Some Memorial Day Weekend Thoughts

The April/May issue of Imprimis (the publication of Hillsdale College) featured an article called “Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery.” The article was written by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, an Army war veteran. Please follow the link above to read the entire article, but here are some highlights:

The Thursday before Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery is known as “Flags In.” The soldiers who place the flags belong to the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, better known as The Old Guard. My turn at Flags In came in 2007, when I served with The Old Guard between my tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Old Guard is literally the old guard, the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the Army, dating back to 1784, three years older even than our Constitution. The regiment got its nickname in 1847 from Winfield Scott, the longest-serving general in American history. Scott gave the regiment the honor of leading the victory march into Mexico City, where he directed his staff to “take your hats off to The Old Guard of the Army.” Perhaps Scott felt an old kinship with the 3rd Infantry, because he had fought the British alongside them outside Niagara Falls during the War of 1812.

Among the few regiments to participate in both of the major campaigns of the Mexican War—Monterrey in 1846 and Mexico City in 1847—The Old Guard made history alongside American military legends. A young lieutenant later wrote that “the loss of the 3rd Infantry in commissioned officers was especially severe” in the brutal street-to-street fighting in Monterrey. That lieutenant’s name was Ulysses S. Grant.

The 3rd Infantry was part of the main effort again the next year at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, the last stand on the road to Mexico City by Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The Mexicans had a numerically superior force on the high ground on both sides of the only passable road to the capital. But Santa Anna underestimated the Americans’ ingenuity and audacity. With a young captain of engineers blazing the path, the 3rd Infantry hacked through the jungle and crossed ravines to attack the Mexicans from their rear, finishing them off with a bayonet charge. That captain’s name was Robert E. Lee. And to this day, The Old Guard remains the only unit in the Army authorized to march with bayonets fixed to their rifles in honor of their forerunners’ bravery at Cerro Gordo.

The article goes on to explain how the land at Arlington became our National Cemetery:

George Washington’s adopted son—his wife Martha’s only surviving son—bought the land that became Arlington in 1778 to be closer to his mother and his stepfather at their beloved Mount Vernon. General Washington advised him on the purchase in correspondence from his winter camp at Valley Forge. But our national triumph three years later at Yorktown shattered the family’s dreams. Their son died of a fever contracted there, leaving behind a six-month-old son of his own. George and Martha raised the boy, who was named George Washington Parke Custis but was known as Wash. When Wash came of age and inherited the land, he initially christened it Mount Washington, in honor of his revered adoptive father. Though he later renamed it Arlington, Wash used the land as a kind of public memorial in his lifelong mission to honor the great man. From hosting celebrations on Washington’s Birthday to displaying artifacts and memorabilia to building the grand mansion still visible from the Lincoln Memorial today, Arlington got its start as a shrine to the father of our country.

A new resident arrived in 1831, when then-Lieutenant Robert E. Lee—himself the son of Washington’s trusted cavalry commander during the Revolutionary War—married Wash’s only surviving child, Mary. For 30 years, the Lees made Arlington their home and raised a family there between his military assignments. Because of his ties to Washington and his own military genius, Lee was offered command of a Union army as the Civil War started. But he declined on the spot. His long-time mentor—none other than the 3rd Infantry’s old commander, Winfield Scott, now the General-in-Chief of the Army—scolded him: “Lee, you have made the greatest mistake of your life, but I feared it would be so.” Resigning his commission, Lee left Arlington for Richmond, never to return. The United States Army occupied Arlington on May 24, 1861—and it has held the ground ever since.

The article explains how the government eventually obtained the land through a legal process:

Lee’s son inherited the family’s claim to their old farm. Himself a Confederate officer, his name nevertheless reflected the nation’s deep roots at Arlington: George Washington Custis Lee. Known as Custis, he petitioned Congress to no avail, then sued in federal court to evict the Army as trespassers. United States v. Lee worked its way over the years to the Supreme Court, which upheld the Lee family’s claim. Fortunately for the government, the nation, and the souls at rest in Arlington, Custis was magnanimous in victory, asking only for just compensation. In 1883, he deeded the land back to the government in return for $150,000. The Secretary of War who accepted the deed was Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln. After that final act of reconciliation between the firstborn sons of the great president and his famed rebel antagonist, Arlington’s dead could rest in peace for eternity.

The article concludes:

No one summed up better what The Old Guard of Arlington means for our nation than Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey. He shared a story with me about taking a foreign military leader through Arlington to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Sergeant Major Dailey said, “I was explaining what The Old Guard does and he was looking out the window at all those headstones. After a long pause, still looking at the headstones, he said, ‘Now I know why your soldiers fight so hard. You take better care of your dead than we do our living.’”

It’s Memorial Day Weekend. Remember those who paid a high price for our freedom.

Discovering The Connections

I am posting this article without any hard evidence–just a lot of very odd coincidences. I suspect that my suspicions will eventually be proven true, but as of now the hard evidence has not yet entered the public domain.

This article is based on three sources–two at Power Line Blog (here and here) and one at a website authored by James Howard Kunstler (here).

The issue in question is the origin and development of the unsubstantiated charges against Justice Kavanaugh. There are some obvious questions and problems with the entire episode–if Professor Ford wanted to remain anonymous, why did she contact the Washington Post, how do you charge someone with sexual assault if you can’t remember where, when, how you arrived at the location or how you got home–but you do remember that you only had one beer? But now there is another more important question–the connections among many of the people involved in Professor Ford’s making her accusations seem to be suspicious.

James Kunstler reports:

It turns out that the Deep State is a small world. Did you know that the lawyer sitting next to Dr. Ford in the Senate hearings, one Michael Bromwich, is also an attorney for Andrew McCabe, the former FBI Deputy Director fired for lying to investigators from his own agency and currently singing to a grand jury? What a coincidence. Out of all the lawyers in the most lawyer-infested corner of the USA, she just happened to hook up with him.

It’s a matter of record that Dr. Ford traveled to Rehobeth Beach Delaware on July 26, where her Best Friend Forever and former room-mate, Monica McLean, lives, and that she spent the next four days there before sending a letter July 30 to Senator Diane Feinstein that kicked off the “sexual assault” circus. Did you know that Monica McClean was a retired FBI special agent, and that she worked in the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York under Preet Bharara, who had earlier worked for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer?

Could Monica McLean have spent those four days in July helping Christine Blasey Ford compose her letter to Mrs. Feinstein? Did you know that Monica McClean’s lawyer, one David Laufman is a former DOJ top lawyer who assisted former FBI counter-intel chief Peter Strozk on both the Clinton and Russia investigations before resigning in February this year — in fact, he sat in on the notorious “unsworn” interview with Hillary in 2016. Wow! What a really small swamp Washington is!

Did you know that Ms. Leland Keyser, Dr. Ford’s previous BFF from back in the Holton Arms prep school, told the final round of FBI investigators in the Kavanaugh hearing last week — as reported by the The Wall Street Journal — that she “felt pressured” by Monica McLean and her representatives to change her story — that she knew nothing about the alleged sexual assault, or the alleged party where it allegedly happened, or that she ever knew Mr. Kavanaugh. I think that’s called suborning perjury.

Mr. Kinstler concludes:

The Democratic Party has its fingerprints all over this, as it does with the shenanigans over the Russia investigation. Not only do I not believe Dr. Ford’s story; I also don’t believe she acted on her own in this shady business. What’s happening with all these FBI and DOJ associated lawyers is an obvious circling of the wagons. They’ve generated too much animus in the process and they’re going to get nailed. These matters are far from over and a major battle is looming in the countdown to the midterm elections. In fact, op-ed writer Charles M. Blow sounded the trumpet Monday morning in his idiotic column titled: Liberals, This is War. Like I’ve been saying: Civil War Two.

But wait–there’s more!

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog shared the transcript of an interview between Senator Tom Cotton and Hugh Hewitt this morning:

Hugh, I believe the Schumer political operation was behind this from the very beginning. We learned last week that a woman named Monica McLean was Ms. Ford’s roommate, and she was one of the so-called beach friends who encouraged Ms. Ford to go to Dianne Feinstein and the partisan Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Well, it just turns out, it just so happens that Monica McLean worked for a Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, now a virulent anti-Trump critic on television and former counsel to Chuck Schumer. So I strongly suspect that Chuck Schumer’s political operation knew about Ms. Ford’s allegations as far back as July and manipulated the process all along to include taking advantage of Ms. Ford’s confidences and directing her towards left-wing lawyers who apparently may have violated the D.C. code of legal ethics and perhaps may face their own investigation by the D.C. Bar.

As of now, all of this is simply incredible coincidence, but I suspect the truth will eventually come out.

Changing the Wrapping Doesn’t Change The Package

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the changes made to the ObamaCare replacement bill.

The article quotes Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton:

“Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House health-care bill, nor would it pass the Senate. The amendments improve the Medicaid reforms in the original bill, but do little to address the core problem of Obamacare: rising premiums and deductibles, which are making insurance unaffordable for too many Arkansans. The House should continue its work on this bill. It’s more important to finally get health-care reform right than to get it fast.”

The article at Power Line states the following:

If, under a Republican plan, premiums/deductibles continue to rise, people will believe that Obamacare’s replacement made things worse. They will blame Republicans and the GOP will pay a heavy price.

No Republican should support replacement legislation unless he or she is confident it will result in better outcomes with regard to premiums/deductibles. If Democrats won’t support legislation that’s likely to produce that result, Republicans should either push such legislation through without Democratic support (overruling the Senate parliamentarian) if necessary or let such legislation be voted down.

Republicans have no obligation to pass replacement legislation they don’t like in order to patch up Obamacare. The Democrats created the current mess. If they won’t cooperate with the GOP in fixing it properly, Republicans shouldn’t take the political hit that would come with pretending to fix it on their own.

I left the Republican Party because I felt that they had forgotten their commitment to smaller government and had become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The current ObamaCare replacement bill is a perfect example of that. Republicans were told that if we gave them the House, ObamaCare would be gone. When it wasn’t gone, we were told that if we gave them the House and the Senate, ObamaCare would be gone. When it wasn’t gone, we were told that if we gave them the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, ObamaCare would be gone. If this bill passes, it won’t be gone. We will simply have ObamaCare Light, a bad bill that the Republicans would be totally responsible for–just as the Democrats were totally responsible for ObamaCare. That is not a step forward–it is a step backward! Please, Republicans, do not pass this bill. Simply repeal ObamaCare. Then you can fight over its replacement. Don’t break faith with the voters.