Send lawyers, guns, and money

“I went home with the waitress the way I always do. How was I to know she was with the Russians too?” That was the opening of Warren Zevon’s 1978 rock classic, "Lawyers, Guns and Money," in which an American rich kid asks daddy for legal help, weapons, and cash to bail him out of international crises of his own making.

Zevon’s gonzo verse—written during the Cold War—sounds strangely prescient these days, when Russian spying is a daily news event in the US. But his lyrics are not as shocking as the weekly accounts of Washington corruption, which remind us that the political swamp has been restocked in the last 18 months with ever more primitive life forms. A treasure trove for evolutionary biologists.

If you don’t live in the States and don’t pay attention to the political news here—for which I can only congratulate you—you’re probably unaware that our President’s associates are embroiled in multiple felonies. (This includes his former Campaign Chairman who has been found guilty of bank fraud and tax fraud and his personal lawyer who has pleaded guilty to illegal campaign donations and tax evasion.) Many of the President's attorneys—mindful of Zevon's song—have had to retain their own legal counsel.

But the worst (or best) is yet to come, given the many and credible allegations that our Commander-in-Chief is implicated in witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and conspiring with a foreign power to tilt a US election in his direction. And the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization has just turned state’s evidence. This hasn’t been the Summer of Love for the POTUS.

Also, Robert Woodward, one of the best investigative journalist in the business (who helped bring down President Nixon in the Watergate scandal 44 years ago) has released his bombshell book, Fear, that documents the serious doubts that the President’s inner circle in the White House repeatedly express to each other about his “fitness to serve” and, explicitly, his mental stability.

But is the Congressional Branch of the US Government concerned? Well, not to our knowledge. The Sound of Silence is mostly what we hear from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Senate. When put on the spot, they and other defenders of the Prez cleverly point out that nobody’s perfect—and that his captious nitpickers aren’t putting his apparent crimes in the proper perspective: the stock market’s rising and (except for workers’ wages) business is pretty good. I guess I'm just missing the big picture.

The lesson here? Those classic rock lyrics that have wormed their way into your limbic system over the years can occasionally provide useful advice.

For an earlier post on Warren Zevon check here.


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6 Comments

    1. Thanks, Adrienne. Yes, Jackson has been doing the song on his current tour. He produced that Zevon album of course. But he's mainly performing the song for political reasons. A friend told me Jackson introduced the song at his San Jose concert in July by discussing the Russian reference and Trump's collusion with Russia.

      Jackson is receiving the Gandhi Peace Award in New Haven, which is a two-and-a-half hour drive for me, so I probably won't make it, though NH used to be my stomping ground. I visited Jackson backstage at the New Haven Coliseum in 1978 when he was on tour and I was running for Connecticut Governor. He was surprised that I was into politics at the time. (So was I.) Next month he's playing Boston at the Orpheum where I hope to see him.

      For those who don't know, Warren Zevon died of cancer 15 years ago last week. I'll be boycotting future Rock & Roll Hall of Fame events until he's FINALLY nominated. IMHO there are dozens of R&R Hall of Fame inductees less qualified than Warren.

  1. When Trump calls Bob Woodward a liar, Woodward calmly replies, “The truth emerges.” That’s also what his old boss at the Washington Post, Ben Bradley, used to say when Richard Nixon was lying about Woodward during the Watergate investigation. The similarities are striking. This is the beginning of the end for Trump.

    1. Well, it's more likely the end of the beginning. But if the Republicans get smoked in the midterm elections it's going to get interesting.

      I'm surprised it's taken this long for the American public to recognize how impaired this man is—cognitively, emotionally, morally, spiritually. I still have friends who cling to their delusions about him.

      Meanwhile, the rock & roll community's response to Trump's dangerous buffoonery has been anemic at best. Maybe they'll feel more safe to speak out as the walls close in around him, but it should have happened two years ago. Folks who have been paying attention have known going back to the 80s and 90s about DJT's racism, misogyny, bigotry, mendacity, mental stability, etc.

  2. From a blog you should be aware of. https://corporateintelligenceradio.com/

    Ken Goldstein speaking on Trump: "He mocks a victim of sexual assault. He mocks a physically disabled journalist. He belittles the military service and wartime imprisonment of a senator. He insults the supreme sacrifice of a Gold Star family. He touts his wealth as permission to have his way with women at his whim. He proclaims that his ability to avoid taxes makes him smart. He denies climate change in direct opposition to the vast majority of the global science community. He cries out "America First" in a nation that already consumes the most natural resources per capita and maintains the planet's unequalled reserve of nuclear weapons."

    1. I usually follow that blog. Have forgotten to check in lately. Here's the line from Goldstein's post that echoes my main concern about the Prez:

      "What impact might that egoism be having on the rest of us? I’m not suggesting most of us long to lead rallies with chants of locking up an opponent, but think about what you are doing that you wouldn’t have done publicly in the prior time frame. Might you be acting ever so slightly differently? Are you feeling OK about it? I’m not.

      Trump’s impact on our lives rises beyond the content of his thin theories and thinner policies. His stab to our innards is more than the overt lies he tells without remorse. The deterioration he is causing is systemic. Were we to be transformed in his image, his chaos would become our chaos.

      Modern leadership is a privilege built upon empathy and humility."

      https://corporateintelligenceradio.com/2018/10/15/bad-behavior-made-ok/

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