Pamela Karlan’s Long, Biased Record of Anti-Trump Prejudices

On December 27, 2013, it was reported that Pamela Karlan would join the Obama administration. She initially had been a leading Obama preference for the Supreme Court, but her name was not submitted because it was determined that she never would pass Senate confirmation owing to her extreme leftist leanings. Karlan is so left-wing that Obama instead selected Sonia Sotomayor as a less extreme nominee.

2. After representing Edith (Edie) Windsor in attacking the Clinton administration’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Pamela Karlan boasted that she gave Edie “a mug with pictures from the argument.… It’s got a photo of the White House lit up in the rainbow colors on the second anniversary of the decision in United States v. Windsor, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges making marriage equality the law of the land.”

3. Speaking at the 2014 LGBT Pride Month Celebration, Pamela Karlan said, “Sometimes, as I work here at the [Obama] Civil Rights Division for the equality of LGBT people, but also for the rights of people of color, of Muslims, of First Americans and of immigrants, I actually think we’re pretty lucky.… If only people who are unconnected with other civil rights struggles could one day wake up to discover that their children are black, their relatives are undocumented, or their friends are poor, just as they wake to find that those folks often are gay, what a different world this might be.”

4. On January 3, 2013, George Will — the ultimate NeverTrumper — published a blistering attack on Pamela Karlan:

Today’s American public does not share Karlan’s nostalgia for the Warren court, which she says was “optimistic about the possibility of politics.” Karlan subscribes to the progressive axiom that the cure for the ills of democracy is democracy, meaning elections. She sees little need for courts to protect against what the Founders feared — liberty-threatening excesses of majorities. With a true progressive’s impatience with the crux of the Constitution, the separation of powers, Karlan wants the court to consider Congress “a full partner in seeking to address the nation’s pressing problems.” But often our institutions preserve liberty by being rivals rather than collaborators.

She abhors the conservative justices’ “combination of institutional distrust — the court is better at determining constitutional meaning — and substantive distrust — congressional power must be held in check.” Clearly she thinks Congress would be “better” at judging the limits of its own power. This fits her assumption that restraints on its power are presumptively anti-democratic.

She concludes, “For if the justices disdain us, how ought we to respond?” Her pronoun radiates democratic sentimentality — “us” conflates the citizenry and Congress. Today, just 18 percent of the citizenry approves of Congress’ performance. What becomes of Karlan’s argument when the conservative justices’ distrust of Congress, for which she disdains them as anti-democratic, is exceeded by the public’s distrust of Congress?

5. On December 13, 2016, Pamela Karlan released a December 8 “open letter” to newly elected President Donald Trump. The three-page letter, signed by 40 self-described “constitutional law scholars” of the same mindset, attacked the president’s promised policies, his association with Steve Bannon, his criticism of biased journalists, his nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, and further accused and warned the president-elect, inter alia,

[Y]ou have demonstrated extreme hostility toward the press.… Your conduct and rhetoric fail to register that the institutional role of the press in the United States is to check candidates for office and government officials, the President paramount among them.… Your inflammatory rhetoric during the campaign has been taken as an invitation to discriminate and to act out in all kinds of hate-filled ways.… Although we sincerely hope that you will take your constitutional oath seriously, so far you have offered little indication that you will. We feel a responsibility to challenge you in the court of public opinion, and we hope that those directly aggrieved by your administration will challenge you in the courts of law.

6. On December 21, 2016, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Pamela Karlan on newly elected President Donald Trump:

“Nearly every president has probably done something that a court has later held unconstitutional or contrary to law,” said Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor who recently served as supervisor of voting rights cases in the Obama administration’s Justice Department. “But I can’t think of one who had such an across-the-board combination of ignorance, indifference and defiance.”

7. Pamela Karlan, in an interview released May 12, 2017, by Stanford Law School on the legal implications of the Comey firing: “The reasons that President Trump gave [for firing James Comey] are patently insincere, even by Trumpian standards” (my emphasis).

8. Speaking about then–newly named Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on September 15, 2017, at the Marshall–Wythe School of Law, Pamela Karlan said,

[Gorsuch is] 40 years younger, which means that he’s going to be around on the Supreme Court long after Donald Trump is gone, even if Donald Trump makes it through four years.

In summary, a “scholar” is one who is schooled, well schooled. Pamela Karlan is well schooled. Like thousands of other law professors, academics, judges, and other legal scholars, she has learned the laws, read the cases, argued some in the courts, and taught others. To that degree, she certainly is a “legal scholar.” Welcome to the club. But just as the courts are filled with deeply conservative jurists and radical left jurists — and all kinds of judges in between along the broad spectrum of political and legal thought — so it is with “legal scholars.” They can take the law, and they can make an argument in any direction that their proclivities or clients’ needs lead them. After all, in every lawsuit, in every litigation — whether of the most profound constitutional import or the least consequential slip-and-fall — there always are attorneys arguing passionately on both sides.

Therefore, when a “constitutional scholar” shows up in a mock Democrat political theater event, built on the sham Schiff House Intelligence charade and followed by Jerrold Nadler’s desperate quid pro quo effort to steer the House Judiciary Committee to “impeach” so that Nadler himself does not get “primaried” out of office in less than a year, it is prudent to look closely at the “scholar” in question.

Here, in Pamela Karlan, we have a person with so many chips on her shoulders that she is fortunate to have shoulders. Her record, augmented by her own words, presents a deep-seated leftist bias in her politics — so extreme that even Obama would not name her to a judgeship, deeming even Sonia Sotomayor more “moderate.” Karlan, reminiscent of Inspector Javert’s single-minded pursuit of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, has been going after Donald Trump from day one of his presidency — and even from before. She is on record, even before Mr. Trump became president, as saying about him that “I can’t think of one who had such an across-the-board combination of ignorance, indifference and defiance.” She is on record, even before he began, as questioning whether or not he would last four years in the presidency and mocking his “Trumpian standards.” She publicly released an open letter warning him — again, even before he took office — that she and her ilk “feel a responsibility to challenge you in the court of public opinion, and we hope that those directly aggrieved by your administration will challenge you in the courts of law.”

On the subject of Donald J. Trump and his presidency, the opinion of this “scholar” has no more legitimacy or value than does any other coherent person’s opinion. She may have tried to seem tough, combative, and authoritative when answering Republican questioners during her testimony at the Nadler Show on Wednesday, but her record condemns her as biased beyond words, prejudiced against the democratically elected man whose election by the voters she wants to help the Democrats undo, and thoroughly unsuited to present an objective view of the president.

We have no more use for this witness.

Go to Source
Author: Dov Fischer

Advertisements

Congress’ Continuing Resolution Is an Opportunity for Reform

Once again, Congress failed to pass its budget before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. It also failed to do this critical part of its job before the continuing resolution, or CR — which it enacted in September to fund the government — expired on November 21. The sorry result is that Congress compelled itself to adopt yet another CR, one that will run through December 20. If this tale sounds familiar and irresponsible, that’s because it is.

As of now, Congress finds itself, yet again, in the same position it was in last year when it faced a year-end shutdown. Unfortunately, this combination of budgetary cowardice and irresponsibility is not new. As the Pew Research Center explains, “In the four decades since the current system for budgeting and spending tax dollars has been in effect, Congress has managed to pass all its required appropriations measures on time only four times: in fiscal 1977 (the first full fiscal year under the current system), 1989, 1995 and 1997.”

Always the optimist, I hope that Congress will, this time, use the remaining days on the CR to do the right thing on a few items.

First, leave the tax-extender package as it is, i.e., dead. Almost two years ago, a package of temporary business tax breaks known as “tax extenders” were allowed to expire. Not surprisingly, the special interests who benefit from these temporary tax giveaways would like to see them revived. But legislators must resist the call to bring them back, particularly on a retroactive basis. The randomness of the exercise breeds uncertainty, in addition to being bad fiscal, economic, and tax policy.

What’s more, most of these tax breaks are corporate welfare. The work of Adam Michel at the Heritage Foundation explains it best. With rare exceptions, he writes, the tax extenders “grant economic privileges to well-connected industries and allow the government to pick winners and losers in the market. This reduces economic growth and opportunity for those individuals and businesses not granted a competitive advantage by Congress.” In other words, Congress would do well to let the dead extenders rest in peace and move on.

Second, legislators could take the couple of weeks they have ahead of them to implement serious reforms of the U.S. Export–Import Bank. This New Deal–era credit agency is the mother of all cronyism and should be abolished altogether. But too many in Congress eagerly pander to the special interests that benefit from the bank, most of which are large U.S. and foreign companies. This weakness of members of Congress might be somewhat easier to swallow if, at the very least, they agreed to reform the bank during the CR.

Congress could, for example, lower Ex–Im Bank’s lending cap, which would result in a greater share of the bank’s largesse going to the small businesses that legislators claim they want the bank’s activities to benefit. They could also require that a majority of the lending be done in lower-income countries — as opposed to higher-income nations where companies have plenty of access to capital. This change would better meet the bank’s ostensible purpose of directing capital to companies that arguably have inadequate access to it.

There are many more reforms Congress could implement. But under no circumstances should legislators agree to a 10-year reauthorization of Ex–Im Bank. The shorter the reauthorization, the better; it would encourage the agency to be more accountable.

Finally, legislators could use this time to come up with a list of spending cuts that will allow them to abide by the spending caps they agreed to back in 2011. Back in July of this year, Congress and the president announced a plan to raise discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. But that move would increase spending by $320 billion over two years. With the deficit soon to be permanently above $1 trillion, Congress should find the courage to abide by the budget caps rather than, yet again, kicking our debt bomb down the road.

There’s a saying that that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This time around, let’s hope Congress’ inability to pass a budget on time is a pile of lemons that they can turn into a lemonade of genuine reform and lower spending.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. To find out more about Veronique de Rugy and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

Go to Source
Author: Veronique de Rugy

Grim Findings From the Journal of the American Medical Association

Washington

Do you spend much time reading the Journal of the American Medical Association? I must say I do not. Perhaps that is because I exercise regularly, eat nutritious meals, avoid drinking to excess, put in a 40-hour week — well, actually a bit more than that, but I enjoy my work. At times, my work would more properly be described as recreational — and one more thing. I took Pascal’s bet a long time ago. What was his bet? Well, if one lives a good life, a life that the Almighty would approve of, why not go all in? Why not believe in the Almighty? That is what old Pascal came up with.

A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that an increasing number of Americans could improve their health by taking Pascal’s famous bet and all that the bet entails. According to the Journal, Americans are falling behind the industrialized world in terms of longevity. Our longevity has declined for the past three years, and, according to Virginia Commonwealth University’s Steven Woolf and Heidi Schoomaker, the compilers of the report, the problem goes back to the 1980s. They lay the causes of a loss in longevity to obesity, alcoholism, drugs, and suicide. In other words, they put the blame on life choices.

Moreover, there is not much the medical corps can do to solve the problem. Dan Flynn writes in The American Spectator’s Spectator A.M., “This decline in life expectancy coincides with the massive increase in health-care spending.” Flynn suggests that we look for the cure to declining longevity elsewhere. American lives lack meaning, he writes, and he goes on, “People fill the void by drinking, doing drugs, and overeating. When they come to see a hole at the bottom of the void that means to them that nothing can ever quench the thirst, they cease to search for meaning in their life and take action to end it.” He concludes, “A doctor cannot cure the kind of sickness from which Americans increasingly suffer.” Who can cure it? A social worker? A gifted psychiatrist? A rabbi, minister, or priest?

I do not know what Flynn would prescribe, but I suggest a worldly philosopher and man of science, Blaise Pascal. He lived from 1623 to 1662. Pascal argued that whether God exists or not, a rational person should live as though God does exist, and a rational person should try to believe in Him while abiding by His laws, as the laws are handed down from the Old and New Testaments. His famous bet was based on the idea of the Christian God. Yet it is applicable to many religions. If God does indeed exist, the rational person gains infinitely — for instance, he gains Heaven. If God does not exist, the rational person has lost nothing. Pascal’s argument is said to be an appeal to self-interest as opposed to an appeal to the evidence. I say it is the first giant step in believing in the existence of a just God. After taking this step one can consider the more complicated arguments for the existence of God, for instance, those of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Choosing a dissolute life style has always struck me as a painful waste of time, particularly when there are so many productive and interesting things to do in a free society like ours. Consider Donald Trump. He has made a lot of money and become president of the United States on his first run for the presidency. He neither drinks nor avails himself to tobacco. Now one need not go to extremes — not that I would say there is anything extreme about Donald. An occasional drink is perfectly acceptable, and a thick cigar is acceptable, too, particularly for the male of the species. Moreover, I would not turn my back on dessert at least occasionally, and eating moderately is advised in all circumstances, especially if one wants to avoid joint replacement, heart disease, diabetes, and dozens of other time-consuming and life-threatening diseases. As for suicide, it is a life choice that almost always ends badly. I would not even consider it.

I suggest that, at least, the alcoholics, the drug-dependent, and the obese that find life not worth living consider Pascal’s strategy. Then acquire the professional services of a good rabbi, minister, or priest. Which brings to mind those who are in the service of the Lord. The recent findings of the Journal of the American Medical Association tell us that there are people out there in dire need of your help. Instead of marching for peace or to save the planet Earth, why not spend some time with an alcoholic, a drug addict, or someone terminally overweight? I think Pascal would agree with me. Such suffering people greatly need you. The world can come later.

Go to Source
Author: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

Ain’t It the Truth? On the Death of Anglicanism in Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada clutches its throat at the prospect of — Lord have mercy — shutting down its ministries and works 20 years from now. You know — putting up the “Closed” sign, the public demand for said ministries dwindling more with every passing year. So sharply have Anglican membership rolls declined since 2000 that, according to an internal study, naught but the buildings will remain in 2040.

This, as many will recognize, is an odd assumption to entertain concerning any of the Lord’s enterprises: the same Lord who parted the Red Sea (I’ll come back to this) and seems easily capable of repopulating empty churches, then moving powerfully forward. Canadian Anglicanism’s prospects nevertheless put in mind the consequences of life in an age when, seemingly, you don’t have to believe anything.

The ongoing deconstruction of belief — the dismissal of truths you or others see as non-truths — leaves humans free to believe as they like. “Truth”? Who says so, pal? Falsehood? What might that be but someone else’s truth turned around and dressed in new clothes.

Truth happens to be the special currency of religion. A church, a faith, invites acceptance of its premises; presents them as needful and valid. Say you don’t want to believe. In that event, you keep away from the church and its ancient truths, such as that very instrumental truth we hear of every year at this time — the Savior’s birth.

We’re constantly encouraged to get rid of unwanted beliefs. We are well acquainted, for instance, with “fake news,” meaning anything disparaging of Donald Trump. Trump’s trope isn’t unique. The Never Trump media, the impeachment lobby — these take pleasure in dismissing Trumpian rhetoric as shot through with lies and frauds.

Who started the great set-to over credibility in politics is unclear: probably both sides, each reacting to the other. Wrong and right lack their former status as political touchstones. It’s all opinion, point of view, real stuff v. made-up junk. A phone call to Ukraine is either “perfect” or an impeachable offense. How do we know which, the standards for verification having been compromised, the very possibility of verification (from the Latin veritas, meaning “true”) having been bent out of shape?

You can see how in such an environment Christianity’s “truth” claims can be seen as wobbly and participation in Christian rites — in Canada at least — seen as a time-wasting enterprise.

So “prove” to me God opened that Red Sea! Prove it how? With a cell-phone shot? Nah, some Hebrew PR guy could have faked the shot. We can’t, it seems, in experiential terms, prove squat. Try to show me in physical terms you did what you said you did. I trust you or I don’t.

Here we are, adrift on a vast sea of claims and counter-claims. Canadian Anglicanism’s plight stems — if I may tender a claim of my own — from the shriveling of the human capacity for belief in the unseen. What happened to authority, as credibly worked out in teaching and practice over long ages? It savors of “authoritarianism,” doesn’t it? Actually, no. Authoritarianism is someone making you do certain things. Authority is ancestral: made the more credible by the witness of the credible. You can call the Virgin Birth of Jesus, the origin point of the present season, fake news if you like, but that’s just your unvarnished opinion: against the grave and loving testimony of minds and mouths designated over the centuries as wise and fruitful.

Nobody in the 21st century can compel belief in the perfection of Donald Trump’s phone calls or in the right of the New York Times to consign the caller to the Ninth Ring of political hell. Yet where does this leave us? Swaying back and forth, forever and ever, between competing viewpoints? Uncertain what to believe and what not to? Disabled from the planting of things beautiful to us but, for ought anyone knows, worthless to life at large?

The past half-century or so of American history, with its takedown of authority and truth, makes inevitable the moral frenzy that is our daily bread. And will impeachment, say, help to make Truth accessible, credible as in the olden time? Pardon me as I roll on the ground, laughing hysterically.

William Murchison is writing a book on moral restoration in the 21st century.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

Go to Source
Author: William Murchison

From the Spectator Archives: John Simon, Bane of Artists’ Existence

John Simon, a prominent art, film, and books critic, died on Sunday in Valhalla, New York. He was 94.

Simon was one of the most critical and widely criticized of American cultural commentators. His reviews in New York magazine, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and The New Criterion tore apart what he saw as the sorry state of American culture. William F. Buckley Jr. once said, “Simon reviewed movies in the same sense that pigeons review statues.”

Simon remained a working critic until the end of his life. After an interview with James Panero at The New Criterion early this year, Simon and I (then on a fellowship at TNC) walked back to the 23rd St. and Park subway station so he could take the uptown 6 train back home. He told me about a video talk show he was conducting with a younger writer and said TNC was one of the few places that would return his phone calls (his recent piece there on the art of criticism is instructive on his expectations for art).

The Wall Street Journal published what would be his final major interview earlier this month.

In the past few days, the final judgments issued on his work have been, unsurprisingly, a mix of grudging respect and vitriol. That’s fitting, in a way, and he surely expected no less, given the opening of his last blog post:

One person’s critic is another person’s crackpot. That they are not united in their opinions is ascribable to the Latin saying: quot homines, tot sententiae. I myself prefer being considered a creep, but that is what you get for having what Vladimir Nabokov called “Strong Opinions.” It is odd that in a country so wallowing in negativity, starting with mass shootings and climaxing with Trump, such an unimportant matter as theater criticism should generate so much hostility. The only target patently more important is lead in the drinking water.

Below are two examples of Simon’s work for The American Spectator. The first, “A Handbook for Maidens,” addresses the “pronoun problem” that still plagues us today. The second is a review of The Magic Lantern, a 1988 memoir by one of Simon’s few favorites, the Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.

*****

From November 1980: A Handbook for Maidens,” by John Simon

American Spectator cover Nov. 1980

American Spectator cover Nov. 1988

Go to Source
Author: Hannah Niemeier

Let’s Talk Turkey

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians held a three-day harvest feast at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. This is usually called the first American Thanksgiving, and it sounds delicious.

Here is what they feasted on, according to Epicurious. The table was “loaded with native fruits” and vegetables and a huge variety of nuts. These included plums, melons, grapes, cranberries, leeks, onions, beans, artichokes, and squash. Some “English crops” may have made the trip over the ocean and up through the soil as well, including cabbage, carrots, parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary.

For the main dishes, the Wampanoag brought five deer with them, and the Pilgrims very likely contributed fish and shellfish. Fowl was on the menu, but it was likely mostly waterfowl: ducks and geese. What about turkey? Maybe, but “there is no concrete way to know if they had any roast turkey that day,” Epicurious explains.

How is that possible? Thanksgiving simply is Turkey Day now. The annual demand for the bird has led to a genetic arms race that resulted in domesticated meat monsters so large they can’t reproduce on their own. The president pardons a turkey every year. It often collapses under its own weight before the next Thanksgiving comes around.

And the meat that they exist to serve up to us is awful. The smell is not great, and the way turkeys are usually prepared in the oven makes for very dry eating. Even if it is handled expertly and the meat is juicy, it’s still boring. Turkey is an exceptionally bland bird. It has even less flavor than chicken, thus necessitating the gravy, the stuffing, and all the other trimmings that we eat along with it to pretend that this turkey is doing something for us.

Is there a way out of this fowl mess? I personally am a turkey abolitionist. There are plenty of other things that we can eat together at Thanksgiving without pretending we all like this smelly, boring bird. But if you have your heart set on turkey for Thanksgiving, for whatever misguided reason, here are three ways to make it better:

  1. Smoke it. Turkey is a practically flavorless bird. Smoking it adds tons of flavor that can taste pretty good around the Thanksgiving table. This is what my own extended family has taken to doing. Most people don’t have smokers, including my own parents. So they hire someone who does own one to smoke the turkey for them. One added bonus is that this frees up all kinds of oven space to cook other, much more appetizing foods.
  2. Deep-fry it. Deep-fried chicken tastes amazing. Many people swear by fried turkey as well. It’s messy, it adds calories, and some guests may have trouble digesting it. But again, it adds some actual taste to a practically tasteless bird. The logistical problem here is that most folks don’t have fryers, or at least not ones large enough to contain a turkey. Perhaps it’s worth investing in one to make Thanksgiving dinner great again.
  3. Mole it. One of the great contributions of Mexicans to this country is mole, a rich sauce made of, among other things, chiles and chocolate. There are a number of ways that people prepare turkey with mole, from highly involved recipes to simply replacing gravy with mole. You can get bottled mole in stores, but unfortunately it’s not nearly as good as the mole that many Latin restaurants make from scratch. So here is my suggestion: Figure out which local restaurant has the best mole, go there, and ask if you can buy some to add to your Thanksgiving turkey.

In fact, I may go do that now. Article over. Happy Thanksgiving. May your turkey be flavorful for once, with hints of chocolate.

Jeremy Lott was Turkey Lurkey in a first-grade play.

Go to Source
Author: Jeremy Lott

The Bibi Indictment: Really, Just a Shame How Some Israelis Consume The Best of Their Own

We all knew the indictments were coming against Israel Prime Minister Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu, just as we all knew two months ago that next March Israel would be going to its third elections in a year. If Bibi could not cobble together a 61-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset even though the religious-nationalist bloc he leads had won 60 seats in the April national election, he was not going to get it with the reduced bloc of 55 he won in September during Israel’s “do-over” election. And Benny Gantz, his leading opponent, was not going to make it to 61 either because, once Gantz announced that he refused to sit with representatives of religious parties, he was left with no reasonable path to a majority.

Likewise, we knew the indictments were coming against Netanyahu. Perhaps the final giveaway was when the prime minister’s attorneys arrived at the offices of the attorney general to present to him and to his chief prosecutor, Liat Ben Ari, their massive four-day portfolio of legal fact evidence and arguments for the defense. After two days, they were told — get this! — that Ms. Ben Ari, the prosecutor at the center of the investigations, would not be attending the remaining days of the defense presentation of evidence and arguments because she was going away to South Africa on family vacation. She just skipped out over the weekend before defense attorneys could resume their efforts for two more fateful days. Ho-hum.

In America, as convoluted as our legal system can get, Ben Ari’s behavior would be unthinkable. It would be she who would come under scrutiny and probably be fired, if not prosecuted. Ask any serious American attorney, not even a government lead prosecutor, what happens when a major legal matter is scheduled to take place during a major litigation. Aside from my being a law professor at two law schools, I have practiced complex business litigation for more than a decade, most of it at three major firms: JonesDay, Akin Gump, and BakerHostetler. I will tell you this: If I have planned a vacation of a lifetime, a once-in-my-life travel with my family, and we all have cleared our calendars, bought our air tickets, reserved our hotel rooms, and then an urgent legal matter arises in the litigation, we all have to cancel and reschedule the vacation. And if the once-in-a-lifetime vacation just cannot be rescheduled, then we know the two words that the managing partner of the office will tell us: Tough luck.

No matter where you stand on all the craziness of the Democrats’ neverending game of “Impeach Trump for Fun[draising] and Profits,” can you imagine if, halfway through the proceedings, Jim Jordan decided, “Oh, heck. I’m taking a vacation!” Or if Adam Schiff did? Yeah — we wish! But, really: unthinkable!

When Liat Ben Ari did not show up to hear Netanyahu’s attorneys make half their comprehensive multi-day presentations and present their new evidence, it was clear that “the fix” was in, and the indictment was set. No need to listen to the defense — we might have to revise all our indictments. Frankly, not only would she have been fired if this were happening in America, but hearings promptly would have begun investigating whether or not the attorney general who allowed this to happen without rescheduling the hearings should himself have been removed.

It all is just a shame. It recalls the way that Arab Christians killed Arab Muslims in the Shatila and Sabra terror camps in September 1982, and the Israeli Left immediately gathered in the tens of thousands to blame the center-conservative government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. Sharon sued Time magazine for its coverage, and a New York federal jury came back with a verdict that Time had lied about Sharon. But the Israeli Left perpetuated some “ethical value” that does not exist in a normal world of ethics. As we know in America, the Left fabricates pseudo-ethics in America that never apply to them, while flagellating their opponents on the right for “crimes” that do not exist.

Netanyahu exercised several impolitic lapses in judgment. He accepted expensive cigars and champagne from friends for whom he did favors. An Israeli film producer, Arnon Milchan, who has produced 12 Years a Slave, JFK, Heat, Fight Club, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and who earned two Academy Award nominations for Best Picture for L.A. Confidential and The Revenant, suddenly ran into problems with the Obama–Kerry White House, so he asked Netanyahu to call them and ask for a visa. Bibi made the calls, and the guy gave Bibi gifts. A conservative politician just has to know that the Leftists play “Gotcha!” 24/7/365, and they live for things like that. Compare how the leftists here desperately want to claim that President Trump’s hotels profit from his presidency. Really, in today’s “cancel culture,” in which the Left impeaches and indicts politicians whom they cannot beat at the polls, a more prudent officeholder would not have accepted the gifts.Bad form. Yessir, that’s my Bibi.

Likewise, Netanyahu is accused of asking a newspaper to stop its years of continued negative coverage, allegedly promising them that if their coverage changed, he would introduce a bill in the Knesset that would disadvantage their competition, Israel Hayom, a daily newspaper that supports him. Quid pro quo? The thing is, he never advanced such legislation anyway. Even better, it was his left-wing opposition who introduced the bill to hurt Israel Hayom — and Netanyahu and his coalition voted against that bill and killed it.

In the third case, he is accused of trying to get another news media publisher to stop attacking him all the time, and in return he supported a regulation that helped that guy become richer. It is the seamy garbage of politics. Certainly much less problematic than felon Tony Rezko making the Obamas wealthy or a Chicago hospital creating a $120,000-plus job for Michelle Obama when her husband got elected to state office, then raising it to over $300,000 when he got elected to the U.S. Senate, then Obama reciprocally securing more than $1 million for that same hospital once he was in D.C. — and then, once Michelle moved from Chicago to Washington, the hospital eliminating the job and never refilling it.

Not to mention Hunter Biden getting $83,000 a month from Burisma, then Veep Daddy Joe threatening to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine unless they fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.

It was sketchy for Bibi to get involved in negotiating with leftist, corrupt news publishers to change their perspectives. One will not get far with people who are inherently corrupt. Bibi, at least, like American conservative presidents here, has an outlet or two to tell his story most of the time — just as America has Fox News, several talk-radio shows, publications like The American Spectator, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Daily WireBreitbart, and others. So it is that Israel has Arutz ShevaIsrael National News, Israel Hayom, and some other conservative outlets. That is what it means to be a political conservative in an era when media are dominated by a Corrupt Journalist Corps of the Left. It has been that way at least for a century. The New York Times, for example, lied about Stalin’s Golodomor mass murder of Ukrainians, then covered up Hitler’s Holocaust of Jews, and never has stopped its promotion of Fake News and otherwise distorted news marked by half-truths and “anonymous sources.” There is no negotiating with people who are corrupt to the core.

In America, we all know all too well the process to remove the head of government. It typically is a political game, a disgusting sham. Invariably, committee members vote along party lines. If it is a Republican president, the Democrats on committee vote to impeach, and the Republicans vote not. And if it is a Democrat president, then vice versa. The only time that a committee member from the president’s own party also would vote to recommend impeachment is when (i) the evidence against the president is quite striking and overwhelming and (ii) the vote result is obviously going to be lopsided anyway, and several others from that same party all are in together.

In Israel, instead of having the House pass impeachment articles by majority vote, they instead leave it all in the hands of one person, the “attorney general,” who serves alongside another person who is the “justice minister.” The AG is more like a kind of “special counsel,” and the justice minister is more like an American attorney general. The Israeli attorney general decides unilaterally whether or not to “indict.”

In America, even if the House votes by majority to “impeach,” the head of government is not removed unless the Upper Chamber next votes by two-thirds supermajority to convict. That never has happened, and it will not come close to happening in 2020. Trump ain’t goin’ nowhere. By contrast, if the Israeli attorney general decides to “indict,” then it goes to regular trial before a judge or three. And in Israel, any government official who is “indicted” has to step down from Parliament, whether a regular Knesset member or a cabinet minister. The only thing that is not clear — because the law does not address it — is whether or not a prime minister has to step down. So, of course, the Israeli Left is demanding that Bibi now step down, and the center Right is saying that he should remain in office unless convicted.

Recall, too, what an honest “indictment” or an honest “impeachment” is. If either were a “conviction,” the head of government promptly would be removed from office and possibly imprisoned. But although an indictment is more than nothing, it is substantially less than something. Non-attorneys completely misunderstand what an indictment is. It does not mean that someone probably committed a crime. Rather, the whole idea of indictment was introduced centuries ago to prevent tyrannies and dictatorships from putting political opponents on show trial without any grounds at all. So it was instituted that, before you can put an accused on trial, the government first has to prove that it has at least some basis for going forward with prosecution. As a result, in America they convene a grand jury, and the grand jury gets to hear only one side of the case — only the government side. No defense counsel is permitted in the room. No defense evidence is shown to the grand jurors. If it were a trial, it would be straight out of Stalin’s Russia. But it is not a trial. The thinking is, “Hey, prosecutors — we gave you every advantage, tilted the scales ridiculously for you, and you still could not get the grand jury to indict? OK, no trial. End of accusation.” For example, that is exactly what happened with the police officer who was so wrongly accused, the victim of so many despicable lies, when he killed Michael Brown in Ferguson. There was no “Hands up, don’t shoot!” baloney. It was all lies, and the grand jury saw right through all the Fake News published for weeks by the Corrupt Journalist Corps.

So even with an indictment, Netanyahu stands only accused, not convicted. And how did the government get the indictment? They brought in a witness who would not tell the government what they wanted him to say. He kept changing stories. So they brought him into a hallway to sit and wait on a bench. And a few minutes later they brought in a woman with whom this married man apparently shared more than a warm acquaintance. And he understood that, if he finally says against Netanyahu what the prosecutors want him to say, then his wife and kids never know about The Sweet Lady. So he said exactly what they wanted him to say. And nobody ever found out about The Lovely.

Until a day or two later when everyone in the country did — because the justice minister was so furious that he exposed the whole sordid story on the Knesset floor. So now the wife and kids know. And the witness wants to sue the justice minister. (See what you have been missing while you have been focused on Marie Yovanovitch and Gordon Sondland?)

It is a shame that some Israelis seem intent on consuming their own. Major American legal scholars like Professor Alan Dershowitz, Nathan Lewin, a prominent American Constitutional legal scholar who has argued twelve cases before the United States Supreme Court, Prof. Avi Bell of Bar Ilan University Law School and the University of San Diego, and other serious legal scholars have written publicly that the whole case against Netanyahu is a sham. There is no such thing as bribery — the central charge in Case 4000 — when the “payoff” desired simply is better media coverage. Likewise, a political leader can advocate whatever legislation he wishes. For goodness sakes, politicians everywhere in the world always promote legislation to assist, enrich, and help their friends. That is why people often make friendships with politicians or with people who are friends with politicians. “Aren’t you friends with the city councilman? Can you ask him to help me get a traffic light on my street?” Or “Aren’t you friends with the governor? Can you help me get him to assist me with a license for my business? I can make a nice donation to his election campaign.” Major donors make monetary gifts to politicians in exchange for access and favors. Ever hear of Wall Street? The Clinton Foundation? The Koch Brothers? Unions? Minor donors like us contribute to politicians whom we actually believe in, but the mega-donors buy access and favors. On this the Left and the Right are “Citizens United.”

In California, New York, and Chicago, the Teachers’ Unions make huge donations to Democrats, and then the Democrats pass laws that hurt children’s education in the schools, disrupt school choice, protect incompetent teachers, and increase their benefits. Hollywood people make massive donations and hold millionaires’ parties for Democrats, and then the politicians pass laws that reduce or cancel taxes for making movies. That is politics. If the Republicans only take care of the oil barons and forget the little guys, then the little guys vote them out. And if the Democrats then spend all their time appealing to their identity-politics constituencies and forget about the middle-class working stiffs who actually live in America legally and actually pay the taxes that support all their welfare handouts, the middle-class working people elect Trump. That is how it works. The voters decide whether or not change is needed.

So the Bibi indictments, though clearly anticipated and fixed at least two months ago, are just a terrible shame and sham, the result of cynical politicians, despicable prosecutors who do not even have the basic professionalism or human decency to reschedule a family vacation at a moment of historical import, and a holier-than-thou justice system that cannot distinguish between real corruption and criminality, on the one hand, and impolitic political nonsense on the other.

Go to Source
Author: Dov Fischer

Country Music Hits Home

Saturday

Okay, lots to say. Last night Tommy, my handsome son, our handsome son, appeared at our home after a grueling trip from Greenville, South Carolina, with his friend, Bri.

I was in bed with my beautiful wifey watching my 16-hour documentary about country music by the genius documentarist Ken Burns. I was watching specifically about Merle Haggard when Tommy appeared and I started to sob. Not just sniffle or whimper but sob. Yes, because he looked so grown-up and sturdy and like a full-grown man.

“That’s my son,” I said to wifey. I used to be able to carry him around with one hand while I cleaned the leaves from our pool decking with a hose with the other. I used to buy him the whole store of Toys “R” Us. Now, he’s been through hell. He has an extreme aversion to work. He smokes cigarettes. But he’s as sweet as a man can be. He is my son, and he looks like a man. He acts like a man. He has a sense of humor. He plays keyboards. After a difficult marriage and divorce, he has a fine girlfriend. They’re happy together.

His daughter, CoCo, from his first marriage, is happy and charming. He makes me proud of him, and I sob at how much time has passed. I was 42 when he came into our lives. In two days I’ll be 75. I just never would have believed I would live this long. Long enough to see my son come strolling into my room looking and sounding like a man.

What does that mean? It means he looks solid. I don’t think he’s a bad boy any longer. He drinks the occasional mixed drink and smokes cigarettes. But he’s solid. If I were in a bar fight, he’s the first man I would want in my corner.

So, I cried like a big baby. He sat there talking about how poor the food service on the plane was and I kept crying. Too much time has passed. Too little is left. I watched Merle Haggard singing and I kept crying.

I find that as time passes, I cry more and more easily. Just for example, on TV, on this perfect documentary I am watching, there are scenes of Mr. Nixon playing piano at the Grand Ole Opry stage the night it closed. (To move to larger quarters.) I was with Mr. Nixon on that trip, and Mr. Nixon looked so happy in those pictures that I cried. He should never have been booted out of office. Never. (Now here’s a point that should be written in flaming gold letters.) Nixon was a saint.

Anyway, Tommy only stayed a few minutes, and then he left by Uber to go back to the apartment we keep for guests at the Shoreham Towers.

I’ve become obsessed with country music lately. Just obsessed. Why? Judah, my brilliant pal, a real genius, says it’s because it puts me in touch with a certain stratum of the American population that I like and that likes me. When I go to Bob’s Big Boy, everyone there says “How-Dee” just as if they were all Minnie Pearl from the Opry itself. I am sure my sister has an opinion about this, and I’ll have to ask her.

Anyway, lately I have been watching a lot of TV, and I have reached what I think is an interesting conclusion: TV is an alternative view of America, quite different from the real America in many ways. For one thing, it’s far more racially mixed. On TV, in ads and in shows, almost everyone has black pals if he’s white or white pals if he’s black. The same with Asian Americans and Hispanics. In real life, there is certainly much more diversity than there used to be, and that’s a good thing, but we are very far from being a racially diverse society. TV is selling us an idealized America, race-wise.

TV also sells us an idealized USA in terms of prosperity. Hardly anyone on TV lacks a home, and a comfortably decorated, lavishly furnished home is standard even for policemen or firemen (firefighters, of course, police personnel, of course). Everyone has a new car wherever he or she might live. And when people work, they usually work in clean, tidy venues, not the pigsties that so many Americans really work in.

America on TV is a lovely place. Don’t get me wrong. America in real life is wonderful, too. Just great. But it ain’t the plantation at 12 Oaks like it’s shown to be in Gone With the Wind and on many TV shows.

I have the feeling that this is about the exalted lives the people who make TV live. But I should probably investigate this a bit more.

Then there’s the subject of dogs. On TV, the canine has replaced the child or the human lover as the primary recipient of human affection. If a man or woman is happy, you see it in the eyes of his or her dog. Dogs are everywhere, soaking up love that in an earlier era would have automatically gone to other humans. The human on TV has given up his claim to be loved just because he eats on a tablecloth off dishes. Now, eating on the floor is more or less de rigueur for those whom we truly adore — namely, our dogs.

Hmmm. America the diverse, the rich, the pet-loving paradise. There’s something going on there. America as it is compared with the fake-news America — that’s something to conjure with. But the fake-news America is really a great place, and many of us live in it for several hours per day. And why not? It’s a wonderful life, and it’s free. It’s like listening to the Grand Ole Opry was for sharecroppers in Mississippi long ago: a fantasy world that’s a lot of fun.

Now I’m going off to have dinner with my son and probably cry a lot.

Go to Source
Author: Ben Stein

Climate Change Activists Hijack Harvard–Yale Football Game

New Haven, Connecticut

Activists protesting climate change stormed the Yale bowl field at halftime of the Harvard–Yale game. An initial group of 100 or so activists grew to more than 1,000 as students supporting their cause joined them. The mob extended from one 30-yard-line to the next as they chanted “get on the field.”

Harvard Yale Game Climate Protestors

Image: Dan Flynn

ESPN declined to show the protest. Players from both teams returned to their locker rooms. Repeated calls from the public address system to “please return to your seats” did nothing as the protest lasted more than 30 minutes.

Climate Activists Rush the Field

At this writing, a smattering of activists still fill the field. Police officers are quietly observing but not removing them. It would be easy to get the protesters off the field as police officers outnumber activists. So far, no action has been taken.

Reaction from the crowd is mixed. Some of the people in the crowd booed. Other crowd members joined the activists on the field or cheered.

One fan was heard saying, “No one cares!”

Another fan said, “This is what happens when two liberal schools play football.”

A few players have come back to the field to warm up.

It is still a question whether or not Yale will have to forfeit the game.

Update:

The police are now escorting activists off the field. Yale players have retaken the field. The game should resume. The score at halftime was 15-3 with Harvard leading.

Cheers erupted when the police removed the last protester from the field.

Once removed, protesters are chanting “Cancel the debt” outside the stadium.

Protestors Disrupt Harvard Yale Game

Climate change activists outside Yale stadium chanting. (Image: Dan Flynn)

Outside the Stadium Yale

Update:

Yale resumed the game at 2:48 p.m. after an hour-long delay. Chanting continues with the new chant being, “What do we do when our planet is under attack? Stand up! Fight back!”

The Bernie Bros are excited about the ruckus created:

Both teams are being ridiculed on Twitter. Here’s a sample:

Daniel J. Flynn

Daniel J. Flynn

Follow Their Stories:

View More

Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor of The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Harvey Milk, Jim Jones, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018), The War on Football (Regnery, 2013), Blue Collar Intellectuals (ISI Books, 2011), A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, New York Post, City Journal, National Review, and his own website, www.flynnfiles.com.   

Go to Source
Author: Daniel J. Flynn

The Rorschach Impeachment: Sometimes an Inkblot Is Just an Inkblot

In the classic Rorschach test, the psychoanalyst shows a patient a bunch of inkblots and asks what each looks like. The responses are supposed to help guide the psychoanalysis by offering insight into the patient’s idiosyncratic perspective. The test has its critics, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but it can offer a fascinating insight into the human mind. If every inkblot is perceived by the patient as another implement or accessory used in baseball, we may very well be dealing with a baseball fan. (As for Hermann Rorschach himself, he spent so much of his boyhood in Switzerland making inkblots that he was known as Klex or “Inkblot.” Go figure. So let your kids make a mess. They may be on to something.)

I have not been watching the “impeachment” hearings because (i) I have a life, (ii) I am busy, (iii) the little smidgeons I have caught at snack time have been boring, (iv) I am not going to let two charlatans like Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff dictate how I spend my time, and (v) I access enough variegated news sources daily that I can get the gist of each day’s circus in a fraction of the time. If I want to know about Marie Yovanovitch, for example, I am not going to rely on Mourning Joe and Mika, on Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews. Instead, I do my own independent research.

By now it seems clear that the “impeachment” hearings are a Rorschach test, with Adam Schiff the most notable ink splotch. It is what you want to see. If you hate Trump, everything is impeachable. If you love Trump, everything is impeccable. And regardless of your Trump feelings, everything is imperceptible.

So you get this joker named Gordon Sondland, who is America’s ambassador to a conglomeration of countries who populate a continent that matters only when they launch wars, invade, and start killing each other — and then need American boys to die in the hundreds of thousands in order to help them sort things out and solve the mess they have created for themselves. Then, after we have done so, they do not pay their fair share of those very NATO defenses that guard their French derrières, replete with accent grave, expecting us to keep supporting them. We saved their butts before there even was a NATO, and 116,456 Americans had to die during World War I. Then they messed up again for the next two decades because West Europeans are effete and so obsessed with their class manners and their rules of savoir faire and their socialist welfare states and their early retirements that they did not have the character to stand up to Hitler in the 1930s. Peace in our time. So we had to send another 405,399 Americans to die for them during World War II. Presently they go by the name “European Union,” the successor to previous joint ventures of theirs like the “Common Market” and, before that, “World War II”/“The Great War”/“The Wars of the Roses”/“The Hundred Years War” and other such Lilliputian endeavors.

So Sondland shows up with an opening statement, saying there was a “quid pro quo.” Suddenly, all of America is speaking Latin. They do not know what “E Pluribus Unum” means or what “Res Ipsa Loquitur” means, cannot spell “vice versa,” and invariably pronounce “et cetera” as “excedra” or “Excedrin.” They do not even know such basic Latin phrases as “am-scray uddy-bay.” But everyone suddenly now uses the term “quid pro quo,” just as the word “dossier” came into the everyday lexicon two years ago thanks to some British runt named Steele. So everyone talks about the “Steele dossier” as if they actually know what a dossier is, even though no one ever calls anything else a “dossier” — not even a dossier of dossiers. And here we have Sondland saying “quid pro quo” in his opening statement, and all of a sudden the country is on Red Alert. No need for the North Korean Doughboy to continue building nukes to wipe us out, because Sondland has said “quid pro quo,” which, for all we know, is the Korean name of some squiggly sea fish eaten alive in little rice wraps, braised in warmed sake.

All Wednesday morning, after Sondland said those three Latin words, the Corrupt Journalist Corps went into full celebration mode. “A bombshell!” CNN called it a “bombshell.” MSNBC experts called it a “bombshell.” Everywhere among the Corrupt Journalist Corps that same word was used: “Bombshell!” Overnight, that word pierced into the lexicon threatening to supplant such predominant current terms as (i) “Steele dossier,” (ii) “quid pro quo,” and (iii) the ubiquitous mantra of the Millennial set, “What-eh-ver!” (usually followed by eye-rolling and a snorting sound).

So we had a bombshell, and I could not help thinking that the pundits who predominate among the Corrupt Journalist Corps here really would have done themselves a favor by having spent last week in Israel, when the Islamic Jihad terror organization in Gaza shot more than 400 rockets into southern Israel or this week when Iran surrogates in Syria shot four rockets into northern Israel. It really would be quite an instructive moment for those who use the word “bombshell” every time they think they finally have someone — Michael Cohen, the Mooch, Jim Comey, Anonymous, Rod Rosenstein, Omarosa, Avenatti, Stormy, Anonymous II — who can pin a crime on Donald Trump.

And then came the afternoon. Sondland still at the table, still kibbitzing. And now Republicans asking him some questions. Like, uh, did you ever directly hear the president say there would be a “quid pro quo”?

Nope. He just assumed there was a quid pro quo. In fact, he made a phone call to President Trump on September 9 to find out what exactly the president wanted from Ukraine. Indeed, answering the Grand Inquisitor Schiff directly, Sondland testified,

But I believe I just asked him an open-ended question, Mr. Chairman. “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories and this and that. What do you want?” And it was a very short and abrupt conversation. He was not in a good mood. And he just said, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.”… This is the final word that I heard from the president of the United States.

Bombshell! Boom! Gas masks! Shrapnel flying! Head for the bunkers!

That is the Sondland testimony directly to the Grand Inquisitor himself — and Schiff could not Torquemada what he just testified. (See and listen to the one minute on YouTube yourself.)

So Sondland assumed there was a quid pro quo. He said that everyone knew about the quid pro quo. But when Sondland actually asked the man in the Oval Office directly what exactly his marching orders were, Trump told him, “I want no quid pro quo.”

That would seem to end the “impeachment” hearings. Bombshells? Howzabout, instead, All’s Quiet on the Western Front? Nonetheless, when Googling the four words “sondland quid pro quo” the next morning, the search results universally listed page after page after page of website stories with titles like

Page after Google page of it. Not a single headline that “Sondland Reverses Morning Testimony, Conceding He Merely Had Been Assuming, But That Trump Explicitly Told Him, ‘I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo.’ ” Instead, one has to search for the testimony on YouTube or go to a tweet from Rep. Mark Meadows, penetrating through the media haze, to catch the actual exchange Sondland had with Rep. Mike Turner after his morning statement already had set off so many bombshells that half the Corrupt Journalist Corps were camped out in underground truth-proof shelters:

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio): If you pull up CNN today, right now their banner says “Sondland Ties Trump to Withholding Aid.” Is that your testimony today, Mr., Ambassador Sondland, that you have evidence [Sondland starts scratching his right ear aggressively] that Donald Trump tied the investigation to the aid? ’Cause I don’t think you’re saying that.

Sondland: I said repeatedly, Congressman, I was presuming

Turner: So no one told you, not President Trump; Giuliani didn’t tell you. Mulvaney didn’t tell you. Pompeo didn’t tell you. Nobody else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to these investigations. Is that correct?… No one on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying this aid to the investigation? Because if your answer is “yes,” then the chairman [Schiff] is wrong, and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to an investigation. Yes or no?

Sondland: Yes.

Turner: So you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from the Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?

Sondland: Other than my own presumptions.

This “impeachment” nonsense truly is a Rorschach test. It is not a justice proceeding, aiming to determine truth. Rather, it is a psychoanalytical diagnostic for those suspected of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Those who see Trump as the incarnate of all evil discern in every word, every breath, a ground for impeachment. Suddenly they talk Latin. And those who blindly love Donald Trump, no matter what, believe he should be president even if he does commit treason or another high crime or misdemeanor. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the great middle of the bell curve just look at the inkblot and see … an inkblot. Not an impeachment.

Along the way, the Rorschach Impeachment actually is succeeding in helping us diagnose new cases of TDS among the general populace, infected wretches who urgently require additional professional observation and compassionate care. One example: David Holmes, the American embassy’s political counsel in Ukraine, testified the day after Sondland that he overheard a phone call between Trump and Sondland. Holmes asserted that he “could hear the president’s voice through the earpiece of [Sondland’s] phone,” needing to listen that way because the phone was not on “speakerphone” mode. After that highly dubious but possibly true claim, President Trump immediately tweeted his doubts:

I have been watching people making phone calls my entire life. My hearing is, and has been, great. Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail. Try it live!

Interesting. As for me, personally, I kind of thought to myself, “Who knows? Could be. Maybe you can hear the voice of the other guy in a phone conversation through the earpiece. I dunno. Never gave it a thought.”

So, on to CNN, which has become an outright insane asylum now that Jeffrey Lord no longer is there. The acronym seems now to stand for Correspondents’ Neuroses Network. Out comes one inmate, a fellow named Chris Cuomo — and don’t call him “Fredo,” or they have to restrain him in a straitjacket — and he decides to prove to all America in a live, unrehearsed public demonstration that Trump is a liar and that everyone knows that a phone caller on the other end can be heard distinctly by everyone near the receiving phone even when that phone is not set on “speaker” mode because the sound from the other end coming through the earpiece itself is quite discernible. So, after mocking the president’s tweet, Cuomo dials his mother on live TV, sitting in the middle of a horseshoe-shaped table populated by avid CNN leftist “pundits” all listening eagerly, giggling with unabashed anticipation, all excited to prove the president wrong. Live un-rehearsed TV is so great. So Cuomo phones someone who he tells us is his mother. A conversation begins. We hear Cuomo. And nobody at the table or viewing on TV, no matter how loud you turn the volume, can hear a wretched syllable from the person on the other end. It is all the evidence a family member needs to have him brought in for further professional observation. You absolutely must pause reading this for just a moment and go to this link for the best two minutes of television since Jim Acosta walked along a stretch of southern border wall, triumphantly demonstrating his cognitive disadvantages by telling viewers that the absence there of any people trying illegally to sneak into America proves Trump wrong when the president calls for a wall — because there is not an illegal alien in sight anywhere along the wall.

Don’t you just love live television? All I could think of, after seeing Cuomo doing his Bob Newhart–style one-sided phone call, unintentionally proving that the person on the other end cannot be heard through the earpiece, was this 45-second airport scene from the 1971 Woody Allen classic Bananas, with Cuomo standing in for the translator being pursued by the two medical personnel in white asylum outfits chasing after him with a butterfly net.

And thus the Rorschach Impeachment proceeds. Sometimes an inkblot is just an inkblot. And for some, I guess, sometimes it is a cigar.

Go to Source
Author: Dov Fischer