“The Second Most Powerful Man in the World”

With good cause, historians have long lauded General George Marshall as the central military figure in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s prosecution of World War II. As “the Organizer of Victory” Marshall swiftly morphed the tiny U.S. Army (16th largest in the world in 1936) in the second largest and best-equipped in the world by war’s end….

After the ball is over …. will Trump go home?

The chattering classes are all atwitter. “Will Trump go, if he loses the election?” It all depends on who says he lost. Some of his critics still maintain he really lost in 2016. If the Electoral College results, opened and counted by Vice President Mike Pence in the presence of a Joint Session of Congress…

The Demonization of William Barr

Expanded from a letter in The Boston Globe, June 20, 2020 The House Democrats unavailing efforts to smear Attorney General William Barr during his recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee were only the latest in a steady drumbeat of criticism of Barr by the Democrats. I have written previously of Attorney General Barr’s qualities….

Textualist Gorsuch and the Oklahoma Reservation

Wall Street Journal letter   (This letter was in response to a Wall Street Journal editorial “The Tempting of Neil Gorsuch” criticizing Judge Gorsuch for joining the four liberal justices in ruling that much of eastern Oklahoma was still an Indian reservation.  Congress had passed a law creating the reservation and never repealed or replaced it. Chief Justice…

In the Age of the Coronavirus

In spite of being quarantined for several weeks I have avoided writing here about the Coronavirus Covid-19. I am not trained in the subject of viruses and their prevention and treatment. I have, however, in these last weeks read a great deal about it, most of it written by people who don’t seem to know…

Whose Prosecutorial Discretion Is It, Anyway?

News outlets and social media are aflame with denunciations of Attorney General William Barr’s order to change the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation to the judge in the case of Roger Stone, a gadfly Trump supporter. The excitement was created by the dramatic “resignations” of four Assistant U.S. Attorneys who had originally submitted a memo recommending a…

Schiff gives the game away

I have been afraid to turn the TV on these last few days, lest I encounter …. Adam Schiff. At   one point though, half-listening, I thought I heard him say something so outrageous, I couldn’t believe it. I rewound the TV to see if I was mistaken. I wasn’t. In my last entry here, Undermining…

“Woke” Law

Boston Globe Letter . In the story about a lawsuit over an assault in a Boston University dormitory, the Globe reports that BU’s lawyers raised the argument of the student’s failure to use the sturdy door lock provided (“Dorm assault tests colleges’ supervision,” Page A1, Jan. 5). According to the article, “in response, Suffolk Superior…

Undermining Confidence in Elections

Letter in Cape Cod Times Columnist Larry Brown is quite right that “If we lose our confidence that elections are fair, democracy falls apart” (“2020 will be the year of tipping point choices,” Ideas & Opinion, Jan. 3) He is also certainly correct that Donald Trump in 2016 said that an election loss by him…

The Inspector General’s Report – A Matter of Intent

  The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, recently released a report unappealingly titled “Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation.” In its bureaucratic prose, larded with acronyms and unnamed actors, it lives up to its dreary title. (Oddly, the Mueller Report, by contrast, whatever…

The Ukrainian Impeachment

For most Americans the Ukraine is a former member of the U.S.S.R., the home of Nikita Khrushchev and the site of terrible battles between Russian and German forces during World War II.  More recently we have come to learn that it seems to be governed alternately by pro-Russian and anti-Russian kleptocracies in which bribery and…