Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the media treatment of the Hunter Biden controversy in Ukraine. I continue to marvel at the non sequitur in the mantra that there is “no evidence of wrongdoing” in the contract. What does that mean? Is the sole measure whether the Ukrainians (or even the U.S.) would prosecute a contract as a crime? Wrongdoing would seem to cover any form of corruption or influence peddling — whether or not it constitutes a crime. The fact is that the payment of sweetheart deals to the spouses and siblings is common in both the Ukraine and the United States. Does that make it right? The suggestion is that there is nothing wrong with this contract. Wrongdoing would seemingly include ethical violations and not just what Ukraine would prosecute as a crime (a curious standard for one of the most corrupt countries on Earth). Indeed, many of us have criticized Trump for sometimes suggesting that the criminal code as the measure of presidential conduct. With Biden, Democrats seem to be doing the same thing in dismissing any objections since “it is all perfectly legal.” If that is the case, then most of the criticism of Trump’s conduct can be dismissed as devoid of “evidence of wrongdoing.”
The fact is that there is a great deal wrong with this contract and no one has actually put forward evidence to suggest that the Ukrainians seriously selected Hunter Biden for his energy or business experience. What is left is a raw effort to curry favor with his father with an unjustified and lucrative contract.
Why do we as a people accept and permit one occupational group to initiate killings of other human beings on a national scale but nearly all other occupational group members, who might carry animosity against others, are penalized up to the death penalty should they kill only one person? It might sound preposterous, yet that is exactly the duality we accept as normal–that politicians at national levels especially may lay waste to others and that is simply part and parcel of “diplomacy” and the “laws of war”. Yet if an ordinary citizen dislikes his neighbor so bitterly the act of stepping on his property alone may send the citizen to jail. The animosity and will to retaliate is the same, but the domain and system of accountability could not be more vastly divergent.
The stem of this license to instigate homicide at a permissible level by national leadership has been endemic in human history to such a perverse degree, people today have come to regard the killing of others by these leaders as normal human interaction, that wars are inevitable, and that lives and societies will be upheaved.
I recently wrote about the effort of the Biden campaign to get networks to bar Trump allies from the air who wanted to talk about the controversy surrounding Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the Ukraine. Now, Kate Bedingfield, the deputy manager of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, has denounced the New York Times for publishing an opinion editorial by author Peter Schweizer on the matter. The hubris of the Biden campaign to demand that the media silence its critics would be laughable if it were not for the failure of many outlets to cover the story. I have previously written that, while I do not see the evidence that Biden sought to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son, the Hunter Biden dealings seem a flagrant example of profiteering on his father’s work as the lead official on Ukraine as vice president.
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the late addition of the Louisiana abortion case to an already impactful Supreme Court docket. The most interesting aspect of June Medical however may be what it will ultimately say about the doctrine of Stare Decisis and the respect for precedent.
We have previously discussed the trend of students and faculty preventing speakers from being heard on campus without any disciplinary action taken by universities. The latest example occur at Georgetown University Law School where students and faculty opposed an invitation of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to speak on campus. It was a wonderful opportunity for an exchange of views but both students and faculty wanted opposing views to be silenced. When the school went forward with the event, protesters immediately stopped the event. CREDO Action – the advocacy arm of the progressive nonprofit group CREDO — has admitted that Georgetown students participated in the action and videotapes clearly show those responsible. However, Georgetown would not commit to taking disciplinary action despite repeated inquiries.
It a tremendous show of courage, Polish Gay Pride marchers refused to be deterred by a hostile city government in Lublin and a violent crowd of counter protesters to hold their first parade. Notably, a court rejected the claim of the mayor that he was cancelling the parade because of security concerns. That is the excuse used by universities like DePaul to cancel conservative speakers, but the court found that it was just an excuse to bar the controversial parade.
It is my great pleasure to give a keynote speech at the Federal Identity Conference in Tampa, Florida today — an international gathering of government, private, and academic experts in the field of biometric technology. I will be presenting material from two forthcoming law review articles on privacy in the biometric age. I will be speaking at the Tampa Convention Center at 10:15 am.
Below is my column in The Hill on the recent filings in federal court by the Justice Department opposing the effort of the House Judiciary Committee in seeking grand jury material redacted from the Mueller Report. The Justice Department is relying on the comments of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in arguing that there is no real impeachment investigation proceeding in the House.
According to Court records via the local news, a former middle-school para-educator pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes after she allegedly facilitated the statutory rape of a thirteen year old girl by her husband.
The former Kennewick, WA educator acted as an intermediary in the exchange of “love letters”, providing a cellphone, and arranging for sexual relations between the child victim and her husband, a former Umatilla County Oregon Corrections officer.
I have often lamented in the past that virtue has its limits but depravity knows no bounds. And with these two having positions of both authority and responsibility to the public, especially children, there simply is no redemption they may qualify.
The annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey is the latest chilling survey revealing the lack of knowledge of most Americans about their own system of government. While this country remains highly patriotic, most Americans are woefully ignorant of the details of their constitutional system. According to the survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, only 39 percent of Americans can name all three branches of government.
Gay pride parades are hardly news in the United States, but there is one that is worth noting abroad. This week thousands of people, including some of the country’s most famous artists and figures, marched in the first gay pride parade in Bosnia. Despite counter demonstrations from Muslim groups, the government created a safe space with a large police deployment and snipers. Americans can take particular pride in the fact that our ambassador, who is gay, joined the parade.
Do you recall the delegation of Chicago Teacher Union members going to Venezuela in a demonstration of support? Many of us were highly critical of Richard Berg (Organizer), strike captains Sarah Chambers (Special Education Educator), Valeria Vargas (Math Educator) and Fabiana Casas (English Educator) for the trip to show solidarity with a blood-soaked regime that has denied free speech, free press and other fundamental rights to Venezuelans. Chambers even expressed approval in a tweet saying “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person.” Another thing Chambers probably did not see were the thousands of murdered Venezuelans just documented by the United Nations in a report of the extrajudicial killings ordered by the Maduro regime. Actually, between the millions that have fled, the thousands murdered, the thousands in jail, and the thousand in hiding, I am surprised Chambers saw many people at all on the streets of Venezuela.
After she was disciplined by ESPN for repeatedly violating the its social media rules by attacking President Donald Trump as a “white supremacist”, Jemele Hill was picked up by The Atlantic as its new columnist. In their first column, Hill is continuing her controversial record with a piece calling on black athletes to leave predominantly white colleges and universities despite such schools offering enhanced opportunities and free educations to many players. Thus, players like Michael Jordan (shown here in his signature style from high school) who went to schools like North Carolina are not models for younger athletes but cautionary tales.
It is not uncommon for otherwise innocuous videotapes to take on a more sinister meaning with the appearance of a later notorious figure. That is the case of the rather bizarre discovery of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an episode of a cheesy game show on Nickelodeon called “What Would You Do?” The show features Kathleen Manafort trying to win a prize by emptying out her purse, including her husband’s wallet The host notes the excessive number of credit cards for her husband, a problem that would later become a criminal matter for Manafort. Manafort was recently convicted of bank and tax fraud after his indulgent lifestyle led to mounting debt. To answer the shows question, “what he did” was fraud and the episode caught a laughing Manafort at the very time that he was courting some of the world’s more blood-soaked figures to pay for those cards.
Below is my column in USA Today on the recent massive damage award in the opioid case in Oklahoma. I remain quite skeptical about the underlying theory of liability as well as other elements in the case.