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In the Clown Car

What Of Flynn’s Sin?

Blog From
December 4th, 2017

Last week, Lt. General Michael T. Flynn stepped into a Federal courtroom and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The lie was denying lawful contacts with the Russian Ambassador in the month following President Trump’s election.

Most media outlets exuberantly characterized Flynn’s guilty plea as the beginning of the end for the Trump Presidency since Flynn is now ‘cooperating’ with Mueller’s team. ABC’s Brian Ross, who was more than merely euphoric, is now on suspension from his network for claiming the Flynn-Russian contacts were pre-election.

But, what does Flynn’s plea really mean for the President? The answer is the value the plea has to Mueller. For the Special Prosecutor, what is the advantage of nailing Flynn as a liar over conduct that has nothing to do with the investigation?

It seems to be a head-scratcher. After all, a prosecutor who utterly destroys the credibility of his witness has given a great gift to defense attorneys. Convicting the witness of lying is a huge credibility killer.

Then there’s the pressure Mueller put on Flynn to protect his son from Federal prosecution. Mueller announced late last month that Flynn’s offspring, Michael G., was a ‘subject’ of the investigation.  Even if he were not a convicted liar, saving his son from the heavy hand of the Special Prosecutor in the plea deal pretty much destroyed Flynn’s credibility.

Obviously, Mueller was desperate to put a conviction in the win column. But, having a liar in his stable, who was also motivated to save his son, seems less than nothing.

In The Headlights

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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But Is It Enough?

It’s that time of year again. Ring out the old. Ring in the new. These phrases appear in a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson written in the Before Time. Before technology. Before social media. Before grocery stores, canned dog food and late night TV.

In the 1850 poem, Ring Out, Wild Bells, Tennyson pretty much savages the old year as a festering cesspool of disappointment. He looks forward, perhaps too optimistically, to the new.

Here we are 167 years later. Every twelve months, we still ring out and in, which, if you think about it, makes us perennial Pollyannas. After all, if any New Year turned out to fulfill expectations, would we be so anxious to close the door on it? Yet, we cheer the next one each December 31 as if the result will be different.

There is a difference between New Year’s and, say, other year–end celebrations. New Year’s lasts one day. Compare that to Hanukkah, which goes on for eight days or the twelve days of Christmas, three if you live in Iceland and about 90 if you’re in retail sales.

And the New Year’s Day wish is to have a happy one. Happy one day? How much happiness can you cram into one–seventh of a week? And those New Year’s resolutions – they make for a hectic twenty­–­four hours.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year, what’s left of it anyway.


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