• author
    • Tom McMasters-Stone

      Columnist
    • June 23, 2017 in Columnists

    The Hill has eyes — and ears

    The GOP elected and appointed officials in the White House are running for the hills. Even Vice-President Mike Pence has now retained a criminal lawyer to represent him over the ongoing probes into the connections between the Trumpsters and the Russians.

    POTUS has confirmed via Twitter that he is under investigation.

    Talk shows are rife with discussions about whether or not POTUS will be firing the Special Counsel, or even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    Unconfirmed, anonymous reports are stating that the staff is vehemently opposed to firing anybody right now, because, coming on top of James Comey’s firing, the guilt-appearance will be a tidal wave.

    The Administration is now relying on that philandering slimeball, Newt Gingrich, to anchor the defense, to defend the president. “The POTUS cannot, by definition, obstruct justice.”

    Photo source: The Movie

    Wrong.

    The articles of impeachment against both Nixon and Clinton — and of course, Gingrich was there in support of Clinton’s impeachment — included “obstruction of justice.”

    This week, as we noted the anniversary of the Watergate break-in, the comparisons between Nixon and Trump are bubbling to the surface, like old bones in the La Brea tar pits.

    How come? Well, maybe it’s because POTUS tweeted that Comey better hope there are no tapes of their meetings together?

    They have secret tapes in common, perhaps? Well, they certainly have paranoia and insecurity in common.

    On the other hand, there is no record that Richard Nixon ever convened a meeting for the express purpose of having his cabinet kiss his ring and tell him how great he was doing — disgusting, pathetic, but mostly sad.

    Look, he’s out of control, and he’s picking on himself. Two-thirds of the people in this country see that clearly, and are simply pointing it out.

    They can run for the hills, but they can’t hide. We know that the national security people have been recording contacts with foreign governments for quite some time now. Unfortunately for them but fortunately for us, the hills have eyes — and ears.

    No guilt can or should be apportioned to the retention of an attorney. That’s not the way our system works. All of us have a right to an attorney, sometimes despite law enforcement’s desires to the contrary. Dangling the carrot out there is a favorite technique, and one I have used myself during my qurater-century as a fire investigator. However, I did so always with the thinking of myself as an officer of the courts, and sincerely offered a carrot simply to get to the truth.

    Those of my liberal friends, who are being smug, that are saying, “I told you so!” are wrong. Flat wrong.

    This is nothing to gloat over, nothing to celebrate, nothing to take satisfaction from being prescient. This is quite simply a tragedy. We put a man in the White House with no political experience, with no experience at putting together a cohesive team, with no experience at delegating his authority to people more experienced, more knowledgeable. We know he really only trusts himself, and anybody who does not dance to his tune becomes the enemy — or at least becomes expendable.

    Our allies are either afraid, uncertain… or they’re laughing hysterically.

    Trump has alienated or offended our closest allies: Trudeau, Macron, Merkel, individually, and the French as a group. He has engaged in a running battle with Mexico, literally pushed tiny Montenegro aside, and ignored the world, climate science, and most of the business giants in his own country by casting aside the climate accord.

    He knows best. He’s a legend in his own mind, and the numerous divorces, bankruptcies, and lawsuits that he has lost have not noticeably altered perhaps the “greatest” ego to ever reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, 20500.

    As I write today, we are celebrating the ratification of the second greatest document in recorded history, after the Magna Carta — the United States Constitution, in 1788.

    Certainly, the country will survive this, but we need some changes. We need to get back to talking, to compromising, to getting some of the things we want, and letting the other guys get some of their needs met, too. We have never been so polarized, so far apart, so pigeon-holed.

    And,now — and likely to be the subject of my next column — is the devastating Trumpcare bill. Making the rich richer, voiding many campaign “promises,” and ruining the healthcare net for so many Americans, many in states that supported Trumpelstiltskin.

    Sad. Pathetic. Despicable.



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