Editorial | The Law Is Coming- Mr. Trump – The New York Times

“Why don’t we take a step back and contemplate what Americans, and the world, are witnessing?

Early Monday morning, F.B.I. agents raided the New York office, home and hotel room of the personal lawyer for the president of the United States. They seized evidence of possible federal crimes — including bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations related to payoffs made to women, including a porn actress, who say they had affairs with the president before he took office and were paid off and intimidated into silence.

That evening the president surrounded himself with the top American military officials and launched unbidden into a tirade against the top American law enforcement officials — officials of his own government — accusing them of “an attack on our country.”

Oh, also: The Times reported Monday evening that investigators were examining a $150,000 donation to the president’s personal foundation from a Ukrainian steel magnate, given during the American presidential campaign in exchange for a 20-minute video appearance.

Meanwhile, the president’s former campaign chairman is under indictment, and his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. His son-in-law and other associates are also under investigation.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval at Comments to the NYT
Great editorial, “The Law Is Coming,” thank you. Now, please help me understand, why does Mitch McConnell stop the bipartisan bill to protect the Mueller investigation from getting passed? What is his game, or thinking? Does he expect that he and the GOP will prosper by keeping Trump in power? Is he an employee of Koch Industries and their club of coal, oil and gas oligarchs? Is he betting, against your editorial, that the Republicans will keep enough power, to stop the resistance to Trump, till at least 2020? Maybe the law is coming, but when?

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

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Opinion | The Tragedy of James Comey – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“James Comey is about to be ubiquitous. His book will be published next week, and parts may leak this week. Starting Sunday, he will begin an epic publicity tour, including interviews with Stephen Colbert, David Remnick, Rachel Maddow, Mike Allen, George Stephanopoulos and “The View.”All of which will raise the question: What, ultimately, are we supposed to make of Comey?

He may be the most significant supporting player of the Trump era, and his reputation has whipsawed over the last two years. He’s spent time as a villain, a savior and some bizarre combination of the two, depending on your political views.I think that the harshest criticisms of Comey have been unfair all along. He has never been a partisan, for either side. Over a long career at the Justice Department, he was driven by its best ideals: upholding the rule of law without fear or favor. His strengths allowed him to resist political pressure from more than one president of the United States.

Yet anybody who’s read Greek tragedy knows that strengths can turn into weaknesses when a person becomes too confident in those strengths. And that’s the key to understanding the very complex story of James Comey.”

Yes, and thank you. Readers must read the ending of this piece to get its tragic ending, Comey folley, for which he will never be forgiven.
Here are the most popular two comments I endorsed:
Cat Glickman
ArizonaApril 8
As a prosecutor and a Clinton voter, I have terribly mixed feelings about Comey. He did Americans enormous good by stopping Bush & Cheney. He also demonstrated admirable honor & intelligence in refusing to flatter Trump or accede to his demands & in memorializing those interviews right after they happened.
But Comey’s decision to publicly announce why he was not recommending charges against Clinton was just wrong – it is not the cop’s call to make & he clearly did it for self-aggrandizement. As a prosecutor i was dumbfounded – he was so clearly out-of-bounds. But the real damage was done when he announced he was re-opening the investigation. It is very hard to believe he did not make that announcement with intent to influence the election, & there is no doubt that he did it knowing that it would affect the election.

7 Replies 848 Recommended

J
Judith
ny11h ago
Robert Mueller seems to be the only Republican in Washington that knows exactly what he’s supposed to do, is doing it well, and sees no need for public display UNTIL it’s time to present the next result of his investigation. He clearly knows the difference between serious investigation and show business. I wish there were more like him.

1 Reply 628 Recommended

Opinion | M.L.K.’s Unsanitized Lessons – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“You can read his final speech, delivered in Memphis the night before his death, or you can listen to it. Don’t settle for the usual quick outtakes. The famous lines — like “I’ve been to the mountaintop” — aren’t the only worthwhile ones.

“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination,” King said. “And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.”

Another option: If you haven’t yet read Taylor Branch’s great book, “Parting the Waters,” you can start it. It remains one of my 10 favorite books, on any subject.You can also watch the new HBO documentary that Branch created along with Trey Ellis, Jackie Glover and others. (If you don’t have HBO, you’ll need to wait a bit.) “For thirty years, I have been trying and failing to help move authentic civil rights history to film,” Branch tweeted last weekend. “It’s not the familiar, ‘sanitized’ MLK.”

You can also read the collection of Op-Eds that The Times has published in recent days, by Wendi Thomas and others. We’ve linked to each of those pieces in Related Coverage below. If you have questions for Jesse Jackson, who wrote one of the pieces, leave them in the Comments section of his article; he will be replying to some of them in coming days.”

Opinion | Big Business Is Too Big – by David Leonhardt – NYT

The big airlines. The hospital systems that dominate many metro areas. Gigantic retailers like Walmart and Amazon. And, increasingly, technology companies like Facebook and Google.The United States has an oligopoly problem — a concentration of corporate power that has been building for years but is only now starting to receive serious attention from policymakers, think tanks and journalists. (Mea culpa: I’m one of the journalists who was too slow to focus on the problem.)“In nearly every sector of our economy, far fewer firms control far greater shares of their markets than they did a generation ago,” Barry Lynn and Phillip Longman wrote in Washington Monthly, back in 2010. This consolidation has helped hold down wages, raise prices and reduce job growth — while lifting corporate profits.

Does Nancy Pelosi Deserve to Keep her Job? – By David Leonhardt – NYT

“The Pelosi question. A few years ago, Steve Cohen — a Democratic congressman from Memphis — had some buttons made. Each button said, “PelosiCare,” underneath a photo of Nancy Pelosi. At the bottom of the button, in smaller type, were the words “I was there.”

The point was clear enough. Everyone else may refer to the huge expansion of health insurance as Obamacare. But the Democratic members of Congress who voted for it know that it would not have happened without Pelosi. When Obama administration officials wavered over whether to keep pushing for such an ambitious bill, Pelosi bucked them up. Then she delivered the votes to pass the bill.

That’s been the pattern since Pelosi became the Democrats’ House leader in 2003. She pushes hard for liberal policies, but also has a keen understanding of what legislation can’t get through Congress, no matter how much she may personally favor it. She has probably done a better job of keeping her caucus unified, in the majority and minority, than any other recent congressional leader. “She has been an extraordinarily effective caucus leader,” as Jonathan Chait writes in New York magazine.”

David Lindsay:

I like the piece above, and I like Nancy Pelsosi a lot. I think Pelosi should step down for two reasons. 1.She shut down the government a month ago to force DACA reform, which was suicidal for winning the next election. Says who? Wrote David Leonhardt just weeks ago. He wrote, most white Americans don’t care much about DACA reform, and 69% of voters  who actually vote are white Americans.

2. Her big win was the Affordable Health Care Act. Unfortunetly, Obama passed that, and then lost the house, so he couldn’t pass his infrastructure bills, or any thing else. If they had focused on the ecomy, jobs and infrastructure first, and health care later, we would probably have environmentalists in charge of the EPA, and progressives in charge of the Consumer Protection Agency.  et cetera.

How to Read Tonight’s Results From Pennsylvania – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“Good morning, and welcome to Election Day — at least in one congressional district, in southwestern Pennsylvania, which is holding a special election that feels like a referendum on President Trump.

The 18th district is a mix of coal country and Pittsburgh suburbs, and it leans strongly Republican. Both Trump in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012 won it by almost 20 percentage points. Yet the Democrat nonetheless has a real shot to win.

Why? Trump’s unpopularity is the main reason. But the strength of the Democratic candidate — Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old former Marine and prosecutor — also matters. He has run to the political middle on cultural issues (like guns and abortion) and to the left on economic ones (like trade).

I’m not endorsing all of his stances, but I think he has the right approach for a Democrat in Trump country.”

The Left Is Energized. Now It Needs to Vote. – David Leonhardt – NYT

“The Trump presidency has brought a political awakening for American progressives. It began even before he took office, with the organizing for the Women’s March. Then came the citizen activists who protested at airports and later helped save health insurance for millions of people. Now high school students are trying to transform the gun debate.

In a new article in the journal Democracy, two academic researchers tell the story of the energized progressive movement. The leaders are most often suburban women alarmed by President Trump’s assaults on decency and the rule of law. The movement is more bottom-up than top-down, more face-to-face than virtual, more Middle American than coastal. It does not always identify itself with the Democratic Party, even if it supports almost exclusively Democrats.

The movement is “pervasively pragmatic,” write the researchers, Lara Putnam of the University of Pittsburgh and Theda Skocpol of Harvard. It spans “the broad ideological range from center to left” and (despite media coverage to the contrary, they argue) spends little time on Bernie-versus-Hillary fights. Above all, it is trying to elect progressives, including to oft-ignored local offices — and it’s now focused on the 2018 midterms.

That’s smart. Elections are precisely what progressives should be emphasizing. Protests can have an effect, as happened with Obamacare repeal and is happening on guns. But major progress on almost every issue — climate change, immigration, middle-class living standards and gun deaths — depends on electing people who want to make progress. Trump and the current leaders of Congress plainly do not.

Political movements have two main ways to win elections: persuasion and turnout. On persuasion, I think progressives’ best hope is an economic message that focuses the white working class on the working-class part of its identity, rather than the white part. But today I want to concentrate on turnout, because it has an even greater potential to change American politics.”

An Article of Impeachment Against Donald J. Trump – by David Leonhardt – NYT

There are good reasons to be wary of impeachment talk. Congressional Republicans show zero interest, and they’re the ones in charge. Democrats, for their part, need to focus on retaking Congress, and railing about impeachment probably won’t help them win votes.But let’s set aside realpolitik for a few minutes and ask a different question: Is serious consideration of impeachment fair? I think the answer is yes. The evidence is now quite strong that Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice. Many legal scholars believe a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime. So the proper remedy for a president credibly accused of obstructing justice is impeachment.The first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon argued that he had “prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice.” One of the two impeachment articles that the House passed against Bill Clinton used that identical phrase. In both cases, the article then laid out the evidence with a numbered list. Nixon’s version had nine items. Clinton’s had seven. Each list was meant to show that the president had intentionally tried to subvert a federal investigation.Given last week’s news — that Trump has already tried to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign — it’s time to put together the same sort of list for Trump. Of course, this list is based only on publicly available information. Mueller, no doubt, knows more.

Deep Breath: The Democrats Did Just Fine – David Leonhardt – NYT

“A lot of progressives are angry or disappointed this morning. They’re upset that “spineless” Democrats in Congress didn’t take a stand — by keeping the federal government closed until Republicans agreed to protect the young immigrants known as Dreamers.

I fully understand their anxiety on behalf of those immigrants, the Dreamers. The future of the Dreamers remains unclear. But it’s worth taking a minute to understand the very large assumption that unhappy progressives are making. When you examine that assumption — and recent congressional history — I think you end up seeing that Democrats made a smart move to reopen the government. Unfortunately, their choice wasn’t, as the critics claim, between protecting or abandoning the Dreamers.The critics’ big assumption is that the Republicans would have eventually folded if the government had remained shut down.”

The Democrats Are Right — and Should Settle – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“So far during Trump’s time in office, principled policy and savvy politics have generally aligned for Democrats. They stymied Republican attempts to take health insurance from millions of people. Democrats tried to block a huge, permanent tax cut for the wealthy that came with small, disappearing tax cuts for everyone else. Democrats have opposed Trump’s efforts to let big corporations operate without much oversight. In each case, it has been both good policy and good politics.The shutdown is different, and more complicated. It’s more complicated because it has turned into a mini-culture war over immigration.”

David Lindsay Jr. Comment to the NYT.com:
Thank you David Leonhardt! He wrote:”A culture war over immigration replays the racialized debate that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign. As much as it saddens me to say it, the evidence is pretty clear that a racialized debate helps Trump. It’s the kind of debate that will make it harder for Democrats to retake the Senate and House this year.

Multiple studies have found that the political views of white Americans drift to the right when they are reminded that the country’s population is slowly becoming less white. And many of these voters are winnable for Democrats. A good number, remember, voted for Barack Obama. They may have some racist views — many people do — but they’re neither deplorable nor irredeemable human beings. Steve Bannon, the guru of white nationalism, understood this dynamic, once saying, “The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em.” ”
None of the NYT comments so far are nearly as articulate as this column. If you want to understand why many of us think this move by Democrats to shut down the government over DACA are are virtuous but short-sighted, I recommend you reread this op-ed. It explains why the Democrats are on the wrong topic again, if they want to win elections.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at The TaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com