Former Labor Committee Chair, Senator Orrin Hatch (and the author)
A long time ago, in the 80s, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asked, given my background as a federal prosecutor, if I would investigate whether the FBI withheld information from the U.S. Senate Labor Committee during the confirmation hearings of Labor Secretary Nominee, Raymond Donovan, then President of the Schiavone Construction Company in New Jersey, and nominated by President Ronald Reagan.
As Senator Hatch’s Special Counsel, we uncovered the fact that the FBI had consciously and purposefully withheld information they had on a federal wiretap that Mr. Donovan was “mobbed up.”
You’d think that, from the 80s to now, we’d have learned how important it is to run a thorough background investigation.
The current confirmation hearings of DC Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh ran aground because the Trump Administration authorized a narrow FBI background investigation, and the U.S. Senate, courtesy of Judiciary Committee Chair , set a too short timetable for the inquiry to be deliberate or effective. Continue reading →
In 1984, I was running for Congress, as the Democratic nominee for the 10th Congressional district, standing on the floor of the Democratic convention in San Francisco, when New York Governor Mario Cuomo challenged the convention and the nation to get on with the business of the American people. What he said then remains as urgent today.
As it was true of President Ronald Reagan, we shall soon experience a Republican leadership in our U.S. Congress who invoke the golden rule but their actions and words tell us that what they really believe is “social Darwinism” that, as the Governor said then, means the nation “should settle for taking care of the strong and hope that economic ambition and charity will do the rest,” so that “what falls from the table will be enough for the middle class and those who are trying desperately to work their way into the middle class.”
Republicans who so easily invoke Judeo-Christian “values” believe, not what Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount, namely, that the meek shall inherit the earth, but that only the strong shall.
I believe, as the Governor said then, that “we can make it all the way with the whole family [of men and women, children and seniors] intact.” This is a more worthy legacy for public service than what we’ve been getting. Millions now have health care who didn’t. The Republican leadership looks to deny that coverage. Continue reading →
Some may remember when Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary James Brady, grabbed the president as they flew over a forest and said in mock alarm, “Look, Mr. President — Killer trees! Killer trees!”
Mr. Brady made this mid-flight stand-up joke in reference to the President’s statement that trees were a major source of air pollution.
Most High School students appreciate that trees absorb Carbon Dioxide and other harmful gasses including Sulfur Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide, and release the oxygen that we need to breathe.
One tree can store 13 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and supply enough oxygen in a day for four people to breathe.
Few think it was the “good old days” when President Reagan’s Administration cashiered twenty top EPA employees, when Assistant EPA Administrator, Rita Lavelle, was convicted of perjury after misusing toxic clean-up Superfund monies, and EPA Administrator Anne Burford resigned when found in contempt for refusing to turn over Superfund records. Continue reading →