The end is nigh! The end is........Never mind.
Kinsella, Cubbies and my buddy Jim

Back in the mid-80's, W.P. Kinsella, of Shoeless Joe/Field of Dreams fame, published a collection of short stories.  One of them was a weird/wonderful quasi-apocalyptic tale titled "The Last Pennant before Armageddon."  If you've not read it you should.  Really.

As the Cubs zero in on a league championship and then on a World Series title, their grizzled manager becomes convinced that he is having reoccuring visions, sent from God, warning that a Cubs' Series win will signal and bring about Armageddon and the end of the Earth.  What is a manager to do?  End the drought and the curse or end the world?

15 years ago, or so, my closest buddy, Jim Akre, gave me a xeroxed copy of the story to read.  We shared a lot of good reads.  I've never forgotten that one.  Akre was a born and bred Cubs fan.  He grew up in Chicago, headed west (barely) to Minnesota for college, then more west to a teaching career here in Oregon.  He was an educator of rare quality, truly a master teacher, and a mentor to all who worked with him.  Students loved him: He challenged them, demanded much and they produced.  He was a state championship football coach, a connoisseur of fine bourbon, made a wicked Manhattan, was a poor fisherman but All-Universe company in my drift boat, and he touched the lives of all who knew him.  In all ways, he was a hail fellow well met.  He once sent a letter to the Cubs applying for the managerial job and saying that a small group of us teachers, with varied backgrounds and skill sets, would serve the ball club well, ala the College of Coaches that the Cubs employed in '61 and '62.  He was kind of serious.

He died several years ago of a weird but persistent form of cancer.  I delivered one of the eulogies.  I didn't do well.

I've been thinking about him a lot the past week or so.  About 2 minutes after the final out last night, Kinsella's short story jumped into my mind.  I wasn't worried, mind you....but an event of this tectonic proportion might surely upset the natural order of things for a bit, even if Armageddon stayed away.

But today, all seems pretty normal in the world.  Normal in a Campaign 2016 type of way, I should say.  No less normal than yesterday, anyway.

I'm aware that Kinsella's work was pure fiction but one never knows about stuff like this. 

But maybe my good friend Jim Akre, educator extraordinaire, managed to teach the Fates a thing or two about proper decorum.  Or maybe his teaching abilities entranced them and they missed the Cubbies' win. 

I don't know.  But I'm willing to bet that he had a hand in the win and in the calm that followed.  That 10th inning rain-storm smacked of Akre involvement, for example.

And so I've thought of him today.  I was a bit jealous of this:  I went to work while he poured Heavenly Manhattans.  You guys would have liked him and he would have loved this site.

At his retirement bash 10 or 11 years ago, I wrote and read this hypothetical letter to Jim from the Cubs FO.  Now, part of it* seems eerily prescient. Weirdness.  Weirdness.

Dear Mr. Jim Akre,

We would like to sincerely thank you for your longtime support of the Chicago Cubs Baseball Club.

We realize, of course that our yearly collapse while in the middle of a pennant race can wear on our long-suffering fans, such as yourself. However, we must point out that some of those recent collapses came well into the season, indicating a promising future.  In 5 of the last 7 seasons we were still in the pennant chase well into May and once into June. One year our mathematical elimination didn't occur until nearly August!  We think this shows true Cubs' potential.  We would like to ask you to look at our club, not as a glass half empty but as one half full.  All true Cubby fans follow the example of the late, but still well preserved Harry Carey and look at any half a glass as half a glass  of past enjoyment and half a glass of future intoxication.  We would ask that you hold true to this spirit and become intoxicated with the Chicago Cubs during your retirement.  This, of course, will ineveitably lead to a long headache but true Cubs fans have long endured more.

We also appreciate that you are one of the few Cub fans that understands the true nature of our yearly swoon---knowing, as you do, that a Cubs' pennant would most assuredly bring about a cataclysmic end to the earth!  Continental collision, volcanic eruption, fire from heaven, Hillary Clinton being elected president*, real Old Testament, wrathful God stuff!  So you see, in a sense, each season the Cubbies self-destruct but save the world.

it was out intent to send a  distinguished Chicago Cubs delegation to your well-deserved retirement bash.  We tried to contact Tinkers and Evers and Chance but have somehow lost track of them.  We will continue trying.  Ernie Banks refused to come unless a double-header banquet was thrown.  We did, however, contact a former Cubs ballgirl, the lovely Marla Collins.  Marla is a little bit long in the tooth now-a-days and gravity has long taken its effect on her most outstanding qualities.  She is a gamer, however, and a true Cubby fan.  As such, she is most eager to meet you and give you one of her own unique personal congratulations.  I'm sure you can hardly wait.

In conclusion, we would again like to Thank You for a lifetime of supporting the Chicago Cubs.  God knows, it hasn't been easy!

Hey, Jim Akre, this Bud's for you!


The * was actually written at the time.  Jim was a conservtive guy in many ways but sure loved to argue the liberal agenda.  I was poking at him.

A tip of the glass to my SSI brethren.  Thanks for indulging me here and for being such good friends.    



And we do have the Cubs' win intersecting with --- > an election that is for sure unlike anything since 1776.  To say nothing of your Hillary quip back then.  Ten plus years ago, was she in the discussion?  Not that I remember.

On a similar note, you've probably seen the BJOL hubbub over the fact that in the 1980's he wrote something like "If we don't change X and Y, we're going to get a totally whimsical nominee, like Donald Trump" ...

Hey can I ask you an honest question Keith, you being the political authority here?  We're sure that Hillary's supporters are correct, that an indictment of her is completely farfetched.  Let's just suppose the hypothetical scenario for a moment.  Just to suppose :- )

Supposing an indictment does become likely, it is feasible for President Obama to pardon her on the last day before he leaves office?

He has the authority, no doubts there.  Question is what the ramifications, or the leverage for or against him, would be.  If you're in his shoes, and you become concerned about FBI evidence in the case, does a Pardon become a no-brainer?  Would that need to include pardons for Abedin and every person you were concerned might be coerced into public disclosure?

Honestly do not have my bearings on this.  There is a lot in the news about the FBI investigation ... which seems rather moot if a pardon is the automatic response to a looming indictment.  I don't know whether to pay attention to the FBI stuff -- even if it gathers substance from this point -- or just to ignore it.


Quite the Armageddon-like week, ain't it?  Imagine a political war which ended with a Trump DOJ bringing a charge of Treason to the opposing nominee.  James' fear of a U.S. civil war would then seem perfectly realistic.

Gracias in advance amigo.


I don't know what the FBI has found in the current batch of stuff and won't even speculate other than to say it sure seems like it is big-time bad newsfor somebody: Abedin, Clinton or the Foundation....or all three.  Clearly Abadin violated US law and a sworn oath by storing material off-site.

Anyway, supposing an Obama pardon of Hillary (it would almost have to be of Hillary et. al.) it would have nolegal impact on any (just as supposed) impeachment proceedings.  It is the House of Reps that would decide on the issue of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and whether to send the case to the Senate.  Even with a pardon in her pocket, an elected President Clinton could face impeachment proceedings.

She could pardon herself, for that matter, after being sworn in, and still face impeachment. 

Teapot Dome, Watergate, the blue dress and The Tenure of Office Act would pale when compared to a Pay for Play Secretary of State.

I suspect we're in for a bumpy ride for a bit.

As we stand today, would you bet the President 18 months from now is named Clinton, Trump or Kaine?


I have to jump in here with a call to reason (or evidence):

--there is no pending indictment.  The Trump campaign now admits this (but adds, rather gleefully, "...the damage is done...")

--there is no new FBI 'investigation'

If you disagree, I'd be happy to look at your sourcing.

What has been stipulated:

--the 'new' emails may not be new at all--the FBI can't say whether they are just repeats of what was captured before

--the 'new' emails were not written by Clinton

--there's no evidence any was sent to Clinton

--they were not found on any of Clinton's servers

Here's the parallel.  Someone found some emails on your computer that do not pertain to your boss.  Therefore, your boss is facing indictment.

There is no argument that the FBI broke historic protocol in August when Comey decided to comment on a pending investigation (you remember, the one where he declared that nothing illegal had been done).  Then he did it again last week.  Hmmm.

My father used to say there are two sides to every story.  But certainly, there can't be another side to this "FBI just doing its job" story, right?

Well, there is.  If you have 15 minutes to spend, you might want to consider this:

Guys, please be careful with this democracy of ours.  If the smart and sane conservatives are spreading foundation-less speculation, we are all in trouble.

(And for the record, I had a VERY heated discussion with a very liberal friend of mine this weekend who was also sort of buying this new story).



If you google "Will Obama Pardon Hillary" you'll find the subject discussed at length at,, and many other places.  The reports of FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation are not tinfoil hat territory; that google also brings back dozens of mainstream hits.  

Rudy Guiliani is a more respected authority on the subject than you, me, or Keith; his analysis of the applicability of racketeering law to the Foundation is material.  It's a quite interesting discussion and shushing people is unlikely to shut down the discussion.

There's no need for "even sane conservatives" (as opposed to the garden-variety insane one?) to self-censor on the issue.  

That said, I simply asked a question about a hypothetical.  Keith answered my question convincingly.


The fact that people are discussing something means nothing. Remember when Y2K was going to put an end to civilization as we know it?

In order for there to be a pardon, there would have to be a crime, no?  That stemmed from an entirely fabricated story about an 'indictment'.  That story has now been acknowedged as false by the Trump campaign itself.  And Fox, which first broadcast it (surprise), has retracted and fully apologized.  But does anyone think this was a mistake?

"Sane" conservatives: just separating most conservatives from the racists, women haters and would-be militia calling for a violent overthrow of the government.  No slight intended to anyone here.  


McMullin!  Win Utah and get elected President!  What a hoot/wild ride that would be.  


In Sept. of '74, now President Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he MIGHT have committed.  He did so before he was indicted, the pardon ending the possibiity of one.

President Obama needs no indictment to pardon Hillary Clinton.

9're considering that Hillary might have committed a crime?

Even thought Comey himself said she didn't?


I think Moe meant that Obama could pardon Hillary just to try to get the country over this subject and to try to let the country heal and become somewhat civil again.

I'm not sure that would work, but I thought Ford's pardon would bring on armegedon in 1975 too.


If it is unreasonable to ask whether --- > Clinton MIGHT have committed a crime, why is there an FBI investigation under way?   What does the FBI investigate, fashion trends?  :- )  


But I question whether we're spinning our wheels debating which candidate is cleanest.  How many people online are going change their vote based on this issue?  The interesting question to me is, what would cause a Republican to vote the Democratic candidate, and vice-versa?  Has anybody even thought much about their own answer to that question?  What is this fight really about?

With the FBI stuff, Mom and Dad are arguing ferociously about the sofa, when it is really the coffee table that is on their minds.


 ... was whether the FBI investigation is a waste of time FOR ME AS AN AMERICAN TO DISCUSS, in view of Obama's ability to pardon his Secretary of State.  I did not mean the question in a partisan way.  It is a process question.  

If there is no judge sitting on the bench in the courtroom anyway, why am I as a juror even listening to the attorneys who are arguing the case for months on end?  

An assumed eventual pardon for "any offenses she may have committed" renders the entire process rather pointless from an FBI field agent's point of view.  If that is the situation then I'd like to be educated to that effect.

Keith's answer seems to be, the FBI investigation could become relevant in terms of a potential impeachment by Congress, but it could not feasibly become relevant within the FBI's world:  the criminal justice system.

And where is Mojo when you really need him :- )


Nice read Moe.  I wonder about the eerie correlation between Armageddon and the 2016 election -- it's seems we're going to experience the wrath of God either way.  *grins*


I am no lawyer and I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night but I've begun to wonder about this:  mens rea is the legal term that refers to the state of mind of the "accused."  IIRC, it is generally used refer to ascertaining "why" somebody acted in the manner they did, generally assuming some sense of a "guilty mind," which is what the term means in Latin, I think.

In his first announcement, Comey basically said that HRC's behavior was grossly negligent (I'm cutting hairs; he said it was "extremely careless" but that isn't a real legal doctrine--that I'm aware of--and gross negligence is) but that a reasonable prosecutor would not file charges.  We can argue back and forth on that last part; Gen. Petraeus might chime in, but it seems clear that with the President's correspondence on those private server emails his Justice Dept. wasn't going to indict Mrs. Clinton anyway.  Fair enough.  If they had, could they have established that Clinton's state of mind was to evade detection and hide public info from public view?  Uh, I think she certainly was trying to do so (ergo, the wrong act), but I'm willing to go with Director Comey here.  The destruction of a dozen or so Blackberries by her staffers would certainly indicate that evasive/law-breaking state of mine, but they were staffers and unless you could show that MRs. Clinton ordered such action that would be hard to pin on her as well.

With that I'm sort of speculating out loud just what kind of stuff was found on the Abedin/Weiner computers, besides pics of Anthony's we.......well, you know?

Director Comey was already publicly roasted for making the first announcement (investigation closed!) so he had to know he would take even more heat for making the unusal announcement that it was now open.  Something on those computers was significant, in my smallish legal mind, anyway.

Now, it could be just enough to convict Abedin. Federal law does not allow her to store off-site (or share with her husband) and upon leaving the State Dept. she took an oath that she had turned over all relevant materials and had stored none on her devices.  It seems, from what I'm reading, that ALL of her emails with HRC were automatically sent to her home computer.  She had to have known that.  You would think, anyway.  If so, she's entered the Perjury territory.  

Maybe that's all that's been found.

But my smallish legal mind senses more. That seems to be the norm here....more always comes out.

I think that is all we're really doing here, discussing the possibility of "more" coming out, and then what the presidential and congressional responses might be.  It certainly is a discussion that is in the wind this fall, so it isn't just us.  

I suppose we could have a discussion about the ramifications of a President Trump being found personally guilty of fraud in the Trump University lawsuits.  Were a sitting president found to have personally defrauded investors, intentionally so, would that be a "high crime or misdemeanor?"

Likely so.

That discussion would be no more speculative than the one we're having.  In light of the smoke that comes from almost all-things-Clinton lately ("Where's there's smoke....") you might say any Trump University discussion is far far less so. 

We're speculating here.  In a civil and relatively narrow way.  I enjoy it. 

Thank goodness none of us are a bombastic bore like Sean Hannity or the anti-matter to his matter, Rachel Maddow.  

Months ago I said that Donald Trump had no political soul and that Hillary Clinton had no personal soul.  I stand by that statement.  Ya gotta takes yer picks as to which is worse.

Me?  I wrote in Paul Ryan.


So with today's announcement, we realize there was no fire--and just a smokescreen.  

Nothing this time...just like there was nothing the first time.  This is the eternal m.o. of the Hillary haters.

So instead of speculating what was in those emails (nothing--and most were just duplicates), perhaps better time would be spent speculating on what or who was behind all this.

My money is on the fraud Giuliani--the single most despicable and dangerous person in America.  How exactly did this 'respected authority' get it so wrong?

He is a threat to our democracy.

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