I was all set to write about the big baseball scandal about the Houston Astros’ illegal sign stealing that helped them cheat their way to a World Series Championship over the Dodgers in 2017. It’s a sore subject especially because the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, which was so long ago Reagan was president and the Soviet Union was still in existence.
But then I watched MSNBC as Nancy Pelosi was signing the transfer of the Articles of the Impeachment to the Senate and I realized this was history in the making. Suddenly baseball sign stealing, however egregious, didn’t quite compare to only the third time a President of the United States has been impeached since George Washington took the first oath of office in 1789. (Washington was famous for having reportedly said as a child, “I cannot tell a lie,” whereas Trump, who acts like a child, could say, “I’ve told 15,000 in less than 3 years!”)
And yet, as a lifelong Dodger fan I can’t fully let go of the cheating scandal. So, I decided to try to combine the two subjects, which is precarious at best. (So if you want to flip to the crossword, I’ll understand.)
Thankfully, Mike Fiers, a former Astros pitcher with a conscience revealed the cheating in a magazine interview. That said, I’m not consoled that Houston’s manager and general manager were fired. Or that for the next two years the Astros will lose their top two draft choices. Or that the owner was fined $5 million. (Rich as he is, he might have found the $5 mil under the cushions of his couch.)
Here’s how the scam worked. Only at home playoff games, the Astros set up a high tech camera somewhere beyond the center field fence that focused on the opposing catcher. Hidden, a monitor was set up in the tunnel leading to the Astro dugout next to a garbage can. Scrutinizing the monitor, an Astro player would bang on the can with a bat once or twice to indicate the upcoming pitch. This provided a huge, illegal advantage confirming that, contrary to the saying, cheaters often do prosper, at least until they get caught.
Speaking of the Cheater in Chief, what Donald Trump did with regard to Ukraine dates back to August, 2019 when Congress approved $390 million in military aide to our ally which was in a hot war with Russia. But, ironically, saying he was concerned about “corruption,” Trump froze the funds unless Ukraine at least announced they were opening an investigation of Joe Biden to benefit the Donald’s 2020 re-election. The freeze was music to murderous dictator, Vladimir Putin’s KGB-trained ears. (Consider how many Trump policies wind up making Putin pleased as punch.)
However, in the second week of September, the administration suddenly released the funds. Trump defended his actions by saying there was never any quid pro quo and ultimately no “investigation,” begging the question why did he release the funds? The answer is Trump got caught due to a whistle blower. His defenders say it was just a coincidence. And if you believe that, there’s an expression about selling swamp land in Florida. Actually, it would be tragic but poetic justice if climate change denier Trump’s precious Mar-A-Lago ultimately gets flooded and turns into swamp land.)
As I write this, Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, is administering the oath on each Senator that he or she remain impartial as they see the evidence. That’s going to be a little tough for “Moscow” Mitch and “Leningrad” Lindsey since both have insisted publicly they won’t be impartial.
Also tough for Lindsey, who was so adamant during the Clinton impeachment that there be witnesses, to now say there shouldn’t be witnesses. The truth is a trial without witnesses and evidence isn’t a trial, it’s a cover-up.
First hand witnesses like Lev Parnas, John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney are essential to get to the truth. (You’ve got to see Rachel Maddow’s bombshell interview with Parnas who confirms “Everyone was in the loop” including Trump, Rudy, Barr, Pompeo, Pence and Devin Nunes.)
Meanwhile Trump’s “perfect” call to President Zelinsky looks less “perfect” by the moment. And yet he continues to whine, “I’ve done nothing wrong!” (Which, for him, would make a fitting epitaph.)
Back in L.A., the City Council plans to vote on whether to send a letter to Major League Baseball that the Dodgers should be awarded the World Series Championships for 2017 and 2018 as both the Astros and Red Sox cheated. (The Dodgers won’t be awarded the World Series Championships and Trump won’t be removed from office, but he will be forever impeached.)
Clearly, I care far more about the Senate trial. Much as I love the Dodgers, I love the Constitution more.
Rachel Maddow’s bombshell Part 1 interview with Lev Parnas is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK4-mQ19KYA. Jack is at email@example.com.