Saturday, December 9, 2017

Another perspective on Roy Moore
By Eric Rasmusen - - Thursday, December 7, 2017

• Eric Rasmusen is the Dan R. and Catherine M. Dalton Professor for the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Roy Moore’s name is indelibly linked to sexual predation; but do you know the specific accusations and accusers? Quite a number of women say that Mr. Moore asked them out when they were aged 16 to 18, and that he got their parents’ permission to do so. All this, 26 to 40 years ago. It’s worth looking carefully at the claims and the evidence.

The first accuser is Beverly Nelson. She recounts how as a young lawyer Roy Moore frequently patronized the Alabama restaurant where she worked, and offered to give her a ride home one night. She said that Mr. Moore parked the car behind the restaurant and began to grope her. She fought back, and Mr. Moore eventually gave up.

All this was said to have happened a few feet from the restaurant. But other people say that they never saw “frequent patron” Roy Moore at the restaurant in the years they worked there, that the dark nook she claims he parked in didn’t exist, and that closing time was well after Ms. Nelson’s recollection of 10 p.m. They told reporters this, and were even taped, but the stories never appeared.

Ms. Nelson also briefly displayed a high school yearbook with an inscription ending, “Love, Roy Moore, D.A.” A photo CNN tweeted shows the inscription in black ink up through “Roy” and blue ink starting with “Moore.” Is the blue a later addition? The Class of ‘77 at Nelson’s school included Ray Jon and the Class of 1979, Ray Brooks. CNN tweeted another photo from the same press conference which has all black ink. suggests chromatic aberration might make newer black ink look blue, but Ms. Nelson won’t let third parties examine the yearbook.

The second accuser is Leigh Corfman. She says Mr. Moore took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. But that’s also a bit wobbly. The Washington Post article tells us that Ms. Corfman has been divorced and filed for bankruptcy three times, and that her teen years were “reckless with drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16.”

The third woman is Tina Johnson. She accuses Mr. Moore, married six years and with a baby son, of grabbing her buttocks while she and her mother were walking out of his office. Ms. Johnson has a felony fraud conviction for writing bad checks, and was also convicted of larceny and entered a drug treatment program. Mr. Moore was the lawyer who successfully argued that Ms. Johnson was an unfit mother and the grandmother should get custody of her son. No bias there?

The remaining accusation, that Mr. Moore went out with teenagers when he was in his 30s, is reported by multiple women. I believe them. But what is wrong with that? No one but Ms. Corfman claims he took them out without their parents’ blessing. One of the women told The Washington Post her mother “just felt like I would safe with him. She thought he was good husband material.” Another told her daughter, “I’d say you were the luckiest girl in the world.” Apparently, Mr. Moore just wanted to marry a younger woman — someone like his wife of the last 32 years, a classmate of Beverly Nelson, who is 14 years younger than he.

President Emmanuel Macron of France is 24 years younger than his wife. Is he a victim? The wives of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were 19 or younger on their wedding day. Are those men scoundrels? Quite a few first ladies married young: Abigail Adams (18), Elizabeth Monroe (17), Eliza Johnson (16), Mamie Eisenhower (19), Rosalynn Carter (18), and Barbara Bush (19). Frances Cleveland married Grover Cleveland in the White House when she was 21 and he was 49.

In today’s assortative marriages, the 30-something investment banker will marry a 30-something lawyer, but that’s not how people typically live or have lived across the continents and the centuries. Aristotle said that women should marry when they are about 18 and men at 37. In the 1977 South, 36 percent of first marriages included women in their teens, and 12 percent were 17 and under. We might think this odd, but that’s just because we’re WEIRD, as in “Western and Educated from Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic countries.”

The women who accuse Roy Moore of lewd advances lack credibility. He did court teenage girls, but what we see is consideration, not predation. Roy Moore should not be lumped together with Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor, Al Gore, Charlie Rose, John Conyers and Al Franken.

Eric Rasmusen is the Dan R. and Catherine M. Dalton Professor for the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mueller investigation into Trump's campaign is way out of control

Andy Puzder THE HILL  12-4-17

On Friday morning, Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. ABC News correspondent Brian Ross reported that Flynn was prepared to testify that candidate Donald Trump instructed “him to contact Russian officials during the campaign.” The media went into a frenzy, social media exploded and the stock market dropped 350 points as it appeared everything the president had said about his campaign not colluding with the Russians could be untrue. Those of us who had been involved in the campaign were shocked.
Fortunately for the country, it was the ABC report that was untrue. Several hours later, ABC issued a “clarification” and later a “correction” stating that it was actually “president-elect Trump” who directed Flynn to make contact “during the transition” as a “way to work together to fight ISIS.” For having promoted this quintessential example of fake news, ABC suspended Ross for four weeks without pay.

The distinction between what occurred during the campaign versus what occurred during the transition is obviously critical. The primary allegation has always been that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government, not that president-elect Trump had contacts with the Russians or any other foreign government following the election. Despite the media uproar, to date, there is simply no evidence of any such collusion, at least not by the Trump campaign.
In May, Rod Rosenstein, at the time acting attorney general, issued an order appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.” It authorizes Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and any matters that may arise directly from the investigation.
In October, Mueller indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate, Richard Gates, for allegedly funneling money from a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to offshore bank accounts and shell companies but failing to declare the money to the IRS. Manafort’s lobbying activities for this group ended in 2014, predating his connections to Trump. The 2016 charges related to Manafort allegedly making false statement to the Justice Department. None of this conduct involved the 2016 election campaign.
Mueller also released a guilty plea by George Papadopoulos, a low-level campaign adviser, for lying to the FBI in early this year about his interaction with a professor who had Russian connections, including a woman with ties to the government. While the plea suggests the possibility that Russians were attempting to supply the Trump campaign with opposition research on Hillary Clinton, it offers no evidence that they ever did.
On Friday, Mueller released Flynn’s guilty plea. President Trump had fired Flynn as national security adviser after 24 days in the role for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about certain post-election contacts he had with the Russian ambassador beginning in December 2016. Flynn is now admitting that he lied about the same contacts to the FBI.
After discussions with a "senior official" on President Trump’s transition team, Flynn telephoned the Russian ambassador and discussed Russia moderating its response to U.S. sanctions for interfering in the presidential election. In separate discussions, Flynn also contacted the Russian ambassador to persuade Russia to vote against a United Nations Security Council resolution on the issue of Israeli settlements.
In January, Obama State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated that the department had “no problem” with Trump’s transition team contacting Russian or any other foreign officials. None of these discussions occurred before the election or involved information on candidate Clinton. Not one. As President Trump has maintained all along, after months of allegations and investigations by both the FBI and the special counsel, there is still no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the election.
On the other hand, the law firm representing the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign retained and paid a firm called Fusion GPS, which prepared opposition research on candidate Trump. Fusion GPS had a hired former British spy, Christopher Steele, with ties to Russia to conduct the research. The result was a controversial and now discredited dossier containing salacious allegations about Trump and his purported connections to Russia.
Steele’s dossier makes clear that his sources were almost exclusively Russian. He identified his sources as “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,” a “senior Russian financial official,” a former “top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,” a “senior Kremlin official” and a “senior Russian government official.”
This effort by the Democrats, Fusion GPS and the Russians to defeat candidate Trump certainly paints a more damaging picture of election interference than President-elect Trump’s transition team attempting to contact foreign officials after the election.
Imagine the uproar if evidence had arisen indicating that the Trump campaign or the Republican National Committee had paid Fusion GPS prior to the election to produce a dossier on candidate Clinton based on Steele’s Russian sources. While those on the left are obviously excited about Flynn’s guilty plea, it might be worth keeping in mind that they are throwing stones from a very delicate glass house.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fire Mueller: Flynn’s plea shows his investigation is an illegal witch hunt.
[copied from ISRAPUNDIT  12-2-17]

The Mueller investigation was supposed to turn up evidence of collusion. Instead it’s charged Trump associates with a variety of crimes. None of them dealing with the actual purpose of the investigation.

The Flynn plea is the worst of the lot. He’s pleading guilty not to committing a crime, but to “lying to the FBI.”

That’s not how you the Feds have a case. That’s how you know they don’t. The MO is if you can’t find a crime to charge them with, find something contradictory in their testimony and nail them on that.
It’s a noted abuse of power. Here’s Andrew McCarthy.

The false-statement charge, brought under Section 1001 of the federal penal code, stems from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was slated to become the national-security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump…

Obviously, it was wrong of Flynn to give the FBI false information; he could, after all, have simply refused to speak with the agents in the first place. That said, as I argued early this year, it remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed.

Flynn, an early backer of Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Obama’s national-security policies, was generally despised by Obama administration officials. Hence, there has always been cynical suspicion that the decision to interview him was driven by the expectation that he would provide the FBI with an account inconsistent with the recorded conversation — i.e., that Flynn was being set up for prosecution on a process crime.

Or entrapment.

A breaking report from ABC News indicates that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians — initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a “collusion” case arising out of Russia’s election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime — he’d be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy.

Meanwhile, according to BuzzFeed, Flynn made one of those calls at the behest of Kushner, in support of Israel.

WASHINGTON – Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, called Michael Flynn in December 2016 and told him to call members of the UN Security Council in an effort to stop a vote on a resolution critical of Israeli settlement policy, according to a person who was present in the room when Flynn took the call.

Flynn then called Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States to seek his assistance, and later lied to the FBI about having done so, according to documents filed in federal court Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller that explained Flynn’s guilty plea on two counts of lying to federal agents.

The documents do not say on whose behalf Flynn contacted Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, identifying the person only as “a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team.”

But a Trump transition official who was in the room where Flynn took a call regarding the upcoming UN Security Council vote said Flynn identified the caller as Kushner.

“Jared called Flynn and told him you need to get on the phone to every member of the Security Council and tell them to delay the vote,” the person said.

Despite the media spin, these were calls to every member of the UN Security Council.

Fighting ISIS and supporting allies was part of Flynn’s job. There’s nothing illegal here. Flynn is being charged with doing his job. But Obama Inc. did not want him doing his job.

The source says Flynn took the call at the Trump transition team’s offices in the General Services Administration headquarters in northwest Washington. After hanging up, Flynn told the entire room that they’d have to start pushing to lobby against the UN vote, saying “the president wants this done ASAP.”

At the time, the Security Council resolution was the subject of bitter debate among the Obama administration, the incoming Trump team, and Israeli officials. The resolution condemned Israeli housing construction in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as a “flagrant violation under international law” that was “dangerously imperiling the viability” of a future peace settlement establishing a Palestinian state.

The United States traditionally had vetoed similar resolutions, but the Obama administration had said it was likely to abstain, which it ultimately did, allowing the resolution to pass.
Trump, at the prodding of Israeli officials, lobbied hard against the abstention, then denounced it after it took place.

So Flynn (and other Trump officials) were being spied on by Obama officials who opposed the policies of the incoming administration. And have now used that illegal spying to go after a public official for engaging in these policies, which, in and of themselves, were perfectly legal.

These are blatant abuses of power and they need to end.

Mueller must go.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tax Reform, Growth and the Deficit

The Editorial Board Wall Street Journal Nov. 26, 2017 

A U.S. growth rate of 1.9% will never balance the federal budget.

Start with the fact that the GOP budget outline allows for a net tax cut of $1.5 trillion over a decade on a statically scored basis thanks to a deal brokered by Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Corker. Democrats and their media chorus are using that number to claim that reform will bust the budget and add to the federal debt. This comes with ill grace from people who cheered Barack Obama’s doubling of the national debt in eight years, but it’s also overwrought.

The actual budget hole is smaller than $1.5 trillion because the GOP budget is scored on a “current law” baseline. This assumes that tax breaks that are “current policy” will expire and more revenue will flow to Treasury. This is worth more than $400 billion over 10 years, which means the budget “hole” is closer to $1 trillion out of the $43 trillion the Congressional Budget Office projects in revenues over the next decade. In other words, this is a modest net tax cut even assuming no additional economic growth.

CBO’s estimates are inherently speculative because no one knows when the next recession might hit or what some future Congress might do. But CBO has typically underestimated the growth and revenue feedback from tax cuts. A classic example is the 2003 cut in the tax rate on capital gains. Dan Clifton of Strategas Research notes that in January 2004, eight months after the tax cut passed, CBO predicted $215 billion in capital-gains revenue through 2007. The actual figure? $377 billion. CBO underestimated economic growth and how much investors would cash in their gains.

CBO’s roughly $43 trillion revenue estimate also depends on a projection of average economic growth of 1.9% a year. But the U.S. economy has never grown that slowly for so long. CBO says that every 0.1% increase in GDP adds about $270 billion in revenue over 10 years. That means a mere four years at 3% growth—the U.S. historical norm—could fill a $1 trillion hole. An average growth rate of even 2.4% over the decade would more than fill the hole.

Nearby we reprint a letter from some of the country’s most distinguished economists making the case that the House and Senate reforms will significantly raise U.S. growth potential. The biggest boost comes from the reductions in the tax burden on capital, which should increase investment and thus growth.

One of the signers, Larry Lindsey, predicted in our pages this fall that economic growth under the GOP plan would accelerate to 3.2% for three to five years and then settle at 2.5%. The Tax Foundation predicts the Senate plan will produce more than $1 trillion in revenue, in part thanks to an investment catalyst from immediate capital expensing in the first year.

The left ignores all this and flogs as unrefutable whatever emerges from the Joint Committee on Taxation. But Joint Tax assumes the U.S. is a partially “closed” economy with little access to global markets. Its models assume that higher deficits will “crowd out” private borrowing and thus drive up interest rates and offset the growth impact of the tax cut. Yet a major goal of the tax reform is make the U.S. more competitive as a destination for foreign capital, and interest rates in a global capital market will be determined by far more than a modest increase in the U.S. budget deficit.

Another false charge from the left is that the GOP bills are merely a tax cut without any reform. But the bills eliminate trillions of dollars in loopholes, such as the state and local tax deduction. The House bill caps the mortgage-interest deduction at $500,000.

Also on the chopping block are business carve-outs—including cuts in the deductibility of interest—that are used to pay for lower business tax rates. We’d like to see every loophole eliminated, but this really is the most far-reaching business-tax reform since 1986.

One fair objection is that the true deficit impact is partially hidden because the Senate’s individual tax cuts expire after 2025, though everyone assumes Congress would extend them. This fudge is driven by the Senate’s mistake in doubling to $2,000 the child tax credit, which does nothing for growth and is thus a deadweight revenue loss to Treasury.

This is a sellout to Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, as well as to the income distribution tables and the class-war left—not that it is muting the critics. If the budget hawks want to reduce reform’s deficit impact, the child tax credit’s size and income phaseout of $500,000 should be their targets.


The question Senators need to ask themselves in the end is whether this reform, all things considered, is a net benefit for the country. We think it is—not least because it is a vote of confidence that better policies can restore America’s traditional economic vigor. Democrats and their media friends have given up on that score, concluding that we are doomed to “secular stagnation” and that our politics must devolve into a brawl to divide up the spoils of whatever meager growth we can muster.

That is not the country we have known and it is an America that would be much diminished and harsher. Republicans need to decide if they still believe America can prosper again, or if it is doomed to the slow growth and stagnant wages of the last 11 years.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Roy Moore vs Doug Jones….A fair and open solution
Alabama election for U.S. Senate December 12, 2017  

Until a few weeks ago the moral issues in this election were well defined. And based on the attitudes and beliefs of the majority of the citizens of Alabama Roy Moore was the overwhelming favorite  to win this Election.

Then, after the deadline  to change the ballot,  the Washington Post,[ now echoed by MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, etc. has] publicized two serious allegations against the character of Judge Moore.

Most observers acknowledge that this is the proverbial "October surprise" hit job …serious charges made against a candidate just before an election when it will be nearly impossible to dispel negative aroma generated by accusations.

We believe that nearly all Alabama voters want to do the right thing. The question is: What is the right thing?

We propose a solution process which will:

 Enable citizens of Alabama to proceed with confidence that the outcome will be appropriate, no matter what the final outcome is in reference to these allegations made against Judge Moore;

Enable the voters of Alabama to make their choice solely on the basis of the differences in philosophy and policies of the two candidates;

Not reward political hit jobs ;

 Ensure that, if Judge Moore, has in fact been guilty of either of the two major allegations that he would not be permitted to serve as a senator from Alabama.

This “best outcome” can be achieved as follows:

Vote for Roy Moore.   AND

Continue with a thorough investigation

Have Gov. Ivey appoint an impartial group to hear the evidence and make a determination that would be binding on Judge Moore. [For example, the group could consist of Gov.Ivey and six other appointees drawn from the Alabama legislature. The standard would be somewhere between criminal law where it is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and civil law where it is ”predominance of the evidence". It would take five votes to determine probable guilt.]

Have Judge Moore sign a legal commitment to step down if he is found guilty of either of the two main accusations against him.

 Then the governor of Alabama will appoint a suitable replacement. If Judge Moore is cleared then an obvious political hit job will not be rewarded. [This would speed up the process and make it transparent.]

The investigation:

1. Leigh Corfman alleges she was 14 when she dated Moore. She alleges Roy touched her in a sexual way. The touching was over the clothes, and they stopped having contact after the event in question. To continue the investigation Leigh Corfman would be required to file a sworn statement and be subject to cross-examination on the details both by the state authorities and by judge Moore’s legal representation. Included would be all past actions of the complainant making complaints against others. The various legal documents she has sworn to and her divorces and bankruptcies. Etc.

What has been reported widely is that the complainant had at that approximate age drug and sex problems. Also what has been reported widely is that the complainant has history of making similar complaints against various clergymen. Also reported is that certain details of the complainant’s story such as the judge reaching her in her bedroom by telephone have been proven false.

2.  Beverly Young Nelson claims to have been sexually assaulted when she was 16. She says Moore gave her a ride home from her job as a waitress and then tried to force her into oral sex. She says the incident was violent, and she claims to have a high school yearbook that was signed by Moore, proving their involvement. Beverly Young Nelson’s is a more difficult case. Here is a case of really "she said". The yearbook signature should be turned over immediately for expert examination. If it is not Roy Moore's actual inscription then the second case is loses most of its credibility. If it is Judge Roy Moore's actual original signature it damages Judge Moore's credibility but it is not conclusive in regard to the allegations.

 A second idea for Governor Ivey  to consider,  which is  under Gov. Ivy’s complete control is the following:

       Have Sen. Luther Strange resign his seat immediately. The governor could then cancel the election and call for a new election while she makes an interim appointment to fill the unexpired portion (few weeks) remaining in the term. This would give her, the citizens of Alabama, and the nation time to respond to  the Washington Post’s  imposed crisis that has been thrust upon her state and the nation in an attempt to thwart the will of the citizens of Alabama.

Past history should cause every citizen of Alabama to approach the Judge Moore accusations with caution and concern

There is a pattern of last-minute political accusations appearing in the Washington Post in the New York Times. Recent examples include the charges against George W. Bush [that he evaded his required service in the National Guard]; Mitt  Romney [that he was a prep school bully who helped attack a kid who might have been perceived as gay; that he abused a family pet by carrying him in a kennel lashed to the luggage rack on top of a family vehicle]; John McCain [Cindy McCain engaged in criminal acts which violated United States narcotics laws].

Also there is the memory of this technique being used in an attempt to forestall the appointment to the Supreme Court of Clarence Thomas, and to disrupt the presidential campaign of Herman  Kane.

 Other Incidents of false accusations that destroyed careers and lives include:

 Tawana Brawley’s  rape allegations.  Brawley  gained notoriety in 1987–88 for falsely accusing four white men of having raped her. The charges received widespread national attention because of her age, the persons accused, and the state in which Brawley was found after the alleged rape. She was found in a trash bag, with racial slurs written on her body and covered in feces. Brawley's accusations were given widespread media attention in part from the involvement of her advisers, including the Reverend Al Sharpton and attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason.

The Duke University lacrosse team. In March 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum, a black student at North Carolina Central University  accused three white Duke University students – all members of the  men's lacrosse team – of raping her. The rape was alleged to have occurred at a party held at the house of two of the team's captains in Durham on March 13, 2006. Many people  commenting on the case,  stated  that the alleged rape was a hate crime. Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign.  Duke president Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season. On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three lacrosse players innocent of the rape allegations. Cooper stated that the players were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse”.

The McMartin case.The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case in the 1980s, prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney . Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983. Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials all charges were dropped in 1990. Simultaneously throughout the country many ministers and others in contact with youth were unjustly accused in a wave of  day-care sex-abuse hysteria, a moral panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The mantra was: "believe the children". There were many witnesses. Before the McMartin's were cleared they lost their business; they l lost their home. Their daughter had her teaching license stripped from her. Their son became unemployable.  

Returning to Judge Moore vs Doug Jones

Buried in flurry of accusations made against Judge Moore in the media are the true issues that vitally affect the citizens of Alabama and of the United States.

These include Doug Jones past support and expected future support of policies which undercut American response to:

             North Korea’s growing threat to Japan, the Philippines in the homeland of the United States.

              Iran's growing threat to Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. Iran’s expansion in the Middle East. Iran's growing  sponsorship of  terrorism in Africa and South America. Iran's direct threat of nuclear missile attack on Israel, Europe, and  the mainland of the United States.

               China's economic and military expansion not only in the Far East but into South America in the Middle East.

Doug  Jones’ past support and legal advocacy [as recently as 1989] for individuals and organizations who not only advocated but actually physically attacked Blacks and Jews.

Doug Jones’  active support of partial-birth abortion [which most of us find to be cold-blooded murder of innocent newborns].

 Rabbi Dov Fischer

Rabbi Dov Fischer became a Congregational Rabbi in Irvine, California in August 2005, when he assumed the role at Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine. Rabbi Fischer arrived in “The O.C.” from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, where he had been Rabbi of Young Israel of Calabasas since that shul’s inception.  In February 2008, sixty Beth Jacob membership households joined with Rabbi Fischer in establishing Orange County’s first new Orthodox Jewish congregation in more than twenty years:  Young Israel of Orange County.

  Rabbi Fischer is a nationally prominent Jewish leader and speaker, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, the central body of the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate in the United States, and formerly of the Board of Directors of the Hillel Foundation of Orange County.  Previously, Rav Fischer served as National Vice President of the Zionist Organization of America.  

 Rabbi Fischer has been named by three different Governors of the Commonwealth of Kentucky — Gov. Brereton Jones, Gov. Paul Patton, and Gov. Ernie Fletcher — as an Honorary Kentucky Colonel for contributions he has made to the people and social welfare of that state. 

 Rabbi Fischer publishes social, political commentary in the Wall Street Journal ,the Los Angeles Times, the Weekly Standard, National Review Online, the Jerusalem Post, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, the Jewish Press of New York, and Midstream .

Rabbi Fischer has served on a wide range of public community posts including as a National Vice President of the Zionist Organization of America, Board member of the L.A. Jewish Federation Council’s Jewish Community Relations Committee, member of the Los Angeles Yeshiva Principals’ Council, Executive Board member of the American Jewish Committee of Orange County, Executive Board member of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Orange County, Executive Board member of the Hillel Foundation of Orange County, and in other local and national capacities. 

After receiving his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, Rabbi Fischer studied at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) of Yeshiva University and was ordained a Rabbi in 1981. In 1983, Rabbi Fischer was awarded his master’s degree in American Jewish history. His master’s thesis was nationally honored by the American Jewish Historical Society and published in its scholarly quarterly,American Jewish History.

From 1985 to 1987, Rabbi Fischer lived in Israel. During that time, he also served as Assistant Director of the American High School at Pardes Hanna, cosponsored by the Los Angeles Jewish Federation Council’s Bureau of Jewish Education and by the Los Angeles Unified School District. He taught in the Overseas Program at Orot Women’s College for Torah Studies, guest lectured several times at Bar Ilan University for a course in Jewish Values taught to members of the Israeli Defense Forces, and he worked intimately with Ethiopian Jews at the Merkaz Klitah Absorption Center in Hadera.

Rabbi  Fischer received his Juris Doctor degree in 1993 at UCLA School of Law where he also was selected to serve as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review. His Law Review Comment on a federal law affecting directors and officers of depository institutions has been cited in nine federal judicial opinions. The following year, Rabbi Fischer served as federal judicial appeals-court clerk to the Hon. Danny J. Boggs, who became Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Rabbi Fischer thereafter practiced complex business litigation for nearly a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms.

  As part of his practice,Rabbi Fischer continues to contribute to American legal education today as Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he teaches California Civil Procedure and the Law of Complex Torts.

1. Please  Vote for Roy Moore  
Rabbi Dov Fischer  November 23, 2017
 As a conservative Republican American who deeply loves my country, as a passionate sports fan who has boycotted the National Football League for the past two months because I will not participate even indirectly in supporting an enterprise that will not robustly support the American flag and all that it stands for — one nation under G-d with liberty and justice for all — and as a firm and faithful believer in traditional religious values as embedded and taught in the Torah, I wish I could be an Alabama citizen just so that I could vote next month for Roy Moore for United States Senate.

Alas, I am not a citizen of Alabama. So I write here to plead with every Republican and Independent voter in Alabama to please vote for Roy Moore. My plea is so urgent and desperate that, against everything ingrained in me,I just split an infinitive. If Republicans do not cast ballots next month to hold that U.S. Senate seat, we instead will be splitting guts.

Let us be clear here. Prof. Frank J. Tipler, among others, has presented a compelling moral argument defending Judge Moore in the face of allegations. So have others. It is a compelling argument. But that is not what impels me. In fact, I would be more sanguine, absolutely so, if the good Judge simply would bow out and assure that Senate seat’s safe Republican hold by deferring to a more attractive alternative like Rep. Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks. Or if Jeff Sessions would make the ultimate patriotic sacrifice and give up his lifetime’s dream to serve as United States Attorney General, and enter the race belatedly to wrest the seat back. However, it appears that Sessions will not budge, and Judge Moore will not budge, and that the Alabama Republican Party will not abandon him.

These are the times that try men’s — and women’s — lives. We cannot lose the Alabama U.S. Senate seat. We lose too many United States Senate seats that are waiting for Republicans to win. We gave away the seat in Indiana six years ago when Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock allowed his opponent, Democrat Joe Donnelly, to slither in over a moronic comment about rape and abortion — as though the real issue at the core of American existence is whether rape victims should be entitled to abortions. We gave away the Missouri seat at the same time over the same foolish issue, as Republican Todd Akin gifted the detested and unsuited Claire McCaskill the seat by getting suckered into entering the same swamp. We had a Senate seat stolen from us by Al Franken in Minnesota when he managed to free his hands long enough to steal the fake ballots that inched him past Norm Coleman. A Senate seat was stolen from us in Alaska when the late Senator Ted Stevens was wrongly convicted on felony charges, thereby inducing Alaska voters to oust him after seven consecutive Senate election wins and nearly half a century as their United States Senator. Soon after he was electorally defeated, all charges and convictions were vacated — thrown out — with the Justice Department finding gross prosecutorial misconduct. And that even was Eric Holder’s DOJ that could not abide the prosecutorial corruption. But the United States Senate seat was lost.

We Republicans throw away United States Senate seats the way that Christians throw out fruit cakes after Christmas and Jews throw out dried jelly donuts after Chanukah. No thinking. No compunction. We’ll just get another one next year. Like a generation reared on the illogical premise that you had to eat your peas and whatever other vegetables you disliked — okra, rhubarb, cauliflower — because there are starving children in India and China (who one day will take your parents’ outsourced jobs), Republicans eat their own because there are liberal finger-pointers preaching a morality and value code that they themselves never would follow. And they keep suckering Republican voters out of United States Senate seats like Lucy pulling the football from Charlie Brown in days that football mattered. They keep suckering — and GOP voters keep falling for it.

Look at the liberals. Yes, they have ousted Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey and Leon Wieseltier. Wow— what courage! But did they ever oust Bill Clinton? Is he not still a favored Democrat speaker? Hillary, who was caught on an audio recording giggling over a rape charge, had no problems conning Democrat women to say “I’m with her.” Are they ousting John Conyers? Yes, it took them less than a “New York minute” to oust Charlie Rose and replace him with the synonymous if not eponymous “Antiques Roadshow.” But howzabout the right honorable Al Franken? They have the goods on Al: one picture is worth a thousand forcible tongue swirls. He is photographed not only groping at a sleeping woman’s breasts but hamming it up for the camera. He similarly has been photographed grabbing another woman’s derriere at a state fair. He has joked about raping Lesley Stahl. He penned a vile and odious Playboy article — and it takes several hours for one to sit and contemplate and draft and edit — where he fantasized about a busty woman at an “Institute of Titology,” whose legs and breast nipples he described with painstaking detail, masturbating him and sticking her tongue into his mouth and swirling it around exactly as he later would do to Leeann Tweeden and causing him — these are the exact words of the United States Senator from Minnesota — to “shoot [his] wad.” He has stood in front of an audience on television and “joked” that a famous and honorable television personality would rub ointment on his little boy and then would pimp friends to come into the boy’s bed to anally rape him. How on G-d’s earth is this pig still in the United States Senate? But the liberals know how to count Senate seats. And so this little piggy is not going to go all the way home, but will cry “Wee! Wee! Wee!” right from his Senate seat in D.C. while throwing blue slips at the President’s judicial nominations.

Meanwhile, Republicans, fearful that there are starving children somewhere, respond by eating their own. With a 52-48 Senate that just barely fails to repeal and replace Obamacare, with a margin so razor-thin that the GOP cannot allow Rand Paul to keep getting himself beaten up and having his ribs broken by neighbors, cannot allow John McCain to leave town and cannot abide him when he is in town, cannot allow Susan Collins to follow her conscience on a few votes that she needs to devote to her Maine constituents, the GOP now would hand over their crimson-red Alabama Senate Seat to Democrats who will protect their stolen Franken seat to the death, even if they ultimately have their Democrat governor roll it over to radical Jew-hater Keith Ellison.

Republicans must not lose that Senate seat. Given that Roy Moore will not step out, Alabama Republicans and Independents simply must vote for him. Rhett Butler learned from Dixie’s Scarlett O’Hara that tomorrow is another day, and everyone then can play a game of “Senate Chicken” (or “Rooster”) as we watch the Republicans and Democrats line up in the town center at high noon, hands at holsters, waiting to see who draws first: Democrats ousting Franken and having their Democrat Minnesota governor replace him or Republicans ousting Moore and having their GOP Alabama governor replace him. Or maybe they both draw and fire simultaneously. Or, probably, neither ousts anyone.

But, dear citizens of Alabama, we cannot lose that Republican Senate seat. That seat and your vote is not about Roy Moore. It is about whether we will have the votes to confirm President Trump’s federal judicial appointments, from the trial judges in district court to the appellate judges in the federal circuits to the next one or two or three Supreme Court justices he names. Whether every single Trump Administration regulation and initiative — from securing the borders to restricting “sanctuary cities” — will be struck down by an Obama appointee in San Francisco or a Clinton appointee in Hawaii, then affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. And these future federal judges and justices either will proceed to preserve this country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and restore abandoned elements of our American culture and protect our religious liberties and freedoms from further encroachments — or so much more of our national heritage and values will be lost.

 It is about the future of America — issues including but not limited to protecting the lives of the unborn, building the wall along the Southern border that will keep opioids out, assuring further tax reform, standing up to threats from Iran and North Korea, protecting college students from being railroaded by kangaroo courts convened to convict them of false charges while denying them the rights of counsel and the right to confront their accusers, deregulating the economy, expanding school choice for all children and particularly for those inner-city children who most are failed by the public schools into which they are assigned and which condemn them to lost life possibilities.

That is what is on the line. Not Roy Moore. Not his accuser, the three-time divorcee and two-time bankrupt, who nevertheless may have a legitimate case to make against hm. But she has allowed that case to wait forty years. Why can it not be decided in 2018, side by side with bringing justice to the female victims of John Conyers, Al Franken — and even the victims of Bill Clinton, now that Democrat Insiders from Donna Brazile to Kirsten Gillibrand are racing to signal that the Clinton Era is dead.

For now, meantime, there is one imperative: Roy Moore must be elected to that Alabama Senate seat if he will not step down and if Jeff Sessions will not enter. 


Saturday, November 25, 2017

But for the Grace of God — Iran in Syria and the Lessons for Israel

 Martin Sherman   November 24, 2017

Only by resisting territorial concessions on the Golan, Israel prevented deployment of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the fringes of the Galilee; only by resisting territorial concessions in the “West Bank” can Israel prevent them from deploying on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv.

Examples of horrible advice from the so-called experts:

“Israel has a strategic interest in disassociating Syria from the extremist axis that Iran is leading. Syria is not lost, Assad is western educated and is not a religious man. He can still join a moderate grouping.”
—  Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of IDF, Nov. 13, 2009.

“…we should not belittle the signals of peace coming from Syria.”
     — Ehud Barak, Israeli defense minister, Nov. 13, 2009.

“Syria is the key to regional change for us. If I was prime minister, I would pin all my hopes on Syria.”

Indeed, not only have the “top brass” of Israel’s security establishment been hopelessly and hazardously wrong in appraising Assad’s role as a peace partner, they have been equally wrong in predicting his imminent fall — see for example here,  here, here, here, here and here.
Just how appallingly wrong these assessments by the most senior echelons of the Israeli security establishment proved to be was driven home by a recent BBC report, indicating that the Iranian military is engaged in the construction of what appears to be a permanent military base in Syria. But more on these — and other — disturbing lapses in judgment a little later.

Permanent Iranian presence in Syria?
Based on satellite images commissioned by the BBC, the report suggests extensive ongoing construction between January and October this year, just outside a site used by the Syrian army near the town of El-Kiswah, 14 kilometers (8 miles) south of Damascus.

It comes on the heels of evermore disturbing accounts of the increasingly pervasive presence of Iranian forces throughout Syria — with Russian endorsement and US acquiescence — together with growing concern that Tehran will soon attempt to deploy both air and naval forces, including submarines and set up weapons production plants to supply its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

In the discussion of the ramifications of these revelations, attention appeared to focus mainly on two cardinal issues: (a) The significance for the completion of the “Shi’ite arc of influence,” stretching from east of the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean and the creation of a land-based logistical supply line from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon; and (b) the stern warnings issued by Israel that it would not permit an Iranian takeover of Syria, hinting that it would be prepared to use military force to prevent this.

However, there is another vital element germane to the expanding Iranian military presence in Syria — and one that has received remarkably little media attention. It is, however, one whose relevance Israel will ignore at its peril.

Inconvenient but incontrovertible fact
After all, as ominous as the current Iranian military deployment in Syria is, it might well have been far more menacing. Indeed, the fact that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is not perched on the Golan Heights, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, is solely because Israel did not fall prey to the seductive temptation of the land-for-peace formula, as urged by many, in both the international community and in its own security establishment (see introductory excerpts) — and did not cede the strategic plateau that commands the approaches to the entire north of the country.

One can only shudder with dread at the thought of the perilous predicament the country would be in, had it heeded the call from the allegedly “enlightened and progressive” voices, who — up until the gory events of the Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011 — hailed the British-trained doctor, Bashar al-Assad, as a moderate reformer, with whom a durable peace deal could be cut — if only an intransigent Israel would yield the Golan to his regime. 

Indeed, it is an inconvenient — albeit incontrovertible — fact that every time Israel has relinquished/abandoned territory, to Arab control, that territory has — usually sooner rather than later — become a platform from which to launch lethal attacks against Israel — almost immediately in Gaza; within months in Judea-Samaria; within years in south Lebanon and after several decades in Sinai, now descending into the depravity and brutality of a jihadi-controlled no-man’s land — with no good options on the horizon.

This is something Israeli policy makers dare not disregard. For as dangerous and detrimental as the outcomes of previous withdrawals proved to be, they are likely to pale into insignificance compared to consequences of territorial concession in Judea-Samara (a.k.a. the “West Bank”).  

Compounding the gravity
Indeed, even the Golan, with all its vital strategic significance, cannot match the importance of the highlands of Judea-Samaria, commanding Israel’s urban megalopolis in the coastal plain. As I have pointed out elsewhere, any forces deployed on these highlands command all of the following: major airfields (civilian and military) including the country’s only international airport; major sea ports and naval bases; vital infrastructure installations (power transmission, water systems, and communication networks); main land transport routes (road and rail); principal power plants; the national parliament and most government ministries; crucial centers of civilian administration and military command; and 80% of the civilian population and the commercial activity in the country.   

Significantly, all of these strategic objectives will be within easy range of weapons being used today against Israel from territories previously relinquished to Arab control.

Compounding the gravity of any threat entailed in Israel yielding sizeable portions of Judea-Samaria to the Palestinian-Arabs are reports of renewed ties between Iran and Hamas, purported to be “stronger than ever.”  

An Iranian proxy overlooking Tel Aviv?
Addressing journalists in Gaza last August, Hamas leader Yehiyeh Sinwar declared that the terror group had restored relations with Iran after a five-year rift, due to Hamas’ refusal to support Assad, and is using its newfound financial and military aid to gear up for new hostilities against Israel. According to Sinwar, “Today, the relationship with Iran is excellent, or very excellent,” adding that Iran is “the largest backer financially and militarily” of the organization’s military wing.

Clearly, were Israel to withdraw from Judea-Samaria, there is little that it could do to curtail the spread of Iranian influence. Indeed, without the IDF to prop up the corrupt kleptocracy of Fatah, it is more than likely that Hamas, increasingly an Iranian proxy in the mold of Hezbollah — despite being on opposite sides of the Sunni-Shia divide — could mount an effective challenge for power. This could be done either via the ballot (a recent Palestinian poll shows that Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh would trounce Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas) or by the bullet — as it did in in Gaza in 2007, and could well do again in Judea-Samaria, especially if bolstered by Iranian backing

Accordingly, just as it was only Israel’s resistance to territorial concession on the Golan that prevented the deployment of Iranian Revolutionary Guard on the fringes of the Galilee, so only by resisting territorial concessions in the “West Bank” can Israel prevent Iranian Revolutionary Guard (or any other Jihadi elements) from deploying on the fringes of greater Tel Aviv.

Assessing new “peace initiatives”: Rank is no recommendation
These are the grim realities that any future “peace initiative” must take into consideration.

This caveat takes on special significance in light of rumors that a new “peace” initiative is currently brewing within the Trump administration, seemingly enamored with the allure of cutting “the ultimate deal.”

In this regard, Israel must internalize the lessons of the past and robustly resist pressures to relinquish further territory to Arab control. In particular, it must be wary of counsel from individuals and organizations, who have demonstrated, consistently and conclusively that — no matter what their past experience and seniority — their judgement cannot be trusted (see introductory excerpts). After all, as the past clearly indicates, when assessing such initiatives, rank is rarely any recommendation.

Indeed, not only have the “top brass” of Israel’s security establishment been hopelessly and hazardously wrong in appraising Assad’s role as a peace partner, they have been equally wrong in predicting his imminent fall — see for example here,  here, here, here, here and here.

Israel can ill afford such lapses in judgement when it comes to making fateful decisions regarding concessions in Judea-Samaria that would critically imperil the vast majority of the nation’s population.  

With this in mind, it cannot for a moment forget what — but for the grace of God — our fate in the Golan would have been.

This article  appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):
ISRAEL RISING: (To be posted) 
JEWISH PRESS: (To be posted)

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.