We have previously discussed the decision to bar certain travelers from the United States based on their political views or associations. I have long opposed such orders as inimical to free speech and counterproductive for the country as a whole. The latest example of this policy is the barring of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. According to NPR, the Palestinian activist was prevented from entering to speak to various groups who wanted to hear from him. The government prevented that as well as his desire to attend his daughter’s wedding.Read more
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has deleted her tweet demanding justice while Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) is now “withholding judgment” after previously calling it an “attempted modern-day lynching.” After politicians, pundits, and the press spent days calling for swift justice and denouncing the Trump Administration for the rise in hate crimes, Washington figures are running for cover as reports grew that Chicago police have evidence of a stage hate crime by “Empire” actor and singer Jussie Smollett. The case again raises the problem of leaders in politics and the media reaching immediate conclusions on such allegations before the evidence has been gathered.Continue reading “Politicians and the Press Scramble As Evidence Builds Of A Possible Hoax In Alleged Hate Crime”
The controversy over the past claims of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren being a native American continued this week with a report in the Washington Post. The Post reported that Warren claimed to be an “American Indian” on her Texas bar registration. Warren has denied claiming the status in her legal career despite being listed or referenced as a minority at a couple of law schools. This is a notable incident because it is a claim written in her own handwriting and was entirely unnecessary for registration in Texas.Continue reading “Washington Post: Warren Listed Herself As “American Indian” On Texas Bar Registration”
A new set of emails has become public that shows the extent of the effort to secure a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the election. The most notable emails are between two of Trump’s associates: Michael Cohen and Felix Sater. Sater’s boasting about Trump and Putin was previously known but now the emails have been disclosed. In one email, Sater (who seems to rival Cohen in competition for the most seedy Trump associations) brags about his close contacts with Putin and how he can get the Tower approved. He then adds “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.” He also that it would be “pretty cool to get a USA President elected” and, if successful, wanted to be the ambassador to the Bahamas: “That my friend is the home run I want out of this.” With the Mueller report now reportedly coming within the month, the emails could be used to show a strong business interest in Moscow — an interest that continued during the campaign.Continue reading “Trump Associate: “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it.””
Best wishes to everyone celebrating Christmas.
I am in Chicago with the family for Christmas with my 91-year-old mother Angela. We are getting a dusting of snow for a white Christmas but the weather has been warmer than usual on our visit (in the 40s). Last night, the kids and I went to Christmas Eve mass at St. Mary’s of the Lake, which has been our parish church for almost six decades. My mother was not up to the trip for the first time but we were there representing our family.Continue reading “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!”
I have been highly critical of what I view as the erosion of the line between journalism and advocacy in cable news, including a column this week criticizing CNN for its unrelenting anti-Trump coverage. MSNBC has previously been criticized for its host, Al Sharpton, appearing at campaign rallies. Now Fox is facing an equally serious incident after Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro. Both are known to be close confidants of Trump, but they also work for a news organization that is covering Trump and this election. While many view the journalistic rule of separation as artificial in the age of partisan cable programming, it represents the most glaring breach in the rule that we have seen. The incident raises an increasing conflict with journalistic values and programming. All of the networks now have anchors who are openly partisan but maintain facial neutrality by not contributing or campaigning for parties. The fear is that a departure from that technical rule will lead to a race to the bottom of networks working as an extension of political parties and a return to the age of “Yellow Journalism.” Update: Fox News has rebuked both Hannity and Pirro for their participation.
With all of the criticism of asylum cases at the border, it is easy to forget that there are many worthy applicants for asylum and one that should get priority view is Asia Bibi and her family. After the Pakistani Supreme Court overturned her abusive death sentence for blasphemy, Muslims violently rioted demanding the reimposition of the sentence. Asia Bibi was originally given a death sentence for insulting Mohammad.
I have previously criticized U.S. laws barring public contracts or employment with people who support the boycott or boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Those laws raise troubling questions under the First Amendment and various courts have pushed back on the constitutionality of such laws. Now Israel is holding an American university student for a week because she supported the BDS movement. Lara Alqasem, 22, was held depending appeal at Ben-Gurion Airport. She has Palestinian grandparents and was told that she could be released if she apologizes and disavows any boycotting of Israel. Continue reading “Israel’s Denies Entry and Jails American Student on Suspicion Of Supporting The BDS Movement”
Dr. Carol Christine Fair, an associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown, has created a firestorm of controversy after she called for the castration and “miserable death” of Republican senators. This is not her first such controversy in profanely attacking Republicans.
Below is my column in USA Today on the upcoming hearing on the allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Bret Kavanaugh. There has been a strange disconnect as Democrats denounce Republicans for prejudging Ford or denying her an impartial hearing while they announced in advance that they believe her — and by extension they do not believe Kavanaugh. While the Senate is not a court of law, both sides recognize that they are supposed to afford witnesses a fair and unbiased hearing, particularly when the subject is such a serious allegation as attempted rape.
There has remained considerable debate over the number of illegal immigrants in the country — a figure that obviously has great import in our ongoing debate over immigration policy. Now, Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have completed a study that that doubles the prior estimate of 11 million. That figure was used to argue for the passage of amnesty legislation. However, the study finds that the actual number is roughly 22 million. Continue reading “Twenty-Two Million: Yale/MIT Study Doubles Prior Estimate of Illegal Immigrants In The United States”
After the Senate agreed to extend the last deadline on Friday to 2:30 today, Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify while seeking to continue to negotiate on some details with the Senate. It is not clear how much progress has been made since Ford previously said she would testify but would not agree on the date or conditions. Then she pulled back from that commitment while seeking conditions. Now she is saying again that she would testify but again asking for conditions and negotiations.
We have often discussed the ridiculous measures taken in Islamic countries to protect their citizens from temptations from banning Zumba to renaming “hot dogs.” The BBC is now reporting that Iran’s state broadcaster has been busy making television Islamically correct, like removing images of women eating cucumbers on television. However, one particular standout is censoring images of rear ends of water buffalos.
The appearance of Michael Cohen in court as a self-confessed felon was as riveting as predictable as scene in this unfolding drama. Indeed, if this is ever made into a movie, it would seem all too formulaic. Cohen is the ultimate red-shirt defendant. In the film industry, “red shirts” are characters in a movie plot that inevitably die (like those red shirted security officers in Star Trek that always seem to face demise by the end of an episode). You can often spot a red shirt in that character who is so over-the-top in reading letters from home or over compensating in the face of a pending battles. They are dead men walking. If you play back the last year, there is one guy who stands out in the red shirt, the guy who has to implode and flip. It is Michael Cohen. Continue reading “Michael Cohen, The Ultimate Red Shirt Defendant Takes A Plea”