This winter, Maury and I completed another “bucket list” adventure, which included visits to China, Japan and South Korea. Two decades ago Maury and I spent a week in China, which then appeared to be a sleeping dragon. Now, that dragon appears to be breathing economic fire.

A week in China and conversation with informed sources does not make me any type of authority on China’s economy, but some things stand out. Whether the United States likes it or not, China is determined to be the world’s major economy. Our country must make sure that the current American isolationism stance does not catapult China into the world’s trade leadership position.


In 1996 we visited Hong Kong, long a British possession, to see this region before the communists took it over the following year. It was lively and economically prosperous; the American expectation was that it would be ruined by communist involvement. Today there is political conflict between old Hong Kong attitudes and Mainland Chinese, but the 40 square mile area with about 7.5 million people is thriving with construction and ultra modern skyscrapers.

Two decades ago, when we visited China’s capital, Beijing, it was in an early state of 20th Century growth and was dominated by bicycle traffic. Roadways were being constructed. Pollution from coal burning plants was high. It’s worse today; many Chinese wear protective masks, not just for illnesses, but also to cope with the frequent bad air quality. Now, traffic jams abound; one highway reportedly has 50 lanes of traffic.

This trip, we also visited Tianjin, a city of 12 million, about which we had no previous knowledge. It had traffic congestion and a majestic art museum. The most amazing part was its port area, about an hour from the city center.

The area has been identified as the Free Trade Zone of Tianjin, which The Wall Street Journal covered extensively in early March. It is immense and under development. Recently paved unused streets, vast numbers of new sparsely occupied high rises and shipping containers stacked like Legos abound. By the way, Lego has recently announced that its sales are now flat in the U.S. and so they will be concentrating on China. The port of Tianjin is part of China’s trade future.

The main thoroughfares of major Chinese cities are illuminating. It’s not the occasional McDonald’s that makes one wonder about this brand of communism, but the large numbers of truly upscale stores. Tiffany’s and world-renowned upscale clothing stores with sky-high prices are common. All sorts of vehicles are clogging the roads; BMWs and Mercedes are everywhere. China rules its people with an iron communistic fist, but it understands business and capitalism.

From a country that was building roads by hand in the 1990s to the city of Shanghai that now has about 30 million residents, a skyline of skyscrapers and boasts an elevated expressway that runs above the city for 135 miles, China is no longer a third world economy or one that is just producing inexpensive merchandise.

Our brief experience in China shows that our government needs to develop long-range, realistic economic trade policies. Writing in the Miami Herald, Andres Oppenheimer noted that, “Trump’s isolationism is pushing countries into China’s arms.” China is serious about becoming the world’s dominant economic power. America will suffer if it simply embraces isolationism and avoids mutually beneficial trade agreements.

[Diane W. Mufson is a regular contributor to the editorial page of the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch.  This article first appeared in the H-D Thursday, April 6, 2017.  We felt it was so interesting our readers around the world (even in China!) would enjoy it.  Diane and her husband Maury live in Huntington, West Virginia.  Diana is a retired psychologist.]




newspaper-1959739_1280 (1)

Tomorrow [January 20, 2017], the 45th president of the United States of America will be sworn in. Never in my wildest dreams did I, nor millions of Americans envision Donald J. Trump in that role.

Millions of Americans, myself included, are scared, apprehensive, curious (add other adjectives at will) how President Trump will act as our nation’s leader. During the presidential campaign and even recently, his behavior has been unpredictable and viewed as racist, misogynist and crass. Looking back in history, it is somewhat comforting to know that more than a few presidents have displayed arrogant, obnoxious or “unpresidential” behavior and our country has remained whole.

Most Americans, even those who admire and support the future President Trump, have no idea of what he will really do. Will he build that wall and who will pay for it?



Will he completely abolish “Obamacare?” One of his promises was to “drain the swamp of political and Wall Street insiders in Washington, but it looks like there are quite a few of those “alligators” circling the White House moat.

But, back to history and past presidents’ behaviors. Writers for the Christian Science Monitor, Pew Research and the New Republic have suggested that our next president has some personality characteristics in common with John Adams (second president), his son, John Quincy Adams (sixth president),



Andrew Jackson (seventh President and John Tyler (tenth president). Although these men were viewed as bright and politically experienced, they were seen as temperamental, bull-headed, impulsive and having numerous interpersonal crises.

John Adams’ difficult interpersonal issues were humorously portrayed in the musical “1776” and he was reported to accept advice only from one source–his wife, Abigail. He signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, the former dealt harshly with immigration problems and the latter permitted punishing journalists if they made what was considered malicious or false claims against government officials. According to a biographer, Paul Nagel, John Quincy Adams, the son of President Adams, was “notorious for his harshness, tactlessness and even rudeness,” yet also appreciated for the Monroe Doctrine and ending the War of 1812.

Andrew Jackson was said to be arrogant and involved in brawls, yet respected for his opinions, John Tyler’s wife died while he was president. He then married a much younger woman and bragged about his sexual prowess. He vetoed legislation he promised to sign and five out [of] six of his cabinet members resigned.

Other presidential scholars suggest that Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson had some personality traits similar to our newest president. Both were known for their domineering and controlling behavior as well as “earthy” language. Other presidents have been under scrutiny for their behaviors. Richard Nixon apparently believed that any means justified the ends; we know how that saga ended.



Bill Clinton led this nation through much prosperity, but his sexual indiscretion left a lasting memory. Without accurate evidence and faulty rationale, George W. Bush led us into a war that destabilized the world.

No one in this nation, except perhaps the three oldest Trump children and his son-in-law, have a real understanding of America’s 45th president and what he will or will not do as he takes control of the highest office in the land.

History tells us that our nation has survived numerous past presidents who have made poor choices or had difficult personalities; some have even achieved good results. For our nation’s sake, we must hope that this holds true for President Donald J. Trump and that he will not twitter away his potential for positive effects.

[Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist.  This article first appeared in the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch, where Ms Mufson is a regular contributor.  Her email is]




[Editor’s Note:  Author Richard Riss is responsible for his title, not We would have preferred a less inflammatory title, but felt the article was important.  It is not our purpose to slam Republicans (in general) and their beliefs!]


As a public service to those who find themselves inextricably cornered by aggressively ill-informed Republicans at work, on the train or at family gatherings, presented here are ten indisputably true facts that will seriously challenge a Republican’s worldview and probably blow a brain cell or two. At the very least, any one of these GOP-busters should stun and confuse them long enough for you to slip quietly away from a pointless debate and allow you to get on about your business.

The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

afterlife-1238611_1280Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)



You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbingly growing number of Republicans like to claim.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Definitely more “Occupy Wall Street” than “Grand Old Party” by anyone’s standard.

The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.

He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?

Ronald Reagan once signed a bill legalizing abortion.

The Ronald Reagan Republicans worship today is more myth than reality. Reagan was a conservative for sure, but also a practical politician who understood the necessities of compromise. In the spring of 1967, four months into his first term as governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that, among its other provisions, legalized abortion for the vaguely-defined “well being” of the mother. Reagan may have been personally pro-life, but in this instance he was willing to compromise in order to achieve other ends he considered more important. That he claimed later to regret signing the bill doesn’t change the fact that he did. As Casey Stengel liked to say, “You could look it up.”



Reagan raised federal taxes eleven times.

Okay, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates more than any other president – with a big asterisk. Sure, the top rate was reduced from 70% in 1980 all the way down to 28% in 1988, but while Republicans typically point to Reagan’s tax-cutting as the right approach to improving the economy, Reagan himself realized the resulting national debt from his revenue slashing was untenable, so he quietly raised other taxes on income – primarily Social Security and payroll taxes - no less than eleven times. Most of Reagan’s highly publicized tax cuts went to the usual Republican handout-takers in the top income brackets, while his stealth tax increases had their biggest impact on the middle class. These increases were well hidden inside such innocuous-sounding packages as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Leave it to a seasoned actor to pull off such a masterful charade.

Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a predominantly Republican-appointed Supreme Court.

Technically, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion legal in the United States; the Supreme Court’s decision held only that individual states could not make abortion illegal. That being said, the landmark 1973 ruling that Republicans love to hate, was decided on a 7-2 vote that broke down like this:

Majority (for Roe): Chief Justice Warren Burger (conservative, appointed by Nixon), William O. Douglas (liberal, appointed by FDR), William J. Brennan (liberal, appointed by Eisenhower), Potter Stewart (moderate, appointed by Eisenhower), Thurgood Marshall (liberal, appointed by LBJ), Harry Blackmun (author of the majority opinion and a conservative who eventually turned liberal, appointed by Nixon), Lewis Powell (moderate, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 2 conservatives, 3 liberals, 2 moderates.

Dissenting (for Wade): Byron White (generally liberal/sometimes conservative, appointed by JFK), William Rehnquist (conservative, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 1 liberal, 1 conservative.

By ideological orientation, the decision was for Roe all the way: conservatives 2-1, liberals 3-1, moderates 2-0; by party of presidential appointment it was Republicans 5-1, Democrats 2-1. No one can rightly say that this was a leftist court forcing its liberal beliefs on America.

The Federal Reserve System was a Republican invention.

Republicans, and, truth be told, many Democrats, despise the Federal Reserve as an example of government interference in the free market. But hold everything: The Federal Reserve System was the brainchild of financial expert and Senate Republican leader Nelson Aldrich, grandfather of future Republican governor and vice president Nelson Rockefeller. Aldrich set up two commissions: one to study the American monetary system in depth and the other, headed by Aldrich himself, to study the European central banking systems. Aldrich went to Europe opposed to centralized banking, but after viewing Germany’s monetary system he came away believing that a centralized bank was better than the government-issued bond system that he had previously supported. The Federal Reserve Act, developed around Senator Aldrich’s recommendations and - adding insult to injury in the minds of today’s Republicans - based on a European model, was signed into law in 1913.

The Environmental Protection Agency was, too.

The United States Environment Protection Agency, arch-enemy of polluters in particular and government regulation haters in general, was created by President Richard Nixon. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation. Shortly thereafter he presented Congress an unprecedented 37-point message on the environment, requesting billions for the improvement of water treatment facilities, asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions, and launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution. Nixon also ordered a clean-up of air- and water-polluting federal facilities, sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes, proposed a tax on lead additives in gasoline, and approved a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of petroleum spills. In July 1970 Nixon declared his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and that December the EPA opened for business. Hard to believe, but if it hadn’t been for Watergate, we might remember Richard Nixon today as the “environmental president”.

Oh, yes - Republicans might enjoy knowing Nixon was an advocate of national health insurance, too.

Obama has increased government spending less than any president in at least a generation.

Republican campaign strategists may lie, but the numbers don’t. Government spending, when adjusted for inflation, has increased during his administration (to date) by 1.4%.  Under George W. Bush, the increases were 7.3% (first term) and 8.1% (second term). Bill Clinton, in his two terms, comes in at 3.2% and 3.9%. George H. W. Bush increased government spending by 5.4%, while Ronald Reagan added 8.7% and 4.9% in his two terms.



Not only does Obama turn out to be the most thrifty president in recent memory, but the evidence shows that Republican administrations consistently increased government spending significantly more than any Democratic administration. Go figure.

President Obama was not only born in the United States, his roots run deeper in American history than most people know.

The argument that Barack Obama was born anywhere but at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, is not worth addressing; the evidence is indisputable by any rational human being. But not even irrational “birthers” can dispute Obama’s well-documented family tree on his mother’s side. By way of his Dunham lineage, President Obama has at least 11 direct ancestors who took up arms and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War and two others cited as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution for furnishing supplies to the colonial army. This star-spangled heritage makes Obama eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution, and his daughters the Daughters of the American Revolution. Not bad for someone 56% of Republicans still believe is a foreigner.

Okay, feel free to drop any or all of these ten true facts on your local Republican windbag. Tell him or her to put any of these choice nuggets in his or her teabag and steep it. Then sit back and enjoy the silence.


Note: Although the facts are 100% true, the context is, of course, one of humor; the oxymoronic reference to “Republican Brains” in the title should have been a dead giveaway. Additionally, as everyone knows, there are no facts in the Republican cosmos, only Fox News Alerts.




The report also provides compelling evidence that supports Clinton’s contention that her answers to the FBI, described by the FBI’s director as truthful, are completely consistent with the public information she has released on the issue. Fact checkers like Glenn Kessler gave Clinton four Pinocchios for saying Comey said she was truthful in her answers. And yes, this was a short circuit—Comey could of course be only referring to answers given the FBI by Clinton. As Kessler wrote:

For instance, when Clinton asserts “my answers were truthful,” a campaign aide said she is referring to this statement by Comey to Congress: “We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”

But that’s not the whole story. When House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked whether Clinton had lied to the American public, Comey dodged: “That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer. I can speak about what she said to the FBI.”

In her now-deemed “not a press conference” before the NABJ/NAHJ convention, Clinton clarified she misspoke (the famous “short circuit” quote). But now we do have Clinton’s “truthful” answers to the FBI—and we know those answers are completely consistent with Clinton’s public pronouncements on the issues. Clinton was truthful.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Here are the main takeaways:

1) Review of technical details of Clinton use of private server

The FBI report commences with an extensive review of its actions with regard to retrieving the Clinton server and her devices (see pp. 1-9 of the report). Interestingly, the FBI reviewed beyond the last day of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, following the Clinton email trail after February 2013. This made sense because Clinton’s emails as secretary of state remained preserved in those records. (This by the way, is one example of why Clinton’s decision was faulty as a matter of record keeping—she needed to turn over the server to the State Department.) 

The technical details raise two noteworthy issues. First, if Clinton intended to hide the emails in her possession, why didn’t she immediately give the order to have her server and email accounts deleted? This is precisely what Colin Powell did with his private email account while secretary of state (more on this later). Second, there was no evidence of a hack of the Clinton servers during her tenure as secretary of state and in the period after she left.

2) Colin Powell has been untruthful regarding his discussions with Clinton about use of private email

In response to press accounts detailing his discussions with Hillary Clinton regarding the use of private email as secretary of state, Colin Powell told People magazine:

Her people have been trying to pin it on me, The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did

This is a complete falsehood. We know this as a result of the FBI report, which states on page 11 that Clinton exchanged emails with Powell on the subject on Jan. 23, 2009, just two days after Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state. Thus it was not “a year before” as Powell falsely claimed—it was actually before Clinton made the decision to use private email.

What is more remarkable is the advice Powell actually gave Clinton:

Be very careful, I got around [record keeping requirements] by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.

Think about that. Not only was Powell advising Clinton to evade her record keeping requirements, he actually admitted that he did so himself! Let’s put it this way: If the media could have put Powell’s words in Clinton’s mouth, the impeachment trial would be on as we speak (even before she was elected). But in fact, Clinton did nothing suggested by Powell to evade her record keeping requirement—to the point of not deleting emails after she left as secretary of state. If this was a criminal enterprise to avoid FARA and FOIA, it sure was an incompetent one.

3) The Bureau of Information Security Management stated there was no prohibition against the use of private emails

On page 11, the FBI report flatly states:

The Bureau of Information Security Management [stated] there was no restriction on the use of personal email accounts for official business.

Thus, Clinton’s use of private email and a private server were not prohibited. 

4) Record preservation

The FBI Report quotes Cheryl Mills as describing the record keeping practice for Clinton as making sure recipients were sent email to their accounts. As I’ve stated repeatedly, this does not, in my view, meet Clinton’s requirements for record preservation. A better practice would have been to turn over all work-related emails in her email account to the State Department on a periodic basis. Alternatively, Clinton could have opened a account and copied the account on all of her work correspondence. This is a clear failing by Clinton.

5) Clinton never used any electronic devices in SCIF (top secret) areas.

The FBI Report (on page 12)  makes clear Clinton never used any electronic devices in Sensitive Compartments Information Facilities (SCIF.) Clinton also had an SCIF area in her residences in Washington and in New York. it is clear that Clinton never intended and in fact, never did, expose properly marked and identified classified information to nonsecure mediums. 

6) Thirteen individuals at state were emailed, or emailed Clinton at her private email.

The FBI Report states only 13 individuals had access to the Clinton email network. Page 13 details how Clinton’s network of senders and recipients to her private email account was extremely limited. Just 13 of her top aides had access to her email, as either senders or recipients. This is an important fact to keep in mind when we discuss classified information and leakage into a unsecured email system.

7) Only three emails contained any indications of classified markings; such markings were improperly placed in each instance and two of the three were not classified.

What was the FBI investigation supposed to be about? Ostensibly, it was about whether Clinton or anyone at State handled classified information in a manner that rose to criminality. Of course the inquiry was ridiculous on its face. But let’s consider what the upshot was—from page 19 of the FBI report:

The FBI identified 3 email chains, encompassing 8 individual e-mails exchanges, to or from Clinton’s personal e-mail account, which contained at least one paragraph marked (C), a marking ostensibly indicating information classified at the CONFIDENTIAL level [the lowest]. The e-mails contained no additional markings, such as a header or a footer, indicating they were classified. [emphasis added]

Why it matters:

Comey had to admit that Clinton’s actions with regard to those emails were reasonable.

And that was it with regard to documents actually marked classified at the time. That’s the entire “scandal.”

8) To the degree “leakage” of classified information onto unsecured systems is a valid concern, it has nothing to do with Clinton and everything to do with decades-long State Department practices.

This is a horse I have beaten to death: Clinton put not one single classified (marked or even argued classified after the fact) document in her emails. Not a single one. Nothing that was put in her emails came from a classified system. Not a single thing! If the State Department’s career officials were sending information on unsecured email for decades that the intelligence community thinks should not have been sent through unsecured channels, this issue is not about Clinton—it is about the State Department and the intelligence community (IC.)

And yet the FBI Report details in pages 22 to 27 that in fact every single document that the IC now claims should have been classified originated from career State Department officials, using the State Department unsecured e-mail system—see “About Those Top Secret E-mails.”

Clinton reasonably stated that she relied on the expertise and experience of career State officials regarding classification designation. And frankly, the IC definition of classified is in fact a violation of the law—The Reduce Overclassification Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The intelligence community has blithely broken this law. No one in the media cares.

9) There is no evidence Clinton’s emails or server were hacked.

The authors of the report seem especially upset about the fact they could not discover evidence that Clinton’s server and emails were not hacked. (see pages 26 to33 of the FBI report). But that’s the evidence—no hack. Unlike the State Department systems, which have been repeatedly hacked.

In conclusion, the FBI report makes clear that 1) Hillary Clinton has been truthful to the public regarding her statements on E-Ghazi, 2) she acted reasonably when she accepted the classification determinations of senior career State Department officials, 3) that no properly marked classified information was in her private server or email systems, 4) that use of private email or a private server was not prohibited at the time, 5) that Colin Powell was untruthful in his statements regarding his communications with Clinton on the email issue and that 6) there is no evidence Clinton’s emails or server were hacked.

FBI Director Comey’s unprecedented and improper decision to discuss the investigation publicly was wrong and his opinions on carelessness unfounded. Indeed, his recklessness is what is highlighted here.

While there are a couple of stray questions to be resolved (example: Clinton should explain her answer regarding the (C) markings as the FBI Report is rather unclear), what is clear is that the FBI report fully exonerates Clinton not only from criminal charges, but from any charge of carelessness of recklessness with classified information.

Clinton was careless with her record preservation obligations and, in my view, violated those obligations.

But on the rest? Not only is she cleared, she is fully exonerated.



[Editor’s Note:  For those of you who have not been following the brouhaha over Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comments concerning the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, here’s a review from Washington (CNN) followed by line of comments.  This material is used with the permission of Daily Kos.  Readers are invited to go to:  Daily for a complete list of comments, explanatory, argumentive and otherwise.]

supreme-court-545534_1280 (1)Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t going to let the vapors of the traditional media over her comments about Donald Trump make her stop talking.

Washington (CNN)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known candor was on display in her chambers late Monday, when she declined to retreat from her earlier criticism of Donald Trump and even elaborated on it.”He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”Trump is, of course, tweeting his outrage, which pretty much proves her point. Chances are she’s not going to let that get to her, either.justice-683942_1280COMMENT

yankeedoodler Paleo

Jul 13 · 05:55:18 PM

Chief Justice Roberts has — just about sotto voce — said they do [have a code of ethics on the Supreme Court]. But it’s never been examined and ruled on by the “supremes” themselves. Who else would have the authority to do that? In fact, historically supremes have run for public office while serving. Surely no one believes they said nothing negative about their opponents? And that’s only one of the issues one can envision falling under a code of ethics. John Jay was Chief Justice when he ran for the governorship of New York — twice (lost the first time).

Then you have people like Scalia and Thomas heading up fundraisers for right-wing groups. in those cases, their value certainly was tied to their role as supremes. No disciplinary action, not even a word of reproof from colleagues. Supreme means supreme, and over the years no one has taken more advantage of that than the right wing of the court. Time for a liberal to speak up in the face of a candidate like sleazy Don and also time for liberals to stop supporting a false idea of the supremes that has only helped the wingnuts.


WillR yankeedoodler

Jul 13 · 06:58:50 PM

They don’t. Of course, who would enforce such rules on the Supreme Court if they wanted to ignore them? Hence, such rules wouldn’t make sense at that level.

However, I believe there is an implication and assumption that judges on the highest court of the land should adhere to the same ethical guidelines that the most junior judge in the Federal system is expected to adhere to unless there is an extraordinary compelling reason to do otherwise (and, intentionally and publicly spouting personal opinions about those who you may later hear a case about is NOT one of those cases — Ginsburg opinion on Trump is no more significant than mine — we both get one vote against him).

The judge who Trump viciously attacked has followed judicial ethics and kept his mouth shut in response to those attacks. I would expect a Supreme Court justice who Trump really hadn’t specifically attacked to be at least as ethical.

Remember, judges are supposed to avoid even the appearance of bias. Ginsburg can no longer do this with respect to Trump.



If we ended up in a Bush v. Gore type situation in this election, she would clearly be expected to recuse herself. Of course, she might not do so as she may not care what her legacy is.

In such a case, she would really be in a no-win situation. If she recused herself and it resulted in a narrow decision (perhaps 4-3) for Trump, she will rightfully go down in history as being the Justice who was too childish to accept the responsibility of being an active Supreme Court Justice and did something stupid that required her to recuse herself and throw the election to Trump. If she didn’t recuse herself and her vote was the deciding factor (perhaps 4-4 so lower court ruling that favored Clinton stands), history would appropriately question if the Supreme Court was a legitimate body due to her actions.

Sorry, you take a job, you take the constraints with it.


yankeedoodler WillR

Jul 13 · 07:12:31 PM

I think you should read the article at politico about how “constrained” by ethics the supremes have not been. Not going to link to it again. It’s on the front page at politico and easily found. Really, we all need to stop pontificating without facts in hand and keep in mind that RBG has been around long enough to know exactly what has gone on on the court. she’s not some dipsy broad whose mind has gone, as sleazy Donald would like to portray her. There are serious issues at stake for the country and she’s playing her cards: supreme trumps hate.


Angela Marx Paleo

Jul 13 · 03:55:28 PM

Those rules? They do exist — but on paper they only exist for the lower Courts.

There is only ONE singular regulation on Supreme Court Justices from the Constitution:



Article III, Section 1

The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

US Code contains constraints on lower court Judges. But for the Supremes? That one rule is all there is.

Since it’s a subjective rule, it can mean whatever you think it means.

”Shall hold their office during good behavior.”



The U. S. Constitution is justly revered as the greatest document ever conceived for the governing of a new nation. It has been in effect for over 200 years. It has endured (with numerous amendments) through the growth from thirteen small states to a nation of forty-nine contiguous states, plus Hawaii and Alaska. The Constitution is credited with guiding this nation over these many years with remarkable stability and justice.

Actually, the original Constitution was dedicated to promoting:  A More Perfect Union of 13 original states, Tranquility, Common Defense, and to promote the General Welfare and Secure the Blessings of Liberty for the people and their progeny!

That Constitution was written in 1786. People rode horses, wore wigs, crossed the ocean in sailing ships and wrote with quill pens. The principle author, Thomas Jefferson, said it should probably be updated in seventeen years. It was written by well-educated men, mostly Deists, but not Christian.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As new states were to be added, the Ordinance of 1787 was written.  It said:  “Religion, morality and education being necessary to good government and happiness of mankind, schools, and means of education, shall forever be encouraged.”

Although education was prominent in the Ordinance of 1786 when the five states of the Northwest Territories were added, this ordinance was ignored. States were admitted under the Constitution which did not mention religion, morals, or education.

Settlers came to America to escape, to be free, and free to worship as they pleased, however, America was not established as a Christian nation. The Bible, being one of the only books available, was in evidence and was widely used as a textbook for teaching people how to read. Christianity, however, was not mandated by the government and this fact was strongly reiterated in the First Amendment:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Later, slogans were added such as, “One nation under God,” and “in God we trust.” Both are counter to the intent of the original document, and “under God” may have been added primarily to differentiate America from Russia.

U. S. Constitution

U. S. Constitution

Today we have an archaic document written over 200 years ago dealing with slaves, quartering of troops in people’s homes, and other things no longer applicable to society today. To the original Seven Articles have been added twenty-seven (27) amendments. Among them are three amendments which deal with voting, all of which can be replaced with one, “All citizens age eighteen and over can vote.” One amendment decrees prohibition of alcohol and another amendment repeals prohibition, so there are two unneeded amendments. The amendments that are of value can be fitted into the Constitution as it is edited and condensed.

In my opinion the greatest need is to abolish the Senate. All legislative activity can be handled by one body, a House of Representatives of reduced size. We should also add a new article on education, promoting better schools, and it should require schools to teach comparative religion. Citizens should know what at least three of the world’s predominant religions teach! Almost all human activity in the world today is engendered or promoted by religion. Nearly all wars over the world’s history have been instigated by religion! Religion is nothing but mythology.

This important opinion piece was written by David C. Williams. Mr. Williams is a learned and skilled writer who lives in Ashland, Kentucky. He has many published books and articles.