Wednesday, February 26, 2020
A Federalist 57 Website
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

The Roger J. Stone Kerfuffle

 

February 19, 2020 --

The outcry over President Trump's tweet, expressing his outrage at the 7 - 9 year sentence U.S. prosecutors recommended in the case of Roger J. Stone, a friend of the president,  along with Justice Department reconsideration of the excessive recommendation, reminds LPR of the story of Pharaoh at the beginning of Exodus, the pharaoh whose heart kept hardening until he let the children of Israel go, and then had his heart harden even further, till he and his army  met their  doom at the Red Sea, after the children of Israel walked to safety past the divided waters.  The increasingly hardened New York Times heart was indicated in the paper's February 13 editorial, "Mr. Trump's  Rule of Lawlessness." The Times denounced   the president's  harsh criticism of the prosecution of Mr. Stone,  and the original recommended sentence as "alarming behavior, even by the debased standards of this president."  This post-impeachment acquittal expression of anti-Trump  bile  from the left was no doubt exacerbated by withdrawal of four federal prosecutors on the case.

Significantly, two of the Stone prosecutors were on the staff of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation of the president, as pointed out by The Wall Street Journal, in a February 14 editorial. "Trump's Worst Enemy," -- an editorial  that, in chiding the president, said, in part:  "He is helping the Democrats who are running against the Senators who voted to acquit."    But, in LPR's view, as already here indicated, the hearts of the  Democrats and their media cheerleaders will only harden as the presidential campaign proceeds, as the left will not cease, in LPR's view, in seeing President Trump as an illegitimate president who most be removed from office at all costs.   (Note, however, that this view expressed by Joe Biden has not helped his presidential aspirations>)

In the context of the Stone kerfuffle, LPR would point out that he was convicted by a federal jury in the District of Columbia on an indictment brought  by Robert Mueller III.  Why were any members of the Mueller anti-Trump prosecution team involved in the prosecution of Mr. Stone, a prosecution brought in a venue where the members of the jury were not likely to view the president favorably , and, thereefore  the association of Mr. Trump and Mr. Stone likely gave the defense a tough road to hoe.

The invidious nature of the prosecution is clearly indicated by the nature of service by the FBI of the arrest warrant for Mr. Stone. According to CNN, "A number of law enforcement vehicles with silent sirens flashing pulled in front of Stone's home on a darkened Ft. Lauderdale street just after 6 a.m. Friday morning [January 25, 2019]. 

The CNN account, January 25, 2019 continued, "About a dozen officers with heavy weapons and tactical vests fanned out across Stone's lawn."   Were they there to serve an arrest warrant for a domestic terrorist, a serial killer?  Hardly. Mr. Mueller had indicted Mr. Stone, mainly,  for lying to Congress and witness tampering.

LPR does not recall any comment from the president  on the Stone trial, while it was underway. Indeed had the president commented on Mr. Stone's situation while the trial was underway, wouldn't House Democrats have included presidential comments on the Stone case as a third article of impeachment? Still, nothing the president did interfered with the trial.  Those concerned about reaction from the Trump-haters to the president's tweets must realize that the uproar from the left would only be greater were, after sentencing, he pardoned Mr. Stone, as is within the president's constitutional authority. And imagine the firestorm the left will try to ignite should President Trump visit Moscow for its Victory Day commemoration, May 9, open the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism.     

The New York Times reported, February 14, that Attorney General William Barr, interviewed on ABC, rebuked the president for attacking the recommendation by prosecutors of the 7-9 year sentence for Roger Stone.   Buried in the Times story was the report that the attorney general told ABC that he intended to reduce the recommended sentence prior to learning of President Trump's criticism.

LPR would also call its clicksters' attention to this comment, directed in part, against the attorney general, in the February 13 Times editorial:  "As Republicans in Congress abdicate their responsibility to act as a check on the executive and Mr. Trump packs the Justice Department with loyalists like Mr. Barr, the nonpolitical administration of justice depends all the more on career civil servants who have dedicated themselves to upholding the law, and not to  helping a president abuse his office."

The salient point remains,, and LPR is confident Attorney General Barr is well aware of it:   for the Trump-hating crowd, the very fact of the presidency of Donald John Trump constitutes abuse of office.

President Trump should have realized by now that the hearts of Democrats will only harden further in the months ahead, and, more importantly, congressional Republicans should be aware of this -- and recall the lesson of Exodus, those whose hearts increasingly harden in contempt for others are due for come-uppance, themselves.  

 

Red Line

Lonely Should be the Never Trumpers

February 19, 2020 --

The Never Trumper status of Bret Stephens has gone too far, comparing  Mitt Romney to the character played by Kirk Douglas in the wonderful, but heart-rending, movie, "Lonely Are the Brave."

Stephens describes the character, John W.  "Jack" Burns, in part, as "a roaming spirit who won't be stopped by wire fences, prison bars, search helicopters or sadistic lawmen."  How does that description fit the former Massachusetts governor, now U.S. Senator from Utah, who showed he could be stopped in his presidential bid by an aggressive Democrat?

It was not really a brave thing for Sen. Romney to have voted with 47 Senate Democrats to remove President Trump from office. Indeed, merely considering  his remarks vigorously denouncing candidate Trump, at the University of Utah, March 3, 2016 , it might have been surprising had the senator voted with his 52 G.O.P. senate colleagues in favor of acquittal on the Abuse of Power first article of impeachment (he did vote with the other Republican senators on the Obstruction of Congress second article of impeachment). Here are some  quotes from those remarks:

"Let me put it plainly, if we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."    (So far, nearly four years later, that prediction is considerably wide of the mark.)

Here is another quote from Romney, March 3, 2016: "Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS." (Nearly four years later, the "urgent fight against ISIS" seems ended.)

The junior senator from Utah went on, in his March 3, 2016 remarks, to echo the anti-Trump virulence of the left, declaring that candidate Trump lacks "the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader [whose] imagination must not be married to real power." Are we really worse off today than we were on March 3, 2016, under the leadership of a president investigated since taking office, and just recently emerged from the impeachment hoax of the sore-losing Democrats, joined at the anti-Trump hip by the Never Trumpers?

 Just as Sen. Romney had suggested that he would be attacked by candidate Trump for his March 2016 remarks, in his Senate remarks, February 5, announcing his vote to convict,  he  likewise predicted a harsh response from President Trump to. It is not unfair to infer that Mitt Romney would have President Trump be as ineffective in response to personal attack as candidate Romney was ineffective against personal attack from Democrats in 2016.  And after denouncing candidate Trump as "a phony," "a fraud,"  Mr.  Romney concluded his March 2016 attack on Mr. Trump by predicting that, were he to become president, "America would cease to be a shining city on a hill."  Perhaps Sen. Romney should ask those singled out during the State of the Union address, February 4 for all America to see, if they they think President Trump has tarnished our image.  

Apparently, the depth of Romney's hostility towards the president equals the depth of the loathing of columnist Stephens for the president. But does it take bravery for a columnist at The New York Times to loathe President Trump?  Is Mitt Romney, alas, truly lonely in his Trump Derangement Syndrome affliction. Is either the columnist or the senator as brave as Jack Burns?  Of course not.

How inappropriate it was of Mr. Stephens to compare, favorably, Mitt Romney to Jack Burns. But then, a sign of Trump Derangement Syndrome is a talent for inappropriate, invidious comparison, going off the deep end in calling the president "authoritarian,: a "dictator," and worse.


 

Red Line

This February/March Marks the 15th Anniversary of "The Gates"

February 19, 2020 --

This February and March, the question is:  can the mayor who overruled the objection of the New York City bureaucracy to "The Gates" exhibition in Central Park, 15 years ago, these months, work to garner, successfully, the Democratic nomination for president, this summer. 

"The Gates," the creation of the late Jeanne-Claude and Christo, proved a hugely popular event and, not insignificantly, a business boon for Manhattan. Jeanne Claude and Christo conceived the idea of "The Gates" in 1979; it took a quarter-century for a mayor to come along who was simpatico with their vision. 

These fifteen years later, will the former mayor become known as Mighty Mike, the Democrat's challenger to President Trump, November 3?     

For the LPR stories and images of "The Gates," please go to the 2005 archives. 

LPR has a hunch the articles and images, after 15 years, should go viral.

Please click the following link to visit the LPR 2005 Archives --

CLICK HERE

 


From the LPR Archives - 2005 -- Christo and Jeanne-Claude with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

From the LPR Archives - 2005 -- Mayor Mike Bloomberg visiting "The Gates."


From the LPR Archives - 2005 -- Leaving the park, March 11, LPR chatted with an east sider who seemed rueful that he did not have his camera to photograph the last of
"Ther Gates." He did tell LPR, however, that he went to every part of Central Park to see "The Gates,"
visiting places in the park he had never been to.

Asked if he had taken any photographs, he replied immediately, "hundreds."

Given the estimate of some 4 million visitors to "The Gates," how many millions of photographs permanently
record this temporary work of art?

 

Red Line

A Good Question from Prof. Stephen F. Cohen for the President to Answer in the Affirmative

February 19, 2020 --

Prof. Stephen F. Cohen, the noted (and sage) Russian expert, wonders, at the end of his February 3 article in The Nation whether President Trump will accept President Putin's invitation to join him in Red Square for the 75th anniversary of the World War II victory over Nazi Germany. 

The professor believes Mr. Trump should accept the invitation.     

LPR has a hunch, whether or not President Trump goes to Moscow next May depends on whether he has finally freed himself from the muck and mire of "The Swamp." 

 After all, under the Constitution, the direction of foreign policy is the responsibility of the president of the United States, not of bureaucrats -- not even of lt. colonels assigned to the White House.

Now that he has triumphed over the dark forces that sought  his removal as president, and as he can only look forward to the revelations in John Durham's report on the anti-Trump machinations of the likes of James Comey and John Brennan, LPR believes President Trump should feel confident to exercise, in full, the powers given to him by the Constitution, including authority to travel to any nation he decides it is in the national interest to visit.

 

Red Line

The Sky Hasn't Fallen Dep't

February 19, 2020 --

Brexit -- the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union -- has been accomplished.  The impeachment hoax is over with the acquittal of the President by the steadfast Republican senators in Congress.   The White House has announced its plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.   And notwithstanding the dire  predictions of the smug, the  pompous , and the self-righteous, the sky remains firmly in place.  

 A further  comment about  the Middle East. The first U.S. ambassador to Israel, Hon. James G. McDonald, complained, in an August 1948 cablegram to Truman aide Clark M. Clifford, that U.S. policy encouraged the Arabs to believe that they could, indefinitely, "call the tune."

The Palestinian leadership (and the The New York Times and Washington Post, plus certain Democrats in Congress) would be wise to understand that with the Trump administration, the tune-calling power has been taken from them.  LPR predicts that if the Palestinians fail to enter into peace negotiations, the government of Israel will simply move on its own to implement the Trump plan.  LPR will go further to predict that such action by the government of Israel will redound to the benefit of Palestinians, as well as Israelis, and, indeed, to the cause of long-lasting peace in the Middle East.

 

 
Please take the LPR poll …
… found on the right-hand column on this page
 

Red Line

It is Not a "Massacre" when Officials are Reassigned, Not Gunned Down

February 19, 2020 --

Max Boot, in The Washington Post, February 8, wrote an op-ed piece titled, "Trump's Friday night massacre' is just the beginning. I fear what's to come."  Columnist Boot was alluding to the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus, on October 20, 1973, in what quickly became known as "the Saturday Night Massacre."  Lest Mr. Boot not make himself clear, the term, "'Friday night massacre'" in the body of the column,  linked to the original Washington Post story on the Cox dismissal and the Richardson and Ruckelshaus resignations, October 21, 1973. 

(To see the original story, written by Carroll Kilpatrick, just google "Max Boot Friday Night Massacre Washington Post," and, when the column appears, click on "'Friday Night Massacre'" -- first sentence, this paragraph.}

Mr. Boot, of course, was referring to the reassignment of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from his White House post on the National Security Council and to the dismissal of Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union (we are not a member of the EU; why do we need an ambassador to the organization?). Vindman's brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman was also reasigned from this NSC post.

LPR believed, back in 1973, that the term "Saturday Night Massacre" was invidious, designed to promote hostility to President Richard Nixon.  Indeed, LPR wrote about the term to Archibald Cox, who agreed (his letter was long ago lost) that of course no one was killed on October 20, 1973.  LPR holds the same view toward the latest misuse of the  word "massacre" by Mr. Boot and a host of anti-Trump media outlets.  No Washingto LPR understands that President Trump has a term for such invidious expressions by journalists:  "fake news."

 

Red Line

The Google Results Unscientific 2020 Election Poll

February 19, 2020 --

On February 12th, the day once celebrated in the north as Lincoln's birthday, LPR conducted a Google search with this phrase: "Elect [fill in name] president 2020."   

This search yielded the following results:
Donald Trump, 819,000,000 results; Bernie Sanders, 170,000,000 results; Joe Biden, 113,000,000 results; Elizabeth Warren, 87,200,000 results; Mike Bloomberg, 85,400,000 results; Pete Buttigieg, 74,000,000; and Amy Klobuchar, 34,100,000 results.

According to this unscientific 2020 presidential poll, President Trump -- as of February 2020 -- will win in a huge landslide.   The race to succeed him on January 20, 2025 will begin, of course, on November 4, 2020.

The Google Results Unscientific Election poll has Vice President Mike Pence in the lead, with 314,000 results; followed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 275,000 results; and Nikki Haley with 160,000.

CNBC, November 12, 2019 had former Ambassador to the UN Haley as front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Donald Trump Jr. had 911,000 Google results for 2024.

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

Red Line

"Pelosi" as Neologism

February 19, 2020 --

When Imperial House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up her copy of the president's State of the Union address, February 4, she may  have inspired a neologism, "to pelosi," -- to rip apart, for dramatic and condescending effect. the text of a speech immediately after delivery. This neologism might be effective for reporters covering debates at the United Nations. 

It was unfortunate that the imperial speaker, at a February 6 press conference, faulted to president for having his wife, Melania, confer the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the cancer-stricken talk radio maestro Rush Limbaugh, in the House chamber during the Stae of the Union address, and not at "your office [in the White House]."   

There are, apparently no depths beneath which the imperial speaker will not go to harangue and harass President Trump.

The imperial speaker's conduct was too much for law professor and CBS News analyst Jonathan Turley who would an opinion piece for The Hill titled, "Nancy Pelosi should resign."   

Professor Turley wrote that the imperial speaker's behavior at the State of the Union address, "will go down as a day of infamy for the chamber as an institution."

LPR wonders if CBS News will again invite Prof. Turley to comment on legal matters, including the next impeachment brought by a House Democratic majority against a Republican president.

 

 

Red Line

The Sanders Victory in the New Hampshire Primary

February 19, 2020 --

First, LPR has long been bemused that the Democrats would nominate a candidate who is not a Democrat.  Senator Bernie Sanders continues to list his party affiliation as "Independent," and prides himself in being a democratic socialist (a term Friedrich Hayek taught was an oxymoron).

Following his narrow win in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Sen. Sanders seems to been seen, by some observers, as the inevitable 2020 presidential  nominee for the Democratic Party. On the basis of drawing about 75,000 votes out of some 300,000 cast in the February 11 New Hampshire balloting? 

The New Hampshire presidential vote tally in 2020 was: Hillary Clinton, 348,526 and Donald Trump, 345,790. Are we to concede, much less worry about, a Sanders nomination for president on the basis of little more than ten cent of the New Hampshire presidential vote total in 2016? LPR doesn't think so.

 

Red Line

Sympathy for Chairman Nadler?

February 19, 2020 --

House Chairman Jerry Nadler's May 15, 2019  interview with CNBC's John  Harwood makes it clear that Harwood expected the chairman to head the impeachment of President Trump, when it occurred.   

Consider Harwood's introduction of the chairman, which included this prediction: "If Democrats pursue the fourth serious presidential impeachment effort in American history, Nadler would wield the gavel when it starts.  The text of the interview likewise suggests that Nadler believed he would wield the gavel.    But as it turned out, the chairman wield only one gavel, the principal gavel-wielding going to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.

Why did the imperial speaker give  Mr. Schiff the principal role in the Trump impeachment?   A google search reveals little explanation, but clearly, Ms. Pelosi departed from tradition, and, so, likely concluded that Chairan Schiff would make a better head of impeachment, that Chairman Nadler, who, LPR must add, endured further embarrassment when Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, presiding,  admonished House lawyers and the president's legal team for indecorous language in the chamber of "'the world's greatest deliberative body."   

While the admonishment may have been directed in an even-handed manner, LPR concludes that is was actually aimed at Mr. Nadler for his attacks on the Senate, including the accusation that it was engaging in a "cover-up" should it not call witnesses.   

Mr. Nadler should be thankful that Presiding Officer Roberts did not gently remind Chairman Nadler that the House of Representatives, as impeachment  investigating body, did not permit testimony from witnesses the Republicans wanted to hear from.



 
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February 19, 2020 --

LPR Corrects Itself …

LPR, in its January 19 posting,  noted that The New York Times does not follow the "Qassem Soleimani" spelling of other media outlets. Alas, LPR put the New York Times version, at one point, as "Qasim Suleimani." That is incorrect as to the late Iran general's first name. The New York Times insists in the "Qassim Suleimani" usage and  he is no longer with us to provide his preferred English transliteration of his name. Not that it matters, as in the weeks since his departure LPR has not seen his name written much, or heard from, if at all, in media sources.

The Oscars …

LPR congratulates the winners, while at the same time wondering if the Academy did not signal its opposition to "nationalism" by naming "Parasite" best picture in two categories, foreign language -- sorry, international, and best picture. In view of Parasite's double whammy, should the Academy create a category for international films and a best overall film category? This means,of course, that "international" movies will always be  eligible of double nominations, while American movies will be limited to one nomination. Or should there be just one World Movie Cup competition per year with the venue traveling from country to country, Hollywood this year, England the next, France the next, India, Canada,and so forth? In seeking a fairness to all mindset, it could just be that the Academy is now being unfair to Hollywood.

Those incorrigible Democrats?

When do Democrats, in the event that  Joe Biden  drops out of the 2020 presidential race, blame his poor showing in Iowa (where the results of the February 3 caucuses remain to be finalized) and New Hampshire ,where he finished behind Sen. Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, say "Here's the deal, Joe was victim of Russian interference aimed at helping President Trump defeat his political rivals"?

The G.O.P.  Stands Tall …

LPR has been waiting since November 8, 1994 for congressional Republicans to stand up to Democratic assault. That November day was when, after forty years in the minority, Republicans won a House majority.  Soon after that election, a Tennessean, John Greeter, was quoted in The New York Times as saying, "I guess the Republicans are the party of the people now."  Yet the G.O.P., first under Speaker Newt Gingrich, and then after a series of leaders, seemed intimidated by the zealously hostile Democrats, losing numbers in their majority, until they lost their Hose majority completely.  LPR hopes that the Republican leadership has finally learned that they will not hold majorities in Congress if the cave to the ruthless Democrats.   After all, doesn't continued caving teach voters that House members unwilling to stand up for themselves, and not likely to stand up for the people.   This, perhaps, is a major instruction of Trumpian governance.

 

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