But is unlikely to be asked
As all eyes turn to the Republican primary debate Wednesday night, The Ops Desk would like to request a single question be asked of the candidates:
“What will you do to save our cities?”
As readers of this space know, this has been a regular theme here. Coast-to-coast, this nation is losing its cities, our centers of commerce, culture, and immigrant aspiration.
Now, no one expects a simple answer. But certainly the wrong answer would be of the sort offered by Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, who, after being called out by the NAACP for her handling of crime, responded with, “I’d love to hear what their solution is, instead of just attacks.”
Ms. Mayor, it’s not the NAACP’s job to solve your exploding crime problem. It’s yours.
The problem is large and relevant to all of us. This because it’s NOT just residents in the cities that are affected by our galloping urban decline. As cities die, the areas surrounding them turn gangrenous. Suburbanites stop shopping here. They stop visiting the shows, the restaurants, the events. Tourism declines. The commuters look to work from home.
And so, the jobs that support these suburbanites begin to die as well.
Think this is an isolated problem? According to the last census, 80% of Americans live in cities. Add the suburban areas, and we’re likely looking at an issue affecting over 90% of Americans.
The greater New York City area was, as recently as 2020, over 20 million. We’re down 300,000 since then.
Did COVID hurt us? Sure. But it’s also clear that the flight is accelerating, and that the 300,000 is not being replaced.
Unless, of course, you count illegals.
Another reason I like this question: It won’t be expected. Some may handle it well (Chris Christie — a former prosecutor — being the likeliest). Others may fumble badly.
But from where I sit, if you can’t give a few concrete suggestions to that question, you haven’t really mulled our current domestic circumstances.
And blaming Joe Biden is not enough.
(Note: We’ll have some suggestions along these lines ourselves next time, following the debate. But let’s see what this gang-of-eight has to say for themselves first! There’s some sharp folks up there. Maybe they’ll surprise us).
Welcome To The Constitutional Crisis
House Republicans subpoena IRS and FBI agents involved in Hunter Biden case
So word comes now that the House is diving ever-deeper into Biden International — with the links to Big Joe becoming all-but-irrefutable.
Which means: As has happened (extremely rarely) in the past, we are now set up for a battle between our legislative and executive branches.
Here’s an instructive example.
When Major Nidal Hasan decided to go jihadi and shot up Fort Hood in Texas (now renamed Fort Cavazos by the Biden administration), Senator Joe Lieberman set up a Senate committee to investigate why Hasan — who was firmly on the radar of the FBI — was ignored as a threat.
The AG at the time, Anthony Holder, essentially refused to cooperate, citing “an ongoing investigation.” (The Obama administration at the time didn’t want the details coming out — it was blatantly clear Hasan’s threat had been ignored for politically correct reasons).
Lieberman and Holder sparred publicly — Lieberman was posting the letters to his Senate website (I was reading them in real time — it was fascinating). Lieberman even subpoenaed Holder — no result.
So: A stalemate between two branches of our government. One never contemplated by the Constitution’s framers.
Eventually, some sort of deal was worked out, because Lieberman released a report that was damning, but nowhere near what it could (and should) have been. (A clue to how Lieberman — formerly a Democrat — felt about this? Here’s the report’s title: “A Ticking Time Bomb”).
And so: Justice denied.
The key: Lieberman pushed the issue. He wouldn’t just take the “ongoing investigation” excuse, and insisted on getting the info.
Holder, of course, was just as adamant in protecting his boss.
Congress — in this case, the House — looks like they’re prepared to do the same. They’re likely going to subpoena Weiss — and even Garland.
So: Put the battle front-and-center. Don’t let DOJ just cite an “ongoing investigation,” and then back down from the fight.
Post the demands. Post the subpoenas to DOJ.
Make it public.
The Smoking Gun…
… And no, we’re not talking about Alec Baldwin.
Among perhaps the stupidest moments in U.S. political history (a high bar) was this gem: then-VP Joe Biden bragging at the Council on Foreign Relations about getting the Ukrainian prosecutor who was looking into Burisma fired.
Biden, fellow Democrats, and our prostrate media have defended this idiotic braggadocio by insisting it was in-line with the Obama administration’s policy toward Ukraine at the time.
Now comes word that, in fact, what Joe Biden did was exactly the opposite of the role he was expected by Obama to play in Ukraine on the trip.
So then: Why did Joe Biden get the prosecutor investigating his son’s Ukrainian company fired?
Do I have to answer that?
Folks, this is no obscure factoid buried in some witch hunt. This equates in many ways to Richard Nixon’s attempt to have his Attorney General fire the Special Prosecutor who was tasked with looking into Watergate at the time. That AG, Elliot Richardson, refused and resigned.
Don’t expect a similar ethical response this time around.
The Gilgo Follies
It’s getting hard to keep up with all the drama out on Long Island regarding the Gilgo Beach investigation.
Most obvious is, perhaps, the announcement today of the arrest of former Suffolk PD Chief, James Burke.
In light of the solicitation charges (and reported “other pending” charges — perhaps narco?), it becomes hard not to buy into the theory that Burke hindered the Gilgo investigation 10 years ago so as to avoid other agencies — particularly the FBI — from looking further into him.
That said: I am not ready to commit to that. I lean more toward nonfeasance than malfeasance. Which is not an excuse; simply a different form of criticism.
(Full disclosure: Over the years, I met Burke several times, at conferences and the like. In our brief interactions, I noticed nothing amiss).
There’s also this reporting: John Ray, the lawyer for two of the bodies found on (or near) Gilgo Beach, now appears to be claiming that suspect Rex Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup, is a suspect as well.
Ray also states that he received threatening calls from a man and a woman in the time leading up to the arrest of Heuermann — and that the calls ceased after Heuermann’s arrest.
Ray also states that he expects more arrests in the case.
I remain skeptical here, too. But at this point….
A Simple Question…
In light of Hunter Biden’s admission regarding drugs, his lying on the federal form for his gun license, and other conduct-unbecoming:
Has Hunter’s law license been suspended?
And are we supposed to believe that this trainwreck has been paying his annual registration dues, and doing his required yearly Continuing Legal Education?
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