Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here
A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.
Or you can just order it on Amazon
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The United States has survived a Civil War and two world wars, and the Cold War.
But can it survive Russian bots? And a search for “monsters.”
Thirteen Russians were indicted on Friday–none were arrested because they don’t live here–for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by acting as “trolls” from St. Petersburg. These “bots” utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stir up controversy and discord. The group that the accused were associated with was appropriately known as “the Troll Farm.” The scheme was hatched in 2013, a year before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president, which you’ll recall was initially viewed by nearly everyone as a sideshow and a stage for the real estate mogul to promote his businesses and his Celebrity Apprentice television franchise.
Last spring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced his appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and…any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
As with the indictments of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, who briefly was Trump’s campaign manager, and Rick Gates, none of this has anything to do with so-called Russian collusion between Trump World and Russia. The same can be said of the plea deals between former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and low-lever staffer George Papadopolous. These four men clearly fall under “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” The last two pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials but not colluding with Russia. The first two have been charged for actions that predate Trump’s presidential run.
Which led the president to remark on Twitter a few hours ago, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”
I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!
So far Rosenstein, remember he’s the man who appointed Mueller as special prosecutor, agrees.
“There is no allegation that any American is a knowing participant,” Rosenstein said when announcing the indictments of the 13 Russians. “There is no allegation that the charge altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
And the search for “monsters,” Trump calls it a witch hunt, goes on. While Mueller seems to be on to something with the bots, where was Barack Obama when the Troll Farm broke ground during his presidency? Obama famously and wrongly ridiculed Mitt Romney for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe” in a debate. Shortly before leaving office, Obama did tell Vladimir Putin, “cut it out.”
All the same, America will survive the bots.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. His wife, who was born in the Soviet Union, is not a Russian spy, she assures him.
Almost a year ago here at Da Tech Guy I wrote this about Chris Kennedy entering the race for the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor.
He’s not a people person. I can’t remember who said it, but a wiser scribe than me said something along these lines about Hillary Clinton, “Some chefs can’t cook in front of an audience. And Hillary can’t do politics in front of people.”
And that’s Kennedy too.
Chris, a son of Robert F. Kennedy, has lived on Chicago’s North Shore for many years, for much of that time he ran Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, which his family used to own.
Kennedy still can’t cook in front of an audience.
Last year entered the fray of Democratic politics after years of begging from prominent pols.
As I noted in my that Kennedy post, a disastrous elevator interview at a 2016 Democratic National Convention event when he as still weighing his gubernatorial run betrayed Kennedy as a hothead. He is one. A trusted reader of my own blog told me that many years ago he witnessed Kennedy throw a drink in the face of a woman at a chamber of commerce event.
Kennedy’s campaign hasn’t caught fire, unless you include his self-immolation in recent weeks. JB Pritzker, who is part of another Democratic political family that so far hasn’t produced an electoral office holder, has sucked most of the oxygen in the room. He’s gathered most of the endorsements from Democratic politicians and from labor unions. By all accounts he is the frontrunner in the race. While the Pritzker name isn’t as politically magical as the Kennedy name, JB is worth over $3 billion and he’s self-funding his campaign. Chris Kennedy is wealthy enough to live in a huge mansion in one of Illinois’ wealthiest communities, but he is only a meager millionaire who can’t afford the Pritzker approach to campaign finance.
Illinois’ gubernatorial primary will take place on March 20.
Let’s look at Kennedy’s recent stumbles.
Early this month Kennedy accused Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, of purposely driving blacks out of the city to expedite gentrification.
Jeanne Ives, the conservative legislator who is challenging incumbent Bruce Rauner in the Republican Primary, said that “fathers in the home” is the solution to gun violence in Chicago. A bit simplistic? Perhaps. But single-parent homes–which almost always means that there is no father there–by all accounts is a root cause of inner city violence.
Kennedy’s response was, “Well, I wish I could agree with you. I didn’t have a father in my life. Somebody shot him.” RFK’s death of course was a tragedy but his assassination was not a symptom of inner city violence.
Kennedy then stormed out of the forum.
Rauner is ignoring Ives’ challenge and has been running TV ads across the state and online playing excerpts of FBI wiretaps of Pritzker speaking with then-Governor Rod Blagojevich over a possible appointment to be Illinois treasurer, which have been effective.
I think Bruce Rauner is trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois. And we may disagree on what that is, but his willingness to speak truth to power, to take on the powers that have been strangling our economy for decades in this state is something that I think he should be applauded for.
Rauner has been consistently defeated in his attacks on “the powers,” which are centered upon longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Democrats of course pounced on Kennedy’s pro-Rauner comments.
Last week at a televised candidate forum moderator Carol Marin asked participants to say something nice about an opponent, just as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were invited to do at one of their debates.
Pritzker lauded Kennedy’s charitable work with Special Olympics. Kennedy couldn’t return the favor, calling Pritzker “the poster child of all that’s wrong with the corrupt system in our state – it’s difficult for me to heap praise on him.”
Realizing his mistake, after the forum Kennedy cited Pritzer’s efforts for children’s charities.
It’s gotten so bad for Kennedy that the little-known Daniel Biss, a leftist state senator who represents a district near my home, is seen by some as the best-positioned challenger to Pritzker. In his latest ad, Biss attacks Rauner, Trump, Prtizker, and Kennedy.
Last year Pritzker was caught scamming the complicated and esoteric property tax system in Cook County, where Chicago is. Kennedy blew the whistle on Pritzker, but forgot his own shady history on tax appeals.
So goes the attempt to plant a seed of the Kennedy dynasty in Illinois.
John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.
I’m pretty busy today working on the Trump Year one Lunch and Panel event in Leominster MA at noon today (you can still buy tickets here or at the door for $20 which includes an all you can eat buffet) so I don’t have a lot of time for a long piece on shutdowns, Tom Brady or even POTUS’ appearance at the March for Life.
Nevertheless I would like to take a few minutes before I get out of bed and have to be on overdrive for the next 12 hours to note that as President Trumps 2nd year begins and as everyone in media and government who predicted doom for Trump in both 2016 & 2017 continues to do so for him and the GOP in 2018 things continue to happen that favor the president.
As the leader of the Palestinian authority continues on anti-semitic rants (and is defended by the Sorus funded so called “Jewish” advocacy group J-Street as he does ) the US has decided to answer is the best way possible to show the old game of of pay and look the other way is done:
“There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded,” the official said.
The US had frozen a $125 million grant to UNRWA earlier this month, amounting to one third of the US annual aid to the organization. Part of the grant was unfrozen Tuesday.
The move follows tweets by US President Donald Trump in which he questioned the wisdom of providing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority given their refusal to resume peace talks with Israel.
Common Core has been a Tea Party issue since day one. GOP members have given lip service to reigning it in for years with little effect. On the Campaign Trail Donald Trump hit it hard but we heard little about it after he was elected but American Conservative has the transcript of Secretary Devos’ speech on the subject noting the failure of national standards both during the Bush years
President Bush, the “compassionate conservative,” and Senator Kennedy, the “liberal lion,” both worked together on the law. It said that schools had to meet ambitious goals… or else. Lawmakers mandated that 100 percent of students attain proficiency by 2014. This approach would keep schools accountable and ultimately graduate more and better-educated students, they believed.
Turns out, it didn’t. Indeed, as has been detailed today, NCLB did little to spark higher scores. Universal proficiency, touted at the law’s passage, was not achieved. As states and districts scrambled to avoid the law’s sanctions and maintain their federal funding, some resorted to focusing specifically on math and reading at the expense of other subjects. Others simply inflated scores or lowered standards.
And Obama years
The Obama administration dangled billions of dollars through the “Race to the Top” competition, and the grant-making process not so subtly encouraged states to adopt the Common Core State Standards. With a price tag of nearly four and a half billion dollars, it was billed as the “largest-ever federal investment in school reform.” Later, the Department would give states a waiver from NCLB’s requirements so long as they adopted the Obama administration’s preferred policies — essentially making law while Congress negotiated the reauthorization of ESEA.
Unsurprisingly, nearly every state accepted Common Core standards and applied for hundreds of millions of dollars in “Race to the Top” funds. But despite this change, the United States’ PISA performance did not improve in reading and science, and it dropped in math from 2012 to 2015.
But the Donald Trump administration has had enough:
The trend line remains troubling today. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress data, two-thirds of American fourth graders still can’t read at the level they should. And since 2013, our 8th grade reading scores have declined.
At HotAir Jazz Shaw notes the speech both for what it critiques and what it suggests as alternatives, namely allowing teaches to TEACH and comments thus:
Wouldn’t it be ironic if we actually made some significant strides forward in fixing our largely broken education system during this term, but had it sneak through under the radar while everyone else was busy screaming at each other about whether or not the President’s cholesterol level is too high? This was one of the better speeches on education that’s been given in a long time. The question is how much DeVos will be able to hammer through without politics poisoning the entire process.
But in the meantime, as far as Common Core goes… it’s dead, Jim.
I’m thinking more and more that it’s less a question of irony of these thing happening under the radar than by designed but no matter how it happens chalk this up to another campaign promise kept and another conservative priority handled.
Apple “anticipates repatriation tax payments of approximately $38 billion as required by recent changes to the tax law. A payment of that size would likely be the largest of its kind ever made,” the company said.
Using the new 15.5 percent repatriation tax rate, the $38 billion tax payment disclosed by Apple means they are planning a $245 billion repatriation.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) is giving many employees a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, rounding out a series of investment announcements made on Wednesday.
The iPhone maker will start to issue stock grants to most employees worldwide in the next few months, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Earlier on Wednesday, Apple said it would inject $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years, as a result of the tax cut signed by President Donald Trump, to fund a new campus, data centers and 20,000 new jobs. Apple will also pay a $38 billion repatriation tax, bringing roughly $252 billion in cash back to the U.S.
Representatives from Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We estimate about 100,000 employees will benefit, which implies a $250m liability that will vest likely in 2 years,” said Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster.
Donald Trump reportedly isn’t all that popular in the tech left but I’ll wager the prospect of further bonus’ of this nature is and I suspect that this will be remembered come election day in 2018.
Combine all of these successes and more that I don’t have time to mention now with a Trump boom and the left shutting down government for the sake of illegal aliens and I think the trendlines for 2018 will continue to move in their new direction.
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Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m supporting Rauner’s Republican challenger, state representative Jeanne Ives in the March primary election.
Ives is attacking Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actually he has little to answer for–as Rauner has not accomplished much of anything. For her part Ives is promoting common sense reforms that only public-sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amending the state constitution so pension benefits can be changed, that is, so payment increases can be lowered, and having new state employees enroll in 401(k) plans.
Deals with the Democrats’ state worker wing, the public-sector unions, that some Republican governors signed off on–but not Rauner–have burdened the Prairie State with $250 billion in pension debt. Retiring at 50 with full benefits is nice–except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illinois’ current budget is $36 billion and a whopping one-quarter of it goes to government worker pension payments. Illinois has suffered from the worst credit rating among the states for years, currently that rating is just one level above junk.
Illinoisans are responding sensibly and predictably–for four straight years Illinois has had negative population growth.
There is little to celebrate during Illinois’ bicentennial year.
Two candidates on the Democratic side are getting most of the attention from the media and presumably it’s a race between them, as there is currently no polling data on gubernatorial race. Billionaire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the family that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has collected the lion’s share of endorsements from prominent Democrats and the party’s union allies. He the only Democratic candidate regularly running ads on radio, television, and on the internet. The other prominent contender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
Neither have much to say about Illinois’ long-running fiscal crisis and solutions for it, other than “taxing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.
Pritzker’s web advertisements are a daily presence on my Facebook and Pandora pages–in these Pritzker almost always attacks Donald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not visited Illinois since he was elected president. Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-point plant to resist the president. And when the inevitable spring tornado tears through Illinois bringing death and destruction, who will Governor Pritzker call for help?
Since Trump has been monopolized as a scapegoat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his targets is a worthy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as the Chicago Machine. Pritzker owns a mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He purchased a smaller mansion that sits next to his. The billionaire didn’t maintain it–and then he successfully appealed his property tax assessment with Berrios’ office because the other mansion was “vacant and uninhabitable,” saving Pritzker a bundle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tribune for his assessing practices, which the Chicago Tribunesays favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is calling for Berrios to resign as assessor, but the tiny yet powerful law firm where the longtime state House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, Michael Madigan, is a partner was hired to lower the property taxes of a company owned by Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart.
Last week Kennedy moved on to another unpopular target, Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” Kennedy said at a press conference held in a predominately African-American neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” he added.
Phrased succinctly, Rahm, according to Kennedy, is driving blacks out of Chicago.
For a variety of reasons, including most notably high crime and execrable unionized schools, in sheer numbers and by percentage, the black population of many large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-foil hat stuff.
And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illinois’ pension debacle? Nothing with the former and a just a little bit in regards to the latter, since Rahm, a longtime prominent Illinois Democrat, was silent about the festering fiscal disease that is devouring ILL-inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss somewhere in the middle.
But the role of scapegoats, using the term in the modern sense, is to defer attention away from larger problems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solutions–or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.
Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illinois math” to kick the pension problem down the road isn’t an option anymore. Illinois has reached the cliff.
John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.
It’s 10:30 PM and as I write this the AP is calling Alabama for Jones (although some networks have not yet done so) and the spin has already begun.
This is Scott Brown x 10! (It’s not the MSM didn’t spend a month hitting Coakely 24 x 7 nor accusing her of sexual sins will take it back in a walk )
This means the Democrats have a shot at the senate in 2018 (They don’t it means that after 2018 the GOP majority will likely be 5 instead of 6)
This hurts the Trump agenda and tax cuts (that’s fair true but if the GOP wasn’t willing to repeal Obamacare with 52 votes 51 isn’t going to make a huge difference)
That hurts Bannon (A fair point but it’s going to be a lot of fun when the establishment that tried to bury him comes to strong conservatives and asks us to hold our nose for a RINO again)
It hurts Trump (A little but let’s not forget he was for Strange and his entire argument was “I need this vote”, not “I love Roy Moore”)
But what really matters , the really big story is the opportunity that has been lost by the GOP / right that they completely fail to see.
This was the best chance to absolutely bury the MSM and the left and the GOP Establishment has thrown it away. If Roy Moore had managed to pull it off even with the left pushing unsubstantiated accusations 24 x 7 for months and still couldn’t beat him then they would have been completely finished. It would have been the final demoralizing blow that they unlikely never would have recovered from. And if in the very unlikely case actual evidence of wrongdoing had been produced after the election Moore could have been removed and replaced by an appointed republican.
That we had the MSM on the floor and let them up is inexcusable and will cost republicans and conservatives for decades to come. That people did not see this is incredible and that is the real sad thing about Alabama to me.
What a waste.
Closing thought. Now that the Democrats have won the watch every single member of the media who insisted that the allegations against Roy Moore were serious, credible and demanded action suddenly decide they’re old news and the accusers who made them suddenly decide they’re not worth perusing them in the courts at any level. Particularly as such courts would require the rules of evidence be followed and statements made under oath under pains of perjury.
At my own blog and here at Da Tech Guy, I enthusiastically backed the candidacy of Bruce Rauner, the current Republican governor of Illinois.
Count me as an ex-supporter. I’ll be voting for state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in next spring’s primary.
Rauner was a political newcomer when he narrowly defeated unpopular incumbent governor Pat Quinn three years ago. He became the first gubernatorial candidate in the Land of Lincoln to win a majority of the vote–albeit a very small one–since Rod Blagojevich’s first victory in 2002.
Rauner’s campaign slogans were “Bring Back Illinois” and “Shake Up Springfield.” He hasn’t done either which is why, in its upcoming cover story, National Review is calling Rauner “the worst Republican governor in America.”
After Quinn’s own narrow win in 2010, he and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), by far the most powerful politician in Illinois, ramrodded through the General Assembly what was called a temporary income tax increase, which would expire shortly after the 2014 gubernatorial election. At that point, after Quinn’s presumed next win, the tax increase would be voted on again and made permanent.
But fed-up Prairie State voters, most of whom are corralled into gerrymandered legislative districts created by Madigan, who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party, have no other way to fight back except at the top of the ticket every four years. They chose Rauner to stop the bleeding.
In his previous career Rauner was a venture capitalist. When he took over a company he could fire the CEO. He can’t do that with Madigan. So what followed was a game of chicken. Rauner, as part of his Turnaround Agenda, supported such common sense reforms as term limits for legislators, later changed to term limits for legislative leaders, which was clearly aimed at Madigan, who has been speaker of the House for an unprecedented 32 of the last 34 years. It’s Madigan who Reuters calls “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.”
Other Turnaround Agenda items included tort and pension reform–Illinois has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in America–a ban on public sector unions contributing to state political campaigns, an option for local governments to enact right-to-work laws, as well as a two year property tax freeze.
Rauner said he was not averse to an income tax increase–but in exchange for his support of a tax hike he wanted his Agenda Turnaround agenda passed.
For thirty months the game of chicken continued, and that included an unprecedented two years without a budget. Illinois’ pile of unpaid bills tripled, reaching a level of over $16 billion. In the end Boss Madigan won. Overriding Rauner’s veto and some Republican legislative defections–who provided cover for Democrats in unsafe seats to vote “No,” Madigan’s 32 percent income tax hike became law.
Rauner and the GOP didn’t see a single part of the Turnaround Agenda included in that tax hike. Its passage was a colossal failure for the Republicans and long-suffering Illinois taxpayers.
And Rauner has been a colossal failure too. Yet he’s still running for reelection. In his video announcement Rauner dons a leather jacket and rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which is ironic as southeastern Wisconsin, which is where Harley-Davidson is based, has been a direct beneficiary of Illinois’ decline.
The failures of Rauner don’t end with Madigan winning the tax increase war. Breaking a promise he made Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, Rauner, who is pro-choice, signed into law a bill that keeps abortion legal in the state even if the US Supreme Court overturns the Roe vs. Wade decision. The bill also allows Medicaid funding of abortion as well as funding of abortions for state employees. And Rauner also signed into law a bill, weeks before California did, making Illinois a sanctuary state.
Ives, who is Rauner’s only declared Republican opponent, voted against both bills when they were up for vote in the House.
Last week the governor drove home the gist of his own failures when he said of Illinois, “I’m not in charge.” Who is? Madigan, because he has “rigged the system,” Rauner says. Is that true? Probably. But Rauner has had three years to unrig it. That’s why voters hired him.
What expectation do we have that Rauner can unrig it in a second term?
In her campaigns announcement Ives said that she wants to “realign public sector salaries and benefits to be commensurate with their private sector counterparts who finance it all.” Specifically she favors 401(k) plans for new state hires. Ives, a West Point graduate and a mother of five, also backs property tax reform and in an acknowledgement to one of President Trump’s campaign themes, vows to fight for the “forgotten people in Illinois” Of which there are plenty, including me.
In that campaign introduction Ives refers to the governor as “Benedict Rauner.” While I don’t view Rauner as purposely traitorous to the voters who supported him, he has been a spectacular disappointment as governor. I apologize to anybody who took my advice and voted for him.
Rauner says he is “not in charge” of Illinois yet he still wants four additional years of not being in charge. Who in their right mind can get behind that? Rauner says “it’s time to finish the job.” But he hasn’t even started it yet. Imagine Rauner as a homebuilder and three years after hiring him all that he has to show for his efforts is an unkempt pile of bricks paid for with money borrowed from you.
Ironically both Navarro & Clyburn are half right there seems to be a different standard for pols but that standard is different because their bosses aren’t a single board that can act at any time but the voters who only get to make a call every two to four years and thus only express their will at that time, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Yet unless if voters had no idea about this kind of thing going on or allegations of same then they didn’t make an informed choice. This is exactly the situation with Senator Franken and Rep Conyers.
Fortunately there is an easy solution , if they maintain (as does Rep Conyers) that allegations are false or have expressed contrition (as does Senator Franken) the thing to do is resign AND run in the special election that follows.
By doing this they give the voters the chance to make an informed decision and decide if:
They think the charges are true and want him out
They think the charges are true but, for whatever reason think they’re not disqualifying
They’re unsure about the charges but prefer a change
They’re unsure about the charges but prefer to stand pat
They think the charges are false but prefer a change
They think the charges are false and are sticking with their guy.
Ironically this is exactly the position that both President Trump and Judge Roy Moore were put in. Unlike Franken and Conyers who as liberals were protected with all their might by the press, because of the “R” next to their names that same media made sure that voters were intimately acquainted with allegations against President Trump and Roy Moore come election time.
In the case of President Trump either rejected the charges as partisan BS (like me) or decided that Felonia Von Paintsuit was such a danger to the country that she must be stopped (like many others) and elected him anyways over Ana Navarro’s objections.
In Alabama voters are going to get that same chance with Roy Moore, if potential Moore voters think the accusations as they stand are disqualifying (I don’t as I’ve already explained here) or that Moore is lying and choose to reject him they can do so, but if they think the charges are either false, unproven, not disqualifying, or a political hit they can reject them and choose to elect him over Ana Navarro’s objections.
I think the voters they represent deserve that same chance, not only on Franken and Conyers, but on every single congressman who had a settlement paid by taxpayer funds for harassment. They should be exposed at once, resign and if they think they still deserve their seat run for it and make their best case to the voters they represent.
That way like NBC or Miramax or PBS those in charge are in a position to make an informed decision without waiting for November in an even-numbered year and if Jim Clyburn or Ana Navarro or even I don’t like that decision, well that’s just too bad because the call and the responsibility isn’t ours it’s theirs.
Whenever John McCain drives me crazy with his actions in the US Senate I try to remember the two bright sides of his tenure. As a conservative Hawk the first is his unwavering defense of the American soldier but as a conservative the second and biggest was his catapulting of Sarah Palin into the national scene. As I’ve written many times she is not only responsible for many of the actual tea party victories that ironically have given folks like John McCain chairmanships. McCain might be embarrassed by her and the establishment might hate her but in the House and Senate they love the positions of power she made possible
In the same way I have a soft spot for Mitch McConnell. While he is a poor leader of senators (Harry Reid was able to do much more with much less) his willingness to stand and fight on the Supreme Court in defiance of a media onslaught not only prevented a liberal majority but has made possible the cementing of a conservative majority if another opening comes during the Trump years.
But even more importantly while he has not been able to get his members to vote to repeal Obamacare and has yet to deliver the votes for the GOP tax plan he has kept them in lockstep when it comes to the courts as CNBC notes:
But this isn’t just about sheer numbers, it’s about ideology too. While President Trump and conservatives have diverged in matters of policy several times over the past year, the judicial nomination process is decidedly not one of them. The nominees sent to the Senate from the White House are more conservative and even younger than what we saw during President George W. Bush’s two terms in office.
Moreover this is happening at a time when the importance of the courts are (unfortunately)
In case the importance of making an impact on the courts is lost on anyone, just note the many setbacks the Trump administration has suffered this year alone thanks to the courts. Delays and changes to the White House-imposed travel and immigration bans have grabbed the most attention. But the administration is also dealing with judicial push back and other potential hurdles on everything from its opposition to the AT&T-Time Warner merger to its transgender military ban.
Now fast forward a couple of years where the Trump judicial appointment surge will have set in across the federal system. Just for this administration alone, that could make a huge difference. And for conservative causes and cases over time, it will be even more significant.
And if the GOP wants to convince conservative voters thinking of staying home in 2018 to turn out these last two paragraphs should be used as their rallying cry.
Sure, the tax reform and Obamacare repeal bills may be jeopardized by internal spats between the GOP and the White House. But real history is being made in the courts all thanks to a bad bet made by Senator Reid and remarkable cooperation between the Trump team, Senator Grassley, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. While the fights with other senators like Flake et al may grab headlines, these judicial confirmations will have a much bigger impact.
And unless the Democrats win control of the Senate in 2018, there’s nothing they can do about it.
So as much as Mitch & company drive me mad I’m going to urge folk to turn out and keep them in power because of one simple fact.
PM James Hacker:Nobody knows it’s not true. Press statements aren’t made under oath
Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986
Harry Faversham: One moment, sir. Your famous account of Balaclava’s not accurate, you know. General Burroughs: Not – Harry Faversham: Not accurate, sir. General Burroughs: Not accurate? Harry Faversham: No, sir.
The Four Feathers 1939
One of the smartest sayings I’ve ever heard was this: There are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth.
There is how you remember events, how I remember events and how events actually took place. Sometimes we get them right, sometimes we get them wrong. Sometimes a particular piece of an event stands in our memory, other times over the years they get embellished from repeated retelling and human nature being what it is, such stories as they change never tend to make us look worse they always tend to make you either look better or make yourself the object of pity.
The best example I can think of this is the classic and slightly comic, scene from the ending of the classic 1939 move the Four Feathers (the start of which I quoted above) where Harry Faversham, to eliminate the final feather of cowardice given to him, corrects the General’s record on the story hehas been repeatedly telling all through the film:
Harry Faversham: Let me recall the position. Out of the way, Peter. Here are the Russians, behind the walnuts. Guns. Guns. Guns. Here’s the British Infantry. The thin red line. [dips finger in the red wine and draws a line on the table] Here’s the commander in chief. [places an apple on the table] And here are you… [puts a pineapple down on the table] at the head of the old 68th, correct? General Burroughs: Absolutely. Harry Faversham: You were riding a horse called Caesar, which my father sold you… because, fine horseman though he was, he could never hold him himself. General Burroughs: Quite right. Quite right. Harry Faversham: Then, according to your story, you said… “The 68th will move forward. “ General Burroughs: Quite right. Quite right. Harry Faversham: Yes, sir. The trouble is, you never said it. General Burroughs: – Ne – Harry Faversham: You never said it, sir. General Burroughs: Never said it? Harry Faversham: No, sir. You never had time. At that moment, my father told me, Caesar – uh, Caesar – Caesar… [puts a spoon under the Pineapple ] startled by a stray bullet, took the bit between his teeth… and dashed straight at the Russian lines. Away went Caesar, away went you, away went the 68th…away went the commander in chief, away went everybody… and another magnificent mistake was added to an already magnificent record. But nobody ever said, “The 68th will move forward. ” Unless it was the horse. Come on, sir. Own up. General Burroughs: Well, well, well, well, after all these years, it’s rather difficult to remember all the details… but… confound the boy!
I shall never be able to tell that story again! Harry Faversham: [Turns to the General’s daughter] Ethne, your feather.
This is why body cameras are such a good idea for police, as it gives an accurate (if occasionally incomplete) sequence of events without favor to either the police officer or the suspect (the later being the reason why the left, having insisted on them for year suddenly as a problem with them).
And that brings us to the difference between the allegations against Roy Moore and Al Frankwn, Bill Clinton, John Conyers and Harvey Weinstein.
With Charlie Rose we have an apology. With Al Franken, we have photographic evidence and an apology. With Harvey Weinstein we have decades of large cash settlements, with representative John Conyers we have investigations and settlements paid out. In all those cases there were admissions of guilt or payments to settle claims made.
That leaves Bill Clinton who repeatedly denied what was going on until two things took place: He was forced under oath when Paula Jones launched her sexual harassment suit, and the physical evidence of the semen stained blue dress was produced. Confronted with these two things Bill Clinton came at least partially clean.
So in other words in all of the cases above we have one or more of the following:
An admission of guilt
Investigations by a competent body
Physical evidence of wrongdoing
Accusations made under oath.
What do we have in the Roy Moore case? None of these things. No admission of guilt, no settlements paid to accusers, no investigations made by a competent body. The entire body of physical evidence is an old yearbook signature that the lawyer of the claimant not only refuses to release for examination but admits she has not even asked her client if she saw Mr. Moore sign said book,
As for accusations, we have plenty of people saying all kinds of things from the Icky to the criminal but all of these statements have one thing in common.
None of them are part of a complaint to the authorities, none of them have been made as part of a civil suit, none of them have been made as responses to investigations in progress or as testimony before a competent body.
Or put simply none of them have been made under oath. Nobody from the man claiming they had to watch Moore near cheerleaders to the woman making the accusation of assault at age 14 have been willing as of this writing to make such claims under oath either in the form of a civil or criminal complaint or as sworn testimony concerning them.
They have no hesitation to tell all kinds of narratives to the press or on TV, but not if there is the slightest hint of legal jeopardy from perjury or even the much smaller crime of filing a false police report or the slightest chance that said narrative would be challenged by cross examination or evidence to counter it.
Now as I’ve repeatedly said, if Roy Moore is lying I think he should be toast, even if it means the temporary loss of a senate seat in Alabama (after all the if the GOP won’t pass the bills they promised with 52 votes being down to 51 won’t make much of a difference). On this point I differ with some of my friends on the right. Furthermore it is not out of the realm of possibility that one of those five conditions might be met concerning Roy Moore before election day.
But until I see that happen I will not only continue to support Moore’s campaign for the senate but will call out the dishonorable left/media for lumping Roy Moore with the increasing numbers of proven reprobates from the Harvey Weinstein left based on ephemera.
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