Sep 8, 2018

John Dean shares same 45 year old message in Kavanaugh testimony

Left: John Dean testifies in 1973 (Bettmann Archive). Right: John Dean testifies yesterday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

John Dean, 34, fired as White House counsel by President Richard Nixon, was a dramatic witness for the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973.

16,511 days later, John Dean, 79, returned to the Senate as a Democratic witness on the closing day of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, predicting the most "pro-presidential powers" justices in modern history.

  • N.Y. Times banner from Watergate: "DEAN TELLS INQUIRY THAT NIXON TOOK PART IN WATERGATE COVER-UP FOR EIGHT MONTHS."

I asked Michael Beschloss — whose 11-years-in-the-making book, "Presidents of War," is out Oct. 9 — about this reminder that history can rhyme:

"As Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, Dean was the eager tool of Nixon’s imperial Presidency, looking for ways to help Nixon illicitly expand his power. Then, before the Senate Watergate committee in the summer of 1973, ... Dean became the witness who unveiled the extent of Nixon’s secret, potentially criminal acts.
"Now, almost a half century later, Dean is back testifying before the Senate with his experience having helped to choose Nixon’s Supreme Court Justices and his special sensitivity to how dangerous it is for a President to be allowed to grab too much power."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,131,713 — Total deaths: 59,884 — Total recoveries: 233,591Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 278,458 — Total deaths: 7,159 — Total recoveries: 9,897Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

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