It been one year since Harvey Weinstein was outed as a serial sexual predator who attacked several young women. Within days his Hollywood empire crumbled.
Within a month after Weinstein’s fall Matt Lauer, host of NBC’s Today show was accused of sexual harassment by 8 women. He was promptly fired and his career ended.
The most recent fall from grace was Les Moonves the rich and powerful Chairman of CBS. After allegations of sexual harassment and assault by several women Moonves was forced to step down on September 9, 2018.
As this is written there are mass demonstrations in Washington DC and around the nation on the confirmation process of Judge Kavanaugh. This will be discussed in a subsequent blog.
My old friend Chuck Grassley became 83 today. There is only one other Senator, Diane Feinstein, who is this old.
What is most impressive about Grassley is how healthy he is. He runs one and a half miles every day from home to work. During the course of the day he does 30 push-ups. This is something that I could not do when I was a young man going through basic training in the Army.
Anyone who has read my two flat Belly books of my latest book “Run/Walk for your Life : Take TA 65 to Reverse Your Age” knows that I am a fitness addict. You can appreciate how impressed I am with this.
Grassley has a good chance of topping Strom Thurman’s record of staying in the Senate until he was 100.
Michael R. McLeod
This is the tenth anniversary of the beginning of The Great Recession. It began in 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a global financial services firm. Five years ago I watched a movie “On the Brink” that featured Hank Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury at the time.
This financial collapse was blamed on the derivatives market. This caused me a great deal of concern, because as the chief counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee I drafted the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act of 1974. I did so with the collaboration and advice of Richard Sandor, who was then the chief economist of the Chicago Board of Trade.
Sandor was so distressed that he wrote a well documented book titled “Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation” This Book Has been translated into several languages. Sandor has been to China several times to counsel the authorities there on how to avoid such a collapse. His book is available on Kindle as well as print form.
This collapse had a lot to do with the defeat of John McCain by Barack Obama in 2008. McCain admitted that he did not understand the economy very well. I was working hard to get McCain elected, and I pleaded with his staff to get him to announce that he would appoint Mitt Romney to be his Secretary of Treasury and Economic Czar. Romney is a self-made multimillionaire who certainly understands the economy.
My advice was ignored and the rest is history.
Once again, Bob Woodward , associate editor of the Washington Post, has done a masterful job of reporting on an America President. His first book was “All The President’s Men”. It tells how, as young police reporters he and Carl Bernstein reported on a break-in of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office building in Washington, DC.
This scandal would come to be know as Watergate. A long series of hearings in a room next to my offices in the Senate Agriuculture Committee would be know as the Watergate Hearings. The hearing room of my offices was used as a holding room for witnesses who had been subpoenaed, as well as their attorneys. I got to see them often. One witness was John Dean, the guy who blew the whistle on Richard Nixon. He was represented by Bob McCandless, who was an Oklahoma friend of JD Williams and mine.
John Dean was again in the news because he testified last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings on Judge Kavanaugh for a position on the Supreme Court. He warned that the confirmation of Kavanaugh would lead to the “most presidential-powers friendly” Supreme Court of the modern age.
Over the years Bob Woodward has covered every American President. He gets people to talk on “deep background”, which means he will not quote them. He has as much or more credibility than any reporter I know. His book is bad news for Donald Trump and his minions.
Michael R. McLeod
The hearing today at the Senate Judiciary Committee (September 4) on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh is the most polarized I have ever witnessed. The senators were yelling at each other. Citizens in the audience were yelling and had to be ushered out by the Capitol Police. My old friend Chairman Chuck Grassley had a hard time trying to maintain order.
The US Senate has been the most civil of all political bodies. I worked for and with members of the Senate my entire career. My old mentor Senator Robert C Byrd of West Virginia must be rolling over in his grave. He would work patiently with Republicans as well as his fellow Democrats to maintain civility in the Senate.
I talked about Senator Byrd in my previous book “The Death of Civility and Common Sense”. I will do so again in the sequel to this book. The elephant in the room was President Trump. He has poisoned the political climate in the nation so badly that nothing gets done. This is what what my friend John McCain said before he died in August.