A Primer: the Election, the Russians, Spies & Leaks

A large group of Americans wants an investigation into how the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. Another group wants an investigation into the Obama administration’s domestic spying on the Trump campaign and Transition Office and the leaks of classified material from intelligence agencies during the campaign and continuing. The first group…

Judge Gorsuch and the Filibuster

The Kabuki theatre that is a Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is approaching opening night. The principal actors have exchanged scripts but they already know their lines well, having played both parts before. Some bitterness remains from the last production which closed out of town when one set of actors refused to go…

Lies, Alternate Facts and Voter Fraud

Analysts of President Trump would do well to heed Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a pariah among his peers for his support for Trump. Thiel notes that Trump’s supporters “take his Tweets seriously but not literally.” Reporters and pundits scrutinizing Trump should do the same. Only if the goal is to gin up confusion, apprehension…

Only deniers of results threaten our election

Cape Cod Times Letter  Brent Harold seems to have worked himself into a silly hysteria, ginning up a constitutional crisis where none exists. (“The Constitutional crisis has already happened,” Another View, Jan. 17). If false information misled any voters, it was not the John Podesta or Democratic National Committee emails which, after all, were genuine. Certainly…

Trump doubles down

Immediately after President Trump’s inaugural address. It turns out he really meant it. President Donald Trump did not say all those things just to get elected. He meant them. He apparently did not run just to be President. Those who hoped that, once President, Trump would join the establishment are in for a big disappointment….

A president’s conflicts cannot be untangled by statute

 Boston Globe Inbox  There is a reason that the president is not subject to the federal conflicts-of-interest statute. The qualifications for assuming the presidency are set forth in the Constitution, as are the powers that the president may exercise (“The White House is not just another asset,’’ Editorial, Jan. 16). They may not be modified…

Adults in the room but Trump will still be Trump

Right after the election, in an effort to comfort my friends who were deeply distressed at the prospect, I posted “You can live with President Trump. Really” I gave some old and more recent examples of Presidents whose election horrified large segments of the electorate. I had in mind the limitations of the Constitutional checks and…

CNN’s “Fake News”

CNN reported that 1) an intelligence report delivered to President Obama and President-Elect Trump had an appendix of “raw” intelligence reporting 2) information received from a former MI-6 operative who was hired to conduct opposition research for Trump’s political opponents that he had 3) received reports from secondary Russian sources that they in turn were…

The Only Remedy for Trump’s Conflicts of Interest is Vigilance

[This post was a Cape Cod Times op-ed column but includes historical material cut from the column for reasons of space.] Even President-Elect Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters express concern about actual and potential conflicts of interest between his Presidential powers and his far-flung business activities. Trump may also try to work around the anti-nepotism statute to…

Did the Russians Hack to Help Trump? So what?

The Wikileaks release during the 2016 campaign of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton family retainer John Podesta were harmful to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. This was not so true because new facets of Hillary Clinton and her political operation were revealed but because old and well-known faults of hers were confirmed…

Whither Trump? Priebus or Bannon?

In his first major decisions President-Elect Donald Trump named Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon to be ”chief strategist and senior counsel.” The Trump transition staff was at some pains to say the two would be “equal partners” but the laws of political physics usually do not…

You can live with President Trump. Really.

Somebody was going to be mad after this election. We all thought it was going to be the frustrated people whose anger at the establishment of both parties fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Instead it is the establishment itself, the politicians of both parties, crony capitalists, media elites, politically correct faculty of our universities…