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Today's Commentary: At least SOME lawyers avoid conflicts of interest -- Great video-- UPENN law professor denounced -- John Bolton returns -- Excellent op-ed -- Additional Mike Huckabee commentaries
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At the end of last week, word was that with the exit of John Dowd, President Trump’s lead attorney in the special counsel investigation, Trump was bringing on the husband-and-wife legal team of Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing. It turns out, though, that conflicts of interest will prevent them from assuming those positions. Their firm already represents at least one client who will be testifying in the investigation.
One problem for Trump: Robert Mueller is fishing in such a huge lake that it’s hard to find a lawyer in Washington DC without an existing client who represents a conflict of interest. In general, though, such conflicts are a fact of life in the legal profession, at least among attorneys who still have enough integrity to avoid cases in which they HAVE conflicts of interest. Attorneys with that kind of integrity appear to be on the endangered species list –- in Washington, they must be nearly extinct. In fact, after many months of following the twists and turns of the Hillary Clinton email case as it was dealt with by friends and supporters at the DOJ, FBI and State Department, the term “conflict of interest” seems to have lost all meaning.
By Mike Huckabee
What happens when actors are called to a cold reading off a TelePrompter of actual, well-researched facts about guns and violence? Watch this extremely enlightening video to the end and see the surprised actors admit that they never actually thought too hard or did any research on this subject, they just kind of "picked a side." We should put this producer in charge of the TelePrompter at the Oscars.
UPENN law professor denounced
By Mike Huckabee
If you’ve ever seen the 1973 film “The Paper Chase” or the TV series it spawned, you must remember the famous speech in which the imperious Prof. Kingsford (John Houseman) lectures his students that they come here with “skulls full of mush,” but they leave thinking like lawyers. Well, four decades later, the University of Pennsylvania Law School has somehow managed to reverse that process.
At Penn Law, Prof. Amy Wax wrote an article stating some inarguable truisms that have been time-tested as keys for success across every race and culture for centuries: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness…Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”
She added that while these standards have been attacked and broken down since the 1960s, they still hold; and that (brace yourself!) not all cultures are equal, and some are better than others at producing people who can function in advanced societies. For saying this, she was denounced by some students as anti-black and an advocate for “white supremacy.” Fortunately, their demands that she be terminated for double-plus-ungood-thought crimes ran afoul of her tenure.
But now, she’s really stepped in it: in an interview, she agreed with a study that found that affirmative action does a disservice to students by placing them into schools they are unprepared for. She noted that in her first year civil procedure course, she didn’t recall ever seeing a black student graduate in the top quarter and very rarely in the top half of the class.
Well, that tore it: she was again accused of bigotry, and the president of the Black Students Association said she had “insinuated demonstrably false and deeply offensive claims.” The dean said she spoke “disparagingly and inaccurately” and that “Black students have graduated in the top of the class at Penn Law” (which she didn't deny; she was talking about a first-year required course for students transitioning into law school. And she didn't say students in the affirmative action program were mentally inferior, she said they weren't as well prepared for Penn Law by their previous schools.) She has now been barred from teaching anything but elective courses. She was actually demoted by the law school for thinking like a lawyer.
But Prof. Wax refused to back down, saying, “Student performance is a matter of fact, not opinion. It is what it is.” Her interviewer, Brown University Professor Glenn Loury (who himself is black) defended her, noting that Penn had released no data contradicting her claim.
Considering that a three-year program at Penn Law costs about $297,000, if you’re thinking of sending any kids with skulls full of mush there, then make sure they take Prof. Wax’s class in how to think like a lawyer. Apparently, it’s now an elective, and she’s the only one teaching it.
John Bolton returns
By Mike Huckabee
There’s another shake-up at the White House, with news that President Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, will be replaced next month by James Bolton. Trump called it an amicable and mutual decision and thanked McMaster for helping his Administration accomplish great things in foreign policy. McMaster tweeted that after 34 years of service to the nation, he is also requesting retirement from the US Army this summer, after which he will leave public service. Or as the media is depicting that: “CHAOS!!!”
Bolton is predictably being described by the media as a “war hawk,” a hardliner on North Korea and Iran, and a Fox News commentator, rather than as a summa cum laude graduate of Yale Law, foreign policy expert, author, and former US Ambassador to the UN, Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs at the State Department. All that is true, even if you don’t hear it.
Bolton is also being assailed by some on the far left as a crazed, rightwing war monger and Islamophobe, which is probably also what they think of their moms who voted for Trump, so take that with a grain of salt. Evidence of his dangerousness as presented on one liberal site is that Bolton has written articles titled “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First,” “Expect America’s Tensions with China and Russia to Rise in 2018” and “How to Defund the UN.” My reaction is that the first one just reflects the long-overdue toughening of US attitudes that finally forced North Korea to the negotiating table on nuclear weapons, the second sounds as if he nailed it, and as for defunding the UN, sign me up!
In short, of all the things I’ll be lying awake and worrying about in the next year, having John Bolton as a foreign policy adviser is pretty far down the list, right underneath “If I tell this joke, will it make Nancy Pelosi mad at me?”
By Mike Huckabee
The media keep lecturing us that we must listen to youth to end school shootings, but then, they only give airtime to youths who parrot anti-gun, anti-NRA propaganda that they agree with. There are many young people who fervently disagree with that view, but their opinions never seem to get a mass forum.
If there’s some fear that they won’t be well-spoken, they I can allay that by pointing you to this excellent op-ed piece by 18-year-old Will Farthing, a senior at Hickory Grove Christian School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He sees no logic in passing new laws that would not impact potential killers at all, but would impede the rights of law-abiding citizens, and he notes that students in his school feel safe because there are armed guards on campus at all times. He also writes in a style so intelligent, persuasive and well-researched that I can only pray he gets hired by the Washington Post before some journalism school ruins him.