Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"The Great Escape" by Kati Marton . Republicans Allow Obama The Last Laugh. DeVos Vilified For Seeking Fairness and Protecting Due Process.

Our son-in-law's acceptance speech at his recent award:
A very dear friend and fellow memo reader suggested I read "Great Escape" by Kati Marton.

The book is basically about famous Jewish Hungarians who escaped Hitler, came to America and, in various fields, became the best of the best.

Were it not for their insistence regarding the potential for atomic energy to be converted into a bomb, Hitler might well have conquered Europe and possibly the world.

The author proceeds to give snapshot reviews of the following

Edward Teller, Leo Szilard, John von Neumann, Eugene Wigner, Robert Oppenheimer - Manhattan Project, Imre Kertesz Nobel Prize for literature, Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel,  Robert Capa - photography, Alex Korda , Michael Curtiz- movie directors,  George Soros - the author describes him as a philanthropist.  (I see him as a dangerous /anarchist/chaos benefactor investor who profits fromwrecking currencies and supports radical groups.)

For those interested in kaleidoscope biographical snatches of those whose impact and sheer brilliance will continue shaping the world's future I commend this book.

I believe the next book I will read is "The American Lion" by John Meacham.  It is the biography of Andrew Jackson and, I was told by my son-in-law, it parallels what is happening politically in America today.
I love tennis but maybe this is stretching things too far: Z04Oe_GULao
Republicans can now look in the mirror and see that Obama has the last laugh. (See 1 below.)
When an accusation relates to sexual abuse on campus, Obama and his radicals made sure the constitution took it on the chin. DeVos rectifies this outrageous abuse of rightful Due Process protections and is vilified by the radical left.

More hypocrisy from those who would destroy our freedoms and are the same dudes who always are the first to scream "fairness." (See 2 below.)
My wonderful associate, Sarah Croft, died tragically from the same vicious cancer Sen. McCain has.

I/we all wish him well. We visited Viet Nam and stayed in the hotel across the street from where his plane crashed or so we were told.
John Bolton and I are on the same page when it comes to Trump withdrawing from The Iran Deal.  I doubt Trump will do so. He marches to his own drum beat .(See 3 below.)
America finances Palestinian Terror with tax dollars and the amount of money going to the killers simply increases. The Taylor Force Act should be passed because the only thing that will have an impact on their behaviour is the withdrawal of funds.  (See 4 below.)
1) Obama’s Last Laugh

Schadenfreude for Democrats can’t get much better than watching the Republican party self-humiliate

By Daniel Henninger
Like pop-up dolls, across the length of Barack Obama’s presidency, Republicans voted to “repeal” the law that bears his name—ObamaCare. He laughed at them then, and he’s laughing now. No repeal and no replace. They can’t even do repeal and punt.
For Democrats, this doesn’t quite make up for losing the election to Donald Trump, but it has to help. Schadenfreude can’t get much better than watching the Republican Party self-humiliate with an abject inability to win while controlling the House, Senate and White House.
To reimagine the spectacle, it’s as if Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Claire McCaskill and Elizabeth Warren had carved each other up over some Democratic bill. That will . . . never happen.
It was written here in March that the Trump win in 2016 could be either a temporary bubble or produce a Republican governing majority for a generation. What does it look like now? How did so much promise produce this week’s dud?
One problem revealed by this episode is the liabilities of a presidency held by a nonideological figure, a goal of good-government types. Until this moment, the Republican Party had become self-identifiably conservative. We have just learned two things.
The Republicans are not as conservative as they thought. As important, a complex legislative effort like this—Reagan’s 1986 tax bill comes to mind—was going to require both ideological discipline and direction from the top, from the president. The unideological Mr. Trump neither conveyed nor enforced idea discipline in his public messaging, other than “get it done.”

Lacking an ideological North Star, the Republicans reverted to form: They divided—first with the Freedom Caucus’s rebellion from the right in the House and then with the moderate Republicans’ 1970s-like spending demands in the Senate. At that point, the Laurel and Hardy act of Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran blowing up the bill was almost comic.

Left undone by this failure is a historic chance to reform the 1965 Medicaid entitlement that now will roll unchecked to the fiscal cliff. Also lost is $772 billion in savings, which imperils both permanent tax reform’s promise of strong economic growth and America’s underfunded defense posture.
Republican Party conservatism always seems to be an undone symphony. It started with Goldwater. Then came Reaganomics for a decade, which gave way in the 1990s to the religious right until the tea party displaced them, which gave way to a preoccupation with illegal immigration and the “establishment.” It’s one Holy Grail after another.
Now, incredibly, the party’s various idées fixes seem to include expanding Medicaid’s medical mediocrity to the nonpoor. A bedrock belief in individual liberty and private property endures, but beyond that, the Republican identity today looks fatally inchoate, no one idea lasting long enough to make a deep impression on the electorate.
Democrats don’t indulge defection. After new Democratic National Committee head Tom Perez demanded a pro-abortion litmus test for party candidates, even Nancy Pelosi demurred. But make no mistake: Mr. Perez’s crude message was heard through the ranks. Income inequality, Medicare for all, choice—keep it simple, stupid.
When new Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed early support for a few of the Trump cabinet nominees, thousands of progressives demonstrated in front of his Brooklyn apartment shouting, “Get a spine, Chuck!”
Mr. Schumer hopped back in line fast. Did anything remotely like this public pushback happen to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, which Mr. Trump won by 42 points? Democrats are in the streets. The Republicans are on Twitter .
The ObamaCare reform failure has damaged President Trump. He has come a long way with some undeniable magic, but at the political margin, his can-do reputation has taken a hit.
The Trump White House is right that it has accomplished a lot—energy and financial deregulation, abandoning the Paris climate pact, reversing the Obama pen-and-phone executive orders. But big legislation is the big league of politics. It turns out the American Congress is not Wollman Rink.
This same Hydra-headed Republican party will now descend upon the budget and tax reform. The GOP’s negative-energy factions are already in play. On cue Monday, Mark Meadows of the Freedom Caucus pronounced the House budget dead on arrival. Some might call that a Freudian slip.


As antidote to this, let me recommend “Free People, Free Markets,” an entertaining history of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, written by my former colleague and long the page’s deputy editor, George Melloan, and published by Encounter Books.
The page’s first editor was company co-founder Charles Dow, who put the editorials on the front page, calling them, as today, Review & Outlook. His successors, such as William Peter Hamilton and William Henry Grimes, produced decades of consistent conservative opinion. As Mr. Melloan’s history and this week’s events make clear, the main job requirement for daily opinion writing remains the same: optimism.
2) Betsy DeVos’s Due Process
The Editorial Board

The left is outraged that she wants fairness in sexual assault hearings.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos admitted last week that the adjudication of campus sexual assault is “an issue we’re not getting right.” Before correcting course, Mrs. DeVos is meeting with rape survivors, their advocates, administrators—and even students who say they were wrongly punished under the Title IX law that covers such cases.
Far from seeing the wisdom in this multitude of counsels, progressives are outraged. Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey complained that meetings with the latter group constitute a “slap in the face to the victims of campus sexual assault,” while Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti accused the secretary of “enabling rape deniers.”
But Mrs. DeVos is right to consider the plight of the accused. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education estimates that more than 170 students have brought legal challenges against universities over Title IX decisions. In more than 50 completed cases, courts have sided with the accused.
Many of these lawsuits hinge on the lack of due process for the accused. The Obama Administration’s infamous 2011 Dear Colleague letter mandated that students can be punished based on a “preponderance of evidence,” a burden of proof far less rigorous than the earlier “clear and convincing evidence” standard.
That same Dear Colleague letter also “strongly discourages” cross examination, which it says “may be traumatic or intimidating” to alleged victims. The accused frequently lack legal counsel and have often been prevented from presenting exculpatory evidence. Even when students are initially found not guilty, their accusers can appeal the decision. Meanwhile, the Title IX adjudicators who make life-changing determinations sometimes have as little as five hours of training.
Accused students suing their college often invoke Title IX’s own protections against gender bias, saying universities discriminated against male students, who account for 99% of those facing allegations of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct. Last week Columbia University settled with Paul Nungesser, the man accused of sexual assault by Emma Sulkowicz, who famously hauled a mattress around campus for months to publicize her charges. The university cleared Mr. Nungesser, but his lawsuit claimed the university abetted her “gender-based harassment” against him.
In higher ed these days, it’s taboo to admit that current Title IX tribunals are tipped in favor of the accuser. A recent article in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities even argued that demanding due process for accused students is a form of rape-culture propaganda that “exclude[s] victims and their advocates from having a voice in the discussion.”
Sexual assault charges deserve to be investigated, but liberal academia is using Title IX to silence ideological opponents, often complaining that peaceful dissent constitutes actionable harassment on the basis of gender or sexual orientation. Mrs. DeVos is right to revisit the Obama-era guidance that has turned the law into an ideological weapon, and part of that is learning from its victims.
3) Bolton: Trump Must Withdraw From Iran Deal

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is calling for President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
Bolton's comments came in a column written for The Hill.
He said withdrawing from the deal “as soon as possible should be the highest priority.”
“The administration should stop reviewing and start deciding,” he said. “Even assuming, contrary to fact, that Iran is complying with the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) JCPOA, it remains palpably harmful to American national interests,” he said.
“It should not have taken six months to reach this conclusion. Well before Jan. 20, we saw 18 months of Iranian noncompliance and other hostile behavior as evidence. The Trump transition team should have identified abrogating the deal as one of the incoming administration's highest policy priorities.”
Bolton said for the second time during the Trump administration, the State Department is reportedly getting set to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.
“If true, it will be the administration's second unforced error regarding the JCPOA,” he said. “Over the past two years, considerable information detailing Tehran's violations of the deal have become public, including: exceeding limits on uranium enrichment and production of heavy water; illicit efforts at international procurement of dual-use nuclear and missile technology; and obstructing international inspection efforts (which were insufficient to begin with).
“Since international verification is fatally inadequate, and our own intelligence far from perfect, these violations undoubtedly only scratch the surface of the ayatollahs' inexhaustible mendaciousness.”
Bolton noted the president's primary obligation is to keep citizens safe from foreign threats.
“The president would be derelict in his duty if he failed to put the interests of U.S. citizens first, rather than worrying about the international community developing a case of the vapors,” he said. “The Trump administration itself has already shown the courage of its convictions by withdrawing from the Paris climate accords. Compared to that, abrogating the JCPOA is a one-inch putt.”
He maintained America must act now.
“In the last six months, Iran has made six more months of progress toward posing a mortal threat to America and its allies, and now totals two years since the JCPOA was agreed,” Bolton noted. This U.S. approach is both dangerous and unnecessary. Care to bet how close Tehran — and North Korea — now are? Consider the costs of betting wrong.”

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