Quote of the Day postsThursday January 03, 2019
The American Idea
“You know, I love Ireland, I'm a proud Irishman. Ireland is a great country, but it's not an idea. America is not just a country; it's an idea.”
— Bono, front man of U2, as related by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), in Jeffrey Toobin's article, ”Adam Schiff's Plans to Obliterate Trump's Red Line,“ in the Dec. 24/31 New Yorker.
The obviously follow-up is ”What's the idea?" To me, it's the opposite of almost everything Donald Trump stands for. The idea is that you come here and within a generation you are American. That doesn't happen in almost any other country. We are a microcosm of the world. If we can make it work here, the world has a chance.
Quote of the Day
“I'm a retired attorney who is on no one's short list to serve on the Supreme Court. But I listened on Sept. 27 while Kavanaugh peppered two hours of Senate testimony with attacks against people and groups he associated with Democrats. Kavanaugh alleged (without factual basis) that he was the victim of a vast, secret, left-wing cabal, masterminded by senators such as Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and motivated by ‘revenge on behalf of the Clintons.’ I was shocked to hear a Supreme Court nominee carry on like a crazed conspiracy theorist.
”Turns out, there's a rule against federal judges behaving like this. Congress passed the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act in 1980, and the rules under that act state that it's misconduct for a federal judge to make ‘inappropriately partisan statements.’ I may be retired, but I think I know an inappropriately partisan statement when I hear one.“
Larry Behrendt, ”I filed one of the 83 dismissed misconduct complaints against Brett Kavanaugh. Here's why." on The Washington Post site. Behrendt's complaint, along with the others, was dismissed by the 10th Circuit Judicial Council earlier this month. Its reasoning was like out of a Marx Brothers movie or Joseph Heller novel: the Judicial Conduct Act applies to circuit judges, and while Kavanaugh was one when he made the remarks, he's now an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, so the rule doesn't apply. It's straight from Groucho: Too late, that's old business already.
Quote of the Day
“One of the things that has surprised me about many of the Trump appointees—and [Rick] Perry is an example of this—is that if you were genuinely patriotic, if you genuinely loved the country, if someone offers you a job that you know you‘re not qualified to do, you don’t just take it. You should say no. You should say, ‘Actually, I don’t know anything about this, and I embarrassed myself on a public stage calling for the elimination of this place; really, someone who can start with a cleaner slate should come in and do this.'”
Michael Lewis, author of “The Fifth Risk,” on Preet Bhara's podcast, “Stay Tuned with Preet.”
“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
”Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
”Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.“
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, in his resignation letter to Donald Trump yesterday—the day after Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing its troops from Syria. I‘ve long suspected Trump only chose Mattis in the first place because of his nickname: ”Mad Dog.“ All in all, it’s one of the classiest ways of saying ”You‘re an idiot and a danger to this country" that I’ve read.
Tweet of the Day
Didn't think I'd ever be posting tweets from Bill Kristol—particularly ones that I agree with—but we live in strange times. Hey, bedfellow.
We might pause and reflect on the implications of the fact that we have a president who, rather than taking care that the laws are faithfully executed, loudly expresses contempt for the rule of law and encourages others to share that contempt, and, presumably, to act on it. https://t.co/ho04wH5PbV— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 16, 2018