Merry Christmas From Caffeinated Politics, Will Be Back January 2, 2020

It is time to stop everything for about two weeks and concentrate only on family, friends, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Time to make cookies—which I am doing tomorrow.  Time to get out the DVDs of old-time holiday movie classics that never fail to make for smiles, along with the Christmas episodes from old television shows.  Our Victorian home looks like a Christmas from the late 1800’s landed all about.  There is a warmth and a gentle manner to the holiday in our home that lands far more on tradition and nostalgic moods than commercialism.  I would have it no other way.   The photo in the banner, through the end of this year, is what my family home in Hancock looked like during a snowstorm.  Love the look and the way it makes me feel.  The memory of those wintery days when as a child I watched the snow piling high still brings broad smiles.

So until the bustling year takes hold everything will now slow to a crawl for those in this home.  Trust in yours, too.

I wish my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah, and a very Happy New Year!

I hope you are a part of this blog in 2020.  I wonder if there will anything to write about…….?

Newspapers Front Pages On Trump Impeachment, Now His Legacy

The front pages of American newspapers report the legacy of Donald Trump.

















Reflections On Historic Day Of Presidential Impeachment

Though I have consumed a lot of coffee today as the televised impeachment proceedings were aired I feel emotionally drained.  It a sad day for the nation, one that we should never have had to endure.  There are no good headlines from what happened, no glee to be had, no cheering from any part of the land.  Being forced by the Constitution to take the step of impeachment today is a stain on not only a president but also an indictment on that part of the electorate who allowed for a severely character-flawed person to be elected.  That last part is also an issue when discussing a dysfunctional political environment.

In addition to the actions by Donald Trump, I am also deeply saddened by the lack of principles from members of his own party.  For the first time in our history, the impeachment of a president featured no votes from the minority party.  While the GOP finds that as a badge to wear proudly it is something that undermines the integrity of our government.  When facts are shoved aside, and literally unprecedented partisanship is unveiled, there can be no other way to view it than with deep unease.

From the start of Donald Trump’s term in office, we have ample evidence that he was willing to do anything he wanted so to win at all costs.  It did not matter what the laws stated, what custom and norms dictated.  Trump was going to step outside the law and institutional norms whenever the mood suited him, and the nation could be damned.  Trump even went to far to claim that Article II of the Constitution gave him the right to do “whatever I want as President.”

That absurd lack of understanding of law, civics, history, and logic led our nation to the terrible moment that we had to witness today.  As the Republican House members stood, one after the other, to offer their support of Trump, it was stunningly obvious to note that no one could give a defense of facts to what had happened regarding the Ukraine mess. Not one was able to speak to the correctness of Trump’s actions or a level of high ethical conduct.  Since they had no facts to support their case they battled with the process, also without making any impact.

The laws of the nation, and procedures which are used by anyone in the Oval Office, have weight and meaning.  They are not to be abused.  This is why Trump is so peeved at not getting his way with the strong-arming of a foreign power.   The six-page letter sent to House Speaker Pelosi yesterday by a petulant president underscores how angry he is at not getting his way.

After the House vote today the first paragraph of the obituary concerning Donald Trump will contain the word impeachment.  The stain of his deeds will never be washed away.  And as the Constitution states, not able to be pardoned.   Nothing can remove what Trump did to himself by not following the law, and not acting within the limits of the office he held.  Trump failed to honor the office he held so that in the light of day his actions would not bring shame.

Trump can call all that has happened a “hoax” and a “witch hunt”.  He will even convince a segment of the nation who have already proven their fealty to a bombastic personality that he was ‘wronged.’  But the weight of the Constitution and the requirement of law and order, along with the congressional duty of checks and balances will prevail for the history books.   Trump can be insulting and demeaning about the laws of the nation, but citizens know that we always must work for the larger needs of the republic.

That is why the process that resulted in President Donald Trump being impeached was absolutely required.

What happens going forward does give me pause.  Trump has a proven track record of mean and vindictive behavior and now that history has him labeled forever with the impeachment label he will doubtless strike out at who he sees as his enemies.  After the Senate Republican apologists acquit him I fear what will follow.   He has demonstrated unstable qualities in the past, and with the strain of today’s developments, we need to be mindful of his actions.

I am proud that history will record this moment in our nation when the House stood up to the very dangers the Founding Fathers feared and used the constitutional tool of impeachment they designed, so to keep faith with our governing ideals.  

Did GOP Members Not Know They Were Speaking To History During Impeachment Debate?


Knowing that the House of Representatives would be voting on articles of impeachment for Donald Trump should have alerted members of Congress to ramp up the writing of a powerful short speech for the floor debate.  After all, the debate was going to become a part of a most historic day in our nation.  The words from this day will be researched and told for generations to come.

But instead of placing the most gifted writers in a congressional office on the task of fashioning the speech it seems some Republicans waited until the last minute to scribble a few lines prior to being called to speak.

Two examples screamed out as to how little prep was done when it came to writing a message for the impeachment process.

Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk actually likened the impeachment process of  Trump to the trial of Jesus.  I kid you not!

When Jesus was falsely accused of Treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus, than Democrats have afforded this president in this process.

But the absurdity was just starting.

Not to be outdone Congressman Mike Kelly opened his remarks by noting the “great dates” in December like Christmas and the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.  How could this path of words go wrong?   Well…….

But also, on Dec. 7, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States, and it’s one that President Roosevelt said, ‘this is a date that will live in infamy.  Today, December the 18th, 2019, is another date that will live in infamy.

Really?  Equating the enormous military strike on our forces and the dreadful loss of life being akin to congress using their checks and balances in standing up to Trump’s abuses of office is nothing short of stunning to hear!  I simply could not fathom what Kelly actually said.

Clearly, some Republicans spent little time or gave scant attention, given the enormity of the day or how historians will scour the record when writing of this time in our national story, as they prepared their words for the floor.

It was embarrassing to watch and just another deplorable moment in the Trump era.

Black And White American Flag For Impeachment Day Flying On Madison Isthmus

Late last night, so when daylight hit the Madison isthmus it could be seen, we lifted a black and white American flag up the pole.

The last time we flew the black and white American flag at our home was on Inauguration Day 2017. Trump has made for another dark day in this land by undertaking actions warranting impeachment.

No one can be proud of Donald Trump and what he has inflicted upon our country.



‘A Moment’ To Recall At Impeachment Debate In House

There are so many parts and parcels to the debate now taking place in the House of Representatives concerning the impeachment of Donald Trump which reaches out to be recalled by the history books. This was one of them that will be listed as memorable.

Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy read an open letter to his two children — James and Eleanor — during his floor remarks about impeachment.

“Dear Ellie and James, this is a moment that you’ll read about in your history books.

“Today, I will vote to impeach the president of the United States, and I want you to know why.”

Trump Will Not Be Eligible For Pardon For His Impeachment In The House

So many fascinating aspects to the impeachment process now playing out in the nation.  The fact we, as a nation, have to deal with this mess is a testament to the low character which was allowed access to the Oval Office on Inauguration Day 2017.  One of the reasons for impeachment to proceed, even if the Senate won’t convict him concerns the pardoning power of the president.

Plainly put, Orange Mussolini can never be pardoned for his actions as outlined in the impeachment articles and voted on by the full House.

Assume that Trump is impeached on grounds that include a raft of federal crimes – bribery, treason, obstruction of justice, election fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States, making false statements to the federal government, serving as an agent of a foreign government without registering with the justice department, donating funds from foreign nationals, and so on.

Regardless of whether a sitting president can be indicted and convicted on such criminal charges, Trump will become liable to them at some point. But could he be pardoned, as Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon 45 years ago?

Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives a president the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of offenses against the United States, with one exception: “In Cases of Impeachment.”

If Trump is impeached by the House, he can never be pardoned for these crimes. He cannot pardon himself (it’s dubious that a president has this self-pardoning power in any event), and he cannot be pardoned by a future president.

Even if a subsequent president wanted to pardon Trump in the interest of, say, domestic tranquility, she could not.

Gerald Ford wrote in his pardon of Nixon that if Nixon were indicted and subject to a criminal trial, “the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost.”

Had the House impeached Nixon, Ford’s hands would have been tied.

Nation Needs To Reflect On What Happens If Trump Does Not Face Constitutional Justice

Donald Trump wrote what can only be called one of those letters which history will long recall.

In denouncing what he called a “partisan impeachment crusade” being waged against him by Democrats, Trump sent a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi where he stated his efforts were “for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.”

Oh, Donald, you need not fear to have your every word, tweet, action, and completely reprehensible character showcased for the history books.  That is already a certainty.

With a poison pen quality, Trump wrote that impeachment is an “attempted coup” that clearly demonstrated he had not the ability to reason his way as to why the Founding Fathers placed impeachment into the United States Constitution.  After reading Trump’s letter I wonder if his nasty tweet last week to Time magazine’s Person of the Year might not be best suited for him to take to heart.  Maybe poor Donald just needs to chill with an old movie on TCM.

But you and I, the American public, can not take the time for such calming moments.

The rule of law is not something that has ever concerned Trump.  His own father was embroiled in a long history of racial bias at the family’s properties.  The crux of the issue was the company’s practice of turning away potential black tenants.  The actions were so egregious that the Justice Department undertook its own investigation which resulted in 1973 with Trump Management being sued for discriminating against blacks.  Both Fred Trump, the company’s chairman, and Donald Trump, its president, were named as defendants. It was front-page news, and for Donald, it amounted to his debut in the public eye.

Here is the front page coverage which shows that scorning law and order is not a new way for Trump to view his dealings with the world.


Now it will be the House of Representatives who will vote and in so doing send a powerful message that law and order remain an essential foundation to our republic.  Trump made ridiculous claims in his letter, but there is one element that we need to take seriously.  Trump stated he does not wish for what is happening to him to ever be experienced by another president.  As a nation, we also hope and trust that no other president is ever again so derelict in undertaking his oath of office or as blatantly corrupt as Trump has proven to be.

But his words underscore the larger lesson we need to take from the letter to the Speaker–a powerful woman that Trump can not abide.  Trump must not be allowed to walk away from justice by gagging witnesses, limiting access to the evidence, or smarming it up with the Republican senators who are the jury.  If our collective sense of right and wrong can be tossed aside for partisan tribalism now we must then ponder the long-term impact of Congress being stripped of its Constitutional right and duty to check presidential power.  

That is the fate our nation needs to reflect upon tonight.