.
 
Saturday, July 20, 2019
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Chez Reavie Wins the
2019 Travelers Championship

 

July 5, 2019 --

Chez Reavie is a 37-year old golf pro who tied for third in the U.S. Open, last month, with a 277, three strokes behind Brooks Koepka, who finished second with a 274, three strokes behind the 2019 U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland's 271.

On June 23, Reavie won the Travelers Championship, in Cromwell, Conn., carding a 263, 17 strokes below par. Koepka also competed in the Travelers but this time he finished tied for 57th, with an even par 280.

The Travelers was Reavie's second victory on the PGA tour. his first, in his rookie year, occurred in the Canadian Open, 11 years ago. But even without piling up victories, Reavie has earned from $1 million to over $2 million the last three years on tour.

The Travelers is the only PGA tournament in New England this season.

Kyle Porter of CBS Sports noted, after the Travelers, that Koepka has finished tied for second or better in five of the last six majors, but tied for 50th or worse in five of his last six non-majors. The next and last major of 2019 will be the British Open in Northern Ireland, July 18 - 21. And as this is a major, the golf world will expect Koepka to finish high up on the leaderboard. But also keep an eye on Woodland and Reavie.

 

Red Line

On Elevating Criticism into an Attack on the Free Press

July 5, 2019 --

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger believes that "every patriotic American" should be concerned about the president's "campaign against journalists." Writing in an op-ed piece June 20 in The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Sulzberger was responding to President Trump's charge that The New York Times, on June 16 "committed 'a virtual act of treason' for reporting that the U.S. Cyber Command had made a cyber intrusion in Russia's electrical grid. Interestingly, while writing that the Times was accused of a crime punishable by death, Mr. Sulzberger acknowledged that many media outlets, including the Times, didn't report the accusation, "a sign of how inured we've grown to such rhetorical recklessness." Mr. Sulzberger continued, "But this new attack crosses a dangerous line in the president's campaign against a free and independent press." "What is left,"
Mr. Sulzberger asked, "but putting his threats into action?"

For LPR, it was more significant that the Times article suggested that the president was not briefed on the intrusion against Russia because officials feared he would either countermand the action, or speak about it in conversation with Russian officials. The article went on to report that under applicable law, this type of military action did not require a presidential briefing, but it risked "escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow."

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, on Face the Nation, June 16 told moderator Margaret Brennan that he was "most" disturbed that security officials felt they could not brief the president on the cyber attack fearing he would tell the Russians, or countermand the action "because of the President's obsequious attitude towards Russia." Ms. Brennan asked if Chairman Schiff was "still suggesting that the President may be a Russian asset." In response, the chairman pointed to concern at the FBI "that people around the President and ultimately the President might be acting as witting or unwitting agent of a foreign power." Ms. Brennan did not seek further explanation from Mr. Schiff.

And so the insinuations from the left, in Congress and in the media, attacking President Trump's loyalty to the U.S., continue. The anti-Trump stance of The New York Times gives the lie to Mr. Sulzberger's assertion in his Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that his paper is committed to fair and accurate reporting "even when we are under attack." At The New York Times. criticism of the media is considered an attack on a free press.

The Times made clear its anti-Trump stance, certainly by August 21, 2016, when it indicated that even if Donald Trump is defeated in the presidential race, "[t]he message of hatred and paranoia that is inciting millions of voters will outlast the messenger." The editorial then asserted, "The toxic effects of Trumpism will have to be addressed." Just about every day, in its opinion columns, or editorials, and even in the news columns, The New York Times is apparently bent on addressing "[t]he toxic effects of Trumpism." And how best can this be accomplished if not, first, by ousting the president?

A letter writer to The Wall Street Journal, June 24, Les Dawson of Phoenix, asked Mr. Sulzberger to point to journalists jailed by the president, or newspapers forced to close, or broadcast licenses termination "or for that matter, any actions he has taken to restrict a free and fair press." All that President Trump has done is use his First Amendment rights to reply to media attacks that include accusations that he is traitor. See, for example
the Charles Blow column in the July 16, 2018 New York Times asserting: "America is being betrayed by its own president. America is under attack and its president absolutely refuses to defend it." He added, "Simp[ly put, Trump[ is a traitor and may well be treasonous. And what are the accusations of collusion if not accusations of treason by other means?

The left's propaganda campaign to oust President Trump calls to mind the extreme right-wing denunciations, in the '40's and '50's, of liberals as communistic traitors. (LPR recalls that such attacks were even leveled against President Eisenhower.) The left, today, may attack Trump voters as people motivated by "hate and paranoia," but this invidious mindset seems to inform current leftist anti-Trump propaganda. It cannot be expected that the denunciations of President Trump will end before the next presidential election, November 3, and, indeed, will continue into a second Trump term, if he is re-elected. The left, borrowing from the Times August 21, 2016 editorial, will continue to "address" what it, quite irrationally, views as toxic Trumpism. At the risk of also being accused of attacking a free press, LPR believes that truth in labeling would require A.G. Sulzberger to change the slogan of The New York Times to: "All the anti-Trump Propaganda That's Fit to Print."

 

Red Line

Why the Mueller Appearance Before Congress?

July 5, 2019 --

The New York Times reported June 26, that former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 17 about hid investigation into collusion and obstruction of justice allegations against President Trump.

The news report noted that Mr. Mueller had said that his report "should speak for itself." On May 29, in a statement to the press, Mr. Mueller said: "There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report." He added that the words in the report were chosen "carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress."

Mr. Mueller also told reporters, May 29, "...I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress. And it's for that reason that I will not be taking questions today as well."

Mr. Mueller's acceptance of the subpoena to appear before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees is clearly inconsistent with his statement to the media May 29. Will he quote that statement to the committees? Will Mr. Mueller limit any answers he may give to quoting from his report? Or is this to be part of a congressional exercise in an extra-constitutional impeachment inquiry orchestrated by House Democrats?

Federalist No. 48 warned "that the powers properly belonging to one of the departments, ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments." The power of impeachment is given to the House of Representatives, and arguably, there is nothing in the Constitution to justify the use of the Justice Department as an arm of House Democrats intent on impeachment.

 
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Red Line

The Jerusalem Summit: a Step to Normalizing U.S. Russian Relations?

July 5, 2019 --

A start, arguably, been made towards normalizing relations between the U.S. and Russia with the "historic" meeting in Jerusalem of the national security advisers of Israel, Russia and the United States -- Meir Ben-Shabbat, Nikolai Patrushev and John Bolton, respectively. The main subject of the summit was the Israel problem. Initial news reports said Russia was siding with Iran against the United States and Israel, but more important is the fact of the participation of Russia at this summit that includes the U.S. and Israel. Mr. Patrishev contended that the U.S. drone shot down by Israel was in Iranian airspace, for example.

LPR would also note, however, that Mr. Patrushev indicated that Russia gives "special attention" to the security of Israel because, in part, of the many Russian Jews now living in Israel.

LPR believes that President Trump should accept the fact of continued malicious attacks from the left on his loyalty and be no more deterred from normalizing relations with Russia than he would be if John Birchers attacked his loyalty for seeking improved ties with Moscow, which, in LPR's view, can be a restraining influence on Tehran.

 

Red Line

The Media Ignores the Visits of Former Presidents to North Korea

July 5, 2019 --

The Democratic candidates for president have criticized President Trump for his latest meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but although the media reported that Mr. Trump was the first "sitting" U.S. president to step, literally, into North Korea, not much notice was taken that Presidents Clinton and Carter, after leaving office, had visited Pyongyang on humanitarian missions, and to improve relations with North Korea, including keeping it from becoming a nuclear power (clearly failing in that aim).

The Democratic reaction, therefore, would seem based more on hypocrisy than principle.

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

Red Line

The first Democratic Debate for 2020, Night One

July 5, 2019 --

Ten Democratic candidates gathered in Miami, June 26 to kick-off the 2020 primary debate season. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, called on first, was asked about concern that her plans for free college, cancelling student debt and breaking -up corporations would be risky for the economy. She indicated that the economy is "doing great" only for the people at the top. This view was echoed by the other participants. The candidates did not acknowledge that the theme that government is corrupt (stated by Warren), and that "we have government that is of, by and for the rich and powerful," (stated by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard) was set forth by President Trump in his Inaugural Address: "For too long, a small group in our Nation's Capital, has reaped the rewards of Government while the people have borne the cost." The president went on to say, "That all changes, starting right here and right now...." For these Democrats, obviously, things have not changed the past two and a half years. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there is plenty of money in the country. "It's just in the wrong hands." The mayor was not asked to elaborate.

Nine of the candidates raised their hands when asked if they would renew the nuclear deal with Iran. Only Sen. Cory Booker dissented, but indicated that he would negotiate a new deal with Iran. LPR wondered if all the candidates would agree to a question whether they would move the U.S. embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, from Jerusalem. LPR also wonders how the candidates would stand on separation-of powers, presently under attack by Congress, in LPR's view.

Beto O'Rourke indicated that he would ask the Justice Department to consider prosecuting Donald Trump after he leaves the White House, but first O'Rourke said he favors an impeachment inquiry.

The candidates were asked what they consider the greatest geopolitical threat to the country. Several, like Sen. Warren, said climate change; others like John Delaney said China. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Donald Trump, and Mayor De Blasio said "Russia, because they're trying to undermine our democracy and they've been doing a good job of it...." The mayor was not asked to explain just how the Russians are undermining our democracy.

Rep. Gabbard was said by the Drudge Report to have won the debate, gaining more than 40% of those polled. Warren came in second with about 12%, followed by Delaney with 8.6 % and De Blasio with 7%. Perhaps the exchange between Ms. Gabbard, arguing, with Rep. Tim Ryan, in favor of a withdrawal from Afghanistan, helped spur interest in the Hawaiian congresswoman. She drew the most search inquiries on Google. Going into the debate her polling was said to be 0.8%. The other participants were Julian Castro, favoring ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, among other things, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who said she can win in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan, states won by President Trump in 2016.

Sen. Warren closed the debate, promising to "fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family."

 

 

Red Line

The Second Night of the First Democratic Debate

July 5, 2019 --

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kemala Harris were among the ten participants in Miami, for the second night, June 27, of the first Democratic presidential debate for the 2020 election. For Mr. Biden, "Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation." Sen. Sanders called the president "a phony,...a pathological liar and a racist." Sen. Harris said that the president is the country's greatest national security threat (echoing Gov. Jay Inslee, the night before). Sen. Harris also chided the former vice president for having said that he got along with segregationist senators, and for having opposed busing to integrate public schools. (Mr. Biden responded that he opposed busing ordered by the Education Department, not busing in general). Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand indicated that President Trump "is hell-bent" on going to war with Iran.

The second-night candidates -- the others are author Marianne Williamson, former Col.,Gov. John Hickenlooper, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang, Col. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Erick Swalwell -- were unanimous in supporting health care for undocumented immigrants, and opposing criminalizing undocumented offenses (including opposition to deportation). not convicted of a crime (other than The latter position suggests that while no person is above the law, the law does not necessary apply to undocumented immigrants. These ten participants also said that health care is a human right, although not all agreed with Sen. Sanders that government should run healthcare. Sen. Sanders, asked by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC what he would do as president if Roe v. Wade were overturned, first said he believed "that constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts.", adding "And that brings new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority I hope that will understand that a woman has the right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run the United States of America." Asked a second time what he would do if Roe v. Wade were overturned, he said: "Medicare for all guarantees every woman in this country the right to have an abortion if she wants it."

( LPR is not aware of a constitutional process "to rotate judges to other courts.")

LPR notes that although the candidates decry wealth inequality, the lead story in The New York Times, March 31, reported that Democrats are keeping quiet their reliance on wealthy donors. According to the article, "The jockeying for major donors remains as intense as ever, but the usual campaign announcements of powerhouse finance committees and boldfaced bundler lists have all but disappeared." The report added that Senators Sanders and Warren "have disavowed the traditional money circuit entirely...."

Mr. Hickenlooper warned that President Trump will be re-elected if Democrats appear to be a socialist party. Sen. Gillibrand said that she supported capitalism, indicating that she opposed "greed."

LPR wonders if Mr. Biden hurt his chance to be the Democratic nominee by declaring that the NRA is not the enemy, the gun manufacturers are. It should be noted that although the candidates decry wealth inequality, the lead story in The New York Times, March 31, reported that Democrats are keeping quiet their reliance on wealthy donors.

The audience both nights cheered the most radical comments. The first round was broadcast on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. The next Democratic debate is in July, on CNN. LPR expects that the party's turn to the left will continue.

 

 

Red Line

LPR Musings ...

July 5, 2019 --

The Yankees in London

The New York Yankees played two games against the Boston Redcoats -- sorry, Red Sox, in London June 29 and 30 -- the first major league baseball games played in England. Boston was the home team although both teams wore their home uniforms. The Yankees won both games, 17-13 and 12 - 8.

LPR is not sure if London's air contributed to the high scores. LPR also is not sure if this series signals the eventual re-uniting of the United Kingdom with her former colonies.

Next season, the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals are scheduled to play in London.

The U.S. Senior Open, in South Bend, Indiana

Steve Stricker won the U.S. Senior Open, June 30, with a 19 under-par 261, including an eight under-par 62 first round.

LPR would note that Tom Watson, 69, matched or bettered his age in three of the four rounds with a two under-par 278 (69-68-73-68), tied for 17th, earning $46, 359. Stricker won $720,000.

Congratulations to...

...Vanderbilt University for defeating the University of Michigan in the NCAA World Series, June 25, coming back from a 7-4 loss, to take the next two games 4-1 and 8-2.

...Nate Lashley for winning his first PGA tour victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, in Detroit, June 30, with a 25 under-par 263, six strokes ahead of runner-up Doc Redman. Lashley's winnings were $1,314,000; Redman won $788,400.

Are the cries of Russian interference and meddling in 2016 never to end?

Former President Jimmy Carter was quoted in The New York Times, June 28, as believing "that Trump didn't actually win" the 2016 election, but "was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf." The article did not explain these curious comments. Similarly, The Wall Street Journal, in a July 1 editorial, asserted that both The Mueller Report and the House and Senate Intelligence committees "have proved beyond doubt that Russia meddled in the election to foment doubt about the result." But, LPR asks, were is the explanation how the meddling was carried out?

 
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July 5, 2019 --

On Interminable Campaigns?

LPR asked a friend is she was going to watch the Democrat debates, June 26 and 27. She replied, "So soon?"

Middle Class Joe?

The Washington Post reported, June 25, that Joe Biden has made millions since leaving office and is living in a house in McLean, Va., with a monthly rental of $20,000. Well, if he gets $200,000 for a talk, he should be able to afford such digs.

The Favorite Democrat?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren got VIP treatment with a cover story in the New York Times Magazine, June 23. Does this suggest that the swamp will settle on her as the Democrats' presidential choice for 2020?

Chairman Nadler: First Judge, then Investigate?

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week," March 4, in part, "We've seen real threats to the rule of law from this White House, whether personal enrichment--the White House seems to have used its power for personal enrichment in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, we've seen abuses of power, obstruction of justice, threats to the Mueller investigation, threats to witnesses, all of these have to be an abuse of -- all of these have to be investigated and laid out to the American people."

LPR wonders ...

... why Sen. Bernie Sanders does not run for president as a democratic-socialist. After all, he is listed as an independent senator and has described himself to be a democratic-soclialist. LPR also wonders if the reason socialism seems to be acceptable to Millennials is, simply, because it sounds nicer than capitalism, and, indeed, considered just a form of sociability.

What if ...

... one presidential "debate" was based on "Jeopardy," with the candidates competing to answer questions about U.S. history, world history, government, political philosophy, court rulings, etc?

 

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