades of Trump's “family business,” they serve as self-set rat traps. Indeed, sociopaths tell lies, even when the truth would better serve their vile purposes.

By late March, the crimes of Trump, his family, and his associates will much more fully exposed. More republicans will find it impossible to defend the Trump mob. The legal cases in the courts and the House committee investigations will be plowing the decaying feces known by the brand name “the Trump administration” under. And much of what might seem to be rotting will instead be understood to be part of the necessary process of germination. And between late March and June, those of us at the grass roots level will have the opportunity to plant the seeds of democracy as a follow-up to the fantastic efforts made for the last elections.

Trump thinks he was alone in the last day or so? He has no clue of how alone he's about to be.

House of Representatives versus Trump

“Second, (the Senate Watergate Committee) fulfill the historic function of the Congress to oversee the administration of executive agencies of government and to inform the public of any wrongdoing or abuses it uncovers. The critical importance of this latter function cannot be over-emphasized.”
Senate Watergate Report; page 40; 1974.

One of the most important of all things associated with the Democratic Party's overwhelming victories in the House of Representatives is found in the duty of Congress to inform the public of wrongdoing by the president. Clearly, under the “leadership” of Devin Nunes, the House committee tasked with investigating the Trump-Russia scandal failed to do this. In fact, Nunes led an effort, coordinated with the White House, to misinform the public.

The duty to inform the public will be important in 2019. As surely as the sun rises in the east, the same republicans that attempted to misinform the public about the Trump-Russian scandal will attempt to define the 2019 investigations as “political.” But the Democrats will be in a position to inform the public that the counter-intelligence investigation the FBI began in the spring of 2016 is all about national security.

Back in the Bush-Cheney era, I noted that the duty to inform the public was rooted in Constitutional Law. One person disagreed strongly with me, pointing out that this isn't defined in the Constitution. Although that is true, this duty is well-rooted in Constitutional Law – which is, simply, how the Supreme Court has defined the Constitution's application in the context of their rulings. Indeed, virtually all USSC decisions – excepting Bush v Gore – are their interpretation of the Constitution.

Let's take a gander at two important USSC decisions on this very topic. We can start with the 1953 case, United States v Rumely. A congressional committee was tasked with investigating “(1) all lobbying activities intended to influence, encourage, promote, or retard legislation; and (2) all activities of agencies of the Federal Government intended to influence, encourage, promote, or retard legislation.”

Here may be the important part of the Court's decision, when it quoted from Woodrow Wilson's “Congressional Government” (page 303): “ 'It is the proper duty of a representative body to look diligently into every affair of government and to talk much about what it sees. It is meant to be the eyes and the voice, and to embody the wisdom and will of its constituents. Unless Congress have and use every means of acquainting itself with the acts and the disposition of the administrative agents of the government the country must be helpless to learn how it is being served; and unless Congress both scrutinize these things and sift them by every form of discussion, the country must remain in embarrassing, crippling ignorance of the very affairs which it is most important that it should understand and direct. That informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.' “ Their decision called this informing function “indispensable.”

The second decision, from the 1957 case Watkins v United States, again addresses this important point: “(There is a ) power of the Congress to inquire into and publicize corruption, maladministration, or inefficiency in agencies of the Government. That was the only kind of activity described by Woodrow Wilson in Congressional Government when he wrote: 'This informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.' (Id., at 303) From the earliest times in its history, the Congress has assiduously performed an 'informing function' of this nature.”

I think that this is important for everyone – including our members of Congress and citizens – to understand. I know that our party's leadership in the House knows this, and will act upon it. I'm doing my best to get this information to some of the newly elected House members, so that they can use it when dealing with the media. And I'd like to see those republicans who failed in their duty to inform the public about the Trump-Russian scandal to have their noses rubbed in it.

H2O Man


“It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
-- Senator Robert F. Kennedy; South Africa; 1966.

I'd like to take a minute or two to talk about three types of ripples. None should be confused with a cheap fortified wine associated with brown paper bags, Steve Bannon, and/or Stephen Miller's future. So let's move on from there.

The first type of ripple was that sent out by every person who participated in campaigns and voted for Democratic Party candidates in 2018. There was a lot of variety among those wonderful ripples being sent out and building together a powerful force. There was variety among the candidates our party had at the local, state, and national levels. Combined, these ripples became the current that resulted in important victories, especially in the House of Representatives. Significant in my mind is that we are now being represented there by variety of good people. Can't say the same for that other party, can we?

The second type of ripple are of the kind being sent out by court filings by the Mueller Team, the Southern District of New York, as well as other legal entities. These are being discussed frequently by journalists in a variety of media sources, and on a number of internet sites. We are able to say that these various ripples have combined to partially uncover the 2016 shipwreck known as the Trump-Russian scandal.

The third type of ripple that we are seeing involves those people within our Democratic Party who appear very interested in entering the primaries to become our candidate for president in 2020. This includes the ripples from journalists and others discussing their opinions on who is going to best represent us in that contest. Much like the first and second types of ripples, these represent a wide range of sources.

Our ripples come in various colors – black, brown, red, yellow, and white. They represent everything from young to old, male to female, with a variety of backgrounds. The opposition party is restricted to old, white, wealthy, ethically-dehydrated drippings. Hence, as we witnessed in November, the current has begun to flow in the direction of constitutional democracy.

As individuals, each of us has an idea of which candidate should be our party's nominee for president. That's a good thing, so long as we do not ignore the many other ripples of that third type. It is, I think, too early to say with any certainty which candidate will become the clear choice in 2020. We are fortunate to already have so many options – especially since the opposition will almost certainly be stuck with Trump or Pence.

I believe that any one of our potential candidates could win in 2020. Some appear, at this point, to be surer bets to win than others. But a lot can change between today and election day. We should be keeping open minds, as we keep our eyes on the prize. Our focus must be on winning the White House, the Senate, and expanding our majority in the House.

To accomplish this, we will need the energy created by all of those ripples. We need to recognize what brings about the energy of excitement among potential voters. Two of my favorite politicians – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – are being mentioned as possible primary candidates. However, both are old white men. As a cranky old white man myself, I'd prefer that neither run again. You can only boil an egg once, as the Irish say, and both have had their turn.

I think our ticket should include youth, color, and at very least, one female. It's not as if we would need to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find such candidates. We have lots of good options that fit these descriptions. We have the opportunity to have the energy of an exciting ticket that appeals to the broadest base in 2020, one that every Democrat will be happy to actively support.

H2O Man

Trump's World

“In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity. The sense of identity provides the ability to experience one's self as something that has continuity and sameness, and to act accordingly.”
Erik H. Erikson

Last week, I posted an essay that focused on Donald Trump's personality structure, and discussed how various features might cause his behavior to play out. In the days since, a number of factors have been causing more and more problems for Trump, which is no doubt influencing his mood. In fact, on CNN, it was reported that people in the White House have described his mood Monday as “humiliated” and “super pissed.”

That mood is being attributed to Nick Ayers rejecting Trump's offer to serve as chief of staff. It is, of course, due to much more than that. CNN is also reporting that Trump has become increasingly concerned that the new House will impeach him. More, there are reports of an increasing number of republicans in the House and Senate expressing off-the-record concerns about Trump. Add to that the new letter from 44 former Senators – including Democrats and republicans – reminding the current Senate about its responsibilities as an institution.

To top it off, today Nancy Pelosi spanked him in front of television cameras and reporters. For lack of better word, we will now be witnessing the “synergy” of the Ayers and Pelosi public humiliations – feelings that Trump is not used to. It will combine with the stress he is experiencing from the “synergy” of last week's court filings, combined with related court hearings this week – again, feelings that Trump is not used to experiencing.

What behaviors might we expect from Trump in upcoming days? In a sense, obviously, the usual brat-attack melt-down. No surprise there. But it will become more intense than “the usual.” (Note: while I am writing this, my cousin called to inform me that it has already started with Trump's latest tweet.)

Erikson, like several others, noted a temporary psychotic disorder that was found among the general population that was not otherwise diagnosed with one of the major psychotic disorders. Known as a “brief reactive psychos,” this is a break in an otherwise “normal” person that can happen after a traumatic events, such as a death in the family, or even a divorce. It can last anywhere from a day to several months. Erikson said this was a the result of the sudden disorganization of the brain, which requires the individual to re-integrate the sense of self and others, in order to return to “normal.”

Although this is distinct to experiences that some people have had during vision quests while isolated in the mountains or in a desert (or, to an extent, the result of taking too large a dose of psychoactive drugs, such as when the CIA was testing LSD), there are some interesting similarities. Those who have such experiences often use highly symbolic language as the device to communicate what is, or has, been experienced. Thus, Erikson spoke of the need for others to understand that type of communication.

This, however, is not what we might see with Trump. There is another experience, generally limited to those who are known as malignant narcissists, psychopaths, or sociopaths that actually shares some fascinating similarities. Unlike what Erikson spoke of, this is not the result of one traumatic day's events. Rather, it results from one day after another after another of very emotionally challenging days. In other words, when they are about to be, or are being, caught for their misdeeds.

The result is some of the “micro” psychotic breaks from reality in his thought processes, similar to some of the dynamics covered by Bob Woodward's book “Fear.” It will be paranoid thinking that attributes various plots and conspiracies against him to the dwindling number of people loyal to him. He will generally express these thoughts to others around him. An early example of this was when he claimed that President Obama “wiretapped” him – this was distinct from his usual lies, because in his mind, at least for the moment, he believed it.

Rather than having an attempt to re-integrate after these, Trump attempts to dis-integrate what others recognize as reality. Those in the White House will try to keep him under wraps, or in only highly scripted public settings. But from his tweets alone, we will know that he is still in that primitive, deep, dark jungle. And, considering what Trump is currently up against, this is the phase in which his behaviors become the most high risk – both to himself, and others.

H2O Man

Impeachment Measures

“Minds with very little to compare find very little to understand. They know nothing about the measure of thought, nor do they believe in the power of ideas, and therefore they have nothing to support themselves with.”
-- Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; letter to H2O Man; February 20, 1979.

I found that many of the OP/threads on the potential impeachment of Donald Trump reminded of the above quote from my late friend, almost 40 years ago. Those opposed to considering impeachment – with but one particularly hand-wringing exception – were sincerely rooted in the memories of the republican's failed attack upon President Clinton. Yet, even these failed to take the most basic of legal arguments into account – as Vincent Bugliosi noted, lying about the affair was not material, or else a large percentage of those who had been in family court settings would have been charged.

The Clinton experience was, of course, the only impeachment and trial in modern times. It isnot, however, the gold standard by which to go by exclusively today. The best example would be that of the Watergate era, where Nixon resigned before the House could impeach him. We should also consider two other situations where Democrats opted not to impeach a president (Reagan) and then a vice president (Cheney). In doing so, we have literally four times as much to compare, and understand, as those who only consider the Clinton episode.

More, when we consider the Watergate era, it is essential that we identify the realities of that time, rather than subscribe to two of the inaccurate myths that have become accepted as “facts.” The first is that republicans were “different” back then, than they are today. Nonsense. I'd recommend anyone who believes that to watch the House committee meetings where potential Articles of Impeachment were held. One can only watch their final hearing, when the committee voted to proceed, to learn that the republicans then were just as petty and nasty as they are today.

The second myth is that some good republican Senators, led by Barry Goldwater, ventured to the White House and convinced an unsure Richard Nixon that he had to resign. And that it was this meeting that was central to his resignation. However, that is inaccurate. Nixon had already decided to resign, after what was known as the “smoking gun” tape was made public. The republicans were not going to go against Nixon based upon, say, John Dean's testimony – any more than today's republicans would sink Trump based upon Michael Cohen's word. But once the investigation (and a court fight) produced that smoking gun, they had no choice. Goldwater merely told Nixon to hurry up, as he was destroying the republican party's chances in future elections.

I would suggest that after each of the past two weeks, the Mueller (and SDNY) investigation have made it a bit more difficult for republicans to justify continuing support for Trump. Yet, since we do inhabit reality, we cannot anticipate that there will be an immediate exodus of cringey republicans, turning away from Trump. No, it's a process, just as it was a process with Nixon. And that process is detailed accurately in EarlG's current OP. The grassroots' pressure, along with the media, played a central role in ending Nixon's presidency. And that's where we are at today.


H2O Man

Jason Rainer's Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi: the characteristic method of doing a particular thing.

In order to fully appreciate what route the Mueller investigation will be taking this month in order to connect the coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, we need to examine the modus operandi of Jason Rainer. Who the heck is Jason Rainer, some might be asking? Older forum members will recall that “Jason Rainer” was the super top secret code name of one of the “rat-fuckers” from the Watergate scandal. He is perhaps better known today as Roger Stone.

Roger began as a scheduler for the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP). In that capacity, he used his real name. But when the people in the White House and CREEP determined it to be necessary to infiltrate and disrupt the various campaigns in the Democratic primaries, Roger began to serve in a dual role: as Roger, he continued to be part of CREEP, while as Jason, he did the creepy things that were not to be connected with Nixon's official re-election efforts.

Criminal investigators approach their job by considering what, who, how, and why. (Prosecutors are not required to prove “why,” but frequently do.) Hence, the Trump-Russian investigation focused on what happened during the 2016 election – and to cover it up, and who was likely involved. Roger Stone's stupidity in publicly running his mouth during the campaign regarding the stolen e-mails made him an obvious “who.”

Roger had been an active member of the early Trump campaign, but then an attempt to publicly create distance was taken. In other words, he had become a “cutout,” or intermediary in a clandestine operation. This is, of course, the same role that Jason Rainer served during the Watergate era.

As a cutout, Jason Rainer had off-the-record communications with people in the White House and CREEP. He was tasked with finding various “dirty tricks” operators, traveling to various locations secretly, handling secret funds, getting mail at a secret PO box, making secret reports to his superiors, and manipulating the media. This was, up until 2016, the high point of Roger's life.

When the infamous burglary at the Watergate happened, Jason Rainer not only transformed back into Roger Stone ….but Roger began telling his co-conspirators that he had done nothing illegal. He was willing to testify to the Senate's historic Ervin Committee, although the Committee's report noted that his testimony was different on key issues than that of others.

Certainly, Mr. Mueller is fully aware of Jason Rainer's Watergate adventures. It serves as the model that Roger used in 2016, with the significant differences being the changes in technology. More, in Roger's mind, whereas Watergate was a domestic operation, the Trump-Russian operation was internation. It offered the old fool an opportunity to try to recapture the glory days of his youth.

These days, of course, Roger is again eager to tell almost everyone that he didn't do anything illegal. The difference is that he isn't willing to talk to the Senate Committee.

H2O Man

When the Music's Over

Let's take a look at some of the personality aspects from Robert Hare's checklist for diagnosing psychopathy. As we look through them, it is possible that you will have a good idea who this essay will focus on. This is not the complete list, but it is pretty close to it.

Glib and superficial charm
need for stimulation
pathological lying
lack of remorse
shallow affect
lack of empathy
parasitic lifestyle
poor behavioral controls
sexual promiscuity
failure to take responsibility for own actions

A couple quick points, before we go on. Dr. Hare focuses on psychopathy, meaning an organic personality type. “Sociopath” is basically the same, but considers childhood environmental factors. These are distinct from the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' “Anti-Social Personality Disorder,” which includes them under ASPD for insurance purposes.

Second, as explained in detail in Dr. Bandy Lee's “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” which contains essays by 27 of the top mental health professionals in the United States, psychopathy/ sociopathy is a disorder that can be identified without actually interviewing the subject. Indeed, because of the pathological lying, self-reporting does not tend to be accurate.

One needs only to look at the very public documentation to identify the essence of Trump's being. His “charm” that attracts 25% of voters to the cult of his personality is too shallow to qualify as “superficial.” Grandiosity is always on display. The need for stimulation is found in his obsessive tweeting. And on and on.

This brings us to a question that I was discussing with some friends on this forum a couple of days ago: how can we expect Trump to react to the pressures that Mr. Mueller's investigation are increasingly placing upon Trump? Some, though not all, of the above list come into play. We cannot expect, for example, to see any signs of remorse, or indications that Donald will take any responsibility for his own actions. We can, on the other hand, anticipate a combination of his poor behavioral controls and his impulsive actions. The synergy of these is, of course, something that the investigators welcome.

Now let's look at two of the related pressures that Trump is feeling. By no coincidence, they are of the two branches of the Trump-Russian scandal. First, Michael Cohen exposed the surface of Trump's business dealings with the Russian government. Next, the General Flynn filings indicate an on-going investigation of what, in this case, is commonly referred to as “collusion.”

That pressure is made greater by what Trump is unsure of. Neither he or his legal team know what all Flynn told investigators. Nor do they know if Flynn's son was interviewed by those investigators. Consider the amount of time the son spent on the campaign trail in 2016, hanging out with Ivanka, Jared, and Don Jr. These are the questions that will occupy Trump's mind, as he considers if he needs to attack Flynn on twitter.

What we can be certain of is that factors including Trump's need for stimulation, pathological lying, impulsiveness, and poor behavioral controls will result in attempts to manipulate events. This will likely go beyond the lies and tweets that we have seen daily. He may ignore his legal team's advice, as he did when hinting that Roger Stone will be rewarded if he refuses to tell the truth about the collusion.

While Trump has been told that granting any pardons before the 2020 election would greatly reduce the possibility of his being re-elected, he may conclude that not granting them could also decrease the chances of his being a candidate. In his mind, he is convinced that he is the smartest person in the “room,” and can manipulate any crisis he creates. And that is actually a good thing.

The more Trump acts out, the deeper a hole he digs for himself. Both investigators and prosecutors always prepare for this type of thing. In fact, they often count on it. More, with the Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives, and a growing number of Senate republicans expressing off-the-record dismay with Trump's instability, 2019 will bring an abrupt end to Trump's presidency.

H2O Man

Individual 1

“Just ask the axis, he knows everything”
Jimi Hendrix; Bold as Love.

I was surprised yesterday by the Mueller court action involving Michael Cohen. Caught totally off-guard. In fact, I was writing an essay for this forum on a different topic, when the first reports were being carried by CNN and MSNBC. Within minutes, I knew the bit I was working on could wait – I'd write something on Cohen's plea instead. But as more news came in, I recognized that it would take at least a day to seriously consider the full implications.

A day and a half later, I realize that I am still only able to scratch the surface. The more I think about it, the more blown away I am. And it's not just because of the mainstream media reporting ….one of the finest reviews of what this means comes from DU's kentuck. Now, this comes as no surprise, because this forum still has many insightful members who had, years ago, provided similarly high-quality insights on the Plame scandal. Here is a link to kentuck's OP:


This is outstanding, because kentuck recognizes that Mr. Mueller provided information that serves as the axis for understanding virtually all of the connected parts of what is the largest and most dangerous scandal in our nation's history. Literally everything revolves around this axis, thus making it far more important than a single guilty plea by Cohen.

As tempted to address how it connects to everything else – a topic already covered in detail in David Corn and Michael Isikoff's outstanding book, “Russian Roulette” – I'll focus on two important, related issues. The first has to do with Matthew Whitaker. Recently, when Trump tweeted about Mueller's team yelling at people, a couple people concluded this information came from Whitaker. At the time, I noted that it had come from Jerome Corsi and/or his legal team.

It's not that Whitaker wouldn't report to Trump and his legal team – he would. But he couldn't have had access to this type of information. Likewise, contrary to some folk's fears, he doesn't have copies of the investigators' records to copy and share. It is important to understand how the Justice Department works. More, even as Mr. Rosenstein's supervisor, the attention that Whitaker's appointment has gotten has greatly reduced the chances of him interfering by attempting to limit the case. Things have gone too far. All Whitaker can do without a massive negative reaction is to relay what he hears to Trump.

Now, let's examine the implications of what Mr. Mueller spread upon the table yesterday. And let's do so, by considering what one of my favorite Watergate prosecutors, Jill Wine-Banks, says is important. She spoke briefly about part of this last night on MSNBC, and it is worth serious attention. It has to do with the Articles of Impeachment that were being prepared when Nixon resigned.

I realize that some good people do not believe the republican Senate would find against Trump if the House impeached him. It seems worth keeping an open mind as the process unfolds. Republicans on the Intelligence Committee have shown more interest in this scandal than those on the House committee. And things will be different by March, and very different by June, in ways that are devastating to Trump.

This entire document is worth reading. I want to focus on three of the sections of Article One: parts 3,4, and eight. These have to do with trying to influence witnesses, abuse of information from the Department of Justice, and lying to the public. That third one is important: lying to the public is not a crime, but lying about misdeeds is an impeachable offense.


Trump's attempt to build in Moscow may or may not have been a crime. But it did involve national security. And that's what Mr. Mueller's investigation has been about – potential crimes and national security. Yesterday's events uncovered the axis.

H2O Man
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