Letters to the Editor: Trump 12.07.17

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Declaration of War

East Hampton

December 4, 2017

To the Editor,

The Republican tax plan is nothing short of a declaration of war on the lower and middle classes, especially those in blue states. Republicans have decided they can say one thing (their tax plan simplifies taxes and provides relief for the middle class), do another thing entirely (it’s really tax relief for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations), and chalk up any criticism to fake news and liberal bias.

Why are they literally stealing from the middle class (e.g., threatening the mortgage tax deduction and state and local tax deductions) to give the wealthy a tax break? Because their backers want to see some bang for their big-buck donations. Don’t take my word for it. According to Chris Collins, a Republican congressman representing New York’s 27th District and discussing the importance of passing a tax bill: “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’ ”

We must stop this insanity. Tell Lee Zeldin it’s not enough that he voted no on the House bill. He needs to convince his colleagues that this bill is abjectly unfair and work to make the final bill less disastrous for his constituents.

Even better, vote for a Democrat in 2018. Then we won’t have a congressman who has to fight his own party in order to represent us.



National Nightmare


December 3, 2017

Dear David,

A year ago, when Trump won, I felt anguish, disbelief, and a profound sadness. An ignorant and narcissistic bully who diminishes just about anyone but the chimera he sees in the mirror was poised to assault everything decent about this country. A pathological liar was inaugurated. He was the last person of any stature on either side of the aisle to acknowledge the Russians (remember when Republicans loathed them?) had interfered in the election to help his candidacy, despite the conclusions of our four top intelligence agencies. Could you imagine the caterwauling emanating from Team Trump had the Russians intervened to help the Clinton campaign? I wrote a letter to The Star back then stating as bad as things were, “The worst is yet to come.”

Over the last year he’s been abandoned by Republican Senators McCain, Corker, Flake, and Sasse on many issues. His secretary of state is facing an ouster for calling him a moron.

But I never dreamed back then the noose around his neck would tighten this far this quickly. When he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Comey and actually told the world it was over the latter’s handling of Clinton’s emails, his followers believed him. A day later he admitted it was really over Comey’s handling of the Russian investigation — reminiscent of Robert Culp as president asking the F.B.I. director in “The Pelican Brief” to ignore an investigation. Why did he care about Flynn so much? Personal loyalty? The man is only loyal to his own ego. He knew Flynn knew the Russian connection involved, at a minimum, both Don Jr. and Jared Kushner. Now, unbelievably, we hear him tweet he knew Flynn lied to the F.B.I. By the by, I cannot fathom a national security adviser, one of the closest men to the president, acting on a matter of this substance without the president being in the loop as well. As Senator Howard Baker once asked of the last man to so threaten our freedom, “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

So all year as Trump and his sycophants blathered on how the Russian connection to his campaign and administration was a hoax and a witch hunt by answering every question by deflecting with a nonanswer about Clinton, Robert Mueller dug in. He’s got Manafort, Gates, Papadopoulos, and Flynn. Jared and Don Jr. are next. That’s why Trump’s been pressuring every senator he can to “wrap up” the investigation — sheer panic. These two are in deep trouble and while he can pardon them, he can’t exculpate them.

Back in June 2016, Manafort, Jared, and the Little Don met with the Russians in New York City. That meeting did not occur out of the blue — the participants had prior contacts. Little Don went into the meeting telling the person who requested it and claimed to have damaging information on the Clinton campaign how great it would be if said information came out in August. Guess what? That’s when WikiLeaks started releasing information that hurt the Clinton campaign. 

We know Little Don was in contact with WikiLeaks during the campaign and after the election. We now also know (no thanks to Jared) Jared overlooked several documents requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and others that involved email communications regarding WikiLeaks. When this meeting was uncovered, Trump insisted everyone on Team Trump lie to the American people by claiming the meeting was really about adoptions. Of course, his son, son-in-law, and campaign manager took time out in the middle of the presidential campaign to talk about Russian babies. The bigger the lie, the more he believes people will believe it. Incredibly much of his base believes anything he says.

Remember when we were told by the liar-in-chief and his minions there were no contacts between Team Trump and the Russians? As the dizzying array of interactions involving Russian politicians and bankers emerges, it is hard to keep track of the multiple contacts involving Flynn, Manafort, Don Jr., and Kushner. Even Fox News’s Shepard Smith had to ask “When will the lies stop?” Answer: They won’t. Trump is too far down the slippery slope.

In Robert Mueller and his team, Trump has been checked. The blowhard who has been involved in 3,500 lawsuits can’t sue his way out of this. He is finally pinned in by his hubris. A man who luxuriates in adulation will finally face his last out-firing — Mueller. But this is not reality TV. Such a move will bring down the emperor with no clothes who is trampling on everything decent about America.

After endorsing a child molester who equated homosexuality with having sex with a cow, his Kool-Aid swallower, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is looking more and more like Ron Ziegler, blandly informed us Trump will not campaign in Alabama for Roy Moore. Breaking News: Trump picked Pensacola, Fla., 25 miles from the Alabama border, to hold an out-of-the-blue rally just prior to the Alabama Senate election.

This is a national nightmare. But when they get Jared one can hope the emperor will implode and the edifice masking his malevolence will crumble and his sins will engulf the mausoleum of his failed presidency. Hopefully then, as Gerald Ford once told the nation, “Our long national nightmare is over.”


P.S. Today, Trump’s lawyer says it’s impossible for a sitting president to obstruct. Pop Quiz: Who was the last president to assert that? Hint: His initials were R.M.N.

His Fluttering Hands


December 4, 2017

To the Editor:

Donald Trump is a biological weapon of mass destruction who is contaminating the moral fiber of America. This POTUS is a brain cancer, eating into all fair-minded citizens. He’s a disgrace, our very own Mugabe. And, like Mugabe, he must go.

Last week, he handed a megaphone to the bigoted views of a fringe British alt-right group. On one of the darkest days for American democracy, he insulted decent Brits by, in effect, saying, “I’m with these wackos.” Because he’s a wacko himself. Not just mentally impaired in the harmless way of the stupid uncle at Thanksgiving lunch; him we can tolerate because we know he’s old and grumpy and fading into dementia. Uncle Jed’s no threat to the way we live. But Trump, this “short-fingered vulgarian,” holds the lives of millions in his fluttering hands.

The revolving door that today passes for the White House, may soon send another body spinning across the lawn in the burly form of Rex Tillerson. POTUS, according to his press spokeswoman, has “lost confidence” in his secretary of state. The feeling, we can be sure, is mutual considering that Rex the Tex, in a private aside, called his boss “a (expletive deleted) moron.”

And so we are left with POTUS as our top diplomat, regardless of whoever gets the appointment. And what do his people say when this president bleats his tweets? “Trump being Trump,” they shrug, whenever their man heaps more shame on America.

They are his accomplices; all bullies have them. We know who they are: Republican “leaders” in the House and the Senate who would rather lose their integrity than their cushy lives. They are far too busy crafting a tax bill that — in relative terms — will benefit the penthouse people (yes, you, congressman and you, senator) a lot more than Joe the Trucker. Trouble is, according to a bipartisan study released last week, the tax cuts will raise the deficit by more than $1 trillion. Republicans argue that increased investment and consumer spending (liberated by the theoretical “trickle-down” effect of the tax cuts) will offset the drop in government revenue caused by fewer taxes being collected. We hope, as we watch the pigs fly by.

And where are the Democrats? Struggling to explain why Congressman John Conyers, their 88-year-old “icon” and chair of a key judiciary committee, is having the “sad” experience of being accused of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, above the squirming of “Lyin’ Mike” Flynn, (the Russia-loving, former national security adviser) and the drone of the national conversation about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace (is there an appropriate version?), war with North Korea gets closer. Trump, our own alleged sexual predator and top diplomat, thinks he’s negotiating when he calls nuclear-hot Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man.” In some pockets of this country, folks must think such language is “fightin’ talk.” In the civilized world, though, as we reflect on America’s governing crisis, perhaps we might recall the words of the 18th-century poet James Thompson:

“Thus human life, unhinged, to ruin reel’d

And giddy Reason totter’d on her throne.”

He must go.