Nov. 17, 2019


Growing up in the mid-west, I quickly learned a weather reality: a brief period of calm, no winds, no thunder or lightening—almost an eerie silence, preceded a violent thunderstorm or tornado. In fact, it seemed to me, the more ‘calm’ it became the more intense the following storm would be. Now that I have moved from Missouri to a part of New Mexico that is behind, or, to the west of, the front range of the Rocky Mountains, I don’t get to experience the severity of storms that plague the mid-west. St. Louis is considered to be in the ‘eastern-dog-leg’ of Tornado Alley. The Albuquerque area is blessed with an abundance of sunshine, very low humidity levels, and a total lack of weather extremes. We could use a little more rain but I wouldn’t trade Albuquerque’s weather for Houston’s— or St. Louis’— at any price!

     As I started my new weekly blog writing this (Tuesday) morning, I felt a period of ‘news-calm’ ahead of the coming impeachment hearings ‘news-storm’—which will start tomorrow afternoon.  If my memory is correct, tomorrow will mark the beginning of the fourth* Impeachment Inquiry in my life-time;  Nixon, Clinton, G.W. Bush and now Trump. Nixon (the crook) resigned before the impeachment process was completed. Clinton (the sex maniac) was impeached but not removed from office.  G. W. Bush (the wimp) deserved to be impeached for turning his ‘presidential responsibilities’ over to Cheney and Rumsfeld but the *inquiry was dropped before it became a formal impeachment, so, it didn’t really count as an Impeachment Inquiry—but it should have.  And now Trump (the emolument king), who uses the office of POTUS strictly for his personal financial gain, gets his moment-of-shame before the congressional bench. As of this calm moment, my guess is that he will miss the impeachment bullet only because his Republican supporters (I call them his ‘jockstrappers’) in the Senate want to keep him, and themselves, around until the 2020 election. The caveat to that guess is that the winds of public opinion could blow the Republican Senators off their perch. And so, the next several weeks are going to be a time of media-hell or media-heaven—depending on your political orientation and/or your level of concern as to the future of our democracy.

     It seems to me that the ‘impeach’ or ‘not-impeach’ battle lines are drawn although, in my opinion, they are not drawn clearly or strongly enough to suit the present needs of our democracy, much less the severity of our problem. The confusion could come from the fact that Latin (the language) isn‘t taught in many schools anymore. When I asked Hubris if he knew how to translate the Latin phrase ‘Quid pro Quo’ into English he snorted and replied, “Anybody with good horse sense knows that means ‘if you will give me something I want I’ll give you something you want’—it’s that simple, stupid!” I thanked Hubris but reminded him that ‘good horse sense’ was a commodity that seemed to be in short supply in some parts of our government. My real concern isn’t over whether or not that Latin phrase applies to a specific action by our President, it is whether the inquiry is going to deal with the really significant impeachable actions of Donald Trump or just an easily identified incident of possibly impeachable behavior. Fortunately, the Ukraine aid/Biden information ‘deal’, could lead (given the Congressional Inquiring Committee’s amount of ‘due diligence’) to the much more serious issue –the Trump/Putin relationship which has just turned into the Trump/Erdogan/Putin ‘bromance’. As far as I am concerned, Trump’s acceptance (invitation?) of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and Trump’s throwing the Kurds under the Erdogan-Putin bus are much more impeachable offenses than using the withholding of aid funds to Ukraine as a trade-off to get their government to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of a possible political opponent in the coming 2020 election. However, the Trump/Ukraine/Biden connivance may be much easier to prove. Let’s hope Shiff’s committee has the courage to dig deep(er). Trump’s performance in office has evidenced more crookedness and lying behavior than Nixon, more sexual deviance than Clinton, and more stupidity than G.W. Bush (if that’s imaginable)! Three strikes and he should be ‘out’!  Unfortunately, egotism, arrogance and ignorance of the law are not, but should be, impeachable offenses. There is a very ugly element of truth in the concept that what the American electorate (or the Electoral College) really wanted—they deserve to have. If you listen closely— that’s the argument of Trump’s ‘jockstrappers’ in their Trump defense.

     I didn’t watch the Congressional Impeachment Committee hearings today because I suspected they would be a re-hash of information, facts and opinions already made public. I will, however, be listening to some of the media-heads broadcasts of their summaries of events this evening and be reading the print media’s summaries tomorrow morning, adding my own summary when I put the finishing touches on this week’s blog into place on Friday, the 15th of November. Reading what has been written about our current impeachment inquiry, I’m reminded of the ‘Titanic’ incident. The ship’s Captain looked at the top of the iceberg going along the side of his ship and thought how small it was—but, he did realize that it was an iceberg. Unfortunately, he didn’t immediately realize that 99% of its’ mass was under water and he couldn’t see it but the ship certainly felt it! Our Congress-persons should be looking at the Trump/Putin relationship iceberg, not the Trump/Ukraine/Biden tip thereof.  Simply put, we have a President who thinks more of Russian/Turkish dictators than he does of American democracy. Wake up America, we have a traitorous, self-serving, tyrant running and ruining our country! Round two of the impeachment hearing will take place tomorrow. I am playing bridge that (Thursday) afternoon. For me, the media calm continues and, fortunately, news (media)—other than our bridge scores when the games are over— doesn’t invade our bridge club.

      Friday morning we all learn that Presidents have the right to fire Ambassadors—even for the wrong reasons i.e., they wouldn’t do what he wanted them to do which would harm the United States or its allies.  We also learn what happens to really good employees when they have an evil boss and, if we listened carefully, that there are, at least, two kinds of corruption; those our President likes and uses and those our President hopes and suspects his political opponents have used.  Trump is the essence of ‘corruption’. Because he is corrupt he assumes that everybody else is corrupt. Trump is also somewhat the opposite of the canary in the coal mine. The more he ‘tweets’ the more of his corrupt personality he exposes. If anyone on his staff could ‘kill the canary’ (i.e., cancel his Twitter account) they could possibly save his presidency. Of course their reward would be immediate banishment from the Trump staff. Fortunately, Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. He will self-destruct and ascend to right-wing media-heaven, while we here below will continue to be put through media-hell. Only another season of World Cup Soccer can save us.



                               Copyright, Nov. 17, 2019, Louis J. Christen

the Calm Before the Storm :Lou (The Lone Curmudgeon) Writes Again!