Ailing elderly trying to hang on until the Mueller report

NPR’s Morning Edition report on the elderly and the Mueller investigation would seem to suggest that maybe we’re too invested in politics.

Add “I just wanted to hang on to read the Mueller investigation” to “I wish I’d spent more time at the office” among phrases that shouldn’t be our last words.

But Mitchell Tendler came by his honestly. He fought in World War II and lived through historical milestones. And at age 93, he’d become pretty obsessed with the guy in the White House.

So he had real concerns when he took ill in December and his heart was giving up.

“It just was quiet for a little while,” his son, Walter, tells NPR, “and then he just sits up in bed halfway and looks at me and he goes, ‘S***, I’m not going to see the Mueller report, am I?’ And that was really the last coherent thing that he said.”

Do you laugh or do you cry?

“I know exactly how he feels. I feel the same way. I’ve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” Richard Armstrong, of New Jersey, told NPR.

He’s a Republican and an independent.

“I was hoping to live to see the outcome of what I think it should be — justice. I’ll be surprised and disappointed if it isn’t,” Armstrong said.

All of these revelations seem to have come after Benjamin Wittes at Brookings tweeted Tendler’s last words.

“When I saw that tweet about the Mueller report and the old man on his death bed, I thought, oh my gosh, that’s the kind of thing that my mother would say,” said Kristina Makansi, who lives in Tucson, Ariz.

Her mother passed away in January at the age of 94. “I think she really wanted to see that justice was done… and that the investigation was allowed to proceed without any shenanigans and obstruction.”

  • Erick

    I am only 61 and in generally good health but given Atty. General Barr, I fear those might also be my last words.

  • Guest

    Do the reporters and editors at MPR think of these stories when they wonder why MPR is told they lean left?

    MPR raises money with a “No rant, no slant” tagline, but most in MN would tag MPR as leaning left.

    I DO think MPR is very professional, but their choice of stories comes from group think.

    • jon

      I don’t think MPR thinks much about the stories that NPR runs until they read them.

    • // Do the reporters and editors at MPR think of these stories when they wonder why MPR is told they lean left?

      No, but we do wonder why listeners never think about their “reader bias” when they read a story and just ASSUME that everyone is waiting for a conviction in the Mueller report rather than a clearance.

      Only one of the three people quoted gave a hint of having a position on what he/she wanted out of the report, and even then you have to bring a biased definition of “justice” to it.

      But you obviously brought your own bias to the interpretation and decided they all did.

      This is why you rarely see actual specifics and analysis with the usual braying and caterwauling on the subject.

      Maybe take care of that bias problem, eh?

      • Oh, by the way, we didn’t hear from you and your ilk when 1A decided to provide live coverage for an entire hour of CPAC last week with a steady stream of unchallenged groupthink.

        Why is that?

      • lusophone

        I was just asking myself, I wonder what these people think is justice in this case?

      • Gary Leatherman

        this might help those in need, and able to do intelligent self-analysis ….

    • Brian Simon

      Please explain the lean of this story. Is it “left” because it reminds reader/listeners the President is being investigated? Because the independent/republican in the story hopes for “justice”?

      For what it’s worth, I lean left, and I hope for justice too. I suspect the president is guilty of crimes that justify impeachment. But if the Mueller report includes evidence that exonerates the president, justice would be that he stays in office. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right?

      • jon

        Justice has become a partisan issue.

    • Rob

      Huh. I think of NPR as a legitimate, fact-based source of news and information.

      • Guest

        YES, the stories they do ARE great and informative and without rants. My point is the mix of stories chosen.

        Fair to point out MY bias at thinking most expect the report to turn out “not well” for Trump rather than exonerate.

        I plead guilty to listening with a conservative ear.

        Still how many in MN think MPR has a leftward group think versus a rightward group think?

        • jon

          so your response to NPR being a legitimate source of news, it to again start questioning MPR…

          Which organization are you complaining about exactly? Do you know there is a difference?

        • The bar about what constitutes a “leftward group think” has moved substantially to the right, as the Republicans have purged their party of many centrists and moderates and lean righters.

  • Rob

    My 92-year-old mother-in-law is this story. She is at the “event horizon,” and has had to have her anxiety meds upped – due in part, so it would seem, to her worries that she will check out before Mueller delivers his findings.

  • Gary F

    The Dems are already moving on from the Mueller report. They know it will end up a nothing burger and are casting their nets even wider. The Cohen testimony, if you actually believe him, kinda let the air out of the balloon. That’s why the scrambling to find something else.

    • I hadn’t heard that. Source that the Dems have seen the report?

      • Gary F

        Its an observation.
        Cohen has already discredited the Steele dossier, the basis of this whole hubub. That is, if you believe Cohen.
        The Dem’s are moving on.

        • When you look at the increase in oversight hearings and request for testimony from administration officials, it’s hard to see where that’s rooted in fact.

    • Mike

      They certainly seem to be moving the goalposts anyway. Months ago they implied certainty towards some official collusion finding. Now they’re saying that collusion isn’t the issue, which of course raises the obvious question of what it is they’ve been crowing about for two years.

      The alleged Russian question has been such a big moneymaker for the Democratic Party and their affiliated media (MSNBC) that they’re unlikely to ever let it go, even if Mueller has no collusion findings. It will just make them look increasingly foolish to everyone not in the cult. Nor will it do much to increase their election prospects, but I don’t think they care much about that anyway.

      • Gary F

        Yep, it keeps CNN, MSNBC, and their followers wound up enough to keep watching. Oh, by the way, Hillary gave up her hope of coronation.

        • Rob

          King Donald still basks in his followers’ chants of “Lock her up!”

      • jon

        The goal post shifting isn’t because of a lack of evidence that trump colluded with the russians… it’s because collusion alone doesn’t appear to be enough to remove him from office.

        This is a political effort far more than a criminal one.
        There is ample evidence that the trump campaign colluded with the russians… and several guilty pleas to that effect… Trumps only defense at this point against allegations of collusion with the russians is “I didn’t know what was going on in my own campaign!” and that shouldn’t be a good look for a executive of any sort, much less POTUS…

        But the GOP hasn’t turned on trump, yet, despite the mounting evidence that they should.

        The democrats are up against a GOP party and base that needs “evidence” and denounces all evidence and facts that don’t support their claims…

        Gary in this very thread suggest that cohen lied throughout his testimony, but also that when he said something that disproves the steele dossier it should be taken at face value, because when lairs agree with us they must be telling the truth!

        That’s the barrier they need to puncture… they either need conclusive proof, video of trump actively agreeing to sell out the country, and doing so actively (because we’ve already heard that what happened years ago shouldn’t be counted against the trump of today) or mountains of evidence that grows large enough that it become impossible to look the other way.

        It’s a big bar to overcome to get enough votes in the senate to do something about trump… the cracks are showing… particularly with this state of emergency declaration… but it will be a while before the trump apologists both in his base, and in washington start to realize they can’t win against the piles of allegations against trump… but first there needs to be piles of evidence to support it…

        • Rob

          I don’t look for what has become The Toady/Lickspittle Party to ever bail on T.Rump. I hear some pundits talking about the notion that at some point the dam will burst, but I am betting against it. The Republican base and The Hate Monetizers (Hannity, Fox and Friends, et al) will crucify any of their Congresspeople who vote “yes” on Articles of Impeachment – and T.Rump is counting on it.

          • jon

            It’s already been demonstrated that there is a “too far” for at least some in congress when it comes to trump’s and his plans.
            Expect another demonstration of that when the rejection of his emergency vote comes up on the senate floor…

            Though how “too far” trump has to be proven to have gone before that dam breaks (if that dam breaks)…. we can’t know until it happens…

            There is a point where the party will turn on him… but likely they are going to be watching the base, and until the base turns on him the party will reluctantly go along with him… Can’t say if we’ll reach that point, I’m not a soothsayer… but there is a point… there is always a point. (possibly it’s the moment he stops pissing off liberals.)

          • Rob

            Right. Absent the base turning, the critical mass of Republican Congresspeople will stay in their lemming-like positions. A few may bolt, but not enough to matter.

          • Jerry

            There is nothing Trump can do or be found guilty of that will turn his voters against him as long as he continues to further the policies they support. They will ignore everything else as long as they get what they want.

      • MikeB

        It’s as if all those indictments and guilty pleas didn’t happen.

        • Mike

          None of those indictments are for collusion – only for lying to the special counsel. There have been no indictments for collusion to date.

          • jon

            We do have a federal judge saying Flynn sold out his country…

          • MikeB

            A lot of lying about their Russian contacts (mobsters, et all), and others. The Trumps are flush with Russian cash, if you believe the Trump boys.

            There was political lying (we have no dealings about a Moscow real estate deal, Wikileaks, etc) and criminal lying (under oath). Most of this crowd never recognized the difference. Safe to expect more indictments.

          • X.A. Smith

            Why do you suppose they were lying to congress and the FBI?

        • Gary F

          Collusion? They went fishing for the big fish and caught some little sunnies.

          • Gary Leatherman

            yes. Michael Flynn was a small fry… only if referring to his stature. Otherwise, quoting the judge in his sentencing “You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the president of the United States.” Yikes! Manafort, Trump Campaign Manager, same deal. Trump’s personal lawyer – guilty. It’s a tired saying, but imagine the conservative outrage if the same happened to Obama’s lawyer, campaign manager and National Security Advisor.

            The floundering Fox News outrageous attempts to support power for power sake, ignoring all our democratic principals, is only eclipsed by those willing to follow along with it.

            How’d you feel about Nixon btw?

          • 212944

            I must have missed where Mueller wrapped up the investigation and filed the report.

        • Rob

          All those indictments and guilty pleas must not have happened, given that recent polling shows four out of ten people would still vote for T.Rump…

      • // Now they’re saying that collusion isn’t the issue, which of course raises the obvious question of what it is they’ve been crowing about for two years.

        I feel like I must’ve missed a story somewhere along the line. Although granted, I don’t watch any 24/7 cable news or the Sunday morning talk shows.

        If i didn’t… I’m just reading the same old tiresome grenades being tossed by the leftists and rightists in this space, right?

        Maybe that explains why old people are hanging on and having their last words be just a bit pathetic.

        Save yourselves while you can, fellas.

        • Mike

          I’m not a Trump defender, just a critic of media dissembling. The portion of the media ecosystem that is actually liberal (meaning, consumed by people who would describe themselves as such) has been utterly consumed by Russiagate for years now.

          Up to this point, there’s been a huge amount of smoke, but they’re starting to get scared about the prospects of an actual fire down there somewhere. So various liberal commentators (e.g., David Corn) have demonstrably started moving those goalposts.

          It’s no mystery why: money. Ratings, website clicks, etc. Their audience desperately wants to believe it, and far be it from them to cast doubt.

      • kevins


    • Rob

      //Scrambling to find something else//

      An interesting, but deeply incorrect way of looking at the constitutionally-required exercise of Congressional oversight power.

      • Gary F

        A Huh.

  • MikeB

    If Mr. Tender and your father have been keeping up with news of the investigation they has a pretty good idea what’s in it. He may miss the final conclusions, but Meuller’s been using sentencing memos to describe what has happened. It’s in plain sight.

  • The Resistance

    I understand the impatience with the Mueller report. But, compared with the timeline of the Watergate investigation, it is not taking an exceptional length of time. And this investigation is international in scope, not just domestic, as was the Watergate investigation.

    And much of the investigation has yielded public results without the report even being released. Either because it is complicated, or we have social media impaired attention spans, we tend to forget that nearly 3 dozen people have either plead guilty or been indicted, including 6 Trump advisors.

    That’s not a nothing burger.

    To those who think they may not see the final report before they are no longer here to see it I would say that I understand their frustration, but the office of the special counsel was not designed to satisfy individual citizens. It is designed to uphold the tenets of the constitution and the rule of law for those of us who are here now, and for those who will inherit our democratic republic.

    • Rob

      Pray that there is a democratic republic left to inherit.

  • Credit Warrior

    Interesting that collusion is really a two party issue and yet only one party paying the price. I watch almost no tv as their news is not really news in most cases. News reporting is more like news with opinion on what we should think and why the other side is is wrong/bad. I read allot and occasionally listen to radio. For sure the political scene on the national/federal level is a mess. Both political parties do very little for the people that elect them to office. They work hard at keeping the power,raising money and bashing the other political party.

    • The Resistance

      The special counsel probe is an investigation specifically into the Russian government’s effort to interfere with the presidential election, and if there was coordination (collusion) between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

      You may be disillusioned with both parties, and I can understand that. However, to claim, without evidence, that the Democratic party or the Clinton campaign was responsible for colluding with the Russian government is uninformed and irresponsible.

  • It speaks to the passion of these elderly folks for the future of the nation. Most have a sense of 20th Century history and the rise of a stable world order following the destructiveness of world war. They see the disintegration of the institutions that have been making progress over the second half of the century and are understandably concerned for the world their grandchildren will inherit. We can comfort and reassure them by openly directing our own attention to involving our ourselves and our children and grandchildren in participatory democracy. That means staying on top of factual information and family discussion of current events – and of history! It means voting. It means a culture of dedication to civic – and civil – engagement.