The Son Joseph Haydn Never Had

Joseph HaydnSince we already celebrated Cesar Chavez, this day can only go to one man (even though it is a rather good day for birthdays): Joseph Haydn. He is one of the greatest composers ever. He has been called “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet.” But it would probably be most accurate to call him father of chamber music, since he was the guy who really made it the center of classic music.

In some ways, he is a greater composer than Mozart, because Haydn for so important in defining the Classical style. I listen to more Mozart because he came later and effectively perfected the form. But what is really interesting about all this is that Haydn and Mozart were friends. But because they were separated by a generation (Haydn was 24 years older), there was no rivalry. They seem to have admired each other unreservedly.

I think that the younger composer saw in Haydn a father. Mozart’s own father was not very nice to him. He didn’t approve of Mozart’s career choice and he blamed him for the death of Mozart’s mother — who simply died on a trip with the composer; Mozart certainly wasn’t culpable. So Haydn was the good father that Mozart never had. In fact, Haydn told Mozart’s father, “Before God and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name; he has taste, and, furthermore, the most profound knowledge of composition.” In typical form, the compliment was never passed on to Mozart, although I’m sure that Haydn must have said something similar to the greatest composer known to him.

As for Mozart’s feelings toward the older composer, it is clear that he idealized him. Mozart discouraged him him from taking a trip to England out of fear for his health. (It is ironic that Haydn not only survived the trip, but lived almost two decades beyond while Mozart died the next year.) There is also this very telling incident from Franz Xaver Niemetschek:

At a private party a new work of Joseph Haydn was being performed. Besides Mozart there were a number of other musicians present, among them a certain man who was never known to praise anyone but himself. He was standing next to Mozart and found fault with one thing after another. For a while Mozart listened patiently; when he could bear it no longer and the fault-finder once more conceitedly declared: “I would not have done that,” Mozart retorted: “Neither would I but do you know why? Because neither of us could have thought of anything so appropriate.”

That’s incredibly sweet, especially coming from Mozart who was not a man inclined to underestimate himself. I think that Mozart was the child that Haydn never had. Or I’m just being sentimental, which would not be the first time. Regardless, they had a great friendship based in mutual admiration.

Since Haydn and Mozart sometimes played string quartets together and the younger composer was very much influenced by Haydn’s work in this area, here is the Houston based Meridian Ensemble String Quartet doing String Quartet Opus 77, Number 2:

Happy birthday Joseph Haydn!

GOTV Is Key to Democratic Success

Get Out the VoteEd Kilgore often annoys me because of his New Democratic outlook on politics. Just the same, he is a keen observer who posts 12 articles a day. So he is required reading if you want to know what’s going on in partisan politics. But what bugs me most about him is what I see as cynical defeatism. He is very much part of crowd that argues we have to move to the center to get those mythical swing voters. But today, we are of one mind, How to Get Marginal Voters to the Polls.

The biggest challenge facing Democrats this year is the falloff of base voter participation in midterm elections. There are two approaches to fixing this. The first is the “inspire” approach. The idea is that if the Democrats rally around an exciting issue like increased funding for Social Security, the base will come running to the polls. The second is the “nuts and bolts” approach to getting out the vote (GOTV). The idea here is simply to knock on doors and provide drivers to get people to the polls.

Although I do think it is important to inspire Democratic voters, this is more about the party’s long term prospects and my desire to have actual liberal policy instead of the usual “not quite as bad as the Republicans” policy that so often defines the Democrats. When it comes to winning elections, I don’t think the Democratic Party should much worry about policy at all. As I say all the time: our policy ideas are popular, so if a lot of people vote, we win. It’s as simple as that.

As Kilgore points out, it isn’t as though we can’t do both. But if I had to pick just one, it would be enhanced GOTV efforts. Kilgore has his own reasons for favoring this. But I think it is as simple as the fact that the reason that Democratic voters don’t show up in midterms is that their lives are more scattered and it is harder to make time to vote. It isn’t that they aren’t interested in voting. And if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years from small time organizing, it is that a simple phone call makes a huge amount of difference. Knowing that even one actual human being cares that they show up makes people much more likely to do so.

So the news that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is going to spend nine times as much on its GOTV efforts than it did in 2010 is huge. All you have to do is look at turnout patterns over the last few elections and you will see it all. The Democrats lost in 2010, but not because the people turned against them. They lost because the people who liked them in 2008 didn’t show up in large enough numbers in 2010. And if the Democrats lose this year, it will be for the same reason.

My understanding is that the Democratic Party as a whole is going to be focused on trying to overcome the base voter turnout. Just the fact that they are trying to address the problem is cheering news. Too often in the past, it has seemed that the Democratic establishment has just sat on its hands grumbling that the voters weren’t showing up. The Koch brothers can spend their millions on blanket advertising. What else can they do? Their policies aren’t popular and the people who like them already vote in high numbers. The Democrats are the party of the people (or as close as we are going to get in our two party system). Leave the wholesale politics to the Republicans. We can win with retail politics.

Great Deals on Black Pets!

Black CatI have only been the primary caregiver to two cats: Pulitzer and Deadline. They were both black cats with small amounts of white. That’s probably just a fluke, because I’m not a racist when it comes to cats. I judge them on the content of their personalities not the color of their fur. But apparently, I am in the minority. According to Alissa Scheller at The Huffington Post, white cats are almost three times as likely to get adopted as black cats.

This seems especially strange to me, because totally black cats are probably the most beautiful of all. In fact, according to the article, one Nevada shelter started a campaign to “Adopt your own mini-panther.” And all of their black cats were quickly adopted. There’s no surprise to that. Black cats do seem especially sleek and dexterous, even if it is just an optical illusion. But I would think people would pick up on that without having to be told.

It is true that some people are superstitious about black cats. In fact, some shelters will not allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween for fear that they will be mistreated. But only 13% of Americans are superstitious about black cats—not nearly enough to explain the discontinuity. What’s more, in England, it is considered to be good luck to give a bride a black cat. In Scotland, seeing a black cat indicates that you are going to get some money. And doubtless, some percentage of Americas would want to have a black cat because of its association with witchcraft. So I doubt any of mythology about black cats really has much to do with the adoption rates.

The same thing happens to dogs. Although if you look at the research, it is far less pronounced an effect than it is for cats. So it is interesting that this behavior is known as “Black Dog Syndrome.” As my sister would note, this is just another example of our cultural bias against cats. But I’ll leave that issue to another time. When it comes to dogs, it seems the problem is to some extent just outright racism: people think black dogs are more aggressive. It’s just terrible.

I think that people may assume that black cats and dogs are less emotional. It is true that it is harder to determine the details of their faces. It is also possible that black animals at shelters don’t stand out in their little cages. If they are less likely to be noticed, they are less likely to be adopted.

All black animals (Including rats!) are adorable and deserve our love. So if you are planning on adopting a pet, you really should look for a black one. This isn’t just something you should do out of altruism. The fact that black animals stay at shelters longer means that you are likely to get a better pet that is black. The syndrome also affects other darker colored animals, so check them out too. You’ll be glad you did.


Also: go to a no-kill shelter. Most shelters do little but kill animals.

Happy Cesar Chavez Day!

Cesar ChavezHere is California today, it is Cesar Chavez Day. And it also happens to be his birthday, which is tidy. But just like Martin Luther King Jr, we celebrate the mythic Chavez rather than the man. And that’s just fine. But the man deserves to be remembered. He was a curious fellow. For example, he was a vegan and he seems to have been against the notion of money. Although I don’t agree with him on either issue, I greatly respect the beliefs and I think it speaks well of any many to have principled beliefs that counter the social norms.

His life story is also right out of The Grapes of Wrath, too. His father lost the family farm during the Great Depression. He cleared 80 acres of land in exchange for the deed to the farm. But the deal was broken so the family moved to California and became migrant workers. Chavez quit school after the 7th grade to work in the fields. Other than two years in the Navy, he was a farm worker for ten years before getting into organizing. The rest, as they say, is literally history.

Some people find it ironic that Chavez and Dolores Huerta and their organization were very much for restricting immigration. But this is to misunderstand what the United Farm Workers (UFW) was doing. Unions are not like churches, going around trying to make the world a better place. Unions exist to represent their workers and balance the power of management. Then as today, the business community tacitly encourages illegal immigration. They want an over-supply of labor so they can pay as little as possible. Immigrants (Especially undocumented!) are in effect scabs that undermine the bargaining power of unions.

The following video is remarkable. Chavez is talking about how boycotts work. But at the beginning, he says an amazingly insightful thing: that voting doesn’t help the poor. That’s interesting because recent political science research finds that the opinions of the poor (and to a large extent the middle class too) simply have no effect on how politicians vote. Just the same, Chavez was big on getting the poor to vote. He’s just making a point that if you want to make change happen, the best way is to make the rich suffer by depriving them of money. That is the most direct way to make positive change.

I’m very pleased that today in Cesar Chavez Day in California. I wish it were a national holiday. We have a holiday for one of our richest presidents who kept slaves. We have a holiday celebrating our independence that kept slavery in existence. We have a holiday celebrating how native people kept early settlers from starving so those settlers could go on to wage a genocide against the native people. Even though Martin Luther King Jr was deeply concerned about workers’ rights, that’s not why we celebrate him. May Day is long gone and most Americans don’t seem to know the difference between Labor Day and Memorial Day. We could use a holiday that celebrates the workers’ struggle in an unambiguous way. Cesar Chavez Day should be a bigger deal. And in another decade, it probably will be.

Pretend Wonk Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan - Reagan 2.0Jonathan Chait caught something important buried in a long (pay-walled) report in Congressional Quarterly, You’ll Never Guess What Just Happened to Paul Ryan’s Promise to Tackle Poverty. It seems that Ryan’s new budget will contain policy proposals that he supposedly researched in his 204-page poverty report. Chait is one of the most insightful writers when it comes to Ryan, and he concludes that the problem is just that Ryan (along with his Republicans colleagues) has irreconcilable contradictions.

I am not inclined to be so nice. To me, Ryan’s poverty report was no kind of honest look at the research on poverty. It was an effort at propaganda. He went through all the research with no intention but to show that poverty programs don’t work and to argue that the best thing for the poor is to abandon them. Chait even mentioned this, saying that “it used selective, one-sided methods to indict the safety net.” There was no way that when Ryan started work on his report that he was going to find that safety net programs work.

The whole thing reminds me of those cargo cult tribes. After World War II, the people built replicas of airplanes and other things associated with war activity to bring back the cargo. Understandably, they were confused about correlation and causation. We get the same thing from Paul Ryan. Serious people study issues and write reports. He wants to be seen as serious so he goes through the motions of doing serious work.

Cargo CultImage via Atlas Obscura

That’s the thing about all of Paul Ryan’s supposed “wonkery.” Long ago, he decided that his budgets and reports didn’t need to add up or make sense. It is just the idea that he has a plan that impresses the reporters. And indeed, his budgets are not only cruel to the poor, they would be catastrophic for the economy. But they were applauded in the media. And it’s the same thing with his poverty report. The media treated it as though Ryan were seriously looking at the issue of poverty rather than simply justifying his hostility toward poor people.

So it is not so much that Ryan’s commitments to military spending and tax cuts trump poverty elimination. Rather, Ryan’s current interest in poverty is only for the purpose of coming up with justification for cutting it. So his new budget does deal with poverty. As Chait noted, “At least two thirds of the cuts in last year’s Ryan plan come from programs for poor people.” From Paul Ryan’s perspective, that is a poverty program! Because what the poor really need is a kick in the butt, not a helping hand. And that goes double for those freeloading kids.

The Lesser Known Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van GoghHaving fought with a major networking problem all weekend long, I’m kind of tired. So you must forgive me for taking the easy way out and noting that Vincent van Gogh was born on this day in 1853. I put it that way, because van Gogh is probably the most overrated painter in history. I don’t say that because he wasn’t a great painter; he was very much a great painter. Nor do I say it just because his paintings commonly sell for around $100 million dollars a piece. I say it because of which paintings sell. It is generally his weaker paintings.

Of course, it is a matter of opinion. I like van Gogh most when his painting is more like Gauguin. The less impressionistic his work is, the better. When he was doing his usual style—the one that people seem to like so much—he was incredibly repetitive. I especially don’t like his explicit lines in most of that work. But things like Bedroom in Arles are transcendent. And I’m especially impressed with The Zouave (half-figure) (although the full-figure is arguably even better):

The Zouave (half-figure) - Vincent van Gogh

I am especially interested in van Gogh’s relationship with his brother Theo. I think it is wonderful that the two were so close and that Theo was so dedicated to Vincent’s art. But then, I have a tendency to romanticize van Gogh. I saw a documentary that proposed what is probably an unlikely theory: that some boys accidentally shot van Gogh, and he didn’t say anything in order to cover for them. So: no suicide, just an honorable man doing his best for some youths. Even if it’s just a story, I prefer to believe it.

Here is Jonathan Richman doing his very sweet homage to the artist:

Happy birthday Vincent van Gogh!

Bill Maher Gives Good Advice to Dems

Bill MaherBill Maher is kind of a jerk. He’s also pretentious and he thinks he’s way smarter than he actually is. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t right. Or insightful. And on Friday’s episode of Real Time, he had some great advice for the Democratic Party. I know its great advice because I’ve been offering it to the Democrats myself for a while. It all comes down to my long held believe that the Democrats should stop trying to win the “swing voters.” For one thing, I’m not even sure such voters exist. And if they do, they don’t jump from Democrat to Republican based upon policy. If anything is going to win their votes, it is going to be clarity of vision.

It is hard for Republicans because their policies are really unpopular. They need to twist themselves into knots to convince even their own base to vote against their own interests just to get “those people.” The Democrats are in a much easier position. Their policies are really popular. The only reason they seem to have trouble getting votes is that Democrats don’t want to own the policies they supposedly support. You know: the policies that the people like. So we have this screwed up world where Republicans proudly say that rape victims should be forced to give birth to rapists’ children, even though it is a very unpopular position. And we have Democrats who are circumspect about their support for Social Security and Medicare.

In the following “New Rules” segment, Maher points out this issue with far more humor and flair than I would ever be capable of. But I was especially impressed with what he said about Obama always talking about how great Reagan was—never mentioning Carter. That’s always made me angry. Reagan isn’t such an icon just because conservatives love him. Part of his appeal is that the last two Democratic presidents have gone out of their way to say how much they think he was great. Except he wasn’t. He just got credit for the Paul Volcker economic recovery. And in pretty much every way, Reagan sucked.

So I hope that the Democratic Party takes Bill Maher’s words to heart. It is really depressing to be a Democrat and it has been for a long time. It isn’t about winning elections. I could deal with losing elections, if we did it on our own liberal terms. But as it is, even when we win, we lose. You can bet if the Republicans take over Washington in 2016, there will be major changes. If the Democrats take over, it will be more of the same: a tad of financial reform here, a bit of healthcare reform there. I don’t blame the Democratic base from staying home in off year elections. What surprises me is that they show up in presidential elections.

Right Wing Propaganda Spawns Loons

Robert James Talbot JrLast week, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported, FBI Smashes Alleged Radical-Right Terror Plot in Texas. It told the story of Robert James Talbot Jr, who seems to be a right wing nutjob. He was soliciting people via Facebook to recruit men “to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” His rhetoric is all like that. For example, he wrote, “[W]e will send that white house worthless piece of dirt and his Muslim brotherhood a message they will never forget.” Charming stuff.

What’s bothersome, but hardly surprising, is that there is nothing very different from what he wrote than what one hears on right wing hate radio. He is talking about armed rebellion. But otherwise, it is filled with the same nonsense about the Muslim Brotherhood and how the current government—”Regime”—is invalid. And most of all, there is just a loony amount of anger.

It all reminds me of the end of Pulp Fiction, where Jules tells Pumpkin, “The truth is you’re the weak.” I see Talbot as the weak—a lost soul who doesn’t know what to think or to do. And he’s been marinating in a toxic stew of conspiracy theories and anger. What, in the end, are Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage ranting about? If things really are as terrible as they say, is Talbot so wrong to think that revolution is the answer?

None of this is to apologize for Talbot. There is little doubt that he is a very bad guy. I can well imagine him torturing small animals as a child. But one doesn’t become a revolutionary in a vacuum. How long as a society are we going to allow the conservative rage machine to continue on? I’m not talking about laws here. I’m talking about making such rhetoric socially unacceptable.

Andrew Breitbart - RIPTwo years ago, after Andrew Breitbart died, I wrote, Death as Public Good. In it, I criticized those liberals who said, “Sure, he published vile things and made society a worse place. But in person, he calmed down and was a nice guy.” That’s the problem. Look at Bill O’Reilly. He pays no social price for the venom he spews publicly. He’s still invited onto The Daily Show and accepted as a normal member of society. And when someone like Talbot goes on tilt, no one blames O’Reilly or the social system that created him.

Conservatives are fond of ranting about radicalization of Muslims. But every day on television, radio, and the internet, there are very loud voices radicalizing conservatives. And it is generally not mentioned. It is off limits because those doing the radicalizing are not clerics or politicians; they are celebrities making millions of dollars. O’Reilly claims he is just “playing a character.” And that’s why we all have to pretend that he’s a good man, whereas Talbot is supposedly just a bad apple. While it may be true that Talbot was born bad, the billion dollar right wing outrage machine made him worse.


There is another, and quite different, aspect of the story that bothers me. Talbot only managed to recruit three guys—all of them undercover agents. In this case, I’m glad they got him and that now he’s in a jail cell where he can’t hurt anyone. He could easily have become another nut with a gun murdering people at a shopping mall. But this is hardly a terror plot that was foiled. For example, the acts of terrorism Talbot was plotting depended upon the agents providing the tools—in this case C-4 explosives. This is what we see in almost all such cases. It would appear that potential terrorists are also quite incompetent.

Why No Media Interest in Obamacare

Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman is surprised about, The ACA Surge Blackout. In it, he noted that the media were all over the website problems as they should have been. But they seem especially disinterested in covering the fact that the website was fixed and enrollment is way up. It is quite possible that the program will meet its initial (pre-website) projections for signups. So there ought to be celebration about this and instead there are only yawns.

I know why the media don’t care about the story. It’s the same reason that we generally have bad coverage of political issues: false equivalence. Since reporters don’t want to be accused of bias, they report every issue as though the Democrats and the Republicans are equal and opposite ends of the debate. The problem is especially bad on economic issues, where the Democrats aren’t anywhere close to being liberal. But even accepting the two ideological poles, it is rarely the case that they are both equally valid.

In the case of Obamacare, the two poles are reasonable because we are talking about a specific government policy. On one side, the Democrats point out that there has been a surge in enrollment and it is close to the original projections. On the other hand, we have Republicans literally screaming that these numbers are all lies. There are many ways they do this like claiming that just because someone signed up, doesn’t mean they are actually going to pay for the insurance. And then there is the largely contradictory claim that the signups have only been for the Medicaid expansion and so they don’t count. And on and on.

Reporters see this and figure, as they always do, “Who can know the truth?” After all, on one hand, you have government statistics that have been quite accurate over the last 200 years. On the other side, you have partisans who hate Obamacare and throw everything at it hoping that something will stick. These people have been shown again and again and again to be spouting nonsense. How could a reporter ever figure out what the truth is?!

I suspect when the official numbers come out, they will get a decent amount of coverage. But it will be filled with caveats about how Republicans say the program is doing poorly. Unfortunately, we will have to deal with this until they give up their disinformation campaign. Of course, after that happens (and it will take years), those involved in the campaign will not pay a price in reduced credibility. The media will still listen to the garbage they spew and pretend that it is just one completely valid side of the debate.

Rats May Not Be Responsible for Plague

Pet RatAs you may know, I am a big fan of rats. And now, the long maligned animal may finally get justice. The Guardian just reported, Black Death Was Not Spread By Rat Fleas, Say Researchers. According to a number of different studies, it seems that the “rat flea” theory is wrong. The plague moved much too fast to be transmitted via bites.

I was interested to find out that “bubonic” refers to the location that the disease manifests. The actual bacteria is Yersinia pestis. Bubonic refers to “bubo,” which is “an inflammatory swelling of a lymph gland especially in the groin.” The scientists claim that what killed all those people in the late 14th century was actually pneumonic plague, meaning it attacked and was transmitted through the lungs. You know: the normal way.

There are many other unusual things about the Black Death. According to research on wills, fully 60% of the residents of London died due to it. They say that so many people died largely because they were already very unhealthy. “The skeletons at Charterhouse Square reveal that the population of London was also in generally poor health when the disease struck. Crossrail’s archaeology contractor, Don Walker, and Jelena Bekvalacs of the Museum of London found evidence of rickets, anemia, bad teeth and childhood malnutrition.” Without the poor health, the plague would not have been nearly as bad.

Another amazing thing is that there was a recent outbreak of the disease in Madagascar that killed 60 people. When they compared the disease with that of the 14th century strain, they found no difference in terms of its virulence. That is a critical element. It seems before it was thought that the 14th century strain of Yersinia pestis was so virulent that rat fleas explained it.

In the end, I suspect that rats will not be exonerated regardless. Even the “rat flea” theory includes the potential for air transmission. And let’s face it: people love to hate rats. I think it is that they are too much like us: too successful. If we looked at humans from the outside, we would hate them too. Some of us on the inside aren’t too keen as well.

Brendan Gleeson

Brendan GleesonToday, Brendan Gleeson turns 59 years old. He is a great Irish character actor. He has the distinction of being the only living Irish character actor to never appear in an episode of Ballykissangel. I really like him because he’s so amazingly likable up there on the screen. And that’s even true when he’s playing hard characters. Some kind of humanity always comes through.

Most recently, I saw him in In Bruges, where he played the thoroughly decent assassin Ken. As I wrote earlier, “I felt very connected with him: an older man who has lived a mixed life and who now just wants to enjoy the little things that are left.” Gleeson also puts in layered performances, although he usually doesn’t have such rich material to work as Martin McDonagh’s script. Here’s a nice bit:

Gleeson is probably best known for playing Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody in that worker’s project for English-ish character actors known as the Harry Potter films. I think there are 29 of them now, but Gleeson is only in three of them, and he dies at the beginning of the third. Here he is in the only one I’ve managed to get all the way through, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, although all is not as it appears:

Happy birthday Brendan Gleeson!

Why We Hate Cheney More Than Bush

Martin LongmanMartin Longman got me thinking in his article, An Actually Weak President. It’s about how Dick Cheney goes around calling President Obama “weak,” while no one does the same to Bush the Younger, even though everyone knew that Cheney was the person actually in charge. He said, “You’ll know that the current president is as weak as Bush when students line up to protest former vice-president Joe Biden and completely ignore Obama.” That’s a good point. But I’m most interested in his question, “[W]hy do people have such an easy time condemning Cheney [of war crimes], or even Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Rice, and such a hard time condemning George W Bush?”

His answer to that is represented in the “weak president” hypothesis. I don’t really go along with that. The problem is that most people are pretty forgiving. As long as people’s war crimes are in the past, they’re willing to let them slide. But Cheney is so vocal about it—so in your face. Just this last week, Cheney told students at American University, “If I would have to do it all over again, I would. The results speak for themselves.” If Cheney were in prison (where he ought to be), that kind of statement would never fly with the parole board.

This is why all along, I thought we should have a truth and reconciliation commission. Obama’s idea of looking forward was a joke. I am not a vindictive person. I am extremely forgiving. But people do not grow when they don’t admit error. And the same goes for governments and countries. It was and still is important for America to publicly admit that its government did torture. Instead, we pretend that it never did happen. And that means we not only have to listen to Cheney go around telling us that we are only safe because he used “enhanced interrogation techniques” (torture), but we will do the same thing again in a moment of crisis.

I also disagree with Longman in that many of us have no problem whatsoever blaming Bush. The truth is that I’ve never believed Bush’s “aw-shucks” routine. While I don’t believe he is especially smart, he is wily. And ultimately, he was in charge. We saw in the last two years of his presidency, when he pushed Cheney aside. If Bush were out there once a month explaining how it was necessary to “get tough” on the bad guys, I’d talk more about him. But he’s made the smart decision to paint and shut up.

I’m sure that I’m pretty much in agreement with Longman. I’d really like to shut up all of the neoconservatives. And I don’t just mean those in the administration. If America had at least admitted wrong, these people wouldn’t be allowed to walk around as conquering heroes. They would at least have to admit that they represent a minority viewpoint that had been repudiated. But that was not to be. And it is especially galling given that if the political parties had been reversed, I feel certain that administration officials would have gone to prison. So the kind treatment of the present administration will not be reciprocated. In fact, we already see this with the House Republicans just itching for any chance to impeach.