If you saw the movie “Woman in Gold,” and I strongly recommend that you do, you know that as a young lawyer and new dad, Randy Schoenberg argued before Chief Justice Rhenquist’s Supreme Court and prevailed. He did this having given up his job and devoting all of his time, energy, and resources to helping Maria Altmann recover paintings stolen from her family’s Vienna residence by the Nazis.

Here is his Facebook entry.

So, I filed a lawsuit today against the US Department of Justice seeking immediate disclosure of the FBI search warrant for the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. As I explained in my blog http://schoenblog.com/?p=1008, I think we need to see what “probable cause” was shown for obtaining the search warrant, because whoever thought there was going to be evidence…

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What were we thinking?

Yesterday’s news of TIME’s pick for “person of the year” pretty much dotted the [I]s and crossed the [T]s.  Readers voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton mirroring the popular vote in the election.  Editors, who actually make the selection, opted for the runner-up.  The message could not be clearer.  No matter how popular she is, no matter how many people actually voted for her in any context, that glass ceiling was fortified with steel filament. Hillary Clinton was never going to be president.  How foolish of us to have entertained that frivolous dream.

Americans, and in fact the international community, have long questioned why the United States has not yet had a woman president when so many other countries have elected women to top leadership positions. It is a good question, however, news of the week brings echoes of how those women actually fared in those roles.

1. No one knows whether Park Guen-Hye’s presidency in South Korea will survive the pending impeachment bill or whether she will resign.  The future looks dim for her. So she could win the dubious distinction of being the first democratically elected woman president of her country as well as the first democratically elected president not to serve a full term.

South Korea parliament introduces bill to impeach Park; vote due Friday

Park is accused of colluding with a friend and a former aide to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

Read more >>>>

2. Brazil’s first woman president, Dilma Rouseff,  was impeached and removed from office on August 31 of this year.  The charges were corruption.  Hillary Clinton attended Rouseff’s inauguration on January 1, 2011.

Dilma Rousseff: ‘A woman in authority is called hard, while a man is called strong’

She displays angry indignation, for instance, at any mention of the government that has replaced her, led by her former vice-president and political nemesis, President Michel Temer.

“It’s a government of rich old white men, or at least those who want to be rich,” she says, hinting at a long list of corruption allegations against those in Temer’s ruling coalition.

Read more >>>>

3. Yulia Tymoshenko served as Ukraine’s prime minister from 2007-2010 then bumped heads with Viktor Yanukovych (buddy of Trump advisor, Paul Manafort) who won the election and imprisoned her for overstepping her bounds as PM.

Yulia Tymoshenko: She’s No Angel

… in 2005 … Tymoshenko became prime minister. But she quickly fell out with her erstwhile ally, who dismissed her government after a few months. She came back as prime minister from 2007 to 2010, which was right when the global economic crisis hit Ukraine full force. In the 2010 presidential elections she ran against Yanukovych, she lost, and in 2011, he saw to it she was jailed.

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(Are we beginning to see a pattern here?)

4. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, former First Lady of Argentina, succeeded her late husband to the presidency as a social justice candidate for the Peronista party.  She fulfilled her two four-year terms but was embattled by corruption charges and continues to be haunted by accusations of her implication in a murder case. (Sound familiar?)

Argentina judge looks to relaunch investigation into former president

The case against Fernández, a left-of-center politician who governed Argentina from 2007 to 2015, was compiled by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman. He was found shot in the head 19 months ago in his apartment just hours before he was to present the case to Congress. His mysterious death remains unsolved.

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5. Benazir Bhutto, served as 11th and 13th prime minister of Pakistan, was convicted of corruption, and assassinated in 2007 at a campaign event. She was running as the opposition party candidate.

6. Indira Ghandi, daughter of India’s first prime minister and twice prime minister in her own right, assassinated in office October 31, 1984.

7. The first woman president ever, Isabel Perón, elected vice president on her husband’s ticket in 1973 succeeded him as president upon his death on July 1, 1974. She was overthrown in a military coup on March 23, 1976 and lives in exile in Spain which has refused her extradition on charges that Spain claims do not constitute crimes against humanity.

Women serving as Irish presidents have fared better, as did the super-conservative Reagan pal Maggie Thatcher in the UK.  Germany’s Angela Merkel has flourished despite lots of opposition from time to time over everything from immigration to economic policy, and Theresa May in the UK appears to be doing well so far.

The question that remains, though, in the face of the stories above is “What did we expect?” Did we really expect that the voice of the people would be respected? Even if Hillary had dominated the electoral vote, there were plans among Republicans long before Election Day to impeach her.  Empty charges of corruption tied to the Clinton Foundation (no Clinton has profited from that foundation as attested by decades of financial disclosures by her campaign), Benghazi investigations that morphed into the server  “scandal” which in turn begat the emails brouhaha filled the press and mainstream media reports alongside implications that Hillary Clinton just wasn’t healthy enough to be president – also untrue. Trump’s mainstream even now at his rallies (what elected leader continues to hold rallies? and why?) call for her to be locked up and the fringes, some of his supporters accuse her of treason and call for her execution.  Think about that for a minute.

Meanwhile, just in case those stories were not powerful enough to defeat her, fake news stories charging her with everything from child trafficking to murder continue uncontrolled on social media, the FBI director released a misleading letter less than two weeks before Election Day, and Russian interference in the election remains a “meh” story as far as the media is concerned.  So much more important to have a Trump-cam set up at his HQ on 5th Avenue to track the comings and goings of celebrity visitors.

We expected Hillary Clinton to bring in a mandate.  If the popular vote is an indication, she did that by 2% and nearly 3 million individual votes.  But if we were thinking that she would ever ride this tide into the Oval Office, the political establishment was in the background slapping us back and making certain that would never happen on the excuse that she was “the establishment” – an allegation popularized within her own party by her primary rival, Bernie Sanders. Even now, these toxic memes about Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, continue to circulate.

So you can throw your money at a recount if you want. The issue of standing was bound to arise, and Jill Stein does not have standing.  Only Hillary does, and she and her team are not pushing for a recount or an audit – the latter will never materialize, and the reason is that under no circumstances was Hillary Clinton ever going to be allowed to take that oath. In a final layer of prevention, Jason Chaffetz has plans for further HRC investigations – of what remains to be seen.  Perhaps he thinks she is running guerilla training camps in the wild.


We don’t know who made this macro, but we love it.

The establishment was never prepared for a Hillary Clinton presidency even though the majority of American voters were.  They were hell bent on preventing it, and will continue to do so even if that requires inventing more lies.  Should they embark on that path, we will continue to fight.


Some of us older folks remember these little guys.

I was, it seems, a handful when I was in 2nd grade and finished the reader the first weekend I had it.

So I read the paper, the New York Daily News, after my dad was finished with it. Nobody monitored my reading as long as I was quiet. Shhhhhh… she’s reading. Leave her alone.  (Translation –  don’t start her talking!)

These little guys showed up on the front page, and I had read their story.  I lived in terror that my mom and dad would be next – based on nothing except that they were parents.

Sons of Ethel Rosenberg plead with Obama to exonerate mother

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The sons of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg returned to the White House on Thursday, more than 50 years after pleading unsuccessfully to spare her life, in a last-ditch appeal to President Barack Obama to exonerate her amid new evidence.

Rosenberg was executed in 1953 along with her husband, Julius, after being convicted of conspiring to pass secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. But court records made public last year through a judge’s order cast doubt on the conventional narrative of a Cold War espionage case that captivated the country.

“This is our mother we’re talking about,” Robert Meeropol, one of Rosenberg’s two sons, said as he stood outside the White House gates. “Since we can’t bring her back to life, there could be nothing more satisfying to us than to have the government acknowledge that this shouldn’t have happened, that this was wrong.”

Read more >>>>

When I was seven, I was devastated for the Rosenberg kids. Probably the stories I read were too old for me. But their parents being executed was probably too old for them. I always felt a bond with those two little boys.  I remember that front page.  They were reading the story.

I was so upset!!

I don’t know what their dad did, but I don’t think their mom knew anything about it.  At that age the idea of losing your parents, especially your mom, is overwhelming.

Poor Ethel. I don’t think she knew what – if anything – was going on with her brother and her husband.

I remember the day they were executed.  I was just a little kid. I wasn’t even old enough to make my first confession or receive the host.  But I thought it was wrong.

President Obama could be a hero. He could exonerate Ethel Rosenberg. I hope he does.


There is some good news. Women have won victories.

But there remain threats.

Both here and abroad there is hope.

Having served on several Fulbright panels to select English teaching scholars, I am especially impressed with and proud of this young woman.  We all should be!

Courtesy Ilhan Dahir

True Greatness

The Child of Somali Immigrants Who Makes Ohio State, and the USA, Proud

ISIS wants to make us see Abdul Razak Ali Artan whenever we encounter a young Muslim, and feel fear. What ISIS fears is that we will see Ilhan Dahir, and be inspired.

Michael Daly

Michael Daly


Ilhan Dahir and Abdul Razak Ali Artan were both of Somali extraction. Both attended Ohio State University.

But ISIS claimed 18-year-old Artan as a soldier after he attempted to run down fellow students and leapt from his wrecked car with a kitchen knife, slashing at them until he was shot by a campus cop.

All of humanity can claim 23-year-old Dahir after she became a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and a Fulbright Fellow and was named a White House Champion of Change and was sent by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to represent us at an international meeting on violent extremism.

Her senior thesis at Ohio State was on the threat posed by foreign fighters in ISIS. She taught English in Turkey while on her Fulbright. She also spent a summer teaching English at the Iman School for Girls in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Read more >>>>


Professor on watchlist of progressives: ‘I will not shut up — America is still worth fighting for’

Heather Cox Richardson (Facebook)

So, yes, I have the dubious honor of being on the “Professor Watchlist” — a list published recently by a young alt-right provocateur who knew that such a list would get media traction because of Sen. McCarthy’s attacks on academics during the Red Scare. I made the list not because of complaints about my teaching, but because of my public writing about politics.

It is ironic that this list would label me “leftist.” In fact, in my public life, I do not identify with a political party, and I work with politicians on both sides of the aisle. I also teach the history of American conservative beliefs, as well as those of liberalism. I believe that the nation needs both the Democratic and the Republican parties to be strong and healthy.

It is even more ironic that the list would label me “anti-American.” In fact, I do what I do — all the teaching, writing, speeches and media — because I love America. I am staunchly committed to the principle of human self-determination, and have come to believe that American democracy is the form of government that comes closest to bringing that principle to reality. This nation is not perfect — far from it — but when it is at its best, it has more potential for people of all genders, races and ethnicities to create their own destinies than any other governmental system. I work to teach people about that system, its great triumphs and also its hideous failures. We must learn from the past because the miracle of America is that it is always reinventing itself, giving us the potential to remake it, better, every day.

Read more >>>>

Framing Trump

For many years, George Lakoff has been asking the Democrats to beat the GOP at the “frame game.”  Here he provides not only the frame but also the rationale for it. It is a long read, but well worth the time because it’s all about the frame!

A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do

in Political

  1. The American Majority

Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in this year’s presidential election.

The loser, for the majority of voters, will now be a minority president-elect. Don’t let anyone forget it. Keep referring to Trump as the minority president, Mr. Minority and the overall Loser. Constant repetition, with discussion in the media and over social media, questions the legitimacy of the minority president to ignore the values of the majority. The majority, at the very least, needs to keep its values in the public eye and view the minority president’s action through majority American values.

The polls failed and the nation needs to know why. The pollsters and pundits have not given a satisfactory answer.

I will argue that the nature of mind is not a mere technical issue for the cognitive and brain sciences, but that it had everything to do with the outcome of the 2016 election — and the failure of the pollsters, the media, and Democrats to predict it. They were not alone. The public needs to understand better how the human mind works in general — but especially in politics. There is a lot to know. Let us go step by step.

Keep reading! >>>>

I had a friend, years ago, whose father suffered what was diagnosed as hysterical blindness. Nothing was wrong with his eyes according to top ophthalmologists. Yet he stumbled along, tripping on furniture while never, mysteriously, over the dogs he loved. His only son, my friend, was a rising artist bringing more wealth to an already affluent family. He was gay at a time when and in a culture where being gay was not only not cool, it brought shame and social alienation similar to that incurred by mental illness in the family.

The parents lived in the main house, and my friend erected a loft two stories high on the other side of the garden where he occupied the first floor and worked on the second under a skylight. He came and went as he pleased and entertained friends as he wished. Was it perhaps my friend’s independent life that precipitated this blindness of his dad’s?  It occurred shortly after the loft was completed. Were there things the dad simply could not allow himself to accept and see? Is that why he blinded himself?  One can only speculate. We will never know. The father is long gone, and the son succumbed before there were effective HIV-AIDS medications.

How sad and ironic, in the wake of this election, when the unfairly maligned Clinton Foundation, which works assiduously to eradicate HIV-AIDS and preventable blindness, that Americans need to be warned not to succumb to a self-disciplined form of viral blindness that can spread via mass media.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast


Already Happening: Media Normalization of Trumpism

His polls numbers will…improve. The international community will…come around. Melania and Ivanka will be…unorthodox but charming. Brace yourselves for a huge media fail.

Joy-Ann Reid

Joy-Ann Reid


In the children’s short story “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” by Hans Christian Andersen, what kept the fiction of the naked emperor’s sartorial splendor alive was nothing in particular about the emperor. True, he was vain and plainly foolish; easily tricked by the false flattery of swindlers into paying a kingly sum for a cloak so fine and magical that only the wise and true could see it. But it was the people of the kingdom, including his trusted advisers, who maintained the absurd notion that he was splendidly clothed, because none – the emperor included – wanted to admit that they were so unworthy as to not see the bright colors and fine threads.

Only the characteristic bluntness of a child, who proclaimed the emperor’s nudity as he paraded through the streets humiliating himself and his kingdom, threatened to break the spell. But when the boy spoke out he was quickly rebuked by his father, who assured the gasping public that the child was clearly soft in the head. So powerful is the compulsion to normalize the powerful.

Read more >>>>