Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Don't Put Clarence Thomas In with the Bad Boys


November 20, 2017

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Judge Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia during his 1991 confirmation hearings (AP)

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, Anita Hill's star is shining brighter than it has since the riveting Hill-Thomas hearings in 1991.  "Hill gave voice to the silent indignities endured by women," wrote Jonathan Capehart recently in the Washington Post – Capehart being one of many pundits who made such claims without any substantiation whatsoever.  In fact, the actual evidence strongly suggests that if Hill ever suffered indignities, Clarence Thomas did not inflict them.

Some background is in order. Speaking to a NOW convention in July 1991, shortly after Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court, radical feminist Florynce Kennedy announced, "We're going to Bork him. We're going to kill him politically."


The woman who would orchestrate the Thomas assassination watched the news of his nomination at her California home.  "He's the one," Susan Hoerchner screamed to her husband.  He was the one, Hoerchner recalled, whom her Yale Law school pal Anita Hill had fingered as a hound dog back in 1981 when both she and Hill worked in Washington.  Ten years later, Hoerchner was serving as a low-level judge in California, but Hill had moved on to the law school of Oral Roberts University in her native Oklahoma, a humble teaching post Thomas had helped her secure.

Although no one would take credit for what happened that July of 1991, it seems likely that the politically savvy Hoerchner put the harassment story in play.  Before the month was out, well wired media people like Tim Phelps of Newsday and Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio knew about the Hill allegations.  So too did abortion activists like Kate Michelman, the national director of the National Abortion Rights Action League.  Abortion, after all, was the cause that inspired the Borking.

Thomas expected the confirmation hearings in September to be brutal, and they were.  He expected the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to zero in on abortion, and they did.  He ducked and dodged as he had to and avoided any crippling blows.  With his confirmation all but assured, the activists had no effective recourse but to surface Anita Hill.

They had been scheming to force Hill into the open for weeks.  Hill, however, continued to vacillate.  She did not want her name in play, and she certainly did not want to speak to the FBI, but Senate staffers continued to lean on her, as did her friend Hoerchner, as did the media.

Finally, on September 23, Hill faxed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming that Thomas had pressured her to date him and talked graphically about sex in her presence.  A staffer persuaded her to speak to the FBI, and this she reluctantly agreed to do.  Later that same evening, two FBI agents interviewed her in Oklahoma.  Hill proved oddly evasive.  "She advised the interviewing Agents that she made the decision to prepare the statement after several telephone conversations with her personal friend, Susan Hoerchner," one of the FBI agents would later testify.

Thomas learned of the allegations two days later, when FBI agents came to his home to follow up on Hill's accusations.  "When informed by the FBI agent of the nature of the allegations and the person making them," Thomas would testify, "I was shocked, surprised, hurt, and enormously saddened."  He had never had an accusation like that leveled against him before.

In constructing her harassment narrative, Hill had some obvious inconsistencies to explain away.  The most notable was why she had followed Thomas to the EEOC after he had harassed her at the Department of Education.  In testifying, she offered the lame explanation that towards the end of their mutual tenure at the DOE, Thomas's behavior had somehow changed for the better.

"It appeared that the sexual overtures, which had so troubled me, had ended," she claimed with a straight face.  Then, alas, the behaviors started up again at the EEOC.  "He said, that if I ever told anyone of his behavior that it would ruin his career."  So she kept quiet throughout the four prior Senate confirmations that Thomas had undergone, maintained a friendly relationship with him over the years, and even helped recruit him to Tulsa for a conference on civil rights law.

In the most stunning part of her testimony, Hill listed the abuses to which Thomas had allegedly subjected her.  He pointed out a pubic hair on top of a coke can.  He talked in detail about a porn star famously named "Long Dong Silver."  He talked about his own sexual prowess.  And he kept pressing her for dates, which she continued to decline.

When given the chance, Thomas did not apologize as his supporters advised but let the furies loose.  "Senator," he said to a surprised Joe Biden, "I would like to start by saying unequivocally, uncategorically, that I deny each and every single allegation against me today."  No one expected to hear this, certainly not with such ferocious conviction.  Hill, after all, seemed so believable, and all Washington understood the risks of denying a woman's testimony.

"From my standpoint as a black American," Thomas thundered, "[the smear campaign] is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas."  Thomas was just warming up.

"It is a message," Thomas continued, "that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you.  You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree."  As Thomas saw it, the "old order" was no longer Jim Crow.  The new "old order" was progressivism.

Thomas, of course, survived the lynching, but the question remains as to whether Hill was telling the truth, at least about Clarence Thomas.  Only one individual testified that Hill had complained about Thomas at the time of the alleged harassment in 1981.  That was Susan Hoerchner.  In her deposition for the Judiciary Committee, Hoerchner told of how she and Hill spoke regularly throughout 1981 when both lived in Washington.  It was during this time that Hill confided in her that Thomas had been harassing her.  In September 1981, Hoerchner left for California, and the conversations stopped.  Here is how this played out in the deposition.

Q. And, in an attempt to try to pin down the date a little bit more specifically as to your first phone conversation about the sexual harassment issue in 1981, the year you mentioned, you said the first time you moved out of Washington was September of 1981; is that correct?

A. Right.

Q. Okay. Were you living in Washington at the time you two had this phone conversation?

A. Yes.

Q. When she told you?

A. Yes.

Q. So it was prior to September of 1981?

A. Oh, I see what you're saying.

Hoerchner and her attorney, future DHS honcho Janet Napolitano, promptly asked for a recess.  Hoerchner had just subverted the timeline on which the case against Thomas rested.  "I began working with Clarence Thomas in the early fall of 1981," Hill told the Judiciary Committee.  "Early on, our working relationship was positive."  By Hill's account, Thomas did not begin to pester her for roughly three months.  At the earliest, that would have been December 1981, three months after Hoerchner left for California, three months after she and Hoerchner stopped talking on any kind of regular basis.  Hoerchner, in fact, described her communication with Hill after September 1981 as "sporadic."  In her deposition, she described only one post-Washington contact: that of meeting with Hill at a professional seminar in 1984.


After conferring with Napolitano, Hoerchner had a convenient change of memory.  Now it was time for the friendly Democratic counsel to ask, "When you had the initial phone conversation with Anita Hill and she spoke for the first time about sexual harassment, do you recall where you were living – what city?"  Answered Hoerchner, "I don't know for sure."

The author who first reported the Hoerchner angle was none other than professional chameleon David Brock.  Once the scourge of the left, he morphed into progressive smear artist extraordinaire as impresario of Media Matters for America.  Although he has tried to distance himself from his reportorial past, his work on Hoerchner's testimony holds up.  He explained why in a New York Times op-ed attacking Anthony Lewis's 1993 review of his book,The Real Anita Hill. 


The problem with Hoerchner, wrote Brock, went much deeper than "a harmless lapse of memory."  Hoerchner, Brock explained, had been entirely clear on the regularity of her calls with Hill: when they took place, where they took place, and how they ended after Hoerchner moved.  This all changed when a Senate lawyer pointed out the inconsistency in timing.

When Hoerchner came back from a hasty recess, she "was suddenly unable to recall anything about the time or place of the call.  But she was now adamant that Ms. Hill had named Judge Thomas as the perpetrator, a point on which she had previously been unsure."

The inference that Brock made here and in his book was that if Hill had been harassed as she charged, the harasser was not Thomas.  The giddy momentum behind the accusation took Hill to a place she did not really want to go.  This happens.

The media have chosen to forget.  With their help, Anita Hill has come to play the sacrificial victim role for the feminist movement in much the same way that Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin play that role for the Black Lives Matter movement.  The reality is this: America's progressives have little or no regard for the truth.  The case they make for Hill is as dishonest as the case they make for Martin or Brown.  They owe Clarence Thomas a major apology.


Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/11/dont_put_clarence_thomas_in_with_the_bad_boys.html#ixzz4z4mYY5er
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Unaccountable Public Schools

By Larry Sand
November 20, 2017
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(David McNew/Getty Images)
Educational bureaucrats complain that charter and private schools are “unaccountable.” But in reality, no institution in America is less accountable than unionized, government-run school systems. Virtually no one gets fired when they do a poor job, and when Johnny can’t read, it’s not because he wasn’t taught well, but rather because funding was insufficient, class sizes were too big, poverty was overwhelming—or Betsy DeVos was making everything worse. And when the public schools are shown not to be living up to their promises, the educrats move the goalposts to disguise their shortcomings.
The latest example of this pattern is unfolding right now. The California School Dashboard is a comprehensive rating tool to assess educational performance. Schools, districts, and various student subgroups get placed into five color-coded categories ranging from red (bottom performers) to blue (best performers) on how students fare on the state’s annual standardized test, along with other measures including graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, and college readiness. If a district places in the red on two or more of these metrics, the county offices of education are called in for assistance.
Alarm bells sounded when the 2017 standardized test results in California were announced. They revealed that about 50 percent of schoolchildren can’t read at grade level. The news was especially dismal for black schoolchildren—almost 70 percent failed to read at grade level. When all the data were crunched, the outcomes revealed that, because of the poor test results, many school districts were deep in the red zone. But instead of acknowledging those schools’ failure, the State Board of Education simply decided to move a bunch of schools out of the lowest category. The board brushed aside criticism, referring to the lowering of standards as “a technical matter,” and the change was approved unanimously.
This brazen ploy is the latest in a series of similar efforts by the Golden State education establishment. Just last month, we officially said goodbye to the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), which the state legislature eliminated in 2015 because too many kids couldn’t pass it. The English–language component of the test addressed state content standards through tenth grade, and the math part of the exam covered state standards only as far as grades six and seven and Algebra I. Worse, the legislators chose to give diplomas retroactively, going back to 2006, to students who had passed their coursework but failed the test.
Some cities have used their own methods to lower standards. In 2015, the Los Angeles school board decided to roll back graduation requirements, allowing students to pass A-G courses (classes that are required for college entrance) with a “D” instead of a “C.” If that wasn’t enough, in Los Angeles and elsewhere, students who are destined not to graduate high school get to take “credit-recovery” classes. Some are effective, but many are devoid of meaningful content. Students often complete them in a few hours or over a weekend. Due to the courses, the graduation rate in L.A. zoomed from a projected 54 percent to 77 percent in 2016 within a few months. Referring to the higher graduation rates, L.A. School Superintendent Michelle King had the chutzpah to proclaim that she is proud “of the heroic efforts by our teachers, counselors, parents, administrators and classified staff who rally around our students every day.” King’s comments aside, is it any wonder that three quarters of California community college students and over 40 percent of California State university system students need remediation?
In San Francisco, only 19 percent of black students passed the state test in reading, yet the school board and union colluded to give teachers in the lowest performing school district in the state a 16 percent across the board pay increase. In a statement, San Francisco Superintendent of Schools Vincent Matthews said that the agreement was made as part of the district’s “ongoing commitment to attracting and retaining talented educators.”  
While San Francisco undoubtedly has some wonderful teachers, they do not deserve a raise en masse. We do not need credit-recovery classes. We should not have eliminated the CAHSEE. We don’t need the state board fiddling with the new dashboard because the results were poor. And as the Freedom Project’s Alex Newman points out, we also don’t need more “tax money, smaller class sizes, more LGBT sensitivity training, more interventions, more amphetamines, more dumbed-down ‘standards,’ or bigger government.”
What kids really need is basic reading instruction with a strong emphasis on phonics, which has served kids well for generations and would continue to do so, if we let it. But if we continue to stroll blissfully down Unaccountability Lane, adopting educational fads and eliminating standards, millions of young Americans will grow up to be functionally illiterate, with dismal future prospects. This is beyond shameful. School boards, administrators, and teachers must be held accountable for the failing systems they run.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bill Clinton Still Silent About Flights On Pedophile’s Sex Plane

By Richard Pollack
November 19, 2017
Image result for bill clinton jeffrey epstein
Former President Bill Clinton continues to remain silent about the 26 flights he took aboard convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express,” which reportedly offered underage girls to passengers to rape.
Fox News wrote in 2016 that the Lolita Express, a Boeing 727 jet, was “reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.”
Clinton flew on some trips where the flight logs showed only the first names of female passengers.
The Daily Caller News Foundation contacted the Clinton Presidential Library last week to obtain information about the former president’s relationship with billionaire Epstein, who in 2008 was convicted of soliciting sex from underage girls as young as 14.
At the time of the request, the Clinton Presidential Library was preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Clinton’s 1992 presidential win. It was attended by a small army of Clinton loyalists.
TheDCNF contacted the media office for Bill Clinton, but it refused to respond to a variety of questions about Clinton, his trips and his friendship with Epstein.
Between 2001 to 2003, Clinton and Epstein traveled together on extended trips around the world, according to flight records released in 2015 by Gawker.
Accompanying Clinton aboard the private jet was Doug Band, his “body man” and president of Teneo Holdings, a company that arranged speaking engagements and lucrative business deals for the former president.
On one trip Clinton also traveled with actor Kevin Spacey, who is now accusedof have sex with an underage boy.
Clinton traveled aboard the “Lolita Express” with a soft core porn actress and traveled on 11 flights with Epstein’s assistant Sarah Kellen, who allegedly procured underage girls for men, according to Gawker.
Gawker reported Kellam was “accused in court filings of acting as pimps for him (Epstein), recruiting and grooming young girls into their network of child sex workers, and frequently participating in sex acts with them.”
“In January 2002, for instance, Clinton, his aide Doug Band, and Clinton’s Secret Service detail are listed on a flight from Japan to Hong Kong with Epstein, Maxwell, Kellen, and two women described only as “Janice” and “Jessica,” Gawker reported.
Clinton ditched his Secret Service agents on five of the flights, according to Fox News.
Epstein also sent his friends to his personal, 72-acre island called “Orgy Island” on Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A team of traffickers allegedly solicited girls as young as 12 to service Epstein’s “friends,” according to Gawker. It is unknown if Clinton ever visited the island.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015 before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain records of all Secret Service expenses incurred to provide “security and or/other services” to former President Bill Clinton during his trips with Epstein.
Michael Bekesha, a Judicial Watch attorney told TheDCNF they never received any records from DHS.
TheDCNF request about Clinton and Epstein occurred as hundreds of loyal Clinton aides, campaign workers and former White House officials converged onto the Presidential Library to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the President’s first win to the White House.
While the conference convened amid a swirl of sexual assault accusations against prominent men in politics, industry and in Hollywood, none of it was raised at the 25th anniversary programs.
James Carville, Clinton’s irreverent former campaign manager from his 1992 presidential run moderated a lengthy and “safe” interview with Bill and Hillary Clinton at the library.
Instead, the conference addressed the environment, education policy, childhood development, strife in the Balkans and even, the Human Genome Project.
Women who previously reported sexual assaults by Clinton told TheDCNF the silence from the Clinton camp over the Epstein flights did not surprise them.
“Well he’s guilty, and he knows he’s guilty. So, he’s not going to comment on anything,” said Kathleen Willey, who claims Clinton sexually assaulted her while she worked at the White House. She worked in the White House counsel’s office and in the office of the White House social secretary.
“Have we ever heard a word from him since all of this came up? I mean this has been going on since his college days,” Willey said.
As for his flights aboard the Epstein jet, Willey said, “Well, I don’t think Bill Clinton was playing checkers there. I think it’s despicable, it’s disgusting. He was there for a reason. It’s called pedophilia. Most of those girls were underage.”
Juanita Broaddrick, who says Clinton raped her in a hotel room in 1978 when he was state attorney general, told TheDCNF, “Well I don’t see how they could speak about it now after they’ve lied about it for two decades and harassed and trashed us. I don’t see how they personally can come back and say anything.”
Broaddrick said during the assault Clinton bit her lip so hard it started bleeding. “You better put some ice on that,” she remembers him telling her as he walked out the door.
“I cannot imagine how and in what manner they could ever say the names: Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey or Juanita Broaddrick. I don’t think that will ever come out of their mouths,” Broaddrick told TheDCNF.
She also was not surprised the sex scandal did not come up at the Clinton conference this weekend.
“I don’t think they’ll ever go there and admit to anything that Bill Clinton did. I personally don’t think they have the guts to do it,” she said.
After federal prosecutors identified at least 35 young girls who were solicited by Epstein, the U.S. government elected to have Florida state, not federal charges leveled against him.
He was given a sweetheart deal of 13 months of an 18 month sentence in the Palm Beach County Stockade. He was only charged with one count of soliciting an underage girl.
The punishment was so light Epstein was allowed to leave each day to go to work as a power broker in the financial field.
He also is listed as a registered sex offender and had to make financial restitution to about 30 girls.
Epstein now spends most of his time on his island estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the Palm Beach Post.
For Broaddrick, the memories of Clinton’s assault are still vivid. “I still cry, I still have that pain. It never goes away,” she told TheDCNF.

The 'real' story of the man who murdered Jimmy Hoffa






November 19, 2017


Image result for frank sheeran hoffa

Outside of Lee’s Tavern, in the Dongan Hills neighborhood of Staten Island, a 1970s Thunderbird was wired to explode.
It was October 2017, but Hancock Street looked like it had time-tripped to 1975 — and morphed into Detroit. The facade of Lee’s had been done up with an awning that read “Nemo’s.” Next door, Karina’s barbershop had been adorned with a hand-painted logo on its window. Men in period-appropriate garb strolled the block. And Martin Scorsese orchestrated the whole scene.
The director has been shooting his next movie, “The Irishman,” around the tri-state area. A boat was blown up in Hempstead Harbor on Long Island, and stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci broke bread in character at the Italian eatery Colandrea New Corner in Dyker Heights. “[Pesci] asked if it would be OK to go out a side door in the kitchen to smoke cigarettes,” Joe Colandrea, the founder’s great-grandson told The Post. “He wanted to make sure nobody would bother him out there.”
It’s all to tell one of the most notorious stories of the late 20th century: the 1975 disappearance and presumed murder of Jimmy Hoffa, once the most powerful union boss on Earth.
Over the years, many people have speculated about what happened to Hoffa (played in the film by Al Pacino) and the whereabouts of his body, which has still never been found. Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (played by De Niro) claimed to have been the killer. Scorsese’s movie is based on a book by Sheeran’s lawyer, Charles Brandt, titled “I Heard You Paint Houses” — mobster code for “I heard you kill people.”
Sheeran allegedly shot his friend Hoffa in the head after luring him to a house in Detroit.
The book was published in 2004, the year after Sheeran died and nearly 29 years after the murder was committed. While it was too late for law enforcers to do much — Brandt said that they “dug up floorboards [of the murder site in 2013] for analysis and found human blood but could not tie it to one person” — Sheeran occupied a place on the FBI’s shortlist of possible suspects.
His confession to killing a man whom he called a friend illustrates the hard choices that come with a life dedicated to the Mafia. “Frank whacked guys,” Brandt said. “I estimate that he killed 25 to 30 people. He learned right away that you don’t say no.”
Unlike a lot of men who wind up killers for the Mafia, Sheeran was not bred for the life. He had a rough-and-tumble childhood in Darby, Pa., but no criminal connections. After joining the military in 1941, Sheeran was sent to Italy where he developed a knack for killing — a skill that would come in handy off the battlefield.
”His lieutenant told him that when you are commanded to ‘interrogate somebody and hurry back,’ you are going to kill the guy,” said Brandt.
Image result for frank sheeran hoffa
In 1945, Sheeran moved to Philadelphia, where he would marry, have three daughters and get a job as a truck driver for a grocery chain. Two years later, he had his first brush with the law when he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct after beating up two men in an altercation on a trolley.
In 1955, he had a chance meeting with Russell Bufalino, boss of the northeastern Pennsylvania crime family that bore his name. In short order, he began doing tasks for Bufalino, chauffeuring him and making deliveries.
Coincidentally, this was around when Sheeran was making extra dough by collecting money for small-time Philly loan sharks. Seduced by the lifestyle, Sheeran said yes when a local mobster called Whispers offered him $10,000 to burn down the office of Cadillac Linen Service, which was competing with a company that Whispers had an interest in.
But Sheeran was spotted while scoping out the place — and it turned out that Cadillac was owned by a friend of Bufalino’s.
“Because Frank had been seen in [Bufalino’s] company, the friend did not have Frank killed,” said Brandt. “But Frank was told to make it right by killing Whispers. That night was his first hit.”
In 1957, as a reward for pulling off the job, Bufalino introduced Sheeran to Jimmy Hoffa. The president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters labor union, Hoffa was notorious for Mafia ties, corruption and violence.
Hoffa needed somebody who could use muscle to silence enemies. He told Sheeran, “I heard you paint houses.” Sheeran replied yes and added, “I also do my own plumbing” — meaning, he disposed of the bodies too.
Sheeran grew close to Hoffa and received a lucrative union-boss job as president of the Local 326 in Wilmington, Del. That position had him rolling in under-the-table rewards for mob favors. More notably, he served as Hoffa’s muscle: beating up enemies, killing people trying to start rival unions, and running guns. Sheeran claimed to have transported rifles from Brooklyn to Florida for the killing of John F. Kennedy, adding credence to theories that Hoffa and the mob played a role in JFK’s assassination. The president, along with his brother Robert F. Kennedy, had strong disdain for the union corruption that Hoffa stirred up.
Robert Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa (Associated Press)
When Hoffa went to prison on racketeering charges in 1967, Sheeran continued working for the union chief who replaced him, Frank Fitzsimmons, as well as for Bufalino.
Per the book, one of Sheeran’s biggest hits happened in Little Italy on April 7, 1972: the murder of Colombo family mobster Joey “Crazy Joe” Gallo, at the behest of Bufalino.
It was known that Gallo would be celebrating his birthday at Umberto’s Clam House on Mulberry Street. Sheeran said that he walked inside, dressed casually, posing as a truck driver who needed to use the bathroom.
Then he detoured toward the to the table where Gallo and his crew sat. Although startled by the presence of a woman and little girl at the table, Sheeran had his marching orders and began shooting. Gallo headed for the door, making it outside before being taken down by three bullets.
Sheeran escaped in a waiting car. A day later, tales of the shooting dominated New York City tabloids. “Joe Gallo Slain” read The Post’s front page, complete with a photo of Gallo’s newlywed wife and her young daughter, both of whom had ducked for cover and emerged unscathed.
THE year that Gallo was murdered, Hoffa came out of prison eager to regain control of the International Teamsters. But Mafia kingpins didn’t want him back.
Heat on the persistent Hoffa leaked over to those in his camp. In the spring and summer of 1975, Hoffa supporter Dave Johnson, president of the Local 299 union in Detroit, started to receive hang-up calls at home. Then a bullet was fired through his window at union headquarters. Driving the point home, somebody blew up his 45-foot cruiser, docked in the Detroit River. Suspicions centered on Hoffa adversaries.
Revenge appeared to come on July 10. when Richard Fitzsimmons, son of Hoffa’s replacement, left Nemo’s, a Detroit bar popular with union big shots. As he walked to his new, white Lincoln Continental, it exploded. He narrowly escaped injury.
When Hoffa still refused to acquiesce, the mob turned to the one man who could lure him to a vulnerable location. In late July 1975, Sheeran flew from Ohio to Pontiac, Mich., to murder his mentor. He says in the book that he “felt nothing.”
“Frank could not blink, much less say no [to killing Hoffa],” said Brandt. “Or else . . . they both would have gotten killed.”
Sheeran drove with a few other associates to pick up Hoffa at a restaurant called the Red Fox. Sheeran claimed that his presence helped put Hoffa at ease about driving to a meeting at a Detroit house.
They arrived and entered the vestibule of a home that was obviously empty. “When Jimmy saw . . . that nobody came out of the rooms to greet him, he knew right away what it was,” Sheeran said in the book, adding that Hoffa tried to flee. “Jimmy Hoffa got shot twice at a decent range — not too close or the [blood] splatters back at you — in the back of his head . . . My friend did not suffer.”
Soon after, Sheeran claimed, Hoffa’s body was turned to ash at a crematorium.

But not everyone buys his story. Dan Moldea, author of the deeply researched “The Hoffa Wars,” insists that Sheeran did not kill Hoffa.
Moldea — who interviewed mob figures, investigators and prosecutors for his book — agrees that Sheeran flew to Pontiac and lured Hoffa into the car. But he believes that the murder was committed by Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio, an enforcer for the Genovese crime family. Moldea bases this on interviews with parties including the owner of a New Jersey dump where some believed Hoffa’s body was disposed.
“This is a one-source story about a pathological liar,” Moldea told The Post of Brandt’s book on Sheeran.
He voiced his displeasure about the De Niro-starring flick when he met the actor at a dinner in 2014.
“De Niro had a lot of pride that he is doing the real story,” said Moldea. “I told him that he’s been conned.”
But Brandt sticks by his story. After Sheeran served 13 years of a 32-year prison sentence, convicted on labor racketeering, and was crippled by arthritis and living in a nursing home, he confessed to killing Hoffa to three priests as well as to Brandt.
“Frank sought forgiveness and, to his way of thinking, died in a state of grace,” said Brandt. (He alleged that Sheeran committed suicide, in 2003, at age 83, by starving himself to death for six weeks.)
Whatever the truth is, De Niro, Scorsese and screenwriter Steven Zaillian are going for Brandt’s version of it.
“This summer I spent two months on call to the three of them at the Ameritania Hotel in Midtown,” said Brandt who this past Friday answered a question from De Niro on the caliber of gun used to kill Gallo (it was a .38). “They sent up scripts and I kept meeting them to answer questions. I felt like a groupie and was the only one in the room who hadn’t won an academy award.”

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Anti-Trump Chihuahuas Overlook the President's Many Achievements


By Roger Kimball
November 16, 2017

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President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping

I am told that on that this day in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt opened diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Despite Walter Duranty’s protestations to the contrary in The New York Times, that was while Stalin was systematically starving millions—yes, millions—of his own people. He went so far as to seal the windows of trains running through the areas he wished to devastate so that passengers could not throw out food to the starving multitudes.  FDR knew this.  So: was his diplomatic action a good thing or a bad thing?

On this day in 1985, Ronald Reagan travelled to Geneva to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev. The Cold War was still raging.  So: was Reagan’s action a good thing or a bad thing?

Fun archival project: go back to the 1980s and read what The New York Times (and kindred outlets) had to say about Ronald Reagan.  He was a moron. He was a war monger. He was being played by Gorbachev.

Fast forward to today. Andrew Rosenthal, writing in The New York Times, wants us to know how “grown-ups” deal with Vladimir Putin. His proffered adult is Prime Minister Theresa May, who, in her address at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, gave a tart (and accurate) assessment of Putin’s hostile actions, from his annexation of Crimea to his propaganda war and “weaponization” of information technology. Spot on, Mrs. May!

Andrew Rosenthal contrasts May’s blast against Putin with Donald Trump’s diplomatic efforts.
Let’s leave aside the hypocrisy of a reporter for The New York Times stepping onto his high horse to deliver anti-Russian salvos. Shameless: he even invokes Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech in Berlin. Go back and read what the Times had to say about that phrase at the time.

You do not have to convince me that Vladimir Putin is a nasty piece of work. Indeed (commercial break), I am just about to publish Putin on the March, Douglas Schoen’s brilliant book on that subject.

The world is full of bad guys.  But if you are president of the United States, you should understand that the interests of peace and the interests of prosperity demand that you get along with other nations, if at all possible, especially powerful nations.  Donald Trump was quite right when he tweeted a few days ago that “having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. . . . I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!”

It is “a good thing, not a bad thing” to have a good relationship with Russia. Ditto on China, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines.

Yesterday, just back from his 12-day, 20,000-mile whirlwind trip through Asia, the president gave what posterity will regard as a turning-point speech. The master word of this speech was “confidence.” “When we are confident in ourselves,” the president said, confident in
our strength, our flag, our history, our values—other nations are confident in us.  And when we treat our citizens with the respect they deserve, other countries treat America with the respect that our country so richly deserves.
During our travels, this is exactly what the world saw:  a strong, proud, and confident America.
Donald Trump displayed, in a way we have not seen since the heyday of Ronald Reagan, what foreign-policy leadership looks like.  We have serious  differences with Russia and China. We also have areas of agreement and potential agreement. To address the former a canny leader endeavors to exploit the latter. This Donald Trump is doing.

The president returned from his trip to Asia having secured a renewed commitment from Chinese President Xi and other leaders to help deal with the threat of a nuclear North Korea. “Throughout the trip, we asked all nations to support our campaign of maximum pressure for North Korean denuclearization,” Trump noted.
And they are responding by cutting trade with North Korea, restricting financial ties to the regime, and expelling North Korean diplomats and workers.
Over the last two weeks, we have made historic strides in reasserting American leadership, restoring American security, and reawakening American confidence.
The president also came back from Asia with billions of dollars in trade deals. “Fair trade and reciprocal trade.”  That is Trump’s mantra. “We can no longer tolerate unfair trading practices that steal American jobs, wealth, and intellectual property.  The days of the United States being taken advantage of are over.”

 The anti-Trump chihuahuas keep yammering about his tweets, his being in cahoots with Putin, and his not understanding the complexities of foreign affairs.  But this summary of Donald Trump’s achievements in just 10 months is difficult to gainsay:
Economic growth has been over 3 percent the last two quarters and is going higher.  Unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years.  The stock market has gained trillions of dollars in value since my election and has reached record highs.  We are massively increasing our military budget to historic levels.  The House has just passed a nearly $700 billion defense package, and it could not come at a better time for our nation. Once again our country is optimistic about the future, confident in our values, and proud of our history and role in the world.
What’s not to like?