But will Mueller prove it? While retaining an official agnosticism, my sense after Cohen’s testimony is that the odds are as low as they’ve been since this whole affair started, and the increasing likelihood is that the Steele dossier was, in fact, as Trump’s defenders have long described it — a narrative primarily grounded in Russian disinformation.
In light of the recent revelations regarding the Mueller probe, this column from Ross Douthat looks particularly wise. The burden of proof was very high which makes it all the more reasonable that Mueller would be unable to prove collusion or obstruction of justice. While I would love to see President Trump leave office, it is also important that the burden of proof for these kinds of accusations is still high. While I can understand the anger over the result of the report, I am glad that our institutions held firm.
The Mueller investigation was still incredibly important. It also brought numerous indictments and guilty pleas from many inside the Trump organization and administration, all of which are valuable to helping keep our institutions afloat. Ultimately, the burden of proof was too high, and that is more than okay. It helped lead to other investigations and brought to light how willing Trump was to collude. Ultimately, the burden of proof was too high to charge Trump, and that is more than okay.
Because what happens in Phi Rho Kappa, stays in Phi Rho Kappa, except for naked pictures of our exes, that’s allowed, cuz it’s funny!
CollegeHumor has long been my favorite YouTube Channel, and I recently discovered a video called “The Problem with Frats.” It is pure gold. While I know it is not a good representation of all fraternities it does hit the nail on the head in terms of why it is a troubling institution. If you would like to read more of what I wrote about Greek Life, you can read through my Michigan Review Article that came out earlier in the year here.
Yesterday was a movie day, as I sat in my new apartment taking in Ann Arbor. I watched two both of which were phenomenal.
- Minding The Gap (Hulu) – Bing Liu’s debut feature is one of beauty and heartbreak in the American heartland, a story about himself and his two best friends. Skateboarding brings them together, but it is domestic violence that makes their connection all the more stronger and horrifying. Zach and Kiere, the two other subjects in this film along with Bing share a certain amount of anger, and often do not know how to express it. Skateboarding was their sweet escape, but as they grow up, they must realize who they need to become. It is beautifully filmed and told, with old skateboard footage and candid interviews that are honest and true to their subjects. This is the movie that Liu was born to make, and it comes out as moving as any film I have seen this year. 9.7/10
- Boogie Nights – Paul Thomas Anderson has made some of the most fascinating epic films, with There Will Be Blood being one of my favorites. His 1997 film Boogie Nights, covers the porn industry from 1977 to 1983 through the eyes of Dirk Diggler. While the movie covers the adult film industry, it focuses on the business side of pornography and brings out the characters of the people in it. Anderson always leaves a sense of dread, that behind these seemingly perfect lives is something more sinister waiting to come out. Burt Reynolds (Burt Reynolds!) is a standout as Jack Horner, the film maker determined to make adult films that mean something. 8.8/10
While I would like to just talk about movies today it seems the world has forced me into at least an article recommendation for the Cohen-Manafort fiasco. Frankly, I do not know how much of it I find interesting anymore, but my hope is that at the very least justice will be served. This more clearly puts Trump in the line of fire, and it will become significantly harder to keep calling this investigation a “witch-hunt” so long as two people in his closest circle are convicted. Conservative columnist Bret Stephens tweeted out the following, “I’ve been skeptical about the wisdom and merit of impeachment. Cohen’s guilty plea changes that. The president is clearly guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. He should resign his office or be impeached and removed from office.” I could not agree more. If you are looking for a great explainer article, look no further than this one from Lawfare.
Also I will be away from tomorrow until Sunday and will not have my computer with me. I will not be writing anything during that time and will write as soon as I get back on Sunday evening. Have a great rest of your week everyone and happy El Tráfico week!
Spike Lee’s latest joint is a winner, helped by electric performances from Adam Driver and John David Washington. BlacKkKlansman excels at tone, shifting between humor and discomfort, jubilation and fear, and so much in between. In addition, Lee does a great job of allowing both Ron Stallworth and Flip Zimmerman to confront the group, one being black and the other being Jewish. Lee also takes time to know the Klan as well, and through conversation we are able to better understand what makes them tick. Topher Grace is terrific as David Duke, and him along with the cast help create the mood and environment that allow this movie to work. It also allows time to think about the best way to change something we do not like, whether that be from within or beyond. Lee understands the debate and makes sure that each side is given equal credence.
My biggest complaint is that at times it is so overtly political that it can take away from the thrill of its source material. While it is understandable that our current political moment does draw parallels, good stories stand on their own without the need of the political moment. While this story was fascinating, it became clear that this film was about our current president and predicament, and while in some cases that adds to the relevance of this story it also can take away from it as well. However, this is some of Spike Lee’s best work, it will certainly spark conversations and make you wonder how far we really have come. 8/10