This insight is courtesy of our special contributor, Fred Weinberg. For more of Fred’s work, please check out The Penny Press.
Like a lot of other people, I read the declassified report from the “intelligence community” regarding Russia’s involvement in our 2016 elections.
All I can say is that if this is the best product of the billions we spend on intelligence activities, we have a whole legislative branch and a goodly part of the executive branch of our government smoking crack.
Folks…this “report” is not even worthy of a paper assigned by a fifth grade teacher.
Worse, at least six pages are taken up by a sixth-rate TV network called Russia Today which is supposedly financed and run by the Kremlin that has a negative view of the United States government. And Fox News Channel doesn’t? People actually watch Fox News.
This is the product of imbeciles who are on our payroll.
And the really amazing part is that the imbeciles who are on Fox’s and NBC’s payroll give it any credibility at all. (Not that the media wasn’t also intimately involved in trying to win the election for Hillary.)
At Fox, Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge almost gleefully reported that the “assessment” was given with “high” confidence by two agencies and “moderate” confidence by the NSA (which actually intercepts electronic signals like emails and phone conversations).
At NBC, the report was the belle of the ball on Press the Meat, hosted by Chuck Todd, the Ryan Seacrest of politics.
Apparently, these clowns have never heard of Al Jazeera.
Or, for that matter, the Voice of America. Or the BBC.
Al Jazeera is essentially owned by the government of Qatar. The Voice of America by the United States Information Agency and the BBC by the government of the United Kingdom.
Do all of these operations reflect the wishes of their owners? Of course they do. Has the Voice of America ever tried to influence an election? Did it work? My guess is that not only was the VOA involved in countless elections, so were other agencies in the “intelligence community”. Do these things work?
Well, ask Barack Obama.
He sent his 2012 field director and a team to Israel to help opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2015 election. Netanyahu’s Likud Party got the most votes and he is still the Prime Minister.
And yet the “intelligence community” appears to have filled out their pathetic little report with six pages about an insignificant television network owned by the Russian government as if it might have had some effect on the election.
If I were President Donald Trump, I would start firing people for incompetence no matter how hard it is to fire civil service employees until he gets to the level of employees who are unaffected by politics. In all probability that would be the operatives in the field and the first line of analysts.
Politics appears to be what has motivated this whole episode.
How else can you explain how the mainstream media was able to get the classified portion of the information (that there were intercepts) before the Trump team was briefed?
I, for one, can’t wait until someone at the Defense Intelligence Agency starts to pull this crap on incoming Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
If the “intelligence community” is so revered by the Democrats now, it is no wonder they could not see Trump coming.
So, this is how the next four years are going to look.
When President-elect Donald Trump stood in front of a rancorous news conference on Wednesday to field questions about an apparently baseless “dossier” of dirt dug up by an anonymous intelligence source on behalf of Trump’s political opponents, Americans got a sneak peek at what could be the worst relationship between a presidency and the press since Richard Nixon’s days.
And in the era of a 24/7 news cycle where the legacy media are fighting hard to retain power, it was not a pretty picture.
Early in the proceedings, CNN’s argumentative Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta tried to get in a question but was shut down almost immediately as Trump moved on to another reporter, with a scathing dismissal for a once-reputable news organization. (This is the same CNN reporter whom Trump busted for live tweeting about the president-elect’s “private” dinner with Mitt Romney at an exclusive New York restaurant.)
Check it out here. Trump’s “you are fake news” line is killer.
— Mick Krever (@mickbk) January 11, 2017
“Fake news” became a buzz phrase in the American media after Trump’s upset win over Hillary Clinton in November, as liberals from the mainstream media to the leftist fringes tried to delegitimize and smear the incoming administration even before it gets into office.
But CNN’s “news” report about a story that originated with Buzzfeed.com (a site more suited to stories like “17 Tips to Make Your Sex Life More Adventurous in 2017″) took American journalism to a whole new level – somewhere below Manhattan sewer mud.
Feeding the rumor mill — or feeding off of it — is now apparently a legitimate pursuit for CNN and other members of a media fearing they may be the dinosaurs and Donald Trump may be the asteroid.
As John Podhertz put it in the New York Post:
There is literally no evidence on offer in these memos or from BuzzFeed that any single sentence in these documents is factual or true. What’s more, we know most major news organizations in America had seen them and despite their well-known institutional antipathy toward Trump, had chosen not to publish them or even make reference to them after efforts to substantiate their charges had failed.
That, however, did not stop CNN from broadcasting numerous stories and self-congratulatory analyses on the “dossier,” on the basis that a two-page summary of the document had been presented to the president-elect at his private briefing from American intelligence agencies last week.
That might have been an acceptable rationale, if it were true, but according to new reports, like this one from NBC, the document was not used in Trump’s intelligence briefing. It was prepared for use, the report states, but specifically to be able to show the difference between solid intelligence reporting – one based on researched source material – and reports based on the gossamer threads of rumor.
According to the senior official, the two-page summary about the unsubstantiated material made available to the briefers was to provide context, should they need it, to draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted “disinformation.”
In other words, a report deliberately created to show examples of disinformation was the basis for a mainstream American journalistic institution’s decision to publicize the same disinformation as potentially being true.
Alice found more logic on the other side of the looking glass.
Even worse, one of the most explosive allegations in the “dossier” has been proven to be demonstrably false. The “dossier” alleged that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had met in Prague, the Czech Republic, with emissaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Cohen spent most of August in New York, except for a weeklong visit to Southern California in the latter part of the month.
Bizarrely, CNN’s Jake Tapper tried to use this crucial debunking of a key element in the “dossier” to justify the network’s publicizing of the “dossier’s” summary, while leaving the details of whether or not the basic story was true to readers with internet access to find out for themselves.
(It’s the journalistic equivalent of a creep writing a woman’s full name and address on a men’s bathroom wall but leaving out the phone number. Then claiming it wasn’t his fault someone looked her up on Google.)
Meanwhile, the Buzzfeed top brass, no doubt buzzing on a high that a truly successful, attention-grabbing, revenue-producing clickbait operation can bring, issued a memo to its staff indicating that it had no apologies for the outrage.
“Publishing this document was not an easy or simple call, and people of good will may disagree with our choice. But publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.”
Apparently, broadcasting baseless accusations under the guise of seriously examining the frenzy over those baseless accusations is how CNN sees the job of reporters in 2017, too.
And if the media circus that erupted on Wednesday is any indication, it’s how journalism institutions that spent a general election campaign pimping their own principles to defeat Donald Trump will end up seeing the job of reporters, too.
It’s true that liberal and mainstream reporters spent a good deal of time Wednesday harumphing over Buzzfeed’s decision to publish the “dossier,” but the trend lines since Trump became a serious candidate, then the successful Republican nominee, have all been pointing in the same direction — down.
Wednesday was a peek into the next four years of American politics and the press – and it’s the press that’s going to come out the worse for it.
Trying to outgun a gun store owner is not a good idea.
Trying to outgun a gun store owner highly trained in the tools of his trade and ready for trouble is close to suicide.
But that’s exactly what two thugs did at the Dixie Gun and Pawn Shop outside Atlanta on the day after Christmas, and a video posted on YouTube this week has the graphic results for all to see.
It’s a lesson to business owners who want to safeguard their own lives, the lives of their customers, and the property they stand ready to protect. And It should be a lesson to criminals everywhere.
Plus, it should serve to remind all Americans of the importance of preserving Second Amendment rights in an age when liberals are all too eager to impose as many gun restrictions as possible on private citizens.
Check out here what happened when the gun shop owner and an employee were confronted. Be advised the video is extremely graphic.
Store owner Jimmy Groover told 11 Alive in Atlanta that the two gunmen who tried to rob his store that evening had made their intention crystal clear.
“’Get down on the floor, get down on the floor or I’ll kill you,’” the men ordered, as Groover recalled. “Then they shot at me.”
That was a big mistake. Groover, who had a sidearm of his own, returned fire, fatally wounding one of the men while the other fled.
Detectives told 11 Alive charges against Groover were unlikely, since he apparently killed the man in self-defense.
Brutal stuff, but there’s more to it than a real-life video game moment.
As Bearing Arms editor Bob Owens pointed out in a post this week, the time that elapsed between when Groover became aware of the robbery and when bullets started flying was about four seconds.
To most people, that’s barely enough time to sneeze, but in Groover’s case it was enough time to make the decision to defend himself, and make one of his attackers pay dearly for thinking it was smart to rob a man who sells firearms for a living.
As Owens put it:
Mr. Groover is clearly a well-trained trained shooter, and he’s had a plan in his head on how he would response to a threat like this for decades. He’s likely played out robbery scenarios in his head hundreds of times, and has probably drawn and fired against simulated threats thousands of times at the range, in competitions, and/or in dry fire ….
In this incident at Dixie Gun and Pawn, the robbers had the advantages of surprise and numerical superiority. They still lost because Mr. Groover had solid training, good skills, and a plan that his mind automatically loaded and executed when the threat presented itself.
And that’s the lesson for business owners, and gun owners in general. Having a gun alone isn’t enough to be considered “armed.” Proper training and practice is vital to being effective with a firearm as a weapon of self-defense.
The lesson for the criminals?
Trying to outgun a gun store owner is rarely a good idea. It’s a decision they’ll live to regret — if they’re lucky.
To its customers, Chick-fil-A is more than a restaurant. Founded on the Christian principles of compassion and decency, the popular chicken sandwich chain is a company that patriotic Americans can feel good about supporting.
The restaurants aren’t just there to make money. They’re part of the community. And when the community feels a loss, Chick-fil-A feels the loss as well.
That fact was underscored this week when an Orlando deputy sheriff was killed in the line of duty while pursuing the suspect in the murder of another police officer. The officer who died during the chase was a regular at Chick-fil-A — and the restaurant employees found an amazing way to pay their respects.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Orange County Deputy First Class Norm Lewis was killed Monday in a traffic crash in Pine Hills, Florida, as he chased down the suspect in the murder of Orlando police officer Sgt. Debra Clayton.
Before joining the force in 2005, Deputy Lewis, 35, had played football at the University of Central Florida, the same school that Sgt. Clayton had graduated from.
“Master Sgt. Clayton and Deputy First Class Lewis dedicated their lives to making our community safer, and they were outstanding role models,” school President John Hitt said of the two officers.
As WOFL-TV reported, Lewis was also known to the staff of the Chick-fil-A on Orlando’s University Boulevard; he would come in once or twice every week to have a bite to eat.
“I turned on the TV, and I couldn’t believe it. I just started balling,” Chick-fil-A employee Beth Ivey said of the deceased deputy. “I can’t believe I won’t see him ever again. It doesn’t seem real.”
The restaurant decided to do something to honor the fallen motorcycle officer. According to Fox News, they set up a “Missing Man Table” — an empty table with a white cloth, a Bible, and Lewis’ picture on it.
By clicking on the video below, you can see a report from Fox35-TV on the restaurant’s honoring of the fallen lawman.
What other restaurant would do this? What other restaurant would give up an entire table they could be making money from to pay tribute to a customer who came in a few times a week?
And this isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has taken a stand for police officers. Western Journalism reports that earlier this year, the company allowed employees who wanted to participate to wear t-shirts that said “Back the Blue,” in support of the nation’s cops.
Chick-fil-A made the move after five police officers were murdered in an ambush during a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas, Texas.
College Park, Texas Chick-fil-A manager Eli Advincula said his location wanted to “show our support for Police Lives Matter” since “they are out on our streets every day.”
Sadly, the man accused of killing both Lewis and Clayton in Florida — 41-year-old Markeith Loyd — is still on the run. Police are offering $100,000 for information leading to his capture. They also said that they believe that he has someone helping him stay a step ahead of authorities.
One of Deputy Lewis’ football teammates recalled him saying that, “When you put on a uniform, you’re doing it because you love it and you love people.” That’s what Norm Lewis did. It’s good to see that there was one restaurant in his community that loved him back.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are certainly not likely allies. Sure, both worked hard — Sanders for a while, at least — to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming president; but from there, their respective views of the world diverge wildly.
And Trump has been a frequent target of Sanders’ harsh rhetoric, with the socialist senator from Vermont saying that the president-elect is “unhinged” and a “pathological liar.”
However, at a forum in Washington D.C. this week, Sanders sounded a different note about a Trump presidency — so different that you have to wonder what Sanders might be up to.
“Trump took on the Republican establishment, he took on the Democratic establishment, took on the media establishment and he ended up winning the election to become president of the United States,” Sanders said in his remarks at George Washington University, according to the New York Post. “And that is an extraordinary accomplishment. And it talks about perseverance, it talks about very strong political instincts, it talks about a way to connect with people,”
“So I give Donald Trump his due,” added the former presidential contender who had earlier given Trump the business.
One can imagine the jaws dropping on the floor of that auditorium.
During an interview last month on liberal stalwart MSNBC, Sanders went off on the president-elect in rather stark terms.
“What do you do when you have a president-elect, soon to be president, who — and I say this not happily, but I think most people who observe him would agree — is a pathological liar who changes his mind every single day?” Sanders said.
(Given that Sanders is a man who endorsed Hillary Clinton after she clinched the Democrat nomination, I don’t think he should be saying much about pathological liars, but there you go.)
He also went after Trump’s cabinet, which he called pro-establishment.
“I guess they have a few poor millionaires on it, but, mostly, it is billionaires,” Sanders told CBS News. ““And this is coming from a candidate for president, Mr. Trump, who told us he was going to take on the establishment. Well, maybe I am not seeing something here, but you don’t appoint the head of ExxonMobil to be secretary of state. That is not quite taking on the establishment.”
Less than a month later, Sanders was saying that Trump had taken on the establishment on both the Republican and Democrat sides. It may not be changing your mind “every single day,” but it’s certainly quite a shift.
And then there was his rather preposterous appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late-night program, where he said that Donald Trump’s tweeting about illegal voters was “unhinged” and “delusional” only moments before Sanders himself said something unhinged and delusional.
“When he says that (about illegal voters), he is really sending a signal to Republicans all over this country, Republican leaders,” Sanders told O’Brien. “What he is saying is we have got to suppress the vote. We have got to make it harder for poor people, people of color, immigrants, elderly people to participate because they may be voting against us. And that is scary stuff.”
Apparently, Sanders is under the impression that Trump’s Twitter acts as a kind of bat-signal for racists, ready to crawl out from under their rocks and wreak retro havoc on American society.
What’s behind Sanders’ change in tune? It’s impossible to say with certainty, but as someone who watched the slow-motion train wreck that was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016, perhaps he realizes the danger of going down the path of anger and retribution that the left seems intent on pursuing.
In an appearance on a CNN town hall this week, Sanders disavowed the Democrats’ policy of “obstruct, obstruct, obstruct”: “I think where Trump has ideas that make sense that we can work with him on, I think we should,” said the senator. Perhaps he realizes just how angry that America will be with the Democrats — and how difficult it will be to win in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election — if they continue to prove publicly exactly why America rejected Hillary and chose Trump to lead..
While it’s impossible to agree with Sanders’ politics, what he said about Trump was very true. The president-elect is the most successful anti-establishment candidate America has seen in decades, and he was able to capture the White House by spending far less than Hillary Clinton.
If Sanders realizes that, there may be hope for him yet.
Leave it to Dana Loesch.
The outspoken conservative commentator, Blaze TV host and Second Amendment activist has built a career out of refusing to suffer fools gladly, so even with the national media’s attention riveted on Washington D.C. for the moment, she still managed to break through the clutter.
And she did it with an observation about the near-epidemic charges of Republican “racism” that Democrats will have a hard time answering.
In a single Twitter post Tuesday, Loesch made a mockery of the pounding drumbeat of racism that’s grown up around President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general and reminded Democrats of their own sorry history on the topic at the same time.
It’s not a pretty picture.
I’m sad that Robert Byrd didn’t live long enough to accuse Jeff Sessions of being a “racist” at his hearing.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 10, 2017
Loesch was referring, of course, to the late lamented West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, and the Democrat’s one-time leadership position with the Ku Klux Klan – the organization liberal partisans are trying desperately to link Sessions to during his confirmation hearings this week.
The evidence for Democrats’ accusations against Sessions is so flimsy it hardly bears repeating: mainly testimony from a black federal prosecutor who accused Sessions of calling him “boy,” expressing sympathy for the Ku Klux Klan, and referring to the NAACP as “un-American.” (News flash: Holding a low opinion of the NAACP doesn’t make anybody a racist. Baseball fans can despise the Mets without detesting New York City.)
That prosecutor, Thomas Figures, went on to be indicted in a 1992 bribery case, but was later cleared by a jury, according to The Guardian.
The evidence of racism against Byrd is considerably stronger, starting with Byrd himself, who eventually apologized for his role in the racist KKK. (When you’re a Democrat, all is forgiven pretty easily, especially if Hillary Clinton absolves you by association.)
And Dana Loesch’s followers knew she was on to something.
He is still in the democrats hearts as they LOVED him pic.twitter.com/UdtMdBGLlH
— bogaard (@bbogaard) January 10, 2017
@DLoesch He’s still alive…in the hearts of Democrats and KKK members everywhere.
— RightWingHockeyCoach (@SafeSchoolsCzar) January 10, 2017
@DLoesch White Republicans will always be called “racist” by Democrats. It’s the only argument they have. Without lies they have nothing.
— Kevin Gallagher (@liberty_kevin) January 10, 2017
@DLoesch The hypocrisy never ceases!
— Andrew McLeod (@amac936) January 10, 2017
And some knew their history even before Byrd.
@DLoesch they act like Sessions enforce FDR’s internment camps or Woodrow Wilson’s segregation laws or something like that.
— Ken Diesel, PhD (@KenDiesel) January 10, 2017
The point here isn’t just to throw the Democrats’ own sorry racist history in their faces, although that’s never a bad idea.
The point is that the party that brought us “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and other monstrous lies from the Age of Obama, will have no compunction at all about trying to smear the reputation of a man who has served in the United States Senate for 20 years – never being re-elected by less than 59 percent of his state’s voters, according to The Washington Post.
In 2014, the man Democrats are now claiming is a raving racist was not even opposed by the Democrat Party for his Senate seat. Think about that. At the height of the Obama years, in an election when every Senate seat mattered to which party controlled the upper chamber, the Democrats couldn’t even be bothered to field a candidate against Jeff Sessions. (They lost the Senate that year.)
Is that the behavior of an honest political party convinced of a clear and present danger to American liberties?
It’s not, of course. But Democrats in partisan moments like this are incapable of shame – if they were capable of it, they’d still be hanging their heads over the scandalous treatment they gave Sessions when he was nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
Then, as now, Democrats rolled out the “racist” canard, under a Senate Judiciary Committee that included Delaware Sen. Joe Biden (who has since gone on to bigger and better things in the Obama years).
Back then, the Judiciary Committee voted against confirming Sessions after a media circus surrounded the the groundless accusations of racism.
Americans – liberal and conservative – should hope he has a better shot this time around.
Honestly, what more could be said about actress Meryl Streep and her smug sermon to America about the looming dangers of a Trump presidency?
Honestly? Well, we could do what others haven’t done. Yes, despite the seemingly endless stories and social media postings written about the Golden Globes honoree and her elitist put-down of the president-elect and his supporters, there is one more revelation to be made…one more unexploded truth bomb to be dropped.
And it has to do with the man for whom the recognition bestowed on Streep Sunday night was named — legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille.
If Streep were really all that principled, if she were truly bound and determined to represent her supposed values that she feels are imperiled by a Donald Trump presidency, she should have declined the honor.
The reason? DeMille — considered by film historians to have been the founder of the Hollywood motion picture industry — was also considered to have been a conservative Republican activist. Someone who believed in and worked for campaigns and causes that one can only imagine Streep would squawk about.
Wait, she did what? The DeMille award for lifetime achievement was accepted by the same Meryl Streep who actually told a ballroom overflowing with the rich and famous made rich and famous by pretending and profiting from their pretense: “You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now.”
Streep went up on stage Sunday night and went far over her allotted speaking time to indulge the self-indulgent glitterati gathered for the awards show in her six-minutes of fear mongering and accepted the award named for an industry icon who championed states’ right-to-work laws in defiance of unionism?
Streep proudly clutched the Golden Globe award named for a Republican activist who, as a biographer notes, had once been endorsed by the California State Republican Committee for senator and governor but ultimately declined both nominations. DeMille apparently felt he could influence more people through movies than through public office.
And this might be the most telling irony in the Streep acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille award, a recognition that gave her the chance to deliver her high-and-mighty liberal sermon — one that insulted people who like the NFL and the MMA — in such solemn and sincere tones:
The real problem the prolific filmmaker faced in the late 1930s — the seemingly insurmountable challenge that convinced DeMille not to run for office as a Republican, according to the biographer — the GOP establishment in California did not believe he was electable.
Get that? The Republican power players of the day didn’t believe he was electable…sound familiar?
Honestly, Ms. Streep, if you were true to your principles, you should have told the 90 or so voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to keep their tarnished Golden Globe.
As agit-prop theater goes, it was liberalism at its worst.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, faced down an a veritable traveling troupe of Code Pink crybabies and critics costumed as Ku Klux Klan fans to accuse Sessions of being a racist during the opening day of confirmation hearings in the Russell Senate Building’s Kennedy Caucus Room.
But it was a Twitter posting by a particularly vicious liberal — and a bona fide theater type to boot — that really hit a nerve among Americans, even a big-name network newsman not known for conservative sympathies.
The jaw-dropping posting came from someone named Ira Madison III, who bills himself on Twitter as a “culture writer” for MTV (he’s also a podcast host, but obviously too modest to brag about it). If Madison III is the best MTV can offer to the country’s culture, it might as well go back to its roots of pushing lousy videos of lousier music.
To folks like Madison III, attacking little children is apparently part of the game if they’re just collateral damage in the eternal war against white Republicans.
In a series of Twitter posts, Madison III called one of Sessions’ granddaughters in attendance at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing — who is half-Asian through her father — a “prop” the senator is using to deflect charges of racism. He was shamed into deleting the first, and worst, of his posts, but never backed down from his position.
Here is the now-deleted post.
Not even liberals liked the ugly train of thought. Jake Tapper, the chief Washington correspondent for CNN and a high-profile weekday anchor, called Madison III out before he deleted the “disgusting” post.
Disgusting tweet. The little girl is his granddaughter. Delete your account and find some humanity. https://t.co/8OZUtY5FcA
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 10, 2017
And Tapper had plenty of company.
— Yes, Nick $earcy! (@yesnicksearcy) January 10, 2017
— Geoffrey Hawkins (@geoffreyhawkins) January 10, 2017
— Angiaks (@AngiaksNanook) January 10, 2017
But this one hit it perfectly.
— StompyMech (@Stmpy_Mch) January 10, 2017
And that, really, is the point.
No matter what they proclaim in public, no matter what they rant about in rallies, Democrats know in their hearts that Republicans like Sessions aren’t really racists. Just as they know most Trump voters are not the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing monsters that seems to populate so much of liberal fantasy these days. (Meryl Streep notwithstanding.)
They also know that truth and decency don’t matter. As long as the “optics” are right, as long as the snark is cutting edge, a black man who lives in Los Angeles can feel perfectly free to use social media to insult the young granddaughter and impugn the character of a white man from Alabama, as long as the white man is a Republican.
There is no reason for that child to be in his lap in a hearing other than to send an “I’m not racist message”
— Ira Madison III (@ira) January 10, 2017
Because to a liberal like Madison III, the only reason for a child to be present in such a setting is for political purposes. It couldn’t be because the girl’s parents wanted to support the nominee who was about to step into the lions’ den, and brought their daughter along. It couldn’t be that as a member of the family, she had a right to be present when something magnificent is happening to her grandfather, a man of accomplishments any family would be proud to claim.
Nope. To a liberal sniper in Barack Obama’s Democrat Party, a child has only political purposes.
In one sense, that’s an improvement over other Democrat attitudes toward children, which include murdering babies in the womb and selling their dismembered body parts for cash (really, that one’s tough to beat for sheer barbarism). But it’s still a willful denial of the basic humanity of the youngest, most vulnerable members of American society.
By the standards of the confirmation process, Democrats had already debased themselves in the Sessions hearing. According to Politico, two protesters arrayed as Ku Klux Klan members had pretended to be in the Kennedy Caucus Room to support Sessions before being evicted. Code Pink anti-war protesters wailed about the veteran senator.
All just more embarrassments tattooed on the American body politic from the liberal left for whom nothing is off limits.
But it took a deliberately antagonistic, offensive Twitter posting by an MTV “culture writer” in Los Angeles comparing the existence of a young girl to a stolen prop from a big-box toy store to put the liberal debasement of human nature into stark perspective.
And as agit-prop theater goes, it was liberalism at its worst.
“Kate’s Law” is coming back.
Democrats last year managed to suffocate the bill targeting felons in the country illegally. But with Donald Trump headed for the White House and a firm Republican majority in Congress, the law’s prospects are much better heading into 2017.
And as conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, it’s only the beginning.
When 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was killed by a gunshot on a San Francisco pier in July 2015, the shocking crime made national headlines, and gave a new urgency to the nascent Donald Trump campaign for the presidency.
Not only was the alleged gunman an illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal history, he had also been deported from the United States five times, but returned after each forced exit, with eventually deadly consequences.
The killing also led to “Kate’s Law,” a bill sponsored by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would impose a five-year prison sentence on any illegal alien who re-enters the country unlawfully after being deported.
The bill passed the Republican House of Representatives easily, but was filibustered by Senate Democrats under Minority Leader Harry Reid, who hoped to use the issue as a campaign wedge for Hispanic votes in the 2016 election.
Now, the bill has been introduced again, by Cruz in the Senate and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Krauthammer sees the outcome being very different this time, especially since Trump ran on a “law and order” platform.
“We had an election. Immigration was a major issue,” Krauthammer told O’Reilly. “Kate Steinle is a slam dunk.”
“I don’t think it’s the most important of the measures, it’s … way down the list, because the population to which it applies is rather small, but … it’s very symbolic,” he said. “And it’s a sign of things to come.
Check it out here. O’Reilly’s “Talking Point” segment takes up the first few minutes. Krauthammer appears about the 3-minute mark.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
It’s important to note, as Krauthammer pointed out, that “Kate’s Law” would cover a minute fraction of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States and there are much larger immigration issues to deal with: the national insult of “sanctuary cities”; border security; establishing a system to check the legal status of potential employees; and catching those who overstay their visas.
But as a matter of symbolism – as a message to potential illegal aliens and their Democrat defenders – the passage of “Kate’s Law,” and its signature by President Donald Trump, would go a long way toward establishing some kind of realistic control over the nation’s borders.
And that, Krauthammer said, would be the real point.
“The Democrats have made it very clear. They always wanted immigration as an issue and not as a policy,” Krauthammer said. “Well, those days are over. The Republicans are now in charge. They’re serious about immigration. The only question is, what kind of laws will they pass and how effective will they be?”
Well, if they’re effective enough to prevent one more illegal alien from firing one more bullet at an innocent American, they’ll be effective enough.
As Democrats like to say when talking about violating the fundamental right of Americans to bear arms, “if it can save one life, it will be worth it.”
Because “Kate’s Law” is coming back.
But Kate Steinle isn’t.
Conservative TV personality Mike Rowe could be the country’s best spokesman for a job well done.
In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, the down-to-earth star best known for hosting the Discovery Channel hit show “Dirty Jobs” as well as conservative social media commentary, made the case for what President-elect Donald Trump has done so far to encourage American industry to invest in the country again.
And he had some rock-solid advice for American workers to succeed in a global economy.
Rowe’s interview with Carlson came after news broke that automaker Fiat Chrysler plans to put $1 billion into modernizing two manufacturing plants in Michigan and Ohio, two of the “Rust Belt” states that helped give Trump his upset victory over Hillary Clinton in November.
Coming so soon after last week’s announcement that Ford had canceled plans to spend $1.6 billion on a plant in Mexico in favor of expanding a plant in Michigan, the development seems to showcase a new attitude toward investing in the United States by some of the country’s biggest manufacturers.
And it could well be the beginning of an economic turnaround, Rowe said. (The kind of turnaround eight years of stultifying policy from a near-socialist presidency has stifled.)
Check out the interview here.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
The point here is Rowe’s position that there’s more at stake – and more to celebrate – than just the prospect of good salaries.
Some of the highest salaries in the countries are in the wealthy counties surrounding the nation’s capital. That doesn’t mean those counties produce anything other than government workers getting fat on government paychecks. What really matters is that a revival of American manufacturing would mean the country is producing again.
“Look, it’s not just jobs,” Rowe told Carlson. “And when I say that, I don’t mean to minimize it at all, but there’s just something … larger at work here, and it has to do with our identity, it has to do with what it feels like when we’re actually making things as a country.”
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
What’s bracing about Mike Rowe is he doesn’t bother sugarcoating reality. Of course, companies want to locate where labor’s cheaper, it’s one way they make their profits grow. And making a profit is the reason companies exist – providing jobs is part of the process, not the overall goal.
(That’s a fact Democratic politicians rarely seem to grasp.)
And Rowe stressed the real responsibility of American workers to make themselves valuable to the economy. It’s the kind of advice a lot of people’s fathers gave them a long time ago. (Social justice warriors living on student loans as they major in Gender Studies with a minor in Eradicating Income Inequality could take a lesson here.)
“Get a skill that’s in demand, that’s really in demand, that can’t be outsourced,” Rowe said. “Plumbers, steamfitters, pipefitters, carpenters, mechanics, those men and women right now … can pretty much write their own ticket, and so, again on a micro-level, I see a lot of reasons to feel really optimistic.”
With the final days of the Obama presidency dwindling away, and a new president and Congress vowing to sweep out the job-strangling regulations the old administration imposed, he’s not the only one.
Democrats are going to hate it for the next four years, but there’s a big job to be done.
It’s begun — the first big hearing for a Trump cabinet nominee — and the process promises to be contentious.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened two days of testimony on the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next attorney general.
And as Democrats on the committee raise the specter of Sessions as a small-minded Southern bigot, one Northern senator is said to be on deck to take the kind of swing at Sessions that’s never been done before.
The CDC has said that this flu season is especially bad, with a number of virulent bugs going around, particularly the stomach flu. Norovirus and influenza aren’t the only viruses that are stronger than usual this winter, though: liberal derangement syndrome in the era of Trump is seeing a scary spike.
Back when it was Bush derangement syndrome, it took at least a few years to fully incubate and show itself. This time, though, Trump derangement syndrome has reached epidemic levels before the president-elect has even taken office.
How bad has it gotten? Bad enough that one senator is set to testify against another senator’s confirmation to Trump’s cabinet in a display of divisiveness being called “unprecedented” by the press.
Booker is considered by some to be a top pick for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. According to CNN, his expected testimony against his Senate colleague will mark the first time that a sitting U.S. senator has testified against the nomination of a proposed cabinet official.
“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague,” Booker said. “But the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.”
Twitter users were not so impressed by the stand taken by the former mayor of Newark, N.J., whose political record and high-profile hobnobbing with the rich and famous tainted his rise to stardom in the Democrat ranks..
I'm not a fan of Sessions as AG, but even Democrats and progressives see through the obvious irrelevance & self-promotional BS of this move. https://t.co/IPyyoQT6k7
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) January 10, 2017
— Delta Blue (@DeltaBlueStrat) January 10, 2017
The first Twitter user is entirely right: this appears to be little more than a self-promotional opportunity to seize the spotlight. In fact, Booker had previously sponsored legislation on civil rights with Sessions and said during a speech carried by C-SPAN that he was “honored” to work with him.
Now, however, Sessions is a Trump nominee and is the one that the left has decided they will fight hardest against. This mostly has to do with dodgy charges of racism from almost thirty years ago, mostly played up by the media, and now denied even by people who believed the charges true decades back.
It’s obvious that Booker is grooming himself for higher office, and he’s willing to do something as unprecedented and divisive as to testify against a prospective member of Donald Trump’s cabinet. And all if this without hearing what Sessions has to say on the issues.
The Republican Party was frequently called “obstructionist” for doing what their constituents had elected them to do and not go along with President Obama’s agenda.
Now, though, the Democrats will have control of neither the Senate, nor the House nor the Oval Office. Yet, even though they’ve been repudiated by the American voters, they still have launched an unprecedented attack on Donald Trump’s cabinet and appointments. And for whatever reason, they don’t view this as obstructionist.
Confirming Jeff Sessions only takes a majority vote in the Senate, and with 52 seats in the hand of the Republicans in the upper chamber, it’s unlikely that this drama playing out in the Judiciary Committee hearings is going to make a difference.
However, it’s yet another sign that the Democrats plan to thwart the will of the American people and the new administration in any way possible. It’s yet another sign that Trump derangement syndrome is going to be a lot more virulent than its cousin ever was.
When a congressman chose to display a painting depicting police as pigs as part of an art exhibit in the U.S. Capitol, there was an immediate outcry from scores of everyday Americans. They were furious that anyone who represents them in Washington would offer such an insult to the men and women in blue who serve our communities.
In fact, the outrage was so intense that another congressman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), took matters into his own hands, removing the painting from the wall and returning it to the congressman who decided to have it hung there in the first place.
But that hasn’t ended the tussle as Democrats on Capitol Hill prepare to escalate the conflict…just as two Orlando police officers were killed in the line of duty.
Even as the filing of a criminal complaint against Rep. Hunter is looming, the Congressional Black Caucus says that they plan to rehang the controversial painting.
In a piece for Fox News, Rep. Hunter explained why he decided to personally take down the painting, which portrayed Ferguson, Missouri police officers as pigs who were assaulting innocent civilians.
After a Friday morning meeting with my House Republican colleagues, where the painting was a subject of conversation, I walked by the piece of artwork hanging on the wall in the Capitol. And I couldn’t help but think of all of America’s law enforcement, in addition to our military men and women, who put their lives on the line every day.
I thought of all the men and women who honorably and faithfully wear a badge, who protect our communities and streets. I thought too of our collective obligation of a society to uphold these defenders of law and justice, even though too it is right that decision makers hear and respond properly to instances when law enforcement does overstep.
So as an American citizen and a former Marine who supports law enforcement, I took matters into my own hands. I unscrewed the painting from the wall and returned it to the Democratic Congressman who represents the award winner.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 10, 2017
According to The Hill, Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) is planning on filing charges against Hunter.
“How dare he!” Rep. Clay told reporters. “He was way out of bounds. He broke the law. It’s called theft. And I don’t think anyone up here is qualified to be an art critic.”
First, theft generally involves taking things that aren’t yours, not just taking them off a wall and returning them. Second, the only thing out of bounds is putting a painting on the wall which crudely depicts people who put their lives on the line to protect us as porcine bullies.
In a country where we’ve had police officers targeted just for doing their job, how irresponsible is it to put such an inflammatory painting on prominent display?
And perhaps even worse, Rep. Clay is now part of an effort to rehang the painting, which will happen during a Tuesday ceremony.
“The rehanging of this painting for public view represents more than just protecting the rights of a student artist, it is a proud statement in defense of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees freedom of expression to every American,” Rep. Clay’s office said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Rep. Clay and his colleagues aren’t sticking up for freedom. They’re deliberately maligning those who actually do protect it.
Denied bail, the four Chicago-area thugs charged with kidnapping, torturing and livestreaming the trauma and humiliation inflicted on a disabled teen remain in jail.
The victim, identified by numerous online sources as 18-year-old Austin Hilbourn, is back with his parents and recovering from his injuries.
And now donations to a fund set up “to show this young man and his family some financial support during this difficult time of recovery” are mounting to a level far above what the fund’s organizer imagined.
In the days following last Tuesday’s unspeakably brutal exposure on Facebook Live of the callousness and cruelty of four black assailants in their treatment of a white kidnap victim who was bound and gagged, condemnation of the livestreamed horror was swift and near universal.
Some few apologists for the inhuman actions of the so-called “Facebook Four” tried to suggest that the victim simply suffered the consequences of refusing to participate in a gang initiation that he himself sought.
But those despicable attempts to somehow excuse the behavior of the quartet of young African-Americans now charged with hate crimes were few and very far between. Most people were repulsed by the torture session, and one of them took immediate action to help the victim and his family.
A GoFundMe page was set up by someone identified as Razor Sheldon from San Francisco, who claimed to have coordinated and verified a number of such initiatives through Reddit. The stated fundraising goal for this effort was $10,000. As of this writing, the initiative had secured pledged donations of close to $145,000 from nearly 5,000 people.
“We are so extremely grateful for the support and generosity from everyone. We cannot put into words how touching and encouraging it is to Austin and our family to see what great hearts so many people have,” reads a statement purportedly from the family of the torture victim on the fundraising page.
Quite a few people who pledged financial help to the Hilbourn family also left messages of love and encouragement. Among them:
“Austin, The world may have some real bad people, but there are some good ones too. Please remember that God loves you and he sees you as his child. You will rise above this. I will pray you find peace and happiness in your soul.” ~John D.
“Austin please know that there are so many people sending you love and prayers for your healing. May God bless you and your family. May you experience a sense of peace and security that will completely obliterate this experience.” ~Christina H.
“As the mother of two amazing children, one with special needs, this is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. God Bless and prayers for healing and comfort.” ~Pamela H.
“My son is similar age and autistic. I saw this and saw him. He too trusts people as friends and does not understand there are people with no humanity or feelings who take joy in such cruelty. I wish I could do more.” ~L. Swanson
According to The Daily Mail, the fund’s organizer “got in contact with Austin’s sister, who now is the only person in charge of withdrawals and banking information” for the fund.
“The family is still working with legal and financial advisors regarding the best structure to benefit Austin without negatively impacting his long-term aid from the state,” wrote Razor Sheldon, adding:
Thanks again for all the generosity, supportive messages and thoughts and prayers… it has been a heartwarming reminder that there is still a great deal of good out there.
If it’s a day that ends in the letter “y,” the chances are better than even that there’s some self-important celebrity, somewhere, who is taking an emotion-soaked, fear-mongering swipe at the president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump.
Whether it’s the recent series of videos featuring minor left-coast luminaries letting America know just how little respect they have for the will of the people, or it’s Twitter rants decrying both Trump and his supporters, Hollywood has made clear its contempt for this country’s next president — and by extension, those who chose him to be the next chief executive.
Given that Sunday night saw the big Golden Globes awards show, it was a fairly safe bet that one or more of the stars in attendance would say something so hideously out of touch in its hyperbolic excess of fear that it would have conservative jaws dropping. Acting legend Meryl Streep did not disappoint. And Trump did not hesitate to fire back.
According to The Hill, Streep — who last year put on orange-face, a bad wig and a fat suit to mock Trump’s appearance during Shakespeare in the Park in New York City — was receiving one of those “lifetime achievement awards,” when she launched into a predictable rant against the Republican winner.
Streep — who did a star turn at the Democratic National Convention, praising Hillary Clinton’s “grit” and “grace” — decided to use her on-stage time at the Globes to bring up a now-debunked incident involving Trump and a disabled New York Times reporter in which the media claimed that then-candidate Trump mocked the reporter’s physical disability.
“But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good — there was nothing good about it — but it was effective and did its job,” Streep said, referencing the supposed imitation of Serge Kovaleski, a reporter who has a congenital joint condition. “It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.”
“It was that moment, when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter — someone he out-ranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back,” she continued. “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie; it was in real life.”
Thought he claimed to a New York Times reporter that he had not seen the Sunday-night lecture by Streep, Trump didn’t hesitate to take to Twitter to fire back.
Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
It isn’t that statements like Streep’s or video pleas to deny and defy Donald Trump are going to have an effect on our democratic process. If anything, one can imagine every Republican strategist wishing for at least one preposterous rant like the one by the honored actress every week until November of 2020.
However, it is a profound insult for people who rely on the public for their fame and fortune to then turn around and imply that the electoral choice of roughly half of that public represents a giant step towards fascism.
Streep may be one of the great actresses of her generation, but the only achievement she accomplished on Sunday was showing perfectly, exactly, precisely why America voted for Trump.
Why, yes indeed, that nuclear arms deal the Obama administration worked so feverishly to sign with Iran and then to shield from criticism, that agreement has certainly eased tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic, right?
As Donald Trump might answer, emphatically, “Wrong.”
But the latest provocation — the latest incident involving naval vessels of the United States and Iran — comes just as the president-elect is talking of doing something Barack Obama never did to strengthen our position on the high seas.
A number of news outlets, including CNN, are reporting that several Iranian patrol craft, traveling at a high rate of speed, approached a U.S. Navy destroyer as it was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz toward the Persian Gulf on Sunday.
According to military officials who provided details to CNN, the destroyer, USS Mahan, “fired warning shots and used radio calls, flares, bells and whistles to signal the ships to stay away. There was no response to the radio calls.” There were also no reports of any vessel being hit or anyone being hurt.
This tense encounter at sea is the latest involving military craft of the two countries in recent months. These incidents have included Iranian rockets being launched, drones flying over U.S. vessels and the capture of American sailors held for several days by Iran.
The incident also comes only days after The Washington Examiner and other news sources reported that, for the first time in decades, there were no U.S. aircraft carriers on patrol — all were in port for various reasons, including maintenance, repairs and equipment upgrades.
It also comes at virtually the same time that President-elect Trump and U.S. Navy officials are proposing a major expansion of the fleet. Fox News reports it would amount to the “biggest shipbuilding boom since the end of the Cold War to meet threats from a resurgent Russia and saber-rattling China.”
According to Fox News, the U.S. Navy currently has 274 ships that can be deployed as battle force vessels. The goal of the expansion, which must be funded, of course, is a 355-ship fleet.
The Navy’s revised Force Structure Assessment calls for adding another 47 ships including an aircraft carrier built in Virginia, 16 large surface warships built in Maine and Mississippi, and 18 attack submarines built in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia. It also calls for more amphibious assault ships, expeditionary transfer docks and support ships.
If there’s any significant effect of the weekend encounter between U.S. and Iranian vessels near the Strait of Hormuz — a major route of passage for the transport of Middle East oil — it may well be a boost for the additional spending required for the shipbuilding initiative.
According to an estimate by naval analyst Ronald O’Rourke at the Congressional Research Service, meeting the 355-ship goal could require as much as an additional $5.5 billion in annual spending in the Navy’s 30-year projection.
There’s certainly a ton of evidence to suggest that Barack Obama is disconnected from reality…even delusional.
Whether it’s the general stink surrounding his foreign policy, the disastrous Iran nuke deal he praises, his assertion that there’ve been no foreign-directed terror attacks in the U.S. on his watch, or the belief that his administration has been free of major scandal, Obama’s fantasy life on another planet is well documented.
But now, in a lengthy interview with Democrat-operative-turned-network-news-anchor George Stephanopoulos, the outgoing president has made a claim that’s both bizarre and boastful, while reflecting an ironic truth that no doubt makes most Democrats cringe.
On a special edition of ABC’s “This Week,” Stephanopoulos did his best Barbara Walters imitation in an “exit interview” with Obama at the White House, lobbing softball after softball at the outgoing president to help Obama try to frame his legacy.
Fawning and sycophantic hardly suffice in describing the sticky sweet nature of the rambling conversation. You’d almost think the former Clinton White House staffer was buttering up Obama in search of a job opportunity post-ABC News.
At one point, when the two men were seated in the Oval Office that Donald Trump will soon occupy, Stephanopoulos noted how a former president had been asked to describe himself in just a few words. The setup — “The greater the man, the easier it is to describe him in a single sentence…. What’s you sentence?” Talk about tough questioning, eh — asking Obama to describe his greatness.
And did the president demur? Did Obama brush off the question with any grace or humility?
You can find out by watching the video below. And pay close attention to why this president actually claims that he was the “father” of the grassroots political movement that helped stop a potential Democrat juggernaut after Obama’s first election to the presidency.
As explained by coverage in the Washington Free Beacon of the ABC News interview, Stephanopoulos did point out that Democrats have lost about 1,000 combined seats in Congress, governorships, and state legislatures during Obama’s eight years in the White House. While accepting limited blame for the Democrats’ extensive loss of political power, the president was quick to point the finger at “circumstances.”
Among those circumstances: economic hardships faced by many Americans over his two terms as well as the fact that he was so busy — his schedule as chief executive was so packed — that, presumably, he didn’t have enough time to get out and tout his administration’s successes or stump for other Democrats.
When it comes to how the president spent his time, however, some might be inclined to point to all those tee times Obama arranged. Not to mention all those taxpayer-funded vacations he and Michelle and the kids enjoyed.
Out of touch, indeed…even delusional.
It’s going to be interesting to see how CNN’s Don Lemon plays this.
A day after the liberal anchor ignited his own controversy by blaming the kidnap and torture of a mentally disabled white man by a gang of sadistic black thugs on “bad home training,” video has surfaced of one of the suspects brandishing what appears to be a rifle and using extremely crude language in making explicit threats, at least one racially charged.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family came forward with a request that was almost unbelievable.
The newly surfaced video was posted on YouTube Oct. 22, and showed the man, identified by the New York Post as Tasfeye Cooper, 18, pointing the gun several times directly at the camera. At one point, he says, “BOOM, put a bullet in your white skull.”
Check it out here. But be warned, it’s very graphic.
According to Chicago police, Cooper, 18-year-old Jordan Hill, and sisters Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, are charged with committing a hate crime, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery for torturing their victim in a brutal session that was livestreamed on Facebook Tuesday.
According to The Associated Press, the victim and his family thought he was attending a New Year’s Eve sleepover with Hill. It got much uglier.
The video sparked national revulsion on its own hideous merits, but the reaction of liberal talking heads like Lemon, who led a disgraceful panel discussion about the attack on Wednesday night, was almost as disgusting.
The morally blinded Lemon couldn’t agree that the abduction and torture of another human being – by perpetrators crying “F*** Donald Trump” and “F*** white people” should even be considered an act of “evil.”
Where, Lemon wondered, were the families of these attackers?
Well, America found out where the family of the victim was, at any rate. In a news conference, attended by what appeared to be numerous relatives of the victim, brother-in-law Brian Boyd expressed gratitude for the victim’s return, and then asked something most people couldn’t image – prayers for “all involved,” including, presumably the monsters who staged this horrendous attack.
Check out WGN’s coverage here.
As a comparison of two classes of Americans goes – as a comparison of two classes of humanity goes – the differences in the two videos couldn’t be more stark.
In the video purported to be of the suspect Cooper, a wild-eyed, possibly drugged man swings an apparent firearm and threatens to kill the people watching. In the Boyds’ news conference, a composed man quietly expresses gratitude for the return of a loved one, and apparently asks viewers to pray for men and women who decided torturing a helpless, special-needs innocent was a great way to start the year – and proud enough of it to put the malevolence on social media.
A column published by The Washington Post on Thursday implied that the worst aspect of the gruesome torture video would be encouraging supporters of President-elect Donald Trump to think the worst of America’s criminals.
The October video of a torture suspect threatening to put a bullet in the head of an anonymous “white skull,” might just seal the deal.
Unless Don Lemon can come up with another excuse for it.
This is one political front Democrats will regret fighting on.
As President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team heads into the final two weeks before Inauguration Day, the mainstream media were buzzing with insistent questions suggesting the Republican is on the verge of breaking part a key campaign promise to control illegal immigration into the United States.
But these questions — dripping with their rush-to-judgment implications — are missing the real point.
The tempest in a teacup started Friday morning, when news reports quoted Republicans in Congress talking about the U.S. government paying to build the wall on the country’s border with Mexico, a project candidate Donald Trump promised would be paid for by Mexico.
Former Trump campaign manager and incoming White House adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday to field the inevitable questions – and never gave an inch…
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 6, 2017
“He is going to build that wall, and Mexico is going to pay for it,” Conway said. “That hasn’t changed.”
In a Twitter posting earlier Friday, Trump made the same point, while acknowledging that construction money could come out of the U.S. government’s coffers, initially at least, for the sake of expediency.
The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
For the liberal media — still smarting from Trump’s upset victory in November and eager to pile on any chance to make the president-elect look bad — the funding source is supposed to represent a major shift in the Republican’s priorities, as though Trump is betraying the very voters who elected him before he even takes the oath of office.
The coverage on CNN – also known to many conservatives as the Clinton News Network – conveyed the tone.
The move would break a key campaign promise when Trump repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for the construction of the wall along the border, though in October, Trump suggested for the first time that Mexico would reimburse the US for the cost of the wall.
Can anyone remember CNN accusing Obama of breaking a promise like that? (Maybe, “if you like your doctor …”)
But here’s the thing. If the conversation has shifted from whether America will have a border wall to squabbling about where the initial construction money is going to come from, Team Trump has already defined the debate – and if the past eight years of Barack Obama have proven anything, it’s that the side that defines the debate is going to win it.
In a federal budget bill that will be up for passage in April, Republicans could well insert billions to spend on a border wall, with the expectation the money will be recouped from Mexico at some point. (Whether it actually will be or not is to be seen.)
Because the budget bill must pass to keep the government operating, Democrats could be putting themselves in a ludicrous situation if they try to block it over the wall funding, Indiana Republican Rep. Luke Messer told CNN on Thursday.
“Democrats may well find themselves in the position to shut down all of government to stop the buildout of a wall, or of a barrier, or of a fence,” Messer said.
Democrats might remember that government shutdowns don’t go over well with the public, particularly their liberal supporters. And government shutdowns to keep the porous border wide open, in an age of international terrorism, are not going to be well received by anybody. Leaders of the party that’s now trying to talk so tough over Vladimir Putin’s Russia are going to go back to being the patsies they’ve always been when it comes to national security.
Illegal immigration is the issue that launched Trump’s campaign back in June, 2015. It’s the reason the Border Patrol — whose council endorsed Trump for president — is planning a big hiring push this year. And national security is one topic to which even liberals have to pay lip service to sound remotely credible.
If the fight over Trump’s proposed wall has moved into “who’s going to pay for it” territory, it’s a fight Democrats are going to regret having.
They might have already lost it.
Talk about long goodbyes.
As the presidential transition enters its two-week window before Donald Trump is sworn into office as the 45th president, the 44th is taking every opportunity to hog the limelight one last time before he’s out the doors of the White House.
And to Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, there’s one final service Barack Obama can render to his country before his administration is over:
For heaven’s sake, keep quiet!
Not only has Obama embarked on a seemingly interminable round of farewell speeches, and planned one last bash for the Beautiful People of the lib-loving entertainment world in the People’s House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the lame-duck president on Thursday released a verbose, self-congratulatory letter to the American people recapping his eight years in office.
For Krauthammer, and anyone who tried to read the wretched thing (past the part that says “To My Humble, Obedient Subjects…”) it’s all too much of a very bad thing.
Check out the interview here.
“When presidents leave office, they generally don’t make a plea on their own behalf. It’s beneath them,” Krauthammer told host Megyn Kelly, on one of the “fair and balanced” network’s last showings of “The Kelly File” before the run ends Friday.
“I mean, Eisenhower gave a farewell address. It was about the country. Obama is now going to give one next week. I guarantee you it will be about himself.”
Eisenhower, however, was a man who commanded the allied armies of Europe to victory in World War II, and presided over eight years of prosperity in the United States while staring down the Soviet Union and its rapacious leaders.
He also desegregated the American military, got the Civil Rights Act of 1957 passed over Democrat objections, and federalized the National Guard during the school desegregation fight in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In other words, he had real accomplishments and everyone knew it.
Obama, on the other hand, has Obamacare and the Iran arms deal, neither of which are likely to survive the first year of the Trump administration with a Republican Congress just itching to get rid of both.
So why is he still insisting on remaining in the public eye? He’s even said he plans to stick around D.C. and keep an eye on soon-to-be-President Trump, speaking out if he feels it necessary to protect his administration’s “progress.”
“This really is a matter of — ‘narcissism’ is probably overstating it — but he says his own reputation is at stake,” Krauthammer said, comparing Obama’s exit to George W. Bush’s. “I don’t think W. cared as much. I think he thought history will decide how he did, and he didn’t have to meddle in that.”
“As a matter of sort of decency, you let your successor operate — see how he does — and don’t heckle him from the sidelines. I’m not sure Obama plays on the same playbook.”
Not the same playbook at all. Bush, like his father before him, had class. Eisenhower had it, and to spare.
If Obama an ounce of it, he’d know how to say goodbye.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised repeatedly to “drain the swamp” in Washington and — if we were to follow the metaphor — the Republican-controlled Congress will likely act as the pump.
While Trump has been busy laying the groundwork for clearing away the political muck, banning lobbyists from serving in his administration and pushing for an amendment to introduce term limits to Congress, among other measures, the men and women of the House and Senate will eventually do the heavily lifting.
Now, the House of Representatives may be making the biggest move yet in that direction, thanks to the revival of a 140-year-old rule.
For those of you who may have forgotten in the age of executive orders and actions, changes in federal law are supposed to originate in Congress, making the legislative branch the key to ending Washington’s toxic culture.
Now, according to The Washington Post, the GOP-controlled House has used the first week of the new Congress to reinstate the Holman Rule, an 1876 provision that can use an amendment to an appropriations bill to reduce the salary of an individual government employee to $1.
The rule would let lawmakers target civil servants who abuse their posts but still have union protections. The rule could, for instance, have been used on former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, locus of the IRS’ intimidation scandal.
While Lerner faced minimal consequences for her wide-ranging role in the scandal — she refused to reveal much of anything to congressional investigators — The Weekly Standard pointed out that she received $129,000 in bonuses and a yearly pension that could top $100,000.
And, as The New York Times reported in April of 2015, when it came to the VA scandal in which government employees had manipulated wait times for veterans seeking appointments, “the real number of people removed from their jobs is … at most, three.”
However, The Washington Post made the re-emergence of the Holman Act sound like an incipient, low-key, dictatorial purge.
“The use of the rule would not be simple; a majority of the House and the Senate would still have to approve any such amendment,” the Post reported. “At the same time, opponents and supporters agree that the work of 2.1 million civil servants, designed to be insulated from politics, is now vulnerable to the whims of elected officials.”
Yes, how dare these elected officials curtail the whims of unelected, often unaccountable officials by means of their own whims, (which actually comes in the form of a vote)?
For that matter, it’s interesting that the Post chooses to report that this is about endangering employees who should be insulated from politics. This is entirely about government servants whose actions, often political, are insulated from even the most reasonable of consequences.
Democrats and federal employees unions, meanwhile, have responded in a typically irrational fashion: they’ve taken to calling the reinstatement the “Armageddon Rule.”
“This is part of a very chilling theme that federal workers are seeing right now,” Maureen Gilman, legislative director for the National Treasury Employees Union, told The Washington Post.
Republican leaders, on the other hand, played up the rule’s benefits.
“This is a big rule change inside there that allows people to get at places they hadn’t before,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, adding that “all agencies should be held accountable and tested in a manner, and this is an avenue to allow them to do it.”
So, federal government employees actually find it “chilling” that they might be held to account for their performance and possible corruption. The idea that Republicans might take to putting random names of government employees in appropriation bills for fun or for vengeance seems unlikely, and the real issue here is the erosion of entrenched power in Washington.
This is why America elected Donald Trump and returned the GOP to control of both chambers: to fundamentally change the way Washington works. Granted, many swamp dwellers are going to complain loudly. However, that shouldn’t stop the draining process from taking place with all deliberate speed.