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…

James Comey, Pontius Pilate

What is going on? What is Comey up to? Those are the questions dominating the end of this fevered political season. After castigating her handling of classified emails as “extremely careless,” Comey announced on July 5 that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted under a statute requiring “gross negligence” which, any lawyer will tell you,…

Debate Prep for the Voter

Presidential primaries and party nominating conventions are behind us. Even in this most unusual and tumultuous election, the next event remains, as it has for 40 years, the Presidential Debates. The first debate occurs in a week on Monday, September 26 at 9 PM. The announced debate format shows some promise of delivering a real…

Few Want to Wake Up to a Massive Debt Call

Wall Street Journal letter, September 10, 2016 Gov. Mitch Daniels should be President. He has put his finger on perhaps the fatal flaw of democracy, identified long ago by George Bernard Shaw: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” Mr. Daniels couldn’t have said these things…

“Bye, bye,” John McLaughlin

I hadn’t seen or thought of John McLaughlin for years until he died Tuesday morning. During the 80’s and 90’s he was a fixture of my weekly political TV diet. Someone must have kept watching in the meantime though as his show, The Mclaughlin Group, continued on the air until his death. He never missed…

No Time to Replace Sheriff Cummings

Ed note: To my off-Cape and out-of-state readers this Cape Cod Times op-ed is about a Barnstable County campaign. The application for a criminal complaint, which I predicted would not go far, was denied this morning. Thomas Johnson of Harwich Port includes a fundamental contradiction in his “My View” piece on July 9, “Consider Azzato to replace…

Irony in Philadelphia

On the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention ironies abound. The Wikileaks release of email and other documents hacked from the Democratic National Committee has caused great embarrassment to Hillary Clinton supporters at the DNC. Many of the Democrats, now outraged by the hacking, supported Edward Snowden, employee of a National Security Agency…

Justice out of line

Boston Herald letter, July 21, 2016 Donald Trump is entitled to express his political opinions, no matter how silly, as is Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis. (“If Trump can speak his mind, why can’t RBG?,” July 14). U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a sitting judge, is not. Judges have political opinions, of course,…

Convention Drama At Last; Cruz’s Big Moment

Senator Ted Cruz addresses the Republican National Convention tonight. To secure his participation Donald Trump’s convention managers (if that’s what they can be called) had to agree to let him be the only speaker whose remarks have not been cleared in advance. So …. will he or won’t he? Cruz fancies himself the legatee of…