“I don’t believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt,” Barr said as he was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I watched a good bit of the Barr hearing the other day, not all of it, and was left with a good bunch of mixed feelings. I thought Kamala Harris and Corey Booker both did nice jobs of preparing their questions to reach a goal and were successful. Had I been a member of the panel though, I probably would have pushed the envelope beyond smarmy jokes about Barr’s grandson. My first question would have been, “So, Mr. Barr let’s get this out of the way right now. Are we going to hear from you today that ‘I LIKE BEER!’?”

I find it hard to believe that Trump found reassurance in the statement at the top of this post and had I been a panelist, I would have had numerous questions following the thoughts expressed in that statement by Mr. Barr. “Would the Robert Mueller that you have known for 30 years be likely to have been duped by a deep state conspiracy?” “After two years, do you not think that Robert Mueller would have sniffed out a phony investigation fueled by phony warrants?” “Do you believe that Robert Mueller is a member of a deep state conspiratorial cabal?” “As a former AG, can you explain all the checks and balances within the FBI and DOJ, all the signatures and OKs necessary to start an investigation of the President?” And, the biggest question that is never asked, “What if the evidence all those agencies, Robert Mueller, the intelligence community, have seen shows that TRUMP IS LIKELY GUILTY?” “What should lifelong intelligence professionals do if they are presented with credible evidence that the President has worked to defraud our nation?”

If what we see every day were in a novel or a movie, we’d close the book or change the channel. Unfortunately……it is reality. Again, the most important question is, “what if Trump is actually guilty?” and the evidence that Mueller and all the other intelligence professionals have seen shows that to be true? We have only seen crumbs, Mueller has a loaf of bread. Should all of our intelligence professionals, professionals in intelligence agencies of our allies, have ignored what they saw? Geez, c’mon Mr. Mueller. Drop the hammer.

Had to post this, from Newsweek.

Do not intend to repost from other sources other than my semi-functional head but this whole scenario scares me greatly.

A top former Department of Justice official warned that President Donald Trump has become a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

Amid revelations of Trump’s secretive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, David Laufman—who formerly headed the DOJ’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section—told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC Monday night  that Trump could no longer be trusted to protect the country.r

On Saturday, Laufman shared an article by The Washington Post on his Twitter page, which reported that Trump had gone to great lengths to hide the details of his meetings with Putin, even from senior figures within his own administration.

The president allegedly took possession of transcripts of his one-on-one meetings with the Russian leader, and told his interpreter not to repeat anything they had discussed. 

“Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country,” Laufman wrote alongside the link. When asked by Maddow why he decided to share the article, Laufman said, “It was a tipping point for me.

“I feel I have a moral obligation to speak up when I see action taken by the president or the members of the administration that—in my judgement—undermine the national security of the United States,” he said. “And the notion that the president of the United States would be trying to conceal the details of conversations with the leader of our principal foreign adversary was positively chilling.”

Phew……..

As much as there is to write about everything in the news today, since projectile vomiting is not on my “to do” list for the day, I’ll just make one quick observation. Our country was founded by and sustained by men and women of all races and creeds who were willing to give their lives, their LIVES, to protect our country. It has become frighteningly obvious that we now have a party of politicians who don’t have the backbone to even risk their political lives to defend our democracy and adhere to their oaths of office.

So, today, the first article I happened to see upon connecting to the internet was on the proper exercise levels based upon age. For my age group, the recommendation was essentially to maybe walk and don’t fall down. Screw that! I remember when I was in HS reading an article about a man who ran 75 miles on his 75th birthday and telling my Mom that I wanted to do that. Her response was that everyone can’t do that, which is true, but I responded that no one can do that unless they truly WANT to. Want being the operative word.

We all have the capacity to do more than we think we can and I firmly believe that challenging oneself is just as healthy mentally as it is physically. Goals are all relative but they are all healthy. Once, after finishing a 10k race in my hometown, I was standing with my sister when the final finisher came across the line well after the rest of the field had finished. My sister said something like, “I’d be so embarrassed” to which I asked, “why? She set a goal and she achieved it.”

A couple of years ago, I took the train down to Boston to watch a former college track teammate run the marathon. 50 years after he had completed the Boston Marathon for the first time. 50 YEARS! The most astounding sports accomplishment of anyone I have ever known in my life. (Apologies to my old golf buddy Sachi who shot his age many times.) That man, who still coaches in the Rochester, NY area has lived the philosophy of “use it or lose it” and continues to live it and, more importantly, passes it on to countless people, including this Loonatic.

When I first got back on a bike again, anyone watching would have thought I was suicidal as I had not a clue how to ride it. It had probably been at least 40 years since I had been on a bike. In the interim, although I ran into my early 40’s, I had multiple knee arthroscopies and both knees totally replaced with the right knee replaced twice. When I plunked my ass onto the bike seat, I was 40 pounds heavier and never envisioned wearing 34″ waist jeans again. I had no clear goals other than to get my heart to beat fast again. To push myself to do more than I had convinced myself that I could not do.

For me, my motivation comes from not letting down all the guys I competed against and with all those years ago that are gone. Just a suggestion to all my friends. You don’t need to train like an Olympic athlete but setting realistic goals and consistently moving toward them is physically and mentally satisfying. Do what you can without comparing to others. As my old buddy Mike Reif says, “Use it or lose it.” From experience, you CAN do more than you think you can.

Speaker Pelosi………speak!

I believe that Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, second in line to assume the Presidency, has an opportunity to stand up to President Trump without getting into the dirt and at the same time possibly shaming Republicans in Congress into actually exercising their duty to protect the Constitution by acting as a COEQUAL branch of government.

2018 was a year that saw the loss of musical giant Aretha Franklin who gave us one of the songs of our generation. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Speaker Pelosi, Donald Trump shows disdain every time he refers to you as “Nancy” in public but it’s far more sinister than just showing disdain for you. He shows disdain for the Constitution which established Congress as a coequal branch of government and every member of the House and Senate. If I were you, I would be taking to the House floor and publicly demanding of President Trump that in all situations, public and private, he refer to you by the title you have earned by the solid ass smacking delivered in the midterm elections. Speaker Pelosi. Speaker of The House of Representatives of the United States of America.

Our Constitution imbues Congress with the ability to exercise oversight on the Executive branch of government. Indeed, every member of Congress takes an oath not to the President, or their party, but to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have a bully in the Oval Office. A narcissistic, pathological liar who respects no one. Not other world leaders, who he also dismissively refers to without including their title when he speaks of them, not the members of Congress, not the institutions manned with people dedicated to keeping our country safe, not military leaders who have risked their lives, indeed not even the people who voted for him.

Enough politics for the day. It’s tough to ignore them, and we shouldn’t, but there has to be some balance or we’ll all go over the edge. Spread common sense and logic wherever you can.

Let’s all say a prayer for the resurrection of common sense and critical thinking skills.

I cannot say, like our president, that “nobody knows more about (fill in the blank) than me. Several thoughts regarding this insane government shutdown and impending national crisis. First, didn’t the Republican party control both houses of Congress for the last two years? If The Wall was truly a necessity for the security of our country, why then hasn’t it had money appropriated to start it? Why is this “crisis” coincident with the Democrats taking control of the House? The hypocrisy and lies are stunning, even for a pathological liar. Drugs? The DEA and even General Kelly in testimony before the Senate said that drugs get into this country through ports of entry. Everyone, except our president and the ass kissers he surrounds himself with, tasked with keeping drugs out of our country knows with 100% certainty that the drug epidemic is not being fueled by illegal border crossers with a backpack. Terrorists? On the way to work yesterday, I heard Nicholas Rasmussen, long time senior manager within the NTIC, under multiple administrations, make clear that the greatest terrorist threats we face as a country come from domestic terrorism. It’s much easier to turn someone already in the country than it is to infiltrate somebody new and terrorist groups have become experts at targeting potential supporters through social media.

But what upset me most was the rhetorical question about “how much more bloodshed………………” How can anyone with more awareness than my cats not think of Parkland? Or Newtown? Or Las Vegas? Or the synagogue in Pittsburg? Geezuz. Naptime.

Yikes………..

I always considered myself computer literate but I’m thinking I need a nerdy high school sophomore to help me get things working. Working on adding a gallery option for photos, an automatic post to Twitter (The Limerick Loonatic) and a forum option. I’ll get there but we keep getting snow the consistency of wedding cake frosting and my snowblower won’t move it so, just like the old days on East Seventh Street. And, I’ve taken another assignment from LL Bean and I will write about that as it progresses. A totally unique environment with the widest range of characters, the most diversity, of any workplace I have ever been in. And, discounts! Just replaced my Keen Hiking Shoes, the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned and got $50 off. Not going to even talk about Trump today other than to say I am angry at the networks ignoring the reality of who he is and giving him a free option to kick off his 2020 campaign. Little driveway work to do right now.

Oh, how I miss George Carlin.

If I were involved in any type of news media in a “hire and fire” position, and George Carlin were still alive, he would be in the press corps. Put a pin in the balloon filled with false civility and get real. Can you imagine George Carlin in the Republican primary debates that delivered us the nightmare we are living today? Yes we need humor but George Carlin more than anything delivered common sense and logic. Absolutely stripped the bullshit away and I would so love to see him go toe to toe with Trump or any of his spineless mouthpieces. Pulling up a George Carlin clip once in a while is good for the soul. Kick back for a few minutes.

Next Year……

January 1 2019. Wow. For most of my younger days, I never believed I would live past 50. Obviously, since I will turn 69 next week, I’ve been much luckier than I ever expected to be.

Several years ago, I participated in raising funds to fight cancer by walking in the Jimmy Fund Boston Marathon Walk. At the time, my brother Russ was fighting cancer at the Dana-Farber Institute in Boston. The next year when I walked, he was gone. As I walked that second year, I found myself looking at, in a way I never had looked before, the concept of “next year”. The reality that when we are young, in financial terms, we all have a millionaire’s bank account of “next years”.

The 30th annual Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday September 23rd, 2018. Wellesley Start, Half Marathon, 13.1 miles

When I have done fundraising walks in the last five years or so, in Boston or walking up the Autoroad on Mount Washington, I have worn coveralls covered with ribbons. Each of those ribbons represents a life. Thankfully a good number of those represented people were, thanks to the efforts of many, given an opportunity to live many more “next years”. Many more represent people for whom their “next year” account hit empty.

More thoughts to come as I reflect on what my generation, the baby boomer generation, is leaving for our children, our grandchildren, the children and grandchildren all around the world, the Earth itself in terms of Next Years. The Greatest Generation certainly set us up for success, what do you think about the legacy we are leaving t0day?

Goodbye Facebook!

Bar Harbor Image

While I have had many great experiences with Facebook, for a variety of reasons, goodbye Facebook. To quote George Conway in describing the Trump Administration, “it is like a shit show in a dumpster fire.” On this blog, I hope to have a variety of interesting posts based upon my almost 69 years of world class sarcasm, a still alive ability to think with a degree of common sense, a love of puzzles driven by a strong bent of curiosity, a questioning of authority and, above all, a belief that we ALL are much more the same than we are different. I hope to convey the messages of those traits through a variety of posts. Memories of times gone by and lessons learned. Interactions with influential, regardless of social standing, people. Interesting articles that I see due to my need to read. Life experiences drawn from each and every one of those 69 years. Philosophy driven by rock lyrics like, “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” Please bear with me as I develop this platform and consider opting in as a subscriber as I believe that I will provide a variety of content, photos and links that will interest you and encourage a widening of viewpoints on far more than politics.