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  1. 3 days ago on Steve Benson

    “Former Nixon White House counsel and star Watergate witness John Dean told a House panel on Monday that he sees similarities between President Donald Trump’s actions and those of former President Richard Nixon. . . .

    “He testified before the House Judiciary Committee . . . , saying that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report . . . is to Trump what the Watergate grand jury report was to Nixon.

    “’In many ways the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called “Watergate road map” . . . was to President Richard Nixon,’ Dean said. ‘Mueller has provided this committee with a road map.’ . . .

    “In his prepared testimony, Dean cited six examples of what he believes was obstruction of justice committed by Trump, and compared them with Nixon’s actions in the Watergate scandal. . . .

    “Trump had bashed House Democrats earlier on Monday for inviting Dean to testify.

    “’Can’t believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor,’ the president tweeted. . . .

    “Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) also took aim at Dean for comparing other presidents to Nixon.

    “’Throughout history, you accuse presidents of acting like Richard Nixon and you make money off of it, right?’ Gaetz charged. Dean, he claimed, had made a ‘cottage industry’ out of comparing presidents to Nixon.

    “’Those who do act like him, I point it out,’ Dean responded . . . .”

    (“John Dean: Mueller Report Is To Trump What Watergate Report Was To Nixon,” by Hayley Miller, Huffington Post, June 10, 2019)

  2. 5 days ago on Steve Benson

    “ . . . In 1988, lifting one passage from a Neil Kinnock speech meant the end of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign at the time. You’d think he would have learned his lesson.

    “Instead, racing to release the candidate’s climate change plan this week, the Biden staff scrambled to clean up a rookie mistake from what should be the most experienced campaign around.

    “’Biden appears to be taking ideas from other people and not giving credit,’ said one climate change scholar. ‘You can’t do that.’

    “We agree. . . .

    “ . . . [T]he offense is too serious, the consequences of allowing it too dire, and the solutions too easy to expect less.

    “Politicians may not get caught every time. But better safe than sorry — as we are not the first to say.”

    (“Biden Campaign’s Plagiarism is a Warning to All Candidates: Watch Your Words,” by Bob Lehrman and Eric Schnure, The Hill, June 8, 2019)

  3. 9 days ago on Steve Benson

    Oh, and what to you think of Trump lambasting his domestic political opponents, using a backdrop of thousands of dead American soldiers to serve as a silent chorus for his rants? He has a real knack for bad staging.

  4. 9 days ago on Steve Benson

    Like some of the quarters, one of which I quoted. You need to read more.

    As far as your charge that I was deleting my posts, that is not true. I took them down briefly in order to correct typos then put them back up promptly.

    And what’s funny is seeing you falsifying the record as well as making assumptions that only show you painting yourself into a corner. (typo-corrected and reposted).

  5. 9 days ago on Steve Benson

    You shouldn’t make assumptions, mainly since you’re wrong. I actually was up during the night while Americans were sleeping, watching live coverage of the Normandy services and listening in real time to Trump deliver his speech.

    Initial positive reaction in some quarters to his remarks was later significantly tempered when it was learned that, just minutes before Trump gave his Normandy speech, he had (with the gravestones of 9,000 American citizen-soldiers directly behind him) also given a hateful, anger-filled interview to the foreign press personally attacking decorated Vietnam combat Marine Mueller and denouncing House speaker Pelosi. Leave it to the tantrum-tossing Trump to soil his own nest.

    Even Pelosi (who was part of a congressional delegation that traveled to France for the Normandy commemoration) refused to criticize Trump on foreign soil, given the tradition of not commenting on domestic politics while overseas.

    Trump knows no such class.

  6. 9 days ago on Steve Benson

    “It took several tries for Trump to eventually affirm NATO’s principle of mutual self-defense. His grudging manner did little to quell concerns about his attitude toward the group.

    “His odd deference to Putin, who has made undermining Western democratic institutions a centerpiece of his rule, also rattled European leaders.

    “For decades, presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have used the imagery of the Normandy invasion to stress bonds between allies united in a cause greater than individual nation-states. Trump’s mind, which revolves around constant win-loss evaluations, does not work that way.”

    (“European Leaders Give Trump a History Lesson,” analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN, June 6, 2019)

  7. 9 days ago on Steve Benson

    “European leaders are subjecting President Donald Trump to a crash course in history, hoping to use D-Day commemorations to shake his skepticism about alliances that have kept global peace for three-quarters of a century. . . . [The steep American] sacrifice in the Normandy landings helped purchase 75 years of European freedom and prosperity, and enshrined America as the leading world power and guarantor of Western democracy.

    “ . . . [T]he question now must be whether he . . . will understand the deep concerns raised in Europe by his conduct and rhetoric. . . . In [his] moving oration at the [Normandy] service, Trump chose to dwell more on the tales of awe-inspiring courage and self-sacrifice from individual American soldiers thousands of miles from home — than address the sweeping historical points and geopolitical arguments made by his European counterparts. . . .

    “ . . . [T]he question now must be whether [Trump] . . . will understand the deep concerns raised in Europe by his conduct and rhetoric. . . . In [his] moving oration at the service, Trump chose to dwell more on the tales of awe-inspiring courage and self-sacrifice from individual American soldiers thousands of miles from home — than address the sweeping historical points and geopolitical arguments made by his European counterparts. . . .

    “Unique among post-Cold War presidents, Trump [has] ditched the traditional view of NATO and the European Union as institutions that bolster the US-led order and multiply American power. [He] takes a more transactional view of [such alliances], making hard-nosed calculations about the material return on US investment — in strictly financial terms. . . ." (cont. below)

  8. 9 days ago on Steve Benson

    In all fairness, the “T’s” serve as tariff and tax hanging posts in a cartoon that enmploys Jesus’ passion play as the stage set. Of course, the cartoon is not literally about Jesus’s crucifixion; it’s about international trade policy.(True confession: Since I’m a non-believer, I don’t mind using the imagery if it helps drive home the point I’m making),.

    This kind of switcheroo is used all the time In editorial cartooning, where seemingly unrelated story lines often serve as props for making a different point. Nonetheless, these visual narratives work as useful metaphorical vehicles for crafting a statement. In this case, whether being crucified on Golgotha for claiming to be God or being hung out to dry in a tax squeeze precipitated by tariffs, both involve bad guys and their victims.

    It’s a common artistic device that sometimes irks readers if it steps on their toes on what they declare to be the “offensive” use of certain cartoon imagery. These critics often don’t offer an artistic alternative. They simply want to vent. So be it. The cartoon has ended up prompting a discussion about tariffs even though it used crucifixes to get there.

    Mission accomplished.

  9. 10 days ago on Steve Benson

    May I therefore respectfully suggest that you accept the genre of editorial cartoons within the context of the principles and methods by which they are executed as an artform.

  10. 10 days ago on Steve Benson

    One thing for sure, Trump is illegal. You can start with his violation of the Emoluments Clause.