Obama administration: Iran cash payment depended on prisoner release

Featured image Yesterday, the Obama administration finally admitted that its $400 million cash payment to Iran was contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. withheld the delivery of the cash as “leverage” until Iran permitted the Americans to leave the country. There was also this exchange: In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until »

The ransom that dare not speak its name

Featured imageDid the United States really owe the Islamic Republic of Iran $1.7 billion because of a previousl Iranian regime’s payment of $400 million to us? Somehow I doubt it. The previous regme was a friend of the United States; the current one is a deathly enemy. Even if we owed it, there must be a loophole somewhere in the nature of a self-preservation exception. Did the $400 million cash payment »

What the Washington Post doesn’t want you to read about “implicit bias”

Featured imageI wrote here about the Department of Justice’s efforts to push “implicit bias training” on law enforcement personnel and about a lame column in which Joe Davidson of the Washington Post cheers on the DOJ. In his column, Davidson attacked Hans von Spakovsky for, among other alleged offenses, questioning the “science” behind implicit bias training. Davidson didn’t take on Hans’s analysis. Instead, he suggested, circularly, that by questioning the “science,” »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured imageAmmo Grrrll shouts: I DIDN’T DO IT! She writes: When our Citizen of the World President attended a Pan-American Tinhorn Dictator’s Conference in 2009 (I may not have the name completely right), Obama sat and listened to Daniel Ortega give a 50-minute diatribe about the century of sins of the United States. At the end of that tedious hour, Obama never offered a single rebuttal. Later, he made an idiotic »

Germany’s “Guests” Refuse to Work

Featured imageThis is the kind of news item that has Angela Merkel in political trouble: According to mayor Bernd Pohlers of the eastern town of Saxony Waldenburg, the asylum seekers refused to accept the work that was offered to them after they arrived in the country. The local council spent £600 arranging for the men to have uniforms but were stunned when they were told they would not complete it because »

Who’s Crude?

Featured imageFor most of the last year, we have seen endless hand-wringing in the news media about how crude Donald Trump is. He has no manners; he is bringing down the level of public discourse; his attacks on others are outrageous. And, to be sure, there have been times when I, along with countless others, have criticized Trump’s excesses. But it seems obvious to me that it is Trump’s enemies, far »

Jean Edward Smith’s Burning Bush

Featured imageI’m not going to read Jean Edward Smith’s new biography of George W. Bush for three reasons, one of them coming directly from Smith himself. Smith, the acclaimed biographer of John Marshall, Lucius Clay, and Dwight Eisenhower, once advised me: “Never write a biography of a living person.” He gave lots of good reasons for this counsel, many of which can be easily surmised. I was a little surprised, therefore, »

When a lawyer is past his sell-by date

Featured imageHere are some signs that a lawyer is past his sell-by date (I speak from personal experience.) You begin to regard calls from clients as intrusions. You become irritated too easily during depositions. Reading judicial opinions used to be fun but now you sometimes find yourself asking ‘what do I care what this hack thinks?’. And here’s one I hadn’t thought of: you tweet to help think through a legal »

The Trump Speech That Will Win Him the Presidency*

Featured imageYesterday in West Bend, Wisconsin, Donald Trump delivered a speech that was described as being on law and order. True enough, but it was much more than that. Trump powerfully wove together his campaign’s themes in a direct appeal for African-American votes. You can read the speech here. Of course, Trump didn’t deliver it exactly as written, but it was close, with no notable deviations that I noticed. Excerpts are »

Ilhan Omar explains

Featured imageShfting its public relations strategy, the Omar campaign has just issued the following STATEMENT FROM ILHAN OMAR: A number of baseless rumors have been made recently about my personal life and family. I will say it again here: they are absolutely false and ridiculous. That said, I will offer clarity and share a difficult part of my personal history that I did not consider relevant in the context of a »

The Omar campaign shuts up (2)

Featured imageStar Tribune reporter Patrick Coolican brings the Ilhan Omar story up to date in his Morning Hot Dish newsletter. He summarizes the status of the story as of this moment (emphasis supplied by Coolican): Michael Howard, who is the House DFL caucus press guy, has taken over press for Ilhan Omar. That’s the fourth person dealing with media in a week, by my count. He declined another interview request on »

A few questions for Ilhan Omar

Featured imageIlhan Omar responded to the straightforward questions I raised about her marital situation with a stonewall thrown up by Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Jean Brandl. Brandl provided me the Omar campaign’s classic nonresponse response to my questions with the imputation of bigotry thrown in for good measure. I thought the questions deserved a straightforward answer and was intrigued by the immediate appearance of a criminal defense attorney to respond to »

Islamist preacher convicted in Britain

Featured imageAnjem Choudary, the British hate-spewing Islamic preacher, has been found guilty of supporting Islamic State. He faces up to ten years of prison time. Choudary will be familiar to some of our readers. He used to appear on Fox News talk shows to defend the actions of terrorists. Often with a smile. Or was it a smirk? Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey. Jurors heard testimony that he swore »

Black Milwaukee cop is subject of death threats

Featured imageThe name of the black police officer who killed Sylville Smith has been made public. The officer is Dominique Heaggan, also referred to as Dominique Heaggan-Brown. According to this report, Heaggan grew up poor and “rough” in the same neighborhood as Smith. Indeed, the two attended the same high school and apparently knew each other at the time. Heaggan joined the city’s police force as a police aide in 2010. »

Larry Tribe violates professional responsibility in attempt to harm Trump

Featured imageYesterday, Larry Tribe tweeted: “I have notes of when Trump phoned me for legal advice in 1996. I’m now figuring out whether our talk was privileged.” There is nothing to figure out. Except in extraordinary situations, a lawyer cannot reveal “information relating to the representation of a client” unless the client gives informed consent or the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation. A lawyer’s dislike »

Aleppo update

Featured imageIn early August, I wrote about the apparent break through by Syrian rebels in Aleppo. Before the war, Aleppo was Syria’s economic hub and a cultural treasure. Since 2012, it has been divided between regime forces and opposition fighters. It became the Syrian rebels’ last urban stronghold and, as such, the target of a siege by the Assad regime and Hezbollah forces supported, crucially, by Russian air power. A few »

Kane can’t

Featured imageWe tuned in to the saga of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (a Democrat) in three 2014 posts: “Culture of corruption,” followed by “Culture of corruption update” and “Philadelphia four run for reelection.” We followed up last year in “Kane cant.” Kane appeared to me to be guilty of questionable professional conduct that she defended through the deployment of race and sex cards. Having killed an investigation of black Philadelphia »