As the Trump campaign is surrounding itself with strong, anti-Hillary voices from well established conservative media — Stephen Bannon and Roger Ailes, to name but two, WNYC’s All Things Considered host Richard Hake last week said that “the Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well-known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.”
Hake was interviewing former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, who said that of the two components required to win a presidential debate, knowledge and the ability to react quickly and sharply, Hillary possessed the former to a degree close to her own husband’s and to President Obama. But how should she react to an offensive criticism from her attacker in real-time?
“With Roger Ailes and Stephen Bannon advising Trump, Hillary’s team has to guess at what off-the-wall questions, attacks, about her or Bill are coming her way, and how to response with one phrase, one over-arching ribbon,” Green said.
Green, who used to be a student of Dershowitz’s at Harvard, said “Alan Dershowitz is quick-talking, New Yorkish, loud, of course a liberal, and he can mimic Trump pretty well.”
Green said the Democratic candidate should have one overall debate manager, one surrogate, and a team of ten advisers who would micro-analyze her answers during the practice bouts, and remind her to remain poised and, most important and “cheesy,” as Green put it, smile a lot.
“If you’re ideologically neutral and you see Trump yelling and angry, and self-centered, he never smiles, he never laughs, he’s too self-referential,” Green said, and then you turn to Hillary, and “Hillary is the tough mother you want, and if she smiles periodically and is always poised, she conveys empathy. Remember, Kennedy beat Nixon not on points but on appearance.”
So far, Dershowitz denied the story about his playing Trump, writing “Not that I’ve heard,” in response to a Jewish Insider email asking if he’ll do Trump in Clinton’s debate prep.
The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at Hofstra University in New York.
A timely new study just released by a Harvard economics professor concludes that while blacks are more likely than whites to be confronted by police, there is no evidence that blacks are more likely to be shot by police officers. In some instances, blacks are actually less likely to be shot.
These results fly in the face of the contentions of groups like Black Lives Matter and some government officials that African-Americans tend to be singled out for lethal treatment by law enforcement personnel – contentions that have helped fuel the violent reactions to recent fatal shootings of blacks by police.
The author of the study, Rolando G. Fryer, Jr., an African-American economics professor, looked at more than 1,300 police shootings in Texas, Florida, and California between 2000 and 2015. He described the findings as “the most surprising result of my career.”
The study does not address individual instances of police bias and excess, but it does make a compelling case that the problem needs to be approached more realistically and with greater nuance and precision.
“He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what? He did well. He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. Over,” Donald Trump said at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina Tuesday. In comparison, Trump said, “today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s like Harvard. Okay? So sad.”
That assertion may be challenged by Israelis, as Clinton’s senior campaign adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN, “In reality, Hussein’s regime was a sponsor of terrorism — one that paid families of suicide bombers who attacked Israelis, among other crimes.”
Then Sullivan added that “Trump’s cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks.”
Not necessarily so. In retrospect, after the violent collapse of the “Arab Spring” everywhere but in Tunisia, Trump’s assessment of what the Arab world requires to keep it stable is not necessarily democracy. Back in October, 2015, Trump said he believed Iraq and Libya would be more useful in forging a stable Middle East if ruthless dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi had not been terminated by a succession of American presidents.
“If you look at Iraq from years ago,” Trump said in October, “I’m not saying [Hussein] was a nice guy, he was a horrible guy, but it was a lot better than it is right now. Right now, Iraq is a training ground for terrorists. Right now Libya, nobody even knows Libya, frankly there is no Iraq and there is no Libya. It’s all broken up. They have no control. Nobody knows what’s going on.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rushed to the defense of both Bushes and Obama, telling Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that Saddam Hussein “was one of the 20th century’s most evil people. He was up there. He committed mass genocide against his own people using chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy.”
Yes, but, in the immortal words of FDR, when someone asked him about the wisdom of supporting Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, “He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB.” Back in 1979, when Iran’s Shah was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution, giving way to an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which drove the US out of Iran (and kept hundreds of American hostages), only Saddam Hussein was able to limit the spread of Iranian influence in the region. The Iran–Iraq War lasted from September 1980 to August 1988, exacting millions of victims in the service of Western interests in the region. No Arab democracy (an oxymoron if ever there was one) could have stopped Iran. The only force able to facilitate Iran’s yearning for regional hegemony were presidents Bush I and Bush II, followed by Obama.
On July 25, 1990, US ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie held an emergency meeting with Saddam, who attacked American policy with regards to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Saddam complained bitterly: “So what can it mean when America says it will now protect its friends? It can only mean prejudice against Iraq. This stance plus maneuvers and statements which have been made has encouraged the UAE and Kuwait to disregard Iraqi rights.”
Saddam was referring to his neighboring oil sheiks “drilling sideways” into Iraqi deposits. Saddam viewed the entire concept of there even being a country named Kuwait to have been a conspiracy of British Petroleum and Her Majesty’s government to steal oil-rich Iraqi land. Saddam felt that in light of his service to the US, he should receive its support in his conflict with the Kuwaitis.
Ambassador Glaspie replied that the US would rather see the conflict resolved through peaceful means, but in the end, “…we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.”
And so, after his ultimatum to the Sabah ruling family of Kuwait had failed, Saddam invaded Kuwait, believing the US was going to take a neutral position on his move. But his move frightened the Saudis, whose Ambassador under both Bush administrations had his own desk in the Oval office, and they pressured Bush I to start what is now a 26-year program of completely destabilizing the Middle East, complete with attacks on US soil, lingering civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, two worldwide Islamic terrorist armies, one of them a Caliphate wannabe blowing up half of Europe. All of which could have been avoided had the Bush I and certainly Bush II administrations been more accommodating to the monstrous dictator who used to be our monstrous dictator.
The Democratic and Republican establishments insist on presenting Trump as an admirer of dictators, which he may be — but that was not the case Trump has been making for boosting rather than unseating dictators, such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Trump has a much clearer view regarding US foreign interest than do the establishment politicians on either side of the aisle, and it ain’t about spreading the spirit od democracy and goodwill to all mankind.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University, Technion, Rambam Medical Center and Harvard University discovered a new biomarker to identify cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
The new study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found that levels of “activity-dependent neuroprotective protein” (ADNP) can be easily monitored in routine blood tests. Moreover, ADNP levels in blood tests correlate with higher IQ in healthy older adults.
The research was led by Prof. Illana Gozes, the incumbent of the Lily and Avraham Gildor Chair for the Investigation of Growth Factors. She is also former director of the Adams Super Center for Brain Studies at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and a member of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience. It was also spearheaded by Dr. Gad Marshall, Dr. Aaron Schultz, and Prof. Reisa Sperling of Harvard University, and Prof. Judith Aharon-Peretz of Rambam Medical Center – The Technion Institute of Technology. TAU PhD student Anna Malishkevich also participated in working with the team.
Investigators analyzed blood samples taken from 42 healthy adults, MCI (mild cognitive impairment) patients and Alzheimer’s disease patients at Rambam Medical Center in Israel. After comparing the DNP expression in the blood samples, the researchers prepared plasma samples and once again compared the protein levels.
Significant increases in ADNP RNA were seen in patients ranging from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease. ADNP levels tested in plasma and serum samples, as well as white blood cell RNA levels, distinguished between cognitively normal elderly, MCI and Alzheimer’s disease participants.
“This study has provided the basis to detect this biomarker in routine, non-invasive blood tests, and it is known that early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients,” Gozes said.
“We are now planning to take these preliminary findings forward into clinical trials — to create a pre-Alzheimer’s test that will help to tailor potential preventative treatments. We have found a clear connection between ADNP levels in the blood and amyloid plaques in the brain,” she said.
The researchers are currently exploring larger clinical trials to better determine the ability of ADNP to predict cognitive decline and disease progression.
Singer Madonna and actress Natalie Portman each is considering buying the $55 penthouse atop the Meier-on-Rothschild Tower in Tel Aviv, the London Daily Mail reported.
Madonna often has said how much she loves Israel, and she likes saying the word “kabbalah” so she can imagine she has some kind of Jewish mysticism to guide her.
Portman is Jewish, even if she does not fool around with Kabbalah. She was born in Jerusalem as Neta-Lee Hershlag, moved to the United States with her parents at the age of three and earned a degree in psychology from Harvard University, where she stood up for Israel in a letter to the university’s Crimson magazine.
She could have been one of Israel’s best-looking spokeswoman, having been a guest lecturer in Columbia University on terrorism and counter-terrorism, but Hollywood grabbed her, and she has won award after award.
That is why she is rich, and there is nothing like a $55 million penthouse n Tel Aviv to make a rich person “feel at home” at the expense of Jerusalem, where the best view overlooks the Western Wall and Temple Mount instead of the Mediterranean Sea.
Speaking of being rich, Madonna’s bank account would hardly even jingle if she took out $55 million to buy the penthouse in the 42-story building designed by prize-winning architect Richard Meier.
It features a private elevator, a huge entertaining area, private gym, cocktail bar, cinema and mini-spa.
Whether Madonna or Portman becomes Israel’s new resident remains to be seen.
Harvard Law School professor and vocal Israel supporter Alan Dershowitz said the deal reached in Geneva under which Iran promised to stop uranium enrichment beyond 5 percent in exchange for $7 billion in sanctions relief “could turn out to be a cataclysmic error of gigantic proportions.”
“It could also turn out to be successful, to be the beginning of a negotiated resolution,” Dershowitz told Newsmax.,” but I think the likelihood of it being the former is considerably greater.”
Dershowitz believes the Obama Administration has only a 10 percent chance of changing the Iranian leadership’s attitude on its nuclear program.
“When you weigh that against the 30 or 40 percent chance that they’re dead wrong—nuclear bomb wrong—then it’s a very bad assessment of risk and benefits,” he said.
The student-run Harvard Ichthus Christian blog website apologized for an anonymous post by a Jewish convert to Christianity who wrote that Jews deserve to be persecuted for killing Jesus.
The apology was issued on Friday, and the original post that was published last Wednesday has been removed from the site.
“(W)e sincerely apologize for breaching the confidence of civil dialogue. This has been a growing experience for all involved here at the Ichthus, and, as students, we sincerely appreciate the patience and grace you have demonstrated towards us,” editor-in-chief Aaron Gyde wrote in his apology.
“We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years,” the post said, according to the Boston Globe.
“This particular piece has led to increasing misunderstanding and disinformation about the author’s views, the Ichthus, and Christianity,” the Ichthus wrote in the apology. “We do acknowledge that many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that we apologize.”