Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2019

LAUSD Teachers Have Won the Battle and Now Expect to Collect the Plunder [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:57 pm



[guest post by JVW]

UPDATE: The district is going with the $0.16 per square-foot option and plans to have it on the June 4 ballot. It will require a two-thirds majority vote to pass. I think going with the progressive tax is a bad idea: my gut instinct tells me that the people with the biggest lots who would receive the largest tax bills are likely those who do not have students in the LAUSD system. That family with the 8,500 square-foot lot who generally votes Democrat because they love the environment might have been willing to cough up an extra $537 each year to help the schools, but may balk at a $1,360 increase. Good luck on convincing them the money will be used wisely.

——

Though I don’t believe we discussed it on this blog, our Southern California readers and those who pay close attention to national reporting probably heard about the teachers strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District which took place shortly after the start of the new year. After a week and a day on the picket lines, the United Teachers of Los Angeles reached an agreement with the district to return to work in return for a pay raise, smaller class sizes, increases in nursing and counseling staff at school sites, and a “study” of the efficacy of charter schools which the union hopes will blunt the momentum for their growth. It also included the highly self-serving promise by the LAUSD brass to help the union lobby Sacramento for higher taxes and more funding for schools.

The deal, while seen as a victory for the union, raised some unavoidable questions about whether or not the deal was financially viable to the district. The Los Angeles County Office of Education has given grudging approval to the deal, but continues to warn that the district must reckon with its unfunded pension liabilities and bring down the percentage of the LAUSD budget that goes towards retired staff in order to ensure long-term fiscal stability.

So, faced with new financial obligations in the wake of the strike and having made no progress on dealing with the pension tsunami nor the continued drop in enrollment which doesn’t bode well for the future, the district and the union are going to that old standby: raising tax revenue on the schmucks and schmendricks who continue to live here. As part of the settlement with the union, the district had already promised to help lobby for a Proposition 13 split-roll, in which some of the property tax protections enjoyed by business owners for commercial property would be rolled back and the property would be taxed at closer to the current value rather than the original purchase value. This is a favorite idea of state Democrats, who promise that most of the $11 billion expected to be raised by this tax will be funneled back to local governments. But considering that a Prop 13 split-roll has already been floated as the answer to K-12 education, higher education, high-speed rail, single-payer health care, and pension backfill, it seems pretty likely that the money will disappear in the California budget morass with making only minimal progress in education funding.

With the passage of the split-roll being far from assured, the LAUSD and UTLA are additionally proposing a parcel tax for Angelenos, in the expectation of raising at least $500 million earmarked for K-12 education in the LAUSD. There are two possibilities for the plan that are being floated: a flat $537 tax per lot irrespective of property size, or a sixteen-cents-per-square-foot tax which would see owners of the larger city lots paying a higher tax.

The cynicism with which this tax is being proposed is breathtaking. LAUSD hopes to have this parcel tax brought to the voters no later than this November’s election, with the possibility of placing the measure on the June 4 municipal election if LAUSD can prepare and submit the ballot materials in the next few weeks. The parcel tax is a form of hedging the district’s bets in case the voters don’t agree to the Prop 13 split-roll when it appears on the November 2020 ballot, and though for the time being the education blob wants everyone to believe that the parcel tax and split-roll represents an either/or choice, it’s a certainty even if the parcel tax passes later this year that the district will continue to support the split-roll idea next year. The timing of this is obvious, as the UTLA contract with the district runs out at the end of 2022 and by then the union will no doubt have more demands to issue, especially should both tax measures pass. All this, of course, without any concessions to fiscal sanity from the district.

As we have discussed ad nauseam here, California is a very left-wing state in which Democrats and their allies almost always get their way. The votes on the parcel tax and the split-roll will go a long way towards establishing wether there remains any sense of fiscal sanity in this state, or if we have completely surrendered to big government progressives who believe that everything could be made better if only the government had just a bit more of our money. If the decision is to continue to tax ourselves without respite, expect the out-migration trend among families with children and the middle class to continue.

– JVW

Cohen’s Testimony Further Undermines Jason Leopold’s BuzzFeed Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:54 am



Last month, I warned people not to be too credulous when it came to Jason Leopold’s blockbuster story claiming that “President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.” I noted that Leopold has a history of getting such stories spectacularly wrong, and said: “This, I’ll believe when I see it in Mueller’s report.”

I also said: BuzzFeed Is Probably Not Entirely Wrong About Trump, You Know

BuzzFeed overstepped by saying they have proof that Trump told Cohen to lie. What’s much more likely is that Trump and Cohen agreed Cohen would testify to x; there’s evidence to show Trump knew the truth was not x, and Trump is going to shrug it off as a case of “who can remember every deal they have in the works with the Kremlin?” and his superfans will buy it.

So, although nobody ever knows anything for sure, that’s my best guess as to what happened and how this is all going to play out. We’ll know soon enough whether I’m right or wrong.

Always trust content from Patterico. From Michael Cohen’s prepared testimony yesterday:

Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates.

In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie.

There were at least a half-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me “How’s it going in Russia?” –referring to the Moscow Tower project.

You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.

Precisely what I thought.

Oddly, Cohen seemed to have nothing in the way of documents to back up his assertions, despite Leopold’s claims of having seen “internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.” Ah well. Maybe Mueller has that stuff?

This, I’ll believe when I see it in Mueller’s report.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2/27/2019

Open Thread: Michael Cohen Testifies Before House Oversight Committee

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:31 am



[guest post by Dana]

From Michael Cohen’s opening statement this morning:

I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.

A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes.

President Trump, who is currently in Hanoi meeting with his “friend” Kim Jong Un to discuss denuclearization (among other things), tweeted this before the Cohen hearing began:
Untitled

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

2/26/2019

Congressman Threatens Witness

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:19 pm



Congressman Matt Gaetz:

UPDATE: Here is a screenshot, since he has deleted it:

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 7.25.28 AM

Gaetz should be censured. Norms matter. We can’t stand by when stuff like this happens and pretend it’s OK. It’s not.

But he’s just taking after his President, who already threatened the same witness’s family.

These people make me sick.

UPDATE: Ken White on why Gaetz’s tweet may have been a crime:

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Democrats Say No To Providing Medical Care To Infants Who Survive Abortions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:30 am



[guest post by Dana]

This is the heart and soul of the Democrat party laid bare for all to see in the full shame of their extremism: A piece of legislation that does not touch abortion rights but mandates that a baby who survives an abortion is to receive the same level of medical care from a doctor as any other baby born alive is rejected by Democrats, with the exception of a mere three individuals courageous enough to cross the aisle and vote for a simple act of mercy toward the most vulnerable among us.

The Senate vote on Ben Sasse’s Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act took place yesterday. The legislation, which would have augmented existing law by mandating that abortionists send born-alive babies to hospitals for care, fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance. The final vote was 53-44. Democrats Joe Manchin, Bob Casey and Doug Jones voted with Republicans in support of the legislation. The three Republicans missing the vote were Tim Scott and Kevin Cramer (both due to delayed flights), and Lisa Murkowski.

Had the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act passed, it would have ensured that a baby who survived an abortion would be entitled to “the same degree” of care that a baby born alive would be given, as well requiring babies born alive to be immediately sent to hospitals for care:

“(1) DEGREE OF CARE REQUIRED; IMMEDIATE ADMISSION TO A HOSPITAL.—Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall—

“(A) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and

“(B) following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

Failure to enact these protections by medical professionals would have rendered serious consequences:

Doctors who violate those requirements and other medical staffers who don’t report violations could face fines and up to five years in prison. Doctors who intentionally kill a child born alive after an abortion would face prosecution under federal murder statutes — potentially a death penalty or life in prison.

Sasse stressed that the bill was not an attempt to restrict a woman’s access to abortion, but it instead focused solely on the care and well being of a baby who survives an abortion:

I urge my colleagues to picture a baby that’s already been born, that’s outside the womb gasping for air. That’s the only thing that today’s vote is actually about. We’re talking about babies that have already been born. Nothing in this bill touches abortion access.

Sasse also refuted the Chuck Schumer’s dishonest claims “that the born-alive bill “is carefully crafted to target, intimidate, and shut down reproductive health care providers,” [and] claimed the bill “would impose requirements on what type of care doctors must provide in certain circumstances, even if that care is ineffective, contradictory to medical evidence, and against the family’s wishes.”

Repeating their own words back to them Sasse appealed to the leading Democratic candidates to support the legislation. Unfortunately, their lofty words proved empty when moral courage was needed:

Cory Booker: We ought to build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind.

Kamala Harris: I knew that the people in our society who are most often targeted by predators are also most often the voiceless and vulnerable.

Elizabeth Warren: No matter where you live in America …no matter where you live in America, you deserve a path to opportunity…

Kirsten Gillibrand: I’m going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I am going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.

It couldn’t have been easier: Do you believe that an infant who has survived an abortion should receive medical treatment and be cared for by a doctor just like any other baby that is born alive? The legislation did nothing to curtail or inhibit abortion rights, in spite of Democrats’ dishonest claims otherwise. It simply asked that these tiny little lives be afforded some humanity in the aftermath of a barbaric act.

As Joni Ernst made very clear:

My colleagues across the aisle are debating a bill that’s not in front of us. They are talking about health care for women, which is abortion. This bill does not address abortion. . . . What this bill does is address the health care of a baby that is born alive after a botched abortion. We’re not talking about abortion, folks. We’re talking about the life of a child that is born.

Of course Planned Parenthood Director Leana Wen threw in her two cents:

Untitled

Her claims are amusing in light of a report Sen. Tom Cotton points to, which shows at that in Florida alone, at least 11 babies were born alive during abortions in 2017.

It’s so telling that Democrats are more than willing to loudly voice their love and concern for children when it helps advance the party’s agenda, but if the existence of little ones presents an obstacle to their goals, then they are more than happy to literally, and figuratively, abandon them in their time of need. So expendable are these little souls…

–Dana

2/25/2019

Kamala Harris, Willie Brown, and Livin’ Large on the Taxpayer Dime

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:46 am



[guest post by JVW]

I’ve been working up a new joke. It goes like this:

Q: What’s the difference between Melania Trump and Kamala Harris?
A: Melania already had a highly-paid and prestigious job when she started sleeping with a powerful and well-connected man.

Last week Dana posed the incisive question of whether Senator Kamala Harris’s eager willingness to believe Jussie Smollett’s self-staged hate attack story undermines her credibility as one to whom the rule of law is allegedly sacrosanct. Along with her obvious self-serving hypocrisy, one aspect of Ms. Harris’s past that deserves scrutiny is certainly her ties to a corrupt Democrat Party machine in San Francisco, which helped to launch her along the path that has brought her within spitting distance of her party’s Presidential nomination.

Let’s lay out the facts as they are known. Kamala Harris graduated from the Hastings College of Law (a University of California affiliated school located in San Francisco) in 1990 and later that year was admitted to the State Bar of California. She then took a job as Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, which encompasses Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont, and other East Bay cities and towns. Today the annual salary for a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County ranges from a high of $211,515 to a low of $98,172 depending upon factors such as years of service and the profile of cases to which the employee is assigned. This is an inexact estimation to be sure, but if we adjust those salary figures to the cost of living in 1991 (and it seems as though Alameda County salaries are pegged to cost-of-living considerations) by running them through the Bureau of Labor’s CPI calculator, the maximum salary back then would be $113,115 and the minimum salary would be $52,496. Again, I acknowledge that the reality of salaries 28 years ago might have been substantially different for whatever reason, but without researching the exact pay scales of 1991 I think this as reasonable a way to estimate as any.

So let’s assume that in January 1991, first-year Deputy District Attorney of Alameda County Kamala Harris was making somewhere in the $52.5k to $55k range. As we all know, though we are being admonished that mentioning it is gravely sexist, in 1994 the 29-year-old Ms. Harris began a romantic relationship with then Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Brown, a married (though separated) man more than twice her age. The Speaker of the California Assembly is, as you can imagine, quite a powerful and well-connected position, and in short order Ms. Harris found herself with a temporary six-month appointment to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Assuming that she received half of the annual stipend back then of $97,088, the young Assistant DA would have made $48,500 for her — ahem, ahem — half-year of “service,” a nice chunk of change considering her regular salary at the time was probably no more than $70,000. After her temporary appointment ended, Boyfriend Brown hooked her up with a seat on the California Medical Assistance Commission which paid $72,000 per year, and likely doubled her annual income. Let me acknowledge that I do not know anything about either organization (the Medical Assistance Commission has since shut down), let alone how their respective boards operated, but my suspicion is that staff did most of the grunt work while board members gathered a few times a year for meetings where they rubber-stamped their subordinates’ efforts.

Beyond the moral distaste, I don’t care all that much if some creepy old codger finds himself a young and nubile side-piece and uses his wealth and connections to entice her into a bit of the ol’ hey-hey, consensually of course; nor do I care all that much if some nubile young honey tempts some foolish old Romeo into showering her with gifts in return for various and sundry carnal delights. Furthermore, I’ve no real objection to Willie Brown helping to launch her on her political path by connecting her with the corrupt and awful San Francisco Democrat machine. Nevertheless, I do expect the two of them not to present me with the bill. Jeff Bezos apparently self-funds his dalliances. Donald Trump either pays out of his own pockets for his libidinous indiscretions or he somehow passes the costs along to business associates or shareholders (and if he is committing fraud then I am fine with prosecuting him). John Edwards was lucky enough to have his patron Bunny Mellon fund his Clintonian excursions. But Willie Brown passed along the costs of his humpy-humpy to the taxpayers of our state, and Ms. Harris seems to have had no problem accepting the windfall, earned though it may be in ignominy.

We certainly don’t need any intimate details of the Harris-Brown relationship, but I don’t think it would be at all out of line to ask Candidate Harris if she really felt that she was deserving of those paid appointments, or if they were in fact for services rendered. Naturally I doubt that any of the mainstream news organizations will have the gumption to ask, leaving us to draw our own conclusions.

– JVW

2/24/2019

Patterico at PJ Media: Some Good Old-Fashioned L.A. Times Bashing

Filed under: General,Patterico at PJ Media — Patterico @ 12:09 pm



My column in PJ Media this week goes back to the well, with some traditional bashing of our local paper. The title of the piece: L.A. Times: You Should Feel Sad that You Made a Smaller Interest-Free Loan to the Feds Last Year:

In a typical example of leftist media bias, the Los Angeles Times has an article titled “Shrinking tax refunds are a growing problem for GOP tax law.” Uh-oh! Are people actually paying more in taxes under the new law?!

. . . .

What about the vast majority of Americans? Are they paying more in taxes? The answer is buried in an offhand remark contained in the ninth paragraph of the article … Finding meaningful nuggets of truth in this article is like spotting snow leopards in the wild: if you know exactly where to look and you squint really hard, you might catch a glimpse of one. Yes, there it was: “actual taxes paid … for most people are lower under the new law.” (Republicans say.) So it really is just a question of lower taxes and lower tax refunds — in other words, good news and even better news.

. . . .

Nowhere does the article explain that receiving more money in your paycheck every week, rather than giving interest-free loans to the federal government, is a good thing — meaning that these people who are unhappy over their smaller refunds are simply (and I say this with the greatest respect) morons. The closest the article comes is to quote a Sacramento-based writer as saying: “‘It’s an interest-free loan to the government, but you never have to lose sleep at night’ worrying about a big tax bill.” Even the notion of free loans to the government is spun as a boon to taxpayers, allowing California novelists to sleep well at night knowing that they have allowed the federal government to use some of their money for free.

In the end, the article is nothing more than a way to reinforce Democrat talking points…

Enjoy.

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 24

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the seventh Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ein ungefärbt Gemüte” (An open mind).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 6:27-38:

Love for Enemies

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing the “Golden Rule” announced by Jesus in today’s Gospel:

If you desire God as a friend,
then do not make your neighbor into an enemy
through falsehood, treachery and deceit!
A Christian
should imitate the manner of doves
and live without falsehood and tricks.
Make yourself into such an image,
as you would have your neighbor be!

Now all that you want the people to do for you, do even so for them.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2/23/2019

Coda to the Child Activists in Feinstein’s Office Story

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:34 pm



[guest post by JVW]

I was catching up on some newspapers from earlier in the week when I came upon an editorial published in my local paper, the Daily Breeze (part of the Southern California News Group) that touches upon the irritating child activism that we were discussing last night. The editorial reminds us that California Democrats hope to lower the state’s voting age to 17, and the editorial board rightly warns against it:

Silicon Valley Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, says there are now enough Democrats — who have long coveted the full power of the youth vote — to pass his legislation lowering the voting age to 17. Even so, it will have to face voters in 2020. Some might pull the lever for anything that makes them feel like a change agent. But in this case the change is not all it’s cracked up to be. Low’s own rhetoric is a giveaway. “Lowering the voting age will give a voice to young people,” he says, “and provide a tool to hold politicians accountable to the issues they care about. Young people are our future, and when we ignore that we do so at our own peril.”

[. . .]

An expanding youth vote is prized by Democrats not to keep California politicians honest, but to keep them in power, consolidating their moral control over the public and private lives of voters.

Not all fans of younger voting are so self-serving. But the taste for child activism is itself dangerous in its substitution of symbolism for experience and ideology for a proper education into prudential judgment. Some don’t see much value in a traditional civics education. They’re convinced justice is easily taught, by drumming into kids the proper hierarchy of rights claimants and the proper distribution of power and money. Even a child can recite the rules of this doctrine, leaving them with little more complex a task to perform than periodically voting a straight ticket.

Hear, hear. Naturally this new voting age could not possibly go into effect for federal elections without first modifying the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution, but consider the fact that cities such as San Francisco now allow some illegal aliens to vote in local elections, even if they are still prohibited from voting in federal and state elections. Adopted statewide, this will almost certainly lead to voting cock-ups as various political machines are simultaneously lobbying to have all elections — local, state, and federal — contested on the same day. Given the rather lax nature of California voter registration, why shouldn’t all of us assume that thousands of underage and noncitizen voters would end up casting state and federal ballots if those plans come to pass?

Thanks for the passion, kids, but let’s at least wait until you can stay out past midnight before we let you raise our taxes and vote yourself a bunch of free stuff.

– JVW

2/22/2019

George Washington Goes Back to His Farm

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:49 pm



[guest post by JVW]

This is my annual post about the Greatest American of Them All, published on his birthday. Here for reference are the past posts commemorating the event:

2015 – George Washington’s Birthday
2016 – George Washington Quiets the Rebellion
2017 – George Washington Fears for His Country’s Future
2018 – George Washington Agrees to Serve Another Term

This year as we observe the return to power in the House of Representatives of the political party who ran things eight years ago, including pretty much the very same leadership team in place now as was then, it’s probably worthwhile to take a moment to consider the Cincinnatian nature of George Washington’s willingness to relinquish power and return to life as a private citizen — not just once, but like Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus before him, twice in his eventful lifetime.

By the beginning of the fall of 1783, the Treaty of Paris had been negotiated and the draft was circulating throughout the former colonies inviting speculation and debate, but also signaling to Americans that freedom was indeed at hand. General Washington, who by now had been in command of the Continental Army for over eight years, had already dismissed the notion of becoming a king of the new nation, and desired to return to Mount Vernon to once again ride around his plantation watching the wheat and rye grow, counting the chickens and hogs, brewing beer and distilling whiskey. With peace about to go into effect, the time was now right for him to step down. In March of 1783 the Commander-in-Chief had used his guile and theatrical presence to quell the Newburgh Conspiracy (our 2016 post), and by the end of the summer most of the issues regarding soldiers’ back-pay and bonuses had been settled. At last, Washington could surrender his command and go home, having gone the past eight years without so much as a weekend furlough.

That June, General Washington drafted a final Circular Letter to the States intending it to be distributed throughout the land, a practice in which he had engaged throughout the war whenever he felt it advisable to do so. In it, he sought to take stock of the accomplishments of the young nation over the past several years:

The Citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the Sole Lords and Proprietors of a vast tract of Continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the World, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, are now by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and Independency; They are, for this period, to be considered as Actors on a most conspicuous Theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designed by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity.

Here, it would seem, the Father of his Country was telling his children that the good fight had been fought, the race had been run, the faith had been kept, and they needed to understand that their leader should now be allowed to take his leave. When his friend and devoted protégé the Marquis de Lafayette suggested a grand tour of Europe, visiting the capital cities (presumably not London) in triumph, the General made it clear that he intended to remain on the banks of the Potomac and could do without the overseas folderol.

That November, word arrived from Paris that the signatories had all agreed to the treaty that formally ended the American Revolution. He bade an emotional farewell to the soldiers, deeming them “one patriotic band of brothers,” then on December 4 he gathered his officers at the Fraunces Tavern in New York for a goodbye to his commanders who had performed so valiantly. Never a man for physical contact — he was no fan of shaking hands and preferred instead a more formal bow as a greeting — the General invited each of the men present to come and take his hand in a gesture of fellowship and respect.

His final farewell came nineteen days later in Annapolis, where the Confederation Congress was temporarily in session. There, in what was later said to be a poignant and heart-rendering ceremony, General George Washington surrendered his command and once again became a private citizen: “Having now finished the work assigned me,” he told the gathering, “I retire from the great theater of action. [. . .] I here offer my commission, and take my leave all of the enjoyments of public life.” He then turned on his heel, strode to the door where a horse was waiting for him, mounted and rode off into legend. The Indispensable Man had taught his countrymen that in a true republic no one need be indispensable.

– JVW

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