Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Time to Give the Dems the Mueller Treatment

Friends, if you ask me, Senator Lindsey Graham is the man of the hour, because he's the one who is calling (not for the first time) for a second special counsel to be named to investigate the shady genesis of the Trump-Russia hoax.  Republicans were put through the ringer and made to prove that they DIDN'T sell out our country to Russia -- isn't it time that the same scrutiny is applied to the Democrats who concocted and then disseminated the Steele Dossier on which claims of collusion were initially based?  We know many of the characters who were involved in this silent coup, but what we don't know is how many of them were criminally conspiring or otherwise violating the law.  There's only one way to find out: put a seasoned, ruthless prosecutor on their trail.  Yes, the Senate Judiciary Committee will look into it, but that's no substitute for a special counsel.

We discuss this and much more in this week's Newsmaker Show.  We go over the full ramifications of the Mueller report, and we also cover the Smollett let-down, the Cold War leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, the high drama of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the strategic rationale for the Vietnam War, and the travails of Michael Avenatti.  Don't miss it!


  1. Dr. Waddy: Very substantial issues!

    I had not heard of Khrushchev's resorts to facile buffoonery to survive extensive contact with the hellhound Stalin but it makes sense. Aside from being a monster,the sadistic and mercurial dictator was personally almost unendurable by most accounts. Khrushchev had proved himself a willing mass murderer in Ukraine and other unlucky settings and that one like him was an improvement is a telling measure of how truly terrible the Soviets were.

    My understanding is that, in placing nuclear IRBMS in Cuba, Khrushchev was attempting to appease his own hardliners who were exerting much pressure on him to deal with the intolerable Western presence in Berlin. He may have thought it a good bet because he had sized Kennedy up as a weakling at their Vienna summit. Also, I think what had to have been Soviet intelligence's knowledge of the Kennedy brothers' unrestrained sexual adventures would, for an earthy and atavistic peasant like him, have been indicative of libertine and debauched personalities foolishly devoted to voluptuary pastimes and not to be taken seriously. He would not have been tempted to toy with Nixon that way.

    I agree with you in your apparent consideration of the Catholic Church as a positive factor in human history. Vatican II was one manifestation of a continuing, now centuries along, process of reform of an incalculably valuable and redeemable institution, in reaction to past wrongs, which could serve as a constructive example for Islam. Both religions' provision to billions, of indispensable spiritual guidance makes such progress vital for human well being.

    I listened to Rush on Monday and was struck by his perception of how damaging the"collusion with Russia" humbug has been. But I think that a Dem party stung to the very quick by its unthinkable setback in 2016 would but have forged some other wrench to throw in the gears. I agree with you that they must be held to account by a Prosecutor (would that it were Trey Gowdy). OK,let's make a very big issue of their misconduct in this matter and, in occupying THEIR time and effort and in inspiring the kind of 3am fears THEY imposed on so many, prevent them from continuing to dissemble. Let's put them on the defensive with a massive enquiry into their integrity. I think the view that what they did may have amounted to an attempted coup is plausible and should be prosecuted. Your observation that this outrage could have effected the 2018 election adds much credibility to the necessity for taking its perpetrators to consummate task.

  2. Hi Jack. You're right -- the fact that a mass murderer like Khrushchev (ask the Hungarians) could represent an improvement says a lot! And yet he was. He learned a few lessons from Stalin, chiefly that Stalin was a monster and the Soviet Union could do better. I believe what I said: Khrushchev introduced self-doubt into the communist vocabulary, and eventually that would bear fruit and produce the collapse of communism itself.

    You may well be right that K was pressured by hardliners to nuclearize Cuba. I'm sure that he was initially inclined to be dismissive of Kennedy. The Cuba gambit, in the end, was worth a try for the Soviets, and in a strictly objective sense they were the winners: they got a guarantee of Cuban independence, plus a rapid withdrawal of US missiles from Turkey, and all they had to do in return was withdraw their own missiles from Cuba (a strategic irrelevance, since SLBMs would soon be deployed). We won the PR side of the Cuban Missile Crisis, though, and PR was crucial in those days.

    I'm neutral on Vatican II, but certainly I would see it as a fine example of the Catholic gift for leavening extreme conservatism with grudging progressivism when absolutely necessary. I'm an admirer of the "constitution" of the Catholic Church as well. It's a very inventive and effective form of absolute monarchy.

    We both agree that the Left must be held accountable for foisting the Trump-Russia hoax on America (and indeed the world), but regrettably there seems to be no consensus among conservatives about what to do about it. As usual, most establishment Republicans seem content to let sleeping dogs lie. Every right-thinking conservative needs to get on board with Lindsey Graham's call for a second special counsel ASAP, if you ask me. Trump seems amenable. If we don't take the opportunity that circumstances afford us now, it's inevitable that the plotters will get off scot-free. That would be a national disgrace -- and it would guarantee that similar plots will be hatched again and again.

  3. Dr. Waddy: Ditto, ditto, ditto. I've had my doubts about Graham but he's leading the way now in supporting our redoubtable President. Also, you are right in citing the long reaching effect of the doubt that K expressed; the 1956 speech in which he denounced Stalin could have cost him all. You are right in describing the gains and the concessions we experienced in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Too, of course, we weren't vaporized and that allowed my generation an extra 57 years in which to bustle and party.

  4. Jack, the need for a second special counsel will be the subject of my next article -- I really believe it's the only effective countermeasure to the existential threat our democracy faces. The coup-plotters must be held to account!

    Wild to think that civilization could so easily have ended in 1962. Humanity would have picked up the pieces, sure, but what grubby little pieces they would have been. Someone up there likes us, I think.

  5. Dr. Waddy: I read an alternative history in which the USSR and US did launch in 1962 and became third rate powers. Great Britain, untouched by the mayhem (but, NATO?) reassumed predominance and ushered in a new Pax Brittanica.

  6. Jack, that sounds like a fun book and I wouldn't mind reading it. Sadly, though, I think it's highly implausible. The U.K. almost certainly would have been caught in the crossfire. Now that I ponder the matter, though, my guess is an all-out nuclear war in 1962 would have been "won" handily by the U.S., albeit with American casualties in the millions. The obliteration of the communist menace in the early 60s would have created a fascinating and very different dynamic. What would the U.S. have done with global hegemony? Perhaps, as it came to pass in 1991, nothing much!

  7. Dr. Waddy: I think, considering what we now know of Soviet capabilities in 1962: there would have been several nuclear hits in the environs of LA, NYC, Philly, San Diego, Norfolk and that Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and Atlanta might well have received IRBMs from Cuba. Washington would probably have been smothered. Apparently the Soviets had very few ICBMs and they were of doubtful reliability. We would probably have vaporized several Russian cities and military centers and, of course, Russian forces in Cuba. Kennedy, commanding from some granite redoubt, would very probably have rallied us. The Soviets, after having liquidated Khrushchev,would have retreated to lick their wounds. Mostly uneffected by this would have been the U.S. Navy and much of its air force and that would have proved dominant.

  8. Jack, I agree, by and large. I suppose it would depend on who started the war and on what terms, but my impression is that the balance of power definitely favored us in the early 60s, despite what we may have thought. By the late 60s, the Russkies were approaching parity, and SLBMs made ANY nuclear war unthinkable, in the sense that casualties on all sides were guaranteed to be vast.