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Nitram

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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: 14,889

About Me

Martin Johnson Charlottesville, VA

Journal Archives

The COVID Tour continues! Fans are flocking to meet their maker.

Republicans will soon be dropping like flies! Talk about the End Times. We Who Are Left Behind salute you! We thank you for your sacrifice!

I'm curious. Are Trump supporters really totally ignorant about the way votes (absentee or

otherwise) are checked against a voter registration database? If there are two or more votes in the name of any voter in the database, do they think they will all be counted?

This is an issue that concerns me, and I like this take on how to deal with it. I hope Democrats

will not give all these criminals a pass as we have in the past with Nixon, Reagan, Bush/Cheney et al. We need a thorough house cleaning following the rule of law.

This pandemic is Trump's Vietnam. He has earned his bone spurs.

Dana Milbank wrote a very well-reasoned comparison of Trump's reaction to the epidemic, and the Johnson administration's handling of the Vietnam War in today's Washington Post. Some excerpts:

In his ambivalent battle against the pandemic, President Trump has managed to repeat, in just a few months, the same mistakes that took three administrations more than a decade to make in Vietnam: ignoring experts’ warnings, running a confused war effort, spreading disinformation, silencing truth-tellers and squandering the prestige of the most powerful nation on Earth.

During the Vietnam War, as the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser pointed out, the U.S. military’s daily briefings from Saigon, full of false claims about progress, were dubbed the Five O’Clock Follies. Trump seems unaware of this ignominy when he holds daily briefings full of false claims and dubious medical advice — typically scheduled for 5 p.m.

In the Vietnam era, civilian leaders ignored the military and intelligence warnings that the war would end in stalemate or worse. Trump in January and February failed to take action on intelligence showing the threat posed to the United States by the pandemic. Likewise, he didn’t heed alarms sounded by White House official Peter Navarro, who pleaded in January and February for a massive response, and accurately warned that the virus could put millions of lives in jeopardy and cost trillions of dollars.

The Nixon administration moved forcefully to punish and to discredit those who revealed the grim truth about the war, even trying to steal psychiatric records of Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. Trump has sidelined inspectors general for the Pentagon and the CIA, and his acting Navy secretary (who has since been forced out) dismissed as “too naive or too stupid” the commander of an aircraft carrier. The commander’s offense: revealing dire conditions aboard his ship, where more than 170 have the virus.

H.R. McMaster, before becoming one of the four people to serve (so far) as Trump’s national security adviser, argued that Johnson’s mistake was to view Vietnam as a danger to his “domestic, political goals.” Johnson resisted calls to use overwhelming force in favor of “gradualism” because he didn’t want antiwar opposition to ruin his domestic agenda. Trump, similarly, has chafed at attempts to mitigate the virus, saying “the cure is worse than the problem,” and for a time attempting to “reopen” the economy by Easter. He still resists a national stay-at-home policy because of political and economic consequences, giving sanctuary to the virus.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/07/this-pandemic-is-trumps-vietnam-he-has-earned-his-bone-spurs/

My letter to the editor was published this morning in the Washington Post:

I strongly disagreed with the sub-headline on the March 27 editorial “Congress to the rescue — for now”: “A unanimous vote reflects the no-fault nature of the crisis.” As early as January, our intelligence agencies warned the Trump administration of the possibility that a virus outbreak in China could develop into a dangerous worldwide pandemic. President Trump had already dismantled key elements of the nation’s disease control apparatus and failed to implement guidance from experts who had recommended steps to take in the wake of the Ebola virus scare. When it became clear that a pandemic was on its way, Mr. Trump and his supporters in the right-wing media loudly pooh-poohed the danger and wasted precious time that was needed to prepare for a possible outbreak in the United States. The vote in the House, contrary to the editorial, was made despite egregious inaction and misleading statements by the administration. The vote reflected a willingness by Democrats to temporarily look past obvious mistakes and incompetence in the interest of the greater good. The obvious faults of this administration will be addressed in the voting booth in November.

Martin Johnson, Charlottesville

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/looking-for-leadership-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic/2020/03/29/d8afb3ba-7034-11ea-a156-0048b62cdb51_story.html

It is about time. The U.S has always undermined democracy in Central America in favor of U.S.

corporate interests there. Democracy and communism were both perceived as threats to corporate profits. It is in time we recognized that stable governments and economies south of the border are in our best interests. Not to mention the fact that our values supposedly support democracy and human rights.

The Trump coverup no one is talking about: The emperor has no money.

E. J. Dionne points out that Trump has no control over the purse strings, and that severely limits his power to negotiate anything with the Democratic House.

"From the moment Trump, Pelosi and Schumer announced their convergence on a $2 trillion infrastructure plan last month, Mulvaney began sabotaging it. “Is it difficult to pass any infrastructure bill in this environment, let alone a $2 trillion one, in this environment? Absolutely,” Mulvaney said.

He was far from alone because the entire Republican leadership in Congress is now part of the Knuckledraggers Caucus. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly signaled that he had absolutely no interest in a big infrastructure plan if it required rolling back any part of the GOP’s 2017 corporate tax cut.

Democrats argue that because business is clamoring for infrastructure, it would make sense to ask business to foot part of the bill. They have suggested raising the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from the 21 percent enshrined in the 2017 law and pulling back on some of its other provisions.

No way, say the Republicans. A “nonstarter,” declared McConnell. Faced with the choice of bridges collapsing in a heap or reining in the tax giveaways, the bridges don’t have much of a chance.

Note that the meeting Trump sabotaged was about how to finance the plan. He had no way of coming up with anything constructive because, for all of his bravado, he is totally under the thumb of Congress’s conservative ideologues. His tantrum was part of the coverup no one is talking about: The emperor has no money."


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-trump-coverup-no-one-is-talking-about/2019/05/26/24eb63c4-7e4f-11e9-a5b3-34f3edf1351e_story.html?utm_term=.5bd80dc80af4

The nation should thank Justin Amash.

from Eugne Robinson's column in this morning's Washington Post.

Justin Amash finally said out loud what many other Republicans know but will only whisper: “President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.” Amash’s party may never forgive him. His nation ought to thank him...Amash wrote in a series of tweets that he reached his conclusion “only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.”

That sounds like the sort of thing we pay elected officials and their staff members to do. But Amash wrote that few of his colleagues “even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation.”

That’s actually a key point. Anyone who reads the 448-page report can see, as Amash concludes, that Attorney General William P. Barr — in his four-page summary, his congressional testimony and other statements — “intended to mislead the public” about Mueller’s findings. Barr apparently “hopes people will not notice” his deception, Amash said . Busted

...In the Mueller report, Amash finds “multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice.” Impeachment, Amash noted, “does not even require probable cause that a crime . . . has been committed,” but simply that an official “has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.” Trump does all of the above, all of the time

...But here is a line from Amash’s tweetstorm that Democrats should reflect on: “While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-may-never-forgive-justin-amash-the-nation-should-thank-him/2019/05/20/5cd89f30-7b3f-11e9-a5b3-34f3edf1351e_story.html?utm_term=.490b91814200

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.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-mueller-failed-to-do-his-duty/2019/04/19/370a47d8-62a6-11e9-9412-daf3d2e67c6d_story.html?utm_term=.692da37a6c49

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.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/03/21/im-political-prisoner-how-martha-mitchell-became-george-conway-nixon-era/?utm_term=.fbc70d1674c8
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