Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Category: Government (Page 1 of 6)

Gas Has Been Passed

The Tesla Model 3 has received rave reviews so far. In its souped-up version it has a range of over 300 miles, The basic model still gets about 220 miles before requiring a charge. The car has more space than its BMW and Mercedes competitors. It accelerates better. it is today’s car of the future. Pending repair and maintenance feedback, the Tesla is not only a winner but a game changer. Gas-fueled cars are on the way out or on the way down, however you want to look at it.

Land yachts, with names like Denali, Sequoia and Yukon, are a dying breed. They will be replaced by jumbo’s with names like Callisto, Io, Ganymede and Europa – the mammoth Galilean moons of Jupiter: ships of the sky.

It’s going to take time for the world to convert to electric cars, but convert it will. In 1973, OPEC first flexed its collective muscle by shutting down oil exits to the US. Citizens pulled together long enough to curse their tormentors. Then in a show of unity, we moved onto to learning ways of syphoning gas out of a neighbor’s tank.

Few heeded the omen of shortages to come; the politics of energy. US manufacturers were slow to react with economical vehicles. The 1976 model year showed no evidence of recognition For example, Lincoln brought out its Continental In four design packages Hence, the Bill Blass Mark IV, a car that has taken its place along side the Edsel.

In 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from political exile; seized the American embassy and shut down oil production – just a little. It was enough to send a second shockwave through the United States automobile culture. Prices rose, gas lines formed. As soon as the crisis ended, automakers returned with new breeds of behemoth: minivans, SUVs, crossovers, land cruisers. Real progress in fuel economy efficiency stopped in the early 1990s. Petroleum-dependent cars of the 2015 model year showed negligible improvement in the 15 year window.

Meanwhile in another part of the world, the first electric/hybrid car was being designed and built. Toyota’s Prius was introduced to the world in the 1990s, making landfall in the United States in 1999. With average air and water temperature levels rising annually, the push was on to make progress for environmental as well as economic reasons. Thus, the Tesla, an electric car that cuts our dependence upon petroleum and eliminates the carbon emissions that are destructive to the earth’s atmosphere.

Naturally, this is the perfect time to discuss whether or not climate change is real. Do you want to ignore that ice

Naturally, this is the perfect time to discuss whether climate change is real. Do you want to ignore that iceberg the size of Delaware floating around in the southern hemisphere? Or that we keep hitting a record temperature annually? Or that there is a hole in the ozone layer that will not close? Go right ahead and be doubters about climate change. Persist in your belief that we have done nothing to cause these shifting paradigms. Have at it! Mr. Musk will be driving his Jetsons car all the way to the bank.

The debate over the reality of climate change would be amusing if it were not frightfully stupid. Less than two months ago, an Ice Shelf broke off of Antarctica.

Whether human beings are altering the environment or not, the environment is changing the planet in extremely fast and terrifying ways. Human beings need to respond by preventing additional change and by adapting to emerging conditions. The Tesla is a phenomenon because it breaks through in both ways.

This is the really stupid part. Blaise Pascal, who is a 17th-century French mathematician and philosopher. Like others of his age he had to reconcile his findings in natural philosophy with the belief in God. Pascal happened to be a man of faith, and he was challenged by his colleagues for the discrepancy between his belief and his professional findings. Pascal devised an argument known as the Wager.

Pascal’s argument was that people should believe in a God and act in accordance with religious principles. Naturally, Pascal was contemplating a Christian God but it really doesn’t matter for our purpose. If it turns out that there is a God and you have been a person of good will, you have lost nothing of significance – material wealth maybe, libido running wild perhaps. But if there is a God and you have not acted as if there were, you will be in a colossal mess. You will have sinned without seeking absolution. That’s trouble with the capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for perdition. In the words of that great 21st century moral philosopher, Donald J. Trump, “What have you got to lose?” Or as Pascal put it:

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.

 

Many of my philosopher friends, of which there are none, are prepared to point out the flaws of the Wager as proof of the existence of God. However I do not suggest this as proof of the divine. Pascal’s wager is a good practical approach to dealing with uncertainty when the consequences are significant.

The same principle applies to environmental practice. If there is no climate change and we have developed less toxic and invasive means of producing energy, we lose very little. But the water and air will be cleaner, and our environmental practices will not cause any further deterioration. However, if mankind is destroying the environment through its energy industry and we do nothing about it but continue the same destructive ways, we will lose the World.

Think about energy production in terms of Pascal’s Wager, The best course of action is obvious. With the benefit of revolutionary propulsion technology, independent of the petroleum industry, belief is beside the point.

 

Maverick: The Legend of John McCain

  John McCain is the most unusual political character of our time, President company excluded. He has been a conscientious conservative, a rank-and-file Republican, an across-the-aisle kind of bipartisan, and a zombie presidential candidate. McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, withstanding five horrendous years in captivity. He is a genuine hero and an American legend.   This week, after receiving the awful news that he has a fatal brain tumor, he boarded a plane and returned to Washington, D.C., to play assassin to the Republicans’ calamitous effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act. McCain again played the hero in preventing his beloved Senate from shooting itself in the head.  

 McCain is one of the few big-name politicians who keeps things interesting by keeping us on our toes. His willingness to buck party leadership earned him the nickname, “Maverick,” a sobriquet he embraced.  His political story will be an interesting one to tell. Unquestionably, he is a hawk and a fiscal conservative. He also believes in  tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others.  Nevertheless, he caucuses with many politicians who do not.  One of his signature moments occurred in the late days of his unsuccessful 2008 Presidential campaign.  When an ignoramus called Obama an Arab during a town hall event, McCain quickly reclaimed the microphone and extolled his opponent’s decency.  Yet this is the same man who put an obviously unqualified Sarah Palin on his ticket – one long, lingering look from the Bering Strait and  a single heartbeat from the Presidency.  McCain is the person responsible for letting loose the hounds of nativist amateurism on Presidential politics.

After losing the 2008 race and despite his civility toward Candidate Obama, McCain became a constant critic of the President.  In 2012, McCain won a tough race for a sixth term in the Senate, He made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a prominent plank in his platform.

McCain is the son of a soldiering family, one of whose members fought alongside George Washington.   An Annapolis graduate, he served as a navy pilot in Vietnam.  After his plane was shot down, he was a long-term guest at the Hanoi Hilton, As a high value POW, he had a chance to be released, but he wouldn’t trade on the status  of his Admiral father. He refused preferential treatment.  After five years of physical and mental torture, solitary confinement and abuse that eventually broke him, he was released in 1973. This is the man belittled by Candidate Trump, who prefers his heroes not to be captured.  

McCain held his water, though.  He would never have been a Trump supporter in any normal time but the 2016  election was anything but normal. He threw his support beyond the military school brat who kicked dirt on his reputation, while the only thing to capture the Hypocrite-in-Chief was an Access Hollywood microphone.  

Two weeks ago, McCain flew home to Arizona to have eye surgery, during which it was discovered that he has an inoperable brain tumor, the same type of cancer that killed Ted Kennedy.  The Senate faced the threshold vote on its healthcare bill, a bill so bad it was kept out of sight for as long as possible.  With two certain GOP defections (Collins, Murkowski), an absence by McCain would have doomed the opening gambit, called a motion to proceed.  Earlier this week, McCain returned to the Capitol, struggling physically but resolute to attend the roll call.  McCain joined his party’s vote, ensuring that debate on a bill would take place.  However, Majority Leader McConnell struggled to find common ground between his party’s conservative and alt-right factions.  Two proposals failed to garner enough votes.  On Thursday night, he called for a vote on the so-called skinny repeal, a rollback of Obamacare so marginal that it was only a placeholder to get into a conference with the House over its own odious bill.

When called to vote on the skinny repeal – no replacement, McCain voted no.  He remained consistent with his position that the law was insufficient because it failed to repeal and replace.  But the no vote gave the Maverick the added pleasure of driving  a retaliatory ice pick into the neck of the future ex-president. Trump’s plan to repeal healthcare died with McCain’s vote. He trumped the President at his own game of political theater. To say the President was enraged doesn’t begin to tell the story. The White House Chief of Staff was found the following day floating in the Potomac.

 McCain issued a statement explaining his position.

While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.

McCain hasn’t talked about whether he drew any personal satisfaction from defeating one of the cornerstones of the Trump agenda.  But he exhibited the kind of grit that his hosts at the Hanoi Hilton would recognize.

Let The Pardon Fit The Crime

 

 

The Narcissist-in-Chief is pondering pardons, including his own. I can think of some self-executing acts he might undertake, and I might  suggest one or two if given the chance. But he can’t go pardon himself.  The idea of a selfie-pardon is  beyond imagination. Almost.

First thing to check is the Constitution.  On the matter of the pardon power it says that the president can grant pardons for all offenses against the United States, except in the case of impeachment.  Because our courts have decided that an offense against the United States can’t be leveled against a sitting president, he does not have the power to pardon himself. The only way he can be removed from office is through impeachment. So our founders made it so that the president could not take himself off the hook. His self-pardon trial balloon is more hot air. 

As far as his family, he does have the power to pardon them.  Maybe he thinks if he does that there would be no hearings or prosecutions. He’d be wrong. Once a pardon is given, the pardonee has no fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination. Because the pardonee can’t be prosecuted, there is no immunity. The pardonee would be required to testify or would be held in contempt of Congress. Can a person get pardoned twice? Do you see where this is going?  So if the Ginger Mussolini thinks he can pardon his way out of the Russia investigation, he has been drinking the water from the Chernobyl water table.

Speaking of hearings, did you notice that Donald Junior and Jared Kushner have been pulled off the Senate entertainment calendar?  Chairman Chuck Grassley decided not to have the public meet and greet with the Trump juveniles. Grassley’s Senate Judiciary committee plans to go slow until the president can escape through the gift shop.

 But wait! There’s more!  The Future Ex-President is sowing seeds to discredit Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor appointed by the Department of Justice. He is trying to build a case to fire Mueller.  If he is able to push Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of office, then he can appoint a loyal soldier  in Sessions’ place. Sessions may not be able to fire Mueller but his replacement could.  The thing is , anyone nominated to take Jeff Sessions’ place will have to promise not to dismiss the special prosecutor without good cause.

 All of this should give us a profound sense of respect for the Constitution and the job that the founders did. It’s not easy to subvert the United States government, even when all the branches are being run by the same party.  This isn’t President Putin’s Russia or even Mayor Daley’s Chicago.  For the moment, United States is still a nation of laws, not of dictators.  

 

 

Mr. Trump, Gimme Some Truth

Falsis

First year law students are taught some principles that are good for law as well as life, and for the rare intersection of those two phenomena.  One of those is “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.”   It means that if you lie about one thing, you might very well be lying about everything. This Latin riff is laid on a jury to permit them to discredit everything a witness says if the witness has been caught in even one lie.  

To you Trump supporters hanging by a thread, clinging to false hope like some Japanese soldiers after the Empire surrendered, I say it’s time – beyond time – to let go.  In other words: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. The future ex-president rode to popularity on his despicable race-baiting lie about President Obama’s country of birth. Then he said for a year that there was nothing to the Russia collusion story, that it was fake news. Now we know that too was a lie, and what’s more, he is directly involved in approving a false statement issued on behalf of Donald Jr.  You have the court’s permission to discredit everything else he said and says:  Job saver/creator – no. Wall builder – no. Provider of great health care – no. Trillion dollars on infrastructure – no. Tax reformer – no.  

If you feel bad about getting conned, don’t. You weren’t the first, and you won’t be the last.  As that noted statesman, P.T. Barnum, supposedly said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Just out of curiosity, are you planning a family? 

 

The Bully’s Pulpit

Bully

On Wednesday, June 28, at 9 a.m., Future Ex-President Donald Trump was watching TV when he should have paid attention to – take your pick: the environment, jobs, health care, Putin and the upcoming  G20 summit, the Middle East, North Korea, to name a few top-shelf issues. Instead, he washed down his breakfast with a cup of Morning Joe. Feeling ill, then he disgorged it via Twitter.

I heard poorly rated ‪@Morning_Joe‬ speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika [Brzezinski ], along with Psycho Joe [Scarborough] came..to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

Media outlets, the political establishment and women and men of all ages have responded with outrage, disappointment and, of course, resignation. They’ve scolded Trump but there are no consequences. In fact, the public’ s impotent rage emboldens him.  Trump won’t or can’t change his bullying behavior. Why should he? It’s worked for him so far. His perception is that Mika and Joe should be kissing the tip of his long, red necktie after all he has done for them. Instead of fawning, they are critical. Worse than disrespectful, they are disloyal. There is no greater crime in Trump Nation. Just ask James Comey.

A billionaire, even a pseudo-billionaire, answers to no one. He can buy loyalty or he can coerce it. A billionaire as President, this one at any rate, is not a public servant. He serves himself, not the citizenry. He approaches his office as he approached his business empire, Trump 24/7, surviving on instinct, impulse and intimidation.  Not only is Trump unrepentant; he remains indignant. He sent forth his new de facto spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to pistol-whip an infuriated press corps.

I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day, minute by minute, and sit back…When the president gets hit, he’s going to hit back harder.

Her message is that Trump was elected because he is a fighter. He answers to no one. He is a victim, and he will visit retribution on those who seek to question anything he says or does. When asked if she would point to her misogynistic boss as a role model for her children, Sanders sidestepped the question, citing only the Almighty as worthy of emulation.

Mika has urged her colleagues at MSNBC to treat the contretemps as a news story – search engine optimization to be sure. Let’s take her up on it. Morning Joe tripped over itself during the campaign to deliver airtime to candidate Trump, prospering from the ratings spike that came with it. They weren’t alone. Many political/news shows fed at the trough. Trump capitalized on the feeding frenzy, getting free coverage while his Republican opponents remained invisible.

After the election, the media took a big hit for helping elect this case of arrested development. As for Trump, the tiny gloves were off.  He complicated matters by spurning his newsy chums, people like Mika and Joe, whose backs served as stepping stones for his way to Washington. He attacked the industry, trivializing  their reports as fake news and countering their stories with his own version – what he calls alternative facts, formerly known as lies.

The conventional wisdom is that his tweets are part of a distraction and deflection strategy, drawing attention away from the crippled Healthcare Un-Initiative. That’s probably true, but Trump’s renewed personal attacks – low IQ, psycho, bleeding from a bad face-lift – are disgusting in a way that sickens his erstwhile allies.

In a model of understatement, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn’t help to do that.” Of course, it is vital to maintain a civil tone while stripping 20 million or so citizens of healthcare –  a kiss before dying.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not comment on the brouhaha. He tweeted about his Stealthcare bill but otherwise was hiding under his desk.

My suggestion is that we move on now that our collective outrage has been vented. There are existential issues before us, and we’re well-advised to pay attention to those we may influence, instead of continuing to wring our hands futilely over our national embarrassment.

©  2017 Revolted Colonies ™

 

Harold Goes To The White House

Dear Predsient Trump,

Thank you for letting my class visit you at your House. It sure is White!  I’m sorry we did not get to meet you because you were studying TV. But Mrs. Trump was very nice to us, and she is very pretty. 

We got to see many rooms with predsient’s names, like Lincoln, Roosevelt and Map.  The rooms are really great with so many pictures and models.

There were a lot of grown ups in the Blue Room.  Some were Korean, I think, like Patricia in our class. The big drawings and model houses were really cool. Mr. Koenigsberg, our teacher, told us it wasn’t polite to easedrop, but I was so curious about what they were saying.  Can you tell me what golf is?  Also, what’s a molliment? I think it might be a kind of plant because one of the ladies said they need to be kept in the dark. I’d like to try growing one for my next science project.

 I wish we got to spend some more time in the West Wing.  My mom and dad like to watch it a lot, and I wanted to see if it looks the same as on Netflix.  I saw that each room has a TV.  Too bad we can’t have that in our house!

It was such a fun day. I was sad my friend Kumar was out sick.  I had to be buddies with Mr. Koenigsberg’s husband, Mr. Bashir. Mr. Bashir might be somebody famous. All the policemen wanted to talk to him.  

Also, I want to tell Kumar what he missed but he is still sick . I am worried a little because he doesn’t pick up his phone.  Maybe he had to go to the hospital.  Nobody was home when I went over Saturday , and I didn’t hear Layla bark.  Layla is Kumar’s dog.

Thanks for the baseball caps. Red is my team color but Mr. Dixon, our coach and Willie’s father, said we can’t wear them because our team is the Subway Orioles. 

Also thanks for being our Predsient. I hope you get to stay longer than Mr. Koenigsberg thinks you will. 

Very truly yours,

Harold Gray

Class Recorder

Mr. Koenigsberg’s Fifth Grade

Douglass Learning Center 

Rockville, Md.

 

The Wedding Planner: Strobe Lights in the Projects

Patton

Patton Plans Retro Look for New Developments

Even J-Lo couldn’t have written this into her contract.: “Add a point to Star’s share if a Wedding Planner is appointed to federal office.” As we said on November 9, nothing is unthinkable. When Future Ex-President Donald Trump announced that Lynne Patton, his family’s event planner, would head up federal housing in the New York-New Jersey region, it was another Onion moment. That can’t be real, right? Did they make it up? Did I make it up? Sorry, nobody made it up.

We are staggered daily by Trump’s vision for America. He knows Construction.  Public Housing doesn’t need maintenance and security. It needs Centerpieces.

Why Lynne Patton, you might well ask. The Daily News did.

“The News reported that Patton is a longtime Trump loyalist who’s arranged golf tournaments and handled what she called “celebrity acquisition” for Trump events. She also helped plan Eric Trump’s wedding.

“On her LinkedIn bio, she claimed to have a law degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut, although school officials said she merely attended for two semesters and did not obtain a degree.

“She sent out a tweet late Thursday after The News inquired about the letters N/A appearing next to the entry about a degree from Quinnipiac.

“She said the N/A meant “not applicable,” and wrote, “When did you finish law school but you know you never did, you could answer N/A because it doesn’t apply to you. She added a confused face emoji and the hashtag #neverlied.” Ask her no questions.

Glib as the Daily News is, Revolted Colonies has scored the real scoop.  We have obtained a copy of Patton’s checklist for her first hundred days. You’ll soon see why she was the right person in the right place. Her appointment starts June 20,  but that would interfere with her Weddings schedule, which would choke a horse. She’ll start work in July.  By the way, her only requirement, to which Trump agreed, was that she could keep her day job.  Her check list looked like this:

July 1: Send out invitations for swearing-in after party, book Overkill Caterers, Fleurs du Mal Gardens and Lewandowski Security Services.

July 2: Set party budget- $100,000.00; cancel lead paint  abatement for Camden Housing Authority. savings – $100,000.00

July 3 Party. 

July 4 Start one month Hamptons Survey for new building sites.

August 4 Announce survey results at Tenement Museum Gala. 

August 5 Meeting with NYS  Commissioner to implement new federal definition of affordable.  

August 6 Begin month-long survey of Jersey Shore building sites.  

September 4 Attend Agency Labor Day Picnic-Attendance mandatory.

September 5 Send out discharge notices for all non-attendees.

September 6 Strategic goals meeting with Betsy DeVos.

September 9 Break ground on Trump Digs at Pocantico Hills, first 55 and over project under new Affordable regulations. 

September 10 Begin enforcement of emergency vacate order for Rangel Houses.  

September 13 Change name to Rangel Dacha and begin gut rehab.

September 22 Implement ICE personnel as concierges in all buildings.

And that’s just the first 90 days. It has not been announced but you can expect a party to be held by mid-October celebrating the agency’s acccomplishments. If the agenda seems like a lot of heavy lifting without the usual flourishes, Patton will tell you that government business, like a wedding, is all hard work.   It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems.

No Place to Hide

National politics has  driven  me crazy. A two-party wreck- I simply can’t turn away.   Hearings on parade: Sessions, Comey, Rogers, Coats, Klapper, Yates, Sessions again. Nunes is in, then he’s out, then he’s in again. Mueller’s in, Mueller’s out. Bharara’s in, Bharara’s out. 

Rachel Maddow needs a vacation, I mean more than her week on the disabled list. Spoiler: Fox is not fair and balanced anymore. The punditocracy has lost its collective mind. The front pages of the Post and the Times are wall-to-wall politics, and no two stories cover the same topic. It’s like election fatigue but even worse. With the election, there was a deadline. The only solid deadline  for this chaos is …2020?

Fortunately, there is escapism, which we need desperately. With the NBA and NHL seasons just ended, I prepared for the languorous summer of our other national pastime: Baseball. No sooner than I’ve exhaled, what do I see? Congress has taken over baseball too!  It’s not enough that they don’t do their Constitutional work. They’re out “practicing” for the annual Congressional baseball game, henceforth to be known as the Midterm Classic.  It’s admirable that Members can find a place where they can enjoy friendly competition for a good cause.  Why not IN Congress?  Surfing the news this morning, I see a picture of a baseball field – with X’s and O’s and dotted lines: the shooter was on the third base line and Rep. Scalise was by the first-base dugout, and….AAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

We as a nation abhor the violent attack on Rep. Scalise, the Capitol Guard and others.  If this tragedy stirs a true commonality of purpose among the political nihilists, then perhaps there is a silver lining. Why does it take a politician being attacked to jolt these twits out of their indifference? Newtown was not atrocity enough? Maybe that meme is right: Strip Congress of its healthcare if you want to see the elephants perform. In the meantime, Members of the House and Senate, keep your mitts off baseball!

 

Making America Great Again

                                          © Evan Sarzin 2017

Breathlessly Awaiting Comey’s Final Chapter

For those of you whose TV viewing will not be disrupted by work today, you will now be treated to a preview of the Soap Opera cum Congressional Hearing known as the Comey Memos.  For former FBI Director James Comey, a pillar of rectitude, a man of unshakable integrity, it’s surprising that his memos read a little like a Harlequin romance.  

Comey writes breathlessly of the first time he met the man he would one day call “President.”

During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President-Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.

He gushed about how the President-Elect was like no one he had ever met before.

I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past.

This hardened professional, a survivor of the George Bush administration, who stood up to Alberto Gonzalez, Bush’s personal attorney, who was trying to compromise bedridden Attorney General John Ashcroft, felt his knees buckle when he realized that the President was trying to get him alone.

He had called me at lunchtime that day and invited me to dinner that night, saying he was going to invite my whole family, but decided to have just me this time… It turned out to be just the two of us….seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.

The besotted Director felt powerless, having been cast under the spell of Don Giovanni Trump. Nevertheless, he resisted. Oh, how he resisted the enticements of his pursuer!

My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.

 Comey is not like all the rest. He is the product of a strong and supportive home, a disciplined and religious background. He would not cave in like Trump’s earlier prizes. He’s the kind of guy who always keeps at least one foot on the floor.

I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my ten-year term as Director. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word….

Trump pressed Comey. 

The President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence.

Later, Trump again pressed Comey.

Near the end of our dinner, the President returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” I paused, and then said, “You will get that from me.”

Normally, at this point, Comey might have stifled a sob or felt a clutching in his throat. 

It is possible we understood the phrase “honest loyalty” differently, but I decided it wouldn’t be productive to push it further.

Instead, he departed, his virtue intact. He retreated to his car, and before driving off, he wrote the entire discussion down, word for word, so as not to lose a single innuendo to the mercy of faulty memory.  Returning to his office, he logged his recollections in and then told his BFFs  about his trying evening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Comey decided that he could never let himself to be left alone with the President.  Yet weeks later he found himself face-to-face with his tempter in the Oval Office, the President having excused all the other meeting participants. Trump moved in, invading Comey’s personal space. He asked Comey if he could see his way clear to let it go – the “Flynn” thing.  

When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify.

“He’s a good guy,” said Trump.

Comey pulled himself up to his full 6’8″ height, put on his stern face and, mildly nauseous, vomited a little in his mouth. After this meeting, Comey would not face Trump again. The President would not relent. He called, beseeching him to lift the cloud of inquiry over his head, to tell the world that he Donald John Trump, was not being investigated. Comey was wracked, pulled in opposite directions by honesty and loyalty.  He could not say anything because he thought it was possible that he would have to retract it.

In a final phone call,  suitor became tormentor.   Trump asked Comey why did he testify before Congress the week before that there was an open investigation, and why didn’t Comey say Trump was not under investigation.  Then Trump added:

“Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” I did not reply or ask him what he meant by “that thing.” I said only that the way to handle it was to have the White House Counsel call the Acting Deputy Attorney General. He said that was what he would do and the call ended.

 Less than a week later, while meeting with federal agents in  Los Angeles, Comey heard that he’d been fired, but he did not believe it until he saw the TV news news crawl.  A great deal of confusion ensured about who prompted the firing and the reasons for it. It was Trump, all along, who jilted his FBI director.

Today,  James Comey will come before Congress to tell the rest of his tragic tale. If you decide to watch have a box of Kleenex at the ready.

  © Revolted Colonies 2017

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