Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Real and Present Danger

Posted on October 1, 2019

The present mess, also known as the Trump Administration, cries out for resolution. Immediately. The Country cannot continue without a functioning Executive Branch. Right now, we do not have a functioning Executive Branch.

We are running the risk of war, by miscalculation, or a crash in World Financial Markets followed by Depression. It’s that serious. I am not an alarmist by nature. I have not felt the sense of real and present danger at any other time.

There is a deal available. It looks like this:

ONE. Vice President Pence Resigns Immediately.

TWO. President Trump Resigns Immediately Following Pence’s Resignation and agrees to accept no pension or Past President’s office or staff.

THREE. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, under the Constitution, succeeds immediately to the Presidency and, as her first acts as President, receives the Resignations of Pence and Trump and immediately issues Presidential Pardons to Pence and Trump for any and all violations of Federal Law that occurred during their respective service as Vice President and President.

FOUR. President Pelosi announces she will not be a candidate for President in 2020.

FIVE. All of the above actions (resignations and pardons) could be accomplished virtually simultaneously at the same time and place. Deal done. Pardons issued. Trump and Pence gone. Continue Reading…….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: The Saudi Refinery Hit – A Slick Piece of Work

Posted on September 23, 2019

Talk about timing… ten days before the opening of the UN General Assembly. Talk about execution… fifty percent of the Saudi Oil Production gonesville with no dead bodies. Talk about putting super heavyweight Buffet Brothers Mike Pompeo and Crown Prince MBS in a funny spot… just sitting there looking at each other waiting for someone to bring food.

It had to be Iran, right? But Trump says Iran’s broke and falling apart. And Trump says he rebuilt our Military and the Saudis bought all sorts of stuff and we and they should have total surveillance on that spot and every square inch of Iran. So Trump could take pictures to the UN like Kennedy’s UN Ambassador did during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Sounds like military malpractice if they don’t have pictures.

I remember reading decades ago that our intelligence agencies could read a car license plate from outer space. And we don’t have proof? In the absence of proof, I believe Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. He says the attack did not come from Iran nor did it come from Iraq with Iranian weaponry. Zarif has been around a long time. He’s US educated and very savvy. He’s valuable to Iran only as long as he has credibility.

Immediately after the hit on the refinery, Pompeo called it “an act of war.” Almost immediately after that, Trump cut Pompeo’s legs out from under him and Pompeo reverted to flower child… “let’s just give peace a chance.” I guess the big fella needs the job. Got to get some groceries. Meanwhile, Javad Zarif has been making the rounds answering questions. In response to questions about the likelihood of a war, Zarif has been consistent: Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Kick Them When They’re Down

Posted on September 13, 2019

JULIAN CASTRO blew out his image as an Altar Boy who spends most of his time helping crippled children cross the street by kneecapping a slightly confused Joe Biden and proceeding to fundraise off the encounter. In the era of “never apologize, kick them when they’re down” politics Castro may have hit on something. He took a shot at the King. Now he’s got to follow through and take him out…or become a footnote in history.

KAMALA HARRIS scares the crap out of debate moderators. They will not apply debate time limits to her as she announces, with theatrical gravitas, “this is important” and proceeds to assume the role of “aggrieved black woman.” Hey, good for her…if she can get away with it. The only one willing to get in Kamala’s face so far has been my girl TULSI GABBARD. The “politically correct” press has punished Gabbard by refusing to recognize she exists.

BETO O’ROURKE got game. I like the way he carries himself and relates to his colleagues and questioners. He’s a gentleman and he’s got good instincts. His weaknesses are he’s a bit disorganized and impulsive. He made a great point about outlawing and confiscating assault weapons. If he had done a little more preparation and homework he could have nailed the point down on the absolute legality of such an action. In a sentence, the government always has the right to do what is necessary for the country to survive… anyone remember the Draft?

JOE BIDEN has lost a lot off his fastball. Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Its Getting Weird Out There

Posted on July 8, 2019

Twenty Democrats debate four hours and nobody blurts out “I love Israel more than life itself.” Love Ya, Dems!

FOX TV Host, Tucker Carlson, calls National Security Advisor John Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm.” Love Ya, Tucker!

FOX TV Host, Tucker Carlson, saves Western Civilization by telling Donald Trump that a war with Iran is “not a good idea.” Trump agrees. You Da Man, Trumpster! Love Ya, Tucker!

Democrat Presidential Candidate, Three Term Congresswoman, Iraq War Veteran and Semi Hot Surfing Hindu Peacenik, Tulsi Gabbard, cements reputation as The Most Interesting Person In the Democratic Party when she records most Google Searches After the Democrat Debate. Love Ya, Tulsi. Continue Reading…….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Iran – Stayin’ Alive

Posted on June 19, 2019

Sure, Iran did that thing in the Gulf of Oman. Why wouldn’t they? They figured it’s time they showed they didn’t want to be fucked with forever. All that sanctions bullshit designed to strangle their economy. Sanctions for what? For keeping the deal they made with Obama. Yeah, Barack Obama, the guy who could think and talk and execute a handshake and who you could believe. An actual President.

So, nobody got hurt in the Gulf…not like when Israel “mows the grass” in Gaza with a couple of thousand dead, many under 10 years old, while right wing Israelis dance in the street chanting “Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.” Sick.

The Iranians…Persians…took a chance. They made a carefully calibrated strike. Nobody got hurt and no US assets were touched. They got to take America’s temperature. Interesting, no real public outrage. Quite the opposite. Many didn’t believe Trump or Pompeo… only when the Military (Central Command) weighed in were people willing to trust their own government. No President in our history has had such a trust deficit. Continue reading “Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Iran – Stayin’ Alive”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Observations No. 3

Posted on May 13, 2019
TRUMP WANTS TALKS WITH IRAN. Israel Cheerleader and MSNBC host, Chuck Todd, looked like there had been a death in the family. How could an American President want to talk about peace with Iran without Israel’s permission? Who does Trump think he is? Obama? “The Saudis will go Bonkers!” Like Chuck Todd gives a rat’s ass about the Saudis. “The Israelis will go Bonkers!” Now we’re talking Chucky’s sweet spot. The Saudis are supernumeraries…totally unnecessary to anything worthwhile but capable of helping Jared Kushner with some financial challenges and giving Netanyahu cover for just one more (he promises) “preemptive” war in the middle east where Israel risks nothing and the US does the heavy lifting, killing, and dying.

I’m imagining the phone call to Trump from Adelson. Adelson: “I gave you $30 MIL when nobody would give you a plug nickel! What’s with this peace with Iran crap?.” Trump: “You’ve done pretty well with me, Sheldon. Plus I hired that creepy friend of yours Bolton. Did I tell you he’s a real pain? At least Bannon was funny. Don’t send me anymore like Bolton and Pompeo.” Adelson: “Yeah, Bolton is an acquired taste that nobody’s acquired. I like him where he’s at…bugging you and not bugging me.” Trump: “I have this incredible urge to tell Bolton to roll around on the rug and bark like a dog.” Adelson: “That’s sick…but what’s sicker is he’ll do it. Look, don’t go flower child on me. You want my help. I want you to turn Iran into a parking lot. Bolton speaks for me. He knows what I want. My calendar tells me 2020 is coming. You’re going to need some cash. I reward my friends. It’s time for you to show me if you’re my friend. Call me Noon Sunday. No more peace bullshit. Bye.”

SOMEONE WHO CAN WIN? That’s what the Democrats want and need. They should cast a wide net…beyond the announced candidates…to the absolute best person in the Country who can win and govern. It’s totally stupid to limit the search for our next President to those who have volunteered for the job. Do you think Apple or Boeing or Walmart or Microsoft or Harvard University limit their search for a CEO to those who send in resumes? They don’t. Why should the Democratic Party, or the Country, for that matter limit its search to those who apply. Here are some people who could win, assemble, and retain a world class team and govern effectively: Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Observations No. 2

BARR WINS A DAY. You can’t nail jello to the wall and nobody can nail AG William “Jellybelly” Barr down on anything that can hurt Trump. He dodges, obfuscates, delays, and ponders. He was clearly representing Trump and not the USA….but, news flash, he’s not the first AG to do the same. If you were anti-Trump it was painful to watch. Committee Chair Lindsey Graham opened the hearing with an effective, for Trump, statement. Graham is a slick operator who is tough in a knife fight. (He saved the Kavanaugh Nomination with a semi-hysterical yet purposeful rant that riled the base and saved the day for Mr. Justice Kavanaugh). After his opening, Graham got to question Barr first. He asked about twenty questions and got the one word answer (yes or no) he wanted, making a record protecting Trump. The first Democrat to question Barr was 85 year old non lawyer, Diane Feinstein. Suffice it to say she didn’t lay a glove on Barr. To make a long story shorter it was an hour and a half into the hearing before a Democrat under age 79 got to speak word one. After all was said and done the only Democrat to “win” the few minutes of questions she had against Barr was Kamala Harris…she didn’t try to hit a home run but she succeeded in demonstrating that Barr, if not a stone cold liar, was tricky, slippery and not consistently believable. Not by a long shot.

HOUSE LOSES A DAY. Barr has turned down an appearance before The House Judiciary Committee because Chairman Nadler planned to assign the questioning of Barr to staff lawyers. Congressional Committees have long delegated to staff the questioning of witnesses. Bobby Kennedy cut his teeth as a lawyer on a Senate Committee questioning Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa and Mob boss Sam Giancana. Trump’s favorite lawyer, Roy Cohn, was once used by Senator Joe McCarthy to question witnesses in the late fifties. Barr’s “in control” demeanor might go south if he had to face cross examination by a top flight lawyer who had put in a couple hundred hours of preparation. That could get weird quick. Barr is far more comfortable playing word games with a Congressman who might spend an hour trying to think up a question and has no real power to survive a give and take. There’s no question of principle here, Barr is afraid of going toe to toe with a competent and fully prepared lawyer…what would Trump say if he didn’t do so good? Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Democratic Party Draft Ticket ~ Pelosi-Mueller

Our Country needs an Intervention. We need the best we’ve got. Nancy Pelosi and Bob Mueller are the best we’ve got.

Donald Trump and Sarah Sanders and Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner and Robert Barr are not the best we have. They’ve shown themselves to be a second string collection of liars and opportunists who make us look mean spirited, stupid and for sale to the highest bidder. They have two skills…lying and stoking hate.

There’s some serious stuff going on here, in our Country, and in the World. Business as usual will not suffice. We need honesty, wisdom and courage. We need goodness. Old fashioned stuff, corny stuff…for sure. Most of the time, goodness is part of the background music of the good old USA…America the Beautiful. We had it under Kennedy and Reagan and Poppy Bush and Obama. And, I’m sure, we would have had it under Romney or McCain, if they had won. For much of our history Americans have been thought of as a “good” people with “good” leaders who were generally well received wherever they went.

Wisdom, honesty, courage, goodness made that possible. Can anyone say with a straight face that is what Trump is about? The question answers itself. Be serious.

Yet, even though Trump is who he is, he’s probably a 50-50 shot of beating any combination of announced Democratic candidates composing a ticket on the Democratic side. That’s why we need an intervention. We have to go outside the box. We need a ticket of two people who have shown themselves, over time, to embody the basic virtues of honesty, courage, wisdom and goodness plus have demonstrated skills at government. Two people whose past accomplishments command respect and, by virtue of that respect, allow them to assemble a bi-partisan team of the best and the brightest. Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Observations No. 1

Posted on April 8, 2019

HAS TRUMP HACKED THE POLLS? How hard would it be to hack the polls? Not very hard at all. Why would anyone want to? Think about where we are now. The Conventional Wisdom holds that Trump can’t be removed from office because his base is still with him. We “know” his base is still with him because “the polls” say they are. In other words, the polls ARE the Conventional Wisdom.

The polls are Trump’s life line. They are key to whatever power Trump has left on Capitol Hill (elected officials watch the polls constantly) and his ability to draw crowds in so called “Trump Country.” Currently, Gallup has Trump at 39% job approval which is on the low side for a normal President interested in successfully governing. That’s not Trump. Trump is in survival mode. Actual public service and stewardship…please, that’s not Trump’s cup of tea. Trump has a desperate need to survive. He has to stay in the White House. Take him out of the White House and he’s looking at lawsuits, back taxes and criminal trials at the State and Federal Level.

If you look at Trump’s Job Approval numbers (Gallup) since he’s been in office they haven’t been above 45% or below 35%. That narrow band makes me suspicious. (Obama fluctuated between 69% and 40% and George W Bush between 90%, right after 9-11, and 25%). Trump’s poll numbers look managed and phony. How would Trump’s people execute a hack? Not my field of expertise…ask Mark Zuckerberg. I do know ethical considerations didn’t (or wouldn’t) stop them. Good poll numbers beget better poll numbers. The subject appears in command and looks like a winner. Bad poll numbers beget worse poll numbers as the subject appears out of control and looks like a loser.

Do you think the guy who gave us Trump University and bone spurs is going to leave his fate in the hands of his fellow citizens responding to poll questions and not seek to doctor the system? I don’t think so either. Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: REP Ilhan Omar and Immanuel Kant…Plus Tropes and Dopes

Posted on March 13, 2019
I’m for Ilhan Omar. She’s got guts. And, to put it more elegantly, she has the right to call herself a Kantian. She’s earned that right.

Tell me more, you say. Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher ( 1724-1804 ) defined an “enlightened person” as someone who has the “courage to use their own understanding without the guidance of another.” In other words, someone who refuses to be silenced and suffocated by the Conventional Wisdom.

Am I a student of Kant, you ask. A little…very little.

I did spend a little time on Kant in college. I was mostly absent or hung over at the time. (You know the Irish.) Plus, a few years ago I was in Paris and I met a young man of the Jewish persuasion who was studying Philosophy at the Sorbonne. ( You know the Jews.) I asked him if he had read Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. He reached into his backpack, pulled out a book with that title, and said…”you mean this.”

Got my attention. Did a little more reading. Got to keep up.

My student friend was studying a philosopher named Gilles Deleuze who drew heavily on Kant. A little checking around and I found that Henry Kissinger’s Senior Honors Thesis at Harvard entitled, The Meaning of History, drew heavily on the Philosophy of Kant. Kissinger’s thesis was 386 pages long and caused Harvard to adopt what became known as the “Kissinger Rule” which sets a limit of 100 pages on current Senior theses. Henry and I don’t spend a lot of time chatting each other up, but my guess is he wouldn’t be the least bit threatened or offended by Ilhan Omar.

Kant was a quintessential realist. In his view, the future of mankind is in the hands of individuals willing to think independently and take responsibility for themselves and those dependent upon them regardless of the disapproval, and possible danger, from those who hold power and manufacture the conventional wisdom. By the way, the conventional wisdom is manufactured…you’re either involved in that process or you’re a victim of it. If you don’t know anything else, know that.

Not wanting to get ahead of my self, but our friend Ilhan intuitively saw what was happening and decided to take a shot at the Conventional Wisdom Manufacture Game…why not, looks like fun. If she got a word or two upside down, relax, it wasn’t that long ago that she was sleeping on the ground in a refugee camp in Kenya.

So, what did Rep. Omar do to bring upon herself the charge of a “trafficker in anti-semitic tropes.” Continue Reading……