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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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FEBRUARY 4,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

DISGRACEFUL – FROM COLLEGE FIX:   The Department of Justice in October had filed a lawsuit against Yale University, alleging it discriminates against white and Asian applicants during its admissions process, but on Wednesday the department withdrew the litigation.  The Justice Department, now under President Joe Biden, put forth a two-sentence filing in U.S. District Court that gave notice of the government’s “voluntary dismissal of this action,” NBC reports.  “The case had marked an escalation in the Trump Justice Department’s attacks on affirmative action programs that many conservatives consider illegal,” it reported.  When the DOJ had first filed the lawsuit under President Trump’s administration, it argued that a lengthy investigation had found “Asian and White applicants have a significantly lower chance of admission to Yale College than do similarly-situated Black and Hispanic applicants.” The discrimination faced by Asian-American applicants is especially stark.  There is a difference between thoughtful affirmative action and blatant discrimination, and too many colleges, in the name of "justice," have crossed over that line.  The bursting of the higher-education bubble is coming.

REASONED POLITICAL RESTRAINT – CHOKE – FROM TRENDING POLITICS:   After spending 30 years in Washington, there isn’t much Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) can take credit for, with the exception of becoming one of her party’s best gaslighters.  Because if you can’t really accomplish anything legislatively as a lawmaker, then find something else to be good at — right?  “Mad Maxine” was at it again Wednesday during an appearance with one of cable news’s biggest racists, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, “where she made the bold claim that Trump should be charged with premeditated murder,” PJ Media reported, adding: “Waters even launched a new conspiracy theory by alleging, without evidence, that Trump had ‘advance planning about the invasion’ at the Capitol.”  “What’s so interesting about all of this is they tried to make themselves the victim when indeed they are following the president of the United States of America who had advance planning about the invasion that took place in our Capitol,” Waters claimed without any pushback from Reid.  What a waste of taxpayers' money.  I wonder if Waters ever did anything for African Americans.

February 4, 2021      Permalink

 

JEFF, WE HARDLY KNEW YE – OVERNIGHT:  Jeff Zucker expects to depart CNN at the end of the year.  No Trump, no Zucker.  Maybe they'll team up.  From NBC News: 

CNN President Jeff Zucker said he expects to leave the network when his contract expires at the end of this year, he told employees Thursday.

The news, which follows months of speculation that Zucker would leave as early as last month, gives CNN at least a year to find a successor to the man who radically transformed the network and its role in American journalism.

"I am going to stay at CNN through the end of this year," Zucker said on a call with staff, according to two people who participated. "I am going to stay and finish my current contract, which ... will keep me here until the end of this year. At that point, I do expect to move on."

"Some of you will hear what I'm saying as an announcement that I am leaving," he added. "That is truly not the way I see it."

Under Zucker, CNN became known for wall-to-wall saturation coverage on one big story, whether it was politics or the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the infamous "poop cruise." That was a departure from the days when CNN sought to cover all the major news headlines from across the world in a digest more akin to the BBC.

The biggest story of Zucker's tenure would be President Donald Trump: a man who before his presidential campaign owed his national celebrity in part to Zucker himself. As president of NBC Entertainment in the early aughts, Zucker had signed Trump to host "The Apprentice." NBC Entertainment is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.

COMMENT:  The problem, of course, is that Zucker turned CNN into the anti-Trump network.  Some may have liked it, but CNN's journalistic reputation has not been enhanced.  Credibility in journalism, once lost, is extremely difficult to get back.

I hope that Zucker's successor will at least make the attempt to return the network to traditional news gathering, and make far better use of the 24 hours a day that it has on the air.

February 4, 2021       Permalink

 

THE FORMER PRESIDENT FIGHTS BACK – AT 5:30 P.M. ET:  The idiot Democrats, but I repeat myself, have requested former President Trump to testify under oath at his impeachment trial this week.  The former president has replied.  From Fox: 

Former President Trump's legal team fired back at Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin's request for the former president to testify as part of the Senate impeachment trial, calling it a "public relations stunt" and saying they "cannot prove" the allegations against him.

The comments come after House impeachment managers requested that Trump provide testimony under oath either before or during the Senate impeachment trial about "his conduct" on Jan. 6.
The president's legal team did not say, one way or the other, whether the president would testify.
"We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt," Trump's attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen wrote. "As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative interference in this unconstitutional proceeding."

"Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen," they continued.

They added: "The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games."

The request from impeachment managers came after Trump’s legal team filed an answer to the Article of Impeachment denying what managers call "incontrovertible facts about the president’s conduct on and leading up to" the Capitol riots.

Trump’s legal team responded saying that "the 45th President of the United States performed admirably in his role as president, at all times doing what he thought was in the best interests the American people."

Lead Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., on Thursday wrote a letter to Trump, saying he has "attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense."

"In light of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, concerning your conduct on January 6, 2021," Raskin wrote. "We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place."

Raskin added: "If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021."

COMMENT:  The level of worminess on the part of the Dems is something to behold.  Raskin is an old leftist of no particular consequence.  The entire impeachment charade is an embarrassment to the country.  We hope the "trial" ends quickly in an acquittal.  But keeping Trump in the news is good for the news industry, so expect more fireworks, especially from the attorney general of New York.

February 4, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 3,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

LIZ CHENEY SURVIVES – FROM FOX:   Embattled GOP Rep. Liz Cheney didn't apologize for her vote three weeks ago to impeach then-President Trump.  And in the end, she didn't need to.  The House Republican Conference Chair on Wednesday night easily survived a push by House GOP Trump loyalists to strip her of her number three leadership position.  In a secret ballot vote by the entire House Republican Conference, only 61 members voted to strip Cheney of her leadership role, with 145 supporting her.  Cheney was under fire over her vote three weeks ago to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters. Cheney was the most senior of 10 Republicans who joined all 222 House Democrats to impeach Trump, with 197 GOP representatives voting against impeachment.  On the eve of the impeachment vote, the three-term congresswoman from Wyoming said that Trump "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack." She stressed that "there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."  In a way, this is the right outcome.  Cheney was unwise, as a major Republican leader, to join the impeachers.  But to strip her of her position would make her into a martyr, and give the Democrats the chance to ridicule the GOP as narrow and bigoted.  We hope Liz has learned from the experience.

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? – FROM REUTERS:   WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Wednesday acknowledged it was unsure about how to address white nationalism and other extremism in its ranks, and announced plans for military-wide stand-downs pausing regular activity at some point in the next 60 days to tackle the issue.  The decision to a hold a stand-down was made by Lloyd Austin, who made history by becoming the military’s first Black defense secretary after a long career rising in the ranks of the Army. In his confirmation hearing, Austin underscored the need to rid the military of “racists and extremists”.  Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Austin ordered the stand-down after a meeting with the U.S. military branch leaders, who are under pressure to show progress in combating extremism after current and former military servicemembers were found to have participated in the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. This must be looked at very carefully.  The military has always stressed good behavior, and staying within the law.  But a program like this has political overtones.  If done properly, it can improve the services and their contribution to the nation.  If done improperly, it can lead to political indoctrination by the party in power.  We will watch.

February 3, 2021       Permalink

WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH TOO OFTEN – AT 9:15 P.M. ET:  It is perfectly clear that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or, as we call her, little Evita from the Bronx, is working hard to get the Nobel Prize in Martyrdom, which is reverently given each year by a group of social psychologists at Berkeley.  But now she has gone too far, and seems to see herself as the personal target of evil conservatives.  From Fox: 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is facing criticism over initial claims she made about the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, with many noting that she wasn't even in the Capitol when they occurred.

The controversy erupted after the New York congresswoman posted a video in which she described a confrontation with Capitol police at her office, which is located on the larger Capitol complex. But it is not in the Capitol itself — which includes the dome, the House, and the Senate — and was where many rioters stormed in and were seen breaking windows.

Her office is located in the Cannon building, which is accessible through underground tunnels connected to the Capitol as well as via a short stroll down a walkway and across the street. It was also one of the buildings where staff was told to evacuate after suspicious packages were found in the area. Law enforcement found pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails in the vicinity.

In response to the incident, the congresswoman said: "I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive." She also accused Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas of almost having her "murdered," touching on accusations that Cruz and others incited the attack through their rhetoric about the election.

"I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die," she said in a video last month.

In her more recent video, she offered an emotional recollection of how she hid behind a bathroom door and heard the police officer break into her office.

"I thought I was going to die," she said. "I have never been quieter in my entire life."

She added that the situation "didn't feel right because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility -- and things weren't adding up. There was no partner there and no one was yelling, he wasn't yelling like, 'this is Capitol police, this is Capitol police.'"

Capitol police did not immediately respond to Fox News's request for comment.

On Wednesday, she faced a wave of backlash from people like Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who tweeted that insurrectionists never stormed the hallway that she shares with Ocasio-Cortez. The hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollet also trended, an apparent comparison to actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to some of the criticism, suggesting that it was "the latest manipulative take on the right."

"They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex," she said. "We were all on the Capitol complex - the attack wasn’t just on the dome."

In another tweet, she said: "People were trying to rush and infiltrate our office buildings - that’s why we had to get evacuated in the first place. The attempts of attackers & publicly available communications show how they tried to gain access and share location info on finding members for physical harm."

It wasn't immediately clear what she was referring to, and her office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

She later posted about her experience deciding whether or not to share her story.

"This is all to say that survivors are watching," she tweeted. "Loved ones are watching. They may share their story tomorrow, or in months or years. Or they may never. Speaking vitriol towards other survivors hurts you & your loved ones. Bc [Because] dismissers rob themselves of meaningful relationships."

COMMENT:  As the scarecrow observes in The Wizard of Oz, "if I only had a brain."  AOC should take a deep breath, and maybe a deeper vacation.  She might also spend some quality time with American women of our armed services who have spent months in combat zones. 

A bit of maturity is not a bad thing in government.  AOC is wearing out her welcome.

February 3, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

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"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
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