IF THE DEMOCRATS WIN

If you have been paying attention during this presidential election cycle you have reason to be gravely concerned over the future of America. I know most politicians lie, obfuscate and exaggerate to rile up their base. I have often said that pols only do two things well: get elected and get re-elected.

All that said, let’s review what the Dem presidential candidates have been saying they will do if elected. I will stipulate that not all of the candidates have spoken out in favor of all of the below listed items, but most of them have spoken out in favor of most of them. I am not making this up. You can find these statements easily with a little research. Just a few years ago, most of these policies would have been considered as wild ravings by the fringe far left. Now, they seem to be mainstream Dem ideology and accepted by a large portion of the voters. Think about that as you read on.

When you put the list together it can be frightening. Do they really believe in all these things? Will they really move forward on all of them? I don’t know. I hope not, but let’s take them at their word for a minute. Do you really want to live in the America they envision? Would any clear thinking person want to?

Some of these appear, at least to me, to be so radical as to be unrealistic, if not idiotic; others of them sound good, but they are not practical and would bankrupt the country; still others are a combination of the two. I will leave it to you to evaluate them for yourself.

I repeat, each of these has been espoused by some or all of the candidates, and most of them have received widespread support from much, if not most, of the mainstream media. I have written blogs on most of these proposals before, so I will just give a brief description.

1. Open/drastically relaxed borders. Supposedly, this is about helping the oppressed and persecuted, and there is some of that, but I believe it is more about economic and political power.

2. Free Medicare for all, including illegal aliens. Sounds magnanimous. Why not help those who most need it? However, common sense tells you it would bankrupt the country, particularly in conjunction with open borders. The proponents of this plan are being deliberately vague on details. For instance, no one knows how much it would cost, although the Urban Institute and Commonwealth Fund estimates approximately 32 trillion (that’s with a “T” folks) over ten years. Also, this plan would force you to switch from your current healthcare plan (Remember former President Obama’s disingenuous boast that “if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it?”). Moreover, keep in mind many doctors refuse to treat Medicare patients, so what would the impact on the medical profession be?

3. Tax increases/wealth tax. This would be needed to pay for all the social programs. Unfortunately, there are not enough rich people to pay for these programs, so this would affect the middle class as well (although most of the candidates have been dancing around this). Wealth tax has been tried in other countries and abandoned, for various reasons.

4. Reparations. How would it be determined who pays whom? For example, would someone whose ancestors did not arrive until the 20th century have to pay? Would an AA whose ancestors immigrated after slavery ended be entitled to any reparations? Not practical.

5. Forgiving student loans. This would be easily abused by both students and colleges. Need to establish limits and criteria or else those who did not attend college or did attend a sensibly-priced college would be paying for the long-term student who attended a high-priced college, studied impractical courses and/or failed to earn a degree.

6. Prisoners/teenagers voting. Ridiculous on its face. Convicted criminals should continue to forfeit their right to vote. Few teenagers have the maturity and life experience to make rational voting decisions. Furthermore, most of them know little about politics and care less.

7. Guns. They want to chip away at the 2nd amendment. This is a very complicated issue that merits a separate blog to do it justice. I am in favor of some sort of universal background check, but not outright bans. I don’t believe they work anyway, as evidenced by the high crime rate in Chicago, which has among the strictest gun laws in the country. A case in point would be the State of California, which just passed nine separate gun laws designed to restrict the ownership and use of guns, even for hunting.

8. Guaranteed jobs/stipend for all. This is pure communism.

9. Green New Deal. This is supposed to combat the climate change “crisis.” Even if one believes in climate change, this is one of the most idiotic policies I have ever heard. Small wonder, since one of its primary proponents is the intellectually-challenged AOC. (With a straight face AOC characterized climate change as so serious it was “our generation’s WWII.” Really? I think she needs to be educated on WWII, among other things.)

This policy is based on a false premise, that unless we institute radical corrective action to the environment immediately the world will end in seven years, or is it ten years, or is it 15 years. I can’t keep up. Some of the things we are told must be banned include, fossil fuels, internal combustion engines (so, no flying or driving, for instance), beef (due to cow farts), oil drilling, factory farming, and coal, oil and gas heating. Welcome back to the 19th century. Also, virtually every building in the country would have to be re-conformed to comply with GND standards. The cost is estimated to be several trillion dollars per year, and would take several years to complete. No one really knows, but according to GND supporters the world will have ended by then, so I suppose it will be moot. Also, we should restrict the number of children we have or eliminate having them entirely. Sound like something you could support?

CONCLUSION

The foregoing are just some of what we can expect if the Dems win. In a nutshell, it would be the “great giveaway” with vague or no plans of who is going to pay for all this largesse and how.

I know about half of the country hates President Trump on a visceral, personal level. Fair enough. They choose to ignore, downplay or twist his accomplishments. That is their right. But, if you strip away all the partisan rhetoric and bloviations life at the moment is pretty damn good for most people. Most people are, in fact, better off than they were four years ago.

On the other hand, think of the ramifications of these policies. Obviously, they will fundamentally change America. Will it be for the better or not? I would say most assuredly not, but I leave it to you to decide. That is what really makes America great. The voters get to decide in free elections. Just remember you will have to live with the consequences of your vote. It is true that “you get the government you deserve.”

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY – DECEMBER

More painless history. Many historically-significant events have occurred during the month of December. Below please find what I consider the most significant:
12/1/1955 – Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgonery, AL for refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man. This action precipitated a year-long bus boycott and many other protests against segregation led by the Reverend Martin Luther King, among others, and was what many consider the seminal event for the civil rights movement.
12/2/1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France by Pope Pius VII.
12/2/1823 – President James Monroe articulated the “Monroe Doctrine,” which, essentially, forbad any further colonization of the Western Hemisphere by any European power, and which became a key element of the US’s foreign policy prospectively.
12/2/1954 – The Senate condemned Senator Joseph McCarthy for misconduct, effectively ending his irresponsible communist witch hunt.
12/3/1967 – Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant in Cape Town, South Africa.
12/6/1492 – Christopher Columbus “discovered” the “New World,” landing at the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
12/6/1865 – The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, which abolished slavery.
12/6/1973 – Gerald Ford was sworn in as vice president replacing Spiro Agnew who had been forced to resign following his pleading “no contest” to charges of income tax evasion.
12/7/1787 – Delaware became the first state to ratify the US constitution.
12/7/1941 – Japan perpetrated a surprise attack of the US naval base at Pearl Harbor destroying the US Pacific Fleet and precipitating the US’s entry into WWII. FDR called it a “date that will live in infamy,” and it has.
12/10/1896 – Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel died. In his will he stipulated that a committee of the Norwegian Parliament award from his estate annual prizes (valued at approximately $1 million) for Peace, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Literature and Economics.
12/11/1901 – Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic radio signal.
12/11/1936 – King Edward VIII abdicated the English throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
12/13/1642 – Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand.
12/14/1799 – George Washington died at Mt. Vernon.
12/14/1911 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole.
12/15/1791 – Virginia became the 11th state to ratify the Bill of Rights making it an official part of the Constitution. (Ratification of an amendment to the Constitution requires 75% of the states, and Vermont had become the 14th state. The three holdouts were Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Georgia, which did not ratify it until 1939.)
12/15/1961 – Notorious Nazi SS Colonel Adolph Eichmann was sentenced to death in Jerusalem for his role in the Holocaust during WWII.
12/16/1773 – A group of Bostonians, disguised as Indians, boarded British ships anchored in Boston Harbor and dumped 300+ containers of tea overboard as a protest to what they viewed as an unjust tax on the product. This became known as the Boston Tea Party and was a part of the chain of events that culminated in the American Revolutionary War.
12/17/1903 – The Wright Brothers – Wilbur and Orville – made the first successful airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, NC.
12/19/1946 – War broke in what was then called French-Indochina. Eventually, the French were ousted, and the US got drawn into war in Vietnam, which did not end well for us.
12/20/1860 – South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. Over the next few months ten other states followed, and the Civil War ensued.
12/21/1846 – Dr. Robert Liston was the first surgeon to use anesthesia (in a leg amputation in London).
12/21/1945 – General George Patton, aka “Old Blood and Guts,” died from injuries suffered in a car accident in Germany. Some historians have postulated that the accident was intentional, but this has never been proven.
12/23/1947 – The transistor was invented at Bell Laboratories.
12/25 – Christmas Day when Christians commemorate the birth of Christ.
12/25/1776 – George Washington led a small contingent of Colonial troops across the Delaware River from Valley Forge, PA to Trenton, NJ in the dead of night, where they surprised and defeated a substantially larger contingent of Hessian mercenaries. This daring and famous victory provided a major boost to the flagging revolutionary war effort.
12/26 – Boxing Day is celebrated in the UK, Canada, and various other countries that, formerly, were part of the British Empire. It has nothing to do with pugilism. Most likely, it has evolved from the 18th Century English custom of giving a “Christmas box” containing gifts, such as food or clothes, to servants and tradesmen as a reward for good service throughout the year.
12/26 – 1/1 – Kwanza, an African – American holiday established in 1966, is observed. It celebrates family unity and a bountiful harvest. The word means “first fruit” in Swahili.
12/29/1890 – The US cavalry massacred in excess of 200 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee, SD., which became a symbol of the white man’s brutality to Native Americans.
12/31/1781 – The Bank of New York became the first bank to receive a federal charter. It commenced business on January 7, 1782 in Philadelphia.
12/31/1879 – Inventor Thomas Edison first demonstrated the incandescent lamp (light bulb) at his lab in NJ.
12/31 – New Year’s Eve is celebrated throughout the world.

Birthdays – Charles Stuart, American portrait painter (of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, among others), 12/3/1755; Joseph Conrad, Polish novelist, 12/3/1857; Martin Van Buren, 8th President, 12/5/1782; General George Armstrong Custer, 12/5/1839; Walt Disney; 12/5/1901; Ira Gershwin (wrote several hit songs for “Broadway” shows), 12/6/1896; Eli Whitney (cotton gin), 12/8/1765; Clarence Birdseye (invented process for freezing foods), 12/9/1886; Emily Dickenson (poet), 12/10/1830; Melvil Dewey (invented Dewey decimal system used to categorize books in libraries), 12/10/1851; NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia,12/11/1882; John Jay (first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), 12/12/1745; General James Doolittle (led audacious bombing raid on Tokyo during WWII), 12/14/1896; Alexandre Eifel (Eifel Tower), 12/15/1832; Ludwig van Beethoven (composer), 12/16/1770; George Santayana (philosopher) (“Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”), 12/16/1863; Wily Brandt (Chancellor of West Germany), 12/18/1913; Harvey Firestone (Firestone Tire and Rubber), 12/20/1868; Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvli, aka Josef Stalin, 12/21/1879; Claudia Alta Taylor, aka “Lady Bird Johnson,” 12/22/1912; Japanese WWII Emperor Hirohito, 12/23/1901; Christopher “Kit” Carson, frontiersman, 12/24/1809; Howard Hughes, 12/24/1905; Isaac Newton (theory of gravity), 12/25/1642; Clara Barton (nurse who founded American Red Cross), 12/25/1821; Humphrey Bogart, 12/25/1899; Mao Tse-Tung, 12/26/1893; Louis Pasteur (pasteurization process), 12/27/1822; (Thomas) Woodrow Wilson, 28th President, 12/28/1856; Andrew Johnson (17th president, first to be impeached), 12/29/1808; Pablo Casals (cellist), 12/28/1876; Rudyard Kipling (poet, wrote Jungle Book), 12/30/1865; Hideki Tojo (Japanese WWII Prime Minister), 12/30/1884; General George C. Marshall (Army Chief of Staff, WWII), 12/31/1880.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UPDATE. WHO’S NEXT? MICHELLE? HILLARY?

It looks to me like the Dems are getting desperate. Not the candidates. They are chugging along in their own bubble, blithely unaware of the opinions of the electorate. Instead, they are kowtowing to the liberal media and the twitter crowd.

The Party pros, however, know better. They are coming to the same realization that many of us have perceived all along: that the current field of candidates is weak, flawed and too far to the left to win a general election. As time goes on, they are perceiving that it is becoming increasingly more unlikely that the eventual nominee will be able to “walk back” some of the outrageous and unrealistic policies being advocated. More on that later. He/she will need a GPS to find the “middle” on key issues.

In assessing the 2020 election my advice is don’t put too much credence in the polls. As we all found out in 2016 they are flawed. They underestimate President Trump’s support. I don’t know whether the flaws lie in the manner of questioning, the sampling, that many Trump supporters are reluctant to admit it to the pollster, or some combination of the three. Either way, the flaws are there.

Don’t believe the mainstream media either. Most of them are so biased that they continually accentuate the President’s flaws and downplay, or even ignore, his accomplishments. If you doubt me, just tune in to CNN, MSNBC or the networks any day. I am amazed how the likes of Chet Lemon, Brian Stelter, Chris Matthews or Chris Cuomo, to name a few, can maintain any credibility with the public in view of their obvious bias.

I used to respect reporters/commentators such as David Gregory and Wolf Blitzer, but I feel that they, too, are no longer objective. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone who is serious about learning what’s really happening in the world can rely exclusively on those sources for their news.

Don’t be fooled by the impeachment fiasco. I have published various blogs on this topic, and I see no need to repeat myself. Suffice to say, every day, it becomes more and more obvious that it is a sham; there is no impeachable crime to be found. I view it as an impeachment hearing in search of a crime, any crime, that would support the narrative. As we saw when President Clinton was impeached, all the process does is create more support for the president.

As I said above, the Dem Party pros know that the Dem field is a loser, regardless of who might win the nomination. None of the candidates has resonated with the electorate, and all of them have moved way left of the mainstream. Most of them have continually pandered to liberal leaders, such as Reverend Al and AOC, liberal commentators, and special interests in a manner that is very obvious and almost demeaning.

Also, many Dem voters perceive their more outlandish policies, such as the New Green Deal, open borders, Medicare for all, tax reform and free college tuition for all, as favoring illegal aliens over them. US Civil Rights Commission spokesperson, Peter Kirsanow, opines that this has led to a “populist mistrust” on the part of many Dem voters, particularly minorities.

To illustrate my point, let’s briefly consider the current front runners – Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg.

Biden looks lost on both the debate stage and the campaign trail. He is a human gaffe machine, committing one faux paux after another. For example, in the last debate he bragged that he has the support of the “only female black senator.” The problem is Kamala Harris, who is black, was standing a few feet away from him, and she definitely is not a Biden supporter. His comment evoked laughter not only from the other candidates, but also from the audience and most likely many people watching at home. It is not a good sign when people laugh AT you, as opposed to WITH you.

I believe he will also be dragged down by the shenanigans of his son, Hunter. Furthermore, I believe his current lead (28%, nationally, according to CNN) is based on name recognition, a perception that he can beat Mr. Trump, and his lack of exposure. How can he possibly hold up under the rigors of a long, contentious election campaign?

Warren has alienated much of the Dem voters with her constant lies and her cockamamie policies, such as her “Medicare for all” and tax plans. Following repeated attacks by her rival candidates, she was forced to admit that it would necessitate a tax increase even on the middle class to pay for it. Historically, advocating a tax increase has always led to election disaster.

In addition, she is weak in the Wall Street, AA and Hispanic communities. Moreover, a recent NYT/Siena Poll disclosed a glaring lack of “likeabilty” as well as concerns, by 3:1, among Dem voters that she is too far to the left. Indeed, the same poll revealed that a significant number of Biden supporters would shift their support to Mr. Trump if she were to become the nominee.

Sanders is an admitted socialist. He has a small but vociferous, frustrated and angry hardcore of supporters. They feel they were “cheated” out of the nomination in 2016, and many of them are not in a mood to support another candidate. He may be able to wield some influence in a deadlocked convention, but an avowed socialist, which he is, has no chance to become president.

Buttigieg is a mystery to me. I would bet that most voters know next to nothing about him, except that his name is difficult to spell or even pronounce. For instance, in a recent Quinnipiac Poll 47% of SC voters reported they did not know enough about him to even express an opinion. He seems like a nice, articulate person but very light on experience.

Moreover, by all accounts he has been a mediocre mayor of a small city in Indiana. How could that limited resume possibly translate into running the US? Also, he is not particularly popular in the minority community in South Bend, which, as we know, is a crucial constituency for any Dem candidate. Therefore, it is hard for me to take him seriously despite his strong poll numbers in Iowa (24%) and NH (25%). According to Lisa Hagen, political reporter for US News and World Report, once the scene shifts to SC, Nevada and elsewhere, where there is a more diverse electorate, his support will likely melt away. For example, a recent Quinnipiac Poll disclosed he has less than 1% support among AA voters in SC. All this does not auger well for him.

CONCLUSION

The best indicator that the Party pros think the current field is too weak to defeat Mr. Trump is all the recent talk about new candidates. In point of fact, a recent NYT/Siena Poll disclosed that, as yet, none of the current group has been able to win back the crucial white working class voters that swung over to Mr. Trump in 2016.

Additionally, the same poll showed that Mr. Trump’s Electoral College majority from 2016 has remained largely intact, especially in the six battleground states – Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina – that will likely decide the election. It seems like many Dems would welcome a fresh face or two, but I view it as a sign of desperation. Perhaps, that is why Obama has not endorsed Biden.

Also, the 2018 results seem like an anomaly, not a portent. The same poll showed that 2/3 of the Trump voters who voted for Dem congresspersons in 2018 intend to return to Mr. Trump in 2020.

With respect to the potential saviors, Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of NY, has already declared his candidacy. As a multi-billionaire, he has money to burn. Unfortunately, he has two obvious flaws, which will, in my opinion, doom his candidacy:

1. He is a very dull speaker, not the least bit inspiring like, for example, Messrs. Bill Clinton, Obama and Trump. I saw excerpts of his recent speech. I would characterize it as a cure for insomnia.

2. As mayor, his signature policy was “stop and frisk.” It worked very well as evidenced by the precipitous drop in the city’s murder rate, but it infuriated blacks and other minorities who viewed it as racial profiling.

I believe Hillary wants to try again, but she is still unpopular, and she has more “baggage” than a fully-loaded 747.

Michelle Obama would be a reasonable possibility. At the moment, she is very popular in some circles, although I’m not sure that would hold up once she begins to campaign and articulate her policies.

At the present time, both ladies are being coy about running, but I think there is a good chance one of them will declare. We’ll see.

The 2020 campaign is shaping up as one of the most interesting in history. Stay tuned.

POP CULTURE QUIZ

My darling and devoted wife claims I have a very limited knowledge of pop culture. Perhaps, but let’s test your knowledge. You know the drill: no peeking at the internet. Don’t ask “Alexa” or “Siri.” Good luck.

1. Each of the following movies won the Oscar for “Best Picture, EXCEPT:
(a) Crash; (b) Argo; (c) Goodfellas; (d) Moonlight

2. Who played the character, “Monica” on the hit comedy TV show, “Friends?” (a) Jennifer Aniston; (b) Sara Summers; (c) Lisa Kudrow; (d) Courtney Cox

3. What entertainer was born in Steubenville, Ohio?
(a) Dean Martin; (b) Bing Crosby; (c) Jack Benny; (d) Liberace

4. Which of the below actors played “Danno” on the original “Hawaii 50” tv series? (a) Al Harrington; (b) Buddy Ebsen; (c) Larry Manetti; (d) James MacArthur

5. Steven Spielberg directed each of the below movies, EXCEPT:
(a) “Duel;” (b) “Jurassic Park;” (c) “Raiders of the Lost Arc;” (d) “Midway”

6. The 2019 Emmy Award winner for Best Comedy was (a) Modern Family; (b) Fleabag; (c) The Handmaid’s Tale; (d) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

7. Which of the below actors won the 2019 “Oscar” for “Best Actor?”
(a) Rami Malek; (b) Daniel Kaluuya; (c) Denzel Washington; (d) Will Smith

8. In the famous Abbott and Costello comedy routine “Who’s on First,” the name
of the second baseman is: (a) “What;” (b) “When;” (c) “Tomorrow;” (d) “I don’t know.”

9. Which child actor debuted in the tv show “Little House on the Prairie?”
(a) Ed Furlong; (b) Richard Thomas; (c) Jerry Mathers; (d) Jason Bateman

10. Each of the following is a show created by Dick Wolf, EXCEPT:
(a) South Beach; (b) Law and Order; (c) Boston Legal; (d) Chicago Justice

11. Which movie featured music by Simon and Garfunkle, including megahit “Sounds of Silence?” (a) The Apartment; (b) The Graduate; (c) Eyes without a Trace; (d) A Patch of Blue

12. Which of the below actresses won the 2019 Oscar for “Best Actress?”
(a) Frances McDormand; (b) Meryl Streep; (c) Julianne Moore; (d) Olivia Colman

13. The rock ‘n roll song, “Rock Around the Clock” was featured in which of these movies? (a) Blackboard Jungle; (b) The Rockers; (c) The Survivors; (d) Teen Angel

14. Each of the following was a member of the “Rat Pack,” EXCEPT:
a. Peter Lawford; (b) Dean Martin; (c) Vic Damone; (d) Frank Sinatra

15. Who was the first host of “Jeopardy (1964-1975)?”
(a) Pat Sajak; (b) Alex Trebek; (c) Art Fleming; (d) Chuck Barris

16. Which famous actor appeared on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?”
(a) Will Smith; (b) Denzel Washington; (c) Brian Forster; (d) Fred Savage

17. The hit song, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” was featured in which movie? (a) Bonnie and Clyde; (b) Cool Hand Luke; (c) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; (d) Eyes without a Trace

18. Whose birth name was Bernie Schwartz? (a) Tony Curtis; (b) Kirk Douglas; (c) Robert Mitchum; (d) Peter O’Toole

19. Which rapper was born Curtis James Jackson, III
(a) Lil Wayne; (b) Eminem; (c) LL Cool J; (d) “Fitty” Cent

20. Name the original host of the tv game show, “The Match Game.”
(a) Don Pardo; (b) Art Fleming; (c) Pat Sajak; (d) Gene Rayburn

21. Benjamin Kubelsky was the birth name of what famous entertainer? (a) George Burns; (b) Don Rickles; (c) Bob Hope; (d) Jack Benny

22. Which movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2019? (a) A Star Is Born; (b) Bohemian Rhapsody; (c) Green Book; (d) Call Me By Your Name

23. Each of the following movies featured Jack Nicholson, EXCEPT: (a) Midnight Cowboy; (b) Chinatown; (c) The Shining; (d) Easy Rider

24. The movie that won the first “Oscar” for Best Picture was (a) “Jazz Singer;” (b) “Wings;” (c) “All Quiet on the Western Front;” (d) “Grand Hotel”

25. Who played “Trixie” on “The Honeymooners?” (a) Jayne Meadows; (b) Audrey Meadows; (c) Sara Summers; (d) Joyce Randolph

ANSWERS
1. (c); 2. (d); 3. (a); 4. (d); 5.(d); 6.(b); 7. (a) (for “Bohemian Rhapsody”); 8. (a); 9. (b); 10. (c); 11. (b); 12.(d); 13. (a); 14. (c); 15.(c); 16. (a); 17. (c); 18. (a); 19. (d); 20. (d); 21. (d); 22. (c); 23. (a); 24. (b); 25. (d).

Let me know how you did. Also, I am happy to accept suggested questions for my next quiz

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

We have now slogged through one week of impeachment hearings. In my view, the production was a good cure for insomnia. If you managed to watch all of it, you get a gold star.

The Dems have called several witnesses and “surprise, surprise,” as the late entertainer, Jim Nabors, might have said, no “smoking gun,” no firsthand account of any impeachable offense. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised at this. After all, the Dems have led us down this road several times before in the last three years.

During that time, they have promised us “proof” of Mr. Trump’s impeachable activities on several occasions, and none of those has turned out to be true. I won’t bore you with repeating those accusations here. I have covered them, in detail, in previous blogs. Suffice to say, the anti-Trumpers’ credibility is extremely low.

Below please find my opinion of the first week:

1. The “great divide” between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump camps has widened. Both sides are “dug in.” Each is firmly convinced that it is right and the other side is wrong. Every word, every witness, every development is being twisted into two divergent interpretations. There are very few undecideds left, and most of them are not particularly interested in the impeachment process.

For example, Mr. Trump has fired Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. Some of the Dems on the committee focused on how “mean” that was, and they spent much of their time asking how she felt. Was she upset? How did it affect her family? It appeared they were hoping she would break down and cry to create a sound bite for the news. That entire line of questioning was a real time-waster.

The pro-Trumpers pointed out correctly that all executive branch employees serve at the pleasure of the president. He can fire/reassign anyone at any time for any reason. It doesn’t matter if they went to Harvard or Yale, or are decorated combat veterans, or have vast experience, or are nice, decent, loyal employees. Moreover, it is not unusual for a new boss to want his own people working for him, people whom he trusts, people who will support him and execute his policies. Many of us working in the private sector have experienced this when the boss who hired them is replaced. Since when is criticizing or firing someone an impeachable offense? Yovanovitch is supposed to be a tough, seasoned diplomat. Suck it up, and move on.

2. None of the witnesses was able to offer any firsthand account of Mr. Trump having committed an impeachable offense. For example, one of the Dems asked Yovanovitch if she had any knowledge that Mr. Trump accepted any bribes or committed any criminal acts? She responded, “no.” To me, that, right there, said it all.

3. Adam Schiff continues to orchestrate the hearings in a strongly partisan manner. For example, he has continually refused to disclose the identity of the whistleblower; now, he is denying he knows the identity at all. (One would think that as head of the (un)Intelligence Committee he would have vetted the man’s story himself rather than delegating it to staffers.) Furthermore, he has refused to allow the GOP representatives to call their own witnesses; and he has restricted their lines of questioning. For example, yesterday he refused to allow Rep. Elise Stefanik to question a witness. Whether or not this was within the Senate’s rules is besides the point. Ironically, even though Stefanik is a Republican, she has not been a strong, consistent Trump supporter. She has, however, been a critic of the impeachment process, and that has not sat well with Schiff. After the hearings concluded for the day, she told reporters that “nothing in that room today, and nothing in that room earlier this week, [has] rise[n] to the level of impeachable offenses.”

I believe Schiff’s actions constitute a tactical error on his part. He should be bending over backwards to be more accommodating so as to defuse any accusations of partisanship. You may remember that for many months Nancy Pelosi had insisted that the process should be nonpartisan.

4. Mr. Trump has continued to be unable to restrain himself. His tweet about Yovanovitch was unnecessary. Yes, he is entitled to exercise free speech, like anyone else, but it gave the Dems something to salvage the day. But, even if one thinks his behavior is boorish or obnoxious that is not reasonable grounds for impeachment.

5. It is curious how the anti-Trumpers cannot agree on the grounds of impeachment. They are continually trying to change the narrative. First, it was a “quid pro quo.” Then, when that didn’t resonate with the public, they switched to “intimidation.” Now, in the third iteration, the word of the day is “bribery.” Just turn on CNN, MSNBC, or any of the network channels. All the commentators are suddenly using the same word, “bribery.” Amazing how they stay in lockstep as if they all got the same directive. Hmm. According to Fox News they got that word based on a recommendation from a focus group. Obviously, they are trying to find a word that resonates with the public. What will it be tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine.

CONCLUSION

The longer this continues, the more I see it as a serious tactical error on the part of the Dems. “Buyer’s remorse,” anyone?

1. The American public is not buying what they’re selling. Many, if not most, people, are not even paying attention. They don’t see any impeachable offenses. They see it as what it is, a charade. They are busy with their own lives, their own day-to-day issues and problems.

2. The longer this goes on the more vulnerable to defeat the newly-elected 30 or so Dem Reps from districts that Mr. Trump carried in 2016 become. It will be interesting to see how many of them actually vote to impeach.

3. If the House votes to impeach and the Senate takes it up anti-Trumpers may see it as a victory. However, there is a problematic side. (1) It could be a long trial extending well into the primary season. (2) GOPers will be able to call their own witnesses and cross-examine whomever they want. (3) The Dem senators who are running for president will be required to attend the trial, rather than campaign in the field. (4) The economy remains strong, unemployment remains at historic lows, the stock market is setting new highs daily, and ISIS leader, Baghdadi, is dead.

Yes, it looks like the Dems may be hoisted on their own petard.

BYE-BYE BETO; HELLO BLOOMBERG

Lost amid all the significant political news in the past two weeks was the withdrawal of Beto O’Rourke’s ill-fated, some would say contrived, candidacy. From the very beginning Robert Francis O’Rourke’s candidacy was nothing more than fluff, a media creation, a diversion. Slow news day? Do a Beto story. Here he is in a dentist’s chair; there he is in a restaurant addressing the other patrons, arms waiving wildly, standing on a chair; there he is again being interviewed by the border wall admonishing the government to “tear down that wall” as if he were Ronald Reagan addressing Mikhail Gorbachev; there he is again kowtowing to the “View” ladies acknowledging he has been a beneficiary of “white privilege” and apologizing for it. Did anyone take his candidacy seriously? Unlikely. Bye-bye Beto; maybe, we’ll see you again in four years. Or not.

Michael Bloomberg is another story. The best thing I can say about Bloomberg’s presidential prospects is he was a good mayor of NY. That said, in my opinion, he has very little chance to win the nomination, much less the election. He has no natural constituency. The Party leaders don’t want him to run. I can’t see him appealing to the current ultra-liberal wing that dominates the party presently. They are particularly incensed over his “stop and frisk” policy, which worked, by the way. The other candidates view him as a Johnny-come-lately interloper, another old white man seeking to represent the Party of Inclusion. Don’t the Dems already have enough of them running? If he is serious, his money will keep him in the race, but that’s about it. The Dem establishment is afraid he will ultimately run as a third party candidate, which would guarantee Mr. Trump’s re-election.

In my view, his declaration is a symptom of what I and many others have been saying, namely that the current Dem field is weak, and, despite what the current polls may say, none of the current crop has a realistic chance to defeat President Trump. (In my view, this is a major reason why they are so hell-bent on pursuing impeachment. It makes no sense otherwise, since polls show that most people don’t believe that Mr. Trump committed any transgression that rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Furthermore, they can’t convict him in the GOP-dominated Senate. Moreover, it will make the 30 or so Dems that won districts in 2018 that Mr. Trump had won in 2016 particularly vulnerable to defeat in 2020.)

Let’s look at the four leaders. Sanders, an avowed Socialist, is nothing more than a disrupter. I can’t picture Americans electing a Socialist.

Biden is a human gaffe machine with tremendous baggage in his past, which I have detailed in previous blogs. Also, let’s not forget the current mess involving his son Hunter. If Biden manages to secure the nomination this issue will surely be front and center in the general election. Moreover, he doesn’t seem to have the energy for a long, hard campaign.

Warren is doomed by her cockamamie “Medicare for all” plan, which she has admitted would necessitate a tax increase not just on the wealthy, but the middle class as well.

Mayor Pete? I don’t think so. Maybe in 2024 with a little more experience on the national stage.

The Dem establishment is getting desperate. It is like an open “casting call.” It reminds me a little of the 1960 election when the Dems were so desperate to keep Richard Nixon out of the White House that they prevailed upon Lyndon Johnson to resign his powerful position in the Senate and run as JFK’s vice president. He despised JFK, but he despised Nixon more.

CONCLUSION

Who’s next? Your guess is as good as mine. The Dems don’t exactly have a “deep bench.” One possibility being floated is former MA governor, Deval Patrick. Who? His chief qualification is that he is a close friend of Obama’s. He has issued denials, but we all know what that means.

Michele Obama is on many people’s wish list. She also has adamantly denied she will run, but who knows..

And then, there’s always Hillary. Despite her denials, it’s obvious she would love to run again. She’s just lying in the weeds, waiting in the wings, like a vulture, hoping to swoop right in and “pick up the pieces,” claim her “birthright,” which she steadfastly maintains was “stolen” from her in 2016. After denying continually and adamantly that she would not run, (as recently as March, she flatly ruled it out), now she is saying “never say never… I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.” By the way, who are these “many, many, many people?” Furthermore, as she is fond of saying, she did win the popular vote in 2016. LOL.

Hold on to your seats. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

VETERANS DAY QUIZ

Many of you have requested a quiz. So, here it is, and in honor of Veterans Day it has a military theme. Good luck and no peeking at the internet. No consulting “Alexa.”

1. Who was the US president during the first war against the Barbary Pirates? (a) George Washington, (b) John Adams, (c) Thomas Jefferson, (d James Monroe

2. The WWI battle that inspired the poem “In Flanders Field” took place in (a) Ardennes, (b) Charleroi, (c) Gallipoli, (d) Ypres

3. Each of the following presidents had been renowned generals, EXCEPT: a) Teddy Roosevelt, (b) Andrew Jackson, (c) Zachary Taylor, (d) Franklyn Pierce

4. “Pickett’s Charge” was the turning point of what Civil War battle? (a) Bull Run, (b) Manassas, (c) Gettysburg, (d) Fredericksburg

5. The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” refers to which Revolutionary War battle? (a) Boston, (b) Lexington, (c) Concord, (d) NY

6. Tripoli, the stronghold of the Barbary Pirates, was located in what present-day country? (a) Libya, (b) Algeria, (c) Tunisia, (d)Egypt

7. The Alamo is located in which city? (a) Houston, (b) San Antonio, (c) Austin, (d) Galveston

8. The US fought the Gulf War against (a) Iran, (b) Syria, (c) Kuwait, (d) Iraq

9. Who said “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead.” (a) David Farragut, (b) John Paul Jones, (c) Ethan Allen, (d) Jonathan Eli

10. Which was resulted in the highest number of casualties? (a) WWI, (b) WWII, (c) Korean War, (d) Civil War

11. Fort Sumter is located in which state? (a) North Carolina, (b) South Carolina, (c) Georgia, (d) Alabama

12. Custer’s Last Stand took place in which modern-day state? (a) North Dakota, (b) South Dakota, (c) Montana, (d) Idaho

13. Each of the following was a WWII battle in the Pacific theatre, EXCEPT (a) El Alamein, (b) Guadalcanal, (c) Okinawa, (d) Midway

14. Who was the US President during WWI? (a) Teddy Roosevelt, (b) Woodrow Wilson, (c) William Howard Taft, (d) Warren Harding

15. When General Douglas MacArthur said “I shall return,” to which country was he referring? (a) Australia, (b) New Guinea, (c) Guam, (d) Philippines

16. The Korean War began in (1) 1949, (b) 1950, (c) 1951, (d) 1952

17. Who was president during the Spanish-American War? (a) Grover Cleveland, (b) James Garfield, (c) Rutherford B. Hayes, (d) William McKinley

18. Where is Mt. Suribachi? (a) Iwo Jima, (b) Okinawa, (c) Tarawa, (d) Japan

19. Where is Vicksburg? (a) Alabama, (b) Louisiana, (c) Missouri, (d) Mississippi

20. When was the Veterans Administration founded? (a) 1870, (b) 1930, (c) 1950, (d) 1972

ANSWERS: 1. c; 2. d; 3. a; 4. c; 5. c; 6. a; 7. b; 8. d; 9. a; 10. d; (more than all the other wars combined. 11. b; 12. c; 13. a; 14. b; 15. d; 16. b; 17. d. 18. a; 19. d; 20. b.

Well, there you have it. Tell me how you did, good or (as my grandson used to say) not so good.

TRUMP’S PHONE CALL WITH UKRANIAN PRESIDENT AND THE WHISTLEBLOWER

As most of you know by now, the House Dems have initiated an impeachment investigation against President Trump. To no one’s surprise, they are being aided and abetted by their allies in the mainstream media. Their primary basis for it is the phone call on July 25 between Mr. Trump and Ukranian President Volodimyr Zelensky. Specifically, the anti-Trumpers are claiming that as a quid pro quo to a foreign aid package Mr. Trump pressured Zelensky to re-open an investigation into certain questionable activities regarding Joe and Hunter Biden.

In order to provide some context to this assertion it is important to remember that the movement to impeach Mr. Trump did not begin with the phone call. Actually, it began before he even took office. It began on Election Day 2016 even before the last vote was counted. It began as soon as it became apparent he had won the election to the surprise and dismay of the establishment.

First, there were various FBI officials emailing and tweeting each other about an “insurance policy” should he win. Many of us were mystified at the time as to what that cryptic phrase meant. Well, we soon found out. Soon after the election, the anti-Trumpers initiated a campaign to convince the voters that Mr. Trump and his campaign had participated in election fraud, for instance, tampering with voting machines. After all, in their minds he couldn’t possibly have won legitimately.

Then, he was accused of conspiring with Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Many of you will recall the infamous “dossier” and legally questionable FISA warrants. These led to the Mueller investigation, which took three years and millions of dollars, and in the end the team of attorneys, whose objectivity was open to question, found no collusion and no obstruction. Not content with that aforementioned conclusion the House (un)Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Mueller to testify hoping to find that elusive “smoking gun.”

They also subpoenaed a bevy of other people, including former FBI Director, Jim Comey. All of them “struck out.” On various occasions Chairman Adam Schiff has sworn he was in possession of damaging information, and in all cases he was ultimately shown to be lying. And on and on it has gone. Yada, yada, yada. I can’t keep track of all the disinformation, obfuscation and outright lying, nor do I want to.

In the sage words of Hillary Clinton, “what difference at this point does it matter?” Mr. Trump has been the president for three years and we are less than one year until the next election. By the time the impeachment process and possible trial in the Senate will have concluded we will likely be at or near Election Day. So why bother? What is the point? I will provide my opinion on that below.

In summary, none of these claims has provided the “smoking gun” that the anti-Trumpers have longed for. For three years the Dems and their allies in the media have subjected the country to one false claim after another while the Congress has accomplished virtually nothing of substance. It has ignored the major issues the voters want addressed, what they elected them to address, such as healthcare, border security, infrastructure and income inequality. And now, comes the latest one – the phone call.

The Dems and their allies in the media, aka the anti-Trumpers, have adamantly claimed that the phone conversation contains a quid pro quo, a foreign aid package in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens. I have read the transcript as, probably, most of you have. I did not see any “smoking gun,” no blatant quid pro quo. The foreign aid package is not even mentioned. The tone is cordial. Mr. Trump congratulates Mr. Zelensky on his “great victory.” Zelensky praises Trump for showing him a blueprint for success, eg. “I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge.” Zelensky actually states he wants to “drain the swamp” in his own country. He notes some of the changes he has made already, such as the ambassador and the prosecutor. He assures Mr. Trump that “all investigations will be done openly and candidly.” In the ensuing press conference Zelensky made a point of asserting that “no one pressured me.”

Keep in mind, the foreign aid package could have been delayed for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with the Biden investigation, for instance, until we had some assurance that the corruption that had plagued the Ukraine in the previous administration was being addressed. We’re not really sure. Don’t assume the worst.

The one comment that anti-Trumpers have seized upon is when Mr. Trump said “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son that Biden stopped the prosecution[,] and a lot of people want to find out[,] so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution [True. It’s on tape.] so if you can look into it…” Zelensky “ensure[d] [Mr. Trump] that we will be very serious about the case.” That’s it. No mention of the foreign aide package, nor a quid pro quo.

That said, if one is an anti-Trumper desperate to “get him” on something I can see how one could choose to interpret that exchange as a subtle threat of a quid pro quo. But, I think that is a big stretch, certainly not enough on which to base an impeachment of a duly-elected president less than a year from the next election.

And now to the 500 pound gorilla in the room – the whistleblower. The Dems and the media have been steadfastly guarding his identity, ostensibly to protect him. But, if they are going to use his information in the impeachment process common sense would say they must identify him so that the GOP representatives can cross examine him. Also, that pesky little document known as the Constitution states that Mr. Trump, like anyone else, has the right to face his accuser. Otherwise, how do we know what he is saying is true? Are we supposed to take Schiff’s word for it? The same Schiff who has lied repeatedly? That is preposterous on its face.

According to Paul Sperry, reporting for “RealClearInvestigations” the identity of the whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella, a CIA analyst who had been assigned to the White House. Sperry quoted national security advisor, Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, as saying that Ciaramella’s name has been “bandied about on twitter feeds and intelligence blogs” for weeks. It’s an open secret in the media. “CNN, the NYT, the Washington Post, even the President all know.” So, what’s the point of all this secrecy?

According to Sperry, Ciaramella is a holdover from the Obama WH staff who has worked closely with Joe Biden and John Brennan, among others. According to a former NSC official he has, on many occasions, leaked information negative to the Administration to the media. Furthermore, before going public he met with Schiff’s staff, or possibly Schiff, himself for “guidance.”

Given the foregoing, he is hardly an objective observer, and his comments should be taken with a big “grain of salt.” Why am I not surprised. Supposedly, next week he and other witnesses will be called upon to testify publicly, and then we can all form our own opinions.

CONCLUSION

So, what are fair-minded people supposed to make of all this? Why are the anti-Trumpers pushing so aggressively for impeachment. Everyone knows, that even if it were to pass the Dem-dominated House it would have virtually no chance of passing the Senate with the requisite 2/3 vote. In fact, Mitch McConnell has indicated there is a chance that the Senate will not even “take it up.”

In my opinion, the anti-Trumpers are desperate to defeat Mr. Trump in November, but they realize they have little chance of doing so, particularly with the current field. I believe that is why Bloomberg has entered the race, and other candidates, such as Hillary Clinton, may follow. Therefore, they are hoping that the impeachment process will be their “Hail Mary.” Good luck.

To be fair, according to the Constitution the House has an absolute right to proceed with impeachment if it concludes that there is sufficient grounds, such as “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Although the Constitution does not define that phrase clearly the Founding Fathers intended for it to be a high bar. I don’t think disliking the president personally meets that test, but that’s just my opinion. Note, only three presidents have been impeached – Johnson, Nixon and Clinton – and none has been convicted in the Senate.

No one really knows what it means, but Gerald Ford, the only person to have served as both president and vice president without having been elected to either office, provided some guidance. During the Nixon impeachment investigation he famously intoned “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” So, based on that, if a majority of the House wants to impeach Mr. Trump based on ambiguous language in a phone call, I say go for it. Just remember that Bill Clinton received a big bump following his impeachment and his “crimes” were a lot more serious. So, beware of the consequences, particularly among Dems who won in 2018 in states that Mr. Trump carried decisively in 2016.

MASSACRE IN MEXICO

Now, they’ve done it. Now, they’ve gone too far. The cartels, that is. It’s bad enough that they routinely murder ordinary Mexican citizens indiscriminately, flagrantly, and violently. (According to Fox News some 90 Mexicans are murdered per day. That’s nearly 33,000 per year folks, and that’s just the ones we know about. In addition, the Mexican government reported some 30,000 persons missing in 2016, the latest figures available. It is likely that is a low estimate. The Washington Post puts the number at 40,000. Regardless, it is horrifying since the likelihood is that all of them are dead as well.)

It’s bad enough that the cartels intimidate and murder journalists and government officials from the president of the country on down to minor local officials. It’s bad enough that they pour drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, into the US, which are poisoning Americans at a record rate. It’s bad enough that they rape and murder innocent migrants who are travelling to America seeking a better life. Now, they’ve “graduated” into murdering innocent Americans, including women and children. More on that later.

Heretofore, most Americans have been ambivalent about the aforementioned crimes. They don’t condone them by any means, but, for the most part, they are not cognizant of the extent of the problem. They’re too busy with their daily lives, and the murders are occurring out of the limelight in another country. They haven’t been too keen to support aggressive action against the cartels, such as securing the border or deploying troops. But now, things may be different.

Most Americans were shocked and angered by the savage, unprovoked attack. Moreover, the cartel gunmen were not content to murder the innocents; they burned them alive, including women and children. In my opinion, they weren’t content to merely “poke the bear” so to speak. They issued an “in your face” taunt to America, to which I believe we are compelled to respond. More on that later.

It is no secret that crime has been one of, if not the, most serious issue in Mexico, and drug trafficking has played a major role. There has been ample evidence that the cartels, not the government, run the country. By many measurements Mexico is a failed state.

The UN has estimated that 90% of the cocaine sold in the US is distributed through Mexico. The drugs enter by land, sea, air and tunnel. They enter by the kilo and by the individual packet. Once in the US the cartels coordinate further distribution with various gangs, such as MS-13. US government officials are very aware of the problem, but so far, for various reasons, they have had limited success in rectifying it. This is not exactly “breaking news,” but I feel it needs repeating here to provide a proper background to this latest atrocity.

A small group of American Mormons has been living in the mountains of northwest Mexico, near the Arizona-New Mexico border since the 1880s. Yes, their village is in close proximity to the Sonora drug cartel. Yes, there have been isolated instances of violence, such as the murder of anti-crime activist, Benjamin LeBaron in 2009, but, for the most part, they have managed to co-exist. As Adam Langford, whose great-grandfather was one of the original settlers, told a Washington Post reporter a few days ago, “basically, it was ‘we won’t bother you if you don’t bother us.’ ” Ironically, Langford offered that many in the community had been wondering if it was “time to move back to the US.” Indeed, the village’s population has dwindled to about 100.

As most of you know, this peaceful co-existence was shattered suddenly and irrevocably last Monday, November 4. According to the Washington Post cartel gunmen stopped a caravan of three SUVs on an isolated dirt road and suddenly, for no apparent reason, opened fire.

Among the murdered were three women and six children, including babies. They were shot at close range, including one mother who begged them to spare her children. This would seem to contradict the notion that has been put forth in some quarters, such as the Mexican government, that it was a case of mistaken identity. How could the gunmen fail to identify a woman with her hands raised, not to mention the children? Also, spent shell casings were found just a few yards from the cars.

Most of the evidence indicates they were targeted deliberately, perhaps, by a rival cartel as part of an intensifying turf war with the Sonoran cartel. Langford characterized it as “a massacre, 100% a massacre.” I submit, it doesn’t really matter why it happened, so much as it did, and it may not be the end.

According to reporter Peter Orsi the incident occurred at 9:40 am, and the Mexican soldiers did not arrive at the scene until 6:15 pm. Why did it take several hours to respond? I know law enforcement is spread pretty thinly in the area, but that is a flimsy excuse. During all this time eight surviving children, five of which were wounded, lay hiding in the mountains, no doubt scared to death.

CONCLUSION

Okay. So now what do we do? How do we respond? It is not an easy answer. I have heard and read various opinions, ranging from merely lodging a diplomatic protest to deploying troops in Mexico. I am not necessarily advocating either of those actions, but I recommend the following:

1. Put more pressure on Mexican President Obrador to toughen his policies toward the cartels. Heretofore, he has taken a very passive approach and has resisted implementing tougher policies. He may be afraid; or he may have been bought off or threatened. I don’t know, but Mr. Trump has various ways to pressure him to a more aggressive approach. Economic sanctions? Close the border? Maybe offer a quid pro quo of sorts? (Just kidding, or maybe not.)

2. Offer assistance or aid, perhaps a joint military operation.

3. Strengthen the border. Surely, the anti-wall crowd can now see the folly of their intransigent position (or maybe not).

4. Designate the cartels as terrorist organizations.

5. Explore what the UN can do, although generally they are of little help in situations such as this.

6. Whatever action President Trumps takes, ideally, it should be with bipartisan support.

There are probably additional approaches that I have not thought of. I welcome your constructive thoughts/comments.

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY – NOVEMBER

Below please find a list of what I consider to be significant historical events that occurred during the month of November.

11/1 – All Hallows Day, aka All Saints Day. Many of us observe the day before this holiday as Halloween.
11/1/1848 – The first women’s medical school opened in Boston, MA. It was founded by a Mr. Samuel Gregory and “boasted” twelve students. In 1874 it became part of the Boston University School of Medicine, becoming one of the first co-ed medical schools. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, today, women comprise approximately 1/2 of all medical students.
11/1/1950 – President Harry S Truman, whom many historians consider to have been one of our greatest presidents, survived an assassination attempt by two members of a Puerto Rican nationalist movement.
11/2/1962 – President Kennedy announced that all Soviet missiles in Cuba were being dismantled and their installations destroyed, thus signaling the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. On 11/20 he announced that all missile sites had been dismantled. Unbeknownst to the general public, that crisis was probably the closest we ever came to nuclear war.
11/3/1948 – The Chicago Tribune published its famous, or infamous, headline “Dewey Defeats Truman,” arguably, the most embarrassing headline ever.
11/4/1862 – Richard Gatling patented his first rapid-firing machine gun, which utilized rotating barrels to load, fire and extract the spent cartridges. The gun bares his name.
11/4/1942 – In the battle generally considered to be one of the turning points of WWII (along with Stalingrad and Midway) the British defeated the Germans at El Alamein (North Africa).
11/7/1811 – General (and future president) William Henry Harrison defeated the Shawnee Indians in the Battle of Tippecanoe Creek, which was located in present-day Indiana. The battle gave rise to the chief slogan of Harrison’s presidential campaign – “Tippecanoe and Tyler too.”
11/7/1885 – Canada’s first transcontinental railroad was completed, opening up the western part of the country to settlement.
11/7/1962 – Former Vice President Richard Nixon, having lost the California gubernatorial election decisively to Edmund Brown gave his famous farewell speech to reporters, telling them they “wouldn’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen this is my last press conference.” As we know, Nixon made a comeback in 1968 narrowly defeating Hubert Humphrey for the presidency.
11/8/1895 – Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the electromagnetic ray, aka, X-rays.
11/8/1942 – The Allies landed successfully in North Africa (Operation Torch).
11/9&10/1938 – All over Germany Nazis terrorized Jews, burning, pillaging and vandalizing synagogues, homes and businesses in what became known infamously as Kristallnacht.
11/10/1775 – The Marine Corps was established as part of the Navy.
11/10/1871 – Explorer Henry Stanley finds Dr. Livingston after a two-year search. There is doubt that he actually uttered the attributed phrase “Dr. Livingston, I presume.”
11/11/1973 – Egypt and Israel signed a momentus cease-fire accord sponsored by the US.
11/13/1927 – The Holland Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel built in the US, which is named not for the country, but for Clifford Holland, the engineer who designed and led the construction of the project, opened connecting NYC and NJ.
11/13/1956 – The Supreme Court declared racial segregation on public buses to be unconstitutional.
11/15/1864 – Union soldiers, under the command of General William Sherman, burned much of the City of Atlanta.
11/17/1869 – The Suez Canal opened after taking 10+ years to complete.
11/19/1863 – President Abraham Lincoln delivered the famous Gettysburg Address.
11/20/1789 – NJ became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
11/20/1945 – The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials began. Twenty-four former leaders of Nazi Germany were tried for various war crimes.
11/22/1963 – President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald who, in turn, was later assassinated by Jack Ruby. Hours later, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president while on board Air Force One.
11/28/1520 – Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan rounded the southern tip of South America, passing through what is now the Strait of Magellan, crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.

In addition, the following notables, who made significant contributions to society, were born during November:

Daniel Boone (frontiersman) – 11/2/1734; President James K. Polk (11th President) – 11/2/1795; Will Rogers (humorist) – 11/4/1879; Walter Cronkite (tv anchor/journalist) – 11/4/1916; John Philip Sousa (musical conductor) – 11/6/1854; James Naismith (inventor of basketball) – 11/6/1861; Marie Curie (chemist who discovered radium) – 11/7/1867; Billy Graham (evangelist) – 11/7/1918; Edmund Halley (astronomer/mathematician who discovered Halley’s Comet) – 11/8/1656; Christiaan Barnard (pioneer of heart transplant operations) – 11/8/1922; Richard Burton (actor) – 11/10/1925; George Patton (WWII General) – 11/11/1885; Auguste Rodin (sculptor of “The Thinker,” among others) – 11/12/1840; Elizabeth Cady Stanton (suffragist) – 11/12/1815; Grace Kelly (actress/princess) – 11/12/1929; Louis Brandeis (Supreme Court justice) – 11/13/1856; Robert Louis Stevenson (author) 11/13/1850; Robert Fulton (inventor of the steamboat) – 11/14/1765; Claude Monet (pioneered impressionist painting) – 11/14/1840; Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first Prime Minister) – 11/14/1889; Louis Daguerre (invented daguerreotype process of developing photographs) – 11/18/1789; James A. Garfield (20th President) – 11/19/1831; Indira Gandhi (Indian Prime Minister) – 11/19/1917; Edwin Hubble (astronomer for whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named) – 11/20/1889; Robert Kennedy (JFK’s brother, Attorney General and US Senator from NY) – 11/20/1925; Charles De Gaulle (French WWII hero and president of France) – 11/22/1890; Franklyn Pierce (14th President) – 11/23/1804; William (Billy the Kid) Bonney (notorious outlaw) – 11/23/1859; William Henry Platt (aka Boris Karloff) (famed horror movie star) – 11/23/1887; Zachary Taylor (12th President) – 11/24/1784; Andrew Carnegie (financier and philanthropist) – 11/25/1835; John Harvard (founder of Harvard University in 1636) – 11/26/1607; Anders Celsius (invented Celsius, aka centigrade, temperature scale) – 11/27/1701; Chaim Weizmann (Israeli statesman) – 11/27/1874; Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, (author) – 11/30/1835; Winston Churchill (British Prime Minister during WWII) – 11/30/1874.