Richard Nixon And Protein–Or What I Do In My Spare Time

Is technology not the best?  My love and curiosity about so many things can be explored every day in various ways and this back and forth with the Richard Nixon Library is but one example.

Dictator Donald Trump’s Attempted Saturday Night Massacre

In light of the news President Trump was going to fire the Special Council in June, comes memories of President Nixon and the Saturday Night Massacre. The fact Trump was going to do this makes for a constitutional crisis that will need to be reckoned with.

Every flurry of rumors that Donald Trump is poised to fire Robert Mueller prompts an automatic historical memory.

The obvious parallel is Richard Nixon sacking special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the midst of the Watergate investigation. Known as the Saturday Night Massacre, it marked a key step on the road to Nixon’s forced resignation.

The larger historical lessons begin with a stark warning to Trump not to interfere with a Justice Department investigation. 

How Will Sarah Huckabee Sanders Lie Her Way Out Of the News About Firing Special Counsel Mueller?

President Donald Trump ordered special counsel Robert Mueller to be fired last year but backed down after the White House’s top attorney threatened to resign.  White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit after Trump pushed the idea of firing Mueller in June.  In a statement, Ty Cobb, the White House attorney who is focused on the Russia investigation, said, “We decline to comment out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process.”

The fact Trump was going to do this makes for a constitutional crisis that will need to be reckoned with.

The Art Of Conceding An Election Not Understood By Rep. Adam Jarchow

I deeply respect the handshakes and quick banter that two professional tennis players allow each other following a mentally and physically punishing game.  It is an honorable way to conclude the contest regardless of outcome.  When it comes to the end of a political campaign I also desire to see the best of one’s character shine.

Over the years I have been able to see in real time how a concession is handled, while more often reading or watching such a happening through the media.  But in each case a concession following a hard-fought campaign shows the mettle of a person perhaps better than any other facet of seeking office.

This comes to mind as State Assemblyman Adam Jarchow was reported to have tweeted his concession last week to the victorious Patty Schachtner following the special state senate election. I grasp the fact that everything these days is seemingly done on the gadget people carry around like aged smokers do their oxygen tanks.  But when it comes to concessions there is a need to be personal and more forthright.  Surely the phone number for the opposing campaign was available.  Call me old-fashioned but just pick up the phone and place the call!

The morning following the 1988 election victory of State Representative Lary Swboda the phone rang in his Kewaunee County home.  I had worked in the district often that fall on the campaign and as I stood in the kitchen as Lary answered the call I was privy to one of the gracious acts of politics.  Bob Papke, then Door County Clerk, had run, up to that time, the most expensive race for the state assembly.  He had been condescending and rather mean-spirited during the months leading to Election Day.  But on the phone as Papke spoke to Lary there was a gentlemanly quality to the conversation and though the two would never be friends, an air of good sportsmanship was most apparent.

That type of concession was missing in the special U.S. Senate race this year as Roy Moore refused to understand his role as to why concessions matter.    And to show that I have no partisan stake regarding concessions let it be shown I also had words for not only a Democrat–but one I know and had supported–Kathleen Falk.  

I was very disappointed to have read that she did not show up on Election Night to greet campaign workers and countless Democrats who worked so very hard for her over the past many months.  On Election Night she did not need to concede, (given the closeness of the race) but did need to say thanks.  To stay at her home and watch the returns come in was not what many expected.

It is Saturday afternoon as I write this post, and I am unhappy that Kathleen has not conceded the race for Attorney General.  Being defeated in an election after a well-fought effort should not be an embarrassment.  But not being a better sport in the arena of politics is much worse than coming in second place.

The gracious nature of Vice-President Al Gore following the grueling legal wars of a recount in 2000 demonstrate the reasons character matters when it comes to our elections.  The same rules of the road apply in local elections, too.  Being graceful with concessions makes for a strong mark of character.

Murphy Brown To Return to CBS As Trump Legal Nightmare Widens

This is simply the best news I have heard today.

One of America’s favorite ‘TV news reporters’, Murphy Brown, is returning to CBS.  Just as President Trump walks straight into his legal nightmare and continues to undermine–as Stalin did–reporters and truth comes a comic tonic for the national soul.

Murphy Brown will return next season, with Candice Bergen reprising her role as the anchor of fictional TV news magazine series FYI. During its 10-season run on CBS, Murphy was nominated for 62 Emmys and won 18 of them, including five trophies for Bergen as best actress in a comedy.    Along the way she savaged conservative talking points and made Republicans look trivial.  The network has ordered 13 episodes for the 2018-19 TV season.

I can already see the comedy bombs!

Black Patch Tobacco Wars

This intrigues me.

In Southwest and Northwestern Tennessee, there were around 30 counties that comprised what was called the “Black Patch” because they specialized in making Dark Fired Tobacco, which was cured by wood smoke and namely used in chewing and pipe tobacco.  At the start of the 1900s, this area was the main worldwide supplier for this type of tobacco, which made it extremely valuable.  

Problems began to arise when the primary buyer — American Tobacco Company — capped prices and put the local farmers to the edge of poverty.  Given that most of the farmers controlled small patches, they had little leverage.  On September 24, 1904, the farmers decided to organize:  5,000 locals joined a meeting in Guthrie, Kentucky and they formed the Dark Tobacco District Planters’ Protective Association of Kentucky and Tennessee (PPA).  Their initial plan was to stockpile and withhold their product collectively until ATC agreed to pay higher prices.

In October 1905, 32 members of the Robertson County Branch of the PPA got together and formed a committee to visit non-members (whom they termed “hillbillies”) to apply some light pressure.  They called themselves the “Possum Hunters”, and while most of these visits remained peaceful, some incited fighting and this would be the official start of the Black Patch Wars.