Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another View of the Special Prosecutor

For John, BLUFMy fear is that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will feel he has to find something to justify his appointment and the cost of his investigation.  Anything.—Nothing to see here; just move along.

An Opinion Piece from The Hill, by Ms Sidney Powell, 19 October 2017.

Much has been written about the prosecutorial prowess of Robert Mueller’s team assembled to investigate allegations of Russia’s involvement in the Trump campaign.  Little has been said of the danger of prosecutorial overreach and the true history of Mueller’s lead prosecutor.

What was supposed to have been a search for Russia’s cyberspace intrusions into our electoral politics has morphed into a malevolent mission targeting friends, family and colleagues of the president.  The Mueller investigation has become an all-out assault to find crimes to pin on them — and it won’t matter if there are no crimes to be found.  This team can make some.

Many Americans despise President Trump and anyone associated with him.  Yet turning our system of justice into a political weapon is a danger we must guard against.

Think back to April 1, 1940, and a world awash in turmoil, hate and fear.  Revered Attorney General Robert H. Jackson assembled the United States attorneys.  In remarks enshrined in the hearts of all good prosecutors, he said, “the citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.”

Yet Mueller tapped a different sort of prosecutor to lead his investigation — his long-time friend and former counsel, Andrew Weissmann. He is not just a “tough” prosecutor.  Time after time, courts have reversed Weissmann’s most touted “victories” for his tactics.  This is hardly the stuff of a hero in the law.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Ms Powell has been both a Federal Prosecutor and a Defense Attorney.  She is the author of Licensed to Lie:  Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.

Attorney v Attorney

For John, BLUFSpecial Council Robert Mueller (Russia Gate) is not a choirboy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This essay is from Attorney Harvey Silverglate, on 17 October 2017, at Boston Public Radio station WGBH (89.7 FM).

The first three paragraphs don't leave me with a good feeling about Special Council Robert Mueller:

Is special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in mid-May to lead the investigation into suspected ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and various shady (aren’t they all?) Russian officials, the choirboy that he’s being touted to be, or is he more akin to a modern-day Tomas de Torquemada, the Castilian Dominican friar who was the first Grand Inquisitor in the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition?

Given the rampant media partisanship since the election, one would think that Mueller’s appointment would lend credibility to the hunt for violations of law by candidate, now President Trump and his minions.

But I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor.  My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.

Especially the Friar Tomas de Torquemada part.

Further down in the essay Mr Silverglate points out to us that Federal laws are so loose and so plenteous that just about anyone can be found to have violated one or another of them.

My impression, after reading the item, is that Mr Mueller will come up with someone to indict, no matter how long it takes to do it.  It may have nothing to do with the allegations of the Trump Campaign colluding with the Russians, but it will be something.

My question is, will there be any examination of the other side to see if they colluded with the Russians?

How silly of me.

My supplemental question is the one asked by former Labor Secretary Raymond J Donovan:  "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"

I would like to see Attorney General Jeff Sessions answer that question by publicly acknowledging the innocence of those who are smeared by the accusations of wrong-doing and are found to not be guilty of the crime or crimes of which they were accused, by indictment, innuendo or leak.

ADDED THOUGHT:  When Public Radio is turning against you it should be a sign that you are losing the PR Battle.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The President at Work

For John, BLUFPresident Trump, perhaps with 2020 in mind, is trying to fulfill his campaign promises.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From Iran to Obamacare to DACA, the president is acting on what Republicans have long promised, in a way that rightly devolves power to the legislative branch.

From Reason Magazine and Mr Matt Welch, 18 October 2017.

What we are seeing down in DC is that President Trump is moving to implement policies that reflect the issues he ran on, and which Congressional Republicans claimed were their issues.  However, those Republicans in Congress can't seem to act.  Then the President throws the issue into Congress' lap.  Now Republicans and Democrats have to act, sometimes with a deadline.  An example is the DACA Policy of the last Administration.  President Trump said fix it or I will end it in six months.  Another is the unconstitutional payments to insurance companies under the PP&ACA.

Good job Mr President.  Fulfilling campaign promises AND prodding Congress to do its job.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Unfit For Service

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest you are not fit to make the grade in the US Army.

For John, BLUFYoung Americans are over-weight and out of shape, by and large.  Further, others have gotten into trouble with the law.  We have a problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Web Presence, Task and Purpose, By Mr James Clark, 13 October 2017.

Here are some excerpts:

The military is facing a growing recruiting crisis:  71% of Americans between 17 and 24 can’t meet the minimum criteria for service, which places the burden of service on an ever-small and shrinking pool of troops with a family history of joining the military.

Some quick math shows what the services are up against.  For the Army, the recruiting goal for the coming fiscal year is roughly 180,000 new soldiers.  According to a detailed analysis by Army Times, only 9.7 million out of the 33.4 million Americans between 17 and 24 meet the Army’s minimum standards.  The reasons for disqualification range from failure to meet weight and fitness standards, misconduct, medical issues, mental health, and substance abuse concerns.

Once you take into account whether or not the remaining 9.7 million are enrolled in college — and that the Army doesn’t want the bare minimum for its future soldiers — the recruiting pool shrinks to just 1.7 million.  And that’s before you get to those who are even interested in enlisting.  What you’re left with is just 136,000 potential recruits interested in joining out of the original pool of 33.4 million, Army Times reports.

This is not a good thing.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hope Springs Eternal

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest that Professors at Harvard often speak through their hat.

For John, BLUFThe Left, the Clintonistas, just cannot let go of the defeat of Mrs Clinton by Mr Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Newsweek, by Ms Julia Glum, on 16 October 2017.

From the third paragraph:

Harvard University professor Lawrence Lessig offered a Clinton path to the presidency on Medium, putting forward a series of "if/then" scenarios that lead to House Speaker Paul Ryan handing the White House keys to Clinton.
Here is the Professor's proposed path:
If number 1:  If Trump is definitively found to have colluded directly with Russia, he would be forced to resign or be impeached.

If number 2:  If Trump is removed, Vice President Mike Pence would become president.

If number 3:  If Pence becomes president, he should resign too, given that he benefited from the same help from Mother Russia.

If number 4:  If Pence resigns before appointing a vice president, Ryan would become president.

If number 5:  If Ryan becomes president, he should do the right thing and choose Clinton for vice president. Then he should resign.

"The answer seems unavoidable: He should nominate the person defeated by the treason of his own party, and then step aside and let her become the president," Lessig writes. "Without doubt, if Ryan did the right thing, that would be the most extraordinary event in the history of America since the Confederate Army fired on Fort Sumter. But unlike that, this event would build the union, not divide it."

But, the first "IF" is the hard one, although "IF" Number 3 is also a huge leap.  The reason I say the first "IF" is the hard one is because it isn't clear there is a connection between the Trump Campaign and Putin and Putin's Russia.  The use of "Should" in the headline is a leap that probably won't reach the other side.  Oops.

Perhaps more important is the question of if Mrs Clinton and the Clinton Campaign had greater "ties" to the Russians than the putative Trump Campaign ties.

And, if all of Professor Lessig's scenario comes to fruition we would be stuck with Mrs Clinton as President.  The Government Official who, through her Libya Policy, gave us Benghazi, and then tried to cover it up.  Keep that in the back of your mind when you think about nKorea.

UPDATE:  Here is the Blog Post by Law Professor Ann Althouse.

UPDATE:  Professor Lessig just said, on The Tucker Carlson show that it hasn't been proven that Russian interference was connected to Mr Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Reading Time at your Local Branch Library

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest that all things in due time.

For John, BLUFWe need to not introduce too many adult ideas too soon to fresh minds.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mr Rod Dreher, at The American Conservative, 17 October 2017.

Right up front I wish to make the point that this is NOT the Branch Library where I was a member of a high school book club.

I am not against young men and women learning about the realities of alternative life styles—remember, I was reading Christopher Isherwood when I was in High School.

It is that I think a too early introduction of long term alternatives can sow more confusion than insight.

And, doing in at a Branch Library named after a former First Lady just adds to the roil.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I do acknowledge that I did read a Christopher Isherwood novel while participating, but it was my choice.  That said, we watched Oscar Levant on the TV most weeknights, and Mr Isherwood was a frequent guest.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Who is Skipping the PP&ACA?

For John, BLUFThe PP&ACA is a solution that makes the Left feel good, but it doesn't make things better.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Washington Free Beacon and Reporter Ali Meyer, on 9 October 2017.

The sub headline is:

79 percent of penalized households made less than $50,000,

On the other hand, the income of Americans is pretty much like a pyramid, with few at the top and many at the bottom.  But, still, that is a lot of folks below $50,000 PA who have elected to not enroll in a PP&ACA approved program.
There were 6,665,480 households who chose to pay the Obamacare penalty in that year rather than signing up for Affordable Care Act coverage. They paid a total of $3,079,255,000.

Of the 6.7 million households who chose to pay a penalty, 37 percent—2.5 million households—earned a salary less than $25,000 per year. There were 5.2 million households that earned a salary less than $50,000 per year who decided to pay the penalty, which totaled 79 percent of households paying the penalty. Finally, 92 percent of the households—6.1 million households—paid the penalty and earned less than $75,000 a year.

That is a lot of low income folks who are willing to pay the avoidance tax.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Well, the $250,000 and above is a long line, but if we ran in $5000 increments there would be a lot more lines and a lot shorter.  In fact, the next to top line gathers up ten of the lower increments and thus is ten times over its natural size.
  So, who are we really helping with the PP&ACA?  At least as interesting is the question of if ten percent of Mr Trump's November vote came from those paying the PP&ACA Penalty Tax.