Category: Columns

Politicians Again Choose Politics Over Process In The Wright Shooting

Photo: Brooklyn Center Police Department

Below is my column in The Hill on the Wright shooting and the continuing prejudicial statements made by political figures. The shooting appears to be an accidental case of “weapon confusion,” which we have previously discussed on this blog.  Yet, politicians are declaring the shooting to be an intentional racist act as rioting continues to rage in various cities.

Here is the column:
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Is Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Packed To Fail?

Below is my column in The Hill on President Joe Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court.  While the composition of the makeup of the Commission is now known, the true purpose of the Commission remains in doubt. While the Commission is likely to make recommendations for “reforms,” the genesis of the Commission was to consider the court packing scheme that was widely discussed during the 2020 presidential election.  Biden precisely called court packing a “bone headed” and “terrible, terrible idea.” However, he was not willing to confront extreme voices in his own party and this Commission is the result. The hope of many in Washington is that this Commission will give the Administration cover in setting aside the demands to add new members in the short term to create a liberal majority on the Court. If this largely liberal commission recommends against court packing, Biden and the Democratic leadership could shrug and say “well., we tried.”  The question is whether the Commission will feel the pressure to come up with some alternative substantial recommended change. Over 20 years ago, I recommended the expansion of the Court to 17 or 19 members. However, that recommendation would occur over many years and would not give advocates the short-term majority that they are seeking. That is the difference between reforming and packing the Court. Even a gradual increase would also face considerable opposition in the Senate, particularly out of a lack of trust that a later majority would add a couple of justices and then renege on continued additions to continue to control the majority of the Court.  Even former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid warned against term limits or seeking to expand the Supreme Court as a dangerous path for Democrats.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Is Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Packed To Fail?”

President Biden Announces New “Red Flag” Rule Fit For Hunter Biden

Did Hunter Biden Incriminate Himself In A Federal Crime?

Below is my column in The Hill on recent interviews by Hunter Biden, which appear to incriminate him in a possible federal felony. What is most striking from a journalistic perspective is that Biden’s book is a target rich environment for reporters with references to his alleged influence peddling, abandoned laptop, and drug abuses. Yet every major network and newspaper that interviewed Biden skillfully avoided any damaging questions.  It was no small feat to delicately avoid obvious problems in his account while seemingly interviewing him on those subjects. Reporters would raise the laptop of Burisma contract and then just shrug and move on without any serious followup. The glaring contradictions were left unaddressed like admitting that he was a crack addict during the time he was receiving massive contracts from foreign companies due to his unestablished “expertise” on energy issues. The conflicts with his own father’s accounts were entirely ignored. The protective press cocoon around Hunter and his father remained intact.

In the end, it is not the possible crime by Biden but the demonstrable collusion by the media that is more of the story from these interviews.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Did Hunter Biden Incriminate Himself In A Federal Crime?”

Democrats Cannot Erase The History Or Hypocrisy Of The Filibuster

Below is my column on the ongoing Democratic effort to get rid of the Senate filibuster. There are good-faith arguments against filibusters but there is a new campaign to declare the rule as racist. Once again, many in the media are ignoring both the history and hypocrisy surrounding the filibuster, including in the press conference last week with President Joe Biden. Biden was not asked in multiple questions on the filibuster about his defense of a rule that he now dismisses as a racist relic. In 2005 he stated:

The Senate ought not act rashly by changing its rules to satisfy a strong-willed majority acting in the heat of the moment…Proponents of the ‘nuclear option’ argue that their proposal is simply the latest iteration of a growing trend towards majoritarianism in the Senate. God save us from that fate, if it is true…Adopting the ‘nuclear option’ would change this fundamental understanding and unbroken practice of what the Senate is all about. Senators would start thinking about changing other rules when they became “inconvenient.” …Altering Senate rules to help in one political fight or another could become standard operating procedure, which, in my view, would be disastrous.”

Here is the column:

Warren’s Wealth Tax: How A New Bill Would Convert The Tax Code Into A Canned Hunt

Below is my column in The Hill on introduction of Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax.  The bill contains two notable addition: a massive increase in the size of the IRS and what I call a “captivity tax” to try to keep the wealthy from fleeing. The odds are that Democratic leadership will see some of the same problems with this bill, but the danger is that such legislation will be difficult to oppose due to its public appeal. Moreover, there is a lack of honestly about the constitutional and practical issues surrounding a “wealth tax.” Such details are lost as Warren pledges to go after the “Rembrandts … diamonds and … yachts”  of the wealthy.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Warren’s Wealth Tax: How A New Bill Would Convert The Tax Code Into A Canned Hunt”

The Domino Effect: How All Four Cases In The Death of George Floyd Could Collapse With A Chauvin Acquittal

Below is my column in USA Today on the approaching trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd. Thus far, many in the media have failed to shoulder their own burden to discuss the countervailing evidence in the case.  Indeed, there is a real danger of a cascading failure in the case where a loss in the Chauvin case could bring down the cases against all four officers. This potential domino effect is the result of making the three other cases dependent on the base murder/manslaughter charge against Chauvin.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Domino Effect: How All Four Cases In The Death of George Floyd Could Collapse With A Chauvin Acquittal”

The Media and The Mayhem: The Chauvin Trial Coverage Follows A Dangerous Pattern

Below is my column in The Hill on the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis. Last week, at least one juror was excused after he expressed fear that he or his family could be attacked after a verdict. (Conversely, another juror called the rioting necessary to advance the Black Lives Matter movement). The man explained that his neighbors had to flee the area after the riots following the death of George Floyd. That fear was shared by various jurors. It is not surprising when the courthouse is ringed in fencing and barbed wire and even police stations in the city are bunkered down. There are already protesters outside of the courthouse and a new “autonomous zone” in the city that is being criticized by police groups.  Once again, the news coverage is highly siloed and divergent in such coverage with vastly different images emerging from the city as it prepares for possible rioting. However, it is the divergent coverage of the case itself that is my greatest concern.

The voir dire responses highlight the concern over venue in the case and the decision not to shift the trial to a different city. There is clearly a fear among jurors that there might be rioting if there is an acquittal for Chauvin. The voir dire selection also magnifies the concern over how the case has been covered in the media with the omission of critical defense arguments and evidence. I believe that there was a legitimate basis for a trial, but this is a stronger manslaughter than a murder case.  The trial will give us a better view of the evidence but the coverage thus far has been dangerously incomplete in my view, as discussed below.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Media and The Mayhem: The Chauvin Trial Coverage Follows A Dangerous Pattern”

Baltimore Student Who Failed All But Three Classes In Four Years Was Ranked In Top Half Of His Class

As teacher unions fight to keep schools closed, the true cost is being felt by students who are racking up failing gradesdropping out of virtual classesincreasing drug use, and, in rising numbers, committing suicide.  In response, some union officials like the President of the Los Angeles Teacher’s Union has labelled calls to return to class examples of white privilege despite overwhelming science supporting resumption of classes. However, for minority students, this shutdown has taken a dire situation and turned into a free-fall disaster. The pandemic led to the closure of an already failing public school system, as evident in a shocking story out of Baltimore. As recently reported, a high school student almost graduated near the top half of his class after failing every class but three in four years. He has a 0.13 GPA.  His mother finally went public in exasperation with the failures in the public schools. Continue reading “Baltimore Student Who Failed All But Three Classes In Four Years Was Ranked In Top Half Of His Class”

Mob Justice May Be Poetic Justice, But Cuomo Deserves Due Process

Below is my column in The Hill on the struggles of many in Washington in the worsening scandal surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We now have a second former aide alleging sexual harassment and Cuomo has denied the allegation. He is taking heat for saying that he was just being “playful” on such occasions. While the media is beginning to cover the scandal, it is nothing like the saturated coverage of the Kavanaugh controversy or the past Trump allegations. Indeed, Sen. Gillibrand and many of the Democrats who proclaimed Kavanaugh’s guilty are now insisting that both sides being heard. Others are far more measured on this scandal. For example, when CNN’s Dana Bash (who confused her colleague Chris Cuomo with his brother) asked Jennifer Psaki about the new allegations against Cuomo, Psaki called for both sides to be heard. That measured response is in stark contrast to her attack on Sen. Collins as a “fake feminist” and “coward” in voting to confirm Kavanaugh. We saw a similar contrast when then-candidate Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault, though some like Rep. Omar said he was probably a rapist but they would vote for him anyway.  This should not be difficult. These leaders are right to call for fair and due process, even belatedly.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Mob Justice May Be Poetic Justice, But Cuomo Deserves Due Process”

“Not All TV News Sources Are The Same”: Congress And The Slippery Slope Of Censorship

Congressional SealBelow is my column in the Hill on yesterday’s hearing on possible private and public limitations on free speech and the free press, including a letter from Democratic members asking companies why they do not remove Fox News and networks from cable. I recently responded to comments made by Rep. Anna Eshoo in the hearing.  However, the letter highlighted the continuing pressure from members on both Big Tech and cable suppliers to silence opposing viewpoints. What was most disappointing was that no Democratic members used the hearing to offer a simple and unifying statement: we oppose efforts to remove Fox News and these other networks from cable programming. Not a single Democratic member made that statement, which (in my view) should be easy for anyone who believes in free speech and the free press. Even though every witness (including one who lost her father to Covid-19) made that statement, no Democratic member was willing to state publicly that they would oppose efforts to remove Fox News from cable access. That silence was also chilling to the point of glacial.

Here is the column:

Continue reading ““Not All TV News Sources Are The Same”: Congress And The Slippery Slope Of Censorship”

Portman’s Principled Stand: A Response To The Cincinnati Enquirer

Below is my column in the Cincinnati Enquirer in response to a column criticizing Sen. Rob Portman for his vote to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Portman (who recently announced that he will not run for reelection) is one of the most thoughtful and decent figures in Congress. James Freeman Clarke once said “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of his country.” I have spoken with Sen. Portman on constitutional and legal issues for years and he always epitomized what Clarke meant about a true statesman.  His decision not to seek reelection was a blow for the Senate as someone who was eager to work with the other party on finding solutions to our growing national problems. That is why I felt I had to respond to a recent column by Opinion Editor Kevin Aldridge. I have no doubt about Aldridge’s good-faith disagreement with the verdict. However, we need to reach a place where we can disagree on such issues without questioning each other’s integrity or honesty. To that end, I want to thank the Cincinnati Enquirer (and Mr. Aldridge) for having the integrity of running my column.  This is the essence of dialogue and we may find that what divides us is not nearly as great as what unites us as citizens.

 

Here is the column: Continue reading “Portman’s Principled Stand: A Response To The Cincinnati Enquirer”

“A Date Which Will Live In Infamy”: The Other Scandal From The Capitol Riot

Below is my column in the Hill on the lingering questions over decisions made in Congress before the Capitol riot on January 6th.  The analogy to Pearl Harbor drawn by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may be more telling than intended.

Here is the column:

Continue reading ““A Date Which Will Live In Infamy”: The Other Scandal From The Capitol Riot”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks