Thursday, July 20, 2017

THE NYT TRUMP INTERVIEW



20 July, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: The NYT Trump interview

I wonder if you read the excerpts of the interview with Trump (sorry, I still refuse to think of him, let alone refer to him as president)? Any honest assessment of that interview would surely conclude that the man is severely limited intellectually, if not actually demented. He whines, he waffles, he blames, he lies, he oversimplifies, he indulges in needless self-aggrandizement… The interview is mostly painful to read, but I especially enjoyed the part where he waxed on about the French president liking so much to hold his hand. The little boy finally emerged, innocent and undisguised.

One line caught my attention. At one point, when he is talking about his meeting with US Senators about the health care bill, he declares: “Believe me, do I know bad people.” And on this point, yes, I do actually believe him. I believe that he is where he is, a purported billionaire, precisely because he knows bad people. I believe, despite his frequent denials, that he has had dealings with bad people. He may have no buildings in Russia, as he once again claims in this interview, but he has surely enabled the money-laundering needed by Russian oligarchs to protect their assets. He has surely profited obscenely from abetting these “bad people.” Remember, Junior boasting about how all that money was flooding in from Russia? Oh, yes, I do believe he knows them.

I see no other explanation, quite frankly, for his adamant refusal (again, in this interview) to reveal information about his personal finances; he makes it clear that he would seriously consider firing special counsel Mueller if he crossed what Trump calls this “red line.” And yet… this is what it’s all about, isn’t it? In what ways is he obligated to the Russians, that they worked so hard to assure his election?

I hope we find out, don’t you? Is that not the patriotic course, to defend our country against the aggression of hostile nations? Or perhaps, given your documented friendship with our adversary, you have a different view?

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

THE RUSSIA CONNECTION

19 July, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

A thoughtful correspondent forwarded me the link to this article in The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-lawmaker-got-direction-from-moscow-took-it-back-to-dc?source=facebook&via=desktop. I must say that I was surprised and appalled by the story, which portrays you as a willing puppet in the hands of Russian officials—some of them the same as those involved in the now infamous Trump Jr. meeting last June.

Another thoughtful correspondent drew my attention to the Dutch documentary, “The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump.” It’s a persuasive look at the history of Trump’s relationship with Russian oligarchs, the Russian mafia, and shady deals involving blood diamonds and the construction of the controversial Israeli settlements that are so destructive to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It also casts a clearer light on Trump’s (to date) puzzling fealty to Vladimir Putin.

It seems that you, Congressman, are in deep with the Russia connection. I’m a skeptic when it comes to conspiracy theories, but I am now convinced that Trump is little more than a tool in the hands of Putin, who sits like a spider at the center of this web that involves a long history of money-laundering through the construction projects and other shady deals that made Trump and his family rich. I am convinced that his refusal to acknowledge, let alone punish Russian interference in our last year’s election stems from his own complicity, and that of his family, in a long-standing plot to seat him in the Oval Office. I believe that he is so deeply in debt, both morally and financially, to corrupt and powerful Russians that they are able to control his actions and his words.

This is a terrible admission. It pains me to think that you, too, are complicit. I think that the Daily Beast article is serious and well-researched enough to demand a public explanation of your ties to the Russian government.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN


18 July, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Your Senator McCain

I’m sure you’ll join me in sending good thoughts to Senator John McCain for a speedy recovery from his surgery. I had been worried about him since his strange and rambling questioning of James Comey a few weeks ago—it seemed almost like the onset of dementia. I have always admired the man, though I have generally disagreed with his positions; and truthfully my respect for him began to wane at the time of his run for the Presidency. His choice of Sarah Palin was, in my view, a serious lapse in judgment.

But I surely wish him well. He had not yet clarified his position on the cruelly misnamed Better Care Reconciliation Act, but his yes vote would surely have been the sharpest of ironies. The cost of his recent surgery and post-operative care has amounted, I read, to nearly $80,000. He was fortunate, indeed, to be protected by the kind of insurance his party and his president seem intent on putting beyond the reach of millions of Americans.

I am glad that zombie bill has been finally (???) pronounced dead. Now it seems the Republican effort will be to repeal Obamacare without replacing it. Good luck with that! The ire of the American people has been aroused, and will not easily be pacified—especially not by an even more brazen attack on something they now recognize to be a right.

A modest suggestion: Obamacare is now popular. It works. It can be made to work better with good faith and a willingness to compromise on either side. So get to it!

(And of course, the obvious choice is still for a single payer system that dumps the whole “free market”, profit-motivated approach to health care for all. Will we ever get what every other advanced nation already has?)

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Monday, July 17, 2017

RUSSIA

17 July, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Russia

I find you defending the June, 2016 Trump Jr. meeting with assorted Russian folk in an online article by Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times. She quotes you as saying the following: “If someone says to you that they want to give you information, there is nothing wrong with that. It is not illegal to receive information from someone, especially if you are engaged in an activity that’s aimed at trying to secure understanding for policies that you plan to implement as a leader in the United States.”

I know that you are an ardent supporter of better relations with Russia, but…

One, the “information” you refer to (rather glibly, if I may say) was expressly intended to damage a rival candidate in an American election. It purported without shame or excuse to be offered by a hostile foreign government, the result of activity that any reasonable person would assume to be spying.

Two, the meeting in question was in June of 2016, not a moment at which Trump was designing “policies to be implemented as a leader in the United States.”

Three, almost as disturbing as the meeting itself are the multiple denials and lies that have been told, not just in the past few days but over several months. Why is it that the Trump campaign and, now, the Trump administration, can’t simply come out and tell the whole truth? Why are they not as keen as the rest of us to expose the facts of Russian intervention in our election? Does it not amount to a violation of our national sovereignty? Do we not need to understand—and perhaps punish them—for what they did? Do we not need to know the facts, in order to be able to prevent such action in the future?

The exculpation that you offer is ingenuous. I beg to disagree.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Friday, July 14, 2017

LE QUATORZE JUILLET



14 July, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Bastille Day

I honestly think the only reason they sent Trump over to France was to let him bask in the illusion of a little glory. He’s happy as a clam with soldiers in uniform, solemn marches, a visit to Napoleon’s tomb (must have made him swell a bit!) and a trip up the Eiffel Tower. What a child!

Bastille Day, of course, is the French celebration of freedom from an indulged and hapless monarchy. With the Trump family acting like much the Bourbons in the bad old days, could we hope for the same now?

A bientot,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

UP IN ARMS


13 July, 2017

 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Up in Arms

I neglected to ask this earlier, when I spotted the article in the New York Times about an effort to pass legislation allowing (requiring?) all congressional representatives to carry a weapon. It was, I believe, in part a response to the shooting of several representatives and aides at baseball practice a few weeks ago.

My question: where do you stand on this issue? Perhaps you already “pack heat,” as they say here in America? If so, I trust you’re properly trained in the weapon’s use. Or do you agree with Rep. Brian Babin of Texas (!) who introduced the legislation permitting members of Congress to carry concealed weapons? How do you plan to vote, I wonder, if it comes to that? I’d be interested to hear.

You’ll not be surprised to know that I am not a fan of the widespread ownership of guns in this country. If you throw the Second Amendment at me, I’ll argue that the men who wrote it could never have foreseen, and would never have approved, the bloodshed that results from the kind of careless, irresponsible or criminal gun ownership sanctioned by the senseless influence of the National Rifle Association. Nor could they have foreseen the firepower of today’s weaponry.

I’m not asking for prohibition—though I admit I’d like it. I’m asking for reasonable rules and regulations to prevent the most avoidable of abuses.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WITCH HUNT?

12 July, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: The Witch Hunt

Your Trump does himself too much honor—and witches too much disrespect—in referring to the Russia investigations collectively as a “witch hunt.” This pursuit of the simple truth pales in comparison to what was done to innocent women, all those centuries ago.

That the Russia investigations are no witch hunt was also stunningly revealed in yesterday’s release of Donald Trump Jr.’s email exchange, in which he exulted in the prospect of receiving “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from what he had every reason to suppose was a hostile foreign government.  To call his son “open, innocent, and transparent,” as the president did in a recent tweet is to ignore months of silence, even outright lies, not only from his son, but also his son-in-law and others in a position to know of this outrageous subversion of both law and political decency.

I know I write this all too often in my letters to you, Congressman, but is it not well past time for Republicans to stand up in opposition to what they must know, by now, to be the lies and obfuscation of the Trump administration? Will there not, eventually, be some come-uppance for those who lack the courage and political fortitude to speak the truth, and act upon it?

I ask of you only to give us what you promised when you ran for office: service to your constituents and, in your oath of office, defense of this country’s Constitution. Which should not be too much to ask of my representative in the US Congress.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


THE NYT TRUMP INTERVIEW

20 July , 2017 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 101 Main Street #380 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Dear Congressman, Re: The NYT Tru...