The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Jim Jordan, began Wednesday’s excoriation of convicted liar Michael Cohen by castigating the chair, Elijah Cummings, for scheduling this as the very first hearing of his chairmanship.

Only in Elijah Cummings’ remarkable closing statement, hours later, do we learn that this was the third, not the first, hearing of Cummings chairmanship, preceded by hearings on the opioid crisis and on a bill that deals with corruption and voting rights.

In short: Jordan opened the Republicans’ day-long castigation of a liar — with a lie.

Lie is a strong word and only pertains (in my view) when it is knowing.  If Jordan had not known his committee had held these two other important hearings, it would be merely a misstatement, not a lie.  But he was at those hearings — watch him here and here. And because he had participated in them just weeks earlier — not years or decades — it is hard to accept he could have forgotten about them.

Think about it:  Jordan well knew he’d be the opening salvo for the Republicans in this hearing. He wasn’t ambushed by some reporter in the hall.  These were the very first words he would speak, carefully chosen — and they were a lie.

Third is not first.

The irony that the ranking member would lead off a hearing castigating lies with a lie strikes me as stark.

That he would do so in single-minded defense of a president who has told thousands of lies — a dangerous con man,” to quote Marco Rubio, “a pathological liar,” to quote Ted Cruz — makes it worse.

Listen to Elijah Cummings’ remarkable closing statement.  Is it really possible that he — and, for that matter, the lifelong Republicans who led the FBI (Mueller, Comey, and McCabe) or the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal — are the dishonest ones?

That it’s the National Enquirer and bone-spur Trump to whom we should look for bravery and rectitude?


I side with Lindsey Graham, who called Trump a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot . . . undercutting everything we stand for and Colin Powell who branded him a national disgrace.

Shame on you, Jim Jordan.  Michael Cohen did bad things; has owned up to them; is trying to atone.  What are you doing?

I never met my second cousin, André Previn — I was great pals with our mutual uncle, the delightful and hugely talented Charles Previn.  But André loomed large in my family and I’ve always been proud to share a strand or two of his DNA (albeit none of the musical ones).  According to yesterday’s New York Times, he is the only person ever to have won three Academy Awards in a single year. I had not known that. His third wife left Frank Sinatra to marry him. And, mainly, the music!  A remarkable life.

Speaking of obituaries, have you been listening to Mo Rocca’s podcast?  Mobituaries?  They are superb.

Have a great weekend.



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