Trump the Unifier

Noon on Sunday is one of the best times of the week. After a morning of news talk show agita about politics we get the NFL pregame shows with diverting chat about football. How distressing today to tune into the CBS and FOX pregame shows and get a big dose of talk about … politics….

Jared Kushner’s White House role is far from unusual

(Because of their publication schedule, this op-ed in today’s Cape Cod Times was written two weeks ago, pre-Comey, pre-Sessions and pre-Republican baseball shootout. Dealing with the subject of sputtering outrage at the time, it now seems like a artifact from another era.) Critics, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker in “Family politics: Why is Kushner a…

Comey’s Revenge

It’s only been a month since President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9. Comey’s testimony today before the Senate Intelligence Committee climaxed a rush of developments since then. Look elsewhere for prescience. On May 11 in “Comey’s Exit and the Artificial Storm” I flatly stated “There will be no independent counsel,”…

Comey’s Exit and the Artificial Storm

Good riddance Jim Comey and don’t let the door hit you on the ass. The self-righteous, publicity seeking FBI Director was fired Tuesday by President Trump. While the FBI Director is supposed to be above politics, it is necessary that he be politically adept enough to follow Justice Department policies and political protocol in the…

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…

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…

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…