A legal scholar provides necessary context for the challenges facing a special prosecutor as he investigates a sitting president.
Coan (Law/Univ. of Arizona) finds the very concept of a prosecutor who can be fired by the president investigating the president to be “deeply strange,” but he suggests that the people will decide when the prosecutor or the president have gone too far. Not that he finds much comfort in this idea given the polarization of the current political climate: “It is difficult to imagine the supporters of a populist president punishing him for firing a special prosecutor—or otherwise abusing his power for personal or partisan ends. That should scare any American who cares about the rule of law.” Otherwise, the perspective appears to be as nonpartisan as the special prosecutor is supposed to be, though those supporting the Trump investigation have rarely felt the office to be. The Nixon administration pushed a “Watergate as vendetta” campaign against Archibald Cox, just as Trump has proclaimed the investigation by Robert Mueller a “WITCH HUNT.” In some historical cases, the prosecutor’s reputation became more tarnished than his target. “When Kenneth Starr was appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Whitewater land deal, he was a well-respected lawyer and former judge,” writes Coan. “When he resigned the position five years later, he was a tragic hero to the political right. To most of the broader public, he was a reviled and villainous figure.” Examining a history that dates to the Grant administration and encompasses Teapot Dome, Harry Truman, and Iran-Contra, the author reiterates that the American people are the ultimate arbiters of wrongdoing: how far is too far for the investigation to extend, how long is too long, and how much political consequence a president might face for firing the prosecutor investigating him. Historically, balance and compromise have generally ruled the day, but these aren’t times of balance and compromise.
A useful study that suggests possible outcomes and what is at stake.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)