The Morning Jolt

Politics & Policy

That Faithless GOP Elector in Texas Has a Lot of Explaining to Do. . .

Today’s Jolt comes to you late; I took Larry O’Connor’s place for the day, co-hosting Mornings on the Mall with Brian Wilson of WMAL.

That Faithless GOP Elector in Texas Has a Lot of Explaining to Do . . . 

Chris Suprun, Texas GOP faithless elector, snookered almost everyone…

Chris Suprun, 42, portrays himself as a heroic firefighter who was among the first on the scene after the third plane flew into the Pentagon on 9/11.

In a heavily-publicized editorial this month for the New York Times, Suprun stated that as a member of the Electoral College he will not cast his ballot for Trump because the president-elect “shows daily he is not qualified for the office.”

Suprun, a Dallas resident for more than a decade, even used his résumé to establish credibility in the Times piece, writing in the second paragraph: “Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the September 11 attacks against our nation.”

He has founded a nonprofit called Never Forget and state records show he is a licensed paramedic — but much of the rest of résumé, publicly available on LinkedIn, is questionable.

In addition, on at least two occasions over the last couple years at crowded Major League Baseball games, Suprun has been introduced as a 9/11 veteran before throwing out first pitches. . .

The City of Manassas Park confirmed to WFAA that it hired Suprun on October 10, 2001, one month after the 9/11 attacks.

The fire chief there added that his department never even responded to the Pentagon or any of the 9/11 sites.

That’s the worst, but there are other glaring discrepancies:

 . . . Suprun’s résumé raises even more questions.

It shows he was, at the time this story aired on WFAA, a paramedic with Air Methods air ambulance service. But Christina Brodsly, a spokeswoman for that company, said he is not an employee there.

Suprun also claims to currently be a paramedic with Freedom EMS in Dallas.

But records from the Texas Department of State Health Services indicate there’s no such company. A firm with that name used to exist in Houston, but it went out of business in 2008, according to DSHS.

Turns out, federal court records show Suprun has spent the last five years in bankruptcy while his résumé says he was working. He even collected unemployment during part of it, court records show. Suprun was just released from bankruptcy supervision this month.

He never responded to multiple emails from WFAA and calls to his telephone go to a recording which says his voicemail is full.

The True Obama Doctrine: ‘We Will Not Help People Who Deserve Our Help.’

Two golden paragraphs from Leon Wieseltier, discussing Obama’s legacy regarding Syria:

It would be incorrect to analyze our delinquency in Syria in the dichotomously simple terms of action and inaction. The administration creatively pioneered a third option, which it pursued not only in Syria but also in Ukraine and elsewhere: Between action and inaction, it chose inconsequential action. There is the Obama doctrine! We backed moderate Syrian rebels, but not as seriously or as generously as the immoderate Syrian rebels were backed. We sent in small numbers of special operators. The CIA ran a few programs. We acted, in sum, only in ways certain not to affect the outcome. We were strategically feckless. I suspect that the president believes that the United States has no moral right to affect an outcome in another country. I suspect that he regards such decisive action as imperialism, or at least as Iraq-like. What this means in practice is that we will not help people who deserve our help. In the spirit of respecting other societies, we will idly gaze at their destruction. How would disrespecting them be worse?

As a direct or indirect consequence of our refusal to respond forcefully to the Syrian crisis, we have beheld secular tyranny, religious tyranny, genocide, chemical warfare, barrel bombs and cluster bombs, the torture and murder of children, the displacement of 11 million people, the destabilization of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the ascendancy of Iran in the region, the emergence of Russia as a global power, the diminishment of the American position in the world, the refugee crisis in Europe, the resurgence of fascism in Europe and a significant new threat to the security of the United States. It is amazing how much doing nothing can do, especially when it is we who do nothing.

Yet Another Implausible Rumor, Debunked

Fake news doesn’t always come from Facebook, you know:

If, as reports suggest, President-elect Trump will nominate Carly Fiorina to be the next director of national intelligence, some Democratic senators contemplating her confirmation may feel tempted to claim that she leaked classified information in one of the Republican presidential debates. But they would be foolish decision to repeat that baseless charge, which is still rocketing around liberal blogs. 

The dubious accusation stems from Fiorina’s statement in a November 2015 debate on Fox News that “We have more IRS agents than we have FBI and CIA. Does that strike you as a misallocation of resources? Of course it is.” 

I know it will stun you, but no, that comment did not constitute leaking classified information.

ADDENDA: Some how, some way, fighting stage-four cancer and full of painkillers and running a fever… Cindy Stowell kept winning on Jeopardy! Those of us who knew her personally knew she had taped an appearance, but weren’t told how she had done. I don’t know if she loses tonight, her fourth episode, or she just kept on winning. Her appearance on the program, which began the week as surreal and oddly flattening, has become a way for the world to see her shine her brightest in her last days.

This week’s pop culture podcast features dramatically underrated Christmas songs,

the question of just why Disney feels the need to relentlessly advertise Rogue One;  a look at how Amazon has transformed holiday shopping and why service continues to die in America, and a discussion of why the Hallmark Channel keeps re-using the same clichés in their Christmas movies.

I saw Rogue One last night. I wouldn’t dare try to sneak in a spoiler; some other moviegoer last night tried and the crowd waiting for the next show beat him to death with their plastic light-sabers. Sticking only to themes and emotions, I was struck by how different this Star Wars film felt from all the preceding ones. It was like watching a chef take your favorite ingredients and cook something completely different from what you’re used to eating. The first third of this movie feels like the Star Wars version of Zero Dark Thirty. The middle third had some preachy notes, and I almost was ready to write off Rogue One as an interesting but ultimately unsuccessful experiment. And then in the third act climax, the slow burn really ignited. The stakes get higher and higher, the connections to events in other movies crystalize, and the closing scene left the audience roaring at the screening last night. Rarely have I seen a movie’s climax overcome the flaws of the preceding hour or so the way Rogue One’s big finale does.

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