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Will Trump Don Hipwaders As Polls Show Support For Impeachment?

October 16, 2019

The polling data, from across the board, regarding the impeachment proceedings on Donald Trump are enough to send this White House to a bar for breakfast.  When they saddle up for a drink they will likely find Rudy Giuliani already nursing one.   It is that bad these days for the sinking Trump presidentcy.

A new Gallup poll now finds 52% of Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 46% say he should not be.

The 52% who support removing Trump is higher than Gallup ever found for removing President Nixon until August 1974.

Trump’s approval rating remains flat at 39%.

Meanwhile, Trump is losing support among GOP voters in North Carolina, a stronghold for Republican presidential candidates in nine of the last 10 elections, as he faces a House impeachment inquiry sparked by his conduct towards Ukraine.

According to the latest Meredith Poll, Trump’s approval rating among all North Carolina voters has sunk to 39.9 percent, down from 44 percent in March.

These polls and a slew of others underscore the national disdain for Trump, and the support for impeachment proceedings House Speaker Pelosi announced last month.  The seriousness of the whistleblower’s allegations that Trump had asked Ukrainian President Zelenskiy to probe into a 2020 political opponent is demonstrated by all the polls, including Fox News.

Recall that Trump stated he would not worry about the polling data until it headed over 50%.  Well, it is time to put on the hip-waders at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


Get Well, Chris Matthews

October 16, 2019

We love Chris Matthews at Caffeinated Politics. So this news today is disconcerting.

If you’re a consistent viewer of MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews, you’ve probably been wondering where the host has been in recent days. Steve Kornacki, a regular Matthews fill-in, reported on Matthews’ status: He is presently recovering from prostate cancer surgery. It is currently not clear when Matthews will return.

CP sends the best to the guy we love to watch and learn from.


Elizabeth Warren Would Set Donald Trump Backwards On Debate Stage

October 16, 2019


I always enjoy watching how politicians demonstrate their skills. Last night it was most interesting to watch the Democratic presidential debate as they all tried to thread the needle in their own way to press advantage with the time allotted.

After it was over there was no question as to whom had dominated the stage.  Elizabeth Warren. I was only waiting for the numbers to underscore what was most evident.

Warren utterly dominated the conversation. She talked the most, by far, with 23.1 minutes, compared to 16.6 minutes for Biden and just about 13 minutes each for Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Buttigieg.  Partly this is because Warren, once the Oklahoma state champion in high school debate, would never let the moderators cut her off and finished every point she wanted to make.  It was a debate performance to use in classrooms.  It was that good.

Let us view that take-ownership of the stage from a different perspective.  If she is the Democratic nominee there will be a hard time for anyone to walk up behind her on stage, as Trump did in an attempt to intimidate Hillary Clinton. Warren would set him back verbally.

Perhaps even leave him a monorchid.  And that is what will be required to turn the page on a very horrifying chapter in American history.

It is Warren’s firmness in standing by the issues she has long advocated, the resolve not to allow detractors to move her off a campaign game-plan, and her ability to use old-fashioned meet and greet skills which deeply impreses me.  One does not need to agree with any policy goal Warren has set forth to know. when watching her, there is an intensity and determination that might very well carry her to the White House.

I have watched politics for well over 40 years, and at times it seems to take more and more to truly impress me after having seen and heard so much.  But Warren has cut through and demonstrated there is something very real and powerful in her bid to become president.

Bi-Partisanship Arrived On Capitol Hill, Rebuke Of Trump Over Syria

October 16, 2019


I strongly suspect that if you gathered a group of citizens from each of the 50 states and asked them if they wanted their elected officials in Washington to compromise on the issues of the day, and find a bipartisan path forward, it would be met with resounding approval.

Today that is what happened, at least on one issue.  An issue, without doubt, of mighty importance.

The House condemned Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria, which paved the way for Turkey’s military assault against the Kurds.   The overwhelming bipartisan vote was a rare public rebuke of Trump from his own party and comes as Trump tries to defend his much-criticized decision to pull out of Syria.

The resolution, which is largely symbolic, upbraids the withdrawal as “beneficial to adversaries of the United States government” including Russia, Syria, and Iran, and calls on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to immediately end unilateral military action in northern Syria.

But the fact that there was consensus on anything in this fractured, and too-often dysfunctional congress, is a fact that should not be overlooked or dismissed.  There has been a total lack of accountability registered from Republicans for any of the actions Trump has undertaken since his inauguration.  Without any threat of brakes on his, at times illegal and certainly unconstitutional behavior, it left him feeling emboldened to continue his reckless actions.

This blog has always been on the side of the Kurds, always a firm advocate for a process of governing that adheres to reason, facts, and logic, and always a believer that America must continue to play a robust role on the world stage.

When Trump did not follow a path of policy creation that made sense to international needs, undermined our allies, and severely diminished America before the world there is only one thing to do.  And that is a bi-partisn action of condemnation.

When congress can not agree on anything. from the immoral behavior of ripping children from the arms of mothers at the border to the callous disregard to gun violence, we can at least say there is one line that can not be crossed.

The Kurds and our Syrian policy are of such urgency that it made for allies of both conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans.  This unity is momentary, to be sure.  But, gosh, did it not feel nice for at least one day.

Trump, Nixon, Law, And History

October 16, 2019

Long-time readers know I have a deep interest in history, was the moderator for an online Richard Nixon website group, and if there were nine lives to live one would be rooted in constitutional law, as the topics are just immensely interesting.   (So, yes, I am  a nerd.)

Today I read this column from the email and knew at once it was worthy of a post. Verdict is always a timely read—mighty informative too.

History does not repeat, but it rhymes (according to a maxim sometimes but apparently falsely attributed to Mark Twain). Richard Nixon came to national prominence as an anti-communist who worked in tandem with Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn, the latter of whom was later an aide to Nixon. The careers of all three men ended in well-deserved disgrace, but meanwhile Cohn acted as a mentor to Donald Trump, who was, in this regard if not others, an excellent student. Trump now follows the path of Nixon and Bill Clinton as the third President in less than half a century to face a serious impeachment threat.

Where the impeachment inquiry now underway in the House of Representatives will ultimately end remains uncertain, but it begins with a confrontation over the scope of congressional power. In a bellicose letter to House leadership last week, White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone deemed the inquiry illegitimate and declared the administration’s intention not to participate in it. Numerous commentators (including yours truly on my blog) have criticized Cipollone’s letter as poorly grounded in law.

Cipollone’s constitutional objection to the procedures the House intends to use runs squarely contrary to a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Nixon v. United States. And Cipollone’s proposed solution—refusal to cooperate—runs counter to the thrust of United States v. Nixon.

No, that wasn’t a typo. Nixon v. United States was a 1993 case involving Judge Walter Nixon. United States v. Nixon was a 1974 case involving President Nixon. If followed faithfully, together the Nixon precedents should doom Trump’s strategy to fight impeachment.

Letter From Home “Ron’s Restaurant Is A Touchstone” 9/15/19

October 15, 2019

Many know the feeling of moving away from their home community, and when venturing back, finding so much has changed.  There are new athletic facilities at the high school with players whose last names are not recognizable.  Large potato storage facilities have popped up, while a local church has far fewer members without a pastor.  The old family homestead may still stand, but empty of anything other than memories.  Simply put if you try to return to a place you remember from the past it won’t be the same as you remember it.

In many ways, over the decades that I have been gone from Hancock where I was raised, or Plainfield where I attended the high school, that sentiment has been very true.  But once again this week I was reminded that it does not need to be completely true.  Ron’s Family Restaurant in Plainfield is the reason why.

Entering the place on Monday, as the sun was setting and the warm autumn day gave way to evening chill, a vibrant and smiling teenager asked how I was doing.  I need to warm up I said, and she let me know instantly that homemade hot soup was just what was required.  She was right, the chicken noodle soup was akin to what Grandma would ladle into a bowl.

Becky, the owner, never fails to come by the customers to offer greetings and share tidbits of ‘this or that’.  For many years her constant kindness has been, for me, far more important than the food she serves.  We asked about her mother, one of the sweetest ladies I ever met, and the person who played the organ at both of my folks’ funerals.  As we were talking a woman came in with young kids and they all filled a table behind us.  Ron’s is always at its best when there are young people laughing.

Countless times my parents (Royce and Geneva) would sit in a back booth and each time the door opened everyone seemed to look around to find if their neighbor or bowling league friend had come to eat.  There were no strangers at Ron’s, everyone seemed to blend over hamburgers, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Monday James and I sat at a table, while in a booth nearby, a man overheard our conversation with the high school student.  We reminded the soon-to-be graduating senior to follow passions in life, and that the money would follow.  As she contemplated her college plans James mentioned his years at Middlebury, and how to secure education grants.  It was that back-and-forth which led the man in the booth to start talking with us as coffee was poured and orders were taken.

He had lived in Israel and studied theology while taking in many of the sites.  As the conversation continued, and the plates arrived with hot food, he told us he was from Madison.  He had served his church there for 40 years as a pastor. As we talked on and on the importance of Ron’s was more clear in my mind. In most restaurants, no one would ever think of striking up a conversation from where we both were seated, or for the length of time that we enjoyed each other’s company.  But Ron’s is so comfortable and friendly feeling that it all but begs no one to be a stranger.

By the time we closed the restaurant down, we had covered many topics, including the mutual fond memories of a state worker at the DNR.

There are certain things in life that should always remain true, and if there can only be a few from back home which remain, I am very glad one of them is Ron’s Restaurant.   It is a touchstone to the past and a reminder that one can go home again.

And smile about another good memory.

Recalling The Life Of Dennis R. Peebles Of Stevens point

October 14, 2019

Who was Dennis Peebles?  And why is his story to be found on my blog?

Today James and I traveled to the McDill Cemetary in Whiting, which is near to Stevens Point.  Our purpose was to clean some family headstones with a cleaning agent so to curb the organic growth that mars the look of grave markers.  We had been asked by Aunt Lorene to use the cleaning agent, the same we used at other cemeteries, for her husband’s and extended family stones.  We were putting the project off for a day when the weather would cooperate.

Waking today with the sun so bright and the air so fresh, after what has seemed like never-ending gloomy skies, we knew at once it was the perfect time for a road trip.

In addition to the family stones, my aunt also wanted another headstone to be freshened up.  Her request for Dennis Peebles’ grave to be tended has provided a nice story about decades of kindness as well as a slice of history, too.

Peebles lived with the grandparents of my Uncle Dale for 13 years.  The grandmother, Mrs. Charles Parkhill, respected Peebles and for many years tended his grave.  As the decades passed the torch of respect was passed down so my uncle and aunt made sure grass was cut, flowers placed, and the family tradition continued.

When wondering more about Peebles prior to our trip James did his online research and found an excerpt from the May 22, 1975 edition of the Stevens Point Daily Journal with some background on this man.

He was an old Civil War soldier and a resident of the Town of Plover who died in 1912 at the age of 84.  Peebles is buried in the McDill Cemetery, west of Whiting on County Trunk HH. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Many Civil War veterans lie in the cemeteries of Portage County, with flags fluttering over their graves as Memorial Day approaches.

But Dennis Peebles was black, and black Civil War veterans are a rarity in the cemeteries of Wisconsin.

“Death of Colored Veteran,” said the headline in the Stevens Point Journal of Tuesday,  June 11, 1912, calling him “perhaps the only colored resident of this city,” the story said he had died the day before.

“Those who knew him have nothing but words of praise as to his character,” said the
newspaper article.    A later article, describing his funeral, said, “The number in attendance was very large and the floral offerings beautiful.”   The funeral was held at the Charles Parkhill residence, where Peebles had lived for 13 years.  “Everyone respected him highly,”

His enlistment form, which Peebles apparently filled out himself, says he was born in
Bristol, Vt. was a farmer, and was 36 years old when he joined the Army at Ft. Ann, N.Y., in September 1864.  When Dennis Peebles died, his survivors include his two daughters, who lived in St. Paul.

It should be noted that it was possible Peebles was an escaped slave who gave Vermont as his birthplace to prove he was freeborn.   That certainly was not uncommon for such information to be altered so to secure safety from the threat of slavery.

His Civil War record is extensive. His Battle unit name was 1st Regiment, United States Colored Cavalry

Duty at Fort Monroe and Williamsburg, Va., till May 1864. Reconnoissance in Kings and Queens county February, 1864. Butler’s operations on south side of James River and against Petersburg and Richmond May 4-28. Capture of Bermuda Hundred and City Point May 5. Swift Creek May 8-10. Operations against Fort Darling May 12-16. Actions at Drury’s Bluff May 10-14-15 and 16. In trenches at Bermuda Hundred till June 18. Baylor’s Farm June 15. Assaults on Petersburg June 16-19. Siege of Petersburg till August. Action at Deep Bottom July 27-28. Ordered to Fort Monroe August 3. Duty at Newport News and at Portsmouth and in District of Eastern Virginia till May, 1865. Cos. “E” and “I” Detached at Fort Powhatan and Harrison’s Landing August, 1864, to May, 1865. Moved to City Point, Va., thence sailed for Texas June 10. Duty on the Rio Grande and at various points in Texas till February, 1866. Mustered out February 4, 1866.

There is more to this story as the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern from January 6, 1891  reports.  This news account deals with the death of his wife, Betsy.

Death of a Former Slave.

Mrs. Dennis Peebles, an esteemed colored lady, died here last evening at 5:30 o’clock, from lung trouble. Mrs. Peebles has quite a history. Before the war, she was owned in the family of Governor Wise, of Virginia, where she served as a faithful slave. After the emancipation proclamation she came north, and was later united in marriage to Mr. Peebles, a native of Vermont, and a plucky soldier of the union army. The couple has resided in Menasha many years. The exact age of Mrs. Peebles is not known, but she was about sixty. By her death her daughter Jennie and the husband are left alone. The funeral will be held from the house tomorrow at one o’clock. The Rev. W. W. Warner will officiate.

Sadly, Betsy is not buried alongside her husband.  She is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Today James turned Peebles’ headstone from dark gray to colored marble as the photos show.   The grand aspect to the agent we use for cleaning is that it continues to brighten and remove grime and growth as the rains and snows come along and continue to wash against the stone.  Some of the Civil War markers we have worked on in the Hancock, Wisconsin cemetery are a testament to D2, recommended for use by the National Park Service.



When the work on the stone was done we added a new American flag from our home, as we did for Uncle Dale, who also has a fresh look on his marker.



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