FDR, Assimilation and Revisionist Thinking and the Holocaust. February 13, 2023 Richard J. Garfunkel

Let me make this clear, it was the Nazis who killed 6 million Jews and caused the death of maybe another 20 million people, directly or indirectly. The American people were against going to war or fighting to save Europe. The American Jewish Community was severely divided about immigration, especially with regards to Eastern European Jews, who had no direct access of escape from the ravages of WWII. The American movie industry, except for Warner Brothers, which was dominated by Jewish interests, refused to discuss Jewish problems in Germany or confront the Nazi treatment of the Jews. Winston Churchill did not save the Western World. The leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt, his creation of the Arsenal of Democracy, millions of American forces and Russian blood on the Eastern front saved the world from the Nazi Hordes.

Over time, and even now, there have been a series of unfounded accusations, from a number of sources that accuse Franklin Delano Roosevelt of being anti-Semitic and not doing enough for the Jews of Europe, who became victims of the Nazi-inspired and initiated Holocaust. In truth, those accusations are, on their face, a blood libel, hysterical, simplistic, unfounded, historically flawed, and basically ridiculous. Every once in a while, some divisive, provocateur, like Rafael Medoff, publishes another screed trying to prove that FDR was a closet, or an overt anti-Semite.

Over the decades, I have answered his attacks, but basically, hardly anyone really reads Medoff, except people who have had this idea already planted in their minds. Medoff reflects the need of many Jews to explain the Holocaust with the idea that everyone was complicit. Of course, he ignores the fact that many American Jews opposed unlimited or even some Jewish immigration into the United States for a number of reasons: fear of more anti-Semitism, the desire for Jews to go to Palestine to eventually create a Jewish State, or even the idea that they didn’t want any more Eastern European Jews. Yes, there were many American Jews who wanted an “open door” policy on immigration. But, then as today, immigration has always been the 3rd rail of American politics. Since the early 1920s, there were very strict immigration laws passed in conservative Republican Administrations that restricted Eastern Europeans, especially Jews, Catholics from the Mediterranean Basin, Asians and people from the Middle East. In fact, those laws were on the books until the Kennedy Administration. They were based on the Census of 1890, which basically created quotas reflective of the American demographics that existed before the massive immigration that came to America before 1890. The 1921 Immigration Act created the Quota System and the 1924 National Origins Act made it permanent. Therefore, no president was able to change that policy, no matter what trauma existed with regards to international conditions especially any that involved Jews.

Over the decades, many people have asked me about these charges, and I have answered them in detail. But, in fact, what does it really matter? FDR is a hero to countless millions here and abroad. His record of remarkable accomplishments is quite secure.

In the hurly-burly world of politics, one could cite his failed plan for court re-organization, known as “Court Packing” or even his inability to rid the Democratic Party of its right-wing troglodytes in the Midterm elections of 1938, known as the “Purge!” One author, Warren Kimball, in his book, “The Juggler,” has written about FDR’s skills as a wartime statesman. Others have termed him the Sphinx. No matter how he was characterized, FDR was certainly the most guarded and secretive person ever to hold high office in American history. But, let us not forget, that after 1938, the New Deal was dead, and it was buried by the coalition of Southern Democratic reactionaries and northern Republics opposed to any expansion of the rights of minorities, the Labor movement, or the continuance of regulation on big business or the markets. These same people were the core of isolationism in America.

When FDR made his famous Quarantine Speech in October of 1937, he never mentioned Hitler or Mussolini or any other dictator by name, but talked of isolating these countries. He hoped that the storm isolationists created would fade away and allow the general public to become educated and even active in international policy. However, this was not the response that grew over time. In fact, it ended up intensifying isolationism views in more Americans. Roosevelt even mentioned in two personal letters written on October 16, 1937, that “he was ‘fighting against a public psychology which comes very close to saying “peace at any price.” In fact, hundreds of newspapers, especially ones owned by the Hearst and McCormick syndicates, editorialized calling for his impeachment.

Over the years, as we have become more sensitive to minorities in the United States, Japanese Internment, and its justification, have been questioned by many. There were many arguments then, and later, over that action. At the time, supporters of the Internment cited Japanese barbarism in China, which eventually, with almost unprecedented brutality, including germ warfare and poison gas, would cause the death of 20 million Chinese. No one could discount the Japanese surprise attacks on Russia in 1904 and at Pearl Harbor in 1941. In reality, there was acute racism in California towards Japanese, exacerbated by their cultural and social isolation from the mainstream of American life in both California and Hawaii. There was also the legitimate concern among many fair-minded Californians about the fear for the lives of many of these Japanese citizens and resident aliens. But, be that as it may, only one Japanese internee died in the internment camps, but more than 65 million died during WWII, which was caused by German aggression in Europe and Japanese bellicosity in the Pacific. Isn’t that really the bigger story?

Over the decades, we had strict immigration laws in America prohibiting the immigration of the Chinese and Japanese from 1882 and 1907. There was the rise of anti-Semitism in America with the Depression, and therefore, endemic opposition to the immigration of Jews, and other Eastern Europeans, or non-Western European peoples. But, with all that in mind, over 150,000 Jews were able to get into America between 1933 and the beginning of the war, more than the entire world combined. This occurred despite a State Department dominated by conservative Republicans and southern Democrats. The people hardly wanted any immigration into America, no less Jews. One Gallup Poll in 1937 reflected that 77% of the public did not want one more German Jew to come into the country. Of course, the other failed efforts to enlarge the Immigration Quotas, or even to consider the bill to bring in refugee (Jewish) children was certainly not the fault of the Roosevelt Administration, whose allies in Congress proposed these efforts (Senator Robert F. Wagner, Sr, of NY, and Reps Emanuel Cellar, NY and Adolph Sabath of Illinois.). In fact, when it came to enlarging the German Quota of 27,000 immigrants, the Southern element of the Members of Congress, who were Democrats, were opposed 223 to 0. But, when it came to the controversial Lend Lease Program to aid beleaguered Britain, these same Members of Congress were in favor of it  223-0. Even after the merger of Austria into Germany, there were efforts were made to expand the quota, reflective of the added Austrians to the German Reich, but it was tabled, and thus disapproved.

Years ago, the public started to hear and read about FDR and the Holocaust, along with the specious claims that he was anti-Semitic. Many started to wonder why, that decades after the war this issue arose. Books from Arthur Morse, “While Six Million Died,” (1967) and David Wyman, “The Abandonment of the Jews,” (1984), questioned the motives of our State Department and explored the source and rationale of American anti-Semitism, which included voices like; Father Coughlin, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and countless others. But, why at this moment in the mid-1980s, did this issue begin to take hold? Was it because of new information, which previously hadn’t been available? Was it because Jews were more prosperous and felt freer to voice their bottled up angst over the anti-Semitism which dominated America in the Depression and pre-WWII years? Or was it over the idea of assimilation and their understanding that it was a great threat to the future of the Jewish people in America? In 1960, only 4% of the Jews intermarried in America. By 1984, when Wyman’s book came out, intermarriage had reached 50%. From many pulpits in America, conservative Rabbis railed against social and political liberalism, which seemed to justify intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. Their target in 1984, was the greatest social liberal in our political history. Is it any surprise that it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who led us out of the Depression and our potential social collapse? Thus, Franklin Roosevelt became the target of Jewish revisionism, as social liberalism and inclusiveness grew in modern day America. Let us also remember, that in 1930, Jews made up about 3% of the American population, and today the percentage has shrunk. In fact, regarding best estimates, Jews today account for about 1.6% of the general population. Maybe the people who warned of the threat to the Jewish people, regarding assimilation, were right. Therefore, why not attack the great symbol of liberalism?

In “A Life in the 20th Century, (1917-1950) by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, (written in 2000), this quote is on page 307. “In the Eighties and Nineties, a furious controversy erupted over the supposed failure of the American and British governments to do more to save the Jews of Europe. Again, one wonders why this controversy suddenly exploded so many years after the fact. The word ‘holocaust’ was not even applied to Hitler’s extermination of the Jews until the Sixties; it did not acquire a capital letter until the Seventies.”

Schlesinger continues, “Very likely, as the historian Peter Novick suggests in, ‘The Holocaust in American Life,’ it was because of the decline of anti-Semitism and the rise of intermarriage in the United States came to be seen in some Jewish circles as a threat to the very survival of an American-Jewish community. Those seeking to repel the menace of assimilation seized on the Holocaust as the last bond holding Jews together and the vital means of restoring a sense of Jewishness. The Holocaust became, in Novick’s words, ‘virtually the only common denominator of American Jewish identity in the late 20th century.’ ”

Frankly, many were saying this long before Peter Novick (1934-2012) expressed these thoughts in his book written in 1999. Years before, when he expressed these same thoughts, he was excoriated for those views. In fact, he was called a self-hating Jew!

In truth, the Holocaust and its implications were not even perceived in 1939. Schlesinger writes, “Yet the American and British governments had intimations of the Final Solution as early as August 1942.” That November, after confirmation of dread reports by Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles, Rabbi Stephen Wise went public in a dramatic press conference. WISE SAYS HITLER HAS ORDERED 4 MILLION JEWS SLAIN IN 1942, was the headline in the “New York Herald Tribune.” As a result, in December, both Roosevelt and Churchill issued a joint statement condemning, “the bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination!” Interestingly, to these same revisionists, Rabbi Stephen Wise is now an excoriated co-conspirator with FDR in the effort to keep Jews out of America. Nothing could be further from the truth! How come this story wasn’t on the front page of the “NY Times,” but buried deep inside a paper owned by Jews?

But, how often did I hear the specious, “Fake News” that FDR never had a Jew to the White House or that he never said anything about the killing of Jews. These baseless attacks, from my perspective, were an effort by a consortium of conservative Jews, anti-assimilationists and other Roosevelt haters to promote the idea that the Roosevelt Administration kept all Jews out of the United States. They cited the case of the “Saint Louis” as proof, as if that issue was almost as large as the Holocaust. In the same way, the Japanese Internment, to some, dwarfed the totality of WWII and the war crimes of the Japanese, which easily equaled Germany’s and had started years earlier.

The German ship, “Saint Louis” was one of three ships that brought passengers, including Jews, to Cuba at that time. Cuba, in 1939, because of the influence of local Nazis, was putting onerous restrictions on Jewish immigration. Already 6,000 Jewish immigrants were living in Cuba, most without legal documentation. Also a house-to-house check was being made to locate all German refugees, and there was great fear from the Joint Distribution Committee in the United States that a pogrom was being planned if more Jews were granted asylum. When a $500 cash bond was put up for each passenger, amounting to $500,000, the Cubans refused. There were definitive conflicts between Batista and Manuel Benitez, who was receiving bribes for each illegal alien allowed into Cuba. Strongman Colonel Fulgencio Bastista wanted his “cut” or would end the practice. Two other ships had already just arrived, the British ship “Orduna” and the French ship, “Flanders.”  Within a twenty-four hour period more than 1200 refugees had arrived from three European ports. The Cubans had just passed a law limiting the number of immigrants to 1500 who could be yearly allowed to land. Eventually, after a collapse in negotiations, the ship left port and while off Florida, on June 4, the figurehead President Bru relented and said that they could land for $650 per head. The Joint Committee (Jewish Agency) refused to pay the extra $150 per person. They thought there would be more ships and the price would continue to escalate. The “Saint Louis,” amidst the negotiation with Cuban and the American officials, who were trying to get around our strict immigration laws, turned towards Europe. The JDC was besieged with criticism from the American Jewish community and its friends, but felt they were being blackmailed by the Cubans. It has been erroneously reported that the passengers were “returned to Germany and certain death for all abroad.”  Of the 936 Jews on board who had left Hamburg, 29 disembarked in Havana, 907 sailed back to Europe; 288 disembarked in England and lived through the Holocaust. The remaining 619 went to France, Belgium and Holland. The 392 of 619 who had disembarked at Antwerp, survived the war. The remaining 227 were murdered by the Nazis. The US Holocaust Museum estimates more than two-thirds of the passengers survived the war. Also, in June of 1939, it certainly was not yet the Holocaust. War had not been declared.   Over 75% of the Jews living in Germany, at the time of Hitler’s ascendancy to power, had either voluntarily emigrated from Germany or had been forced out. German policy was “Judenrein” not extermination.

Again, to reiterate, up until Kristalnacht, under 1000 Jews had been killed in Germany from 1933 until late 1938. Even up until the war, which started on September 3, 1939, a relatively small percentage of the remaining Jews from the 1930 population of 500,000 had been killed. In June of 1939, few in Europe really believed there would be a “real” war, no less a World War. Few Jews, outside of Germany, thought their lives were imminently at risk, and the Low Countries and France were not invaded until the spring of 1940. Most Jews believed that Germany only was interested in ridding itself of Jews. But, it is true, that many Jews wished fervently to get out of Europe. These are incontrovertible facts reported in numerous histories of that era. This intense climate of persecution started to cause voluntary and forced Jewish emigration out of Germany. By the start of World War II almost 75% of all German Jews had left the country.

In truth, as it is part of the public record, most Americans opposed being involved in both world wars. In the last Gallup Poll of November, 1941, not long before the Pearl Harbor attack, about 90% of the responders to the pollsters stated that they did not want to go to war to save Great Britain.

Again, Jews made up 3% of the population in the 1930’s. The New Deal, called the “Jew Deal” by anti-Semites, who often referred to FDR as that Jew “Rosenfelt.”  After all, Jews made up 15% of his administration. (FDR was elected with approximately 70% of the Jewish vote in 1932, and by 1944 he received over 93% of that vote.) FDR appointed, cumulatively, more Jews to office than all the previous 31 administrations and all that followed until the Clinton Administration!

With regards to foreign policy, as it related to Jews, Roosevelt quite often leaned upon his personal relationship with Rabbi Stephen Wise. Wise brought up the subject of Jewish immigration with FDR as early as 1933 and the unfilled immigration quotas. But, why was the German quota virtually unfilled in 1933 and 1934? Basically, Germans weren’t coming to the US in those years. They were very happy with Hitler. As for Jews in Germany, most believed before the horrid Nuremberg Laws of 1935, that the anti-Semitism of Hitler’s rhetoric would be ameliorated or even disappear. Many Jews thought they were too important to the economy and the social and cultural structure and fabric of Germany. They felt they weathered other terrible storms. As Hitler consolidated his power in Germany, more and more anti-Semitic legislation (the aforementioned Nuremberg Laws) was drafted and passed in their Reichstag (the so-called German parliament).

Let us understand that in 1930, Americans of German descent were the largest group in the United States (some estimates that 30% of the American population had German roots). In 1940, over 1.2 million Americans had been born in Germany and even today the largest European ethnic group in America is German, with over 17% of the population or 56 million people. Many Germans in America were enthusiastic over the recovery of Germany from the ravages of the Versailles Treaty, they believed that the Jews were the cause of all their post war problems and the failure of the Weimar Government. They were highly influenced by the large trade with the “new” Germany and a great many Germans who traveled to America to visit their relatives talked of the success and order brought to Germany by Hitler and the Nazis. In the period of the middle to late 1930s, we saw the rise of the German-American Bund.

Therefore, with all that in mind, is it not hard to imagine that there was tremendous pressure in the United States, crossing all ethnic and political differences, including the American Labor movement that opposed more immigration, especially of Jews. There was still significant unemployment, anti-Semitism had risen during the Depression, and it was aided and abetted by German-Americans, happy with Hitler.

Thus the issue of Jewish immigrations was not solely in the hands of President Roosevelt or his administration. Even among his “Kitchen Cabinet” of Jewish advisers: Morgenthau, Rosenman, Rabbi Wise, Benjamin V. Cohen and a number of others there was no definitive consensus on what action could be taken. Even former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, who headed a 1984 commission on this subject, came to the conclusion that American Jewish groups did not do enough. Though there was controversy over the harshness of the report, the final report, approved by the commission and written by Professor Seymour Finger, Head of International Studies at CCNY 1972-81, former diplomat, a Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute, and the author of “American Jewry in the Holocaust,” concluded that the failure of Jewish organizations was a result of disunity, under-financing, and lack of political influence. Moreover, their leaders were afraid of stirring up anti-Semitism in the United States and impeding the Allied war effort. Ambassador Goldberg said, “That the failure to act forcefully hurt most in the years between Hitler’s ascent to power and America’s entry into WWII.” Again this was a consequence that resulted from a “divided” Jewish community.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that if FDR had not been re-elected in 1940, and aid was not extended to Britain, a peace party would have emerged in that country to compromise with Germany. If that peace was actuated, one could conclude that the continued resistance by the Soviet Union could have easily ended with a defeat or a brokered peace. Obviously, with Germany ruling Europe and an entente cordiale with Britain and the British Empire, the future of the world would have been different, and the survival of Jews in America would have been in doubt. Why would their future be in doubt? The pressure from German-Americans, other traditional anti-Semites, isolation from the rest of the world, trade embargoes, Nazi propaganda flooding the country’s non-Jewish media, would have caused a severe reaction against Jewish owned business, Jewish cultural interests, the media (Hollywood, the theater) which they were deeply involved and with the businesses that they excelled in and led.






FDR and Churchill Their Political and Military Legacy An Update By Richard J. Garfunkel September 21, 2022

With regards to Winston Churchill, the political role of the American system is much different then Britain. Churchill never had to really stand for election as leader and was never really trusted with “domestic” responsibilities. He was much more of a “loose cannon” and never really felt comfortable working with others. He was certainly a remarkable talent, but had too many inner doubts to be completely confident with himself. His “black” moods and depression limited his ability to have the confidence to “rule.” He had too many opinions that limited his ability to make political alliances. He was a man of action and not a calculating “planner.” He never understood the need to build organizations of political support. He was basically a talented loner. His forte was more foreign policy and the Empire. He had cabinet level domestic responsibilities early in his career, but his name and fortune was linked with the British Navy when he was First Lord of the Admiralty. Of course, because Britain was primarily a naval power since the time of Drake and through Nelson, therefore, with vast overseas interests, it had to dominate the seas. Thus, the post of First Lord of the Admiralty had great cachet for Churchill. With all that in mind, the Churchill, who is known and revered today, is a result of his leadership in the days after the collapse of the Chamberlain government, which was seen as a failure. Chamberlain had become the symbol of appeasement, specifically with ill-fated Munich Agreement, which surrendered the Sudetenland (the industrial part of Czechoslovakia) to Nazi Germany, his failure to take action against Germany when they invaded Poland, and finally with the collapse of Norway on April. Let us not forget that at the same time Churchill was named Prime Minister, May 10, 1940, the Low Countries were successfully invaded, quickly conquered and the Battle of France would commence. The disastrous, forced evacuation of British Forces along with some of the allied troops at Dunkerque, and the eventual collapse and surrender of France, on June 25, 1940, would happen while Churchill was Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

But, with regard to pre-WWII British preparedness, let us not forget some other realities; the coastline radar stations were created, built, and installed by the Chamberlain government, as were the designs and production of the Hurricanes and Spitfires that won the Battle of Britain, along with the British heavy bombers, the Lancasters and Wellingtons which brought the war to Germany. Churchill was not part of the government in those days, but had warned of the threat of Nazi Germany, especially with regards to their military buildup and strength.

Churchill was not willing to sublimate himself to the will of others, and never could pose, or participate as a team player. Later on, after the WWII victory, he wasn’t prepared for the 1945 elections that swamped him and his government. The Conservatives suffered their greatest parliamentary loss since 1806. His campaign was terrible and he did not have a “clue” what the public was thinking about, or its needs. On one hand, he was still a captive of the upper classes that dominated British life. He seemed unaware and unconcerned, regarding how the MacDonald-Baldwin-Chamberlain governments ignored the working classes that suffered throughout the Depression. Of course, British politics were divided between the “plutocrats” and the “aristocrats” and Churchill never seemed to know where he fit. He was not keen on real reform that would have worked to restructure the critically unbalanced British economic and social landscape along with its aging infrastructure.  He never understood the moribund future of colonialism, and his attitude towards India was foolish and archaic. His political philosophy was inconstant and vacillating. Both sides of the British ideological divide constantly mistrusted him.

He was not able to dominate either party, and was perceived by the public as a political outsider with no place to “hang his hat.” His strategy as First Lord of the Admiralty, in the First World War, was badly criticized after the disaster of Gallipoli. His “snafu” was actuated more by logistical insanity then strategic miscalculation. All in all, it was a costly failure in blood and material, and therefore his career suffered terribly. As a so-called military “genius,” let us also not forget his very controversial role in the WWI defense of Antwerp, Belgium and the rightwing, revisionist attempt to exculpate him from the collapse of that city to the German army.

With regards to WW II his strategy was basically no better than Chamberlain’s. Under his watch the British experienced disasters with the navy in Norway, the 8th Army in North Africa and its collapse at Tobruk, the insane and huge defeat and disaster in Singapore, (the worst and most costly British defeat in history), the disaster at Dunkerque, the catastrophic losses of the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales off Hainan Island, near the Chinese mainland, the abandonment of Greece and Crete, the ill-fated attack at Dieppe, the alienation of the French and the subsequent defection of the French fleet, causing the need for it to be crippled by British naval action along with many others. He and Britain were fortunate that the Nazis re-directed the Luftwaffe to bomb British cities and not go after their radar early warning stations, their aerodromes, and the British fighter defense. A smartly delivered strategy against these targets would have reduced the British to a position where their air cover became hopeless.

Under his watch, the British Navy allowed the German battlecruisers, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau to steam through the Channel to the Atlantic where they sunk 22 ships amounting to 116,000 tons. Eventually, those two ships and the Prince Eugen were docked at the occupied French port of Brest. Later, they made their historic dash back across the English Channel. The Channel Dash had cost the Germans 17 aircraft shot down, while the Luftwaffe lost 11 men and the Kriegsmarine two. Additionally, two torpedo boats were damaged, and the two battlecruisers had suffered damage below the waterline.

But the Nazis were quick to take advantage of the remarkable victory, their propaganda machine going into overdrive. Hitler basked in the glory of being proved right. Admiral Ciliax and Kapitan Hoffmann each received the Knights Cross. In Britain, there was a national outcry at the perceived incompetence. The Times lambasted the inept performance of the armed forces, saying that Admiral Ciliax had “succeeded where the Duke of Medina-Sidonia failed.” The Duke had commanded the Spanish Armada in 1588. “Nothing more mortifying to the pride of our sea power had happened since the seventeenth century.”

This embarrassment was quickly followed on February 15 when Singapore fell and Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his government came under scathing attack from all sides. Against his better judgment, Churchill ordered an inquiry into what became known as The Battle of the Narrow Seas, which he considered of “minor importance.” The findings of the inquiry were handed into the prime minister in early March, but for security reasons they were not published until after the war. Of course, in the context of WWII, this is a minor episode, but Churchill was also the Minister of Defense!

Basically US Lend-Lease, the US Navy and the convoy system, the undeclared US naval war in the North Atlantic against the Nazi submarine wolf packs, and the attacks by Germany on Yugoslavia and Greece, culminating with the postponed late spring, early summer invasion of Russia helped Britain survive. Churchill’s strong vocal leadership rallied Britain and the free world, but without Roosevelt and the power that he formulated by creating the “Arsenal of Democracy,” Britain would have eventually been beaten despite the flawed Hitlerian strategy. If the US had not helped Britain with our fleet, the fifty-destroyer exchange and Lend-Lease for Russia, (10% of their logistical needs were provided by America, along with over 400,000 trucks) the Soviets probably would have been neutralized and the further European resistance would have ceased. Greece and Yugoslavia were basically beaten, and the rest of the Eastern Europe, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania were German allies. Turkey was in Germany’s camp and would have remained an associated “player” looking to reclaim their former Ottoman Empire.

Churchill did have many successes aside from American help. Their combined naval/air victory at Taranto that devastated the Italian fleet, the sinking of the Graf Spee, the hunting down of the Bismarck, the destruction of the 10 German destroyers off Norway, his policy supporting Orde Wingate and the Chindits in Burma, his mobilizing massive bombing raids over Germany, the destruction of the French dry docks at Saint Nazaire, and his selection of Montgomery to head the British 8th along with his subsequent victory at El Alemain were strong plusses. But, even with the entrance of America into the war, the later British strategy with Churchill’s blessing and interference, led to the huge loses in Holland with the ill-fated Market-Garden assault on the Dutch bridges. Montgomery, Churchill’s greatest choice for leadership squandered his opportunity to cross the Rhine with his constant demands for more men and material, was one upped by the American capture of the Ludendorf Bridge at Remagen. That single event, reflective of intrepid opportunism by American forces, dealt a huge blow to German resistance on the Western front. While Montgomery was accumulating landing craft, the US Army was surging over the Rhine with men and armor, creating an unassailable bridgehead, and trapping German forces on the wrong side of the River.

FDR, on the other hand, mobilized the American economy in an unprecedented way, fought an effective two ocean war, selected and appointed excellent overall leadership with his Joint Chiefs lead by Admiral William D. Leahy, who coordinated the activities of Generals Marshall and Arnold along with Admiral King. FDR’s selections, in all of the theaters of his responsibility, of MacArthur,

Nimitz, Eisenhower, reflected excellent carefully thought out judgment. Their choices of subordinates that included Bedell-Smith, Clark, Bradley, Patton, Hodges, Simpson, Eaker, Doolittle, Stillwell, Halsey, Spruance, Vandergrift, Smith, Lemay and many others spelled eventual success. His speeches, and cool leadership gave the people confidence after Pearl Harbor and the loss of the Philippines. FDR’s leadership of the wartime conferences at Argentia Bay, Quebec, Casablanca, Teheran and Yalta were the driving force behind victory and the post-war dominance of the West. His sponsoring of the Bretton Woods Conference had the most lasting effect on the future world’s economies vis-à-vis monetary stability. All in all FDR’s domestic leadership before and during the war were unprecedented. The late President, the architect of victory, won a hard earned election in 1944, with excellent majorities in Congress, even with his health suffering from advance heart disease and arterial sclerosis. He was able to maintain his majorities in Congress all through his tenure in office, and even though the Democrats narrowly lost Congress in 1946, they quickly recovered their majorities until the Eisenhower landslide of 1952. But from 1954 until the 1980’s the FDR-New Deal coalition of Democrats maintained Congressional hegemony.

Churchill, as a man, was bold, talented and basically remarkable. He was a brilliant speaker, a marvelous writer, a brave soldier, a reporter, a painter, a magnificent Parliamentarian, a cabinet official, a Prime Minister, and most importantly a beloved wartime leader. He embodied what was great about Britain. But he was a failure as a politician, lacked excellent judgment went it came to strategy and suffered from great insecurities. His terrible childhood and education plagued him with self-doubts, depression and lack of direction. Churchill spent a lifetime comparing himself to his father Randolph who had a meteoric political career but eventually became a miserable failure. Churchill, like Roosevelt, became much more a product of his mother. Overall he was able to overcome all of those limitations. Churchill was still, at heart, part of the “ruling class” that dominated Britain. He was still part of the Imperialist mindset, and he was still sadly lacking, with regards, to what the average “Brit” needed. He never built a political base, and when the post-war choices were made he was cast aside with little regret from the British people. His return to office in 1951 was no great success and he was too, too old to be a major factor in re-shaping Britain after years of war and social reform.

FDR was not the writer that Churchill was, but as an orator he was certainly quite capable, but few were in Churchill’s league. He was determined and self-confident. His childhood was one of nurtured success and happiness. He was beloved by his adoring parents.  He was self-educated to age fourteen and went on to the best schools where he achieved moderate success. In a dissimilar way, FDR’s father, whom he adored and respected, died when he was eighteen while he was a freshman at Harvard. Unlike Churchill’s father who was much younger, James Roosevelt was intimately interested in his second son. His first son, a product of his earlier marriage to Rebecca Howland, who died, was 29 years older and his contact with him was not well known. But even with his loss, FDR had looked up to his father and respected his judgment and memory. James Roosevelt was not a politician like Randolph Churchill, and with his death FDR was able to transform his need for a psychological mentor to his 5th cousin Theodore Roosevelt.

Unlike Churchill, FDR was the single greatest elected politician in modern history and was able to overcome the devastating physical challenge of Polio. He was a vigorous man who overcame a lifetime of sickness. He had wonderful mentors, Theodore Roosevelt, Al Smith, and Woodrow Wilson. He took something from all of them, and was smart enough to avoid the problems they all experienced. He shaped his own destiny, built the new Democratic Party, reversed the effects of the Great Depression, rallied the public, instilled great respect from the world at large, inspired great enemies and opposition, took on the Fascists when America wanted no part of that fight, built the “Arsenal of Democracy” and through his actions at the Atlantic Conference in Argentia Bay, put forth his vision of the world based on the “Four Freedoms.” Eventually, in the midst of the war he coined the name United Nations and would work to establish that body at the Yalta Conference, where he received the agreement of Churchill and Stalin.

His vision is the vision of the modern world; the vision of the world community pulling together for the common good. Not unlike Churchill, who was one of the lone voices protesting against “appeasement,” FDR had withstood an “America First” isolationism that cut across almost all social and political barriers and demographics. FDR had to use his unequalled mastery of the America political landscape to on one hand re-arm America and on the other hand battle the limitations of our Neutrality Laws and the passion of people like Charles Lindbergh, who were his most vocal critics. He was also strongly elected to office an unprecedented four times. Churchill was never elected to national leadership in 1940. He was appointed by the King after the forced resignation of Chamberlain. After five years in the leadership of Great Britain, hi ruling Conservatives Party suffered its greatest defeat since 1806, when the national vote was finally counted in 1945, while he was attending the Potsdam Conference in July.

Churchill mishandled the election campaign by resorting to party politics and trying to denigrate Labour. On 4 June 4th, he committed a serious political gaffe by saying in a radio broadcast that a Labour government would require “some form of Gestapo” to enforce its agenda. It backfired badly and Attlee made political capital by saying in his reply broadcast next day: “The voice we heard last night was that of Mr Churchill, but the mind was that of Lord Beaverbrook”. Churchill was not prepared politically to run a national campaign and the results bore that out historically. Many reasons have been given for Churchill’s defeat, key among them being that a desire for post-war reform was widespread amongst the population and that the man who had led Britain in war was not seen as the man to lead the nation in peace. He was forced to leave the conference to his successor, the new Prime Minister Clement Attlee.

When he was again appointed Prime Minister again in 1951 by King George VI, after the new election in 1951, his party had actually received less votes than the losing Labor Party, with only a 17 seat majority. In fact, he served a lack-luster 3.5 years until April of 1955 when he was finally forced by health issues to resign. Churchill was nearly 77 when he took office and was not in good health following several minor strokes. By December, 1951, George VI had become concerned about Churchill’s decline and intended asking him to stand down in favor of Eden, but the King had his own serious health issues and died on February 6, 1952, without making the request. Churchill developed a close friendship with Elizabeth II. It was widely expected that he would retire after her Coronation in May 1953 but, after Eden became seriously ill, Churchill increased his own responsibilities by taking over at the Foreign Office. Eden was incapacitated until the end of the year and was never completely well again.

On the evening of 23 June 1953, Churchill suffered a serious stroke and became partially paralyzed down one side. Had Eden been well, Churchill’s premiership would most likely have been over. The matter was kept secret and Churchill went home to Chartwell to recuperate. He had fully recovered by November. He retired as Prime Minister in April 1955 and was succeeded by Eden.

One of the most tragic issues before WWII in Europe was the Nazi treatment of the Jews of Germany. During and after the war the evidence of their atrocities towards the Jews and other minorities was fully exposed. As for the punishment of Nazi Germany, regarding their conduct during the war, Churchill initialed the Morgenthau Plan proposed by US Secretary of Treasury, Henry J. Morgenthau Jr.) for post-war Germany, which called for the breakup of Germany and its de-industrialization. When the news of the Quebec Conference reached Germany, Propaganda Minister Goebbels claimed, “Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to the Jewish murder plan.” German radio announced that Roosevelt’s “bosom” friend Henry Morgenthau, the “spokesman of world Judaism” was singing the same song as the Jews in the Kremlin,”- dismember Germany, destroy its industry and “exterminate forty-three million Germans.” Interestingly, across the Atlantic, another democratic leader seems to have concurred with the blame-the-Jews theory. Also, let us not forget that Churchill signed on to many agreements that came out of WWII meetings, and later either ignored, denied or opposed these same agreements.

With regards to Churchill’s real feelings, an unpublished article by Winston Churchill, written in 1937 and discovered in the Churchill archives by Cambridge University historian Richard Toye in 2007, claimed that Jews were “partly responsible” for the mistreatment that they suffered. Churchill denounced the “cruel and relentless” persecution of the Jews but then criticized German Jewish refugees in England for their willingness to work for less pay than non-Jewish laborers, which — he claimed — caused antisemitism. Some of Churchill’s earlier statements about Jews and communism indulged in anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as referring to the Russian Bolshevik leadership as “Semitic conspirators” and “Jew Commissars.” Of course, anti-Semitism was rife through Europe, especially Eastern Europe and in Russia, before and after the Russian Revolution which eventually saw the triumph of the Bolsheviks and the rise of the Soviet Union. As for Britain, Jews were expelled in 1290 and only by 1655 were a small group of Sephardic Jews were allowed to stay. Over the next two hundred years Jews existed in Britain with a number of restrictions. True emancipation for them as a religious group came somewhat between 1829 or 1858. Before WWII over 500,000 European Jews sought asylum in Britain, only 70,000 were allowed to stay.

In the United States, though there was discrimination against Jews, Catholics, Asians, Blacks and Latinos, Jews were never restricted from immigration. Even with the very restrictive immigration laws of 1921 and 1924, which was based on National Origin demographics in 1890, which limited basically Jews and Catholics from the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe with quotas, Jews always immigrated to the United States. From 1933 through the beginning of WWII, despite obstacles from the American Department of State, mostly dominated by Republican appointees from the previous twelve years of Republican Administrations and Southern Democrats, over 150,000 Jews were allowed into the States. During the Depression and the immediate pre-war period, there was the rise of more virulent anti-Semitism in the United States. Most of that rise was surely fomented and encouraged by the large and significant German-American minority who bought into the rise of German nationalism. The rise of the German-American Bund was paid for and strongly supported by the Nazi Party in Germany.

As with of emergence of the Roosevelt Administration in 1933, FDR called upon Felix Frankfurter, of the Harvard Law School to start sending young lawyers down to Washington to staff the emerging New Deal. The Roosevelt administration employed many young Jewish lawyers, labor leaders and intellectuals to help rescue our society from the social and economic ravages of the Great Depression. FDR also leaned on his strong relationship with Jews throughout his whole political life: Bernard Baruch, Henry Morgenthau, his Secretary of Treasury, David Niles, Anna Rosenberg, Herbert Lehman, Governor of New York, later US Senator, along with the aforementioned Frankfurter, Ben Cohen, and his lawyer and chief writer, Judge Rosenman. With regards to his associations with Jews, they were novel and advanced for the period. Again, he had an “open” friendship with Henry Morgenthau who served in his cabinet for 12 years. Eleanor Roosevelt was also quite close to Elinor Morgenthau, the Secretary of Treasury’s wife.

FDR appointed many, many Jews to high office, and had a comfortable, but distant relationship with most of his contemporaries.

Jews made up 3% of the American population in the 1930’s but the New Deal, called the “Jew Deal” by anti-Semites, who often referred to FDR as that Jew “Rosenfelt,” but made up 15% of his administration. FDR was elected with approximately 70% of the Jewish vote in 1932, and by 1944 he received over 93% of that vote. FDR appointed, cumulatively, more Jews to office than all the previous 31 administrations and all that followed until the Clinton Administration!

In retrospect Churchill really left no governmental legacy. He really never governed. FDR’s legacy was one of not only unprecedented leadership, but of government innovation, reform and restructuring.

History has favored Winston Churchill for many reasons, which include his lonely pre-war opposition to the rise of Hitler and the threat of Nazism. He battled against both the appeasers and the pro-fascist elements in Britain. He also stood head and shoulders above his rivals, like Lord Halifax, who wanted to succeed the failed Neville Chamberlain. Let us not forget, that Roosevelt also warned of the threat of rise of the dictators with his “Quarantine Speech” which was universally excoriated by the conservatives and isolationists, who refused to see the worldwide threat of the Nazis and Fascists.

Churchill was always given exceptionally high marks as an inspiring and eloquent orator before the war and during it. His ability to lead a beleaguered nation in its darkest hours can never be underrated. With that in mind, he has been awarded high marks for standing alone during the Blitz (German air attacks) and keeping up British morale despite the nightly bombings, the massive destruction and the battlefield reversals. He certainly deserved criticism for his endless micro-managing policy, interference with his generals, reversals in strategy and poor choice in military appointments.

He even was very critical of his “star” appointment of General Montgomery. The victor at Alamein. Ironically, Montgomery wasn’t his first choice to command the 8th Army in Egypt.

His first selection was Lt. General William Gott, who killed in a plane crash. According to many of the veterans of that campaign, who were familiar with both men, they felt that Gott certainly would have lost the battle for control of Egypt, the Suez Canal and the oilfields of the Middle East. Churchill certainly opposed Operation Torch and wanted American men and material supporting Montgomery, was against Operation Anvil-Dragoon, the August, 1944 invasion of Southern France, in the days after the Normandy Invasion and the breakout into France.

On the other hand, Churchill and the British leadership understood FDR’s problems and political skills. FDR’s promises on the mobilization of American’s war industry were incredibly exceeded and he for sure delivered on America being the “Arsenal of Democracy.” FDR’s strategic vision reached much farther and more accurately than Churchill’s FDR understood the emergence of Russia and China as world powers, and he pressed for the Unconditional Surrender, to avoid the postwar disaster that followed the end of WWI. He also knew that the Allies had to secure the peace, and that was why he worked so hard to create the United Nations. Churchill vision was most often limited to the sustaining of the British Empire.

Also, let us not forget many of the leaders of the Western Alliance during WWII and their generals were no raving successes, As for The United States, out of the fifty-six Lt. Generals, who were appointed during the war from December 1941 through March of 1945, about 45 of those served overseas, seven were recalled for incompetence or other reasons. As for the top leadership, Secretary of State Hull was not well and often ignored completely and had little to do with any decision regarding the prosecution of the war. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, a great patriot, a Republican and a former Secretary of War and State was consistently wrong. Even the sainted Chief of Staff of the Army George C. Marshall was also wrong regarding North Africa and the call for a cross Channel invasion of France in both 1942 and 1943, as was the head of the Naval Admiral Ernest King.

As for General MacArthur, his failures in the Philippines were outrageous and many called for his removal and to be court marshalled. Admiral Robert L. Ghormley who was in charge of the naval operations around Guadalcanal and Tulagi was replaced by Admiral William F. Halsey because of lack-luster performance and incompetence. As for the heroic Halsey, his “Bull’s Run” and indecision around the Leyte Gulf Invasion almost created a disaster for American landing force. Also, his command in the following days after Typhoon Cobra bordered on incompetence and criminal conduct. Following the typhoon a Navy court of inquiry was convened on board USS Cascade in the naval base at Ulithi. Admiral Nimitz, CINCPAC, was in attendance at the court, Vice Admiral John H. Hoover presided the Court with admirals George D. Murray and Glenn B. Davis as associate judges. Forty-three-year-old Captain Herbert K. Gates was the Judge Advocate. The inquiry found that though Halsey had committed an error of judgement in sailing the Third Fleet into the heart of the typhoon, it stopped short of unambiguously recommending sanction. The events surrounding Typhoon Cobra were similar to those the Japanese navy had faced some nine years earlier in what they termed “The Fourth Fleet Incident.”

General Joseph Stillwell, the veteran of the China-Burma-India Theater and the military liaison to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek had to be removed because of insubordination and downright idiocy. In Sicily, Lt. General Patton had to be relieved of his command for foolish incidents regarding the slapping of two “wounded” soldiers. He was regarded as a racist, a bigot, and an anti-Semite among his other attributes. General Mark Clark, the leader of the 5th Army in Italy had many detractors.

But both he and Patton, who despised him because his mother was Jewish were liked by FDR.  They both succeeded, despite intense criticism during and after the war.

As for French; the only two Generals who were not coopted by the Germans and dragooned into the Vichy Government were Henry Giraud, a total incompetent and Charles De Gaulle, a vain pompous ass. This famous quote was attributed to Churchill- “The hardest cross I have to bear is the Cross of Lorraine.” This remark referring to Charles de Gaulle was actually made by General Louis Spears, Churchill’s envoy to France. Film producer Alexander Korda asked Churchill in 1948 if he had made the remark, he replied, “No, I didn’t say it; but I’m sorry I didn’t, because it was quite witty … and so true!”

As for the British, aside from Churchill, they had really no leadership after Chamberlain, but another appeaser, Lord Halifax, who actually disliked America and Americans and was ironically made Britain’s Ambassador to the United States. Others like Beaverbrook were for sure not up to the task. With regards for the British Imperial Staff, no one would regard Field Marshall Alan Brooke as a far-ranging thinker.

FDR and Churchill and WWII Strategy!

Churchill attempted to direct and control President Roosevelt with regards to the direction of their joint effort. As Christmas approached, the United States was facing the unpleasant reality that the Philippines and MacArthur’s American and Filipino Forces on Bataan and Corregidor, were doomed to destruction as were the British possessions of Hong Kong, Malaya and their Singapore fortress. The Americans, with their Filipino allies, fought a delaying action in the Philippines, while a mixed American, British, Dutch, and Australian (ABDA) naval structure was set up to operate from Java in an attempt to hold the Japanese at the Malay Barrier. Given command of ABDA naval forces, Admiral Thomas Hart directed part of this defense into mid-February 1942.Eventually it had become quite evident that despite the brave ABDA sailors, the Japanese were not to be denied. The Japanese Navy was able to literally destroy the remaining Allied naval assets in, and around, the Java Sea and the India Ocean.

Therefore, as India was being threatened by massive Japanese naval assets in the Indian Ocean, two realities emerged. There were not enough Allied ships to counter their strength and India soldiers had almost no enthusiasm to defend India and their colonial status from the potential of a Japanese invasion. In fact, the British were seeing more and more evidence that their colonial armies were not willing to fight for the British Empire.  FDR, a confirmed anti-colonialist understood this reality, despite Churchill’s inability to face the reality of the deteriorating situation in both the Middle and the Far East. FDR urged Churchill to promise India eventual self-rule or even the commonwealth status of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Churchill hated this option, danced around it, and delayed making a decision, until he almost was backed into a corner. He certainly was opposed to giving up any sovereignty in India, as he claimed that the subcontinent was not really a country, but a collection of princely states and contentious religions bodies: Hindus, Moslems and Sikhs among hundreds of others sects, who spoke many hundreds of dialects.

With that in mind, along with the existential threat to India, the British were apoplectic and were trying to insist that American intervene in the Indian Ocean. Of course, Americans did not have the assets to counter the Japanese. But, FDR initiated a bold plan that would eventually produce a remarkable chain of events. He wanted to strike back at the Japanese and change the whole defeatist attitude that was threatening to become pervasive in the post-Pearl Harbor America, and with our British allies. Roosevelt authorized the famed Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. The raid was planned, led by and named after Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle of the United States Army Air Forces. FDR was able to turn the corner of defeat with one bold stroke.

It was also the first time, in more than a thousand years, that the Japanese home islands were attacked. It demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and provided an important boost to American morale. Even though the results were almost miniscule, the political and strategic fallout was immense. The Japanese had never been attacked on their home islands, and with the knowledge that their air defenses were almost non-existent, they therefore, in an almost panic withdrew much of their naval assets from the Indian Ocean, to protect the Home Islands. The next consequence of this action was to assemble a massive fleet to strike back at America. Their aim was Midway Island. If they destroyed the American assets and presence on Midway, and occupied the island as a base, both the West Coast of America and Hawaii would be threatened. The Japanese never knew that American cryptographers had broken their naval and diplomatic codes (the Purple Codes) years before. When the speculation that Midway was confirmed as the target (the famous water desalination plant ruse) of this large Japanese force, of which some headed north to the Aleutian Islands, an American naval trap northeast of Midway was set. Of course, the rest is history.

With regards to WW II, Churchill’s strategy was basically no better than Chamberlain’s. Under his watch the British experienced disasters with the navy in Norway, the 8th Army in North Africa and its collapse at Tobruk, the insane and huge defeat and disaster in Singapore, (the worst and most costly British defeat in history), the disaster at Dunkerque, the catastrophic losses of the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales off Hainan Island, near the Chinese mainland, the abandonment of Greece and Crete, the ill-fated attack at Dieppe, the alienation of the French and the subsequent defection of the French fleet, causing the need for it to be crippled by British naval action along with many others. He was lucky that the Nazis re-directed the Luftwaffe to bomb British cities and not go after their radar early warning stations, their aerodromes, and the British fighter defense. A smartly delivered strategy against these targets would have reduced the British to a position where their air cover became hopeless. One could say that Churchill’s greatest failure was his ego, his idea that he was a military expert, and his ability to choose the right people, for the right task.


With historical concern regarding Egypt and the Middle Eastern Command, Generals Claude Auchinleck and Archibald Wavell (both later appointed Field Marshalls) both failed miserably in North Africa, as did Wavell, who subsequently failed in Burma. General Bernard Law Montgomery (also later appointed a a Field Marshall) and the victor in the 2nd Battle of El Alamain, did not earn high marks for the slowness of his march up the Eastern side of Sicily, along with his command of British forces on the Adriatic side of Italy. Again, his failure at Market-Garden has been well-documented. His later inability to cross the Rhine River was exposed as a fruitless effort when the American Army took the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen and crossed the Rhine.

Let us not forget Lord Louis Mountbatten planned disaster at Dieppe, which cause the Canadians thousands of casualties. Also let us not forget the folly of British Lt. General Neil Ritchie, “Tobruk ist gafallen!” The surrender of the British outpost, with 30,000 men, of Tobruk in Libya with nary a shot fired. Also in 1942 the surrender of the large garrison in Singapore by Lt. General Arthur Percival to a Japanese force less than one-half the size of his 80,000 man force. This was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history.

In retrospect, as the war would move on to its successful conclusion, Churchill did have some tactical and strategic successes aside from direct American help. Their victory at Taranto that devastated the Italian fleet, the sinking of the Graf Spee, the hunting down of the Bismarck, the destruction of ten German destroyers off Norway, his later policy supporting Orde Wingate and the Chindits in Burma, his mobilizing massive bombing raids over Germany, the destruction of the French dry docks at Saint Nazaire, and his selection of Montgomery to head the British 8th along with his subsequent victory at El Alamain were strong plusses. But even with the entrance of America into the war, later British strategy with Churchill’s blessing and interference led to the huge loses in Holland with the ill-fated Market-Garden assault on the Dutch bridges. Montgomery, Churchill’s greatest choice for leadership squandered his opportunity to cross the Rhine and was trumped by the American capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen.

That single event of intrepid work by American forces dealt a huge blow to German resistance on the Western front. While Montgomery was accumulating landing craft, the US Army was surging over the Rhine with men and armor, creating an unassailable bridgehead, and trapping German forces on the wrong side of the River.

Churchill was always given exceptionally high marks as an inspiring and eloquent orator before the war and during it. His ability to lead a beleaguered nation in its darkest hours can never be underrated. With that in mind, he has been awarded high marks for standing alone during the Blitz (German air attacks) and keeping up British morale despite the nightly bombings, the massive destruction and the battlefield reversals. He certainly deserved criticism for his endless micro-managing policy, interference with his generals, reversals in strategy and poor choice in military appointments. He even was very critical of his “star” appointment of General Montgomery. The victor at Alamein. Ironically, Montgomery wasn’t his first choice to command the 8th Army in Egypt.

His first selection was Lt. General Richard Gott, who killed in a plane crash. According to many of the veterans of that campaign, who were familiar with both men, they felt that Gott certainly would have lost the battle for control of Egypt, the Suez Canal and the oilfields of the Middle East. Churchill certainly opposed Operation Torch and wanted American men and material supporting Montgomery, was against Operation Anvil-Dragoon, the August, 1944 invasion of Southern France, in the days after the Normandy Invasion and the breakout into France.


The Prime Minister began to recognize the criticality and enormity of this undertaking, (the invasion of France) with regards to a complete recasting of the Allied war strategy, barely six months before the agreed launch date of Overlord. What a dilemma for Churchill and the whole Allied effort – months earlier, before the Quebec Conference (Quadrant)  – the British were talking about the invasion of Northern France sometime in 1945 or even 1946! Even though the date for the invasion was tentatively established for May 1, 1944, in Churchill’s mind it was just a “scrap of paper.” He saw, if possible, the task of the Soviets would be of defeating the Nazis, without much contribution of the Western Allies. Where that would leave Europe seems to be an unanswerable question. But, of course, Churchill imagined the Allies would go north from the Aegean into Eastern Europe and defeat the Germans in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, before the Soviets even reached Poland.  The realism of this incredible, fantasied, gambit was never in American consideration. Again, in Churchill’s mind, right up to Tehran, the agreement was nothing more than a piece of “lawyer’s paper” – as he put it, “a contract which Britain could simply decline to observe, or keep asking to defer, each moment, until the bill came due!” This was the existential problem that FDR and the American Joint Chiefs faced as their ship advanced on North Africa. But, in fact, they had no real clue to Churchill’s obstructionism, as they had no idea what was on his mind. Why liberate the Allies of Nazi Germany?

Of course, if FDR accepted Churchill’s “option” and the Soviets felt betrayed about a “real” Second Front, and worked out a separate peace, an entente-cordial, with Hitler, as opposed to more countless casualties, the US military was between a rock and a hard place –  with no obvious way of breaking the deadlock.

This is what would face FDR and his advisors as they approached the landing at Oran and his flights to Cairo and Tehran. On the HMS Renown, Churchill bounced his theories, disappointments, and angst off the very receptive Harold MacMillan (a future British Prime Minister), who was serving as the British political advisor to General Eisenhower. Churchill complained that no one listened to him and that his “military genius” was restrained by the Americans, almost like a “man whose hands were tied behind his back” Of course, as many historians have reported, his own Imperial War Staff, led by General (later Field Marshall) Alan Brooke, had grave doubts about his judgment and were constantly offended, and put out with his interference on matters of tactics. His judgement regarding commanders was also questionable. In fact, up to this time he had made numerous mistakes in personnel, dividing his forces, and not judging the strength of the enemy opposition in| the Far East, Burma and the Indian border, the Indian Ocean, ate Aegean, Dieppe, etc.

The British considered the Mediterranean as their sea, in the words of Mussolini and the old Roman adage, “Mere Nostrum!” thus as the HMS Renown safely reached Malta, where Churchill had a meeting with Lt. General Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, one could readily see that he had no real clue what he wanted to do, and General Alan Brooke, the head of the Imperial War Staff disagreed with almost all of his decisions, his blurred vision, and his mixed messages to Anthony Eden, his Foreign Minister, to Marshall Stalin and to the Americans.

Churchill was, on the surface, quite confidant in the upcoming preliminary meeting in Cairo – codenamed Sextant, which would include Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. Roosevelt, after making a dangerous and heroic trip across the Atlantic, was able to land safely in Dakar and eventually fly to Tunis and then to Cairo. He met with Chiang Kai-Shek, made commitments to help China so they could fight the Japanese who controlled the whole East coast of China, cooperate with our American general Joseph Stillwell, and have the huge Chinese army trained and better armed. The British objected to this meeting. They assumed when the Japanese were beaten, the French would go right back to ruling their Indochinese colonies. Churchill never wanted the precedent of de-colonization to start with removal of the decadent French, who after 100 years of rule, left that forlorn part of the world, worse than when they occupied it. He saw the eventual loss of Hong Kong, Malaya, and India as a disaster that he would do all to prevent. Well it eventually happened and will the British ever fight for Hong King? Never!

This meeting would eventually accomplish very little, Churchill was very bitter at the scheduling of the meeting with the Chinese leader, because he felt China had nothing to do with the defeat of Germany. In fact, all the promises that Churchill grudgingly made with Roosevelt would eventually be reversed by Churchill. This duplicity promulgated by the British, would later reverberate with disastrous consequences. With the ultimate failure of Sextant and Churchill’s continual disappointment with the American position on OVERLORD.

Churchill had been vacillating over OVERLORD for months, as he found excuses to pursue his unsupported adventures in the Aegean.  As for Churchill’s hopes for a quick advance to Rome, Pisa and the Tuscan Mountains they were running into tough opposition. Eventually as the Allies bogged down on the road to Rome, he grudgingly admitted things were not going his way, and he took no responsibility nor any shame at ignoring the difficulties of fighting in the mountainous eastern Mediterranean, where island by island German forces were methodically liquidating the surviving meager British forces that landed in the Aegean. It was the disastrous Battle of Crete, which the British had ignominiously lost in 1941, all over again. It seemed the Prime Minister never could re-learn the same lesson. He continued was pressuring President Roosevelt and his staff, including Eisenhower to postpone OVERLORD, and its timetable would hamstring the war in the Mediterranean and deprive the Allies of “great prizes!”

What great prizes? What and how could more adventures in the Eastern Mediterranean be sustained? Where were the supplies to come from?  In fact, barely six months from the invasion of Northern France, the whole OVERLORD concept was a theoretical undertaking in Churchill’s vision, while the Mediterranean Theater was real. He warned the President to put all of the Allied eggs in the Italian basket, not the cross-Channel gambit. One can understand without too much more explanation the angst the Field Marshall Brooke felt. He even wanted all the landing craft currently being moved to Britain for OVERLORD to be transferred to southern Italy. Aside from the Americans being astounded and alarmed, so was the British High Command.

Eventually, FDR finally was able to get his meeting with Stalin scheduled in Tehran the capital of Iran. Franklin D. Roosevelt finally gets the meeting he wants with Churchill and Stalin- the Big Three. He starts his incredible secret journey aboard the USS Iowa, our newest “super” battleship, captained by his former naval aid, Captain John McCrea. It will be a dangerous voyage in the South Atlantic crossing to Africa with all the members of the president’s top military staff, including General Marshall, the US Army Chief of Staff, Admiral Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations, his own head of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral William Leahy, General Henry Arnold, head of the US Army Air Force and many others.

Of course, as it has been noted numerous times, the voyage was dangerous. There was always the threat regarding secrecy and security, regarding news leaks, the threat of land-based German long-range planes, new U-Boats which much more sophisticated weaponry, which had been updated by greater underwater staying power (the snorkel) and their highly secret new “smart” torpedoes. Ironically, during a ocean training session, a torpedo from an American vessel was launched by accident and headed dangerously close to the USS Iowa, where FDR and the American chiefs were traveling to the Mediterranean.

But, in reality what was really happening, was that after three days at sea, and in the “wake” of the missed torpedo, launched by an American escort, there was still the strategic crisis over the British attempt to insist on a long-delay of the proposed cross-channel (OVERLORD) invasion of Northern France. It seemed it was always about Churchill’s desire to redress his WWI failure at Gallipoli, which was an immense military disaster and cost him his job as First Lord of the Admiralty and his reputation for almost two decades, aside from his well-known failures as battlefield commander on the Western Front.

So, where was the world in November of 1943? FDR, finally, after one year of trying, was able to establish the critical meeting with Stalin, who before would never leave the Soviet Union for a number of reasons. He claimed, as the chief of their armed forces, he could never leave his direct command, he was extremely paranoid, possibly about assassination, had severe fear of flying any distance, among other personal excuses directed back to the president. The Allies were incredibly fearful about a separate German-Soviet peace. The British wanted to preserve their overseas empire, with American assistance (which was opposed by a vast majority of the American public and its leadership.) They certainly wanted to maintain their Mediterranean hegemony from Gibraltar in the West to Crete and Palestine in the East, Egypt in North Africa, with the Suez Canal, with its critical passageway to India, and their political influence over Greece and the Aegean.

As the Iowa headed for Oran, in North Africa, Churchill and his staff are heading from Britain on the HMS Renown, a World War I dreadnaught, to a similar port of call at Malta. The Prime Minister began to recognize the criticality and enormity of this undertaking, with regards to a complete recasting of the Allied war strategy, barely six months before the agreed launch date of OVERLORD. What a dilemma for Churchill and the whole Allied effort – months earlier, before the Quebec Conference (Quadrant)  – the British were talking about the invasion of Northern France sometime in 1945 or even 1946! Even though the date for the invasion was tentatively established for May 1, 1944, in Churchill’s mind it was just a “scrap of paper.” He saw, if possible, the task of the Soviets would be of defeating the Nazis, without much contribution of the Western Allies. Where that would leave Europe seems to be an unanswerable question. But, of course, Churchill imagined the Allies would go north from the Aegean into Eastern Europe and defeat the Germans in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, before the Soviets even reached Poland.  The realism of this incredible, fantasied, gambit was never in American consideration. Again in Churchill’s mind, right up to Tehran, the agreement was nothing more than a piece of “lawyer’s paper” – as he put it, “a contract which Britain could simply decline to observe, or keep asking to defer, each moment, until the bill came due!” This was the existential problem that FDR and the American Joint Chiefs faced as their ship advanced on North Africa. But, in fact, they had no real clue to Churchill’s obstructionism, as they had no idea what was on his mind.

In fact, what was on Churchill’s mind was his secret attempt to sabotage the whole cross Channel operation, known as OVERLORD, which was planned for May 1, 1944. He was plotting with his chiefs of staffs to subvert the agreements made two months earlier in Quebec. He later would totally omit this from six volume history of the war. Distinguished Cambridge historian, David Reynolds said that this was “one of the most blatant pieces of distortion in his six volume memoirs.” He constantly talked about invading the Dodecanese Islands, bringing Turkey into the war, dominating the Aegean Islands, and being then able to enter the Black Sea with the British Fleet and the aid of the Russians in all their recovery of the northern coast, the Crimea, etc. Of course, this was farcical on its face, and very close to re-living the disaster at Gallipoli in 1915.Of course, when he wasn’t getting his own way with his own staff, he threatened to resign on October 29, 1943.General Alan Brook noted in his diary, “had he gone mad!”

The question that FDR put to his advisors on November 15, 1943, – “aware that at the end of the day, there was no way to enforce the Quebec Agreement, if Churchill resigned (as he threatened to do before) or withdrew the British commitment to the military partnership for the May, of 1944 cross channel endeavor, the war against Hitler would be effectively lost. Of course, if FDR accepted Churchill’s “option” and the Soviets felt betrayed about a “real” Second Front, and worked out a separate peace, an entente-cordial, with Hitler, as opposed to more countless casualties, the US military was between a rock and a hard place –  with no obvious way of breaking the deadlock. This is what would face FDR and his advisors as they approached the landing at Oran and his flights to Cairo and Tehran. On the HMS Renown, Churchill bounced his theories, disappointments, and angst off the very receptive Harold MacMillan (a future British Prime Minister), who was serving as the British political advisor to General Eisenhower.

Churchill complained that no one listened to him and that his “military genius” was restrained by the Americans, almost like a “man whose hands were tied behind his back” Of course, as many historians have reported, his own Imperial War Staff, led by General (later Field Marshall) Alan Brooke, had grave doubts about his judgment and were constantly offended, and put out with his interference on matters of tactics. His judgement regarding commanders was also questionable. In fact, up to this time he had made numerous mistakes in personnel, dividing his forces, and not judging the strength of the enemy opposition in| the Far East, Burma and the Indian border, the Indian Ocean, ate Aegean, Dieppe, etc.

Macmillan was a perfect sounding board for Churchill, he was classically educated, a bon vivant and an English social and intellectual snob, with his Eton and Oxford education. He by nature looked down his nose at the Americans and had seemingly forgotten the many failures the British had endured, and “began to feel not gratitude for the way the US had helped save Britain in 1942 for mounting Torch (the invasion of North Africa),” but instead a discernible resentment at the growing American economy and military might in the Mediterranean.  Of course, the British considered the Mediterranean as their sea, in the words of Mussolini and the old Roman adage, “Mere Nostrum!” thus as the HMS Renown safely reached Malta, where Churchill had a meeting with Lt. General Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, one could readily see that he had no real clue what he wanted to do, and General Alan Brooke, the head of the Imperial War Staff disagreed with almost all of his decisions, his blurred vision, and his mixed messages to Anthony Eden, his Foreign Minister, to Marshall Stalin and to the Americans.

Churchill was, on the surface, quite confidant in the upcoming preliminary meeting in Cairo – codenamed Sextant, which would include Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. Roosevelt, after making a dangerous and heroic trip across the Atlantic, was able to land safely in Dakar and eventually fly to Tunis and then to Cairo. He met with Chiang Kai-Shek, made commitments to help China so they could fight the Japanese who controlled the whole East coast of China, cooperate with our American general Joseph Stillwell, and have the huge Chinese army trained and better armed. The British objected to this meeting. They assumed when the Japanese were beaten, the French would go right back to ruling their Indochinese colonies. Churchill never wanted the precedent of de-colonization to start with removal of the decadent French, who after 100 years of rule, left that forlorn part of the world, worse than when they occupied it. He saw the eventual loss of Hong Kong, Malaya, and India as a disaster that he would do all to prevent. Well it eventually happened and would the British ever fight for Hong King? Never!

This meeting would eventually accomplish very little. In fact, Churchill was very bitter at the scheduling of the meeting with the Chinese leader, because he felt China had nothing to do with the defeat of Germany. Realistically, all the promises that Churchill grudgingly made with Roosevelt would eventually be reversed by Churchill. This duplicity promulgated by the British, would later reverberate with disastrous consequences. With the ultimate failure of Sextant and Churchill’s continual disappointment with the American position on OVERLORD.

Here in Tehran, the capital Iran, the most important conference of the 2nd World War, certainly of the first half of the 20th Century and possibly, the whole 20th Century, until our time, the fate of Europe and the world was decided by the Big Three. Led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who initiated this meeting and who led each session, Marshal Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union and commander of their armies and Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and their Minister of Defense, would decide the strategy that would either win the war, prolong it, or even be forced to “broker” a peace.

In this meeting, Churchill, who objected to American command of Europe even though we were supplying two thirds to three quarters of the men and material to the Western effort! Though we were also supporting the Soviet armies with 10 to 15% of their trucks (400,000), planes, ammunition, guns, and equipment via Lend Lease through a land route using Iran as a marshalling base and the deadly North Sea route to Murmansk and Archangel, Churchill still had to be convinced that the correct path to victory over Nazi Germany was through Northern France.


Churchill seemed to have no interest in that effort, may have actually believed that the Soviets and the Nazis would bleed each other to death, wanted to preserve the British Empire at all costs, and continued to have operations in the Aegean Sea, the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes, and points east to actuate an invasion of the Dardanelles, with the dream of enticing Turkey into the war on the Allied side. This was almost dissolution, bordering on irrational. He never abandoned the pipe dream of an effort to surge northward to liberate Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria from whom, I ask? They were allies of Germany!

They needed liberation? What about the western democracies under the thumb of four years of Nazi occupation, featuring; looting, slave labor, tyranny and murder?

What was his purpose to fight in the mountainous terrain of Yugoslavia, and divert attention away from Overlord, the invasion of France? He even opposed the invasion of Southern France, planned under the code name Anvil. Later, when he was convinced of the need for the invasion of Southern France, at Marseilles, he had the code name changed to Anvil-Dragoon, because he was “dragooned” into the controversial, but most successful operation. Later, after D-Day, in August of 1944, naval operation and its subsequent landings would move the American armies up through the Rhone River Valley, under the overall command of Admiral Kent Hewitt and General Jacob Devers. The US Army’s VI Corps, led by Major General Lucian Truscott, would carry out the initial landing and be followed by the French Army B under command of Général Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. Accompanying the operation was a fully mobilized separate detachment called “Task Force Butler”, consisting of the bulk of the Allied tanks, tank destroyers, and mechanized infantry. Regarding the immensely successful invasion of Southern France and despite Hitler’s personal order that vital coastal enclaves were to be defended to the last man, reason started to penetrate into the minds of the German defenders. The main ground force for the operation was the US Seventh Army commanded by Lt. General Alexander Patch. At that critical juncture in the Southern France Campaign (Anvil), the German High Command began to re-evaluate its entire position in the west. By August 16, with many of their divisions in danger of annihilation, the German leaders elected to order a general withdrawal from France. German General Johannes Blaskowitz was to leave strong garrisons at Toulon, Marseille, and several key Atlantic ports. Those actions only served incrementally to delay the Allied advance.. Marseille fell in less than a week. This mission of the VII Corps, strongly aided and abetted by Free French resistant forces, started to move northward. Though their supply lines were being stretched thin, all Allied Anvil commanders nevertheless agreed that keeping the initiative was paramount. Allied forces, under General Jacob Dever’s 6th Army, part of the VII Corps continued to surge northward on the heels of the retreating Germans. Eventually they would link up with Eisenhower’s forces that were sweeping south in a wide arc to encircle German forces in the Falaise Gap — the hammer striking the anvil — to finally drive the Germans out of France. Despite Churchill’s  fears, opposition and fruitless demands, the Anvil Forces overwhelmed the light German forces in what had been Vichy France, as it was then able to liberate most of Southern France.

This was another case of superior American strategy over Churchill’s continued expression of his self-importance regarding overall theories of the conduct of the war.

With regards to more of Churchill’s mistakes and his obsession with the Balkans, eventually, the Germans were driven out of Yugoslavia, with the help of the Allies, Tito and his Red-Star hatted Communists. They were triumphant as the (pro-American) Chetniks were defeated and their leader, Draz Mihailovich became a hunted man, with a price on his head.  The Allies soon recognized their colossal error, with regards to Tito, but the main burden for that failed policy fell into the laps of the British and Churchill, who later admitted it was his greatest mistake. Frankly, he made many mistakes. The Soviets through their spies in Britain, later known as the Cambridge Five, were able to convince the Brits that the Chetniks were really pro- German and that Tito and his partisans were the force to completely support. After the war, eventually after 18 months or so, on the run, Draza Mihailovich was captured. He had many opportunities to escape, but seemed to be resigned to his fate. Maybe he felt that as long as he remained at-large in Yugoslavia, there was resistance to the Communists. He was captured, indicted and tried for treason and eventually executed.

Sunny Italy turns into Bloody Italy as the Churchillian Gambit turns sour!

 Let all of us understand that the Italian Theater of combat came about for various reasons. One was that the Allies, assuredly America was not prepared for a cross-channel attack in 1942 or 1943, envisioned by American planners, like General Albert Wedemeyer, and foolishly agreed upon by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Chief of Staff of the Army, General George C. Marshall, and head of the Navy Admiral Ernest King. Not only was America not logistically prepared, but its armies were not battle tested and they wouldn’t be until the hard fought campaign in North Africa, from the landings during Operation Torch through the defeat at the Kasserine Pass by the Afrika Korps to the final victory in Tunisia. The 2nd reason was that after the successful liberation of North Africa by the combined forces of Britain’s 8th Army, under the command of General Bernard Law Montgomery, which drove from Egypt and America’s VII Corps, commanded by General Eisenhower and spearheaded by Lt. General George C. Patton which drove from Morocco and Algiers eastward into Tunisia, there was no other choice that was sensible. Therefore, the next logical target was Sicily and the combined forces under Patton and Montgomery quickly secured the island after their successful landings, beachheads, and thrusts northward. Prime Minister Churchill, acting also as Britain’s Defense Minister even wanted invasions of Corsica and Sardinia, which were totally unnecessary. The British, with Churchill at the lead, never wanted a cross-Channel invasion and as I have demonstrated would rather have ventured further east into Rhodes and Greece. Generally speaking, it was finally agreed upon to invade Italy from the south with Montgomery crossing the straits of Messina and the American 5th Army, under Lt. General Mark Clark invading at Salerno, not far from Naples. Thus, this satisfied Churchill’s quest to attack the soft-belly of the Axis somewhere. Unfortunately, from then on almost all went wrong. The soft-belly of Italy was not soft, and British gambits in the Eastern Mediterranean were a disaster.

This set the stage for another Churchill gambit. He desperately wanted to concentrate on capturing Rome and to surge northward with an idea that he could circumvent the Alps to invade Germany, which no one in history was ever to accomplish. Did he care about the hundreds of thousands of allied causalities in the mountainous territory of Italy? Were his arguments ever sincere? That is the question. Of course, he wrote the history (a six volume set, winning himself the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953) and said he “would bury his mistakes,’ which were legion! In fact, his history was forced by law to omit the reality of ULTRA, the breaking of the German Code, and his omissions of critical issues were historically insincere and frankly terribly inaccurate.

But, what of that gambit? In truth, the disaster of Italy could be summed up in one word, “Anzio, – Operation “Shingle.” It proved as General Eisenhower and Secretary Stimson had predicted and feared, a calamity. The 43,000 Allied casualties on the beaches of Anzio and the surrounding hills, over the next 4.5 months, included over 7000 who died there would be a terrible indictment of General Brooke’s support of the latest Churchill flawed strategy, but most of all his impetuosity and shallowness. In reality, Churchill’s autocratic and often wild behavior seemed to General Brooke to be substantially worse than ever in November, 1943, when Brooke had despaired of having to work with such an impossible Commander in Chief. As of mid-January, 1944, Brooke wrote in his diary that he could not “stand more of it, ”After 4 hours of meetings with Churchill.. “In all his plans he lives hand to mouth, he can never grasp a whole plan, either in its width or its depth.” He added, “His method is entirely opportunistic, gathering one flower her another there! My God how tired I am of working with him.”

The campaign in Italy went from bad to worse- no less than three bloody battle were fought at the foothills of Monte Cassino, with little or no results as the stranded forces at Anzio could not linkup with General Clark’s forces. Italy was, as Admiral William Leahy, FDR’s person Chief of Staff had predicted, a disaster. This was the “soft under-belly of the Axis?” Anzio was, in short, a mess, a catastrophe as Rome was still as far away as ever. This caused the shaken Prime Minister to plead for an emergency meeting with the President and the American chiefs of staff in the United States of the Bahamas. Because Roosevelt’s lingering bronchitis, it would never happen.

More problems would ensue between Churchill and the British chiefs of staff. In fact it would get much worse. By March of 1944, the entire British Chiefs were on the point of resignation! To Brooke, Churchill “has lost all balance and is in a very dangerous mood!”

Aside from the immediate problems caused by Churchill and the British command of the Mediterranean Theater, President Roosevelt, who received tremendous support from Marshall Stalin, felt that Stalin knew for sure more about military strategy than Churchill. FDR pointed out all the pitfalls regarding Turkey, the Aegean and the so-called worthlessness of attacking the so-called “soft under belly” of the Axis. For sure again, Italy was no “soft belly!” Why was the attack and occupation of Rhodes so important to Churchill? Where would that lead? In fact, the British were just thrown out of that region by strong German defenses and counter attacks. He seemed to have forgotten the British failures in Crete, Greece including 1940 and the later ones in 1943, in the Peloponnese, the Dodecanese region, along with the islands of Leros and Rhodes. And the question remains, what was Churchill’s ideas and was he even sincere about invading France even in 1945 or 1946?

Roosevelt was insisting on the American command of the cross channel invasion of France. He intimated that it would be the well-respected General George C, Marshall, the current US Chief of Staff. This was approved by Stalin and Churchill, but the British Prime Minister, who wanted British command of all of Europe, insisted that if the Americans commanded the Overlord Operation the British would command the Mediterranean. Of course, this would be his chance to divert forces back to the Aegean. This compromise, would lead to the backtracking of aid to China, a cancelling of Operation Buccaneer, the invasion of Andaman Islands, which caused the Chinese leadership to lose faith in American and allied support. The Nationalist Chinese thus focused their forces on the communists and Mao Zedong, who controlled northwest China. This turned out to be long-term disaster for China, Indochina, and the immediate postwar future of Southern Asia.

In the end, it was not Marshall who would command SHAEF and OVERLORD. It would be Eisenhower. The conventional wisdom was that Marshall would go to London and Eisenhower to the Pentagon as the new Chief of Staff. Of course, for many reasons this was never going to happen. FDR never really wanted Marshall out of Washington and the United States. Harry Hopkins, as FDR’s emissary, asked Marshall which he wanted, to remain Chief of Staff or the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force?

Marshall answered that he would serve the President in any role, with cheerful enthusiasm that the President wished. This was typical of Marshal and FDR saw that he would not make a “personal” commitment!” No one knows what was on FDR’s mind about Marshall’s future role. But, this enabled him to choose Eisenhower. He finessed Britain with the specter of Marshall as the Supreme Commander and he finally choose the most experienced officer in the field, General Eisenhower, who commanded American troops in North Africa and Sicily! In fact, FDR had consulted the aged General John J. Pershing, who knew and respected Marshall, but warned against his appointment.

Churchill, in the continued wake of his disappointments after the conferences at Casablanca, Quebec, etc., continued to fester over the thwarting of his desires to attack, up and through, the Aegean area all the way to the Dardanelles. He never seemed to come to the realization that these adventures were to never happen, no less succeed. In the meantime, the campaign in Italy had slowed down dramatically, the difficult terrain benefitted the defending German army, and the casualties were mounting at an alarming rate. The American command, and especially, FDR never saw the conquest of Italy as a strategic lynch pin for success. They were happy to have German divisions diverted from the Eastern Front with the Soviets and, thus have their manpower and supplies drained. For sure, the liberation of Rome was not a strategic objective, needed at all costs. Almost immediately, as Eisenhower relinquished command of the Mediterranean sector to the British, Churchill pushed for another invasion, up the boot of Italy at Anzio, which turned out to be another military quagmire, with the great loss of both American and British lives.

As Eisenhower was later to recall, “It was difficult to escape the feeling that Mr. Churchill’s views were colored” by considerations “outside the scope of the immediate military problem,” that the Prime Minister was all too, interested in personal objectives, and happy to disregard the military challenges involved, when it suited him. It seemed to Eisenhower that Churchill preferred to focus on British political needs, even personal prizes of low-hanging “fruits” dangling before him in his capacious mind. When “fired up about a strategic project, logistics (maybe reality) did not exist for him. Eisenhower reflected, about Churchill that “Combat troops just floated forward and around obstacles – nothing was difficult.”

Once again, Churchill’s interference with the goals of Tehran proved costly to allied efforts with regards to blood and treasure. Eventually, with the August invasion of Marseilles, in the Anvil-Dragoon Operation, Churchill was proven quite incorrect. He, even in one of his more lucid moments, admitted it was his greatest mistakes. Unfortunately, throughout the war, there were many, “greatest mistakes” from Norway, to Singapore, to Tobruk, to Anzio, and his operation to the southern invasion of France.

The most remarkable consequence of his actions was that General Brooke, Chief of the Imperial Army and his staff didn’t resign en masse regarding Churchill’s interference, inconstancies, casting of blame, and ranting diatribes, In fact, after the war all of their diaries supported their concerns about Churchill’s stability. Did this ever happen with Roosevelt, his staff, his war cabinet or anyone around him? No!

The End Game, OVERLORD and the Long Sought and Anticipated Invasion of Northern France!

Of course, on D-Day, June 6, 1944, all the arguments ended, the hand-wringing and doubts were superfluous. The beachhead was secured, eventually there was the anticipated Breakout and the earlier mentioned invasion of Southern France, Operation Anvil-Dragoon, proved a brilliant success. Roosevelt and the American planners were right. The VII Corps and the 6th and 7th US Armies moved up the Loire Valley, cut through Vichy, France and eventually linked up with General Patton’s 3rd Army as the Germans were in a general retreat from France.

The question over Churchill’s competence echoed through the British Imperial War Staff. Churchill was not immune to the stress and ravages of age and his consumption of copious amounts of alcohol. After Tehran, Churchill had collapsed in Tunis and reports had surfaced that he had died. Of course, the reports were unfounded, but he was seriously ill. But, with that reality in mind, many were speculating whether he could continue to serve as Prime Minister.

Churchill had suffered other health setbacks, including mild heart attacks and bout with the flu and pneumonia, including in the days after his late December, 1941, visit to the White House. In the midst of FDR’s latest health crisis, Churchill rapidly recovered from pneumonia and atrial fibrillation.

Therefore, by September of 1944, another meeting between FDR and Churchill had become superfluous and redundant. There was no way that the ailing President Roosevelt was going to meet Churchill in Scotland or almost anywhere else, except in North America, especially in the midst of the presidential campaign.  As the time for the next Quebec Conference approached, both western leaders were seriously ill. On the voyage west to meet with their American colleagues on the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee, at the Chateau de Frontenac, Churchill was quite impossible to argue with. Field Marshall Brooke later recalled, “It was a ghastly time which I carried away the bitterest of memories!” Churchill felt the same about his top two commanders, Brooke and Admiral Andrew Cunningham.

Thus, to sum up the Quebec Conference with regards to Churchill’s speech to the gathered fourteen chiefs and their staffs, his objectives regarding Vienna and Singapore were totally dismissed out of hand, as FDR punctured all of his trial balloons. FDR doubted that the Germans or the Japanese were about to fold.

The Japanese were beyond fanatical and suicidal on Saipan and the Germans eventually would retreat behind the wide Rhine River. He also predicted that there would be another huge German offensive in the West. Eventually he was proven right as the Germans attacked in the Ardennes, known historically as the Battle of the Bulge. As for fortress Singapore, FDR for sure didn’t want to attack fortified positions with the high resultant casualties, unless the position had strategic importance. Singapore had no strategic importance and he recommended that it be isolated from the north with an effort in the Malay Peninsula.

Churchill still wanted to reach Vienna from the Adriatic and he was coming to Quebec, with hat in hand, to solely obtain 20 landing ships to carry out an operation against Istria (a peninsular in the Adriatic) to seize Trieste. No matter what the British Staff reacted up against Churchill’s futile protestations, their objections went to “dead and deaf” ears! “Was Churchill then mad,” Brooke wondered or “perhaps ill?”

The next day of the voyage, Churchill’s fever increased and he became increasingly worse. Field Marshal Brooke recorded in his diary. “He knows no details, has only half the picture in his mind, talks absurdities and makes my blood boil to listen to his nonsense!”


Brooke also wrote, “I find it hard to remain civil,” and he continued, “The wonderful thing is that three-quarters of the population of the world imagines that Winston Churchill is one of the great strategists of history, a second Marlborough and the other one-quarter have no conception what a public menace he is and has been throughout the war!” Of course, FDR, in the midst of the presidential campaign, was a shadow of his former self, who was trying to end the war without more unnecessary, further bloodshed. He wasn’t looking for more “side shows” or gambits to satiate more imperial desires of Churchill. His objective was to defeat Germany, get the United Nations concept in place, and secure the peace.

Therefore, the critical Big Three meeting, known as the Yalta Conference was scheduled for the Crimea. The USS Quincy, a heavy cruiser, and a sister ship to the USS Baltimore, carried FDR on his last overseas odyssey to Yalta. He was accompanied by his daughter Anna, and a small entourage on board, which included his Chief of Staff Admiral Leahy, his Director of War Mobilization, former US Supreme Court Justice James (Jimmy) F. Byrnes, his Press Secretary Steve Early, his political advisor Ed Flynn, from the Bronx, his naval and military aides, his two doctors and three officers from the White House map room.

On January 31, 1945 as they passed into the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar, they celebrated FDR’s 63rd birthday, one day earlier. On February 2nd they entered into the Grand Harbor at Valletta, Malta and disembarked. All of bomb ravaged Malta was out to greet him along with Ambassador Harriman, Harry Hopkins, his personal assistant, and Anthony Eden. Ed Flynn remarked, “It was quite an emotional moment!” One could just imagine how this small island, which endured 1000 air raids welcomed this great leader of the United Nations and the Western Allies.

After their stay in Malta, he and his intimate team, bordered a newly furbished C-54, the latest, newly equipped version of his plane, the “Sacred Cow.” (An early version of Air Force One). The plane was screened by six fighter planes and escorted to Russia.

Churchill, from his perspective, according to Harry Hopkins, dreaded the conference and despised the location. But, since Churchill had flown to meet personally with Stalin in Moscow, he wasn’t going to be left out of this conference. As damaged as Yalta was by the Nazis invaders and looters, who even took out the piping in most of the buildings, including the summer residence of the former Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. The Livadia Palace, was meticulously restored and rehabilitated by the Russians. Frankly, it was in excellent condition.

In the last few months of his life FDR struggled to balance the interests of the West, the special relationship with Great Britain, and the criticality of building trust with the Soviet Union and their leader Josef Stalin. He understood the anxiety of the Russians; their fear of the rise of German militarism in the future, and he also knew that the Soviets feared a united Western Alliance, bent on their destruction. He envisioned a Big Four, comprised of the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the emerging China, which would keep the peace, work for decolonization, and build understanding between competing economic and social systems. He understood the dynamic of nationalism and he also understood clearly that the Soviet Union was in control of Eastern Europe and that they would not easily give up their hard earned, with blood and treasure, buffer. He certainly didn’t believe it was in America’s interest to fight a 3rd World War over Poland’s sovereignty. Despite the opinion of his conservative critics, FDR was quite aware of what he was doing at Yalta. He tried to build confidence in Stalin, by showing him that the West was not in monolithic lockstep. He did annoy Churchill, who couldn’t understand his tactic, and it was basically the British who criticized his health and attentiveness. Almost all the others did not see FDR as the “weak sister” of the conference. He was for sure the leader of the Big Three and he also understood the reality of “Russian boots on the ground.” During his later address to a Joint Session of Congress he addressed that reality. There were few who could disagree with his evaluation.

But, in truth, it was only FDR who could have handled the post-war dilemma regarding peace or potential Cold War. As for Yalta, FDR comported himself quite well, and all the revisionist right-wing fiction can’t change the facts.

We could not have won the war without Stalin or the Soviet Red Army. They had 10+ million soldiers on the Eastern Front, they distrusted the Western Allies’ sincerity, especially Churchill, who had little clue how to lead a peace-time nation. The Soviets feared a resurrected Germany, and its partition was well justified. Unfortunately, because of the ensuing Cold War, Germany escaped greater and more deserved draconian punishment. At least in the Soviet Zone they suffered more deservedly then in the three Western Occupation Zones.

The great reason for the failed peace was the death of FDR, because he was the only one with the skills and prestige to lead the West and insure the peace. Truman did as best as he could, considering his inexperience and poor advice. As to the West, its fear of communism obfuscated the crimes of the Fascists, Nazis and the other Eastern European strongmen, who brutalized Germany, Italy and all the countries east of the Oder-Neisse. The dictators of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania were not democratically inclined and Poland was run by a military junta. FDR was not going to commit the US to go to war over Poland and he had stated that the Russians and Poles had hated each other for centuries and they both had blood on their hands. Poland was the “trip wire” with regards to Britain and France. They had no special allegiance to Poland and their treaties were signed to draw the line, with regards to German aggression. As for the Soviet Union, they were making geo political deals to survive no differently than the West. With Stalin, he was just another in a long line of oligarchs who had run Russia forever. The crimes of the Romanov’s, which had lasted 400 years, were not much different than the Bourbons of France and the other royal dynasties that disappeared in Austria and Spain. As Napoleon sagely said, “The victors write the history.” In the same sense, that the Soviets and the Russian people, after hundreds of years of oppression, turned to another system and, for better or worse, supported it. Was Churchill more aware of the threat of the Soviet Union than Roosevelt, or was a healthy FDR much more capable of handling Stalin, the Soviet Union, and encouraging their trust in the West? That is the eternal question.

For sure, Churchill’s vast mistakes in strategy were mostly a consequence of an inflated ego and a self-belief that he was an unequalled military genius, a mid-2th Century Carl von Clausewitz.

Churchill was a great man, with unparalleled oratorical skills, a polished writer, a wonderful artist, but understandably was most interested in preserving the British Empire. He stated it! Long-time, Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King, when comparing President Roosevelt and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, he wrote in his dairy, “Churchill has been raised up to meet the need of the day in the realm of war, to fight, with the power of the sword, the brute beasts that would devour their fellow men in the lust for power.” He also added, “Roosevelt might not be a greater man as an orator, or military ‘genius’; nevertheless he was a greater man!”



Of course, Prime Minister King was a dear friend of FDR, and he stated, “The President has overtaxed his strengths in other ways (than Churchill’s drinking). His fight for the people has made him many and bitter enemies!” As a consequence of his long political leadership from being the Governor of New York during the early days of the Great Depression, along with his long social, economic and political leadership of America from 1933 through the attack on Pearl Harbor, “he has been sincere in his determination to better the conditions of the masses, he is more human than Churchill!”

FDR never anticipated his own death and no matter how much he would have brought Vice-President Truman into the councils of his own thoughts and strategy, he could not guide Truman’s hand from the grave. Truman, with all of his limitations, turned out to be a strong and resolute chief executive. Of course, Averill Harriman and the other “Cold Warrior” hardliners won the day, but ironically both he and George Kennan reversed their thinking on reengaging with the Moscow.

In the words of Professor Frank Costigliola, author of FDR and the Lost Alliances, “It was Harriman, who had worked most tirelessly to distort and undo Roosevelt’s vision, who later paid the most poignant testimony to his wartime boss.  Harriman later stated, “FDR was basically right in thinking he could make progress by personal relations with Stalin… The Russians were utterly convinced that the change came as result of the shift from Roosevelt to Truman.”  Harriman added, “If Roosevelt had lived with full vigor, it’s very hard to say what could have happened because – Roosevelt could lead the world.”

Of course FDR’s death, like Lincoln’s almost exactly eighty years earlier had proven to be a disaster for America. Great leadership is not easy to develop. Truman, though an excellent president, who history has treated quite kindly, could not fill the Seven League boots of his great predecessor.

Palestine Postscript:

FDR Report to Congress

In his report to Congress on March 1, 1945, Roosevelt declared that he had learned “more about the “Moslem problem, the Jewish problem, by talking with Ibn Sa’ud for five minutes” than he had ever known before. This statement and its meaning have been debated for generations and many have shaped their own interpretation. FDR, who was fighting exhaustion along with his hypertension, arteriosclerosis, and advanced heart disease, was not in any condition to over-explain the meaning of his words. But, according to many interpreters of his remarks, what he basically said; was that he learned that the Saudis were adamantly against any Jewish State, they would never make a deal, and any compromise that the Zionists assumed could happen, was not to be accomplished. Therefore, what he was responding to was, that all the “dreams” of a Zionist State would not happen with Arab consent, and they were not going to consent. Of course, in the last few months of his life, FDR did assure both the Zionists in America of his continued support and the British and the Arabs that he would not unilaterally force a Zionist state on them without their consent. This dualism is not easily answered. In a sense FDR was continuing his balancing act with his British Allies. He understood their deep reliance on both India, with their large Muslim population and their long relationship with the Arabs. Certainly he did want not to threaten their unity with extraneous issues not related to winning the war in both Europe and Japan. He was unaware that the Atomic Bomb would be successfully tested in the coming months, and therefore he looked forward to a long bitter and bloody struggle to subdue and conquer Japan. Again, Roosevelt was also exhausted by his 12,000+ mile trip back and forth to Yalta.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft excoriates Churchill, in “Churchill’s Shadow.”

In his historiography at the end, Geoffrey Wheatcroft gives Andrew Roberts, author of “Walking with Destiny,” the long, well researched, and received, one-volume history of Winston Churchill, credit for writing such a splendid book. But he dismisses it as not only hagiography at its finest, but part of the whole unsettling problem of not being honest about this iconic man and the price we have paid for this dishonesty. Wheatcroft has a point … in fact, many points. A truly well-regarded journalist, a direct and deeply informed contrarian, Wheatcroft succeeded in returning Churchill to the position he had devolved to in the years after his second try as Prime Minister. Churchill, of course, wrote his very well-received and Nobel Prize winning (1953) History of World War II, which seemed to reflect the words of Napoleon, “The victors write the history!” He wrote the history according to his own ego and seemed to ignore the myriad of mistakes and misjudgments that were rife with his leadership.

Meanwhile, aside from the war, Wheatcroft excoriates Churchill from the Boer War onward regarding many aspects of his life, including; his spending, debt, drinking and writing. He criticizes his use of a large staff to write his books, the use of ghost writers for many of his columns, and his taking of official documents for his own use. Unfortunately, truth be known, most of the books were written by a committee of researchers and writers, who often plagiarized other works, including large tracts about the Pacific War, especially from Samuel Eliot Morrison’s 15 volume, history of the US Navy operations during World War II. In fact, Churchill, who made his living writing struggled with publishers over the various rights he agreed to over the years. Often there were competing claims, that if it had been anyone else, there would have been embarrassing litigation.

He criticizes his attitude on race and empire. He criticizes him on his flip-flops on all sorts of issues, regarding the bombing of Germany, especially Dresden, (I personally couldn’t have cared less if they destroyed every German city), Stalin, Mussolini, Turkey, the Middle East, etc. He is very critical of his relationships with Beaverbrook, Bracken and a number of others who he considers brigands and exploiters. He certainly does not ignore his drinking and his tax problems, nor his abject failure with his children, especially his loutish son, Randolph. Wheatcroft is a conservative, Tory and he certainly goes after him on his leadership of the party in the post war period.

In 1945, the British public hardly rewarded their hero. In the general election of that year, his party was given its worse defeat since 1806. Churchill had failed often in his roles in domestic, British governance before WWI. For these failures, aside from his disastrous role in the WWI catastrophe at Gallipoli, he was out of the Tory leadership for years.

After his lack-luster, health-hindered, second try as Prime Minister, Churchill’s reputation withered in the decade before his death in 1965, and declined even more in the years that followed. Churchill’s reputation was rekindled by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, who both needed a “conservative” hero. In fact, he was more popular here than in Britain. But, of recent date, British historian Nigel Hamilton, brutalized Churchill’s role in WWII as one of ineptitude, failure and interference in his monumental trilogy, “FDR at War.” No doubt he rallied the British people in their “Darkest Hour,” in 1940, but he went severely downhill from there with mistakes and misjudgment after mistake.

By the way, Wheatcroft comes from impeccable Tory credentials, so this is not a partisan or ideological fight. Rather, he is quite literally trying to set the record straight and if those stupid blurbs on Amazon are any indication, he has upset a lot of people. In truth, Churchill, even according to Andrew Roberts, who I greatly respect, and who I interviewed twice on my radio show, The Advocates, conceded that Churchill was always great “theater” and entertainment in Parliament, but with hardly any followers. The basic reason was that few trusted him, and his actions in WWII made even his intimates and his Imperial Military Staff wary of his judgment. Even FDR, who had fabulous patience was frustrated by his great western ally and partner.

All in all, revisionism is a fact of life, and though out the ages all the notables have been reviewed, at one time or another, often with pointed criticism. Some of it sticks, most of it doesn’t. Remember, no biographer knows the whole truth (except maybe Robert Caro) and no autobiographer tells the whole truth (even if they did, no one would really believe it). As for his literary contribution, Churchill’s greatest vulnerability, to me, is his six volume “History of the 2nd World War.” Most modern day critics, disagree with a great deal of his telling of his role.






Alonzo Hamby’s “Man of Destine, FDR, a Political Life,” and Robert Dallek’s “FDR, a Political Life.” Richard J. Garfunkel 1-8-23

History, they say, is the greatest teacher. Unfortunately, in this generation, most are guilt about not reading the lessons of the past. As usual, I am reading two more books on FDR, basically with a focus on his political life- Alonzo Hamby’s “Man of Destine, FDR, a Political Life,” and Robert Dallek’s  “FDR, a Political Life.”  In truth nothing has changed in the last 100 years. There is no real need to go back too much further, because America was much more rural, with a completely different set of economic dynamics. The same forces of economic imperative, culture, race, greed and fear existed and it was worse.

One thing for sure that hasn’t changed is the “cult of the personality!” In a sense, all the good meaning and the important achievements of the New Deal (with its failures) would never have worked politically without the immense personal popularity of FDR. In the same sense he faced massive opposition even in the heart of the Depression and the recovery. Let us not forget that in 1932, after three years of the Depression, with possibly 1/3 of the country out of work, Hoover still received 39% of the vote against a very popular governor of NY, who in the last election, won by 725,000 votes, more than twice the record margin that had achieved in any state in history, in any state or federal election (Al Smith won in 1922 as governor with 325,000 or so votes), a man with a famous name, a successful governor and a person, who was thought of as conquering polio. In fact, in FDR’s life up to 1928, when he first ran for governor, he would have been famous for his charitable work, especially at Warm Springs. Let us not forget, that the millions who voted for Hoover in 1932, most often voted for Landon in 1936 and for sure Nixon and Goldwater. The 21 year old’s would be in their 50’s.

In the same sense we face the same dynamic with Trump, just like the country faced with Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Charles Lindbergh, etc. It is all reflective of a hero who (supposedly) represents what a segment of the population wants. There are great rational and irrational fears in America regarding the border, libertarian freedoms of the far left and the right, the widening gap between the rich and poor, the changing racial demographics, the high cost of housing, education and healthcare and the culture itself. Many American young people are reflective of the film ,”The Last Picture Show.” They have no clue what they can do, where they will live, they are not getting married, children aren’t being born and there are two distinct Americas: one where people can raise their family, educate them, send them to camp, with specialty programs with social and physical enrichment, along with the proper connections and all the rest. Just look at the rural South and  West from the Mississippi to the Rockies in the 20’s and 30’s and today.  No matter what all of us know, we are part of the elite that at another time, folks looked up to and aspired to be part of. That has changed dramatically, and the illusion of Andy Hardy and Ozzie and Harriet (which had some rationale) has disappeared forever! Interestingly, it disappeared with Ricky (Rick) Nelson who became a rock and roll star and whose life spiraled far away from the life he was raised.

In the last week or so, as I scrolled through the television, I noticed at least 6-8 college basketball teams and all the players on both sides of the court, from different sections of the country were non-white (Black). Their hair, their tattoos and their style of playing was incredibly foreign to me. Did I care? Not that much since I haven’t watch any basketball since the end of Larry Bird’s career. But to many middle (aged and in the flyover states) Americans, I am sure they wondered why there was not one white player on the courts. One can see the same in the NBA, and it is reaching close to that in the NFL. In baseball, without Latino/Hispanics, half the teams, or more, would be gone. The commercials and the sitcoms represent a different racial America, reflective of the younger elements of the population, which is the audience the advertisers want to see. In Britain, there is a popular program, “Midsomer Murders,” which is in its 23rd season and we have seen all of the 120+ shows. It is set in very, well-off British exurbia. For the first 18 seasons it was lily white to the nth degree. Now each episode has Blacks integrated into every aspect of the plot. But, in fact, there are virtually no Blacks who live in this area and the idea of inter-marriage is absurd. In fact, that characters are Black is completely ignored, so after social criticism of the program’s make up, they made the changes. But, I am sure older folks are bewildered by the casting.

Thus, this divide transcends politics. It is something engrained in people.  Therefore, others like the wealthy Liberty League in the 30’s (Long, Father Coughlin, Gerald Lk Smith) or FOX Noise today (or the Klan, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Michigan Militia, etc), cater to the disenchanted. They keep on telling their audience that someone else is getting all the benefits of our society. In other words your legacy along with the country and the social order you love is being stolen!



MARILYN MONROE-Film Icon Richard J. Garfunkel 11-22-2022

Marilyn Monroe remains a film and American con, not unlike others that died young, starting with Jeanne Eagles, a star of the 1920s, who died of drugs and alcoholism at age 39. Others, like Jean Harlow, the first blond bombshell, Judy Garland, and James Dean followed that same path to fan immortality. Aside from Monroe, there were many other great women stars, and the critics knew talent when they saw it: Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Mary Astor, Greer Garson, Meryl Streep, Claudette Colbert, Vivian Leigh, Barbara Stanwyck, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Arthur, Susan Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn and Ginger Rogers among many others. By the way, they were all attractive. If not, they could never have made it in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

As for blond bombshells there have been many that followed Jean Harlow, like, Virginia Mayo and Carol Landis. But no one could capture to her electricity. Others, like; Lana Turner, Betty Grable and ultimately Marilyn Monroe were the heirs to Harlow. Monroe certainly created a new look that brought on her own imitators, like Jayne Mansfield, Diana Dors, Joi Lansing, and Carol Wayne, who was an almost a regular on the Johnny Carson Show.

With Marilyn, no one could deny her sex appeal and film charisma. But, In fact, I would judge Jean Harlow to be miles ahead of Monroe in talent. She also had her problems with her mother and her home life, like Mary Astor and many others. Throughout Hollywood history a number of husbands exploited their working wives, but in fact, neither Jim Daugherty, baseball super star, Joe DiMaggio nor famed playwright Arthur Miller exploited her. She dumped first husband Jim Daugherty, DiMaggio was a misogynist and had no clue regarding social graces, and Miller dumped his first wife for her. What else is new? Nothing can be deprecated regarding her strong sex-appeal. But this is nothing new in the world of Hollywood. In fact, the original “It Girl,” was Clara Bow. There were many, many others like, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Hedy LaMarr and Rita Hayworth, who many fans often call great actresses. They were far from it. Some have had more talent than others, but they would hardly be compared with other stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood: Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Greer Garson, Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino, Claudette Colbert, Rosalind Russell, Vivien Leigh, Irene Dunne, and Barbara Stanwyck

For sure, not every evaluation is based on sex or sexism. Not every man is a male chauvinist, and there have been countless women who have taken advantage of their good looks to climb up the ladder of fame, success and fortune. I believe, and know, that Monroe had enough talent to come off the pages of the fan magazine, pass a screen text, and be shaped by the body and face sculptors of Hollywood. After that re-make effort, one must really judge her body of work, not just her body! Frankly, I have always liked her in pretty much whatever she did. But, whom am I, but another red-blooded American boy!

Obviously there are film buffs, critics, casual fans and others who buy into “the cult of the personality.” In reading various comments on Marilyn Monroe, one finds two overwhelming dynamics: one an over-analysis of all of her films as some critics and fans try to find the secret to her electricity, allure, and as Billy Wilder said, “flesh appeal” and the other, a more detailed look at what she really accomplished, the depth of her roles, her actual skills and how they evolved.


Band of Brothers- Another Perspective Richard J. Garfunkel July 20, 2022 (78th Anniversary of the Plot to kill Hitler and 53rd Anniversary of Mankind’s Landing on the Moon)

The title of the book and series comes from the St Crispin’s Day Speech in William Shakespeare‘s play Henry V, delivered by King Henry before the Battle of Agincourt.

“From this day to the ending of the World,…we in it shall be remembered…we band of brothers.”

 David Kenyon Webster was a very well-educated, privileged child of a well-off Republican family from Bronxville, NY, who was the author of Parachute Infantry, a memoir written not long after the war, but rejected by the publishers, He had a number of articles published in the Saturday Evening Post in the 1950s. This book was first published in 1994, decades after his death in 1961.

For people who are unaware of the Village of Bronxville, it is small community, one square mile wide, is part of the town of Eastchester, NY and its population in 1940 was 6,888 and today it is 6,656. It is a very wealthy community with the average household income of over $340,000 in 2020.  The demographics today are 87.5% white, 1% African –American and 7% Asian. The rest are mostly Hispanic or Latino. Today it is moderately liberal, but in 1940 it was 100% white and the registration was probably close to 100% Republican. In 1940, it was most probably 100% white and 100% Christian. In the election of 1940, FDR defeated Willkie in the State of NY by: 51.5 to 48%. In Westchester County, Willkie won with 62.3% and in Bronxville, I am sure Willkie was the overwhelming winner. That was the nature of Webster’s hometown in 1940.

In fact, there was a time in the post war years where Bronxville was known as a restricted community and no Jews or Blacks lived there. It was the home of the rich and famous, whose business and social interests were in NYC.  Joseph P. Kennedy moved there with his family in 1927, which included his 2nd son Jack, who become the 33rd President of the United States. It was there that most of the children were raised until the onset of WWII.

After the war, Webster wrote a long account of his time with Easy Company, but his book, Parachute Infantry, was never published until decades after his untimely death in 1961. The essence of this story is about his time with the 506th Regiment along with many of his deeply interesting and revealing letters he sent home to his family.

Webster attended Harvard University and was an English Literature major. He volunteered for the Airborne Paratroopers and was trained in Taccoa, GA with the rest of the Easy Company, the 506th Regiment, of the 2nd Battalion, of the legendary 101st Airborne Division. Easy Company and their exploits were the subject of Band of Brothers, which Stephen Ambrose wrote about.in his well- received book. Eight years later, in 2000, it was made into a very popular and honored, 10-part production by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, which was presented on HBO. Webster was the only Harvard man in the 101st who was an English literature major. In fact, he may have been the only Harvard man in that unit. After training in Taccoa, Georgia, he arrived in England in 1944, and continued his and the 101st Division’s preparation for the D-Day invasion.  On June 6th 1944, with the 101st Airborne Division, he jumped at midnight with his company and the 101st Airborne, hours before the planned invasion and miles behind the beaches onto the Normandy Peninsular.

There, amongst the chaos of the nighttime jump, the scattered men finally coalesced into fighting units and inflicted considerable damage on the confused Nazi forces, which were billeted miles from the beachheads. As for Webster, he landed off-course, nearly alone, and almost drowned in the flooded fields behind Utah Beach. He was wounded a few days later in a firefight and was evacuated back to England. It was not a serious wound, but he never discusses why his rehabilitation took so long.

This action was covered extensively in the HBO production and Webster’s departure for England was noted. A few months later, he rejoined the 506th in England and he parachuted into the Netherlands as part of Operation Market-Garden. During Market-Garden, the company advanced towards the last bridge over the River Nederrijn (the lower Rhine River) near Arnhem that would lead into Germany. While participating in an attack in the no-man’s land, called “the Island” (also referred to as “The Crossroads”), he was wounded in the leg by machine gun fire. He was evacuated to a hospital and spent the next several months recuperating in England. The last bridge was never taken, the attack to circumvent the Siegfried Line and go straight into the heart of Germany was a colossal failure, with immense Allied casualties.

In, Parachute Infantry, along his very detailed letters, he relates an accurate and personal memoir of his experience in combat. He never refers to his training in Taccoa, GA or England. He never discusses his time recovering from his two non-life threatening battle wounds,  but he describes intimately how the war affects him, his buddies and the immediate action, deprivation, fear, and losses of the men around him.

What is most interesting is that Ambrose’s book is mostly a fictional re-creation of the real events involving Easy Company from Normandy, to the taking of the Carentan on the Cotentin Peninsular, to their deployment back to England, their parachuting into Holland as part of the massive British-planned Market-Garden Operation, their trial at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, the attacks on Foy and Haguenau, the liberation of concentration camps, and eventually their reaching Hitler’s mountain top home, the Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, where all the top Nazis had homes.

Band of Brothers, which was written in 1992, featured a number of the accounts of the still-alive veterans of Easy Company. Of course, it included many others; including Colonel Robert Sink their regimental commander, their early Company Commander, Captain Herbert Sobel, who was the much disliked Jewish martinet, who trained them at Taccoa, Captain Ronald Speirs, who was a very tough and heroic officer, and Captain Lewis Nixon, a Yale College graduate and a very well-off, son of a rich family, who was a very close compatriot of Captain Richard Winters. Captain Winters was the featured individual in the series and the commander in charge of Easy Company until Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge. He is eventually promoted to Major and elevated to command the 2nd Battalion. There are a number of others that are widely mentioned, like Private Joe Liegott, all the non-commissioned officers (Sergeants) as well as Webster, Lipton, Malarkey, Powers, Toye, Muck, Hoobler, Guarnere, and Compton.

What fascinated me most was that where I could compare the detail regarding events involving Webster and his company, his accounts differed wildly from the HBO productions. The main differences were, of course, the disaster at Market-Garden, the famous problem of “a bridge too far” and the ensuing disaster at Arnhem. But, of course, Webster had a very small role and a limited knowledge of what transpired. When it came to the long vigil and the raid on the town of Haguenau, France, along with the taking of the ruined Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s home and mountain retreat,) above the town of Berchtesgaden, there hardly were any similarities. In fact, there seemed to be very little connection between their billet in Austria after the German surrender and the events portrayed in the HBO production.

As the war in Europe started to reach its last phase, there was the presidential election in November of 1944, approximately six months before Hitler’s death and the surrender of Nazi Germany. Webster wanted to vote and he walked over two miles to cast his ballot. He wrote, “That made me happy. I had to walk almost two miles to cast my ballot. But I would have walked ten, if necessary, because it was my first vote – I was 22 in June – and I had always wanted to cast it for Roosevelt, the greatest President we had ever had and the only one who ever gave the working man a break.”

Webster went on, “Roosevelt had faced and overcame the two greatest crisis America had suffered: the worst depression in history and the world’s biggest war. He was a politician, as crafty and conniving as any, for politics is a cesspool of lying lawyers, but his work was greater than the man, and the country was better for it. The rich Republicans hated Roosevelt for helping the working man for encouraging the labor unions to wringing a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work out of employers who had never heard of such a thing before and for putting fair-employment practice that had been considered outrageously Socialistic. Roosevelt helped the unemployed when Herbert Hoover, the last Republican, an engineer who never quite understood humanity, had said, “Let every man help is brother,’ when he knew perfectly well that that the rich weren’t about to help the poor, never had and never would. I (Webster) had grown up with Republicans and gone to school and college with them and was sickened by their selfishness and their cold avarice and lofty contempt for the common people. I had sworn to vote for the Democrats, who for all their rotten political faults, were more concerned with the welfare of the country as a whole.”

Meanwhile, it seems that decades after the end of WWII, the reputation of Easy Company intrigued the historian Stephen Ambrose, and he decided to interview all of the surviving members of the unit he could find. He found the survivors, interviewed many of them, listened to their accounts of what happened, compared their different perspectives on these specific events, along with their personal experiences. With this information, he recreated the “company’s” actions, taking into account their casualties, their reflections, and the results. But, of course, this information was culled from accounts that were over forty years later. Obviously, no one could accurately remember conversations and individual actions, reflective of the fog of war, the confusion in the field, and the ongoing fears that all of the men harbored. The men interviewed for Ambrose’s book and those who were featured on the HBO series eight or so years later, were giving their perspectives on their experiences, but few day to day details. Few men in the field know what is going on, except to their direct right or left or what was up in front of them. Interestingly, much of that information came from Webster’s unpublished book and letters.

Wherein, Webster’s book was written almost right after the war, as he was a gifted and trained writer, who was very much attuned to detail. Of course, it wasn’t detailed history, but a memoir of personal experience. He never volunteered for anything, he kept his head down, was very critical of his officers, and he painted strong and vivid pictures of the men who he fought with. Not only were there many casualties amongst the original men from Toccoa, but his contact with many of the key figures in Ambrose’s “Band of Brothers,” and the ensuing HBO production, was incredibly slight, in fact he never spent any time with any of the principle characters. Captain Winters, a larger than life and heroic figure, in the book and the production was barely mentioned until one-third of the book. Without seeing the HBO production, no one would have thought twice about the featured officers; Captains, Winters, Speirs or Nixon. They really had nothing to do with Webster’s life in the field or what he saw and experienced. His relationship was with the men he ate with, shared a trench or fox hole, or fought with. In fact, Webster was so sick of his company commander, a Lt. Thomas Peacock that he fantasized about shooting him. He got to hate most of the officers and the “Mickey Mouse” details after the fighting ended, He, and all the others, would turn to any alcohol they could find, and most were bored stiff.  Almost of the soldiers were counting up their “points” which would lead to their discharge. One needed at least “85” points, which counted length of service, overseas deployment, combat duty and parenthood. Meanwhile, after the German surrendered and weeks turned into months, morale declined markedly. There was drunkenness, violence, killings, auto accidents and illegal fraternization.  Many men were very fearful and depressed about being transferred to the Pacific and the talked about invasion of Japan.

Eventually, Webster who had only “81” points regarding his time in the service, his Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, etc, was finally discharged after Japan surrendered. Before he departed, he went to Company Headquarters to see and thank Captain Speirs, a man who had a very fierce reputation about his actions in the field.

Webster said, “I want to thank you Captain.” Speirs frowned, “For what?” Webster said, “For giving me a break…!” Speirs answered.” Well, hell Webster, I tried to make a soldier out of you!”  Webster grinned and said. It couldn’t be done sir!” They shook hands and said goodbye and wished each other luck. He saluted Captain Speirs for the last time.

At the end Webster reflected, “I felt a temporary rush of nostalgia for the outfit and the life that it led. It was my outfit, the 506th, the only outfit I had ever been in. I had cursed it steadily for three years, had avoided duty whenever possible, had prayed for light wounds every day, in combat, and yet now that I was finally leaving, I was almost sorry to say goodbye. Nothing I had had ever done before could compare with the feeling of belonging that I had had with the 506th. A job was a job, usually at somebody else’s price, and school and college were prolonged adolescence. Only an adolescent could get excited about anything as juvenile and exclusive as a fraternity. The paratroopers were life itself, on the edge of life and death along with the thrill of jumping from an airplane. It was the wild excitement as I went out the door of the plane and fell a hundred feet before my chute opened.” Of course, Webster, along with many other “high-point” soldiers was now going home. As he reflected, “Now that the war was over and all the purpose had been lost, the 506th was just another training camp now, and I hated training as much as guard duty.”

Webster was pretty worldly for his years and throughout his memoir he reflected some interesting perspectives. He hated Britain and the weather, thought the people were quaint, but dull and he disliked the class system. As for the Dutch, he loved Holland and the people. When it came to Germany, he despised them for starting the war and the chaos and destruction it had brought. He really wanted to kill and German that came his way, He had a burning hatred that was made even worse when he was part of a squad that came across a concentration camp. But, after being billeted in Austria and Germany at the war’s conclusion, he began to respect the Germans for their ability to work hard, be very clean and educated, and their willingness to re-build their destroyed towns and cities. He wrote, “In, Germany, everyone goes out and works, unlike the French, who do not seem inclined to lift a finger to help themselves. As for the Germans, “They fill up the trenches the soldiers have dug in their fields. They are cleaner, more progressive and more ambitious than either the English or the French.” He loved Dutch more, because they were a lot more peaceful than the Germans. As for the French, he despised them. He thought of them as lazy, ungrateful and unwilling to extend themselves for the Americans who liberated their country. Webster hated the army, he hated its “chicken-shit” ways, its bumbling bureaucracy, the privileges for the officers, and their contempt for the enlisted man. I am sure that many others thought as Webster did. Many of the men who returned from WWII took decades to speak of their time overseas. Many just wanted to forget.

The featured Players:

Colonel Robert Sink (1905-1965), Commander of the 506th Regiment, the 101st Airborne, ret. Lt. Gen.

Major Richard Winters (1918-2011) Commander of Easy Company, recalled for the Korean War

Captain Lewis Nixon (1918-1995) worked for his family business

Captain Ronald Speirs (1920-2007) retired as a Lt. Colonel

Lt. Thomas Peacock (1920-1948) died in an automobile accident

Private David Kenyon Webster (1922-1961) killed in a boating incident off Catalina

And the men of Easy Company who lived, fought and died with the other heroes of WWII.


Trump Lies- A Reminder 2-14-2023

Donald Trump has returned to the news cycle amid a deluge of stories about a dinner meeting he hosted with a white supremacist and Ye, the rapper previously known as Kanye West.

It’s a reminder of the chaotic years of his presidency, as well as a foreboding ― though hopefully instructive ― warning about how he would wield power if elected again.

If past is prologue, let’s take a moment to remember just how unsettling things got during the Trump administration, with this not-even-remotely-exhaustive list of weird and bad stuff he attempted while in office:

  • Tried to buy Greenland.
  • Wanted to nuke hurricanes.
  • Doctored a hurricane forecast map with a Sharpie.
  • Attempted a coup to stay in power.
  • Absconded with thousands of classified documents, lied about it and refused to give them back when the feds asked nicely.
  • Sent unidentified federal officers to Portland, Oregon, to abduct protesters and spark a conflagration that could be used as a pretense for implementing martial law.
  • Ordered peaceful protesters tear-gassed so he could pose for a photo-op with a Bible outside a church.
  • Tried to blackmail Ukraine into manufacturing dirt for his 2020 campaign.
  • Asked Russia for help in his 2016 campaign — and got it.
  • Had a weird affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Remember the Helsinki summit?)
  • Invited Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to an in-person meeting in the Oval Office, where he accidentally revealed top-secret intelligence.
  • Wanted to withdraw the U.S. from NATO.
  • Separated migrant parents from their children, locked the kids in cages and then failed to reunite them.
  • Insisted that “raking” would prevent forest fires because “you’ve got to take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important.”
  • Covered for Saudi Arabia after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome murder and dismemberment of a U.S. journalist with a bone saw. (Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, owes Saudi Arabia $2 billion, and the crown prince has reportedly bragged about having Kushner “in his pocket.”)
  • Intervened to get Kushner top-secret clearance after he was denied over concerns about foreign influence.
  • Put Kushner in charge of Middle East peace.
  • Embraced rampant nepotism.
  • Touted injecting disinfectant as a COVID-19 cure.
  • Touted ultraviolet light as a COVID-19 cure.
  • Touted hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 cure.
  • Touted ivermectin as a COVID-19 cure.
  • Told people not to wear face masks to cut down the spread of COVID-19, even though they work.
  • Actively discouraged COVID-19 testing.
  • Refused to send federal aid to New York City amid the first COVID-19 wave because the virus was hitting Democratic-voting states hardest.
  • “Jokingly” said on multiple occasions that he deserved to be president for more than two terms.
  • Thought climate change was a Chinese hoax.
  • Built an incomplete border wall that doesn’t work, wasn’t needed and wasn’t paid for by Mexico.
  • Started a trade war with China that mainly hurt U.S. consumers.
  • Threw food when angry.
  • Saw no problem with his vice president potentially being hanged by a violent mob he’d summoned and sent to the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the peaceful transition of power.
  • Stared directly at the sun.
  • Started his presidency with an easily disproved lie about the crowd size at his inauguration.
  • Thought people needed an ID to buy cereal.
  • Fired James Comey as FBI director because he didn’t like the bureau investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Later, it was revealed that Trump’s campaign manager gave detailed internal polling data to a Russian intelligence agent.)
  • Was a “fucking moron,” according to Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state.
  • Fired the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s China-based pandemic response team — and then when a pandemic happened years later, said, “I don’t take responsibility at all” for COVID-19.
  • Repeatedly embraced racism.
  • Thought repeating “person, woman, man, camera, TV” would assure Americans of his mental stability.
  • Tweeted literal gibberish — a lot.
  • Lied all the time. (And still does.)
  • Openly embraced and amplified QAnon conspiracy theories.
  • Got impeached twice.
  • Passed huge tax cuts for wealthy corporations ― and massively grew the national debt.
  • Flip-flopped on whether the White House had ordered the USS John McCain be hidden so he wouldn’t get mad. (It did.)
  • Called American military members who died in the line of duty “losers” and “suckers.”
  • Claimed to have bone spurs to get out of military service.
  • Binge-watched Fox News when he should have been working.
  • Played so, so much golf.
  • Raked in cash from foreign interests at his Washington hotel in an operation sometimes described as the “epicenter” of a corrupt presidency.
  • Held a rally that may have led to the death of Herman Cain.
  • Allegedly directed his lawyer to commit campaign fraud to cover up that Trump cheated on his wife after she had recently given birth.
  • Was accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women.
  • Dismissed any bad news about himself as “fake.”
  • Lied about voluntarily turning over his tax returns.
  • Ate well-done steak — with ketchup.
  • Described white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, as “very fine people.”
  • Grossly abused the presidential pardon on his way out the door.
  • Used private communication services extensively after arguing that Hillary Clinton should be jailed for having a private email server.
  • Refused to release White House visitor logs.
  • Went to Puerto Rico and threw paper towels at people desperate for actual hurricane aid.
  • Discouraged exercise because he believes bodies are like batteries, with a finite amount of energy.



Trump’s Greatest Claims/Lies- only a fraction of the 32 thousand and still climbing! Richard J. Garfunkel 2-12-2023

The New Trump Lies- it never ends!

  1. They raided my house, they broke into my safe: he watched on TV and his lawyers were there
  2. There was nothing there: Oh yes, there was!
  3. I handed everything over!: No he didn’t- 11 sets of classified files
  4. The FBI planted the boxes: No they came in empty handed, it was watch lived and they carted out boxes
  5. The GSA packed these files, I had nothing to do with it: NO! The GSA did not pack the boxes
  6. I de-classified everything I had!: No he couldn’t de-classify these files
  7. Obama took 30 million secret documents: Sorry, whatever he took was cleared

The Start of the Lies began on Day One!

  1. Greatest victory in recent history
  2. Most Electoral Votes ever
  3. Biggest Inaugural Crowd
  4. Greatest stock market Increase in History
  5. Greatest Job gains ever
  6. The Coronavirus will disappear! “We’re going down, not up.” February 26th 2020
  7. Greater than Lincoln and more important than Jesus
  8. Smartest man ever elected, greatest memory,
  9. Greatest General ever, greatest supporters of our troops
  10. ISIS destroyed
  11. The greatest negotiator since Talleyrand!
  12. Our relations with our neighbors and allies has never been better
  13. Korea is complying with US demands
  14. Peace in the Middle East
  15. Greatest opponent of Russia
  16. Most achievements by any president in three plus years
  17. Top student in his Class at Penn
  18. Awarded an MBA at Wharton (Penn)
  19. Greatest and smartest cabinet assembled
  20. The Republicans actually won in the 2018 Mid Term Elections
  21. Best economy ever 4-5% growth
  22. Will create the greatest healthcare plan and replace Obamacare!
  23. Claimed he wouldn’t touch Social Security or Medicare!
  24. More jobs created than Obama
  25. More time in the White House than any president
  26. A real Christian, the greatest friend to Israel and the Jews
  27. The Mexicans will pay for the border wall
  28. A balanced budget
  29. A trade surplus!
  30. I will never threaten SS and Medicare
  31. Trump has falsely said 184 times that he passed the biggest tax cut in history.
  32. On 176 occasions, Trump has claimed the United States has “lost” money on trade deficits.
  33. Trump’s penchant for repeating false claims is demonstrated by the fact that the Fact Checker database has recorded more than 400 instances in which he has repeated a variation of the same claim at least three times.
  34. For instance, nearly 70 times he has claimed that a whistleblower complaint about the call was inaccurate.
  35. His most repeated claim — 257 times — is that the S. economy today is the best in history.
  36. In fact, his second-most-repeated claim — 242 times — is that his border wall is being built
  37. Fact Checker database has recorded more than 400 instances in which he has repeated a variation of the same claim at least three times.

The Trump record!

  1. Over 500,000 Deaths and counting- it was supposed to go away, he knew it was devastating and covered it up!
  2. Most divisive and bigoted president ever!
  3. Interest rates forced down to fund bloated market and re-structure his debt!
  4. National Debt up almost $8 trillion to over $28 trillion (was $20 trillion on January 20, 2017)
  5. Annual Budget Debt skyrocketing back to post 2008 levels, more than doubled since 2016
  6. GDP growth under 2% for the fifteen months before the Pandemic, GDP never hit 3% in the three years before COVID-19
  7. GDP had the greatest drop over 33% since 1932 and the Great Depression!
  8. Wages hardly moved in 3.6years, now 20 million out of work!
  9. DJIA: gains less then Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Obama
  10. Social Security and Medicare threatened by the Payroll Tax cut! SS could run out of money in 2023!
  11. 8 million less jobs created in the last 3 full years, 19% less than Obama’s last three years.
  12. Infrastructure continuing its deterioration- where’s the plan?
  13. Crime and violence higher- the Chaos President
  14. Hate crime much higher- the rise of right wing gangs (0ver 800) and armed militias
  15. Toleration for Nazis, the KKK, and Fascists unacceptable
  16. Race relations worse than ever- a life-long bigot
  17. Relations with NATO worst since its creation
  18. Relations with Canada and Mexico at its worst level since WWI
  19. Most disliked president overseas in the history of the country!
  20. No healthcare plan! But wants to end the ACA in a Pandemic!
  21. Cabinet corruption and incompetence unprecedented
  22. Over 580 appointees gone from his administration- a record
  23. Over 91% Cabinet turnover, the worst in American history
  24. Public education deteriorating- support for Charter, Private and Religious schools!
  25. Environmental protections under siege- worst environmental president in our history
  26. Unions and working Americans are worse off- most anti-Labor president ever!
  27. Growth of corporate wealth at the expense of the budget-millionaires increased by 50%!
  28. The Mexican Wall- 57 new miles, cost of $11 billion as of August, 2020
  29. VA leadership a failure, skyrocketing needs
  30. Shifting of tax burdens to the most productive states
  31. Middle East getting worse, Baathists still in control of Syria, Kurds stabbed in the back
  32. Iran getting more bellicose and dangerous
  33. International respect for our leadership lowest in 80 years
  34. Over 22,000 lies and counting- hates the military and says our honored dead were suckers and losers
  35. Multiple indictments and convictions of people associated with Trump
  36. Pardoning criminals in his administration, campaign supporters and convicted murderers
  37. Voted the worst president in our history by 200 American Politic Scientists & 3rd worse in the Siena College Poll
  38. Unemployment was over 10%- 20 million on unemployment! First president since Hoover to lose jobs!
  39. Lost the election by over 7 million! One of the worst losses by an incumbent since Hoover!.
  40. Never been in Church except for a funeral or a marriage! Wouldn’t know the Bible from Playboy! Has been an anti-Semite like his father all his life- he uses Jews and they use him!
  41. Over 1200 critical books written on him, his grafter family and his corrupt administration!
  42. Failed tariff war skyrockets “socialism” to the fam belt from $11 billion to $32 billion

Trump, the GOP and Labor/Farms

  1. Opposed worker rights
  2. Supports “right to work” laws
  3. Opposed the minimum wage increases
  4. Does not enforce laws affecting worker safety
  5. Opposes civil service unions
  6. Stacked the NLRB with anti-union appointees
  7. Republican judges constantly rule against workers
  8. Tariff war a failure, farm bankruptcies soaring 25%
  9. Trade deficits growing to record levels
  10. Manufacturing jobs have again disappeared

Reality and Trump

  1. Trump’s niece, Mary Trump and his sister label him a tax cheat, swindler, and a sociopath
  2. His lawyer goes to jail for paying off two whores, calls him a dangerous psychopath!
  3. Supreme Court rules his taxes and business records must go to NYC DA and NY AG
  4. John Bolton says that he was a clear and present danger- he was appointed by Trump and is a real conservative.
  5. Cliff Sims, who worded in the WH and is a real conservative, wrote “Team of Vipers” and said he had no clue what he was doing.
  6. Robert Woodward has him on tape in “Rage” telling us how dangerous COVID 19 was, and then he had a press conference and told the American public it would be gone when it got warm!
  7. Republican 1000 page Senate report confirms collusion between Trump and the Russians
  8. John Bolton former National Advisor accuses Trump of ignorance and collusion with Russians
  9. Stephanie Wolkoff, Melania Trump’s former friend helping investigators into Inaugural looting!
  10. Almost 500 former National Security officials endorsed Biden.
  11. Over 300 Republicans who worked for George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney endorsed Joe Biden
  12. Trump Pardons Criminals, Murderers, Supporters along with convictions and indictments.
  13. Rod Blagojevich- former disgraced governor, 10 counts: corruption, fraud, fraud extortion
  14. Roger Stone- political operative, 7 counts: obstruction, witness tampering, perjury
  15. Dinesh D’Souza- virulent anti-Semite, campaign finance violator
  16. Manafort, Gates, Cohen, Stone, Flynn, Papadopoulos, Pinedo, vander Zwann all convicted!
  17. Former disgraced Members of Congress, Collins, Hunter and Stockman
  18. Kilimnik and 25 Russian nationals indicted!




Trump Scandals –Too Many to List Richard J. Garfunkel 11-20-22

Touching on corruption claims tainting his administration’s reputation, Trump also dismissed concerns that his administration was directing government business to his resorts in Scotland and Ireland.

He didn’t argue that such a move would be unethical. The President insisted — with the chutzpah that his supporters love — that he was simply too rich to need the help. “I’m going to give out my financial condition. And you’ll be extremely shocked that the numbers are many, many times what you think,” said Trump, who unlike other presidents has refused to release his tax returns and to fully divest from his businesses. “I don’t need to have somebody take a room overnight at a hotel.”

Conflicts of Interest

The Trump Organization generated at least $500 million of revenue in 2017, according to the president’s most recent financial disclosure. Trump transferred ownership of the business before his inauguration to a trust run by sons Donald Jr. and Eric and longtime executive Allen Weisselberg and promised not to embark on any new projects outside the U.S. But the moves didn’t mollify critics. That the president can revoke the trust and withdraw money at any time has helped prompt lawsuits alleging he is violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The arrangement has provoked concerns that foreign governments can curry favor with the president by renting rooms at his luxury hotel in Washington or deploying state-owned companies to develop overseas projects, as some suggested a Chinese firm may have done when it agreed to help build a $500 million entertainment complex in Indonesia that includes a Trump-branded hotel. Last year the president reported income from at least 11 countries.

Internal government emails about the FBI’s headquarters made public in October of 2017 further fueled doubts that the president has separated himself from his business. The emails, from January, appear to show officials discussing Trump’s personal involvement in discussions about a new building on the site, just down the street from his Washington hotel.  Trump, a wealthy businessman who operates country clubs and resorts, has reportedly profited from at least 10 foreign governments during his time as president. The include the Kuwaiti Embassy, which booked the Trump hotel for an event; a public-relations firm hired by Saudi Arabia that spent $270,000 on rooms, meals and parking at Trump’s hotel in Washington; and Turkey, which used the same facility for a government-sponsored event.

Emoluments Violations- Endless!

Critics argue Trump’s acceptance of payments from foreign governments violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which bans elected officials in the United States from accepting gifts or other valuables from foreign leaders. The Constitution states: “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Dozens of lawmakers and several entities have filed suit against Trump alleging violations of the clause, including the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “Trump is the framers’ worst-case scenario — a president who would seize office and attempt to exploit his position for personal financial gain with every governmental entity imaginable, across the United States or around the world,” Norman Eisen, the chief White House ethics lawyer for Obama, told The Washington Post.

His Lawyer and Fixer Sent to Jail!

In August, his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, one of which implicated the Trump Organization in hush-money payments to a woman who said she had an affair with Trump, which could prompt state and federal prosecutors to investigate the company.  Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time lawyer and “fixer” pleaded guilty to federal crimes he says he committed at Trump’s direction. On August 21, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in a federal court in Manhattan to a series of felony crimes involving Trump.  Cohen entered guilty pleas to five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution on October 27, 2016 — the day a $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels was finalized. During his plea entry, Cohen said he had made the illegal campaign and corporate contributions “at the direction of the candidate” and with the “purpose of influencing the election.” He did not identify said candidate by name, but the criminal complaint, which refers to said candidate as “individual 1,” said that person became President of the United States in January 2017 — meaning it can be only be President Donald Trump. On December 12, Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison. 

His Foundation- A Personal Piggy-Bank and Money Launderer for his Family

The Donald J. Trump Foundation was used to settle its namesake’s personal debts, benefit his business and boost his presidential campaign in violation of the state tax code, according to a lawsuit filed in June by New York’s attorney general. In December, Trump agreed to shut it down under an agreement with the state that called for the charity’s remaining $1.7 million in assets to be given away.

Tax Fraud!

One investigation by The New York Times called Trump’s approach to paying taxes as “outright fraud” noting that Trump had devised, “a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns.” That’s a big deal because this undervaluation enabled the Trump family to underpay inheritance taxes from the senior Trumps’ estate by about 90 percent. The inheritance tax at the time was 55 percent and Fred Trump and his wife left an estate worth more than a billion dollars yet paid about $52.2 million according to tax records. All of this points to tax fraud and more importantly to ongoing fraud that seems to be a good fit with the RICO statute.

Trump Hidden Taxes! Loams from the Russians?

The Oversight Committee acted last year after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified that “Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.” The Financial Services and Intelligence committees said they were looking into money laundering and lending practices. House Democrats have said they believe Trump’s tax returns might provide insights into a question special counsel Robert Mueller never answered: Did Trump borrow money from Russian entities or otherwise do business with them before he became president? He has denied any such relationship. Democrats say that if any existed, that would give Russian President Vladimir Putin leverage over Trump. The House lawyers say the president’s immunity from the burdens of legal process applies only to his official acts, not his personal ones. Grand juries cannot be blocked from investigating a president’s private conduct, they say, because that could hinder the prosecution of a president after leaving office.

 Money Laundering!

Scottish leaders are advocating for an investigation into President Donald Trump over possible money laundering, adding yet another locale to the list of U.S. allies that the Trump administration has alienated. The country’s Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie wants First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to seek a so-called “unexplained wealth order,” which — as its name suggests — demands answers from a target for unexplained wealth. In this case, Harvie is questioning the eventual president’s acquisition of land for both Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and the Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire, which Trump abruptly acquired during the Great Recession. Perhaps Trump will be angrily tweeting about the Scottish Green Party next, considering his well-documented past animosity towards those who even dare to question his behavior and/or motives. Trump has consistently and infamously resisted calls to release his tax returns, which would provide information about where his money actually came from like the funds which he used to purchase that Scottish land. This new Scotland financial debacle follows similar issues in the U.S. House investigators have questioned whether some of Trump’s other business activities functioned as shells for money laundering, and they’ve investigated this possibility alongside credible allegations against Trump of bank fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud, and more. He routinely artificially adjusted property valuations and more in order to get the most out of whoever he happened to be dealing with at the time.

President Trump has proclaimed himself the “king of debt,” a proud master of “doing things with other people’s money.” So it was quite surprising when Jonathan O’ConnellDavid A. Fahrenthold, and Jack Gillum revealed in a Washington Post story in May that Trump had abruptly shifted strategies and begun spending hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to fund projects. In the nine years before he ran for President, the Post reported, the Trump Organization spent more than four hundred million dollars in cash on new properties—including fourteen transactions paid in full. In fifteen years, he bought twelve golf courses (ten in the U.S., one in Ireland, and a smaller one in Scotland), several homes, and a winery and estate in Virginia, and he paid for his forty-million-dollar share of the cost of building the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. a property leased to Trump by the U.S. government. But his largest cash purchase was the Turnberry, followed by tens of millions of dollars in additional cash outlays for rehabbing the property. Using what appears to be more than half of the company’s available cash to purchase Trump Turnberry makes no obvious sense for any business person, but especially for Donald Trump. It is a bizarre, confounding move that raises questions about the central nature of his business during the years in which he prepared for and then executed his Presidential campaign.

It was reported that President Donald Trump made tens of millions of dollars in profits by allowing Colombian drug cartels and other groups to launder money through a Trump-affiliated hotel in Panama, according to a new investigation by the organization Global Witness.In the early 2000s, Trump was having financial difficulties and began selling his high-profile name to real estate developers around the world, the report said. One of these developed Panama’s Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower. The report said the drug cartels purchased hotel units to hide the origins of money earned through drug trafficking and other criminal activity, and Trump is estimated to have earned tens of millions of dollars from the deals. The report said the Panama project is a textbook case of money laundering. Investing in luxury properties is a tried and trusted way for criminals to move tainted cash into the legitimate financial system, where they can spend it freely,” the report noted. “Once scrubbed clean in this way, vast profits from criminal activities like trafficking people and drugs, organized crime, and terrorism can find their way into the U.S. and elsewhere.”

In 2016 The Wall Street Journal‘s Jean Eaglesham, Mark Maremont, and Lisa Schwartz outlined a specific example of just that sort of structure: “Donald Trump owns a helicopter in Scotland.” To be more precise, he has a revocable trust that owns 99 percent of a Delaware limited liability company that owns 99 percent of another Delaware LLC that owns a Scottish limited company that owns another Scottish company that owns the 26-year-old Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, emblazoned with a red ‘TRUMP’ on the side of its fuselage.” All told, the Journal reported, 15 entities were used at that point to “own” Trump’s fleet of two airplanes and three helicopters. Layer on layer of corporate structure makes it hard for investigators, tax officials, or prying lawyers to figure out who owns what, the underlying source of money for specific transactions, whether taxes are being appropriately paid in a given jurisdiction, or who might be partners in what enterprises.

In 2001, as part of the USA Patriot Act, the Treasury Department was given a new tool against money laundering, known as “Section 311,” after the relevant section of the law, to designate foreign financial institutions, jurisdictions, or entities as “of primary money laundering concern.” A Section 311 designation was meant to help authorities highlight suspicious patterns of activity without having to prove any single transaction was illegal—it’s the rough equivalent for money laundering of the criminal RICO statute, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, that allows prosecutors to take down entire mafia families, drug cartels, and street gangs without having to prove everyone involved knew about or participated in all the various individual crimes.

“We deliberately put these tools together to go after really bad people—organized crime, terrorists, dictators, Chinese Triads,” Sharma says. “You didn’t have to point to a single illegal transaction. The totality of the transactions should give you pause enough that we would want to be sure US institutions scaled back or ceased doing business with them.” The designation, which effectively forces US financial institutions to sever ties with the entity, makes it all but impossible for an entity to participate in the global financial system. In the years since, the US Treasury Department has used Section 311 to go after the banks and front companies that help North Korea evade sanctions, to go after Iran’s nuclear program and terrorism financing, to isolate Syria, to punish banks that helped Saddam Hussein launder money, and to pressure off-shore havens, like the Pacific island of Nauru, that the US believes are complicit in money laundering.

The Trump Taj Mahal casino broke anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year and a half of operation in the early 1990s, according to the IRS in a 1998 settlement agreement.  It’s a bit of forgotten history that’s buried in federal records held by an investigative unit of the Treasury Department, records that congressional committees investigating Trump’s ties to Russia have obtained access to, CNN has learned. The casino repeatedly failed to properly report gamblers who cashed out $10,000 or more in a single day, the government said.

Russian Real Estate Deals in Palm Beach County!

In 2008, Trump set a real estate sales record when he sold a since-subdivided estate for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev. A sale is in the works for the last of three Palm Beach vacant lots carved from the oceanfront estate a Russian billionaire bought for a record-setting $95 million from President Donald Trump in 2008, more than eight years before the president took office. So far, Dmitry Rybolovlev, who made his fortune in the fertilizer business, has sold two of his three subdivided lots in the 500 block of North County Road for a combined $71.34 million. The lot at 525 N. County Road is priced at $42 million. As long as it sells for at least $23.66 million, Rybolovlev’s ownership trust will break even,

At least on paper, according to the deeds filed in courthouse records. There’s no reason to suspect that the lot under contract won’t bring at least $24 million, according to real estate observers familiar with the property. The land is in a prime location on a stretch of beachfront known to locals as the North End’s Billionaires Row. Although Palm Beach County courthouse records list the price of the 2008 deal as $95 million, trump has consistently maintained that Rybolovlev actually paid $5 million more. The sale set a U.S. residential price record at the time and still stands as Palm Beach’s largest-ever single seller/single buyer deal.

Why did the Russians do all this? Speier speculates that the real estate transactions happened at a time when Trump needed money. It was the middle of the Great Recession, Trump was having a hard time renting or selling his properties and he owed a boatload to Deutsche Bank and others. He had a Deutsche Bank loan for $640 million and was unable to make payments and he had personally guaranteed $40 million of that debt. Under the circumstances, Trump looked like a target for old fashioned Russian kompromat, Vladimir Putin would extend a lifeline in the form of a favor that might be called in later or never. But the purchase of high-end real estate by many Russian Oligarchs also suggests a money laundering operation in which ill-gotten profits from Russian organized crime would be scrubbed clean through the American real estate market. Money laundering is also prosecutable under RICO.

In one deal in particular, documented by US Representative Jackie Speier in The San Francisco Chronicle, Trump sold a Palm Beach Mansion for $95 million to Dimitry Rybolovlev a Russian Oligarch and billionaire with ties to Vladimir Putin. The transaction drew suspicion because Trump had paid only $41.35 million for the property a few years earlier and the $95 million sale price was not only 230 percent of what Trump paid but it was also $13 million higher than the highest price paid for a Palm Beach mansion. Palm Beach County appraised the house for $59.8 million roughly $35 million less than what Rybolovlev paid. Speier suspects that the deal was more than a one off and her article states, “Russian mobsters frequented and enjoyed the Trump casinos. Russians were heavy purchasers of units in the Trump Tower. So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at the Trump Towers. In various real estate deals, Trump, at the very least, had turned a blind eye to apparent Russian money laundering. Why did the Russians do all this? Speier speculates that the real estate transactions happened at a time when Trump needed money. It was the middle of the Great Recession, Trump was having a hard time renting or selling his properties and he owed a boatload to Deutsche Bank and others. He had a Deutsche Bank loan for $640 million and was unable to make payments and he had personally guaranteed $40 million of that debt. Under the circumstances, Trump looked like a target for old fashioned Russian kompromat, Vladimir Putin would extend a lifeline in the form of a favor that might be called in later or never. But the purchase of high-end real estate by many Russian Oligarchs also suggests a money laundering operation in which ill-gotten profits from Russian organized crime would be scrubbed clean through the American real estate market. Money laundering is also prosecutable under RICO.

According to a recent story on Pro Publica when applying for a real estate loan Trump said he, “Took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.”

The Trumps have supporting information bottled up in litigation against lenders like Deutsche Bank preventing them for the moment from releasing banking information such as loan application records.

The bank records and tax returns could shed much light on Trump’s income sources. For example, it has been well reported that Trump sold high end condominiums to Russian organized crime figures.

His Cabinet – Corruption Large and Small!

Scott Pruitt, former EPA Administrator was facing more than a dozen investigations into his taxpayer-funded travel, questionable spending decisions, use of aides to conduct personal errands and other matters when he resigned July 5. The myriad probes homed in on his actions after joining the agency. But even before he got there, Pruitt, 50, enraged environmentalists—and won praise from conservatives—for targeting the EPA with more than a dozen lawsuits in his former role as Oklahoma attorney general. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned after months of federal investigations into his alleged misuse of taxpayer funds, excessive spending, and conflicts of interest Pruitt reportedly enlisted his government staff to carry out a variety of personal errands, including helping him procure a used Trump Tower mattress, discounted Rose Bowl tickets, Ritz-Carlton lotion, and a new apartment. He also reportedly used his office to help secure a Chick Fil-A franchise for his wife and a White House internship for his daughter. In July 2018, embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned from his position after being plagued by a series of ethics scandals over abuse of government resources and his lavish spending habits.

Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary, may have violated conflict-of-interest rules while divesting hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, two watchdog organizations have alleged. It’s a turnaround for the 80-year-old Commerce Secretary, whose plan to sell assets was praised by Senate Democrats at his confirmation hearing. Now they’ve joined a growing chorus that also includes members of the House calling for investigations of Ross’s actions while unwinding his fortune.

His lawyer said that none of the complaints provide a factual or legal basis for believing Ross violated conflict-of-interest or other laws or engaged in unethical conduct. The New York Times reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had threatened to fire top National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees if the agency didn’t disavow a tweet from a regional office that contradicted Trump’s false claim that Hurricane Dorian was likely to hit Alabama. Ross called acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs and told him to fix the National Weather Service’s contradiction of Trump’s claim. When Jacobs opposed the demand, Ross told him NOAA’s political staff would be fired, the Times reported.

The bombshell report accused Ross, who managed a private equity firm before joining the administration, of pathologically swindling his business associates out of their share of profits and misleading investors for decades. The article also charged Ross, whose net worth is estimated at $700 million, with failing to follow through on his pledges to charity, not paying his domestic staff, and even swiping hundreds of Sweet ‘N Low packets from a local restaurant.  In response, the Department of Commerce called the article “petty nonsense.” An explosive report in Forbes magazine accused Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross of swindling his associates out of $120 million.

Since 2014, Ross has been the vice-chairman of the board of Bank of Cyprus PCL, the largest bank in Cyprus, which has been mentioned as being involved in money-laundering and nefarious loans. In November 2017, Paradise Papers reporting found that after becoming commerce secretary, Ross retained investments in Navigator Holdings, a shipping company he once controlled which transports petrochemicals for Russian gas and petrochemicals company Sibur. Sibur has American sanctions against it for its close ties to Russian oligarchs Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko, and President Vladimir Putin‘s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov. He had failed to clearly disclose these ties to Russian interests during his confirmation hearings. While his confirmation was pending, Ross promised in a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics to cut ties “with more than 80 financial entities in which he has interests,” played a key role in securing his confirmation. However, according to the leaked documents, while he did divest some holdings, he did not disclose the full extent of those he retained. Senator Richard Blumenthal accused Ross of misleading the Senate Committee on Commerce and the American people by giving the impression that he had divested entirely from Navigator and by not disclosing Navigator’s ties to the Kremlin.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke left the Trump administration in January amid mounting federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest. As Secretary, Zinke opened more federal lands for oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction.[9] Zinke’s expenditures as Secretary of the Interior, which included expensive flights, raised ethical questions and controversy, and were investigated by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General. His ethical troubles were the subject of a PBS News Hour report on October 19, 2018. On October 30, 2018, the investigation into Zinke was referred to the Justice Department by Interior’s Inspector General!

An explosive Miami Herald investigation revealed that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta played a role in giving billionaire child molester Jeffrey Epstein a lenient sentence as a federal prosecutor. Labor secretary-designate Alex Acosta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at his confirmation before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.  The Herald revealed that current US Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta played a key role in securing a drastically reduced sentence for billionaire financier and sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein while serving as the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. 

Cabinet Corruption- More- endless!

Prosecutors and law enforcement had enough evidence to put Epstein behind bars for life for molesting at least 80 underage girls in what one detective described as a “sexual pyramid scheme” that went on for years. But Acosta struck a deal with Epstein’s lawyers for Epstein to serve just 13 months in his own private jail cell, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to victims. Epstein also provided testimony against two former Bear Stearns executives for their role in the 2008 financial crisis.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s investments in a debt-collection company and the nation’s largest operator of for-profit charter schools raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest during her nomination hearings. She agreed to divest those and 100 other holdings. The department later awarded a contract to the debt-collection company, which DeVos said she had nothing to do with. More lies! Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been sued for seizing wages from student loan borrowers, violating provisions of the federal Coronavirus relief bill. DeVos was held in contempt of court and the Education Department must pay a $100,000 fine after a federal judge ruled it failed to stop collecting student loans on a now-defunct college. The rare rebuke came after U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim was “astounded” to discover that DeVos and her department continued to chase more than 16,000 former students from the bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc. for funds allegedly owed earlier this month despite a 2018 order to stop. Kim even threatened DeVos with the prospect of jail time after the shocking revelation—described as “gross negligence” at its best and “intentional flouting” of the order at its worst—but the San Francisco judge settled on the fine and the contempt of court finding in a hearing on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s use of military aircraft for eight trips that cost taxpayers almost $1 million didn’t violate any laws, according to a report by the department’s inspector general. But the report faulted Mnuchin for a “disconnect between the standard of proof called for… and the actual amount of proof provided” to justify the requests. After the internal investigation, Mnuchin started making more information about his plane trips publicly available. Mnuchin, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven, an omission that Democrats said made him unfit to serve in one of the government’s most important positions. Both Trump and Mnuchin inherited money from their families, they have both run businesses accused of widespread racial discrimination and they have given to both parties to hedge their political bets and protect themselves. Mnuchin formed a groups of billionaire investors to buy IndyMac Bank from the FDIC as part of a sweetheart deal. They named it OneWest. The FDIC had taken it over after its 2008 collapse. This group was able to eventually take over $1.5 billion in profits, when the FDIC took the risk, this bank had a horrible record regarding foreclosures and servicing its inherited customers. By the way, one of the investors was George Soros, who the right wing believes is the Devil Incarnate. “There is a sad irony in the image of Steve Mnuchin as a philanthropist, compared to the reality of Mnuchin as the leader of a bank responsible for foreclosing on tens of thousands of American families and senior citizens,” said Paulina Gonzales, of the California Reinvestment Coalition, an NGO which monitors banks. “Steve Mnuchin was greatly enriched by OneWest Bank and now CIT Group, but those banks did little to serve the needs of ordinary families and working class communities.” 

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating whether Brock Long, FEMA Administrator, broke agency rules by using government vehicles to commute from Washington to his home in Hickory, North Carolina. He made regular trips, bringing with him staff who stayed in nearby hotels, according to Politico. House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy has asked Long to see documents related to the travel, and the matter has been referred to federal prosecutors, the Wall Street Journal reported. Long said he’s focused on leading the response to Hurricane Florence.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson allowed his son to help organize an agency listening tour in Baltimore, despite being told by government lawyers that doing so might violate ethics rules. He canceled an order for a $31,000 dining set for his Washington office amid media attention that the expense exceeded a $5,000 limit for office redecoration. Carson has said he had little involvement in the matter. His office didn’t respond to a request for comment. Ben Carson’s record as a neuro surgeon is not pristine either and there were numerous complaints regarding malpractice and concerns from many, many patients. Maryland court records show Carson has been involved in at least a half-dozen malpractice cases, some of which remain pending, while others were either settled or dismissed for untold sums.

That ratio is typical in Carson’s field, experts say, but a number of Carson’s former patients and their families involved in the claims offered the Guardian a conflicting account of his near-perfect medical path toward presidential politics, detailing their continued suffering from paralysis, seizure, an uncontrollable bladder and more life-altering ordeals. But, is the public aware of many of Carson’s outrageous lies in his biography, especially about his “scholarship” to West Point? Carson seems to know very little about our country’s history and even about the “slave trade” that brought hundreds of thousands of Africans to this country, not as “immigrants,” but as slaves!

Tom Price, former Health and Human Services Secretary, was criticized at his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving as a Georgia congressman. The transactions that received the most scrutiny involved privately offered shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., an Australian drug company he learned about from a New York congressman who sits on the company’s board.

But what of the VA and the Trump lies! Candidate Trump loudly and frequently condemned the Obama administration’s treatment of veterans, frequently (and absurdly) arguing that under Obama, veterans were treated worse than undocumented immigrants. Trump, in his typical manner, rarely offered any particular policy critique of the Obama administration’s approach — he just vaguely invoked the scandals (which were better-publicized than the subsequent bipartisan legislation or successful reforms) and tossed it into the general stew of racial and cultural animosity of his campaign message.

Trump was, therefore, somewhat surprised to learn after taking office that veterans liked Bob McDonald, thought he was doing a good job, and broadly opposed rocking the boat. Concurrently, retired Gen. Eric Shinseki was forced out as Secretary of Veterans affairs and replaced by Bob McDonald, a veteran and Procter & Gamble executive whose political contributions over the years had gone exclusively to Republicans. Armed with new authority and new money by the McCain-Sanders legislation and backed by an overwhelming 97-0 confirmation vote, McDonald set about to clean house. And it basically worked.

 But on December 11, the nation’s largest veterans organizations — including the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Amvets — came together to tell Trump to keep McDonald.  “We all want McDonald,” Joe Chenelly, the executive director of Amvets, told the New York Times. “He has a good business mind, he is experienced and we feel we can trust him.”

Trump was not, however, willing to admit that his campaign rhetoric had been entirely inaccurate, so he insisted on firing McDonald anyway. As a compromise, he nominated David Shulkin, who had been the VA’s undersecretary for health affairs, to serve as secretary. That paired veterans’ goals of continuity with Trump’s goal of avoiding an admission of error, though, of course, the fact that Shulkin had been specifically tasked with running health programs was an implicit admission that the Obama-era reform process had in fact been successful.

Eventually. Trump’s first Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin resigned following an internal investigation showed he used taxpayer money on flights to Europe and accepted improper gifts. Shulkin’s position had quietly become untenable, and rumors of his departure have percolated for weeks. Shulkin’s relationship with his own staff at Veterans Affairs has become toxic to the point where he’s posted an armed guard outside his office door. As part of the breakdown, the VA communications team has been openly trashing their boss to the press. It was a fairly stunning turn of events for Shulkin, a man who was confirmed by the Senate in a 100-0 vote and spent most of 2017 as the Trump administration’s least controversial Cabinet member.

Trump nominated his personal physician Ronny Jackson to the post. But Jackson’s nomination was derailed when his White House colleagues accused Jackson of over-prescribing opiates and drinking heavily on the job, which contributed to him allegedly sexually harassing female colleagues and drunkenly “wrecking” a government vehicle.  Amid the misconduct allegations and questions over his qualifications to lead a federal agency as large and complex as the VA, Jackson withdrew from consideration.

Another scandal in the most inept and corrupt administration in the history of the United States. When the real story of this rancid group is opened to the world, the administrations of Grant, Harding, Nixon, Reagan, and all the rest will pale in comparison to this unhinged brigand!

A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get his son-in-law hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press.

The Interior Department’s Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the son-in-law when he was seeking a job at the agency.

Investigators said Domenech also appeared to misuse his position to promote a second family member’s wedding-related business to the same EPA official, who was engaged at the time.

The AP obtained the report detailing the investigation in advance of its public release.

It’s the second finding of ethical violations in six months against Domenech, the agency’s assistant secretary for insular and international affairs. Investigators in December found that he broke federal ethics rules by twice meeting with his former employer, a conservative Texas-base

Trump’s White House Staff

Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, amassed an array of business ventures in the two years between his retirement from the military and his White House appointment. Those associations led to complaints about possible conflicts of interest and one criminal charge. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to federal agents about a $530,000 consulting contract he had with Dutch company Inovo BV that was primarily intended to benefit Turkey’s government. He also admitted to lying about his post-election contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who’s also head of the Office of Management and Budget, received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from payday lenders when he was in Congress. After Trump named him acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he said that wouldn’t pose a conflict because he was no longer in elected office and had no plans to run for one in the future. He later proposed loosening regulations on the industry. A spokesman for Mulvaney said it is ludicrous to think campaign contributions he received years ago while serving in Congress would influence him today.

Press aide Kelly Sadler was caught mocking deceased Sen. John McCain’s terminal cancer diagnosis. On May 10, White House sources told The Hill that press aide Kelly Sadler mocked deceased GOP Sen. John McCain’s terminal diagnosis, joking that his opposition to CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel “didn’t matter” because “he’s going to die soon anyway.”

McCain died of a rare, aggressive form of brain cancer in August 2018. While Sadler left the White House after her remarks leaked, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told CNN Sadler would be welcome to apply for other roles in the administration.

On July 16, Trump shocked and angered Democrats and Republicans alike during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, when he slammed his political foes and sided with Russia over the conclusions of his own intelligence agencies. 

When asked by a reporter whether he believed the unanimous consensus of the US intelligence community that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election, the president responded, “My people came to me … they said they think it’s Russia” that interfered. Trump added, “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.” He added that he had “great confidence” in his “intelligence people” but that Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of Russian interference. In the wake of his remarks, a slate of intelligence and national security veterans told INSIDER they believed Trump acted exactly like a “controlled asset” beside his handler.

When Jason Chaffetz called Kellyanne Conway’s hawking of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line on television “absolutely wrong, wrong, wrong” and “clearly over the line”, it was supposed to be a reassuring sign. It wasn’t.

This was one of several data-points just from this week showing again that President Donald Trump is not so much draining the swamp, as he famously promised to do, as flooding it or giving it a gilded makeover in his own image. To be honest the new and at times novel tales of violations of ethical norms and rules are coming almost too fast to track; I wrote Friday and again Monday morning about the ways Trump and his administration are abusing their public offices and these new instances have surfaced since I filed the latter column.

First there’s Conway. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (not to be confused with the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller) issued a report Tuesday calling for “disciplinary action” against Conway for “impermissibly mix[ing] official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special [Senate] election” which took place in December. Under the Hatch Act, federal employees are prohibited from engaging in political activities from their official positions, but Conway did just that, according to Special Counsel Henry Kerner, going out of her way to attack Democratic senatorial candidate (and ultimate victor) Doug Jones twice in television interviews in the run-up to the election.  She appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Nov. 20 and CNN’s “New Day” on Dec. 5 and talked about the Alabama Senate race (in the former appearance without being asked about it) in ways that went beyond her remit, per Kerner. (This is Conway’s third apparent ethical violation in the White House.)

More: Conway simply ignored the Office of Special Counsel when it asked her to respond to the allegations of violating the Hatch Act, though the White House counsel’s office did defend her appearances to Kerner. (The counsel’s office also promised that she would respond, which she did not.)

So what? The fact that she was directly warned about violating the Hatch Act and did it anyway indicates a level of confidence that she could violate the law with impunity. And guess what: Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley issued a statement Tuesday saying the White House didn’t think Conway did anything wrong. Not a surprise: The administration blew off the judgment of the independent

And Conway is not alone. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump lists five other Trump appointees who have had run-ins with the Hatch Act. “If this all seems confusing: Fair enough,” he writes. “That’s why the Office of Special Counsel offers training for administration officials about where the legal lines are.”

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman made several bombshell claims against members of the administration in her book “Unhinged.” Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who was fired in December 2017, resurfaced in the public eye this summer to promote her book “Unhinged.”  Aside from releasing a tape she recorded of Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her in Trump’s situation room, Manigault-Newman made a number of claims against members of the administration. 

She said tapes of Trump using the n-word on the set of “The Apprentice” do indeed exist, that Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks releasing hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, and that she walked in on him eating paper in the Oval Office.

Trump and press secretary Sarah Sanders vehemently denied Maginault-Newman’s claims, with Trump calling her a “dog” who “cried and begged” for a job. 

The New York Times reported that former White House counsel Don McGahn provided over 30 hours of testimony in the Mueller probe .Don McGahn voluntarily provided over 30 hours of testimony in the Mueller probe as a self-protection measure out of fear that Trump would make him his “fall guy.” McGahn was present for a number of moments crucial to the Mueller probe’s inquiry into whether Trump obstructed justice. Trump reportedly raised the prospect of investigating Comey and Clinton with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who took over following Jeff Sessions’ ouster. The idea was shut down by former White House counsel Don McGahn, who told Trump he didn’t have the authority to order a DOJ investigation and the move would appear to be a politically motivated abuse of power. 

In a move that stunned military and intelligence veterans, Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and threatened to do the same for other former officials who had criticized him.

Trump’s Campaign Manager and Corrupt Fund-raising!

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of eight counts of tax and bank fraud, and becomes a cooperating witness in the Mueller probe. On August 21, a jury in Virginia convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on eight counts of federal tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts after a dramatic weeks-long trial. Manafort was prosecuted and tried as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A mistrial was declared on an additional 10 charges filed against Manafort after the jury failed to come to a consensus.  “It doesn’t involve me, but it’s a very sad thing that happened,” Trump said in response to the conviction. “This has nothing to with Russian collusion…this has absolutely nothing to do — this is a witch hunt.”

Elliott Broidy, a former RNC Deputy Finance Chairman, a Los Angeles money manager, forged a relationship with Trump by raising millions of dollars for his presidential campaign. After the election, he sought to make that relationship pay off. According to documents later stolen from his computer and leaked to the media, Broidy explored lucrative consulting arrangements with a sanctioned Russian company and a Malaysian financier under criminal investigation, neither of which panned out. His defense-contracting firm did win business from foreign governments.

A month before taking office, Trump named Carl Icahn, a Wall Street billionaire he’s known for decades, as his special adviser on regulatory reform. The informal, unpaid title didn’t require the financier to give up control of his $20 billion business empire. It soon became clear there was only one regulation Icahn wanted to reform: an Environmental Protection Agency rule on ethanol credits he said was costing refineries he owns hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Roger Stone, a longtime Republican strategist and sometime confidant of Donald Trump, was arrested in Florida on Jan. 25 and charged with obstructing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and lying about his communication with WikiLeaks. The indictment says Stone served as a link between the Trump campaign and the release of Democratic National Committee emails stolen by state-sponsored Russian hackers to embarrass Hillary Clinton.

White House Leaks- Constantly!

An anonymous White House staffer published a New York Times op-ed claiming to be part of an anti-Trump “resistance” in the administration.  On Sept. 5, The New York Times opinion section published an anonymous op-ed from a senior Trump administration official who claimed to be part of a “silent resistance” of White House staffers reining in Trump’s “more misguided impulses.” 

“Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the unnamed person wrote of President Donald Trump. “I would know. I am one of them.” “We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in response. 

“This is a new low for the so-called ‘paper of record,’ and it should issue an apology, just as it did after the election for its disastrous coverage of the Trump campaign,” she added, despite the fact The Times never apologized for its 2016 coverage. The Times also did not apologize for publishing the op-ed. 

These include his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his efforts to force attorney general Jeff Sessions to oversee the Russia probe after recusing himself, his knowledge of Michael Flynn’s criminal offenses, and reported attempts to fire Mueller himself. McGahn has since left the administration. 

Trump reportedly sought to compel the Department of Justice to investigate James Comey and Hillary Clinton, two of his political opponents. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks at the Dept. of Justice’s Annual Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, at the Justice Department in Washington.  In November 2018, the New York Times and CNN reported that Trump wanted to order the Department of Justice to open investigations into James Comey and Hillary Clinton, two of his political foes.

Trump reportedly raised the prospect of investigating Comey and Clinton with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who took over following Jeff Sessions’ ouster. The idea was shut down by former White House counsel Don McGahn, who told Trump he didn’t have the authority to order a DOJ investigation and the move would appear to be a politically motivated abuse of power. 

The White House was ordered by a judge to re-instate CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass after revoking it. CNN’s Jim Acosta walks into federal court in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, to attend a hearing on legal challenge against President Donald Trump’s administration.

The White House took the extraordinary step of revoking CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard press pass after releasing video that sought to portray him “putting his hands” on a press aide, which independent experts said was intentionally doctored.  CNN took the White House to court, and a federal judge ruled in Acosta’s favor, granting his request for a temporary restraining order to have his pass restored.  The White House then decided to fully restore Acosta’s press pass, prompting CNN to drop their lawsuit. They also issued new, stricter rules for the media to follow during briefings. 

 The Washington Post reported Ivanka Trump conducted government business with a private, unsecured email account. The Post reported that White House adviser Ivanka Trump regularly used a private email account using a domain shared with her husband Jared Kushner for official government business, sending “hundreds” of mainly logistical and scheduling emails to other officials from the private email address.

“She was the worst offender in the White House,” a former senior government official familiar with the review of Ivanka’s emails told The Post about her email usage, which could violate the Presidential Records Act. While Trump frequently attacked his opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email address and server while she was secretary of state, he defended his daughter Ivanka’s conduct.  “Ivanka did some emails, they weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton, they weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton … she wasn’t doing anything to hide her emails,” Trump said.

 The US Border Patrol faced backlash for using tear gas on a group of migrants seeking entry at the United States border, including women and children. A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico November 25, 2018. Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

US Customs & Border Patrol faced backlash after using tear gas on a group of Central American migrants attempting to storm the border at the Tijuana port of entry, including several young children.

“We ran, but when you run the smoke asphyxiates you more,” Ana Zuniga, a 23-year-old woman from Honduras, told the AP while holding her 3-year-old daughter. The use of tear gas against unarmed migrants was slammed by civil and human rights groups around the world. 

Trump defended the border patrol’s actions, calling it “a very minor form of the tear gas itself” that he said was “very safe.” “Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it’s going to be formed and they were running up with a child?” he added, asserting without evidence that many of the women gassed were not real parents but “grabbers” who came to the border with children who were not their own. 

Firing of Whistle Blowers

 The firing of whistle blowers has become a pre-occupation of Trump! Rick Bright was in the process of filing what promises to be a damning whistleblower complaint to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, President Donald Trump announced that he was firing the inspector general, Christi Grimm, and nominating a handpicked replacement. “Two weeks ago, Bright, who, as deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response for HHS, oversaw the government’s purchase and funding of vaccines, treatments, and tests for the coronavirus, said he had been forced out of his job because he refused to cave to pressure to adopt scientifically unproven treatments for Covid-19.

“I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit,” wrote in a statement released by his lawyers, as The Intercept reported at the time.

Grimm became inspector general in January and came under attack from Trump after her office published a report pointing out severe shortages of testing supplies and personal protective equipment. In a tweet, Trump called the report, which was based on interviews with hospital administrators from 323 hospitals in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, “another Fake Dossier” because Grimm had worked for the Obama administration. In fact, while she did serve under Barack Obama, Grimm, who been in the IG’s office since 1999, has also worked for the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Trump’s nominee to replace Grimm is attorney Jason Weida. He also fired Intelligence Community Inspector-General Michael Atkinson, Department of Defence, IG, Glenn Fine, State Department IG, Steve Linick and Department of Transporttion, IG Mitch Behm. The role of an inspector general is important throughout our government and is meant to work independently to root out waste, fraud, and abuse at every level, all with total detachment from politics,” Risch said. “When Congress created that position, this official was designated to serve at the discretion of the president as part of his control of the executive branch. It is the president’s prerogative and within his authority to make decisions regarding the adequacy of performance and continued employment of the inspector general. I have been in contact with the administration over this matter and expect to continue to learn more.”

Sexual Assault Allegations:

Where and when: Various, 1970s-2005

The dirt: Even before the release of a 2005 video in which he boasted about sexually assaulting women—“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” he said, as well as “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything”—there’s a long line of allegations against Trump. Jill Harth says Trump assaulted her in the 1990s. Trump’s ex-wife Ivana Trump once suggested he had raped her, though she has since recanted her story. Former Miss Utah Temple Taggart said he kissed her on the lips inappropriately.

But since the release, more women have come forward. Two told The New York Times that Trump had assaulted them, one saying he tried to put his hand up her skirt on a flight in the 1970s and another saying he forcibly kissed her. A Florida woman says Trump groped her. A former People reporter recounted an alleged assault at his Mar-a-Lago debate, and says he told her, “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” Several former teen pageant contestants said Trump walked in on them while they were naked or partially Trump denies all of the allegations. In the sexual-assault cases,

Trump faces the difficulty that he in some cases bragged openly about just the behavior of which he has accused—whether grabbing or forcibly kissing. Trump has demanded a retraction from the Times, and has threatened to sue several outlets. The paper, in a letter, refused. A woman who brought a rape case against Trump (twice) withdrew her suit in November, but in January, Summer Zervos sued Trump for defamation, after he labeled her claims of sexual assault false.

Women, Women, Women!

Trump has got a problem!

  1. Three wives
  2. Two visas violators
  3. Ivana Zelnickova Trump
  4. Melania Knauss Trump
  5. One Sex trade Worker
  6. Melania Knauss
  7. Two adulterers
  8. Marla Maples Trump
  9. Melania Knauss Trump
  10. Two sexual affairs paid off by Cohen
  11. Karen McDougal- she’s suing him
  12. Stormy Daniels-she’s suing him and has tapes
  13. Nineteen women accusers of sexual attacks
  14. Kristan Anders
  15. Mariah Billado
  16. Lisa Boyne
  17. Rachel Crook
  18. Tasha Dixon
  19. Jessica Drake
  20. Jill Harth
  21. Cathy Heller
  22. Samantha Holvery
  23. Ninni Laaksoner
  24. Jessica Leeds
  25. Melinda McGillivray
  26. Cassanda Searles
  27. Natasha Stoynoff
  28. Bridget Sullivan
  29. Temple Taggart
  30. Ivana Trump
  31. Karena Virginia
  32. Summer Zervos
  33. Two White House Women
  34. Hope Hicks
  35. Omarosa Manigault-Newman- she’s got tapes
  36. Miss Teen USA
  37. Leering in the locker room
  38. Bragging about it
  39. Rape Case of a 13 year old
  40. Katie Johnson
  41. Rape case of an adult
  42. Jean Carrol ( she is now suing the Mad King for defamation)

The Beauty Pageant Scandals- 

Where and when: Various, 1992-present

The dirt: The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser reports on the mess of the American Dream pageant in 1992. After years of attending beauty pageants—Trump seems to have always enjoyed the company of beautiful, scantily clad women—he decided he wanted to get in on the business himself, meeting with George Houraney and Jill Harth, a couple that ran the American Dream pageant. It was an ill-fated effort. Harth and Houraney alleged that Trump started making passes at her almost immediately. On one occasion, Trump allegedly asked them to bring some models to a party. Harth alleges Trump groped her at the party. In a limo afterward, another model said she heard him say that “all women are bimbos” and most “gold diggers.” Trump reportedly joined another model in bed, uninvited, late at night. On other occasions, he forced Harth into bedrooms and made passes at her, she said. But after the contest, Trump broke off dealings. Harth sued Trump, alleging sexual misbehavior, while the couple together sued him for breach of contract. In the suit, they also alleged that Trump had kept black women out of the pageant.

The Top 6 Trump Administration Plagiarism Scandals (So Far)

 Op-ed Written By President Trump’s Campaign (March 16, 2016)

  • Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention Speech (July 19. 2016)
  • Monica Crowley’s Book, Dissertation and Columns (Jan 7, 2017)
  • Ben Carson’s Prepared HUD Testimony (January 12, 2017)
  • The Inauguration Address (January 20, 2017)
  • The Inauguration Cake (January 20, 2017)

Executive Branch Turnover- Unprecedented!

The Trump Administrations Turnover- record levels

There have been over 570 members of the Trump Executive Branch who have left the Administration. There have been 75 nominees withdrawn because of improper vetting or other problems These Commission Members have left or were dismissed:

Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity- disbanded-12

HIV/Aids Advisory Board- disbanded 10 fired, 6 resigned

Commission on the Arts – 16 resigned. Commission on Strategy and Policy/Manufacturing Council Strategy of 17 resigned and the Pandemic Team dissolved!

US Attorneys dismissed -46

Trump and the Environment

Last, but not least!

The environmental reversals of the Trump Administration reflective of his administration’s anti-environmental agenda. These policies are almost too long to list!

  1. Ending protection for Migratory Birds, a policy going back 20 administrations,100 years in 2018.
  2. President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will no longer regard climate change by name as a national security threat. The stance marks an abrupt turn from the Obama administration, which in 2015 described climate change as “an urgent and growing threat to our national security,” given its effects on natural disasters, conflicts over food and water, and refugee crises.


  1. In contrast, the Trump administration’s national security strategy, published Monday, discusses climate change only within the context of U.S. energy policy. “Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system, [and] U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests,” the report reads. “Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”
  2. As National Geographic has previously reported, humans’ dramatic alteration of the global climate is not only scientific fact, but it also poses numerous security threats to the United States and the world. Depending on the region, extreme weather events—such as droughts, wildfires, heatwaves, and torrential rains—may become more frequent and intense under climate change, posing threats to military installations and civilian communities alike. As weather patterns change, some disease-bearing creatures such as mosquitoes will enjoy longer active seasons over wider areas, exacerbating threats to public health. In addition, rising seas threaten to cripple coastal military infrastructure, an ongoing concern at the U.S. Navy’s installation in Norfolk, Virginia. Melting ice means that the normally ice-clogged Arctic is poised to transform into a major shipping route, altering regional geopolitics. Warmer, more acidic waters will kill off many coral reefs, which supply food and income to millions. And as sea levels rise, flooding will displace coastal populations.
  3. In a speech delivered in Salt Lake City, President Trump announced his intention to sharply reduce two Utah national monuments established by his predecessors. In a move presaged by leaked government documents, Trump announced that he would reduce the 1.35-million acre Bears Ears National Monument, created by President Barack Obama in late 2016, by 85 percent. The president also said he would cut the 1.88-million acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996, nearly in half.
  4. President Trump signs an executive order that orders a review of Obama-era bans on offshore oil and gas drilling in parts of the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. The Obama policies under review include a five-year oil leasing roadmap that excluded Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and a December 2016 attempt to permanently ban drilling on wide swaths of Arctic and Atlantic waters. NPR reports that the order also halts the designation or expansion of National Marine Sanctuaries, unless the move includes an Interior Department estimate of the area’s “energy or mineral resource potential.” Conservation groups immediately announce their intent to defend Obama’s December 2016 effort in court.
  5. The U.S. Department of Interior has proposed auctioning off oil and gas leases for 77 million acres of federal waters within the Gulf of Mexico—the largest lease auction of its kind ever announced. In an October 23 statement, the Interior Department says that it will auction off the oil and gas leases for all available unleased areas on the Gulf of Mexico’s outer continental shelf, in waters off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The auction is about a million acres larger than the most recent auction of its ilk, which occurred under the Obama administration in August 2016.
  6. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the lynchpin of the Obama Administration’s effort to combat climate change, the New York Times reported Monday. In a speech delivered in Hazard, Kentucky, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared that he will sign a proposal on Tuesday that would eliminate the Clean Power Plan (CPP), claiming that “the war on coal is over.” Unveiled in 2015, the Clean Power Plan mandated that the U.S. power sector’s carbon emissions be cut by 32 percent from 2005 by 2030 (870 million tons of CO2), slashing the single biggest contributor to the country’s overall carbon footprint.
  7. The Trump administration has suspended a study of health risks to residents who live near mountaintop removal coal mine sites in the Appalachian Mountains. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was asked by the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement in an August 18 letter to “cease all activities” involved in the two-year, $1 million research project while the department undertakes a review of projects costing more than $100,000. The review was prompted by “the department’s changing budget situation,” the letter said.
  8. President Trump has signed an executive order revoking federal flood-risk standards that incorporated rising sea levels predicted by climate science. Trump’s new executive order claims to improve federal infrastructure decisions by quickening and streamlining the environmental review process. A single sentence takes the additional step of revoking Executive Order 13690, signed by President Barack Obama on January 30, 2015.
  9. The Department of the Interior has released the results of a 60-day review of the Obama administration’s conservation plan to protect the greater sage grouse. The review, ordered in June by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, was intended to determine if that plan interferes with Trump administration efforts to increase energy production on federal lands. In light of the newly published review, Secretary Zinke recommends reprioritizing oil development within the broader 2015 plan, among other changes. Environmental groups have rebuked the overhaul, arguing that changes to the 2015 plan could dilute protections for the species.
  10. The Trump Administration this week cancelled a rule that would have helped prevent endangered whales and sea turtles from becoming entangled in fishing nets off the U.S. West Coast. Proposed in 2015, the rule would have closed the swordfish gill net fishery for up to two years if any two individual endangered whales or sea turtles were killed or seriously hurt within a two-year period. The same penalties would have applied if any combination of four bottlenose dolphins or short-finned pilot whales were injured or killed within a two-year period
  11. President Trump said that he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, steering away from a group of 194 other countries that have promised to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The news came just days after he attended the G7 Summit in Italy, where the six other member countries—Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom—reaffirmed their commitment to the 2015 climate pact.
  12. President Trump’s 2018 budget, sent to Congress Tuesday, calls for massive cuts in scientific research and in a slew of environmental programs that protect air and water. The proposed budget, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” slashes the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent – a steeper cut than any other agency. Those cuts could translate into a $2.7 billion spending reduction and the loss of 3,200 jobs, according to an analysis by the World Resources Institute. The proposed budget eliminates major programs to restore the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Puget Sound. It ends the EPA’s lead-risk reduction and radon detection programs and cuts funding for the Superfund cleanup program.
  13. The EPA dismisses several members of the Board of Scientific Counselors, an 18-member advisory board that reviews the research of EPA scientists. Some of the dismissed scientists had been assured that their three-year terms on the board would be renewed. In a May 7 story by the New York Times, critics assailed the move, casting it as a gift to business interests at the expense of science. An EPA spokesperson said the decision allowed the agency to consider a more diverse pool of applicants, including industry representatives, for the board.
    In addition, the Washington Post reported on May 8 that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has started reviewing more than 200 advisory boards and other entities associated with the Interior Department.








Why Should the Blue Collar Working American Vote Republican? They Shouldn’t! Reflections on the Last Election! 11-20=22 Richard J. Garfunkel

By voting for the average Republican incumbent or challenger you get the following: more inaction on jobs, infrastructure, education, civil rights and liberties and tax relief for America’s wealthiest. You also get a Congress that is against healthcare for all Americans, but has no alternative plan. You vote for a Congress that will repeal the Federal Inheritance Tax, which affects a tiny percentage of the wealthiest 1% of all Americans ($12 million plus in assets). You also vote for a Congress that is completely against women’s health, including: Choice, Birth Control, and Planned Parenthood. But, what about the minimum wage, the sanctity of Social Security and Medicare? What about their plans for de-regulation? Does that mean more fracking in watershed areas? Does that mean less clean air and more reliance on dirty coal? But what about education? Does that mean more undermining public education, lower salaries for teachers or support for Charter Schools?

So here are some realities:

  1. Healthcare costs- Under the so-called Trumpcare Plan- costs will go up, caps, limitations and exclusions will return, and there will be no engine for financing! Therefore, what benefit will be achieved? The Republicans claim there will be more insurers, why? Higher premiums, less benefits and a return to healthcare before the ACA. By the way WHERE is it?
  2. Taxes- Most Blue collar working Americans are paying low Federal income taxes or none. Their taxes have not gone up under President Obama, and if any costs have gone up they are at the state level. What tax benefit would come with the Trump/GOP Plan- high earners and corporations would get the vast amount of tax savings, adding to the deficit, a cut in services that are specifically directed to working class Americans. The Reagan tax cuts lowered the top bracket from 70% to 28%, benefitted the wealthy, quadrupled the National Debt, added jobs in the Defense Sector and the revenues brought in never matched the deficit.
  3. The Budget- Under the budget proposed by Trump there would be an increase in Defense spending of $54 billion, a $20-25 billion wall across the Mexican border and an unlimited ancillary cost of its maintenance. The offsetting savings will come out of healthcare, science, the arts, etc. But what are the real numbers!


  1. Depart of Labor -21%
  2. EPA-31%
  3. Agriculture-21%
  4. Health and Human Service -18%
  5. Education -14%
  6. Housing and Urban Development -13%
  7. Transportation -13%
  8. Interior—12%
  9. Energy -6%
  10. Small Business Administration -5%

How come it is ancient history that in 2008, we were in the midst of another economic meltdown caused by unregulated markets? Is there any connection to the recent Wells Fargo scandal? You can bet on it.  Is the average American suffering? No! Is this the worst recovery since the Great Depression? No! Are there job losses authored by Wall Street, which has nothing to do with NAFTA? Yes! Is our military 2nd rate? Of course not! Is Washington broken? Yes, and who is the cause? One doesn’t have to look much further than the GOP leadership.

So, we keep on hearing from the Trump Talking Heads, that this election is about the dispossessed American, the terrible recovery, the decline of America, how weak or armed forces are, and that Washington is broken. But, who broke Washington? Along with those fables, how come the moderators have zero knowledge of our history? What happened from the beginning of the Progressive Era from Teddy Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson? What were the working, social, and economic conditions of the era? Were they in need of change? Of course. But, who opposed that change? The same people who oppose progressive reform today!

These news readers, seem to have forgotten our advancement from the days to the Crash and the great progressive gains from FDR through Truman, to the Great Society and up and through President Obama. Did they conveniently forget who created twice as many jobs? Did they forget how well markets did under Democrats and how wages went up for most Americans. Did they forget how the GOP de-regulators and tax cutters gave us most of the recessions, since Truman and the Savings & Loan trillion dollar debacle, the quadrupling of the National Debt under Reagan and Bush 41? Maybe they have no clue.

How come it is ancient history that in 2008, we were in the midst of another economic meltdown caused by unregulated markets? Is there any connection to the recent Wells Fargo scandal? You can bet on it.  So here we are in the midst of a campaign, where the American public has to confront these myths. Is the average American suffering? No! Is this the worst recovery since the Great Depression? No! Are there job losses authored by Wall Street, which has nothing to do with NAFTA? Yes! Is our military 2nd rate? Of course not! Is Washington broken? Yes, and who is the cause? One doesn’t have to look much further than the GOP leadership, which has failed to schedule hearings for Federal Judges and numerous other presidential appointments. Almost a record have not been confirmed. So who is filibustering, not addressing problems of jobs, education and our infrastructure? Is it the Democrats, or the candidates the GOP supports? Splitting one’s ballot will bring more gridlock, obfuscation and regression. Don’t do it!




The Golden Age of Hollywood, What and Who Will be Remembered! Richard J. Garfunkel 2-14-2023

From 1920 through 1940 was probably considered Hollywood’s Golden Age. In the early part of this era, Hollywood had come of age with the change from dominance of the Director, to that of the Star. The early films were dominated by directors from DW Griffith to stage directors from the theater to foreigners, like Erich von Stroheim (in actuality, his name was Erich Oswald Stroheim, and he was Jewish and not a Junker), who’s masterpiece was Greed and others as Joseph von Sternberg to the great comic directors Max Sennett and Charlie Chaplin.

The Hollywood Moguls, who ran the major studios: MGM, Paramount, Columbia, and Warner Brothers, went through a consolidation period and by the mid to late 20’s their ownership was securely in place. People like Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, Adolph Zuckor, and Harry Cohn, became household names. Other competitors would come into the business like United Artists, with stars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Chaplin with the lighting personnel they needed and all the other critical workers. Of course, beyond Chaplin, Pickford and Fairbanks there was the concerted effort to import Europeans to Hollywood, Thus the greatest import, Charlie Chaplin, along with film producer and director, DW Griffith, decided to make their own movies. Smaller firms would eventually emerge like RKO, Universal, and International along with independent producers; the most notable being; Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer’s son in law, David O. Selznick of Gone With the Wind fame. Eventually the last big player to emerge was 20thCentury-Fox.

Thus, the Golden Age went from the dominance of the Director to the rise of the Hollywood Star. The studios decided to make stars of actors, sign them to long-term contracts and use them as they wished. In this way, they had much greater control of their industry. The Director became a hired hand, just like the writers, and all the other components of making films, from the camera operators, to the film editors, as well as the actors, foreign, more exotic imports like; Rudolf Valentino, Vilma Banky, Ramon Navarro and others. In the same vein, other American stars of that era were Buster Keaton, John Barrymore, Lon Chaney, and Lilian Gish. Eventually, one star Greta Garbo, signed by Metro, would preempt and eclipse all the others, foreign and native born.. She would be a major star in both eras of the Golden Age.

As the Silent Era basically ended in 1927 with The Jazz Singer, and its dynamic star Al Jolson. The Sound Era, of Talking Pictures would kill off almost all the great stars of the silent era, including the Gish sisters, Mary Pickford, Fairbanks, Navarro (Valentino had died in 1926 at age 31), John Gilbert, Lon Chaney and many, many others, who were unable to have the proper speaking voice, couldn’t read lines, or had heavy foreign accents. The ones who remained were mostly stage actors, with great voices like Ronald Colman, John Barrymore, Leslie Howard, and others who were able to speak well and deliver their lines, like Claudette Colbert, Myrna Loy, Mary Astor, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Carol Lombard, William Powell, and Boris Karloff.

Thus, the Golden Era of twenty years could be divided into two distinct eras; 1920 to 1929 and 1930 to 1940, when WWII started to change the whole dynamic of Hollywood. In the latter era, scores of Jewish and other European refugees flocked to both America and Hollywood, fleeing from a Europe in turmoil.

The beginning of the New Age, and thus the eventual decline of Hollywood and the studio system, would probably began with Casablanca which featured mostly foreign actors, aside from the main star, Humphrey Bogart. The cast included; Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Sidney Greenstreet, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, and European refugees: most notably, Madeleine Lebeau, Leonid Kinsley, Curt Bois, SZ Sakall, Marcel Dalio, Ludwig Stossel, Wolfgang Zilzer and their Director, Michael Curtiz ( a Hungarian Jew, born Mano Kaminer).

Historically, the most profitable era of Hollywood’s Golden Age expanded exponentially as the talking movies emerged in the period from 1928 through 1930. The Hollywood studios also began to build and buy up the existing inventory of movie theaters. This allowed hundreds, if not thousands, of “in-house” outlets for immediate distribution of films. But, in the postwar era that would change dramatically. Eventually United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.,(1948) (also known as the Hollywood Antitrust Case of 1948,) a landmark United States anti-trust case decided the fate of film studios owning their own theatres and holding exclusivity rights on which theatres would show their movies. It would also change the way Hollywood movies were produced, distributed and exhibited. The Supreme Court affirmed (a District Court’s ruling) in this case that the existing distribution scheme was in violation of the United States Sherman and Clayton anti-trust law, which prohibit certain exclusive dealing arrangements. In plain language, the studios were force to sell the theaters.

The case is important both in U.S. antitrust law and film history. In the former, it remains a landmark decision in vertical integration cases; in the latter, it is responsible for putting an end to the old Hollywood studio system. Another earlier ruling, emerged from the contractual system used universally in Hollywood. Industry lawyers in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s took the position that an exclusive personal services contract should be treated as suspended during the periods when the artist was not actually working. Since no artist could be working every single day (that is, including holidays and weekends), this interpretation meant that two, or later seven, years of actual service would be spread over a much longer calendar period, thus extending the time during which the studio system had complete control of a young artist’s career.

In response, actress Olivia de Havilland filed a lawsuit on August 23, 1943 against Warner Brothers which was backed by the Screen Actor’s Guild. The lawsuit resulted in a landmark decision of the California Court of Appeals for the 2nd District in De Havilland’s favor on December 8, 1944. In a unanimous opinion signed by Justice Clement Lawrence Shinn, the three-justice panel adopted the common sense view that seven years from the commencement of service means seven calendar years. Since De Havilland had started performance under her Warner annual contract on May 5, 1936 (which had been renewed six times pursuant to its terms since then), and seven calendar years had elapsed from that date, the contract was no longer enforceable and she was free to seek projects with other studios.

Another earlier case served to erode the almighty power of the studios. Bette Davis, a major star under contract to Warner Brothers, was unhappy with the type of pictures she was forced to make by the studio. She also felt that to advance in her career meant being offered good scripts with talented directors. However, in the studio era of Hollywood, actors had very little control about what films they were offered. In 1936, she left in protest and went to England on a two film deal. The studio, however, procured an injunction against her for having left the States to do films in England. She fought back by taking them to court. Unfortunately, she lost the battle — yet, all the more remarkably, rather than being blackballed by the studio, from then on she started getting the kind of parts she felt she deserved. The power of the studios wasn’t broken, but the ability of major stars to balk at what they were assigned, go into voluntary retirement, for a time, or create adverse headlines, started the erosion of studio power.

As this Golden Age continues to fade into the past, movies made before WWII are now over 80 years old. The original audiences for those films are mostly gone, and the generation of their children is aging quickly. Most of the Baby Boomers who were born right after WWII and grew up with those movies and the star system, are in their 70s. Their grandchildren will be mature almost 100 years after the start of WWII. With that in mind, will this generation care about these movies?

What then will be the memorable films that this new generation watches? Will they ignore almost all the black and white films? Will they reject the films that showed American Blacks, Italians and other ethnics in deprecating roles? What will their feelings be about the films which ignored the reality of the rise of fascism in Europe? Almost all the studios ignored the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and the abuse of their Jewish population, except Warner Brothers. Even the mere mention of Jews being victims in Germany were removed from films like, Mr. Skeffington. Great films like, Gone With the Wind along with others about the antebellum era like, Jezebel, The Little FoxesThe Little Rebel, Young Abe Lincoln, Showboat seem to have denigrated the incredible abuse and brutality of slavery. In fact, it basically ignored one of the greatest crimes in history. Almost all the roles in Hollywood offered to Black Americans were in subservient roles, as: maids, servants, street cleaners, porters, etc. In truth, those were the jobs that most Blacks were allowed to have. They weren’t the only groups who were stereotyped.

Of course, there were many great films in that era, which culminated in their most memorable year, 1939, with pictures like the afore mentioned Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dark Victory, Gunga Din, Ninotchka, and Goodbye Mr. Chips. Many of these same films are still quite enjoyable, certainly well made, and to a degree, relevant. As for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, it was an enjoyable film that was hardly realistic, but it certainly sent a message. Let us not forget that in 1938, and other years there were some wonderful films, but are they really relevant to audiences 80 to100 years distant, in the 21st Century? Are they mostly a stylized, unrealistic, and romantic view of life in America, which distorted the world as it really existed? As WWII changed the reality of thinking around the world, one very stark, and realistic Hollywood film, The Grapes of Wrath, released in in 1940, comes to mind. No other film of that period so graphically illustrated the desperation of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl that devastated Oklahoma and the heartland of America.

There have been countless books on that era and the major films from the beginning of the modern era of movies until our entry into WWII. Of course, not long after this Era started to wane, two films came forward that are widely accepted as the best of the best, Citizen Kane (1941) and Casablanca (1942). Both films were quite different from each other. One, Citizen Kane, came from a complete upstart and newcomer to Hollywood, the Boy Genius, Orson Welles. The other, Casablanca, was a pure creature of the studio system from Warner Brothers. No two films of that Era could be so completely different. As for Casablanca, it was dominated by stars with a remarkable cast, bolstered by scores of European refugees. It created a character in Humphrey Bogart, which had been evolving from the Maltese Falcon and High Sierra, both released in 1941. He became the prototype of an anti-hero, the cynical, tough, vulnerable, world-weary, character whose honesty and personal motives were ones to be questioned. After Casablanca, and with over twenty years’ experience as an actor, he would become, at age forty-three, the most enduring star of the postwar era and the 2ndhalf of the 20th Century. As for the Citizen Kane, its creator and major star, Orson Welles, at age 25, was truly a wunderkind. But, no matter how interesting and brilliant he was, he would never reach that same level of artistic and dramatic achievement and notoriety. By the way, Citizen Kane was made outside the major studios on the lots of RKO Pictures.

As for the stars of the 2nd half of the Golden Era, the ones who come to mind, who I think will be remembered are; Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astaire. There are some other marvelous stars, which include, Paul Muni, Frederic March, Ronald Colman, Leslie Howard, Gary Cooper, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, Carol Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Gary Grant, Jimmy Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Olivia De Havilland, Joan Crawford, and John Barrymore. Interestingly, a star of the later 1940s and the 1950’s, Gene Kelly, has stated, that in the future, only Fred Astaire will be remembered. He may have a point