Sunday, December 15, 2019
A Federalist 57 Website
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

An Open Letter to the President of Russia, H.E. Vladimir Putin


December 5, 2019 --

Dear President Putin,

This letter is prompted by the story on the front page of The New York Times, November 23, that Russia has long been engaged in a campaign to frame Ukraine for your hacking of the 2016 U.S. election, "according to three American officials."  The story also reported that, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, "Moscow is likely to redouble its efforts as the 2020 presidential campaign intensifies." The reason for this letter is not to ask you, specifically, about meddling in U.S. elections, but to ask if you have been sowing discord in the U.S.

This question occurs to me because the  Times story reported that the revelations about your efforts to frame Ukraine, "demonstrate Russia's persistence in trying to sow discord among its adversaries...."   The words "sow discord" called to mind a similar  assertion in the Mueller Report -  that Russia's Internet Research Agency "conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system."  The striking similarity of the images in the Times and the Mueller Report have whetted my curiousity.

Mr. President, permit me to raise a few questions here. Have you been sowing discord in America?  If so, how is this accomplished?   If not, do you think it is just a coincidence that months after the Mueller Report used the words "sowing discord," attributed to a Russian source, The New York Times  used the same words in connection with your attempt to frame Ukraine.   

Mr. President, a newspaper as formerly prestigious as The New York Times should know that this is not the first time you have expressed concern about Ukraine's gratuitous comments about  President Trump. Curiously, however, the Times article of November 23 did not mention that three years ago, Politico reported  a story with this headline:  "Russia accuses Ukraine of sabotaging Trump."   According to the Politico story,  your press spokeswoman, Maria Zakhorava, said  that the Ukraine government trashed candidate Trump and damaged his campaign by  leaking information  that Mr. Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort had received a great deal of money  from Ukraine sources.  This Politico article does not seem to point to a frame-up.   The Times itself ran a story, in August 2016 - NYT LINK, reporting that from 2007 to 2012,  according to Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau,  Mr. Manafort received $12.7 million dollars  from the "pro-Russian political party" of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych.  

The Politico story also reported that Ukraine's Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, once called Mr. Trump a "clown" and said he was "an even bigger danger to the U.S. than terrorism."  A subsequent Politico story, January 11, 2017, "Ukraine efforts to sabotage Trump backfire," also included the  insulting comments made by Mr. Avakov,  and this one from former Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk: that Mr. Trump "'challenged the very values of the free world.'"   Interestingly, I found from a google search - and not  from the impeachment inquiry testimony of Mr. George Kent or Ambassador William Taylor -- that Arsen Avakov is again Ukraine's interior minister, serving in the cabinet of Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, at 35, the youngest prime minister of Ukraine.   

(The prime minister was installed August 29.  Does this suggest that there was no government in place in Ukraine to accept the military aid that is the subject of the present impeachment inquiry?)

Perhaps the presence of Mr. Avakov in President Zelensky's government is heartening to certain columnnists and media outlets in the U.S.  By the way. do you know thaT Mr. Zelensky's press spokeswoman is Iuliia Mendel, who  covered Ukraine for the Times?   Have you ever thought of hiring a Times correspondent as your press spokesman?  Ii might reduce the severe coverage you receive  in this paper.  Just a thought.

Mr. President, please allow a thought about that "sow discord"  comment.  Paul Krugman, in his November 22 article asserted:  The G.O.P. [it stands for Grand Old Party. referring to Republicans] is now a thoroughly corrrupt party."   Former national security adviser Susan Rice, writing in the Times, November 23, followed up by accusing Republicans of "seemingly stop[ping] at nothing to destroy faith in our public servants." She went on to declare "it is now apparent that most Republicans in Congress have abandoned all semblance of serving the national interest." It does seem that not just the president, but his party, stand accused of betraying the country.

Mr. President, the comments directed at Republicans from certain columnists in the United States and from former officials in the Obama administration suggest that there is no need for you to try to "sow discord" in America.   There clearly seems to be not a few people in the U.S. willing to engage in the exercise for you.

On another subject, Mr. President, please accept my sincere compliments on your decision to meet with your namesake (Ukrainian-style) President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris, December 9, joined by French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel.   If President Zelensky is at all like his alter ego, Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko, I am confident that you will begin a successful peace process for Donbas and settlement of the problem of Crimea, cognizant of the fact that some 65% of Crimeans are Russian.

Indeed, it would be a matter of high irony if the presidents of Russia and Ukraine announced  reconciliation the Same day that articles of impeachment were announced with Ukraine as rationale.

Before ending, here is a quote from Henry A. Kissinger that might be of some use:  "The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country."

Accept, Excellency, assurances of my highest consideration,

D. R. Zukerman,
for Lonely Pamphleteer Review


Red Line

The New York Times Version

(November 21 editorial,
"Implicating the President and His Men")

December 5, 2019 --

There is already abundant evidence that Mr. Trump has abused his power, holding out hundreds of millions of dollars to secure a bribe from a foreign government he wanted to investigate his political rival. In the process, he undermined American national security, and he is continuing to obstruct efforts by a coequal branch of government to get to the bottom of what happened.

The LPR version, but  with reference to former Vice President Joseph Biden.

There is already the evidence, by means of  a video recording, that Mr. Biden, as the U.S. official in charge of Ukraine policy, abused his power holding out $1 billion in loan guarantees, to get Ukraine to dismiss the prosecutor investigating the company that made his son Hunter a director, and paid him tens of thousands a month. In the process he undermined the rule of law in Ukraine and he is continuing to obstruct justice by effectively erecting a wall of immunity around his presidential candidacy.


Red Line

The New York Times Prints an
President Trump

December 5, 2019 --

Wonder of wonders. The New York Times published an op-ed November 21 from Daniel McCarthy, editor of Modern Age. It was titled: "Trump Is Doing  What He Was Elected to Do."   

The editorial pointed out that Ukraine prosecutors "took an interest" in Burisma years before the election of President Trump. The "norms" of Washington, from foreign policy to the  legal  enrichment of insiders, "are seen by Mr. Trump and his voters as the source of the country's ills.   McCarthy wrote  that "[t]hese norms are personified "in politicians like Mr. Biden and Hillary Clinton, well as in much of the permanent bureaucracy -- the 'deep state."  "Democrats," McCarthy noted, "are in the habit of assuming [the president's] guilt."  He continued, So, unsurprisingly, when President Trump's foes look at his behavior toward Ukraine, they see only an obvious case for impeachment."

While the president's adversaries "treat norms as if they were laws," he "openly campaigned in 2016 as someone who would rescind the nonlegal norms of American politics."   

As McCarthy observed, "The questions here are political one, involving noty crimes but deep disagreements about America's role in the world and the role of the world's interested parties in influencing American policies and the politicians who make them. The price of being a world power is that 'the swamp' extends beyond our borders, Mr. Trump wants to change that." In short, the Democrats seek to protect Mr. Biden from being investigated about  his son's involvement with Burisma.  If this has nothing to do with the power of "the swamp," Democrats, arguably, would not accuse Mr. Trump of playing politics; they would welcome an investigation of the involvement of Americans with the possible corruption of a Ukraine company.

(The Times made up for publishing  this incisive op-ed by writing a long editorial, the same day, insinuating that President Trump was indeed guilty of "impeachable offenses" and "federal crimes." And on November 23, Bret Stephens, opened his column with this lead: "Donald Trump ought to be impeached and removed from office.")


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Red Line

There Was, However, a Curious Reply to the McCarthy Op-ed   

December 5, 2019 --

On November 22, the day after the Daniel McCarthy op-ed was published in The New York Times, the paper published two letters in reply that chided McCarthy and damned the president. One letter, from Daniel Fisher, of Bozeman, Montana, included this sentence: "So Mr. McCarthy is right when he says that, for Mr. Trump, 'the personal is political.'"   

Now the McCarthy op-ed contained this question, at the end of the lead paragraph: "But has [President Trump] used that power [of his office] for personal gain?" Nowhere in the op-ed did  McCarthy write that, as to the president, '''the personal is political.'" 

Apparently, not only do Democrats assume President Trump is guilty; they fabricate quotes with which to smear him.


Red Line

Attorney General William Barr
(on the Mindset of the Resistance)

December 5, 2019 --

The following is taken from the November 15, 2019  address given by  the attorney general's 19th Annual Barbara K Olson Lecture to the Federalist Society. 

"Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called 'The Resistance,' and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration. Now, 'resistance' is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate....
What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the 'loyal opposition,' as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary. a duly elected government."

This important lecture also had trenchant observations how Congress and the federal courts have been encroaching on the constitutional authority of the president. 

 As Federalist No. 48 (Madison) pointed out:  "It is...evident that none of [the departments of government] ought to possess, directly or indirectly,  an overruling influence over the others in the administration of their respective powers.

It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it."  LPR highly  recommends the text of the attorney general's  lecture.  Please click here to view.   

(Barbara Olson was a noted  lawyer and tv commentator. She was married to  Theodore Olson, also a noted lawyer.  On September 11, 2001, Ms. Olson was on American Airlines flight 77, en route  to appear on Bill Maher's program, Politically Incorrect.  She had been scheduled to fly to California on September 10, but stayed a day later to be with her husband, the morning of his birthday, September  11. The plane was flown into the Pentagon, one of the four planes tragically destroyed that terrible day.    [Information source: Wikipedia.])

"A vote that represents free will is never wasted"
-- David Zukerman

Red Line

Plagiarizing the plagiarizer?

December 5, 2019 --

Last June, in a campaign speech in Iowa, former vice president Joseph R. Biden denounced President Trump as "an existential threat to America."   According to The New York Times, November 25, Mike Bloomberg, announcing his presidential candidacy, issued a statement that accused the president of representing "'an existential threat to our country and our values.'"  (LPR will acknowledge  that Mr. Trump may well be an  existential threat to "the swamp.")  

Mr. Bloomberg, by the way, says he will not ask people to donate to his campaign.  Considering that he is said to be worth more than $50 billion, wouldn't it be chutzpah for such a fabulously rich man to ask people to for money. 

LPR wonders if one Bloomberg campaign theme will be:  Vote for Mike, you have nothing to lose but big sodas. 

(In 2012, as mayor, Mr. Bloomberg got a law passed banning sodas larger than 16 ounces from restaurants. The New York courts rejected the law as unconstitutional.  As president, among other things, could he get the FCC to ban soda commercials from TV?)



Red Line

Hamilton explains why the Senate was given the authority of "a court for the trial of impeachments."

December 5, 2019 --

Alexander Hamilton, commenting on impeachment in Federalist No. 65, remarked "that the most conspicuous characters in it will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny."   

(Not neutral:  Chairman Schiff ,who has called the president a "charlatan," among other insults; and the imperious Speaker Pelosi who regards the president, among other smears, as an "impostor?")


Hamilton  then added that the constitutional convention, "it appears, thought the Senate the most fit depositary of this important trust  [ruling on articles of impeachment drafted by the House of Representatives].


Red Line

Et tu, Gerald Seib? -- 
With Some Follow-up 

December 5, 2019 --

Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib, writing in his November 26 column,  asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin  "must be amazed" at his success in "sowing discord within the U.S. political system." 

(LPR is getting to think that the "sowing discord" cliche represents media acceptance of the assertion to that effect,  stated at the beginning of the Mueller Report.)   

Mr. Seib then took note of  the forthcoming talks [December 9] between President Putin and Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky,  and suggested that because of "domestic U.S.  political fights" concerning Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky is likely to be  "less certain of support from Washington in his country's confrontation with Russia."   

LPR here offers a variation on that theme.

What if President Zelensky decided to  imagine the way  his fictional tv character would respond to President Trump's request that he  speak with Attorney General Barr and Rudy Giuliani; and Democratic senators telling him to talk to the State Department? 

What if Mr. Zelensky's fictional president  -- Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko --  advised "no good will come from this," and suggested that his real-life counterpart  do an end run around the squabbling Americans by dealing directly with Putin?" 

Holoborodko would continue,   "The art of the deal, as the Donald might call it.   And with the Ukraine problem settled, Ukraine would break free of the  political tug of war between the Democrats and the Donald."    "Excellent advice,"  Mr. Zelensky would tell "President Holoborodko," who would respond, " plus, this might get you and Putin the Nobel Peace Prize!"


Red Line

Dr. Fiona Hill Gives Chairman  Schiff What He Wanted;
Anti-Trump Innuendo

December 5, 2019 --

The New York Times, in its lead editorial November 22 quoted from Dr. Hill's testimony before the House impeachment inquiry, November 21.   

She was  said to have warned that the goal of Russia "'is to weaken our country.'"  She was further quoted as saying that attention should be paid "' [i]f the president, or anybody else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests...."    Finally, the editorial quoted Dr. Hill  as telling the inquiry, "I believe that those who have information that the Congress deems relevant have a legal and a moral obligation to provide it....'"  ( But relevant testimony from the anonymous "whistleblower" was not allowed.)

Dr. Hill's two-year service on the National Security Council ended this past  July.  She left government a week before the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky.   

Her testimony, therefore, could not relevant to the facts and allegations arising from  that phone call.    

LPR concludes that Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the impeachment committee, called Dr. Hill  to provide innuendo that President Trump was betraying the nation, as part of the Democrats' strategy to undermine the Trump administration. 




Red Line

News on the
Inspector General Front

December 5, 2019 --

The New York Times reported on its front page, November 23, that the report of the inspector  general of the Department of Justice will be released on December 9, and is expected "to absolve" the leaders of the FBI of anti-Trump bias. 

According to the Times, the IG's report criticizes "lower-level" officials at the FBI, including lawyer Kevin Clinesmith "who expressed animus toward Mr. Trump in text messages and resigned about two months ago...." 

Readers would have had to turn to page 21 to find in the middle of column 2 the specific implication that FBI Lawyer Clinesmith was on the staff of the special counsel, by reporting that he  "was among the FBI officials removed by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, after [Inspector General Michael E.]  Horowitz found text messages expressing political ani,us against Mr. Trump."   

LPR looks forward to the IG rep;ort -- and even more, to the Durham Report on the origins of Russiagate.   By the way, Chairman Schiff, as others have noted, went around  making the false claim that he had evidence that the president colluded with the Russians to get elected. How can an official who spread such false information be made chairman of  the committee that will draft articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump, including an article to the effect that he sought to collude with Ukraine to gain re-election in 2020?   

Indeed, how can the United States Senate take seriously any action against the president from a committee chaired by someone who regards Mr. Trump as a charlatan, an insult directed not only against the president, but against the people who elected him?

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December 5, 2019 --

On the Bloomberg Candidacy …

Concerning the announcement by Michael Bloomberg that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, LPR will stand by this link, written 14 year ago. CLICK HERE TO VIEW. Under Mayor Bloomberg, in February 2005, the LPR mobile with Shana inside was towed from Manhattan to a car pound in Brooklyn.

Mr. Seib Wasn't Through, Though

In his November 26 column, Mr. Seib went on to suggest that "Russian disinformation was unleashed in an attempt to convince citizens to vote in 2016 to leave the European Union."   How busy the U.S.S,R. -- sorry, the Russian --  Bureau of Disinformation was that fateful year of 2016, what with the American election to meddle in as well.    Mr. Seib curiously added that Prime Minister Boris Johnson  -- refusing to disclose an intelligence report "on Brexit interference"  --  ignited "a partisan argument just as Britain heads towards a new national election."   How dare Vladimir  inject partisanship into  elections, in the West, or anywhere.   Everyone knows the deep state has ruled that elections in the West are supposed to be between Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum, with the "winner" doing as the deep state directs.

Two Example from the Adversary Media, Slumbering before January 20, 2017, and  Now Wide Awake …

From Bret Stephens, New York Times, November 23:

"Donald Trump ought to be impeached and removed from office."

And this  lead sentence in  a news article on the president, November 23:

"President Trump unleashed a series of falsehoods on Friday in an effort to invalidate the impeachment inquiry and counter sworn testimony from officials in his own administration, after a week of damaging public hearings."

The LPR Political Crystal Ball, or How the GOP Regains the Backing of Suburban Women …

This prediction is prompted by reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being urged by Republicans to run for senator from Kansas.   It will,  probably, be  conceded that if Secretary Pompeo does run for the U. S. Senate, he will be succeeded by former UN ambassador Nikki Haley.    (It is not unusual at the UN for an  ambassadors to  be promoted to  foreign minister.)    If the Trump-Pence ticket is re-elected, Ms. Haley would be a likely candidate for vice president on the 2024 ticket, headed by  Mike Pence for president.  If President Pence were to be elected to two terms, Vice President Nikki Haley, in 2032, would be the first woman to run for president on the Republican ticket.  And  Ms. Haley  would make U.S. political history by picking Senator (currently Congresswoman) Elise Stefanik to be vice president.   The Republican Party --the first party to have an all-women national  political ticket.  All they need do, right now,   is to get past impeachment,  bring Ms. Haley to the State Department, and re-elect the Trump - Pence ticket.


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