Let him twist slowly, slowly in the wind.

Let him twist slowly, slowly in the wind. Those words were famously uttered in the early days of the Watergate scandal, which led to Richard Nixon’s resignation in the face of imminent impeachment. They were uttered in 1973 by John Erlichman, a top Nixon aide, about L. Patrick Gray, Nixon’s nominee to become Director of the FBI.

As Acting Director of the FBI, Gray had been complicit in the White House’s efforts to conceal Nixon’s connection to the Watergate break-in. Congress was only just beginning to sniff out evidence of such a connection and the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Gray afforded Congress its first opportunity to start digging deeper. Gray tried to stonewall but ultimately made several damaging revelations. The White House soured on on his nomination, but instead of withdrawing the nomination, Erlichman thought Gray should undergo a period of public embarrassment. “I think we ought to let him hang there. Let him twist slowly, slowly in the wind.”

That’s what Congress should do with Trump: Let him twist slowly, slowly in the wind.

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“Partisan” impeachment, bipartisan militarism. The military-industrial complex marches on.

While everybody has been focused on — and bemoaning — the starkly partisan nature of the continuing impeachment saga, a stunning display of broad bipartisanship has just taken place in the House. It hardly made a dent in the wall-to-wall impeachment coverage. That’s too bad, because the recent bipartisan action in question here is an outrage.

I’m talking about the passage last Wednesday of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the massive legislation that funds all things military. This year’s Pentagon funding bill passed the House with a lopsided 377-48 vote (only 41 Democrats voted against). You can’t get much more bipartisan than that. And that’s a huge problem, especially because the military spending bill always garners such bipartisan support.

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Trump will try to turn the Senate trial into a spectacle. That won’t happen. I hope.

It’s all over except for the party line voting. Donald Trump is going to be impeached. Now all attention turns to the Senate and the upcoming trial.

Trump would love to turn the Senate trial into a spectacle, a headline-grabbing circus featuring him, of course. With his nemesis Nancy Pelosi removed from a central role in the action, Trump sees a chance to reclaim his domination of the public narrative again. Given his way, Trump would turn that narrative into crazy talk. It’s what he does all the time.

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Video: Impeachment 101

This entire program was worth doing for the concise definition of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” alone. But there’s so much more, including an analysis of the effect of this scandal on Ukraine, delivered by a long time expert in the region. Matt Harrigan is a lecturer in political science and Janey Curry is a professor of political science. Both are faculty at Santa Clara University.

Billionaires and ballots. We need to talk.

America minted its first billionaire 103 years ago when steel magnate John D. Rockefeller’s bank balance clicked over to ten digits. The country is now home to 607 billionaires. Three of them are running for president. 

Media tycoon and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg ($53 billion) sent up a trial balloon this week, joining hedge fund manager Tom Steyer ($1.9 billion) and the incumbent horror Donald J. Trump (morally bankrupt) on the campaign trail. 

Never before has the country seen three billionaires vying openly for the most powerful office in the nation. The standard operating procedure for plutocrats has been to wield power from behind closed doors, and to do so quietly, lest they alert the teeming masses.

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Another significant 50th anniversary, but you’re not likely to see any TV specials about it

Screenshots from 8mm home movies of the historic anti-war march on Washington, November 15, 1969. Home movies can be seen at the bottom of this post. Original film courtesy of Bob De Lucia.

This past summer was defined by 50th anniversary commemorations. First out of the gate was the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, a historic event certainly worthy of review. And did it ever get reviewed — TV specials, newspaper inserts, even a commemorative coin issued by the U.S. mint.

Then came August and the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. The Woodstock celebrations were personal for me as someone who had actually gone to Woodstock. More commemorative events and publications. Even a stamp. But no coin as far as I know.

Coming up soon is another significant 50th anniversary event, another one with deep personal meaning for me — the anniversary of the massive Vietnam War Moratorium March on Washington, which took place on November 15, 1969, exactly three months after Woodstock. I was there, too.

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Greatest economy in history? Nope. Greatest inequality in history.

“We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”
~ Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Donald Trump launched into his day at 7:30 this morning by brag-tweeting about the state of the economy.

He then promptly returned to attacking Democrats, the impeachment inquiry, and the news media. All in all, a normal kind of morning for the child king.

But his “greatest economy” tweet stands in stark contrast to a study released last month by the Census Bureau that reports something truly historic: income inequality in the U.S. is at its highest level in the 50 years since the Bureau started tracking the data.

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Booing a president is as American as apple pie and, well, baseball

Donald Trump wandered out into the real world last night, far from the cloistered world of his cult followers, away from pre-screened, handpicked audiences. It did not go well for the orange narcissist.

In his two plus years in Washington, Trump has never ventured into the real city, has never mingled with people whom he supposedly represents. Where other presidents routinely dined at local establishments, Trump has gone out for dinner only at his Trump International Hotel. He has snubbed traditional DC social events like the White House Correspondents Dinner and the Kennedy Center Honors. And until last night, he had never been to a Washington baseball game, unlike every predecessor who served when DC had a team. He has remained firmly within the Trump bubble.

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The Time Richard Nixon and I Went to the World Series Together

When the World Series rolls around each year, I find myself reliving a very pleasant memory — the time I went to the World Series with Richard Nixon, at the time still serving as President of the United States.

I was a freshman at American University in Washington, DC at the time of the 1969 World Series, the year of the Miracle Mets. Saturday, October 11 was a warm fall day in DC. Game 1 was due to get underway in Baltimore in the afternoon. I was hanging out in my dorm room when one of the guys who lived across the hall knocked, came in, and waggled a handful of World Series tickets in the air. “I scored six tickets for today’s game. Wanna go?”

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