A Ramblin’ Read

If you are looking for a smooth flowing op-ed, today you are in the wrong place. I want to make a lot of quick hits and observations. Here we go.

An Accurate Desk Sign

Harry Truman famously had a sign on his desk that read, “The buck stops here”. By it, he meant that as president whether he personally did it or not, it was his responsibility. If Trump should return to the Oval Office (perish the thought!) I’m suggesting a sign that says, “The muck starts here.” Like a mob Don, Trump is the source of all evil that happens in the organization – along with the being final stop on the “vig train”.

That will never happen. Truman was inherently honest; Trump, not so much.

Just Like The Others

Alex Jones is in and out of the news a lot these days. Lately he is too ill to sit for a deposition but perfectly fine to do his radio show. He is just another right wing loudmouth, who like many other Rush Limbaugh wannabes, just substitutes volume for substance. Alex, just because you say it loud doesn’t make it any less untrue.

A Principled Move

Lithuania got 26% of its natural gas from Russia. That is until recently when in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine they cut it off. Perhaps people who lived without freedom until just a few decades ago are more willing to pay the price of it than the relatively pampered who have never known anything else?

The Ink War

I have to credit former Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for this one. She is the first person that I heard call it out. She said a crucial factor in Ukraine being able to achieve military success was to keep the story of the war as the news media’s top item. She is absolutely correct. Politicians of all stripes and from all democracies are not likely to take bold action sans a huge public outcry. A lot of other chief executives could take a lesson from Zelenskyy!

A Plethora Of Useful Idiots

In a bench trial Federal Judge Trevor McFadden (a Trump appointee) ruled that defendant Matthew Martin was innocent of trespassing and disorderly conduct charges in connection to his presence at the Capital on January 6th. Basically, Martin claimed that he was just a tourist and didn’t know he was doing anything wrong. Yes, you read that correctly. To me this just proves that Trump has a lot of useful idiots and they all weren’t in the Capital Building on January 6, 2021.
Lucky for Martin double jeopardy is part of our legal system.

The Clock May Be Running Down

On several occasions Vladimir Putin has stated that he wants to win in Ukraine by May 9th. If that is so the clock is really starting to run down and the West better step it up on getting military material to Ukraine. It is obvious that, at least in the near term, NATO countries are not putting boots on the ground in Ukraine. The least we can do is give them the material they need to defend themselves posthaste!

Speaking Of Vlad

I’ve been breaking a lot of “rules” of political discussion lately. One is that you never compare anyone to Hitler. Well, this is an op-ed not a debate so I can’t worry about anyone changing the direction of the discussion. If you judge him by his actions, not his rhetoric, Putin is defending the ethnic Russians in Ukraine about as well as Hitler defended the Jews in Germany.

A 21st Century Garden Hose

This received almost no press but it was huge. Last week Congress, for all intents and purposes, issued a modern day version of the Lend-Lease Agreement. FDR asked for it so that he could provide military aid in the form of hardware (mostly destroyers) to the UK before we entered World War II. He justified it by using the analogy of if your neighbor’s house is burning you lend him your garden hose with which to fight the fire. We need to supply Ukraine with military hardware ASAP and worry about payment in the future.

A Road Game

As we see the death and destruction in Ukraine, I am reminded that war is the only “game” that you want to play on the road. As an old coach I remember working hard to earn a home court advantage in the playoffs many seasons. In war – which is by its nature destructive, you want to “play” on the other guy’s turf!

Mo Is Coming

I am among the frustrated with the speed of prosecution of Donald Trump and his inner circle. Actually, a lot is happening. (Is it enough? Frustratingly slowly moving time will tell.) News breaks in fits and starts but a lot is happening that is not always publically known. I think the Mo Brooks situation was a game changer that will play out over time and may well have a “ripple effect”. Trump initially endorsed Brooks in his Senate run. Polling indicates that Brooks, despite the Trump endorsement in Alabama (solid red and Trump country!) is trailing badly in the polls. Trump rescinded his endorsement so that he could avoid being linked to yet another Republican primary loser. Almost immediately Brooks spilled the beans that 1/6 was a Trump inspired plot.

Congress has always been soft on its own and even the 1/6 Committee had all but decided not to pursue other members of Congress. (Brooks is currently a member of the House.) This was a game changer and remember, as illustrated on 1/6, Capital Hill is but a short walk from the Oval Office.

Trump is little more than a wannabe Don; most Dons get ratted out from within. Adding to that Trump did not surround himself with the best and the brightest; Brooks being a good example of that. This chapter is far from over!

Closing With Humor

Here is a joke with a self-contained punchline: A porn star and a con man engage in a defamation of character suit. This really happened and I’m sure you know who the people involved are.

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