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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being made an example of.
According to FOX News, New York City District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., requested a New York State judge to order Manfort, 69, transferred to Rikers Island. That judge has so ordered.
Rikers Island is where they send high-profile violent offenders like serial killers and mob bosses. The “Son Of Sam” killer, David Berkowitz, was sent there, as well as Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s killer. This seems to have come about because a New York grand jury charged Manafort in March with additional financial crimes. (Charged, not convicted, as Manafort has not yet had a trial.) Vance, a Democrat, said at that time that “no one is beyond the law in New York.”
If Manafort is found guilty of these crimes, the President cannot pardon him or commute his sentence, as these are state offenses.
I would really like to hear what U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis has to say about this. He presided over the original federal case that arose out of the special counsel investigation, and from what he said at the time, he knew that the charges against Manafort had nothing to do with Russian election interference and that the sentence was excessive.
Recall also that Manafort was held in solitary confinement for months, while awaiting trial and even during the trial. According to some news reports, he wasn’t even allowed a magazine.
I assume (but am not sure) that in the minimum-security prison in Pennsylvania where he’s currently serving time, he has been housed among the general population. In the famously rough environment of Riker’s Island, he’ll be –- you guess it –-- held in solitary.
“For his own protection.”
If Manafort did commit financial crimes, he should pay for that. But this price is far too high, and it’s almost certainly due to the fact that he DARED help Trump get elected. He is now a broken, ruined man, selectively prosecuted, an example of what can happen when you’re caught in the “crossfire” of the effort to bring down President Trump.
In case you were busy with something more important last night, like washing your hair or your cat or your cockatoo, Chrissy Clark at the Federalist has a round-up of the seven things we learned from Democratic Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand’s townhall on Fox News. One of them is actually not negative, repulsive, irrational, false or outright crazy. It’s #7: she’s not opposed to capitalism, at least not entirely. So far, that makes her the Democratic frontrunner in my book, but it probably kills her chances at the nomination.
Excellent column by Derek Hunter that I’m afraid falls under the category of “Fantasy Fiction.” It’s titled, “If Liberals Were Held to Their Own Standards.”
Looks as if House Democrats went judge-shopping in the wrong department store: Washington, D.C., district court Judge Trevor McFadden just threw out their lawsuit to stop President Trump’s emergency border wall funding reallocation. He said they lack standing to make a legal case, and this is basically a political dispute, not something they can run to the courts to settle.
But wait: if Democrats can’t impose their political agenda by running to the courts, how else can they possibly do it?!
Joe Biden must be feeling the heat from those attacks by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the boos at the California Democratic Convention for not being loony-left enough. So he just proposed his own version of the Green New Deal, dubbed “The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice” (it’s not truly “progressive” if you don’t find some way to incongruously stick the word “justice” into it somewhere.) His plan calls for spending $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years with another $5 trillion-plus in “additional private sector and state and local investments.” That means spending your tax money to try to pick winners in the marketplace, hopefully more fruitfully than on Solyndra, which got half a billion dollars in government loan guarantees before going bankrupt.
If it follows the Obama-Biden-era “green energy” strategy, it would mean blowing about $7 trillion on graft and meddling in the private sector to fund crony green energy companies that would be put out of business by less well-connected companies with better technology. Still, it’s less expensive than the Green New Deal, which would spend $93 trillion to destroy the entire economic system. That might appeal to “moderates” who only want to see a moderate amount of tax money wasted, but it’s not going to appease leftists like AOC who think no government program is green enough if it doesn’t spend all the green in the world.
Wednesday is the 15th anniversary of the death of President Ronald Reagan. To mark the occasion, his son, Michael Reagan, offered some personal memories and an assessment of his father’s accomplishments and legacy. This link also includes some thoughts from Herman Cain, Floyd Brown and others who admired or worked with Reagan, as well as a must-see video of Reagan’s speech in Normandy on the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, which is especially timely since Thursday marks the 75th anniversary.
As this story notes, a recent C-SPAN survey of historians found Reagan ranked as one of the top 10 presidents, moving up two spots over the past two years. Heritage Foundation historian Lee Edwards calls him the greatest President of the second half of the 20th century. His accomplishments include turning around a moribund economy, rebuilding the American military, defeating the USSR without firing a shot, and restoring a sense of pride in America.
Here’s what you seldom hear these days, but those of us who lived through the Reagan era remember it only too well: Reagan’s opponents, particularly in the media and Hollywood, were dismissive, insulting and absolutely vicious toward him. He was portrayed as a dunce, a doddering old fool, a drugstore cowboy who was going to start a nuclear war, and yes, that old reliable term the left applies to everyone they dislike without knowing what it means: a fascist.
One infamous editorial cartoon depicted him as a skull-headed merchant of death, playing chess with frightened soldiers as chess pieces. Liberal newspapers scorned his economic policies with derisive terms such as “trickle down” and “Reaganomics” (Reagan famously joked that they stopped calling it Reaganomics after it started working.) They claimed the ‘80s tax cut and economic boom was based on “greed” and only helped “the rich” (feeling any déjà vu?) Young leftists sneeringly called him “Ray-gun” in the mistaken belief that repeating the same dumb joke endlessly made them appear witty (“Drumpft” ring a bell?) His missile defense shield idea was mocked with the nickname “Star Wars” and the “settled science” crowd declared it impossible to shoot down an incoming missile. Today, America not only has anti-missile defense technology, but it’s saved countless Israelis by intercepting incoming Hamas missiles.
That relentless negative press took a toll. Among Americans in general, Gallup showed that his average approval rating during 1988, his last year in office, was 53%, down from a high in the mid-60s and tying his average for his entire term. But when asked to assess him in 2002, with an extra 14 years of perspective, they gave him a 73% approval rating.
As for C-SPAN’s survey of historians, it reflects both the benefits of perspective and hindsight and the fact that C-SPAN polls historians from a diverse range of viewpoints, rather than the rankings from lockstep liberal historians we got for years, who placed Reagan ridiculously low.
This is typical of liberal historians’ “objective” ratings of recent Presidents. For instance, they ranked Obama high for his moral integrity because he had “no scandals” (I can hear your eyes rolling from here.) They also assured us that George W. Bush (whom the left liked to call “fascist” and “Hitler” – sound familiar?) was the worst President ever. In a 2006 Sienna college poll of 744 professors, over two-thirds said Bush had no realistic chance of improving his rating. That is, until another Republican (Trump) was elected, and now he’s “the worst ever” and Bush has already moved up two spaces. Funny how you can be a history professor, yet have no concept of your own lack of historical perspective.
I find that the more history you’ve lived through, the easier it is to discount the opinions of self-proclaimed “historians.” Judging from their own track record for judging Presidents, I’d say a lot of these historians belong on the “ash heap of history” – the coining of that phrase being yet another accomplishment of Ronald Reagan.
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