Neil Patel from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 07 Apr 2020 10:59:17 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Neil Patel from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/neil-patel-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel 1ae366086d4a99e502494f9fb8d3f2d4 Now Is Not the Time for Politics for 04/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/04/20/now-is-not-the-time-for-politics Fri, 03 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Things are getting real. We are at over 47,000 deaths worldwide and over 5,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Our top experts are modeling between 100,000 and 240,000 American deaths by the end of this crisis. Those are massive numbers. We lost nearly 3,000 on 9/11; we suffered 7,000 (so far) U.S. military deaths in the "war on terror" and 58,000 after 20 years in Vietnam. Early hopes that COVID-19 could be overblown have more than dwindled. If anything, we are learning more every day about how China has understated the deaths they have seen &#8212; drastically understated, according to some reports. </p> <p>Situations like the one we are facing help us all focus. As soon as you hear about someone you know getting sick &#8212; or see your family, friends or neighbors suffer &#8212; you start reprioritizing what really matters in life. Trivial things seem much more trivial when facing a life-or-death situation. The health and well-being of family, friends, neighbors and countrymen become the top priority. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Things like politics start falling into the trivial category for most Americans at times like this. This has been the case throughout our history. We band together when things get really bad. </span><p>Updated: Fri Apr 03, 2020</p> 5a38be3f82388ce1c66a6badca109511 Time to Step Up: The Coronavirus Opportunity for Our Country for 03/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/03/20/time-to-step-up-the-coronavirus-opportunity-for-our-country Fri, 27 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This week's dumb national debate has been about when to reopen our economy. To date, our strategy on the coronavirus has been to shut down pretty much everything and stay home. President Donald Trump said he hopes to reopen our economy by Easter. Those who oppose anything the president says are therefore adamantly opposed to reopening our economy. What about the 80% of Americans who are tired of the battles dominating our politics between those who defend Trump at all costs and those who attack Trump at all costs? </p> <p>The reality is this debate is not about Trump at all, nor is it only about health and medicine. Over three million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. That's the highest monthly number ever recorded. That sort of loss &#8212; especially if it continues &#8212; can cause massive harm to America for months, or even years. The government responded with a $2 trillion relief package, but there is no magic. That relief bill will hurt us in many ways, and it won't help if we stay closed for too long. </p> <p>What we need is a debate about how much risk we, as a society, are willing to take and how many lives we are willing to risk to get our economy going again. But to have this debate, we need more information. We just don't have enough information yet. That's why it's dumb. Neither side, at this point in time, has any clue what they are talking about.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 27, 2020</p> 7b4da2307ff93c5768a194e4755ea637 The Trillion-Dollar Bailout May Change Our Politics Forever for 03/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/03/20/the-trillion-dollar-bailout-may-change-our-politics-forever Sat, 21 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As members of Congress debate the terms of the trillion-dollar-plus coronavirus relief package for businesses and individuals, they would do well to remember our recent history. </p> <p>Most people in professional Washington hate the populist era we are going through. The populist period exists because Americans already feel like their elected officials are more responsive to large corporate interests than to the individuals who elected them. This played out big-time after the Wall Street bailouts fueled the tea party on the right and Occupy Wall Street on the left.</p> <p>People on the left and right agree that some government assistance is needed to avoid an economic catastrophe. On the individual level, many people with little savings have already lost jobs. Many more will. The best policy is likely just direct payments from the government targeted as quickly as possible to those most in need. It's going to cost a ton and comes with a huge downside down the road, but it's also hard to argue that we don't need it. That's actually the easy part.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 21, 2020</p> e4c94b7ed966985f976a91afede2a88e Winning the Coronavirus War for 03/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/03/20/winning-the-coronavirus-war Fri, 20 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>America has faced great challenges in the past, and we have always gotten through them stronger than we were before. From the Civil War to the Great Depression to World War II, we have been through some horrific stuff. In the Civil War alone, we lost 750,000 people, or 2% of our population at the time. That would be 7 million deaths at our current population level. In World War II, we suffered another 405,000 deaths. Since World War II, we have faced many challenges, including wars and terrible tragedies like 9/11, but as far as the scale goes, we may be entering a period of hardship like none we have seen in decades. </p> <p>According to a Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report obtained by The New York Times, as many as 1.7 million Americans could die in the worst-case coronavirus scenario. The same report said between 2.4 million and 21 million people may need hospitalization. That's a huge problem for a country like ours, with less than a million hospital beds. </p> <p>These numbers need to be put in context. First, the virus has now been around for over three and a half months, and the most recent official statistics report only 8,000 deaths worldwide. That's horrible for every single family, but on a worldwide scale, this number is small. Second, The New York Times' numbers depict the worst-case scenarios, so the real result could be a lot lower &#8212; although even the low end is 200,000 deaths. Finally, and most importantly, we can change all the numbers a lot by changing our behavior. In just this past week, we have already changed our behavior more than any of us could have imagined. There is reason for optimism.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 20, 2020</p> deb4d670f1b49ea31d88e8316b1a947e Can America Successfully Navigate the Coronavirus Crisis? for 03/13/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/03/20/can-america-successfully-navigate-the-coronavirus-crisis Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One of the first rules of weathering a crisis is to remain calm. Freaking out never helps. It's not yet clear how big of a crisis the new coronavirus will be, but panicking over even the most minor matters has become an American specialty these last few years. In our politics, we have jumped from faux crisis to faux crisis with such speed that most Americans have started tuning it out. This is not the ideal state of affairs as we prepare to enter a period of potential real crisis that could affect millions of people and result in the loss of many lives. Our country has a tradition of coming together to face crises, but this time, it's hard to imagine. Let's hope our leaders &#8212; and all of us &#8212; can rise to the challenge.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">People want stable, competent leadership at a time like this.</span> Our nation's top leaders have not excelled at displaying any of these traits the past few years. Our times have instead been marked by bickering, nasty tweets and a total lack of self-control. Many Democrats view this behavior as driven completely by President Donald Trump. Nothing could be further from the truth. The president has, of course, played a huge part, but the leaders of the Democratic Party have never treated Trump as a legitimate president. From the moment he was elected, they have tried to undermine and undercut him. Our country has suffered as a result. Nothing they can do now will remove Trump as the guy who's going to lead our country through the pandemic we are facing. It's past time for all parties to recognize that.</p> <p>The first step is for our top political leaders &#8212; from President Trump to Speaker Nancy Pelosi &#8212; to put the petty politics on hold and start managing this crisis. The signs here are mixed. It was good that Congress and the President were able to enact an emergency funding bill to respond to the coronavirus. It's fair for us fiscal conservatives to wonder why the amount in question had to go from the president's initial $2.5 billion request to the final bill's $8.3 billion level. There was, undoubtedly, a ton of waste added in by both parties, but it's good to see that our legislative process can still work, and it seems important that we are using about half the total spent for research and development of both vaccines and treatments. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 13, 2020</p> d2c9ed37f28de332e12c76ce316a8a18 The President's Dangerous Coronavirus Position for 03/06/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/03/20/the-presidents-dangerous-coronavirus-position Fri, 06 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>It's rare that President Donald Trump ever seems to misread a communications matter. From the earliest 2016 debates, it became clear that he is a lot better at communicating with the American people than your standard-issue Republican politician. He's also a master at the media game. The liberal press would never admit it, but he's the best political communicator of our time. That's why his treatment of the new coronavirus is so surprising. </p> <p>Trump has been his usual confident self when it comes to coronavirus. His primary talking points have been twofold: The federal government is doing an amazing job, and the virus may not be as dangerous as people think. The president's confidence is usually a strength. People want that in a leader. But with coronavirus, there are a couple of problems with Trump's messaging. </p> <p>First, it's a disease that we can only control marginally. We can take steps to minimize the impact, speed up vaccine research and prepare our health care system, but we can't fundamentally control the disease, and we don't really know how it will turn out. We can't control things like how the disease reacts to warmer weather or how it evolves. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Reassurance is good, but sending a message that everything is going to be fine is dangerous when you don't have all the facts.</span><p>Updated: Fri Mar 06, 2020</p> 232e95f7775e9ee35575a01e305dc435 Why Have the American People Decided to Throw Out Their Political Leaders and Start Over? for 02/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/02/20/why-have-the-american-people-decided-to-throw-out-their-political-leaders-and-start-over Fri, 28 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders is surging and a populist-left Sanders versus populist-right Trump race looks more and more likely, it might finally be time for America's leadership class to start looking inward and asking what's going on. People don't throw out all their normal political leaders for a TV-host billionaire and a socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union when they are satisfied with the state of affairs in their country. Something's going wrong for the American people. They are desperately searching for new political leaders who will shake things up. </p> <p>You would think the first question our leaders would ask would be, "Why is this happening?" What is going so wrong for people that they throw out all the establishment political leaders? There is perhaps no greater sign of how out of touch our political establishment is than its failure to seriously discuss this question, three-plus years into the Trump presidency.</p> <p>Our country was led for decades by a centrist group of corporate-minded Republicans and Democrats. These people had different views on issues of social policy and national security. When it came to economics, though, the differences over the past few decades have been more a matter of degree. Both parties have had generally pro-corporate mindsets with differences over things like a few points in the top tax rate. We make a huge deal over it, but in reality, the ideological divide in our country has been pretty narrow. The difference between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump is not narrow. It's massive. Sanders wants to fundamentally transform our country. Trump is pretty transformational himself, but in a much less politically radical way when it comes to economics.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 28, 2020</p> d4a7ff69c4423f723fba337c658b32eb Where Things Stand After the Las Vegas Debate for 02/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/02/20/where-things-stand-after-the-las-vegas-debate Fri, 21 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>After watching the Las Vegas Democratic debate, it's becoming less and less clear how the Democrats plan to defeat, or even challenge, President Donald Trump this fall. As a conservative Republican watching just for kicks, the debate was amazing &#8212; tons of drama and entertainment value. But if you are a Democrat committed to getting rid of Trump, it was probably not so much fun. In fact, it had to have been depressing to watch. There were fireworks and interesting storylines, but when the smoke cleared, who was left to take on Trump?</p> <p>Sen. Elizabeth Warren came out scorching against Michael Bloomberg: "So I'd like to talk about who we're running against, a billionaire who calls women 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians.' And, no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg," she said. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 21, 2020</p> e48b9c340ed1adffa1b45b109030673d Looking Ahead to Trump's Second Term for 02/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/02/20/looking-ahead-to-trumps-second-term Fri, 14 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Sen. Bernie Sanders is winning. If the election of Donald Trump wasn't enough of a wake-up call that Americans want radical change, the Bernie surge should finally get America's leaders to start thinking more clearly about what's happening in our country. </p> <p>For a lot of people, it's been easier to stick their heads in the sand and pretend we are still a Romney-versus-Obama country than to wrestle with the tough issues that are driving American politics today. Why are people so hungry for serious change? That's the single most important question &#8212; and it's the question nobody ever talks about. How is Sanders winning primaries? How did Trump take over the Republican party, knocking out every major established Republican politician, with such ease? The answers you hear in Washington are almost too superficial to discuss. It's not because of Russia. It's not because too many establishment Republicans divided the vote against Trump. It's because people are truly sick of our leaders. </p> <p>Can Sanders keep it up and actually get the nomination? He and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the furthest-left Democrats, have been combining for about 40% of the vote so far. The marginally more moderate candidates have been dividing up about 60% of the vote. This means that the less socialist side of the democratic electorate could still coalesce around a non-Bernie alternative. Biden's looking less and less likely, so that leaves an opening for Michael Bloomberg or Sen. Amy Klobuchar. But what if Sanders keeps surging? According to Gallup, 76% of Democrats are willing to vote for a socialist, so it's not impossible that he actually gets the nomination. The Democratic Party establishment will do all in its power to stop him. They have already changed the rules to let Bloomberg buy his way onto the debate stage. There's no telling how far the party establishment and their allies in the press would go to keep Sanders from a nomination.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 14, 2020</p> d2b3af61b48cf9dfc3056b3076304c92 Everything Is Coming Up Trump for 02/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/02/20/everything-is-coming-up-trump Fri, 07 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>As Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech page by page, she put the finishing touches on one of the greatest political rehab jobs of all time. The Democrats have managed to turn Trump into a thoroughly sympathetic figure. </p> <p>From the start, Trump has not been treated like a normal president by people on either end of the political spectrum. On the left, Trump is viewed as a fascist, un-American monster, thoroughly unprepared for and undeserving of the highest office in our land. They never accepted his election and never gave him a chance &#8212; angling for impeachment even before Trump was sworn into office. </p> <p>On the other side, for a big chunk of the American right, Trump is viewed more as a messianic figure than a politician. These are Trump's core voters, people so frustrated by normal politicians that they were willing and eager to pass the reins to Trump. Their devotion to Trump is complete, and there is nothing that could erode it. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 07, 2020</p> f31f3d45e3d175abc791e45ba0fa0570 Our Coming Debt Crisis for 01/31/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/01/20/our-coming-debt-crisis Fri, 31 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Ten to 20 years from now, we will not be talking about impeachment, and believe it or not, we won't still be talking about Donald Trump either. We will be talking about our debt crisis. For all the good that came from this era, the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations will all be remembered as the ones that caused the crisis that will hammer our children and grandchildren. To understand where we are, it's helpful to review the past few years of this issue's development.</p> <p>At the Bush White House, where I worked for eight years, we knew we had a long-term entitlement program spending problem coming down the track, but we thought of it as far off in the future. Unfortunately, the Bush administration was horrible about spending. For an administration that campaigned on limited government, we increased nondefense discretionary spending 8% a year during our first term. We also added even bigger increases to the defense side. We introduced a new entitlement for prescription drugs for all Americans instead of targeting it for the needy.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">By the second term, the budget hawks were trying to put on the brakes, but with war spending and then Hurricane Katrina, we never really got discretionary spending under control. Finally, with the financial crisis, we stopped even trying. Throw in the booming entitlements, and we left a really bad legacy. </span>To George Bush's credit, he did expend a lot of political capital on Social Security reform. He jumped on this issue before the country was ready &#8212; and nothing got done.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 31, 2020</p> 98dcb4b9e5a2434a3e7fc6b1534fdbcb Policy Innovator Donald Trump for 01/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/01/20/policy-innovator-donald-trump Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Not many people think of President Donald Trump as a detailed policy innovator. His detractors still view him as a buffoon unequipped to run the country. His supporters view him as a guy who has succeeded on great instincts. Not many view the president as a guy who gets under the hood to study the details of policy options. But with historically low unemployment; a booming stock market; trade deals in place with China, Mexico and Canada; and many other wins under his belt, it's a good time to examine the president's policy record. Maybe the Trump team deserves more credit than they have received &#8212; especially when it comes to immigration. </p> <p>Trump was faced with a true crisis at our southern border. Humanitarian policies were being exploited like never before. Human smugglers and left-wing activists realized there was no need to sneak across our border; if a migrant showed up and claimed political asylum and a fear of persecution in their home country, we would release them to an American community until a hearing could be held. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 24, 2020</p> 62d008ae56f442e328f3d87e4544aa78 Everyone Is Wrong on Skilled Immigration for 01/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/01/20/everyone-is-wrong-on-skilled-immigration Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The immigration debate in our country has been dominated by huge corporations who want more (and cheaper) workers and by liberal advocacy organizations who want America to take in as many people from developing nations as possible, partly for humanitarian reasons and partly to drive up the voter rolls for the Democrats. These dueling interests have dominated for decades and led to a permissive system with a large influx of new immigrants, both legal and illegal. In response, conservative voices have pushed back on what they see as overly open immigration policies. Lost in this policy debate is what we should really be focused on: what's good for America. </p> <p>Big businesses want to bring in as many new workers as they can. Expanding the workforce allows workers less leverage on wages and benefits. This system may lead to greater economic output overall, but there is a strong case to be made that it harms American workers, especially those at the bottom of the labor pool, where an influx of unskilled workers has caused wage stagnation.</p> <p>Liberal activists want to take in as many immigrants as they can. You don't have to be a cynic to see the political angle of this policy. An influx of new immigrants has already turned California from a decidedly red state to a strongly blue state. There is evidence that a similar transition may now be underway in Texas. In recent years, the permissiveness on immigration has advanced from advocating more legal immigration to openly favoring illegal immigration. We are now at a point where the majority of Democrats running for president raised their hands in favor of completely decriminalizing illegal border crossings.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 17, 2020</p> 8dd53643b024b15d8ce4d202b008d42c Trump's Handling of Iran Deserves Praise for 01/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/01/20/trumps-handling-of-iran-deserves-praise Fri, 10 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Is it possible President Donald Trump may have perfectly played the Iran conflict? He's been criticized for different and various reasons by people on the left and on the right. There's been a real concern that the president could get us into a war with Iran. It's early but it seems like Trump has effectively fired a warning shot at Iran to ramp down their continuing escalations &#8212; without risking more American lives. If that's how it plays out, it will be hard not to credit the president for his handling of this matter.</p> <p>To those critical of the president's action to take out Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian Quds Force commander, it's important to look at what led up to that action.</p> <p>Last May, Iran began attacking ships, including three oil tankers, transiting the Strait of Hormuz. This is a crucial international shipping channel, especially for the oil and gas industry. Iran had a past history of mining these waters and causing energy price spikes.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 10, 2020</p> 11130f5744aeb1e1954d1c29e4a0cf0b Topics We Aren't Allowed to Talk About for 12/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/12/19/topics-we-arent-allowed-to-talk-about Fri, 27 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Throughout the impeachment drama, the press repeatedly told you that the president was a liar. They said his lies are why he had to be impeached. Donald Trump is a salesman; he is a talker, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. If Trump hadn't gotten rich in real estate, then he could've made a fortune selling cars. Most people know this. </p> <p>So is lying really the reason the left despises Trump? Or could the problem be, as is so often the case, the exact opposite of what they claim? What drives them completely crazy are those moments when Trump dares to tell the truth. Think back over the last four years to when the CNN anchors have been angriest. Was it when Trump exaggerated his own accomplishments? No. They are used to that kind of lying from all politicians. What infuriates them is when Trump tells the truth. Truth is the real threat to their power. </p> <p>There is an unspoken agreement among the people in charge of our country not to talk about what has happened to it. They are personally implicated in its decline. Often they are profiting from it. The last thing they want is a national conversation about what went wrong. So they maintain an increasingly strict policy of mandatory reality avoidance. Everything is fine, they shout. Voices rising in hysteria. Shut up or we will hurt you. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 27, 2019</p> 8890932085ff0c9453c0b04380a9d7ca Understanding Democrats' March Toward Electoral Defeat for 12/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/12/19/understanding-democrats-march-toward-electoral-defeat Fri, 20 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>After months of false starts and threats and endless posturing, Donald Trump has joined Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton as the third American president impeached by the House of Representatives. Democrats started promising to do this before the president was elected. Still, it feels kind of weird, surprising, surreal even, that it actually happened. Why? Because impeachment is a terrible idea for the country. At this point, there is no chance the Democrats can remove the president. And in trying, they will only hurt themselves. The polls are clear. Yet &#8212; and here is the fascinating part &#8212; they did it anyway. </p> <p>Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin explained why: "The president's continuing course of conduct constitutes a clear and present danger to democracy in America. We cannot allow this misconduct to pass. It would be a sell-out of our Constitution, our foreign policy, our national security and our democracy." See if you can follow his logic chain: Leaving a president in office until voters can decide to remove him from office if they want to is "a danger to democracy."<p>Updated: Fri Dec 20, 2019</p> 1dbb03cca50b2fc925587e2f62484048 The Media Has Some Apologizing to Do After the IG Report for 12/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/12/19/the-media-has-some-apologizing-to-do-after-the-ig-report Fri, 13 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Thanks to the Department of Justice Inspector General's report, we now know for certain what has been, for those paying attention, fairly obvious. The Steele dossier played a central role in the genesis of the Russia hoax and was used to justify extensive spying on former naval officer and Annapolis graduate Carter Page. </p> <p>The top two leaders of the FBI were closely involved in this fiasco. Other powerful people knew what was happening and lied to cover it up. That all was confirmed by the IG report. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The report was a disaster for the credibility of top leaders in Barack Obama's FBI, and it's also a big problem for the American news media.</span> <p>Updated: Fri Dec 13, 2019</p> cb4f15556c0a78ed746e1ac86d4d4c24 Impeachment Charade -- Faculty Lounge Edition for 12/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/12/19/impeachment-charade-faculty-lounge-edition Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Another chapter in the house impeachment melodrama unfolded this week. The proceedings shifted from Adam Schiff's Intel Committee to the Judiciary Committee, which is run by another Democratic member of Congress, Jerry Nadler of New York. Last month Schiff's failed approach was to bring down the president by bringing in a whole cavalcade of intelligence and foreign policy professionals and having them explain how their feelings had been hurt by the bad Orange man. </p> <p>Jerry Nadler tried a new approach. His strategy was to treat impeachment like a faculty meeting at Wesleyan. He produced a long line of academics with impressive-sounding credentials and had them condemn the president. And if you weren't paying close attention, you might have been impressed. A highlight was when Nadler asked witness Noah Feldman what the framers of the constitution would have thought about President Trump's behavior. Feldman answered: "I believe the framers would identify president Trump's conduct as exactly the kind of abuse of office high crime and misdemeanor that they were worried about."</p> <p>Madison, Hamilton, Washington. These are the same people the left would like to see dethroned, their statues knocked over by screaming college kids. If even they think Trump is rotten, then impeachment is mandatory. Of course, once you pause and consider this all for a moment, it starts to look a little less impressive. None of the witnesses had any evidence against the president. They were instead giving you their opinions. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 06, 2019</p> 1beb2dcd51c3ca570dc44ef18870ebc9 Roger Stone, Jeffrey Epstein and the Crackup of America's Leadership for 11/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/11/19/roger-stone-jeffrey-epstein-and-the-crackup-of-americas-leadership Fri, 22 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Roger Stone was recently convicted in federal court on seven felony charges, stemming from the since-closed Russian collusion investigation. Stone's main crime was lying to Congress about who he had, or had not, spoken to about Russia. By the time Stone's trial began in Washington, nobody was talking about WikiLeaks anymore. Nobody cared. Yet prosecutors continued as if it were 2017. For lying about something now irrelevant, they argued that Roger Stone should spend up to 50 years in prison, the rest of his life. At the very moment prosecutors were making that case &#8212; that Stone's misstatements ought to be a death penalty offense &#8212; Congressman Adam Schiff was busy lying to the rest of us about new things, some that actually matter. Schiff didn't seem worried about lying. He knows he'll never be prosecuted for it. In Washington, dishonesty is strictly a one-way offense. </p> <p>Yet despite the irony of all this, Stone was convicted. Official Washington cheered. "Rot in hell!" they screamed on Twitter. What's interesting about the response to Stone's case &#8212; both from federal prosecutors and the conventional media &#8212; is how much harsher it was than anything that greeted convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein. When Epstein was released from his first prison term, he hosted a dinner at his home with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, former NBC host Katie Couric, Chelsea Handler, Woody Allen, CBS's Charlie Rose, British Prince Andrew and many others. Do you think Stephanopoulos would consider having dinner at Stone's house? Of course not. That would be immoral. FBI officials, apparently, agree. </p> <p>You'll remember what happened when Stone was arrested. Dozens of federal agents with automatic weapons, armored vehicles and a helicopter descended on his home in a middle-class part of Fort Lauderdale and rousted the 66-year-old and his wife from bed at rifle point. Just to make sure the event inflicted maximum humiliation, the feds tipped off CNN, which was there to capture the whole thing live. That's how our government treated a man facing perjury charges. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 22, 2019</p> 06f74abb71b6a45f018d936781f16dbd What Impeachment Is Really About for 11/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/neil-patel/11/19/what-impeachment-is-really-about Fri, 15 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>This week, nearly two months after beginning impeachment proceedings, the Democrats finally held their first public hearings. If nothing else, the hearings made clear that the Democrats have no master plan for impeachment. They clearly haven't thought it through. They're making it up as they go along. In the end, impeachment will almost certainly hurt them. The whole premise is too absurd for it not to. </p> <p>In the meantime, we did solve at least one nagging mystery after the first day of hearings: President Donald Trump's crime. We've had a lot of debate about the propriety of Trump's call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but it's never been clear what exactly Democrats believe is the impeachable offense. Now we know.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 15, 2019</p>