The Charlotte News
Monday, August 10, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles had said this date, after a conference with President Eisenhower at his vacation home in Denver, that the U.S. probably would adopt "reciprocal measures" if the Communists refused to return some U.S. prisoners of war. The Secretary had just returned from South Korea, where he had discussions with South Korean President Syngman Rhee regarding the upcoming post-Armistice peace conference, set to start in October, with emphasis on efforts to establish unification of Korea. The Secretary told newsmen that he had provided President Eisenhower with a full report on his talks in Korea and noted a communiqué released before he had departed Korea which had said that the South Koreans had given "categorical assurance" that they would not upset the Armistice. He said that the Government had received no official word that American prisoners were refusing to be repatriated, but noted that there had been published reports that a few men were in that category. He said that there had been a considerable number of Chinese and North Korean prisoners who had been convicted of crimes since being captured, and that they would not be returned to their home countries unless U.N. prisoners convicted of crimes by the Communists were also returned.
A corporal released this date by the Communists said that there were 30 members of his 306-man company imprisoned at Pyoktong on the Yalu River who were so-called "progressives", the term used by other prisoners to refer to U.S. prisoners who had been indoctrinated by Communist propaganda. He said he believed those 30 were headed home to work for Communism in the U.S. He said that he had heard the 30 men talking about joining organizations called the "Ex-POW's for Peace" and the "Veterans for Peace", but did not know if those organizations had been formed. He said that he heard them speak of a reunion at the home of a friend in San Francisco to discuss their next move. Another corporal said that a prisoner who was considered the top "progressive" in the camp had stated that he would "kill his own mother and father if they interfered with him being a Communist and would never even spit on an American dollar again." Three other American prisoners returned this date said that the Communists had returned top "progressives" from that same camp. They said that all of the "progressives" had been returned on the first day of the exchange. All of the prisoners making the comments had been among the 125 Americans released this date, the largest group of Americans thus far released since the exchange had begun the prior Wednesday.
Seventeen disabled former American prisoners of war had left Tokyo this night by airplane, headed home to the U.S. Another 328 Americans boarded a Navy transport in Inchon Harbor and would sail for home the following day, accompanied by 1,800 U.S. Marines returning home on their regular rotation. The transport plane would probably arrive at Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco at about noon on the following day.
Among those released this date were more emaciated South Korean soldiers. The Communist press photographers largely stayed away from them, as they offered no possibility for positive propaganda for the way the prisoners had been treated by their captors. There had been 200 non-Koreans exchanged this date, the first time there were more non-Koreans than South Koreans. The Communists had suddenly announced that they were substituting 25 Americans and 25 Britons for 50 South Koreans on the anticipated list.
Associated Press photographer Frank Noel and his wife were reunited in Tokyo this date after being apart for 37 months, 32 of which had been spent by Mr. Noel in a Communist prison camp, including 42 consecutive days of solitary confinement. Mrs. Noel had flown from the United States to greet her husband upon his return. The Pulitzer Prize winning photographer had left the U.S. to cover the Korean War on July 4, 1950. He had been captured while covering the Marine retreat from the Changjin Reservoir in December, 1950, after the ill-fated MacArthur offensive to the Yalu River, repulsed by the Communist Chinese. Someone had commented on Mr. Noel's tan, and he said that the Communists had begun their "window dressing" program a few months prior to the release of the prisoners, to fatten them up.
A released Briton from a prisoner of war camp in North Korea said this date that he had told a joke which had stopped the show, relating that the joke went that he had met a couple of "little rats on the way to the show" and had overheard one ask of the other, "Were you born here?", to which the second had replied that he was not, that he had been dropped in by parachute. The first rat had then asked the second whether he was spreading rumors, to which the second answered, "No, bacteria!" When he had told the joke, the Chinese approached and told him never to appear on the stage again. He had incurred their ire by making fun of their charges of germ warfare.
In Taipeh in Formosa, an American Baptist missionary had returned after urging 13,500 anti-Communist Chinese prisoners in U.N. camps not to return to Communist China, saying that the prisoners appeared resolved to refuse repatriation. He also said that Communist agents, however, during the course of the peace conference, might be able to prevail upon the prisoners to change their minds. Originally from Chicago, he had lived in Taipeh for three years.
Dr. Ralph Lapp, a well-known atomic scientist, said that Russia might have performed a "small-scale" test of a primitive hydrogen bomb late the previous week, still ten times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in August, 1945. He said that it would take at least a week for the radioactivity to be detected by U.S. devices around the globe. Several members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy indicated no surprise that the Soviets might have a hydrogen bomb, as had been claimed by Premier Georgi Malenkov in an address to the Supreme Soviet the prior Saturday.
The Supreme Soviet approved this date the purging of L. P. Beria, and ordered the case referred to the Soviet Supreme Court. He had been accused in early July of conspiring with "foreign imperialists" to undermine the Government, with Premier Malenkov making the charges.
Radio Moscow had announced this date that there would be a Soviet-Iranian commission to "strengthen existing friendly relations" between Russia and Iran.
In Wiesbaden, Germany, U.S. Air Force European headquarters reported that all 24 men who had parachuted from a disabled C-119 Flying Boxcar over the Libyan Desert late Saturday night had been found alive. The plane had crashed in the desert 60 miles south of the Air Force Base at Wheelus Field in Tripoli. The survivors, none of whom were seriously injured, had been taken by helicopter and ground rescue teams to an Air Force hospital at the base.
In Chicago, the AFL executive council threatened to oust its East Coast waterfront workers union for the proliferation of crime within the union. Joseph Ryan, lifetime president of the International Longshoremen's Association, was expected to defend his 65,000-member organization from charges of harboring criminal elements, and to announce that the ILA had already begun its own purge of those elements. It was the first case involving charges of union corruption within AFL since George Meany had become the president, succeeding the late William Green the previous fall. Mr. Meany reportedly was determined to make an example of ILA for other AFL unions.
Directors of Eastern Airlines in New York this date elected Eddie Rickenbacker as chairman of the board, and Thomas Armstrong as successor to Mr. Rickenbacker as president. The latter had taken over leadership of the airline 15 years earlier and would retain his position as chief executive officer and general manager.
The Commerce Department reported that the population of the country had reached 160 million this date, based on its statistical clock running on averages of birth and death rates, plus rates of immigration and emigration.
The Agriculture Department, in its first forecast of the year, reported a prospective cotton crop of 14,605,000 bales of 500 pounds gross weight each. Officials had said that a crop of 12 million or more bales would require Secretary Ezra Taft Benson to invoke rigid controls on production of cotton the following year to prevent a large surplus. The prospective crop compared to 15,136,000 bales the previous year and a ten-year average of 12,215,000 bales. The production for the present year would be supplemented by a reserve of 5.2 million bales from earlier crops.
On the editorial page, "The Nature of the Enemy" relates of the story of the G.I. prisoner of war who, according to a recently released sergeant, had eaten a bug which the Communist captors had claimed in their propaganda lectures had been infected with a germ and dropped by the U.S. Air Force as part of its germ warfare. Another story had told of a released young American prisoner who said that the first thing he wanted to do when he returned home was to take his mother to Florida, not knowing that both of his parents had died during his captivity.
Some of the returnees were reported to be wildly joyful while others were glum, and still others did not have the strength to show any emotion. It indicates that if the sick and wounded prisoners being released presently had been released as part of the planned April release of all of the sick and wounded on each side, those sick and wounded prisoners might be well by this point. But doctors were now saying that tuberculosis, with which many were infected, had progressed too far and some would not make it home alive.
Some of the prisoners told of a long death March in the winter of 1951, in which some of the men had dropped dead in their tracks or were pushed over cliffs by their captors, while Communist officers grinned from limousines. Some of the men had been tortured to obtain military information, and others had been assigned to burial details, forced to dig the frozen earth for weeks on end.
For every American being returned, three remained among the missing, who might have been long dead, or, as General Mark Clark, U.N. supreme commander, had suggested, still alive somewhere in Asia, perhaps on a work detail or in a prison compound. Not all of the known prisoners were being returned, as a few had succumbed to brainwashing and did not desire repatriation, while others had been sentenced recently to prison terms, after the Armistice had been signed, for "instigating against peace".
It concludes that life had always been cheap in the Orient and that Communism had reduced the value of the individual even further. Reduced to elemental values by war, the prisoner was conveying what the present generation had witnessed, "the fundamental difference between the two systems that clashed on the Korean Peninsula." It finds life to be cheap among totalitarians and precious among free men. "But it is never so precious that it cannot be endangered and lost in the eternal battle to preserve against tyranny the great value of life, which is freedom."
We might note that the proper mourning of the loss last Friday of a tireless fighter for responsible individual liberty, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been tarnished by the ravening sharks among Republicans, circling for the past four years, now salivating at the immediate prospect of being able to replace Justice Ginsburg with a "conservative", unable to restrain themselves, even among prominent Senators, from bold expressions of "moving forward" with a replacement nominee, designed to take the country backward for decades in time, even for the respectable time necessary for the funeral of Justice Ginsburg to take place. Such a tawdry display of utter disrespect by most of the leaders in a political party for a life well lived is unprecedented in any recent American history. Some of them pay lip-service to Justice Ginsburg out of one corner of their mouths, while out of the other, within hours of the announcement of her death after a 20-year struggle against cancer, they begin insisting that they have the right and even the "responsibility" to move forward with the Trump nominee before the election, to take place just 46 days following Justice Ginsburg's death.
There is no "responsibility" involved, only a ruthless, opportunistic effort to make political hay out of the death of a highly esteemed Justice, whose basic judicial approach was liberal, in the great American tradition of liberal interpretation of the world's most liberal document ever produced as a governing instrument, the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights, a document which the current crop of Republicans want to turn into a set of corporatized by-laws to enable rich corporations to become richer and individual Americans less empowered to contest Republican corporate-state will, that which the Republicans claim will "make America great again", with Exhibit A for that "greatness" being the current complete mess in the United States, brought about by the Republican corporate-statists, helped along, when possible to forum shop in individual cases, by their corporate-state appointed Federal judges.
Set aside the complete inconsistency and intellectual dishonesty presented by this tawdry scenario when juxtaposed to the spectacle of the Republicans not allowing hearings on D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland in 2016, not put forward as a nominee by President Obama, incidentally, until a respectable month after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February of that year, the President then refusing to discuss his appointment of a successor until some three to four weeks following Justice Scalia's death, out of respect for the Justice. It was the first time in American history that the Senate had refused to conduct hearings on a President's nominee to the Supreme Court. But set that aside.
Observe the complete lack of respect for human life and for the esteem which millions of Americans held for Justice Ginsburg, when that life represented what these Republicans believe to have been the opposition—opposition to their corporate state mentality and perception of the Constitution as a framework for a corporate-state, something akin to that framed by Il Duce in Italy between 1923 and 1944, before disgusted, starving Italians hung Il Duce's corpse upside down from an Esso sign in 1945. To call such Republican reaction despicable and unconscionable is to be too nice.
Under such circumstances, it is not too harsh a judgment to regard it as a given that no one except an equally corporate-statist aligned individual, unworthy of respect or honor in our American democracy, will accept a nomination to the Court, knowing that it will destroy the Court's place in general public opinion for years to come, causing most Americans to view its decisions, when not effected unanimously, as nullities, of no consequence except to the partisan politics from which those decisions will henceforth be seen as having derived. Such action not only violates all precedent, but refuses to recognize, yet again, as in 2016, the rights of the majority of Americans who made their decision in 2012 to reject such reprobate views, and again in 2018, with the election of a Democratic House, affirmed their rejection of such views as foisted on them by the long outmoded elitist convention of the electoral college in 2016, which, combined with the manifest incompetence of the current White House occupant, demonstrated consistently since he took office in 2017, led to a majority of Americans confirming even more recently their disgust and rejection of such an imposed will upon them by supporting the House impeachment last fall, and supporting also his removal from office, if by a narrower majority.Ignoring this consistently stated majority will, however, McConnell tries to claim that the "majority" of Americans returned a Republican Senate majority in 2018, who therefore have the right to proceed with Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court even before the election in 42 days, failing in the process to point out that the reason for that status quo determination was that only nine of the 35 Senate seats up for election in 2018 were Republican seats, all in "safe" Republican states, the opposite of the scenario in 2020, where even Republican seats in seemingly "safe" states, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina, for instance, show Democratic opponents of Republican incumbents even or significantly ahead, further evidence of the current prevailing American mood to get rid of the current Administration, the current Senate majority, and all of their corporate-state philosophy of governance.
Perhaps if the current White House occupant had actually won a plurality of the vote in 2016, things might be at least a little different. But he did not, lost by nearly three million votes, and is installed in the office only by the anachronistic convention of the electoral college, which should have been abolished 70 years ago, when Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., proposed a Constitutional amendment to do so, for the electoral college no longer being consonant with modern society and its facilities for faster determination of voting results on or shortly after election day, affording the stability to government which the quick determiner of the electoral college was designed to provide in absence of fast full counts of votes, indeed, in an age where computers enable precinct-level electoral pinpointing, serves, as in 2000, the contrary purpose of delaying the known result of the presidential election; and the fact that the electoral college long ago had ceased in its original additional function of guarding against accession to the Presidency by a despot or someone not qualified to hold the office, designed as a check to override the will of the uninformed, largely illiterate electorate under such circumstances, conditions for long no longer applicable to American society and, insofar as the electoral college's role, a function eliminated by state laws and party pledges uniformly requiring that electors cast their votes in accordance with the state's popular vote.
Maintaining that convention, solely for political reasons, long past its functionality in modern society, has now produced the near ruin of the country, ruin which could take years to repair, economically, physically, and, perhaps most enduring of all, psychologically, harm produced incalculably during the leaderless previous six months by a pandemic about which the current White House occupant lied repeatedly to the American people last February and March, after becoming fully aware, from the experience of other countries and from the advice of the CDC and the Administration's medical advisers otherwise, that the coronavirus would have a serious impact on this country. And yet he did nothing, told the unquestioning, uninformed rabble to whom he caters, those skeptical only of the rational world, that all was well, that rational science need not be heeded, that with warmer weather, the danger would pass, that only a few deaths would result and it would all be over in a couple of weeks, no worse than the common annual flu bug, maybe not even that bad. And his apologists, of course, now try to rewrite that history, as he, himself, tries to say that 200,000 deaths to the current time are not that bad, that were it not for him, there would have been "millions", two, four six, eight, who do you appreciate? who knows? Just as Trump and his surrogates try to blame Democrats for the social unrest in the country during the summer, a direct result of the restiveness among inner city youth kept inside and away from normal summer recreational outlets by the pandemic, as if the current White House occupant were not there and his own party did not control the Senate for the previous four years and the House for the first two years of his term. For, after all, being "President" is not his job. That was the job of the last guy. He is just the tweeter-in-chief, "elected" to preside over the dismantlement of government, and all of his underlings appointed to concern themselves with the "business" of the country, with which they are too concerned to be too much dedicated to the job of governing it and looking after its welfare, especially in a health crisis of unprecedented magnitude during the past century.
McConnell, who no longer deserves the title of Senator or any other form of respect which normally accrues to that office, after his reprehensible conduct as Majority Leader, the most partisan such leader in the country's history, bordering on being implicitly anti-Semitic, imposing his dictatorial will on the people of the United States, as if the people of Kentucky who voted for him were at all representative, either intellectually, morally or politically, of the rest of the country, tries to normalize this power grab by making up "rules" and "precedent" as he goes, normalizing the Big Lie, coldly rationalizing what everyone with any sense understands is nothing short of totalitarian tactics usually reserved to military dictatorships in third world countries. It is without precedent and there are no rules to justify it. No one has ever heard of his "same party" exception for the President and Senate in an election year, under which circumstances, an appointment to a Supreme Court vacancy is appropriate, whereas, he continues, with "split government", it is inappropriate, regardless of the time remaining before the election, as long as there is time to hold rushed hearings on a nominee and push through a floor vote, after the Republicans deployed the "nuclear option", dreamed up as a potential device by Richard Nixon in the 1950's, using technical Senate rules in 2017 to abolish the filibuster against Supreme Court nominees. Under that crazy-quilt melange of ad hoc rules whipped solely out of the imagination of the Majority Leader, a Senate in the future, by simple majority rule, could refuse to hold hearings on any nominee at any time during the Presidency of a person of a party different from that of the majority of the Senate, based on the "McConnell precedent", in turn based on fantasy and the Big Lie. Nobody ever heard of those McConnell rules because there is no such exception, as there is no rule which has ever tacitly been recognized by either party in the past to forbid a Supreme Court nomination in an election year while several months remained prior to the election, just as there has never been an attempt to cram through a nomination six weeks before a quadrennial election, whether the party controlling the Senate is the same as the President or different, unless by general bipartisan approval of same. McConnell made up his rules out of thin air to justify his power grab in 2016, to normalize the Big Lie, championed by the Big Liar currently occupying the White House. Compounding that unfairness, McConnell now makes up his exception to that rule to rationalize the very opposite stance to that which he and his fellow Republicans took in 2016, cheapening the process and cheapening the Supreme Court, making of the institution a mockery.
McConnell demonstrates no respect for human life, for human dignity, for the law, for fairness, for the Constitution, for consistency, for historical precedent. Every Republican who will follow him in his crusade against justice, fairness, dignity and law, designed to stack the Supreme Court in a way which transforms the ideal of impartial and blind justice into a cheap, partisan exercise of cynical imposition of predetermined will, creating a lasting perception, and perhaps the reality, that decisions of the Court originate from ideologically biased convictions tenaciously held, not through legal reasoning of each case on its facts and law by way of established principles and precedent, viewing instead such guideposts to objective reason as only obstacles to be circumvented to accord the wish-lists of the ravening rabble, turning the law into an exercise in intellectual dishonesty in which it is twisted to fit a preconceived plan formed by the extreme right wing of the country, the constituencies which elect the likes of McConnell, never stopping to think through the issues on their menu du jour or to discern their history, whether those wishes be for a free, unfettered Second Amendment, enabling thereby unchecked guns to proliferate in society, so that "hunters" and those seeking "self-defense", and others not part of any "well-regulated militia", may have their "rights" preserved, sacrificing in the process the rights of everyone else to be safe from "hunters" wielding automatic and semi-automatic firearms, firearms never dreamed of by the Founders who included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights to enable "well-regulated militias", utilizing their musketry, to quell any insurrection which might arise from foreign or domestic sources in an age before the National Guard or a standing military, or whether they be for abolition of the right of privacy, the penumbral Constitutional right which underlies the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. It is, at base, not really about the Second Amendment or a woman's right to choose to have an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. Rather, it is an effort to control others and to eliminate freedom, except the freedom of those holding forth the wish-list, the hallmark of a totalitarian dictatorship, never realizing that in so enabling, the wishers ultimately cause chaos to their own personal lives by seeking the destruction of those with whom they disagree politically, usually loggerhead positions staked out staunchly without any real understanding of what those issues actually entail with respect to their own lives, their own basic individual right to privacy, their right to be free from being effectively ordered by corporate lobbyists to behave as the lobbyists will.
McConnell refused to hold hearings in 2016 because he was afraid that two or more Republican Senators might vote for confirmation of Judge Garland and thus approve him for the Court, as there was absolutely nothing about him or his nomination which suggested that he ought not be confirmed. Having engaged in that rank injustice, having whetted his ravening appetite for Democratic blood, he now knows no territorial boundaries and, to exert his will on the majority of Americans, simply resorts to lies, made-up rules, the Rules of McConnell, trespassing in the process on the checks and balances put in place by the Founders, including the check on despotism ordinarily accorded the minority party in the Senate through the long tradition of filibuster. McConnell's technique is that used by the despots and dictators of the world.
It would be different if Democratic appointees had been in the majority of the Supreme Court since 1972 and there was at least some poetic justice in righting the balance, but the opposite is true and the Republicans are making this power play to ensure a Republican and ideologically conservative tilt to the Court, not only for the past 48 years, but as far into the future as one can see, rendering justice generally in the country a royal joke. The situation is exactly the opposite of that stated this date by Senator Mitt Romney, contending that "liberal Justices" have been in the majority of the Supreme Court for many decades, apparently viewing some alternate-reality tv show to glean his history regarding who appointed whom among the Justices since 1969. For during that 51 years, there have been 14 Republican appointments, including three Chief Justice appointments: four by President Nixon, including appointment of a Chief, occasioned by the debacle of the 1968 filibustered elevation by President Johnson of Justice Abe Fortas to be Chief at the announced retirement of Chief Justice Earl Warren in June of that year; one by President Ford; three by President Reagan, plus appointment of a Chief, the elevation of Justice William Rehnquist, originally appointed to the Court by President Nixon in 1972; two by President George H. W. Bush; two by President George W. Bush, including the appointment of the current Chief; and two thus far by the current occupant, not including the current vacancy occasioned by the death of Justice Ginsburg. In the same 51 years, there have been only four appointments by Democratic Presidents: two by President Clinton, including Justice Ginsburg, and two by President Obama, with no vacancies having occurred during the term of President Carter. Thus, if Senator Romney has a problem with the number of "liberal Justices" on the Supreme Court in the last 51 years, he needs to join a political party other than the Republicans, who have been responsible for 14 of the 18 appointments in that time frame, 15 of 19, if including President Reagan's double appointment at the resignation of Chief Justice Burger.
It might be noted also that not since President Nixon made his four appointments during his first term has any President appointed as many as three Justices in a first term. FDR, for instance, who ultimately appointed nine Justices to eight seats, including the elevation to Chief of Justice Harlan Stone in 1941, appointed originally to the Court by Republican President Calvin Coolidge, had no vacancies occur on the Court during his first term between 1933 and 1937, his first opportunity at an appointment not having occurred until October, 1937, with Justice Hugo Black. The last time there was an appointment to the Supreme Court this close to a presidential election was in October, 1956 when President Eisenhower, upon the retirement of Truman-appointed Justice Sherman Minton on October 15, announced publicly September 7, made his third appointment in his first term, tapping William Brennan as a recess appointment, later confirmed by the Senate in early 1957. The Senate majority in the 84th Congress between 1955 and 1957, as well as that in the following Congress was held by the Democrats, under the Majority Leadership of Lyndon Johnson—quite contrary, therefore, to the McConnell-imagined "exception" to his own rule created in 2016, that no Supreme Court appointments will be heard in the last year of a President's term prior to the election.
Perhaps, to spare the country this further political mess, compounding an already extant health mess and economic and social mess as a result, the Senate ought agree to a temporary recess forthwith, give the public a breather, themselves the chance to return home to conduct a socially distanced campaign between now and the election, and allow the current occupant of the White House to make a recess appointment to the Court, which would then be subject to confirmation or not in January, when the new Senate convenes. That we would wholly support, and the nominee could, in good conscience, accept such a temporary appointment without concern for offending the history and liberal tradition of this country.
It is bad enough to have a despot in the White House, without knowledge of or respect for the law or political compromise, a coldly calculating power monger, who, under any rational system of politically unbiased justice, would have been removed from office earlier this year for his several high crimes in office alleged at that time by the House articles of impeachment, leaving off many other high crimes, notably solicitation of a bribe, which might have been alleged, and which might yet be alleged after he is out of office.
We recommend at this point that when a Biden Justice Department gets settled into place by early next summer, a referral be made against Trump for his potential indictment by a grand jury for those many crimes which he has thus far committed with impunity. There should be no mercy for a person who has no respect for American law, justice, fairness, democracy, tradition or history, ultimately no respect for the American people as a whole. His only god is himself. His only constituency are the godless, looking for a demigod to worship. He not only should be voted out of office in six weeks, but should be indicted and forced to stand trial for the crimes he has committed, as deterrent to anyone else ever committing such acts of injustice to this country again, nearly destroying the country in the process, leaving it in its most deeply divided state in at least 50 years, since the time of Nixon.
Bespeaking the Trumpian times, the crazy nut who is an apppointed Senator from Georgia has a new campaign ad which brags that she is "more conservative than Attila the Hun", making a joke out of abolition of freedom of the press, "silencing the scribes", as the ad puts it. No one but a little despot would approve of such a despicable ad.
No one in their right mind would wish to become a Supreme Court Justice by the slender thread of one Senate vote or by a tie-breaking vote cast by Pence under these circumstances, and certainly not by a vote cast by the self-proclaimed new Attila who apparently intends to abolish or rewrite the First Amendment at her first opportunity.
If you wish to be despised for the remainder of your judicial career, then accept this Trump appointment and proceed through a confirmation process which is known in advance to be thoroughly repudiated by the majority of Americans for its proximity to the election. Otherwise, tell him: "No thanks. Wait until next year or until after the election, should you win."
We thank, incidentally, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins for showing backbone early in opposing this nominating process until after the election. We hope that at least a couple of other Republicans might join them in reasonableness, for a change. It is for the future of the Supreme Court as a respected institution which Senators Murkowski and Collins and the entirety of the Democratic minority stand, something of which McConnnell has lost all sight in his politically avaricious motives to be known back home among the moonshiners and other reprobates as that danged Senator who done up and transformed the en-tire Su-preme Court all on his lonesome.
To those who suggest that it is inconsistent to have supported the nomination of Judge Garland in 2016 while now condemning this process run amok, we can only suggest to those ill-informed subjects of Trumpian mesmeric will and McConnellese sleaze that you look at the calendar and count the 42 days to the election, versus the eight and a half months at the time of the death of Justice Scalia in mid-February, 2016, and then go searching through the American history books for other such episodes, of which you will find no precedent for the present appointment scenario while finding ample precedent for the 2016 appointment. Start, for example, with the death at the beginning of 1916 of Justice Joseph Lamar, appointed in 1911 by President William Howard Taft, 1916 having been the election year which would pit incumbent President Woodrow Wilson against Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes, later Chief Justice. President Wilson then appointed Louis Brandeis, confirmed by a vote of 47 to 22 in late May of 1916, without a whimper about it being an election year or any attempt by Republicans to thwart a hearing or filibuster the nomination. Or, shortly after the confirmation of Justice Brandeis, in the same year, Justice John Clarke was confirmed unanimously by a Senate with 41 Republican members in late July, after the resignation of Justice Hughes to run for the presidency on June 10. No one rushed in with some crazy rule about not holding hearings during the first half of an election year or trying to split hairs by suggesting that, in the latter nomination, because it was a Justice resigning to run for the presidency, there would be too much politics injected to the process for the political opponent of Justice Hughes to nominate his replacement. Or take another example, that of the resignation of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in January, 1932, the year which would pit President Herbert Hoover against FDR, with President Hoover nevertheless nominating Benjamin Cardozo, confirmed unanimously by the Senate in late February, a Senate which was tied numerically, though with organizational control to the Republicans. Again, look at the death of Justice Joseph Bradley in January, 1892, and the subsequent appointment by Republican President Benjamin Harrison of his successor, George Shiras, confirmed in latter July of that election year. Again, and here's the tale-teller of the Sing-Along Gang's long nose, Chief Justice Morrison Waite died in late March, 1888, and Democratic President Grover Cleveland, who would contest Benjamin Harrison for the presidency that year, appointed his successor, Melville Fuller, confirmed in late July of that year by a Republican-controlled Senate. (Someone needs to ask Mitch how that one fits with his "President-Senate same-party" exception to his "split control, no-hearing" rule.) There were also early election year nominations by each of Presidents George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, in March, 1796, April, 1800 and March, 1804, respectively, each nominee named to a seat vacated by a death or retirement in December of the prior year or early in the election year.
Still another contrary example to the McConnell Rules of Order w/o Precedent is supplied by the death of Justice Robert Trimble on August 25, 1828, a Justice appointed by incumbent President John Quincy Adams, running for re-election against General Andrew Jackson that year, but waiting until after the election to tender any nominee to the Senate, his nomination, submitted after President Adams lost the election, having been tabled, allowing President Jackson to appoint the successor Justice, John McLean. So, with that latter example and a similar situation involving President Lincoln in 1864, it is implicitly recognized by prior tradition that within about 45 days of the presidential election, the Senate should not begin a confirmation process, typically a period in which the Senate is in recess for the election campaign in any event, thus the recess appointment of Justice Brennan. Heretofore, that has been regarded as common sense by the Senate as a deliberative body. The American people do not want to be bothered by a Supreme Court nomination fight, especially in the wake of the death of a Justice, obviously a confirmation fight to be televised distractingly in that crucial time period, when focus belongs on the presidential candidates and their upcoming debates, set to start next Tuesday.
The Sing-Alongs will likely say that those latter examples were in the horse-and-buggy days when the Senate only convened until around July or even as early as May in even-numbered years, and then went home, could not be summoned easily back to Washington by the President for a special session just to consider a Supreme Court vacancy occurring after the session ended. That horse-and-buggy days argument, however, also applies with force as counter to their attitudes against abolishing the electoral college and their arguments in favor of an expansive Second Amendment, does it not?
You will need resort, undoubtedly, to the dictatorships for any similar skein of chicanery as now being practiced by McConnell and Co. To those space cadets who pronounce with such solemn gravity and apparent historical certitude that if the shoe were on the other foot, by gum, by golly, you can sure as heck bet those Democrats would be proceeding, we ask to set forth the precedent you have in mind, six weeks or so before the election. When, pray tell, did that occur previously, you who live in never-never land? It is one thing if the Senate and the American people are generally in agreement, with little dissent, about such a process, but to transgress the majority will of the people in such unprecedented fashion under such circumstances as the country now faces, regarding something as important as the direction of their Supreme Court, is beyond the pale, showing complete lack of respect for the courts and other institutions of government. Under Trump, that is what this country has become, a dictatorship, with a supine Senate majority following suit. The resulting country is not only not great, it is a royal mess, brought to hell on earth by an incompetent, brash-talking hellion who never had any business being anywhere near the White House, could not even run his own company successfully or honestly, "elected" by hellions who want to destroy government and its institutions, not preserve it for future generations to be proud of its liberal Constitution, instituted by liberals who were revolutionaries against royal autocracy.
If enough Republicans in the Senate won't see right, for their inability to see left, then we expect the potential nominees to see right and reject the despotism at work in this process, unless the Republicans at least compromise and agree to a recess so that the White House can make only a recess appointment, as in 1956 when a vacancy occurred the last time this close to a quadrennial election, that appointment then subject to confirmation or not when the new Senate convenes in January. To do otherwise is to seek a position not worth having, despised and reviled by the American people for the way in which it would be had. It will only come to dust.
As the best tribute
"Mecklenburg's Voice Will Be Unimpaired" indicates that the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections had shown good judgment when it determined to wait until after the October state bond election to discard all registration lists, making way for the new card catalog system, whereby newly registered voters could be inserted in alphabetical order, rather than simply by the first letter of the alphabet under which their last name fell, an effort to speed voting on election day. To enable that to happen, everyone had to register again and so, to avoid the prospect of having some voters left out in the upcoming election, the Board decided to wait.
"Ensuring Tar Heels' Right To Vote" recommends two changes to North Carolina voting laws, to permit residents of the state moving to another state two years to vote in North Carolina by absentee ballot, a plan which had been adopted in Connecticut, albeit for a period of 15 months, the editorial recommending the longer period because in five states, four of which were in the South, two years of residence was required for voting. The other recommendation was to permit voting in an old precinct within the state for up to six months if one moved to a new precinct.
It also urges persons in the community to run for the General Assembly.
"Jimmy Ought To Lead the Way" indicates that Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina had stated that increasing numbers of Southerners were prepared to discard the Democratic label of their grandfathers, a statement which the piece regards as probably true, except that those prepared to do so had not thus far shed the label. They were waiting for such persons as Governor Byrnes to take the lead before becoming full-fledged Republicans, even if having voted in 1952 for General Eisenhower. If he were to become a Republican, it suggests, more people would join the party. And, it posits, the Governor would feel better, as he did not feel comfortable with former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson or Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri. Liberal Democrats probably did not like Governor Byrnes either.
A piece from the Kansas City Star, titled "Looking at Foreigners", indicates that six young contestants in the Miss Universe competition, visiting the U.S. for the first time, had expressed surprise that all American males did not resemble either Gregory Peck or Montgomery Clift, did not drive flashy cars or express thrill at the chance to help with washing the dishes, impressions gleaned from movies.
It asks, however, how many Americans regarded Russians as black-bearded fellows with sinister leers, Italians as eating nothing except garlic and hot sauce, or the Spanish as spending most of their days either sleeping or riding a donkey.
"Before we get too upset about what foreigners think of us, we might review our impressions of them. In that way we might come out with something to the good."
Drew Pearson indicates that the case of Representative Robert Condon of Walnut Creek, Calif., who was barred from the Nevada atomic bomb tests recently, was being further investigated by the column, finding that Naval Intelligence had reported that Mr. Condon was thought to have been a member of the Communist Party between 1930 and 1935, a charge which the Congressman denied, while admitting that a law firm with which he was affiliated had represented the Communist Party, stating that the charge of party membership was political in nature. The ONI report had been disseminated to all Naval commandants after the Congressman had begun probing the disposition of surplus Naval property. Mr. Pearson provides the text of the report, signed by Admiral Carl Espe, ONI director.
Mr. Pearson also provides great detail of Congressman Condon's response to the report, going back to when he had entered the University of California in 1931. He said, for instance, that he had been at frequent meetings in late 1948 in Martinez, Calif., because he represented the oil workers who were then on strike, and that there might have been some Communists present at those meetings. The report had indicated that he had been seen at a Communist Party meeting at that time, which he denied. He said that he had tried only one minor case on behalf of the Communists while a member of the law firm. In response to the report attributing to him, from a May 1943 speech, a statement that the "mighty Red Army" was the "bulwark of the colored races", he said that he might have said something like that during the week he had handled orientation in 1943 at his Charleston Army post in South Carolina, at a time when many people were making pro-Soviet remarks regarding the U.S. ally in the war.
Mr. Pearson concludes that the Congressman had, at all times, appeared frank, making no effort to duck the questions he had posed.
He states that Mr. Condon had enlisted in the Army as a private two months after Pearl Harbor and had been discharged four years later as a staff sergeant, with two battle stars and a Silver Star.
Joseph Alsop indicates that the Democratic leadership in the Congress, in the House by Sam Rayburn and in the Senate by Lyndon Johnson, had determined that they would work with President Eisenhower whenever they could reasonably do so. Mr. Alsop suggests that in part, that decision was purely political, based on the fact that in their native state of Texas, 70 percent of the voters supported the President, prompting Senator Johnson to state, "Nobody but a right wing Republican would want to kick this kind of popularity in the teeth.". He had also said, in explaining the other motivation, "We are all in the same airplane together, and it just isn't sensible to hit the pilot over the head so hard that the plane crashes."
The President, his Cabinet and political advisers either took the cooperation of the Democrats lightly for granted or were disturbed by it. They did not offer thanks. But without Democratic support, the President would have lost on several issues. Eventually, as the President began to get the feel for the political process, he began to consult with Senator Johnson and Congressman Rayburn, particularly Mr. Rayburn whom he knew and liked. Mr. Rayburn had quietly advised the President on how to secure Democratic support without riling Democratic tempers, and, by stages, the collaboration between the moderate Democrats and the White House was regularized with those at the higher echelons of the Administration.
On the whole, it was the Senate where the going was harder for the Administration, with more divisions among Republicans. Senator Johnson had made the biggest mark of any Senator of his age in many years, partially from his success in directing the strategy of cooperation and partially from his triumph in pulling his own party together. In both efforts, he had a great amount of help from Senators Richard Russell and Walter George of Georgia, but still had put in 12 to 18 hour workdays to get the job done.
Early in the session, the left-wing Democrats tried hard to filibuster the bill to return the tidelands oil to the states, while Senator Johnson and the Democratic moderates favored the bill. At one point, Senator Taft had told Senator Johnson that a "filibuster had never been broken" and spoke of giving up. Senator Johnson had replied that the opponents of the tidelands oil bill were not Southern filibusterers, suggested holding the Senate in continuous session, a procedure followed by Senator Taft, eventually frustrating the filibuster to its end.
At the close of the session, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada had been threatening to filibuster the President's bill to permit 240,000 refugees into the country from Europe, over and above standard immigration quotas, at which point Senator Johnson and Senator William Knowland of California, at the time acting Majority Leader, jointly invited Senator McCarran for a chat in Senator Johnson's office, at which point they told Senator McCarran that they would fight him until hell froze over unless he agreed to a bill admitting at least 200,000 refugees from Europe. Senator McCarran backed down.
Senator Johnson had said that the Democrats had fought the President when they thought they ought, but had not been personal or sniped or sulked in the process. They had been, he said, what they thought an opposition party should be.
Mr. Alsop indicates that it did not mean that the Democrats would not be tough with the President in the second session of Congress, but it did mean that on vital issues, the President could count on the support of the moderate members of the party, in coalition with moderate Republicans. That would prove a great asset both to the President and the country.
James Marlow indicates that Premier Georgi Malenkov's statement to the Supreme Soviet that Russia had the hydrogen bomb, whether it did or not, gave him the opportunity to smoke out information regarding whether the U.S. had the hydrogen bomb, while strengthening his hand at home and Russia's bargaining power abroad, and taking another swipe at weakening NATO.
The U.S. had never said that it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb or mastered production of it, with the AEC only stating that there had been tests contributing to hydrogen bomb research. But the previous day, two members of the joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee, Representative John Hinshaw of California and Representative James Van Zandt of Pennsylvania, had declared that the country did have the bomb.
Internal difficulties in Russia had created problems for the new Premier in the five months since the death of Stalin, at times looking like a leader with an uncertain future, given the uprisings in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, the purges in the Communist Party, and the imprisonment of Deputy Premier L. P. Beria. So, the Premier's announcement regarding the hydrogen bomb helped him personally, while also aiding and dividing the Western allies from the U.S. Europe would likely receive any first strike, should the Russians determine on a sneak attack to try to take advantage of the U.S. advantage in atomic stockpiling. That could cause Europe to want to appease Russia in any crisis. But if the U.S. had the hydrogen bomb and Russia did not, Russia's ability to threaten Western Europe was diminished. Thus, Premier Malenkov could not lose by claiming that Russia had the hydrogen bomb, even if it did not.
Moreover, the Premier had again talked of peace, suggesting that if peace were to be established, NATO would collapse, indicating that the talk of peace was not a Communist tactic, but rather a permanent Russian policy.
Marquis Childs tells of Secretary of State Dulles, in dealing with South Korea regarding support for the truce, having taken a calculated risk that in six months, at the conclusion of the post-Armistice political conference, there would be far less ardor among South Koreans for returning to the fight, even if the political conference failed to reunite the country in the meantime. Once U.S. aid kicked in to begin to rehabilitate Korea, it would be far harder to get South Koreans to fight again. Moreover, the U.S. and the 15 other U.N. powers who had fought in the war had signed an agreement with South Korea that if the Armistice were broken, they would fight again to protect against "unprovoked" Communist aggression. That agreement had first been discussed before President Eisenhower had come to power. It would likely mollify South Korea and President Syngman Rhee. But the definition of "unprovoked" might be different for Britain, France and the other U.N. allies from the meaning attached to it by President Rhee.
Secretary Dulles had a characteristic of desiring to please, especially satisfying standards which he set for himself, which had always been high, meeting the high standards followed by his family. To become Secretary of State had also been in line with a family tradition, and his life-long ambition.
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