Daily Archives: July 13, 2020

Reality Check

One-time defenders of unsavory Clinton and Obama pardons are outraged by President Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s 40-month sentence for nonviolent criminal obstruction of a bogusly based and ridiculously over-prosecuted investigation.

They have short memories.

2020_07 13 clintons

Bill Clinton pardoned …

  • His own brother for felony distribution of cocaine.
  • Four people involved in the Whitewater scandal for which he and Hillary Clinton were under investigation.
  • Marc Rich, in what was a straight-up political payoff.
  • His CIA director.
  • His HUD secretary.
  • Eight people convicted in an investigation of his Agriculture Department.
  • Convicted terrorists, some of whom hadn’t even asked for clemency.

2020_07 13 reality check

President Obama pardoned …

  • Oscar Lopez Rivera, the defiantly unrepentant FALN leader.
  • A U.S. soldier who passed top-secret information to WikiLeaks.
  • His former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman.
  • Hundreds of drug offenders.

2020_07 13 obama

Obama’s administration perverted the course of justice by

  • Ensuring Hillary Clinton did not get indicted.
  • Dropping a slam dunk case the New Black Panther Party because the defendants were all black.
  • Obstructing the Fast and Furious investigation for which Obama’s attorney general was held in contempt of Congress.
  • Ignoring his CIA director’s spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • Turning a blind eye to abuses of power at the IRS.

N.b., I have used “pardoned” to cover both pardons and commutations. There is an important legal distinction between them, but belaboring it did not contribute to my point, so I went with simplicity.

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Bits & Bytes

2020_07 13 St Anthony the Great

COVID-19: A Texas doctor says he’s found the silver bullet for novel coronavirus.

The drug – Budesonide – has been used by thousands of people, including kids, for asthma and other problems.

Even better, it is inexpensive and can be administered at home.

2020_07 13 archilochus

COVID-19: There is an interesting article at Mercator that is worth reading in full. Samplings provided to intrigue you to do it. 🙂

Two competing narratives are occurring: Continue to open the economy up or, as cases rise, shut it down. Park your politics for a moment and explore the ancient leadership lessons represented in the battle between these two men–the leader and the expert.

There is a seductive appeal of hedgehogs like Dr. Fauci. They know something really well and they are so good at what they do. But, leaders, especially Presidents, must be careful when dealing with hedgehogs, not to confuse the response the experts want (shut everything down!) with what the country needs (personal accountability, disciplined self selection, targeted quarantines with a keen focus on the hot spots like major cities, and especially protection of at-risk populations and our medical personnel, and so on).

To understand what this means for leaders, return to the lesson in the original story of the Fox and the Hedgehog in the ancient Greek fable by Aesop written 16 centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ:

A Fox swimming across a rapid river was carried by the force of the current into a very deep ravine, where he lay for a long time very much bruised, sick, and unable to move. A swarm of hungry blood sucking flies settled upon him. A Hedgehog, passing by, saw his anguish and inquired if he should drive away the flies that were tormenting him.

By no means,” replied the Fox, “pray do not molest them.” “How is this?” said the Hedgehog, “do you not want to be rid of them?” “No,” returned the Fox, “for these flies which you see are full of blood, and sting me but little, and if you rid me of these which are already satiated, others more hungry will come in their place, and will drink up all the blood I have left.”

The hedgehog sees the problem and wants to fix it. But the fox is the opposite, embracing the complexity of the situation without being overwhelmed by it. The fox knows he can’t just brush off the flies causing him pain; he must avoid expediency and choose wisely because there are significant long-term consequences beyond the pain of the moment.”

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