Friday, June 9, 2017


the edge of a crisis?
    People heard what they wanted to hear in the Comey testimony. Vindication or condemnation! This is a locked culture, locked into hardened views with little or no room to reason or evolve. Minds are made up and people hear only what confirms.
     It is far more complex, demanding hard thinking and honest evaluation. What mattered most in the Comey hearing was what he said in closed session. Repeatedly he said he could not answer a specific inquiry in open session. I bristle at the idea the American public is not entitled to hear and know everything about its government. But a lifetime of reporting, including investigative work and covering issues of national security and intelligence, leads me to understand why some things are better out of public view, though I regret that. As a Chair of the intelligence oversight committee told me, "Some things don't look so good in the light of day..." So it is with investigation and legislative inquiry that seek to determine if there has been wrongdoing. 
     The substantive work will occur out of public view. There are critical matters to be resolved, no matter how inflamed may be the public, the partisans or the media. 
  • The Russians Attacked the Presidential Election
  • Did they affect or alter votes-no evidence of that yet but the probe deepens. Newly leaked data provides a new trail.
  • Did members of the Trump organization collude with the Russians? Investigations continue.
  • Why did so many of the Trump team have contact with Russian principals and intelligence officers?
  • Did the Trump organization's contact with the Russians violate laws?
  • Why did Trump people, including Kushner go around existing protocol to have contact?
  • Did Trump know about the contacts?
  • Has he lied about it?
  • Why did Trump want the Russian investigation stopped?
  • Was there obstruction of Justice?
      Perhaps you were struck by the same thought. In all of the Comey testimony and in the memos he wrote the president never asks about how serious was the Russian attack, or what we could do to make the nation safe from further invasions. Instead, he was interested only in himself and Comey's loyalty and his efforts to stop the probe. Let that sink in for a moment-the president, after an invasion of our electoral process sitting in private meetings with the director of the FBI expresses no concern about the attack? 

      Of course this is the same man who gave secret intelligence to Russians in the oval office the day after he fired Comey and slurred him and the FBI. 
 what do we tell the kids?

       Trump admitted on national television he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. Whether that and what he said to Comey in private and perhaps other actions constitute an obstruction of justice is a work of legal determination. 
      It could be there was nothing any of the Trump people did with the Russians that is illegal, but to stop an investigation or interfere with it is illegal. With the Mueller inquiry and two Congressional investigations, determinations will be made, according to law. But despite how Trump's words maybe parsed or how legal minds decide, what Trump did and said is offensive, immoral and wrong. It is further evidence he is unfit and unqualified. What he said to Comey is evidence of a corrupt mind. (To reach this judgment I am putting more weight in the credibility of Comey than Trump. Only a fool would not. Their own records make that case.) 

turn it down
    Much of the media lead-in to the Comey hearing was  hyperbolic  and childish. But the biggest loser of the day was the Trump lawyer brought in from New York. Marc Kasowitz fell flat on his face when he tried to discredit Comey. Kasowitz was completely wrong on the timeline, blowing his big "gotcha."  Plus he misspelled the word president in his released statement. 
     Several law firms blew Trump off when he asked for help. He brought in one of his New York gang who has threatened to sue media sources who reported on earlier trump sexual assault allegations. The sleaze is never far from the nincompoop. 
      The Trump gang is on the ropes. And to mix metaphors- they may be hanging themselves.

my how time flies
     Some of you are readers of Oddball Observations written by the Catalyst aka Bruce Taylor. You may know he and Judy have recently completed a move to a new home. Well, here is that same couple with Lana and our eldest Kristin some 30-35 years ago. As Bruce laments how hard the move was on his ancient body-I want to remind him of the inner young dude who still exists in there. 

     Take it easy.  See you down the trail.


  1. Cogent analysis as usual Tom. Comey's testimony was riveting and may signal a turning point in public opinion about Trump's fitness for the office. Trumpgate is not going away.

    1. No indeed, Trumpgate is not going away. But we can hope he is.

  2. Thanks. Now I feel a lot better. :^(

  3. Comey is an imperfect witness to Trump's transgressions but when push comes to shove I believe him more than I do a president who has told hundreds of documented lies.

  4. Lawyer Kasowitz's name was ALSO misspelled in a front page WSJ story this morning. Transposed the t and z. Of course it happens, but it's glaring. I was transfixed by the hearings, also

    For those in Cambria or nearby I hope you will attend the Celebration of Local Artists July 1 at the Vet's Center 1-5 p.m. Tom's an author also but not sure if he'll be there. I'm doing a drawing for a "free" Victoria, BC vacation, no more than 200 entries.

    1. Thanks Bill. Hope you get a good turn out. I'll say it again, your book posits an idea worthy of consideration and discussion.

  5. Excellent post. Strange times --Kasowizt, predisent, covfefe -- almost inexpressibly strange.

    1. The times are strangled by strangeness.