A Break In The Weather

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Boom boom boom boom …. the thunder echoed through the valley, between the hills that surrounded my hometown. The air was thick, heavy, electric. Something was going to break.

It was early evening on August 8, 1974. My mother, a loyal Republican who worked tirelessly every election day from 6am to past 9pm at the polls for her district in the local voting place, was antsy, uneasy, tears in her eyes. “Let’s go to the library,” she said to me. I readily agreed; the walk would be good to escape a stuffy house, especially one in which my brother & sister were cheering, hooting: the President was about to announce his resignation. I sensed the generational divide & the depth at which my mother’s foundation was shaken. Thank goodness we lived in a community where the David A. Howe Public Library (pictured) was open evenings. A haven of cool peace. Escape.

The day before, August 7, Senator Barry Goldwater, House Republican Leader John Jacob Rhodes & Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott had visited with President Nixon to make plain the fact that he could no longer avoid the reality of impeachment in the House & conviction in the Senate. He had maybe 16-18 supporters left in the Senate; the House wasn’t much better.

From Fred Emery’s book Watergate

What clinched it, though, was the certainty that not only had he lost the congressional support of his own party and his natural allies among conservative Democrats, also that they would actually convict him at trial and remove him from office.

Forty + years later an interesting remembrance, considering the times.


A Poem from Robert Burns

To A Mouse

But little mouse, you are not alone,

In proving foresight may be vain;

The best laid schemes of mice and men

Go often askew,

And leave us nothing but grief and pain,

For promised joy!

More Posts by SJWNY


33 thoughts on “A Break In The Weather”

  1. terrific thread, sjwny.  thank you…. and special thanks for the timely poem.

    the best laid schemes of mice and Manafort, indeed, can go astray….. as well as the skewed schemes of the rodent-in-chief.

  2. wapo:

    on the ninth floor of the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., the first defendant to face a jury in the year-and-a-half-old investigation — Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort — looked pale as he tried to make eye contact with the just-seated, racially mixed jury of six men and six women.
    He smiled wanly. The jurors did not smile back.

    The nation’s inaugural look at special counsel Mueller’s team in action started with a bang. Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye, brought onto the special counsel’s staff from the Alexandria federal prosecutor’s office for this case, faced the jury and declared: “A man in this courtroom believed the law did not apply to him.”
    But Asonye’s effort to deliver a classically simple, prosecutor’s zinger of an opening got tripped up as U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III interrupted Asonye twice in his first minute, first admonishing him to steer away from bold assertions and only tell the jury what the evidence would show, then halting the prosecutor’s description of Manafort’s lavish lifestyle.

    “It isn’t a crime to be profligate in your spending,” Ellis said.

    With more than a dozen of his colleagues from the federal investigation alongside and behind him, Asonye recovered quickly, keeping jurors riveted through a 26-minute opening statement that portrayed Manafort as someone who lied about his taxes, his income, his business and a litany of other topics.
    Mueller’s prosecutors, nearly all in dark navy-blue suits, had entered the courtroom with a studied determination. They wheeled in 10 boxes of documents on two carts. They sat among themselves before the proceedings began, trading stories about scary judges and their first year in law school.
    They looked, in contrast with Manafort’s defense team, like Alexandria, the diverse Potomac riverfront suburb where the trial is being held because Manafort lives nearby. The prosecution table included Asonye, who is African American; two younger white men; and a female FBI agent.

  3. SJ,  I appreciate the more modern version of Burns. I remember struggling with the original when I took British poetry in college. We spent a day on Mouse and Louse trying to get the drift. I’d say SFB and Manafort might consider the last 6 lines of Mouse.

    The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
              Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
              For promis’d joy!

    Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
              On prospects drear!
    An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
              I guess an’ fear!

  4. August 8th and 9th  My mother had escaped Ohio to visit California and we were all excited that Nixon would, at last, be gone.  On the 9th we went to Ghiradelli Sq and celebrated with 1/2 of SF that was there.  It was a splendid night.

  5. I wonder if they’re going to let him wear his $15,000 Ostrich jacket to the trial.

    As I continue to read the plethora of tweets from the narcissist, calling for Sessions to stop the investigation, blaming the witch hunt on 17 angry Democrats, etc. I am becoming more and more convinced that we are going to see some kind of Saturday Night Massacre – probably after the mid-terms, and especially if republicans maintain control of the house.

  6. You cannot lump the young voters into a group and say they have one characteristic.

    First time registered — they do vote  — it drops off as they get older until 25 when many do stop voting.

    And they were never the key to the Obama victory   they did not vote in extraordinary numbers  they were normal

  7. Jamie, can’t wait to get your reaction to this… talk about chutzpah, a registered indy denying a lifelong dem a place on the dem ballot!


    from the hill:  Sanders, Warren question whether Dem primary is big enough for both of them


    Yet sources say tensions lie beneath the surface, including over Warren’s decision to remain neutral in the 2016 primary between Sanders and Hillary Clinton, a more centrist politician. 
    “There’s definitely a built-in rivalry there and there’s definitely some unspoken tension,” said one Sanders associate, who worked on the senator’s 2016 presidential bid.
    If the two both make a charge for their party’s ring in 2020, it will be difficult to avoid raising tensions further.
    “Bernie feels he did run and did enormously well and he’s earned the right to run again,” said the Sanders associate, who put it on Warren to determine whether she wanted to take on Sanders.
    “She’s got to figure out if there’s room for the two of them. He’s the one who was there, has an organization, still has his following and he’s still getting huge crowds wherever he goes,” the associate added.

  8. SJWNY

    The last verse of that poem is pretty much where we are today
    Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
              On prospects drear!
    An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
              I guess an’ fear!

  9. patd

    Reaction is the same as for all the current primaries etc.  If a candidate is backed by Bernie, they can burn in hell for all I care.  All backing goes to the one endorsed by actual Democrats, Emily’s list, and the state party where the election is taking place.  Ocasio what’s her face is showing how ridiculous it is when one of them wins … all knee jerk talking points straight from the Bernie cult with little to know actual knowledge of history and issues.  Unless she does a pretty steep learning curve, I don’t expect her to last long in office.

    Warren is more knowledgable and a better politician than lazy “more for me from day one” Bernie, but I would be concerned about her electability.  If it comes down to a war between the two, it could truly mess up chances for taking back the House.  A candidate needs to fit their district.  You can’t throw a far left blue into a purple state and expect a win in the current climate of voter suppression.

  10. “Different people have different approaches at different times. Here is mine for the next two and half years: WHEN THEY GO LOW, WE HIT HARDER,” Avenatti tweeted, adding the hashtags “#Basta” and “#FightClub.”

  11. Bernie and Biden too old

    Nancy P has to go because she is too old? and yet the same people think Bernie and Biden are just fine.


  12. Pogo

    My apologies.  I missed that you had already quoted the last verse.  If you are practicing your Scots, you might start with this blessing:

    May the best ye’ve ever seen
    Be the worst ye’ll ever see
    May a moose ne’er leave yer girnal
    Wi’ a tear drap in his e’e
    May ye aye keep hale an’ he’rty
    Till ye’re auld eneuch tae dee
    May ye aye be jist as happy
    As we wish ye aye tae be

    Fun alternate to line five: May your lum keep blithely reekin

  13. Question:  I know we elected an African American in 2008 – but Bernie is Jewish.  With all of the hatred and ranker, and the rise of the white supremacy movement again (thanks to the narcissist), does anyone thing someone who is jewish has a chance at winning the presidency?

  14. Finally a moment to checkin. Dad discharged from hospital, at Urology clinic now for tests. Not an infection, still being studied. He actually feels good, despite bloody urine. Enlarged prostate prime suspect.

    SJ, thanks much for the fine post.

  15. dv300…  I think the type of person that would or wouldn’t vote for someone for president based on their religion is very much in the minority.  Such a person probably wouldn’t vote for a woman(even if they were female themselves) and/or a gay person either.

    It’s unfortunate that such people exist in this country…  but, IMO, they are on the wrong side of history.

    Craig… good news on your dad!

  16. Poobah – your dad’s kidneys are OK I hope?

    Have to laugh at the too old and fresh faced needing 2 years OTJT.  We have the convergence of both in the current WH occupant.

    Jamie – I practiced my Scots (with a deepish drawl back then) when I was majoring in English at UofA and was a miserable failure.  My mastery of foreign languages is very poor (my southern drawl/french accent made my French instructors laugh) and drains me too much to give it another shot.  I’m thinking SFB would be well served to take Burns to heart – but Ode to a Mouse may be too lengthy a read for him.  I think it runs even beyond the extended tweet limit.

  17. renee, thanks for that bit of news on franken.  glad to see that amy klobuchar is helping to bring him back into the fold.

    amy, sally yates and yes even oprah should not be overlooked or shunted aside.   however,  number 1 priority should be getting out the vote for 2018.  and should for sure be of utmost importance in the activity of any aspiring prez-wannabe who’s thinking ahead.

    let sleeping and sleepy old dogs lay or lie as the case may be.  long time before 2020 and a lot of things could happen in the interim.

  18. Mr Crawford, I hope Dad had a cystoscopy or scan to make sure there were no bladder or kidney growths.

  19. August 8-9, 1974, Columbus AFB, MS.  Still have the preserved Memphis newspaper.  My best memories of the time is watching Tricky Dicky waving from the hellofacopter on his way out of town.  He left still not understanding why.  SFB has no clue about the real world, just floating through his alternate fact snow globe.

    It looks like the moron in chief is going berserk from the pressures of the Paulie trial covering how Putin owned the bast$rd.  He knows that will be him in the near future.  And that Mueller is getting close to dropping the report and indictments on the spawn of the orange cow pie and leaving an indictment sitting in a court that names him.

  20. Welp…….when I read:

    Boom boom boom boom

    i immediately heard John Lee Hooker…..I read on but it was too late.


  21. Well, had to drive to a coastal South Texas town to pick up my uhaul for our move tomorrow.  Tried to make small-talk with the person working there.  Basically I was curious how Harvey effected her town (my town was crushed).  All of a sudden she’s on a rant about how HAARP is controlling and weaponizing weather, and since no one likes South Texas – we were targeted with Harvey.

    Jesus Christ – are there that many whacko people out there?  Thank Faux News.

  22. abc news:

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office wants to ask President Donald Trump about obstruction of justice, among other topics, sources close to the White House tell ABC News. According to sources, the president learned within the last day that the special counsel will limit the scope of questioning and would like to ask questions both orally and written for the President to respond to.

    According to sources familiar with the President’s reaction Wednesday morning, that was the genesis for his early morning tweet storm. Trump took to twitter in one of his strongest attacks against the federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying: “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”

    Negotiations over a potential presidential interview have gone on for months, through several different iterations of the Trump legal team. Current lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told ABC News a week ago that his team had submitted a response to Mueller asking to limit the scope of an interview with Trump especially as it relates to obstruction of justice.


  23. Having trouble editing with my phone. New thread from Pat coming at noon. If anyone can get new posts submitted night before it’s easier to handle on desktop when I’m home. We are spending our days with docs.

  24. Craig, continue with your very important work; the site will take care of itself with Jamie, Pat, et alia around to kick it in the butt.

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