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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

resident Obama's speech last week advocating congressional approval of the Iran deal was mostly made-up history mixed with invective. Indeed, he talked far more roughly about his congressional partners than he did about our Iranian enemies, who have worked so hard to kill Americans over the last 35 years. Obama assured us that in the past a "nonproliferation treaty . . . prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons." One wonders, then, how India, China, North Korea, and Pakistan ever obtained them, given they were all forbidden to do so under "new agreements" forged by Democratic and Republican presidents. Is there much logic in the assertion that the intelligence was flawed when we went to war with what proved to be a non-nuclear Iraq, but that we can trust the same intelligence agencies to apprise us precisely of the nuclear status of Iran?


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In April, former New York Times journalist Judith Miller revealed in "The Story" that by manipulating her memory through tendentious questioning and withholding exculpatory evidence, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald induced her to give false testimony that in 2007 helped convict I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of obstruction of justice, false statements, and perjury.

Libby is the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and assistant to President George W. Bush, which might explain the media reaction to this bombshell, which was hardly to respond at all. A prominent journalist's allegation of misconduct by a powerful prosecutor in a high profile case appeared to raise among our media watchdogs no significant questions of politics, law, or justice.


Monday, July 27, 2015

In his speech accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY's, Bruce Jenner used his experience to discuss the next generation of transgenders: "Trans people deserve something vital: They deserve your respect. If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there, coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn't have to take it."

I agree with Jenner. No kid should be bullied anywhere, for any reason, especially not in schools. But that doesn't mean transgender kids should be free to make other kids acquiesce to environments in which they are uncomfortable. In schools now, adults and students alike are lobbying for preferential treatment for transgender kids, but their goals or accomplishments fail to acknowledge that every student deserves equal treatment.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The John Doe investigation of Wisconsin conservatives collapsed last week with a powerful decision from the Wisconsin Supreme Court that called state prosecutors' theory of campaign-finance law "unconstitutional" and "unsupported in either reason or law." But the legal exoneration shouldn't pass without noting the hardship the secret probe imposed on its targets and on political debate in Wisconsin.

For the past few days, I've been talking to the targets of the task force of Milwaukee Democratic prosecutors, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz. Their experiences, on the record here for the first time, reveal the nasty political sweep of an investigation that invaded privacy with surveillance of email accounts, raided homes with armed law enforcement, and swarmed individuals with subpoenas demanding tens of thousands of documents while insisting on secrecy.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The F-35 program could cripple U.S. defense for decades to come. "You could argue it [the F-35] was already one of the biggest white elephants in history a long time ago," stated former U.K. defense chief Nick Harvey in a May interview. Harvey then doubled down, saying there is "not a cat in hell's chance" the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) would be combat-ready by 2018. While it is noteworthy that a person of Harvey's stature would level such harsh criticisms, his statement merely reflects the conclusions of reports by the U.S. Defense Department's Director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional Research Service, and various independent air-power analysts: The F-35 program is a mess; it is unaffordable and will not be able to fulfill its mission.


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