Wednesday, May 27, 2020
A Federalist 57 Website
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

The National Motto Is Not
"In Dr. Fauci We Trust"


May 19, 2020 --

Dr. Anthony Fauci has placed himself into stay-at-home quarantine. LPR would go further to suggest that Dr. Fauci, after so many years of productive public service to the nation, go into retirement, particularly as symbol to public officials who are becoming afflicted with the enjoyment of power. 

This affliction was called to our attention recently by the case of the Texas judge who was earning his living by sentencing to the hoosegow a salon (not saloon) owner who insisted on earning her living. Fortunately, the governor of Texas stepped in before the seven-day sentence had run its course.

LPR is concerned that Dr. Fauci, in bringing to the fore worst case scenarios, has become something of a worry wart.  But as my late father, Sol Zukerman noted, "You can't live forever," a fact documented by my reference to him as "my late father."

Or consider the closing line of the wonderful boxing movie, "Body and Soul," where the champion, played by John Garfield,  who won a match he was supposed to lose, told the gambler, "What are you going to do, kill me?  Everybody  dies."

Dr. Fauci, everybody dies - even if we stay at home.  And if everybody stays at home, doesn't the nation become paralyzed -- leading to the death of society?  If we are going to hold, better that we stay at home, than one person should die from COVID-19, are we next to say, better that we stay at home, ,than that one person should die in an auto accident? 

There is no such thing as risk-free life, however much we seem to have taken steps in that direction, by making it against the law to ride in a car without a seatbelt buckled, or making it against the law to some in many venues.  And see how these laws and rules and regulations interfere with individual liberty -- to the point that, at present, home confinement has been imposed on all persons who do not come within the unwritten parameters of "nonessential work."  Where is the place for the concept of "nonessential work" in a land of liberty where all have the freedom to follow one's calling, except in the precincts of those arrogant souls who puff themselves up  to dismiss their fellows as "deplorables?"

President Trump should, and seems on the way to, federalizing the limits of governors to act as petty tyrants.  It seems not entirely coincidental that those governors who would maintain the brakes on normal living, thus causing economic difficulties for all, are Democratic governors.   This, in turn, would suggest, certainly, that Democratic governors are not above politicizing COVID-19 as a re-election 
preventive for Mr. Trump. Republican officials and office-seekers, take note.

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Red Line

The Matter of Former Lt. General Michael Flynn

May 19, 2020 --

And so the battle of November 8, 2016 continues. What, otherwise, could be the significance of the continuing legal turmoil affecting former Lt. General Flynn?

LPR believes he was prosecuted by the Office of Special Counsel in the hopes of that office of making some kind of legal case against President Trump. In turn, the people behind establishment of that office, including top officials at The New York Times, wanted the special counsel office to come up with some dirt that could be used to discredit, and remove from office, President  Trump.  Only a few days before Robert Mueller was named special counsel, The New York Times, in the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, had called for appointment of a special counsel, appointed without the knowledge of the president!

Before going further, LPR would call its clicksters attention to the self-defeating passivity of congressional Republlcans, who, although in control of both houses of Congress, could not prevent House and Senate inquiries of Russian alleged involvement in the 2016 elections.  These hearings dragged on throughout the congressional terms and did the Republicans no good, but served the purpose of the Democrats in calling into questions, without basis in fact, the legitimacy of the 2016 election.  The only problem with that election was the fact that Mr. Trump, generally, was considered a surprise winner.  Republican passivity enabled the Democrats and their media cohort to maintain the lie of Russian Trump collusion, a lie which is believed a major factor in the Democrat House victory, November 2018, a win that has cost the country   so much, literally and figuratively, in 2019 and 2020. 

(But the surprise of 2016 was likely premised on the inaccuracy of the political polls which, in turn, could have been based on the unwillingness of numbers of Trump supporters to tell pollsters that they back "the Donald.")

Information concerning the Flynn matter can be found in the pages of The Mueller Report, recent news reports on Flynn developments.  The Mueller Report does not mention, so far as LPR could determine, the January 5, 2017 White House meeting during which President Obama discussed the Flynn-Kislyak contacts of the previous recent days. 

Apparently, Flynn first contacted Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the third week in December, 2016, at the behest of Trump son-on-law Jared Kushner, on the matter of a UN Security Council vote against Israeli settlements on what the UN regarded as Palestinian Arab territory.

(LPR has no doubt that Mr. Kushner is a very able, and, certainly, loyal member of the Trump administration, but would simply note that there is a point where the service of an able, loyal relative can turn into nepotism, the enemy of clear-thinking in any organization.)  Other Trump transition members were also working on this issue; none of the efforts came to fruition.

The other issue Flynn discussed with Kislyak, the end of the year was the Russian response to anti-Russia sanctions imposed by President Obama, December 29.

Flynn (along with other members of the Trump Transition did not want Russia to escalate the issue.  The Mueller report makes clear that Flynn consulted with his deputy, K.T. McFarland, before discussing the issue with Kislyak, and that other members of the transition team weere aware of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations.

It is not clear how many team members were aware that the conversations mentioned the sanctions issue. On December 31, 2016, Kislyal informed Flynn that Russia would not retaliate.

On January 24, 2017, Flynn agreed to an FBI interview.  As Attorney General Barr indicated, the FBI art that time had no material reason to interview Flynn and, accordingly, it would seem to follow that Flynn could have discussed with them his belief that the moon was made of green cheese. That is to say, as LPR believes, the agents, sent by Comey, had no official reasonn to discuss anything with Flynn, much less whether he discussed sanctions with Kislyak. And bear in mind that based on surveillance of Kislyank, the president (and presumbably the FBI) already knew what Flynn had discussed with Kislyak.

Two days later, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, with a senior Justice Department national security adviser, Mary McCord,  met White House Counsel Donald McGahn, with a White House counsel James Burnham, to tell him that the vice president made untrue statements in denying that Flynn and Kislyak talked about sanctions.

The Mueller report then has Yates telling McGahn that Flynn was interviewed by the FBI and gave them denials on the sanctions discussion with Kislyank that he gave to Pence. The Mueller Report also notes that The Washington Post reported on February 9 that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyank. 

Presently, we don't know who leaked (unmasked) Flynn to The Washington Post, on that sanctions talk. Such unmasking, LPR understands, is a violation of law.

Eventually, Mueller's office took up the matter, leading to the guilty plea that Flynn entered before Judge Rudolph Cabreras, December 1, 2017, along with a statement worthy of an old Bolshevik appearing before Prosecutor Andrei Vishinsky at a 1930's Moscow show trial.   After taking the guilty plea, Jude Cabreras recused and the matter was turned over to Judge Emmet Sullivan, who has yet to act on the Justice Department's withdrawal of the guilty plea.  On May 13, Judge Sullivan asked retired Judge John Gleeson to see whether Flynn should be held in criminal contempt for  perjury for withdrawing his guilty plea given voluntarily and  under oath, December 1, 2017. 

Flynn's new lawyer is Sidney Powell.  LPR will be very interested that if, in challenging the obstacles Judge Sullivan seems intent on continuing to place before her client, she will "unmask" any indicia of coercion that made it possible for Flynn to plead, abjectly, to facts that provide no basis in the first place to arrive at a determination of guilt.



Red Line

Thank You People of Ukraine

May 19, 2020 --

So far this month you are second, so far, on LPR's country list, ahead of China and below the U.S.  LPR continues to hope that President Zelensky will put forth a plan to get Russian and Cuban troops  out of Venezuela, as part of a package that will settle the Donbass problem, including pulling back NATO troops from Russia's borders, and leaving Donbass to the people of the area.  LPR believes Russia has no place in Venezuela, and LPR would also have  to admit that aggressive NATO forces should not threaten Russian territory -- allowing the large amount  of border-shifting after World War II. Say, how come the UN doesn't point out to the Palestinians that the aftermath of World War II teaches that the losing side in war will incur territorial changes.




Red Line

Two LPR Observations re: Flynn

May 19, 2020 --

The New York Times published a hysterical editorial denouncing Attorney General Barr for withdrawing Flynn's guilty plea.

LPR is reminded of an old legal saw, in this regard, which LPR will set down as follows: if you have the facts,  pound the facts; if you have the law, pound the law, if you have neither, pound the computer.

In its article on the Flynn guilty plea, Politico went on to provide former FBI director Comey quote, re the guilty plea, from Amos 5:24 -- "'But [let] justice roll down like water and righteousness like an everflowing stream.'"   

LPR wonders if before "Obamagate" is played out, Mr. Comey shall find himself drenched with water.'"

One More LPR Observation

The Flynn matter might make more sense to LPR if it were a scenario devised by the President  to get to the truth about Obamagate, in the manner of a le Carre novel, with Flynn in the role of Alec Leamas.



Red Line

The Latest Example of Disinformation at
The New York Times

May 19, 2020 --

A May 15 New York Times news article, by Adam Goldman and Mark Mazzetti, sought to portray former Trump National Security Adviser as having lied, contrary to law, about the  December 29, 2016 conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, seeking to get Russia not to retaliate for anti-Russian sanctions imposed by President Obama, just after midnight, December 29, 2016. 

This conversation led to a guilty plea by Flynn that he had lied.  Thereafter Flynn sought to withdraw his guilty plea and recently Attorney General Barr agreed to withdrawal of the guilty plea as appropriate under the circumstances, in that the relevant statute calls for  lying to be about matters of materiality.   

LPR understands that whatever lies Flynn stated during a January 24, 2017 "interview," Goldman and Mazzett first called it in their May 15 piece, could not have been material to the subject matter that had been of interest to the FBI: Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

That January 24, 2014 interview (Goldman and Mazzettoi did not give the date in their story) concerned a matter, Russia's response to sanctions,  that came up weeks after the election.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates learned about the Flynn-Kislyak phone conversation from President Obama at a White House meeting January 5.  Information about the Flynn-Kislyak December 29 conversation was then leaked to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius who raised questions about the conversation in his January 12, 2017 column.  Last week, we learned that Vice President Biden, who was also at the January 5, 2017 White House meeting, unmasked Flynn to columnist Ignatius, January 12.    Nothing about Yates and Biden appear in the May 15 Times article. 

(Yates is mentioned in The Mueller Report as the person who told White House Counsel Donald  McGahn that Vice President Pence was wrong to deny that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions.  And The Mueller Report also suggests that once the issue became a topic of discussion among Trump officials, things led downhill, quickly enough for Flynn, who was asked to resign February 13, 2017.)

The Times piece does report that Vice President Pence, appearing on "Face the Nation" January 15, 2017, was asked about the Flynn-Kislyak December 29 conversation.

The Times quotes Pence saying on the program: "'[Flynn and Kislyak] did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,' the vice president said."  Arguably, this Pence statement leaves room to contend that Flynn-Kislyak discussion was of a different order on sanctions than the anti-Flynn forces would have it.

In any event, by ignoring the matter of materiality, and raising the level of the FBI-Flynn meeting as an "interrogation," the Times has departed from honest journalism.

LPR has understood, from reading The Mueller Report that Flynn (and the Trump Transition Team) did not want Russia to escalate tensions with Washington, and Flynn asked Kislyak to pass along a request that Moscow not retaliate.

The Times article accurately reported that Russia President Putin agreed not to retaliate and Goldman and Mazzetti added that President Obama "was perplexed" that Russia did not escalate matters.

(This  leaves one to wonder if President Obama wanted tensions heightening between Washington and Moscow as President Trump was preparing to take office.)

Goldman and Mazzetti mentioned the FBI meeting with Flynn as an "interview," two more times, and then had Trump administration attorneys wondering "whether Mr. Flynn might have committed a felony by making false statements during the interrogation."   

LPR has no doubt that for the media, every confrontation with members of the Trump Administration should be an "interrogation" giving rise to allegations of lying.

This, after all, is what disinformation is all about.


Red Line

Jerry Stiller

May 19, 2020 --

LPR vaguely recalls the appearances of Jerry Stiller and his wife Anne Meara on the Ed Sullivan TV Show.  Reportedly there were some three dozen appearances, and LPR has a hunch they may have had something to do with Stiller and Meara being the mirror image of Ed Sullivan and his wife Sylvia Weinstein Sullivan.  Where Stiller was Jewish and Meara Catholic; Sullivan was Catholic and his wife was Jewish.

LPR once saw Stiller and Meara on the 57th Street crosstown bus in Manhattan.  They were not heading to a showbiz appearance.  Jerry was not pleased.  They were heading to the pier where illegally parked cars were towed.  Outside the 2004 Tonys, at Radio City, LPR caught this image of Jerry signing his autograph.  The New York Times obit of Jerry, who passed away on passed away pointed out that he appeared less than 30 of the Seinfeld tv shows.  Amazingly, in restrospect, his character, Frank Costanza, father of George, in mind's eye, seemed to be a much more major, and hysterically funny, personality on the program.  And how well loved a Seinfeld character he was.

From the LPR Archives: June 6, 2004 - The Tonys - Jerry Stiller.


A belated Seinfeld idea

The last Seinfeld had Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine going off to jail, just as Jerry was about to get an NBC series.  Too bad, years, later, there was never a Seinfeld special, about their release from jail, going directly to the studio to arrange the start of the series disrupted when they were sent to the hoosegow.

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-- David Zukerman
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May 19, 2020 --

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin …

… how about this interesting idea from my cousin Herb Zukerman,  a leading  Virginia Beach. Virginia certified public  accountant?  Herb suggests that restrictions on persons under 60, not vulnerable targets of COVID-19, be removed, while persons over 60, vulnerable  to the coronavirus, are  qualified for social security so that, while under stay-at-home restriction, they will have some source of money.  

Concerning Judge Sullivan's appeal for amicus brief explanations why  the Flynn guilty plea should not be withdrawn …

… Is Judge Sullivan hoping to hear from the #Me Too movement?

On comparing COVID-19 fatalities with earlier predictions …

No reason why a cottage industry should not emerge, in the weeks ahead, reminding people what "experts" and media said about COVID-19 in January, February and March.  LPR here presents one example, from an op-ed, by Niall Ferguson, in The Wall Street Journal, last March 9.

"If as many Americans catch COVID-19 as caught swine flue, the death toll could exceed 400,000."   

According to Statista, as of May 14, U.S. COVID-19 deaths totaled about 84,000 -- so far, less than one-quarter Ferguson's speculation, two months ago.


If we don't speak out against economic bullying by Oil, Credit Cards, Municipalities, WHO WILL?

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