Can you recommend a lawyer?

 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained: I thought I’d ask – we are a bit east of Nashville. Have offered my son to build his home on my property here, so I need a lawyer to help with the deeds and determining boundary lines in an equitable fashion and subsequently wills for the wife and I. More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the Buzzfeed story alleging President Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie under oath to Congress. It’s potentially very serious but more questions need to be answered before Buzzfeed can be trusted to have the story right. They also scratch their heads as Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announces his resignation just two weeks into the new Congress to take a job in the private sector. And they discuss the theatrics of Speaker Pelosi and President Trump as they try to one-up each other in the stalemate over a partial government shutdown.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back with another full serving of crazy martinis. First, they question the motives and geometry skills of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who publicly insists that Lindsay Graham is somehow “compromised” because he’s become more supportive of President Trump. They also dissect the bumbling scheme confessed by Michael Cohen, who says Trump directed him to pay thousands of dollars to rig online polls in 2014 and 2015. And that’s just the beginning of the story. Finally, Jim shares some lesser-known details and oddities from the career of former Vice President Joe Biden that he uncovered for his latest article.

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Russian Collusion and Active Measures

 

I spent most of my 30 years in the FBI dealing with counterintelligence. I have been retired for 20 years and have no inside information. My comments are based on facts reported in the news.

The idea that the FBI opened a counterintelligence case on facts that led them to believe President Trump was an agent of Russian Intelligence is an interesting one. What could have been the predication that was sufficient to set this in motion in the FBI? I think it is possible there was more to this than some short-sighted bureaucrats striking out against a person they regarded as a political enemy.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to House Republicans stripping Iowa Rep. Steve King of all committee assignments after his controversial comments in the New York Times. Jim also reveals some his interesting discoveries after combing through the record of California Sen. Kamala Harris as she prepares for a 2020 White House run. And they wonder why New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is bothering to run for president and planning to run as a champion of women in a Democratic primary full of them.

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The Greatness of Harold Demsetz

 

This past week, Harold Demsetz, one of the great economists of the Chicago School, died in California at the age of 88. In one sense, Demsetz’s passing marks the end of an era now that the Chicago School of Economics, to which I generally subscribe, is subject to multiple sustained attacks. Behavioral economists, such as Daniel Kahneman, believe the secret to understanding human behavior lies in identifying, through experimental observation, anomalies in individual choices tending to undermine the axioms of rational choice theory. Meanwhile, other modern populists such as legal scholars Tim Wu and Lina Khan attack Chicago-style antitrust law for wrongly exalting economic efficiency over all other values, such as the protection of small businesses from competition or the ability of moral communities to flourish when operating in the large shadow of powerful economic firms.

Demsetz would have none of this. As if to rebut these novel approaches in advance, Demsetz constantly stressed the dangers of falling prey to the “nirvana fallacy,” or the view of public policy that “implicitly presents the relevant choice as between an ideal norm and an existing ‘imperfect’ institutional arrangement. This nirvana approach differs considerably from a comparative institution approach in which the relevant choice is between alternative real institutional arrangements.” As economist Peter Boettke has pointed out, Demsetz never quarreled with success in the marketplace. If firms like Amazon and Netflix can obtain and sustain a dominant position, it is because they have figured out a formula for success that they constantly adjust to ensure that some new upstart competitor in these “contestable” markets does not take their place. Demsetz was right to scorn the populist critique of popular firms that succeed because they offer low prices and excellent service.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and naming two stellar judges to the Florida Supreme Court. They also discuss Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joining the 2020 presidential race and how her defense of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad could impact the campaign. And as many breathlessly await the Mueller report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that the report will likely be anti-climactic.

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Deadly Physical Force, Part 2

 

I’ll begin Part 2 with a disclaimer: The purpose of this series is not to offer legal advice if you are involved in a shooting. I’m presenting the statutes to clarify terms and meanings of the Oregon Revised Statutes that involve the use of deadly physical force. Oregon law may be different than the laws in other states. CHL holders, or those that keep a firearm in their home, or place of business should have a thorough understanding of their state laws on the use of deadly physical force.

My personal belief is that this is just as important as practice time on the range. You will need a criminal defense attorney if you are involved in a shooting, and should have one present before you answer any questions.

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While Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has come under deserved fire for defending Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are applauding Gabbard today for being the only Democrat willing to stand up to Senate Democrats who contend that being a member of the Knights of Columbus is disqualifying for service as a federal judge. They also brace for the imminent presidential campaign of California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is very liberal but is one of only a few Democrats with a legitimate shot at the nomination. And, as more stories emerge of the fiscal hardship of federal employees going without pay during the partial shutdown, they are staggered by statistics showing that nearly 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and over 60 percent don’t have enough money saved to cover six months of expenses.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America think President Trump did alright in his speech and agree that his presentation was better than the stiff stares of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They also shake their heads in wonder as more Democrats embrace huge tax increases and government-run health care and Jim breaks down the truly radical ideas contained in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. And speaking of the new congresswoman, Jim unleashes a fantastic rant after Ocasio-Cortez suggests on national television that the people trying to enter the U.S. illegally are more American than people who want a border wall.

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The Real Story Behind ‘On the Basis of Sex’

 

The new highly publicized movie “On the Basis of Sex” offers a somewhat fictionalized account of the early professional life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Intermingled with her life story, the film presents an idealized narrative of her early legal crusade against gender discrimination, fought in part with her late (and most devoted) husband, the eminent tax lawyer Martin Ginsburg.

Ginsburg argued or participated in several of the early influential cases on sex discrimination and went on to found the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. When she started teaching, she was one of only about 20 female law professors in the United States. She was very much a pioneer in the women’s rights movement, motivated by her own life experiences. She had on numerous occasions been rejected from positions solely on grounds of her sex, notwithstanding her great academic distinction, and was well aware that similar obstacles fell in the path of other women who sought to make a career in the law. The film goes into these issues in depth, but I shall not dwell on them here. I am a lawyer, not a film critic, so I will comment only on Justice Ginsburg’s substantive arguments against gender discrimination

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see President Trump making a detailed case for border wall funding in tonight’s televised address, a more effective strategy than tweets and sound bites. They also like National Security Adviser John Bolton’s clarification that the Trump administration does want to get our troops out of Syria but we also have no intention of letting ISIS grow again or letting Turkey slaughter the Kurds. They slam the door behind failed Virginia GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart, who says he will not run for re-election to his local office and is getting out of politics. And Jim is in rare form as he and Greg discuss the fact that every year is an election year in Virginia.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Trump administration for keeping its word to aggressively roll back burdensome government regulations. They also roll their eyes as House Democrats pass a bill to end the partial government shutdown that has zero chance of becoming law. And they react to new Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib admitting, through coarse language, that she came to Washington to impeach President Trump.

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After noting the start of a new Congress with Democrats running the House, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for realizing he had no chance of winning the 2020 Democratic nomination and deciding not to run. They also note O’Malley is urging Beto O’Rourke to run for president, saying it’s time for a new generation of leadership. Jim and Greg also shudder as President Trump not only thinks that the Soviet Union collapsed because of its failed efforts in Afghanistan but thinks the Soviets were right to invade in the first place. And they practice their shocked faces as Democrats start pursuing the impeachment of President Trump on the first day of the new Congress.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America conclude the Three Martini Lunch Award season by announcing their choices for person of the year and turncoat of the year. They also make their fearless predictions for 2019.

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The Saudi Ratline

 

From the Oregonian: Four years later, in August 2016, Noorah was speeding west along Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland police said. Smart was trying to meet up with her mother and began to cross the street at 43rd Avenue.  More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America announce three more prestigious year-end awards. Today they look at the stories the mainstream media covered far too much, the ones they conveniently ignored because they didn’t fit their narrative, and what they saw as the best stories of 2018.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back from celebrating Christmas with three more prestigious Three Martini Lunch Awards. Today they discuss the most significant scandals of 2018 and then sift through a ton of possibilities for the best and worst political theater of 2018. And maybe, just maybe, there will be a moment from the Kavanaugh hearings that fits one or more of these categories.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America offer the second installment of their prestigious year-end awards. Today they remark on someone they’re sorry to see go, with Jim focusing on an important conservative leaving office and Greg honoring a key figure who left us in 2018. They also share their choices for rising political stars and the political figures who appear to be fading into oblivion – rarely to be heard from again.

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