Author: jonathanturley

“Husband From Hell”: Trump Launches Twitter Tirade Against Husband Of Kellyanne Conway

I have said it before, but I am again confused this morning after President Donald Trump launched into another self-defeating and unpresidential tirade on Twitter. The target of the tweets is the husband of Kellyanne Conway. (For the record, she is a former student of mine). George Conway has published the criteria used to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder and has suggested that Trump is clearly mentally ill. By attacking Conway, Trump has only magnified the allegations and drawn attention to the NPD criteria. While various White House officials struggled for months to keep Trump from responding directly to George Conway, Trump finally had enough after daily attacks. However, the result is manifestly bad for Trump. As should have been obvious, Conway responded by highlighting his prior allegation of mental illness and tweeted “You. Are. Nuts.”

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“A Very Nice Lion”: Trophy Hunter Shown In Video Shooting Sleeping Lion

As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or famed wolves or mountain goats or hundreds of hippos for trophies. Now, a disgusting videotape has emerged of a trophy hunter shooting a sleeping lion and then celebrating as the lion writhes in pain.

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Augsburg University and UChicago Face Protests Over Classroom Use Of The N-Word

In Minnesota, Augsburg University has reportedly stripped Professor Phillip Adamo of his directorship of the honors program after he used the n-word in a class discussion of a passage (using the word) from James Baldwin. In the meantime, at the University of Chicago (my alma mater) Professor Geoffrey Stone is under fire for the same alleged offense in a classroom. Unlike Augsburg, however, UChicago has continued its staunch defense of free speech and academic freedom in support of Stone.

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Study: 800,000 People Die Prematurely In Europe Due To Pollution

We have previously discussed how the environmental values often lose out to business or economic arguments because the environment remains something of an abstraction. When President Donald Trump heralds lower gas prices, that is a concrete value. However, when many of us call for cleaner air, it is treated as a good but not an immediate benefit. There is yet another study (in addition to our earlier discussed studies here and here and here) that show the real costs of air pollution. An article published in the European Heart Journal estimates that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe due to pollution and that every life is cut short by about two years. If that cheaper gas is put against a death or a two-year reduction in life expectancy, the political calculus may change.

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Supreme Court Rules For Trump On Another Immigration Issue

The Supreme Court handed President Donald Trump another win on an immigration issue on Tuesday. The Court ruled 5-4 that the Ninth Circuit was wrong in limiting Trump’s mandatory detention policy for immigrants with criminal records. Splitting along with ideological fault line, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the other four conservative justices to reverse the Ninth Circuit. Four other circuits had ruled with the Trump Administration. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion.

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Yabba Dabba Don’t: California Owner Of The “Flintstone House” Charged With Public Nuisance

A San Francisco Bay Area town is suing the owner of the so called “Flintstone House”, alleging that it is a public nuisance after she added dinosaurs in her backyard to go with the iconic structure designed by architect William Nicholson in 1976. Nicholson built the 2700 square foot living space with new materials in a structure promptly declared the Flintstone House by supporters and detractors alike. The action raises troubling questions in the use of a claim of aesthetic nuisance.

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How Trump Could Still Gut The Mueller Report

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on a significant potential barrier to the release of the Special Counsel report — once it is given by Robert Mueller to Attorney General Bill Barr. There is a striking contrast between the level of cooperation shown in relation to the Special Counsel investigation versus congressional investigation. In the latter context, the White House instructed witnesses not to answer questions on the basis that privilege might be claimed (an improper practice in my view). This would seem to suggest that the Trump team is treating communications with the Special Counsel as internal Executive Branch disclosures — and thus not a waiver of privilege. If that is the case, Barr could be heading into a world of difficulty. If the White House invokes, the Justice Department has traditionally defended those claims of executive privilege in court. That could mean a report that is heavily redacted. Unlike classified material which can be given to Congress under seal, grand jury information or executive privileged information cannot be given to Congress absent a court order or waiver, respectively.

This weekend Trump said that he supported the vote of Congress to demand the public release of the report. He told his followers that he told members to vote for the resolution and “Play along with the game!” It is not clear what that game is given the blocking of vote in the Senate by Lindsey Graham. Moreover, it does not state that Trump will waive all executive privilege as discussed in this earlier column.

Here is the column:

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Port Richey Mayor Arrested Just 20 Days After Previous Mayor Was Arrested

We often feature stories from Port Richey, Florida which seems like an endless spring of bizarre crimes. Now, the city has out done itself. Previously, Mayor Dale Massad, 68, was arrested for allegedly firing at a Pasco sheriff’s SWAT team trying to arrest him for practicing medicine without a license. Now his replacement, Terrence Rowe, 64, has been arrested just 20 days after taking over from Massad.

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HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the leprechauns of the blog from the Turley Clan. It is a beautiful St. Patty’s Day in McLean, Virginia and I went on a dawn hike on Billy Goat Trail (though the trail was closed due to flooding so I hiked to Olmstead overlook instead). The leprechauns came to bring treats and tricks to the Turley house this morning. Some of the hiking pictures from this morning are below.

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Sarah Lawrence Students Demand Tenure Review Of Conservative Professor, No-Whites Scholarships, And Free Detergent

Sarah Lawrence College students have demanded issued a list of demands from the ” the Diaspora Coalition” to address “the injustices imposed on people of color by this institution on a daily basis.” What is striking about the list is the inclusion of scholarships that would bar white students and an action targeting a member of the faculty because they disagree with his views. While the college is pledging to work with the students to reach a compromise, the demands reflect the growing intolerance of opposing views and free speech rights on campuses — as well as a call for the awarding of scholarship on the basis of race. They also demand special benefits for “first-generation students” as well as mandatory training sessions for all students on “intellectual elitism and classism.” They also include demands for free food, free detergent and free student storage.

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Why Nancy Pelosi Hates Impeachment

Below is my column in The Hill on Nancy Pelosi announcing that she is opposed to impeachment and that it is simply not part of “our agenda.” During the campaign for the midterm elections, I wrote that the drumbeat for impeachment was another bait-and-switch in American politics and that Democrats would quickly move away from the calls once they secured a majority. The reason was (and is) obvious. While Democrats continue to insist that Trump is harming the country and committing impeachable offenses, his removal would not serve the interests of the party for 2020. Both parties continue to play the public as chumps and this is the latest example. Even Beto O’Rourke is now backing off of his call for impeachment.

There is no compelling evidence for impeachment at this time. If Pelosi also believes that there is insufficient evidence, she should say so. That would be a principled and frankly courageous position. However, Pelosi continues to suggest that Trump is committing impeachable offenses but still opposes impeachment absent the assurance that Republicans will join in the effort. That is a bit too convenient and ignores the individual obligations of members to act if they believe that there are impeachable offenses.

Here is the column:

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Trump: I Have The Police, The Military, and The Trump Bikers

President Donald Trump has caused another firestorm with a menacing statement to conservative outlet Breitbart that things will get “very bad, very bad” if his supporters among the military, police, and bikers are pushed too far. Once again, while one can come up with a non-threatening meaning, the President’s comments were widely interpreted as countenancing violence. These are the type of comments that are driving a deep wedge into the electorate with roughly half of the voters saying that they are resolved to vote against the President.

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“Sleep Well”: Cohen Attorney Conveyed Alleged Message From Giuliani To Rest Assured Because He Had “Friends In High Places”

As the attorneys for Michael Cohen struggle to get Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings not to fulfill his promise to refer Cohen for prosecution for any perjury in his recent testimony, Cohen has released a shocking email from April 2018 in which Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is quoted as telling Cohen to effectively not worry about his situation because he has “friends in high places.” The email telling Cohen to “sleep well” was part of a “back channel” communication with A lawyer told Cohen in an email in April 2018 that he can “sleep well” because he has “friends in high places,” following an alleged “back channel” communication with Cohen lawyer Robert J. Costello.

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