Another mockery of justice in Pennsylvania

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Former Drexel neurologist facing sex-assault charges in New York

Staff Reports | Updated: February 20, 2018 — 8:00 PM EST

Ricardo Cruciani, from his Philadelphia Police Department mug shot.

Ricardo Cruciani, from his Philadelphia Police Department mug shot.

A former Drexel University neurologist who was sentenced to probation last year in Philadelphia for molesting female patients was taken into custody Tuesday by New York police to face charges that he repeatedly sexually assaulted a woman there for years.

The New York Post reported that an arrest warrant was issued in Manhattan for Ricardo Cruciani and he was expected to be extradited back to New York for an arraignment Wednesday. The Post did not report where Cruciani was arrested.

Cruciani, 63, of Wynnewood, was facing multiple counts of rape and other sex crimes he allegedly committed against a 45-year-old woman who had called a sexual-abuse hotline and reported that Cruciani assaulted her between 2005 and 2012, the Associated Press reported.

Cruciani in November pleaded guilty in Philadelphia Municipal Court to three counts of indecent assault and four counts of harassment by unwanted physical contact for acts he committed against seven women.

Philadelphia police arrested Cruciani in September, six months after Drexel fired him from his position as chairman of the neurology department of its College of Medicine. Cruciani’s medical license was suspended in October.

The Associated Press last year reported that at least 17 women in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey had stepped forward to accuse Cruciani of sexual misconduct dating back at least a dozen years.

There’s more at the original, but the obvious question is: why was Dr Cruciani allowed to make a plea bargain arrangement which sentenced him only to probation for “three counts of indecent assault and four counts of harassment by unwanted physical contact for acts he committed against seven women?” Did prosecutors not have enough evidence to make them confident they could win a conviction in a jury trial? Or did they have the evidence, but simply accepted a plea bargain suggested by a defense attorney to keep his client out of prison? According to Philadelphia Magazine:

Cruciani pleaded guilty to seven counts against him, including indecent assault, in a plea deal negotiated by Cruciani’s high-priced Dilworth Paxson attorney. In exchange for his plea, he was sentenced to seven years of probation, and he has to register as a Tier I sex offender, which is the least serious of the three sex offender tiers.

Dr Cruciani faced seven years in prison, but was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanors, not felonies.

The judge even allowed his probation to begin a week later, so he could fly to Buenos Aires for his daughter’s wedding!

The cynic in me says, ‘Well, the court knew that he was also facing charged in New York and New Jersey, so they allowed the Empire State to bear the costs of incarcerating him.’ That’s not the worst logic, I suppose, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll be convicted and draw jail time in either of those states.

But to allow him to leave the country? That was just insane! Dr Cruciani is 63 years old, and depending upon the charges in other states, might spend the rest of his life behind bars. He had to be considered a flight risk. While every country in Latin America other than Cuba has an extradition treaty with the United States, had Dr Cruciani managed to flee Argentina for Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela, those countries already have a history of denying American requests for extradition. Dr Cruciani received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, so he’s obviously fluent in Spanish and knows the area; Argentina might decline to extradite one of its former nationals. That he returned to the United States to face justice is amazing.

Courts and prosecutors have to start getting tough on criminals. To have allowed this scumbag even the chance to escape, to have sentenced him to probation, makes a mockery of any concept of justice.

How the mighty have fallen Intelligence isn't a bell-shaped curve but a circle, and some people are so smart that they circle right around to being stupid.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Louisville’s 2013 national basketball championship stricken from history as NCAA denies school’s appeal

By Jared Peck | jpeck@herald-leader.com | February 20, 2018 | 12:17 PM | Updated 1 hour 25 minutes ago

The University of Louisville Cardinals win the 2012-2013 NCAA Basketball Championship.

The University of Louisville Cardinals win the 2012-2013 NCAA Basketball Championship.

An NCAA appeals committee announced Tuesday that it has rejected the appeal of sanctions against the University of Louisville men’s basketball program and the school must vacate wins during the 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons, including its 2013 NCAA Tournament title.

The ruling — a product of a sex scandal at U of L — marks the first time in NCAA history that a men’s basketball national championship has been banished from the record books.

“I cannot say this strongly enough. We believe the NCAA is simply wrong to have made this decision,” Louisville interim president Gregory Postel said during a press conference shortly after the ruling was announced.

Read more here.

I am not a University of Louisville fan; U of L is the main basketball rival of my alma mater, the University of Kentucky. But this particular punishment is uncalled for; the Cardinals beat everybody in front of them to earn the national championship, and regardless of what the NCAA says, they were, and are, the champions. Coach Rick Pitino’s actions certainly deserve sanction, but the young men who won that title deserved it.

I wish that I could understand Mr Pitino’s fall from grace. He took over the University of Kentucky’s basketball program after the previous coach, the despicable Eddie Sutton led the program into severe NCAA sanctions. Coach Pitino restored integrity to the program, and led UK to the 1996 NCAA Championship, as well as the championship game in 1997. If anyone should have known and understood NCAA rules, it was Coach Pitino.

Following the 1997 season, he took the head coaching job with the Boston Celtics, which everybody else understood was a mistake; Mr Pitino is a college, not NBA coach, and his style of basketball just didn’t work in the pros. After he left the Celtics, he stunned Kentucky fans everywhere by signing to coach U of L.

Coach Pitino was the highest paid coach in college basketball, with a contract set to run through the 2025-2026 season. His teams were always highly ranked, and if he couldn’t quite compete with the likes of UK Coach John Calipari or Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in getting the top-ranked recruits, he secured talent which stayed in school, and he was playing juniors and seniors, developing them into NBA caliber players, and, of course, won that championship with them. There was little reason to believe that he’d be fired early, and that contract would have taken him through age 73.

Instead, he degenerated into his fifteen second of infamy, and took the program into the same depths of NCAA purgatory from which he had once rescued UK. He didn’t need to do this! He is a millionaire many times over, and was the highest paid NCAA basketball coach in the nation. Even if he never won another NCAA championship, his place in the Hall of Fame was secure. He could have coached for as long as he wanted, at Louisville, or elsewhere.

I can understand a guy stealing food if he’s about to starve to death, and I can understand people doing stupid things with high risks when they are desperate. But Mr Pitino is wealthy, and he was anything but desperate. He was an amazing coach, at the zenith of his profession. Instead, he’s now unemployed, his Hall of Fame position gone, many of his victories vacated, and his career, and reputation at their nadir.

Intelligence is thought of as a range on a bell-shaped curve. The more I see, the more I think that it’s not a bell-shaped curve, but a circle, where some people can be just so smart that they go completely around to becoming stupid. That, to me, is the case with Coach Pitino: he was just so smart, he circled around to being stupid. There really is no other explanation.

Hold them accountable!

We have already noted that local police had ‘interacted’ with Nikolas de Jesus Cruz 39 times, but that he was never arrested or charged with anything. While the warnings given to the FBI have garnered more attention, this was primarily a failure of local law enforcement. Now there’s this:

School considered shooting suspect potential ‘threat’ year before massacre

Nikolas Cruz has history of school disciplinary reports

By Bob Norman – Investigative Reporter | Posted: 12:20 AM, February 16, 2018

PARKLAND, Fla. – Administrators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School recommended back in January 2017 that the school board conduct a “threat assessment” on Nikolas Cruz to determine if he was a danger to the school and its students, according to documents exclusively obtained by Local 10 News.

A copy of Cruz’s discipline summary shows that Cruz was involved in an assault at the school on Jan. 19, 2017, less than three weeks before he was transferred out of the school. It was on that date that the school put in a referral for the threat assessment on Cruz, who now faces 17 counts of premeditated murder for firing an AR-15 rifle at the high school on Valentine’s Day.

It’s not known at this time what the result of the assessment was, or even if the school board conducted it, as board spokeswoman Tracy Clarke said she couldn’t answer those questions, citing student privacy.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Thursday, however, that the school board had no clue of the danger that lurked in the former student.

“We received no warning, no hints, no tips,” Runcie said. “There was no warning that we saw.”

There’s more at the original. But, unless Superintendent Runcie was lying — always a possibility when people feel the need to cover their butts — the recommended threat assessment was never done.

How about that? Mr Cruz was expelled transferred out of Douglas High School following his assault on another student, reportedly the new boyfriend of the girl who had dumped him, but this assault, when Mr Cruz was already 18 years old, was not referred to prosecutors for criminal charges, and the internal recommendation for a threat assessment — something to keep the school, but not the community, safe — was shelved or ignored or whatever, but not done in any form which was given to the School Board.

All of these failures, by all of these people, people who had important jobs to do, people on the public payroll; will any of them be held accountable? Will any of them be suspended, or demoted, or relieved of duty? Will any of them be fired for incompetence?

One thing jumps out at me: all of the actions which should have been, but were not taken were actions which would have involved more work. The police officers who never arrested him had less work to do by simply talking to him. The FBI agents who should have followed up on the reports given them concerning Mr Cruz had less work to do by ignoring their jobs. The School Board staff, notified that a threat assessment was needed, had less work to do by not getting the assessment done in a timely fashion — if they even started it. And the staff at the Henderson Behavioral Health center had less work to do by not asking the police to put Mr Cruz in protective custody.

Laziness has become culpable negligence. But I’d still bet a root beer float that no one, not a single soul, will be disciplined in any way for not doing his job.
____________________________
Cross-posted on RedState.

Private citizens did the right thing; our public officials failed to do their jobs

What do we know about the Parkland school shooter?

  • Nikolas Cruz, 19, had been expelled from the school he has confessed to attacking and some students said they had joked “he’s the one to shoot up the school”.
  • One former schoolmate, Chad Reuters, told Reuters Mr Cruz was an “outcast” who was “crazy about guns”.
  • His interest in weapons was apparent on his social media profiles, which Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said were “very, very disturbing”.
  • Two separate Instagram accounts, now deleted, purport to show Mr Cruz posing with guns and knives.
  • After seeing a comment on a YouTube post last year by Mr Cruz, user Ben Bennight contacted the FBI and spoke to representatives for about 20 minutes. Mr Bennight said the FBI contacted him again following the school shooting in Parkland. The FBI confirmed on Thursday that they were made aware of the comment, adding that they had conducted “checks” but were unable to identify the person behind it.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Cruz had a disturbed childhood:

The killing began with the squirrels. As a fourth-grader, Nikolas Cruz would try to bloody them with his pellet gun. Then he started going after chickens.

By the time Cruz was a teenager, he was sneaking into his neighbors’ yard across the street and trying to get his dogs to attack their baby potbelly pigs.

One resident watched him take long sticks to rabbit holes, ramming them down as hard as possible to kill any creatures trapped inside.

Some in the affluent neighborhood where Cruz grew up said they called authorities on him frequently. Every few weeks, it seemed, police cruisers were pulling up to the teenager’s house to sort out the latest complaint.

Yet, despite numerous complaints to the police, Mr Cruz had neither an adult nor (reported) juvenile criminal record. He was able to purchase his weapon legally because he had a clean criminal record.

Cruz picked fights with other kids. He stole people’s mail. He threw rocks and coconuts and vandalized property, neighbors said. He lurked at late hours along drainage ditches running along the back yards of their houses. One woman said she caught him peeking into her bedroom window. Another caught him stealing their bike.

Really? Theft? Vandalism? Trespassing? Invasion of privacy? Yet he had no criminal record! People knew about this punk, and called the police on him, but if there were any charges ever brought against him, such have not (yet) been reported.

For years, (Malcolm) Roxburgh’s daughter Rhonda drove past Cruz in the morning as he waited for the school bus. One morning about four years ago, Rhonda Roxburgh said, Cruz suddenly attacked her car, slamming it hard with his backpack.

When she got out to confront him, Cruz simply laughed and sneered, so Roxburgh called the police. For the next few mornings, Rhonda Roxburgh said, police stationed an officer at the intersection to make sure Cruz didn’t attack or throw rocks at cars.

The police were involved with Mr Cruz, and it was reported that he had, in the past, been treated at a mental health clinic, but still nothing was done which would have, in any way, led to a record which would have shown up on a background check when he purchased the AR-15 he used to kill seventeen people. After past mass shootings, it was lamented, “Why didn’t somebody say something,” someone did say something, reporting Mr Cruz’s social media messages to the FBI, and the FBI did exactly nothing, nothing which would have put Mr Cruz on any type of list which would have raised a problem during his background check to purchase his weapon.

Private citizens did do something, they made complaints to the police, but, through whatever the police and prosecutors did, Mr Cruz was never convicted of anything.  Ben Bennight reported Mr Cruz’s suspicious messages to the FBI, but the FBI didn’t do anything sufficient to prevent Mr Cruz from purchasing a firearm.  He had been treated in a mental health clinic, but no record of that was ever made, in any form which would have restricted his Second Amendment rights.

Private citizens did the right thing; the failures were on the part of public officials. Yet it is the politicians, the public officials, who are calling for ever more restrictions of the rights of innocent people, because other public officials didn’t do their f(ornicating) jobs!

 

Almost as an aside, the inaction of the public officials brought to my mind the practice of some colleges of treating sexual assault as an internal matter. As I have previously noted, the ‘response’ of the Department of Education under President Obama to sexual assault claims was to push universities to set up administrative systems within the colleges, systems which made a mockery of due process, and were tilted in favor of those making sexual assault accusations, instead of turning such claims over to law enforcement. This had two effects:

  • It led to the punishment of students accused of sexual assault without any clear proof of guilt; and
  • Since the limit to which colleges could punish students accused of sexual assault was expulsion, it left any real rapists expelled out on the streets, where they could rape other women.

Of course, to the women in the university, the laundresses and convenience store clerks who remained as potential victims somehow weren’t as important as the coeds.  Officials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School expelled Mr Cruz, after Mr Cruz started a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, but that simply expelled him onto the streets. Had they reported this assault, an actual crime, to the police, had prosecutors filed assault charges against Mr Cruz, he couldn’t have (legally) purchased an AR-15.

The same concern exists with colleges which do not turn over sexual assault complaints over to real law enforcement.  If charges aren’t filed, real sexual assailants are left out on the streets, free to assault someone else.

Finding the Right Attorney for Your Needs

Three Steps the Finding the Perfect Lawyer for Your Needs

If you need a lawyer, chances are you’re already dealing with a lot of stress in your life. Finding a lawyer can be challenging, and you may not know where to begin. Luckily, there are professional organizations in every city that can recommend a good lawyer or two to you, starting with the local bar association. Once you have a few candidates to pick from, it’s easier to start to find the perfect lawyer for your case. Here are the three things you should look for and find out about before you hire your attorney.

First, make sure that you find a lawyer who is an expert in the field that is relevant to your case. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer, there’s no reason to work with someone who specializes in corporate law, no matter how talented the person may be. Similarly, it’s essential that you find a lawyer who is qualified to work in the jurisdiction that you live in. So, for example, if you need a work injury lawyer San Antonio, look for a group that has professionals in that field, such as Ja Davis Injury Lawyers. This way you’ll get the expertise and experience that will help you to succeed in your case.

Next, talk to your potential lawyer about a payment plan and what their hourly rates are. A good lawyer won’t be free, and only some lawyers work on a retention. Find out exactly what the fees will be upfront. You can rest assured that lawyers need to account for every second of the time that they bill you for your case. You can look forward to a very detailed, itemized account for all of the money that they bill you for. As long as you know what the rates will be before you begin, you will be satisfied with what you are spending.

Finally, make sure that you meet with a lawyer before hiring him or her and feel comfortable with them. You will have to be very honest with your lawyer about your case. You will also need to be able to trust their advice since the whole point of hiring an attorney to get their recommendations and efforts. Don’t be afraid to meet with a few different lawyers until you find the one that you feel will do their best.

Can you imagine the uproar from the left if someone was promoting an “escape from black people” resort?

From Vice News:

What it’s like to take a vacation away from white people

By Antonia Hylton | February 9, 2018

At a time when white supremacist groups march out in the open, and the president disparages African countries as “shitholes,” it’s not surprising many black Americans are feeling isolated and unsafe in communities and workplaces.

Some are turning those frustrations into acts of self-preservation, spending significant money to get outside of the country — away from the people who make them feel that way. Five black-owned travel organizations told VICE News that they’ve experienced upticks in interest from clients eager to get out of the United States since the election of Donald Trump.

We followed a group of women to the Women of Color Healing Retreat in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, a travel experience that emphasized yoga, vegan food, and political education seminars — and specifically banned white people.

"Satya X'" the creator of Women of Color Healing Retreats.

“Satya X'” the creator of Women of Color Healing Retreats.

Following the print section is a 7:55 long video segment, as various black women tell us why they want or need some time away from white people, for just $3,333 for a week! One woman, “Satya X,” the creator of the Women of Color Healing Retreats, even stated that she did not believe that white people should even have passports,1 which means, inter alia, that she does not believe white Americans — she was referring specifically to Americans — should be able to travel abroad.

It’s interesting, as the women visiting the resort say things like, “My blackness is uninhibited,” and “My blackness is strength.” What would be said if HBO presented a segment with some guy standing there saying, “My whiteness is strength?”

The libertarian2 in me says, sure, fine, do whatever you want as long as you don’t trample on other people’s rights. Nevertheless, I have to wonder: what would be the reaction of the public, and of the government, if some resort started advertising a tropical vacation which promised customers a week away from black people.

OK, that’s a lie: I don’t wonder about that at all! Such would be vilified in the media, excoriated as ‘white nationalism,’ and any actual advertising in the United States for such would draw federal authorities down upon such a resort as a violation of anti-discrimination laws.3 Yet Vice News presented this as though it wasn’t problematic at all.

The entire theme of this resort is that blacks need their own ‘spaces,’ need to get away from whites. I suppose that I can understand that feeling, but it is inherently self-destructive: the economy of the United States is dominated by white Americans, given that whites make up roughly 73.6% of the population, while blacks constitute only 12.6%. There are 5.8 times as many white Americans than black Americans.

This country went through a real struggle to racially integrate our society, something that has increased, but is by no means universal of complete. Though discrimination in housing sales and rentals is illegal, white and black Americans have chosen to mostly live apart. “White flight” is excoriated as racist, yet when well-to-do people, primarily whites attempt to move back into heavily minority urban areas and invest their money in them, such is derided as “gentrification.”  What efforts like this resort are doing is to try to undermine what progress has been made in integration, in the place it has been most effective, the workplace.

The United States Supreme Court heard the twin cases of Gratz v Bollinger 539 U.S. 244 (2003) and Grutter v Bollinger 539 U.S. 306 (2003). In the latter case, the Court upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School, stating that it was narrowly tailored, while in the former case, the university’s undergraduate admissions Affirmative Action program was declared unconstitutional due to the broad, quota system used.  Justice Sandra O’Connor, writing the opinion of the Court, said, in conclusion:

We take the Law School at its word that it would “like nothing better than to find a race-neutral admissions formula” and will terminate its race-conscious admissions program as soon as practicable.  It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education. Since that time, the number of minority applicants with high grades and test scores has indeed increased.  We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

Those cases were decided on June 23, 2003; just four months from now, fifteen of the twenty-five years the Court specified for allowing this exception to the Equal Protection Clause will have elapsed.

The requirement that all race-conscious admissions programs have a termination point “assure[s] all citizens that the deviation from the norm of equal treatment of all racial and ethnic groups is a temporary matter, a measure taken in the service of the goal of equality itself.”

We cannot ever expect for the disparate economic and social results achieved by the races to narrow and eventually vanish if American blacks pursue goals of self-segregation.  Yes, I believe that Women of Color Healing Retreat has every right to exist, but, in the end, it will be more harmful than helpful to the clientele it clams to serve.
__________________

  1. Starting at 5:12 of the video.
  2. Note: lower-case libertarian, not Libertarian as in a member of the Libertarian Party.
  3. The resort in question is in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, which means it is not subject to United States’ laws as far as non-discrimination in their facilities is concerned, but advertising in the United States would be problematic — internet only advertising from a server outside the US would probably be legal — and using any American-based travel agency to book this would almost certainly be illegal.

Hold them accountable!

From CBS News:

Teen found slain was scheduled to testify against her accused rapist

By Crimesider Staff | CBS News | February 8, 2018, 4:27 PM

KALAMAZOO, Michigan — A teen girl who was found slain in a wooded area of southwestern Michigan last month had been scheduled to testify against her accused rapist, reports CBS affiliate WWMT.

Multiple sources tell the station that Quinn Anthony James is a person of interest in the death of 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya. James, a felon with a long criminal history, was arrested last week on allegations he raped another girl in 2014, the station reports.

Dumbuya, a student at East Kentwood High School near Grand Rapids, was reported missing by her family Jan. 24 after she left for the bus but never showed up to school. She was found dead four days later by a couple out for a walk in Kalamazoo, about 50 miles south of the school, WWMT reports.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety investigators have not said how the girl died, but have called her death suspicious, the station reports. The girl’s family reportedly believes she was targeted.

Dumbuya said James, who at one time worked for her school district and is her boyfriend’s uncle, forced her to have sex with him multiple times and in various locations starting when she was 15, according to court documents obtained by the station. James was arrested in November and was terminated from his maintenance position with the school district on Nov. 30, according to a Kentwood Public Schools statement released to television station WXMI.

There’s more at the original.

At least thus far, Mr James, who has been listed as a ‘person of interest’ in the murder of Miss Dumbuya, has not been charged with this crime, and it is entirely possible that he had nothing to do with it. But, to me, the very obvious question is: why was Mr James, a sexual predator with a criminal record dating back to 1991, released on bail after being charged with such a crime? Such a man was clearly a danger to others, to the community, and has, in fact, been charged with other ‘sexual offenses against a minor,’ and should never have been out of jail in the first place.

According to the story, Mr James admitted to having sex with Miss Dumbuya, several times, but claimed that it was consensual. Since Miss Dumbuya was only 15 years old, it could not have been consensual; he admitted to rape!

Yet some idiotic judge allowed Mr James to get out on bail. Bail was set at $100,000, and he was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Yeah, that seems to have worked well.

My question is: if Mr James is eventually convicted of murdering the girl he was accused of raping, how will the judge who allowed him to be released be held accountable?

The answer, of course, is that the judge will not be held accountable; judges are immune from liability concerning their decisions in their official capacity. But clearly, this ‘judge’ has demonstrated poor judgement. His decision may well have led to the murder of a young girl; how he could continue to live with himself, if it turns out that Mr James was the murderer, is beyond me.

The stupidity of the White House staff

From The Wall Street Journal:

White House Offers Regrets About Handling of Rob Porter Allegations

‘We all could have done better,’ dealing with the domestic-abuse accusations, spokesman says

By Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas | Updated February 8, 2018 | 10:39 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The White House said Thursday it could have better handled the domestic-abuse allegations that led to the resignation of staff secretary Rob Porter, as the president’s chief of staff faced mounting questions about how he dealt with the accusations.

“I think it’s fair to say that…we all could have done better over the few hours or last few days in dealing with this situation,” said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah, referring to the administration’s handling of the allegations involving Mr. Porter.

Scrutiny focused on chief of staff John Kelly, who worked closely with Mr. Porter and was aware of abuse allegations, according to White House officials. Mr. Shah said Thursday that Mr. Kelly became “fully aware” of the allegations Wednesday.

When accusations from both of Mr. Porter’s ex-wives were first published​ on Tuesday, Mr. Kelly offered a full-throated defense of Mr. Porter, who had become one of Mr. Kelly’s most trusted aides in an increasingly small circle of West Wing staff. Mr. Kelly then issued a second statement Wednesday night saying he was “shocked” as more details of the allegations emerged.

One White House official said that Mr. Kelly has known about allegations against Mr. Porter for months. Mr. Shah said that Mr. Kelly didn’t know the extent of the allegations until Wednesday, when photos of Colbie Holderness, Mr. Porter’s first wife, were published showing a black eye that she said she sustained during a vacation with Mr. Porter in Italy.

Mr. Porter’s second wife, Jennie Willoughby, received a temporary emergency protective order in Virginia in ​2010.

There’s more at the original, but what I have quoted is more than enough to demonstrate the utter stupidity and tone-deafness of the Trump White House. After Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken and Roy Moore, you do not have to be a super-genius to know and understand: any allegations of sexual abuse or domestic violence must be taken seriously, and acted upon immediately. These are things on which you do not get a pass, not today, not anymore.

CNN’s New Day program, with Alisyn Camerota and the odious Chris Cuomo, just spent several minutes on the Rob Porter story, showing a clip of Mr Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby:

Ex-wife who accused Rob Porter of abuse says she lived in ‘constant terror’

  • Jennifer Willoughby, an ex-wife of the former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, described what she said was “systematic” abuse she suffered during their marriage.

  • She said she lived in a “low-grade, constant terror” with Porter.

  • Willoughby’s story gained worldwide attention along with that of Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, who said Porter gave her a black eye.

  • Porter was fired this week.

Bryan Logan | February 9, 2018

Jennifer Willoughby: CNN Screenshot. Click to enlarge.

Jennifer Willoughby: CNN Screenshot. Click to enlarge.

Jennifer Willoughby, one of the two women who leveled accusations of domestic and emotional abuse against the former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, says she lived in a state of “low-grade, constant terror” with him.

That terror stemmed from “not knowing what I might do to set something off,” Willoughby said during a CNN interview that aired Thursday night. She said Porter engaged in a “systematic tearing down” of her character during their marriage.

Those accounts from Willoughby and Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, amplified the scrutiny around Porter this week, as he became the Trump administration’s latest casualty. He strongly denied the allegations. He was terminated on Thursday.

During her interview, Willoughby at points offered measured praise for Porter, who she called “intelligent, kind, chivalrous, caring, and professional.” But the other side of that, she said, is a man who is “deeply troubled, and angry, and violent.”

When CNN host Anderson Cooper openly wondered whether Porter’s colleagues in the White House had any suspicions about him, Willoughby said it was “reserved for the intimate and most vulnerable moments in his life.”

Miss Willoughby continued to state that her ex-husband had contacted her, notified her that the stories were about become public, and urged her to downplay the allegations. Most damning of all, she said that if Mr Porter hasn’t yet abused White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, with whom he has been spotted in what appears to be a romantic relationship, eventually “he will.” Miss Hicks is said to have helped draft the statement by Mr Kelly, in which he said, “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can’t say enough good things about him.”

This stupidity is breathtaking. If Miss Hicks has been dating Mr Porter, any advice she has given either Mr Kelly or the President concerning him should have been immediately discounted as personally biased.

Let me be clear about this: there is no such thing as due process in politics! If an accusation along these lines is credibly made — and the photos of Mr Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, sporting a black eye, and the restraining order against him granted to Miss Willoughby automatically make the allegations credible — an immediate suspension pending an investigation is mandatory. Anything else is horribly politically damaging, and hurts the President in achieving his goals.

Mr Porter is a brilliant man, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School, as well as a Rhodes Scholar. He is, by all accounts, handsome and personable, and was very good at his job. But none of that matters: if he was a wife beater, then no, no one should ever hire him.1 John Kelly ought to know that, Donald Trump ought to know that, and Hope Hicks ought to know that.
____________________

  1. Full disclosure: I once hired a man who had been convicted of domestic abuse to work as a concrete mixer driver. He was on parole at the time, and had to check in with his probation officer daily. If a project was going to keep him away from his home — he was wearing an ankle monitor — beyond 6:00 PM, I had to call his probation officer and notify him. He was paying his debt to society at that point, so I had no reservations in hiring him. Perhaps Mr Porter can redeem himself, eventually, but I cannot see him ever being placed in a position of responsibility.

A Tale of Two Words

From Fox News:

FBI lovers’ latest text messages: Obama ‘wants to know everything’

By Jake Gibson | Fox News | February 7, 2018

Newly revealed text messages between FBI paramours Peter Strzok and Lisa Page include an exchange about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted “to know everything we’re doing.”

The message, from Page to Strzok, was among thousands of texts between the lovers reviewed by Fox News. The pair both worked at one point for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Page wrote to Strzok on Sept. 2, 2016, about prepping Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” According to a newly released Senate report, this text raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.

In texts previously revealed, Strzok and Page have shown their disdain for Republicans in general, as well as Trump, calling him a “f—ing idiot,” among other insults.

Among the newly disclosed texts, Strzok also calls Virginians who voted against then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife for a state Senate seat “ignorant hillbillys.” (sic)

There’s more at the original.

I found the Fox article due to a Twitter link sent by one of the people I follow, which referenced not the Fox article, but one from the Washington Examiner. Instead of referring to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as “lovers” or “paramours,” the Examiner article put it much more bluntly:

FBI agent Peter Strzok told his fellow agent and mistress Lisa Page that President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing” related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, according to a newly released text.

Mistress? Yup! In 1994, Mr Strzok married Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Washington Post broke the story of the extra-marital affair between Mr Strzok and Miss Page.

During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton. . . . .

Defenders of Strzok and Page inside the FBI said that because there was no direct supervisory role between Page and Strzok in the workplace, there wasn’t anything professionally wrong about having an affair, but they added that they understood why Mueller would not want anyone engaged in such conduct on his team. For one thing, if a foreign intelligence agency learned of such an affair, they could try to use it as a means of blackmail, although there’s no evidence anyone outside the FBI was aware of the relationship.

I’m sorry, but “there wasn’t anything professionally wrong” about the married deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI having an affair with another FBI employee? Were J Edgar Hoover still alive, and Director, Mr Strzok and Miss Page would have become former employees the moment their affair was discovered. At least Robert Mueller had enough sense to remove Mr Strzok from his team.

The label ‘mistress’ is a harsh one, one which Fox News eschewed, but it appears to be an accurate one where Mr Strzok and Miss Page are concerned. Had the Examiner not used that term, I wouldn’t have looked up the couples’ marital status. The media should use the term; it is proper and informative.

Why Bill Kristol and the Republican elites simply don’t get it

The ever-polite Bill Kristol tweeted:

Bill Kristol, from his Twitter profile.

Well, good heavens! President Trump, why he was just mean to the Democrats! I mean, he wasn’t oh-so-civilized, like when then-Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) said that President Bush was “unpatriotic”, or when they said that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), the 2012 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, wanted to push granny off the cliff!

Dr Kristol was born into privilege, the son of Irving Kristol, once the managing editor of Commentary, one of the New York Intellectuals, a Trotskiite group, but who later became one of the first neo-conservatives. Bill Kristol first attended the tony Collegiate School, a Manhattan prep school for the well-to-do (current tuition: $49,800 per year, K-12), before matriculating at Harvard, from which he was graduated in 1973, and later earned his PhD in 1979. Dr Kristol then taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was an Ivy Leaguer, through and through. He served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle for his entire four year term.

Following the Republican victories in the 1994 election, John Podhoretz and he founded the neo-conservative journal The Weekly Standard,1 of which he was the editor for 21 years, and remains an ‘editor at large.’

Michael Strahan, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer on the set of Good Morning America, before ABC added a panel to hide Mr Stephanopoulos' little boy legs.

Michael Strahan, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer on the set of Good Morning America, before ABC added a panel to hide Mr Stephanopoulos’ little boy legs.

Dr Kristol has made a life and a career out of civility, having worked for the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and with George Stephanopoulos, the former communications director for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, and later as White House Communications Director.

The neo-conservatives, having been originally an American left splinter group which remained socially fairly liberal, but opposed to the pacifism and defeatism of the core left, Dr Kristol has many, many friends among the Democrats. He gets along famously with everyone. Indeed, with his comment describing the GOP under President Trump as “a once decent and principled political party,” he reminds me of the go-along-to-get-along Republicans like former Senators Hugh Scott and Everett Dirksen, who were unfailingly polite, and led a GOP which maintained what seemed to be a permanent minority status. They were, in effect, Democrats Lite.

It was House Minority leader Newt Gingrich who started the change. An aggressive bomb thrower, Mr Gingrich led the way to a hostile Republican takeover of both Houses of Congress in the 1994 elections, by adopting the hard, confrontational posture that was needed to push the voters away from their long-time acceptance of the Democratic Party. Alas! Mr Gingrich’s political mistake in pushing the impeachment of President Clinton, a move that everyone knew would not result in his removal from office,2 led to GOP losses in the 1998 elections, and he resigned as Speaker of the House.

In 2008, the very decent Senator John McCain (R-AZ) did not fight very hard — at one point, he suspended his campaign — and Senator Obama, who was willing to fight, trounced him.  In 2012, former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) was very much a decent and principled opponent, so much so that he could be excoriated for the secretly taped 47%’ comment which was used to hammer him down, and he, too, joined the ranks of defeated presidential candidates.

Mr and Mrs Clinton were not smiling during her concession speech, November 9, 2016.

Mr and Mrs Clinton were not smiling during her concession speech, November 9, 2016.

In 2016, Donald Trump was not polite, he was not a decent and principled opponent.  Rather, he was a fighter, even responding to pinpricks that any other politician would simply have ignored. And, unlike Messrs McCain and Romney, he did not join the ranks of defeated presidential candidates.  Instead, he did what Republicans, and not a few independents, wanted most of all, which was keep Her Inevitableness, Hillary Clinton, a private citizen. In an election in which Mrs Clinton was not only supposed to win in a landslide, but lead the way to flipping the Senate to Democratic control. Dr Kristol himself stated that Mr Trump’s nomination would result in “an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”

The real reason that virtually all of the pundits were wrong?  The reason that even, even today, Dr Kristol does not and cannot understand President Trump and the Republican Party?  While they ‘know’ that Mr Trump is a fighter, they really don’t understand what a fighter really is. Men like Dr Kristol, who has never had callouses on his hands, who has never had to work out in the cold of winter or the boiling heat of summer, who has never had to pick himself up after a loss, never worried about which bill to pay first, electric or water, to keep one from getting shut off, could never really understand that people do sometimes lose, and have to pick themselves up again, and resume the struggle. To people like Dr Kristol, failure has never been a problem, and even possible losses in business would never mean real personal loss for them. Had The Weekly Standard been a business failure, Dr Kristol would have been disappointed, but he still would not have been poor.3

But the people who voted for Mr Trump, in both the primaries and general election,4 do understand fighting, because they’ve had to fight for most of their lives. The working class men and women in this country have bitter experience in having to pick themselves off the ground, from being laid off or fired, from having some sort of financial catastrophe wipe out their savings, and the elites who told us that Mr Trump had no chance simply have not had these experiences; such are wholly outside of their paradigm.

Dr Kristol is not a stupid man; no one can whiz through Harvard and be graduated, magna cum laude, in just three years, and not both intelligent and hard working.  But he has failed to understand something very simple: the Republican Party is not an organization in which the elites can just tell the great mass of the voters what to do, and (reasonably) expect them to just follow along.  If that were the case, former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) would have been the GOP presidential nominee, after which he’d quite possibly have lost to Mrs Clinton in the general election.

Dr Kristol was the ‘villain’ I used for this article, but he was just a convenient target on which to base it.  His frequent tweets expressing his disgust with what the Republican Party has become, due to the voters — though that isn’t how he expresses it — make him an easy foil, but he is just one among many who think the same way, who simply cannot — or refuse to — understand that the working-class voters can and do think differently from the elites.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. Full disclosure: Though no longer the case, I have previously subscribed to both Commentary and The Weekly Standard. Both were excellent journals, but, to be blunt, the internet has made subscriptions unnecessary.
  2. Republicans should be grateful that it failed; I would imagine that, in a time of prosperity, President Al Gore might have managed an additional 600 votes in Florida than Vice President Gore was able to earn in the 2000 election.
  3. Dr Kristol’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million.
  4. As long time readers are aware, I did not support Mr Trump in either the Pennsylvania primary (I voted for Ted Cruz, even though by then it was obvious that Mr Trump would win the nomination) or the general election (I voted for Libertarian candidate Governor Gary Johnson).