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The Wicked Witch of the White House: Is Nancy Pelosi Dorothy?

Thou art the man! All roads with you lead to Putin! (A picture is worth a thousand words and that is how along this blog is)

The Wicked Witch of the White House is a formidable foe. He has been a sleezeball virtually his entire chronological adult life. Year after year he won the coveted “Slimeball of the Year” trophy awarded by the New York City Real Estate and Construction community to the single most disreputable builder in the city.

His winning was no fluke. He is blessed with having no morals, no ethics, and no values save narcissism. He brings to the fight an inexhaustible energy. He throws an unlimited number of punches all below the belt.  Now our immature child president has brought his lack of integrity, competence, and intelligence to the national and international arenas. He is a full-time resident of an alternate reality functioning at a child level with supreme confidence that he can get enough people to believe he really is THE DONALD, the chosen one, and that only he can solve the problems (he has caused).

The Wicked Witch of the White House is not alone. Standing with him are the Flying Monkeys. These are the people who have sold their souls to their Lord and Savior assuming they had souls to sell. They have sworn an oath to take a bullet for him. They will obstruct any effort to obtain the truth. They willingly will be thrown under the bus once their usefulness ends. As always, loyalty is a one-way street.

The Flying Monkeys are well-known to the American public. They frequently appear on Fox if they do not already work there. They include:

Vice President Brown Nose
Bill Barred for Life
Jay Sunk-so-low
Duped-by-Russia Hannity
Nunes the Clown
Clueless Jim Jordan
Marked-down Meadows
Meeting-crasher Maculate Gaetz
All Angles Ingrham
The Grahm Cracker
Kelly Alternate-Reality Conway
The Huckabee Huckster
Ridiculous Rudy, Hero Attack mutt

and the list goes on and on.

The Wicked Witch of the White House and his Flying Monkeys are further aided by Trumpicans – the American people who attend his realities, ignore or disbelieve all charges against him, and cheer him on. His skill as a con artist is his ability to connect with them through his gut-instinct. He uses their pain to service his gain. The results have been spectacular.

Now the real world is closing in. Playtime is over. The Wicked Witch of the White House in the domestic and foreign arenas has to face adults. This is not scripted political professional wrestling where he can mock and insult people all he wants as the seventh-grade smart-aleck dumb-aleck he actually is. The doctored videos of him wreaking havoc against his foes will not help him in the real world of adults. North Korea, Iran, Turkey, and Russia all know he is a weeny limited to simpleminded tweets and sanctions.  The only ones who fear him now are our allies as they know they can no longer rely on the United States as long as Bonespur Boy is President. It’s not Turkey who is concerned, it is the Baltics who destroyed Yugoslavia, it is Israel who knows it faces Iran alone, and it is the Kurds who know even a private message to the President of the United States will be delivered to their enemy.

This is Nancy Pelosi’s moment. This is the moment that history will look to try to understand what the American people finally did when their immature child President attempted to function in the adult world and did not have the mental necessities to do so.

At this point for all practical purposes impeachment is a done deal.  As far as the Ukraine is concerned the public record itself is sufficient grounds to impeach. The hearings serve only to disclose how extensive the conspiracy and coverup were in the effort to use the American government to pursue personal political needs to get dirt on an opponent and then to hide the effort. The testimony of the people outside the power of the Wicked Witch of the White House or who defy it will simply provide the details for the articles of impeachment…not whether or not there will be any.

For those still under the sway of the Wicked Witch of the White House, their obstruction will only serve to add obstruction articles to the impeachment. Their actions will not prevent it. These people have been advised on several talking shows of their need to get lawyers for their own defense.

The number of people involved in the conspiracy raises the question of how Pelosi should proceed. The impeachment of the President is the end game but should it be the only game? As We the People were reminded again and again during the Mueller investigation, Department of Justice guidelines prohibit the indictment of a sitting president. Putting aside the issue of whether that is a Constitutional restriction or simply a matter of policy, that leaves exposed people who are not President.

My advice, for whatever it is worth, is to start with the unprotected non-Presidential people prior to the impeachment of President himself.  In particular, start with the Attorney General. At minimum that should force him to recuse himself. His removal from power will make it easier to pursue the other unprotected people through the federal attorneys. Bill Barred for Life would no longer be able to curtail the work of the Department of Justice the way he declined to pursue the whistleblower’s report in the first place. In fact, that decision could easily be the first article of indictment against him.

Following the indictment of Attorney General, Pelosi could proceed week by week to recommend indictments of the remaining members of the conspiracy and cover:

Vice President
Acting Chief of Staff
Secretary of State

and whoever else deserves it. Then would come the big one.

By that time, would even Republicans in the House of Representatives support impeachment? It’s possible. The 354-60 vote to rebuke the President on his Syria pullout including 129 Republicans shows that it is possible for even the majority of Republicans in the House to defy the Wicked Witch of the White House. It also identifies the 60 Flying Monkeys in the House. In other words, the brilliant strategy in Syria may create the context which the perfect Ukrainian phone call did not. Now Republicans in the House and Senate can free themselves from the power of the Wicked Witch of the White House and vote to impeach and remove him from office…maybe even in time to select another candidate for 2020. But that’s the subject of another blog or two.

Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?

Mike Pence Is No Captain Merik in Star Trek “Bread and Circuses" (William Smithers)

To become a profile in courage is not easy. First there needs to be a situation where there is a need for someone to be a profile in courage. Second, one of the people in that situation then needs to rise to the occasion. One cannot always know when such a situation will arise. Typically we think of military figures and athletes in all-or-nothing or do-or-die moment, but sometimes such opportunities sneak up on when you least expect it. Sometimes it is the result of your own action which got you into the mess in the first place.

Since everything you need to know about life you can learn from Star Trek, let us examine what another Mike Pence experienced. The show is “Bread and Circuses” which aired on March 15, 1968. In that show, Captain Merik and his crew from another spaceship are missing. The Starship Enterprise crew locates the crew on a planet governed by a 1960s version of the Roman Empire. It is a world where the Empire did not fall but continued to exist for another two millennia.

On the planet, Captain Merik sells his soul to the Roman Emperor, to Caesar and not to Christ. It is not an exact match to V.P. Mike selling his soul to his Lord and Savior, the chosen one, blessed be his name, but it is close enough.  Pence’s performance in the Cabinet meeting where he thanked God for enabling him to share the same space-time continuum as The Donald will forever define him. In its own way, it is even more pathetic than Captain Merik’s abject submission in the TV show.

 Be that as it may, both Mike and Merik have violated their oath. Merik has violated the Prime Directive by interfering in the planet and sharing knowledge of the existence of the Federation of Planets along with the awareness of a superior technology to that a 1960s country possessed. Vice President Brown Nose has been submissive in his behavior but whether he has crossed the line or not is another issue…until the current scandal

Now he faces a moment of truth. He was present during the violation of the Constitution and the cover-up. What will he do? He was part of it. Will he tell the truth? He has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. He knows that people around him like the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General have no intention of keeping that oath. When Pompeo decided to tell the truth about his presence during the Ukrainian telephone call, it was not because of his pangs of conscience for not telling truth before. It was because he realized that multiple people in the State Department were going to tell the truth. They were going to expose that he had not. So Pompeo does not qualify as a profile in country.

The less said about Bill Barred-for-Life the better.

What about Pence? What will he do? In the Star Trek episode, Merik redeems himself. In the moment of truth, Merik rescues Kirk and Co. enabling them to beam back to the Starship Enterprise and escape the clutches of the imperial order. He pays for that decision with his life. Sometimes being a profile in courage can be fatal. Just because you demonstrate the right stuff to go into the arena does not mean you will survive the ordeal and emerge a victor. In the TV show, Merik did not.

What about Pence? In the early months of this administration there was a lot of silly talk about the 25h Amendment. Somehow V.P Brown Nose was going to lead a cabinet coup against the mentally impaired immature child President and restore decency to the Oval Office. The idea that Pence would rise to the occasion was so absurd as to be completely laughable. None-the-less, adult human beings even with college educations, would discuss this option as if it were a real possibility.

This time the stakes are different. This time the impeachment drive is moving full speed ahead. This time people with integrity are eager to testify and tell the truth. This time each passing day reveals another facet of the violation and cover-up. Should he just stand on the sidelines, watch it happen, and be indicted? The DOJ rules do not apply to the positions of the other co-conspirators. Pompeo and Barr are not immune, they are not exempt, they are not above the law. Neither is the Vice President. He may even catch on to the fact that loyalty is a one-way street with this narcissistic President. You owe him loyalty, he owes you nothing.

What will Mike Pence do? He prides himself on his Christian values. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on never dining alone with a woman who is not his wife. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on his integrity. Will he tell the truth? He thinks he is part of God’s plan. Will he tell the truth?

No. Even his staff knows the truth does not register with him.

He will not rise to the occasion.

He will not be a profile in courage.

He never would have been picked for the position of Vice President if he was.

Playtime for The Donald Is Over: The Reality Star Meets the Real World

The Wicked Witch of the White House Threatens Whistleblower Toto (https://parade.com)

Playtime for The Donald is over. For much of his presidency up until now it has been fun. He got to be the center of attention. He got to demean and mock people. He got to be the center of attention. He got to help rich people get richer. He got to be the center of attention. He got to reverse almost everything Obama had championed. He got to be the center of attention. He got to promote his resorts, hotels, and businesses to people who wanted to buy his favor. He got to be the center of attention. He got to perform in professional political wrestling arenas before adoring crowds of worshipers. He got to the center of attention. He got to play golf and watch TV to his ego’s content. He got to be the center of attention. And he got to throw rolls of paper towels at people clamoring for his attention. He really did get to be the center of attention.

The real world moments were few and far between. Yes, he thought the Mueller report would expose his entire sleazy tawdry life from being a corrupt slime ball real-estate developer to being a corrupt slime ball president. But that turned out to be a nothingburger. Yes, he has not built the wall but he keeps trying and may be making progress even if it is at the expense of national security and in violation of the Constitution. Yes, he has not denuclearized North Korea and won the Noble Prize. Yes, he has not eliminated healthcare. Still over all, he has taken pride in having the greatest first two years of any American President and undoubtedly deserving of having his face alone carved on the biggest mountain he can find. After all, how can he be impeached with the economy being so great? The sad part is that is actually how his brain operates.

The real world functions differently. There are limits as to how long you can deceive it. Eventually even the Soviet Union was exposed as not being the wave of the future. The same applies to our immature child president attempting to pass for an adult and struggling to maintain the con as the real world presses in. Two recent events have exposed the immature child behind the curtain as not being The Donald. The first was with Iran and the second was with the Ukraine.

IRAN

Iran provided The Donald with a major opportunity to reverse Obama. He kept his campaign pledge to withdraw America from the nuclear treaty that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Now Iran was free to develop them since there was no treaty prohibiting them from doing so. Take that Obama!

While withdrawing from the nuclear arms treaty, he ramped up the sanctions. His goal was regime change without military intervention. The sanctions would make life so horrid and stressful that eventually the people would rise up and remove the government for us. After all sanctions had a proven record of regime change and behavior modification in Cuba, Russia, and North Korea, so why wouldn’t they work in Iran as well?

Naturally, as an immature child he lacked the mental necessities to think things throw. He was unable to recognize the possibility of consequences other than the collapse of the country. Another possibility was that Iran would lose patience with the efforts of European nations to circumvent the American sanctions and instead would take matters into their own hands. To no surprise to anyone who stopped to think about it, that is exactly what Iran did. It initiated a series of escalating attacks that culminated so far in the bombing of Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Each action provided the Iranians with the opportunity to gauge the mettle of The Donald. What would Bonespur Boy do in the real world when confronted with a direct assault on his manhood?

The Iranians were quick to expose the truth of The Donald. What did they learn from seizing ships, shooting down drones, and bombing oil fields? They learned that he is a warrior on Twitter and in professional political wrestling arenas but not on he field of battle. As Ali Bigdeli political analyst in Tehran put it: “He is not a lion, he is a rabbit.”

It may even be said that the Iranian officials boasted after the attacks about the leverage they had gained. Iran could give Little Donnee-Wanee the finger and pay no price in the global arena.

The world was watching. “If we were to believe everything Trump has said for the past three years, there would have been war with China, North Korea and Mexico,” said Joseph Fahim, an Egyptian film critic back in June. “The guy’s a joke, he’s not serious. We don’t know if these threats are something to believe in, or just another of his many stunts.”  Abdulkhleq Abdulla, political scientist United Arab Emirates said: “Trump, in his response to Iran, is even worse than Obama.”

The unfavorable comparison of The Donald to Obama for his lack of manhood is low blow indeed. Now everybody can see The Donald as a weeny. No matter how he is provoked he will not respond beyond sanctions and tweets. That is his limit. Iran knows it. North Korea knows it. China knows it. Russia knows it…not that it was ever worried about what its asset would do. Our allies know it too. Of course, thanks to transactional relationships on trade, The Donald has done such a superb job of alienating allies that he has created a world of America Alone. What ally would rely on the United States to come to its aid if under attack as long as Donald Trump is president?

IMPEACHMENT

The new question is how much longer will be President? Here we once again can see how quickly the scandal of the day moves on. Remember Greenland. Remember Alabama. Remember Corey Lewandowski. Remember Kellyanne Conway:

“Blah, blah blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.”

Answer: it starts when there is a Democratic president and the rule of law returns to the White House.

The Ukraine is a whole new ball game. Ironically it was the Mueller report and the Mueller testimony in Congress that gave The Donald the green light to go forward in the Ukraine with its new administration. Now he would prove that Seth Rich really was behind the hacking, I mean that the Ukraine was. Now he would prove that the witch hunt really had been a hoax. Now he would prove that the wrong people had been targeted and that the real villains had gotten off scot free. Now he would prove that conspiracy theories exposed by Fox were true. Now he would have his revenge.

“You’re a bad man. You’re a very bad man.” The unleashed child in a Twilight Zone classic (CBS) See MAD DOG BANISHED TO THE CORNFIELDS: TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE BECOMES REAL blog (12/25/18)

So far … and the story is still unfolding… things have not worked out as he had hoped. There turned out to be a whistleblower who deserves a medal unless Putin, Saudi OJ, or the 2nd Amendment boys get him first. There turned out to be an acting intelligence chief who has integrity. The now-resigned- Ukraine envoy probably has integrity too. There turns out to be more hidden phone call transcripts that will expose The Donald. More and more will be revealed as time goes by. The impeachment might even include obstruction charges!

The real world is not like Hollywood. For a child to pass for an adult is not easy. It is not like 13 year-old Tom Hanks becoming big. It is not like Jennifer Garner going from 13 to 30. It is not like teenage Lindsay Lohan becoming Jamie Lee Curtis. As the pressure mounts, the challenge to cope with the adult world will increase. Instead of being a comedy, we are watching a person go off the rails. As David Axelrod suggests, let Trump be Trump. Who knows what he will tweet next that only amplifies his political and legal jeopardy.

At this point, the issue of impeachment seems more of “when” and not “if.” What remains open is what will happen in the Republican Senate now that The Donald has been exposed as a combined Mafioso little-bunny-wunny Rabbit.

The story continues.

Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?
Will Sean Hannity Become a Profile in Courage?

 

Constitution Day, Corey Lewandowski, and Whistle Blowers: Do Checks and Balances Still Exist?

Not Senator Lewandowski

September 17 is the anniversary of the passage of the document that constitutes the very form of government under which We the People live today. Subsequent to its passage by the Constitutional Convention it was ratified by the states and it has been amended multiple times since. It is easy to overlook the fact that though we are a new political entity we are an ancient nation when it comes to being governed continuously by a constitution. England still does not have one as it is painfully dealing with now and other European countries have had multiple constitutions.

Despite all this, Constitution Day is not a national holiday. There have been some efforts to pay homage to it on this day but such attempts are few and fleeting. Obviously, it is a difficult time during the school year to teach the Constitution. The school year has just begun and it will be months before the class gets up to the 1787. As a result, the day generally passes unnoticed.

By chance, on September 17, I attended a board meeting of the social studies conference covering Westchester County where I live, Putnam County to the north, and Rockland County on the other side of the Hudson River. In the planning for the December conference, there were two civic presentations I want the Board to consider.

1. Mapping Early American Elections, 1788-1825 with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and a professor I know at a Lehman College in New York. I saw a presentation at the annual conference this summer of the Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR).

2. Voter Education, a fifth grade program offered by the Rockefeller Archive Center for the Tarrytown school district. I learned about the program at a planning session for the American Revolution 250th.

New York State also is getting into the civics promotion business with legislation passed by the Assembly and the Senate to create a Civic education fund. The fund is be jointly managed by the Commissioner of Education and the State Comptroller. Private contributions to the fund are welcomed. According to the bill not (yet) signed by Governor Cuomo:

Monies from the fund shall be expended only for community-based organizations, non-profits and other non-traditional organizations to implement civics education projects including, but not limited to, universities, museums, libraries, and cultural institutions. Such funds may also be expended for civic education projects including, but not limited to, mock trials, debate forums, voter registration activities, and projects that demonstrate an understanding of the connections between federal, state and local politics including issues that may impact the students’ community.

At this point, it is too early to tell how much funding there will be, how one obtains such funding, and whether it will really work or not. In any event, it demonstrates a commitment to civics.

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE. Then that very same day there was Corey Lewandowski. It was altogether fitting and appropriate that on the anniversary of the passage of the Constitution, that Lewandowski would trash it. All the civic lessons taught in the schools pale in significance to the Constitutional lesson taught by Lewandowski live on national TV. Is there really anything a teacher can do to counter that display of how the Constitution fails to work in the real world?

Think back a few months ago, when checks and balances were all the rage. Remember how the 2018 elections were going to change Washington. Now the Democrats in the majority of the House of Representatives would be able to exercise oversight responsibility. The Democrats would be able to call people to testify. The Democrats would be able to subpoena people to testify when they refused to do. The Democrats would be able to turn to the Courts to enforce the subpoenas.

How has that worked out so far?

After nine months it is safe to say that the Democrats in the House of Representatives have no oversight function. There is no compliance. Even when someone does show up it quickly becomes a joke. For all practical purposes, regardless of the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution, the House of Representatives is a nothingburger. It is easy to see why Nancy Pelosi would be upset with Jerry Nadler. At this rate of investigation hell will freeze over before anything is accomplished. Certainly we will be well into the campaign cycle at which point such inquiries will be rendered moot.

As Corey Lewandowski stated with great enthusiasm and determination, he has no obligation to speak the truth to the American People. He has no obligation to speak the truth to the press. He has no obligation to speak the truth to Congress or under subpoena if the President says not to do so. He considers these affirmations to be a winning ticket for election to the Senate. He recognizes that his word will be worthless in the Senate should he be elected to it. He recognizes that no one n the Senate has to tell him the truth either. This makes life a lot easier for him. Lewandowski will have no campaign promises because who would believe him? Therefore he will break no campaign promises because he has none to keep. And he will never break his word to another Senator because no Senator would be stupid enough to trust him in the first place.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE. Statutory law has no meaning either for the would-be President for Life. Tax returns are to be submitted only if the President wants to comply. Regardless of what the legislation says, the President has the option to determine if the request is for a valid reason and then, and only then, to turn over his taxes. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE. Same with state law. Just as the President is above the federal law, so too he is above the state law. It is right there in Article II. It was hidden so no one noticed for lo these 222 years. In fact, the President cannot even be investigated for a crime while in office yet alone indicted for one. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE. Same for funding. The President is obligated to spend monies in accordance with rules laid down by Congress. If Congress allocates funding for Program X, the President cannot spend them for Program Y…unless he wants to. Forget about Article I and the power of the purse being relegated to Congress. It’s up to the President to decide how money should be spent. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

BUT WAIT. NOW THERE IS REALLY MORE!!!!! Same with whistleblowing. It does not matter what the procedures are. It does not matter how clear cut they may be. Just as with the legislation involving tax returns or the subpoenas issued by the House, there is an unwritten rule that trumps everything. No law, no rule, no statue has to be obeyed unless the President chooses to follow it. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

I had always intended to write a blog on September 17 about the Constitution…but not this blog. As previously written, one of the reasons nothing sticks is because before you can digest the current scandal it is on to the next one. Remember Greenland? That was years ago. How about Alabama? Wasn’t that months ago? Remember Corey! It is easy to understand why Republicans forced to pose as Trumpicans are throwing in the towel and abandoning ship. Do they really want to defend a President using the power of the Presidency to seek dirt from a foreign country to create his own Steele Dossier? Do they really want to see a President pull the plug on defending Eastern Europe from Russia in the hopes of one day being able to build the Moscow Trump Tower…or is there some other reason he is doing what is doing?

Right now as I am writing this post there still is much that is unknown. In any event, if you are interested in teaching the Constitution, then current events provides all the necessary ingredients. What is the meaning of Article I? What is the meaning of Article II? What is impeachment? Is the President above the law? Is the systems of checks and balances still relevant? Is it true that if he murdered someone on Fifth Avenue that not only wouldn’t he not lose support, but that Rudy Giuliani would defend him? FAKE NEWS!!! That should be enough for at least one 45-minute civics class!