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Name: Martin Johnson
Gender: Do not display
Home country: U.S.A.
Current location: Charlottesville, VA
Member since: Tue Jun 8, 2010, 02:30 PM
Number of posts: 12,753

About Me

Martin Johnson Charlottesville, VA

Journal Archives

Robert Mueller Failed To Do His Duty

I am beginning to doubt my initial support of Mueller's decisions in how he handled the case. This article in the Post makes some excellent observations on that score.

...by delaying the question of Trump’s interview until month 19 of his tenure, Mueller allowed Trump to run out the clock — a grave tactical error. And second, in an investigation of this public import, getting “substantial evidence” but not the word of the president himself fails to fulfill the special responsibility of a special counsel. In a run-of-the-mill criminal case, a prosecutor’s decision to bypass questioning a difficult figure might make sense; when we are seeking to learn whether a presidential candidate worked with a hostile foreign power to win an election, the public deserves to have that candidate answer questions under oath...

Finally, some of Mueller’s other decisions should be publicly debated. His determination not to bring campaign finance charges against Trump Jr. for soliciting foreign assistance to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been blasted by one of the foremost election law experts, as it turned on a curious view that Mueller could not prove the value of the assistance Russians dangled in front of Trump Jr., and that a prosecution for solicitation of foreign election assistance raised “First Amendment concerns”...

Most important, Mueller’s decision not to also bring charges against Trump Jr. — a private citizen, not protected by any Justice Department policy against prosecution — for conspiring with WikiLeaks (either as a violation of campaign finance laws or other statutes) remains a mystery given the extensive evidence of direct interactions between Trump Jr. and the WikiLeaks team. It is this Mueller decision — which enabled Trump’s “no collusion” boast — that merits the greatest scrutiny in the days ahead.


Little-known story about the Watergate break-in: Trump Isn't first to be vexed by confidant's spouse

"In psychology circles, there’s an unofficial concept called “the Martha Mitchell effect.” It’s the tendency to diagnose someone as mentally ill simply because the story they tell is so bizarre, without checking whether the bizarre story is in fact true.

That’s what happened to Martha Mitchell, the outspoken wife of President Richard M. Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell. She was dismissed as “crazy” for her wild claims about the Nixon administration and issued a public ultimatum to her husband to choose her or the president."

George Mitchell was Nixon's Attorney General and re-election campaign manager. His wife, Martha Mitchell was nicknamed "the Mouth from the South" by press for her frequent controversial political comments to the media. When Nixon's "plumbers" were arrested while breaking into Democratic Party's headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, John Mitchell realized that his wife knew one of them and could connect him to Nixon. He phoned his wife's bodyguard and ordered him to prevent his wife from making any phone calls or speaking to the press. Having just heard the news about the break-in, she was already on the phone with UPI's Helen Thomas. The bodyguard ripped the phone off the wall and kept her confined and sedated in the hotel room for several days. The Nixon administration subsequently leaked rumors that Mitchell was mentally ill and an alcoholic to limit her credibility. John Mitchell did resign as a result, although he continued to stand by Nixon and was indicted as a Watergate co-conspirator. The ending to Marths's story is a sad one though. She died a few years later of cancer at the age of 57, "desperately ill and without friends and without funds" according to her lawyer.


President Trump is entering his terrible twos

Dana Millibank has figured it all out:

He shuts down the government, maybe for “years.” He wants a wall that is “transparent,” then concrete, then slatted, then steel. One moment he’s leaving Syria, the next he isn’t. He’s watching too much TV and yelling at everyone.

This is all to be expected. President Trump is entering his terrible twos.

The Trump presidency turns two this month, and though we often hear the mantra “this is not normal,” what the president is doing actually is normal. For a 2-year-old.

If you want to understand this White House, turn off Wolf Blitzer and pick up Benjamin Spock. The ninth edition of the late pediatrician’s famous guide, first published in 1946, tells us all we need to know about this presidency as it approaches its second birthday:

“This can be a physically exhausting and trying time.”

The 2-year-old “has a hard time making up his mind, and then he wants to change it,” his “understanding of the world is still so limited,” and “he becomes bolder and more daring in his experiments.”


"China may very well become the world's largest democracy." A very naive view.

The Chinese government is creating the most sophisticated citizen-monitoring and behavior-control system in the world. They have imprisoned a million Muslims in "re-education" prisons. The Government controls the internet and all other media. Anyone suspected of criticizing the government is imprisoned. A so-called "anti-corruption' campaign is being used as an excuse to eliminate opposition and consolidate power. I don't think you can get to democracy from here. The Tianmen Square democracy movement was the last best chance for democracy, and it was snuffed out like a candle, all the organizers thrown into prison. That was 30 years ago, and the Chinese government will never allow such movement to get started again.

This is great news! Finally, a chink in Big Oil's armor.

Opposition to the pipeline has been strong, with different groups attacking the project from different angles. The two biggest objections have been that 1) the pipeline goes straight up and down extremely steep mountain slopes which cannot be stabilized once a 120-foot-wide swath of trees have been cut down, and 2) the pipeline crosses hundreds of streams with no requirement that erosion and sediment control plans be submitted for each one. But these arguments, while correct, can be dismissed by the Commonwealth in the case of utility projects. The soil and water conservation district I work for has submitted language for a change in the law governing large utility projects that cross more than one jurisdiction, but it would not be applicable in time to affect this project.

I strongly disagree. If there is no chance the Senate will vote to impeach it is a waste of taxpayer

dollars, and will weaken the Democratic Party. Like it or not, politics are involved in EVERY action in government. Democracy doesn't function without politics. Politics are the way people make compromises and negotiate good outcomes. The word "politics" like the word "liberal" has acquired a negative connotation that does not accurately convey what the word really means. If a decision is made to ignore the law and the Constitution "purely" on POLITICAL grounds, that is bad. But politics will always be involved decisions because the political process is how empathy and other non-legal values are factored into decision-making.

The so-called Centrist Democratic Party is indeed dead. We are democratic socialists, and we are

determined to reverse the decent into oligarchy and proto-fascism that the Republican Party has supported as the only way for a minority party to maintain control of the majority.

Brett Kavanaugh's conmfirmation to the highest court in the land would

result in a horrendous "trickle-down" effect throughout the justice system and society as a whole.

"This Vicious Buffoon Is a Vessel for All the Worst Elements of the American Condition"

Yup, Trump seems to be the very condensed, highly purified essence of every negative trait of the Ugly American.

I agree. McConnell had help from Trump, Paul Ryan, and others, but the Turtle did by far the most

damage to our institutions and our country. We should lock him in a very small cell with bars in front underneath Abraham Lincoln's statue in the Lincoln Memorial for tourists to taunt or gasp in horror at the sight of the "Man who Hated Democracy." His vocal chords will be removed to silence the voice that silenced the voices of so many Americans during his Reign of Terror.
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