As usual, I seem to view the world about 80 degrees off from my associates in the media, so I still try to keep on on original sources instead of taking the “journalists’” word. For example, I took the time last week to watch the House Judiciary Committee’s testimony from Attorney General William Barr, and it raised a question I have not seen addressed.
The Majority announced in the first minutes that they are considering Barr for impeachment. This becomes important later.
In a nutshell, as I assume you have seen and heard on the news, the Majority gave Barr almost no time to answer questions. He was harangued, accused and insulted a lot, but whenever a substantive claim was made against him, the questioner would cut him off, interrupt and demand “reclaiming my time.” A few even used their full five minutes to rage at Barr and Trump and yield back without asking any question, and Barr was not allowed to answer.
You can make of that what you will. To me, I think the House could use an adjustment to its rules.
However, let’s go back to impeachment. As I have shared before, in a former life I worked for a state welfare bureaucracy and have since been an investigative reporter. I am not a lawyer, but I had to take law classes in grad school. So it occurs to me that if I had an errant cop under oath and on broadcast television, I would be inclined to ask open-ended questions and then let him talk. The more he talks, the more likely he is to perjure himself or make an error. The judging body should have very little interest in my questions, but if I do a good job, it should be very interested in the witness’s answers. So the Majority had five hours to goad Barr into saying something dumb, and they didn’t use it.
To me, that is more than slightly curious. Obviously, it would be nice to know why, since I doubt the AG will respond quickly to a second request. It’s like Congress getting a free wish from a genie and asking for a selfie.
Possibly they did not drop the ball, at all. I have heard some of them rage about Trump stealing all the media oxygen with his hours-long news conferences and events. Ads cost money, and maybe the Democrats had little interest in impeaching Barr, at all. Maybe his role was to sit there and be a foil for speechifying on the media’s nickel.
Anyway, it was a circus. I will be interested to see whether anybody polls public opinion on it. Cirque du Soleil is bankrupt because of Covid, so maybe Congress is looking for a new revenue stream.
One of the Democrat congressmen announced in his presentation that, so far, Covid has cost the U.S. 100,000 businesses that are dead and not coming back. He did not cite his sources. Congressmen and congresswomen don’t need to. I will never forget Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – the multi-millionaire-real-estate-broker from Nevada announcing on the Senate floor in 2012 that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in 10 years. Later, when confronted with the fact that he had lied, Reid said, “I don’t regret that at all. Romney didn’t win, did he?”
Some people think this is now the American way. I don’t, and I think it demands a conversation as to whether we should bring back horse-whipping, tarring and feathering and riding out of town on a rail. For both parties.
If what the Democrat congressman said in the committee hearing was true, and we have no reason to believe that it was, then 100,000 businesses is a big number, and you likely know some of them.
If you know some of them, then you understand that when we come out of this, all hell is going to break loose. There will be demand that the 100,000 are not there to fill. There will be supplies that the 100,000 are not there to buy. So… I just said supply and demand in two sentences, and anybody with a grade-school grasp of economics knows that means something. On the other hand, we don’t seem to have a consensus among Ph.D.s in economics as to WHAT it means.
For one thing, I think the wood-products industry needs to lock arms, join heads and be thinking. Unlike in Congress, it may help.