Court Win; Mueller's Litmus Test; Cheering Jackie

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Good morning, it’s Monday, April 15, 2019. It’s Tax Day, which can be stressful, but for a bit of perspective, consider that it was on this date in 1865 that Abraham Lincoln succumbed to an assassin’s bullet, plunging loyal Americans into anguish and grief. And on April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank before it could reach New York.

Did anything good ever happen on the Ides of April, you ask? Oh, yes, and I’ve written about it before: On this date in 1947, Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

I’ll have a more on this man in a moment. Actually, the words you’ll read were penned by a well-known RCP contributor -- the man, as it happens, who took me to my first baseball game. First, I'd point you to RealClearPolitics' front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

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On Trump’s ICC Win, Dems and Republicans See Eye to Eye. Susan Crabtree reports on the International Criminal Court’s decision not to prosecute the U.S. for alleged crimes in the Afghanistan War.

Mueller Report Is Litmus Test for a Divided Society. Frank Miele writes that one’s expectations for the report, and ultimate reaction to it, reveals how much, or how little, faith we have in our government.

GOP Fears Mueller’s Collusion Bias Lives on in Report. In RealClearInvestigations, Paul Sperry has the story.

Ranked-Choice Votes to Make for Super Saturday in Alaska, Hawaii. David Daley and Rob Richie hail the new (and spreading) system of casting votes, which the two states will implement for the 2020 primary.

Georgetown’s Reparations: Virtue-Signaling Superficiality. Steve Cortes weighs in on students at his alma mater voting to pay reparations for the school’s participation in the slave trade almost two centuries ago.

Why the Wisconsin Supreme Court Win Is a Big Deal. Matt Batzel reflects on the victory of Brian Hagedorn over Lisa Neubauer.

Media Focus on Trump Has Been Remarkably Stable. Kalev Leetaru has this analysis of coverage data.

Why Joe Biden Shouldn’t Run for President. In RealClearWorld, Ronald Tiersky argues that the former VP’s time has passed.

Overdue Overhaul: Security Clearance Reform. In RealClearDefense, Sina Beaghley spotlights flaws in the government’s vetting process.

GOP May Outflank Bernie in Drug Price Controls. In RealClearHealth, Doug Badger cites proposals from the president and several Republican senators.

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In the summer of 1949, when future White House correspondent and Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon was 17 years old, he was one of two Nevada high school students chosen to attend Boys Nation, the American Legion's annual training session in civics. They traveled to Washington by train; afterwards, Lou went to New York.

The story that follows is one I told in this space once before. I hope you don’t mind me reprising it.

The ostensible reason for the second leg of Lou Canon’s trip -- the one to New York -- was to see some of his mother's relatives. The real reason was to see Jackie Robinson and Joe DiMaggio play baseball.

He saw Robinson play at Ebbets Field in a game against the Dodgers' top rivals, the New York Giants. “Robinson was electric,” Lou recalled. He stole a base, igniting the crowd, which seemed to follow every move he made on the field.

“There was an obvious chemistry with him and Pee Wee Reese,” Lou Cannon would write later. “Otherwise, Robinson paid no attention to anyone except the pitcher when he was at bat or the hitter, when he was fielding. When he reached base, there was a gigantic roar from the crowd. He dominated the game just by being in it.”

A postscript to this story came in 1964, several years after both the Dodgers and Giants had relocated to the West Coast. The scene was the Republican National Convention in San Francisco that would nominate conservative Barry Goldwater over the more moderate Nelson Rockefeller. 

Lou, a reporter then living in the Bay Area, was on the convention floor in the old Cow Palace standing among the Arkansas delegation when Rockefeller made his famously defiant speech denouncing Goldwater's “extremism.” Jackie Robinson was with the Arkansans, too.

Here’s Lou Cannon’s dispatch, more than half a century later:

“The Arkansas delegates were mostly okay, but their alternates and the crowd were booing lustily. … But I noticed that no one was booing in the vicinity of Robinson, who was jumping up and down and landing athletically on the balls of his feet, while yelling, ‘You tell 'em, Rocky!’ So I went over and stood next to Robinson.

“Robinson was in the Arkansas delegation because he'd received his floor pass from Winthrop Rockefeller, the state's governor and Rocky's brother. Most of the Arkansas delegates were for Goldwater, but they gave Winthrop a pass on the grounds of family -- and maybe also because he lavishly financed the delegation.

“I was there as a reporter [for the Pine Bluff, Arkansas newspaper] but figured I'd never have another chance to meet Robinson so I introduced myself after Rocky finished. I told him I'd seen him play and was a fan. Robinson courteously thanked me, started to walk away, then turned his head and said: ‘Wasn't that a wonderful speech?’ I nodded in agreement.

“It was a good speech but in truth it was Robinson who was wonderful.” 

Carl M. Cannon  
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter) 

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Bureau Chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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