The urgency of national news sometimes casts local politics into the shade. Watch out for that. I spent the last election season preaching “downballot” to anyone who would listen. I have no regrets, in view of some of the issues coming up in my area at the state and local levels that are sure to be reflected in federal policy a few years down the road. Furthermore, the candidates succeeding locally are apt to look to higher office sooner or later.

This came to mind as my Facebook feed kicked up a new ad, inviting me to “like” a Model Citizen’s new page. My internal alarms went off. This MC ran last cycle for mayor of the largest city in the state, and lost by a whisker. She’s back for another crack at it.

Ms. Model Citizen was endorsed last time around by EMILY’s List, which was established for exactly one reason: to elect pro-abortion women. Ms. MC downplayed that in her last campaign. The EMILY’s List material promoting her, knowing that the unrestricted-abortion line wouldn’t play well in the city, emphasized her aldermanic experience. I’m betting on the same game plan this time.

And when that happens, it’ll be last time all over again: ask any ten likely voters in that city if they’d support a pro-abortion candidate for mayor, and most would say no. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of EMILY’s List, and nine of them would go “huh?” But ask them if they’d support the alderman from ward X, and it’s a different story.

The last time the mayor of the largest city in the state ran for higher office, he wound up in Congress. Local experience and name recognition counted heavily.

It’s not just the prospect of upward mobility that gives me pause; it’s the more immediate effect on local policy. Who determines local school policies, as least as far the feds allow? Who lends credibility to certain groups by marching or volunteering with them? Who names volunteers to local committees? Who determines the priorities in municipal budgets?

Yup: the locals. While Sean Spicer is briefing reporters about developments in Washington, there’s plenty going on in your own town, without much publicity.

Watch those candidates, whenever your local elections may be. Watch those campaign finance reports. Shine a light on stealth efforts, like EMILY’s List mailings that fail to mention abortion advocacy. Care now, because you can be sure there are interest groups who would be happy for you to leave the caring to them.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

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Olimometer 2.52

And if you aren’t inclined or in a position to kick in financial

I paraphrase, but here’s the transcript from last night’s Tucker Carlson show, where Brit Hume asked an excellent question,

Emphasis added (starting at 3:05 into the video, link via Real Clear Politics):

BH: There’s one other thing worth mentioning here — that the FBI director also said in an answer to the question that he had found no evidence, no information pointing to a wiretap of Donald Trump or of Trump Tower. No evidence of that. However, what about this investigation that’s been going on since July of the Trump campaign and Trump associates?

TC: Great question!

BH: Are we not to believe there is no surveillance associated with that? We do know, as you pointed out, that Mike Flynn was caught up in a wiretap. That may be a routine wiretap of the Russian ambassador to whom he was speaking. But who knows?”

“And when he made this announcement, Comey, that there was this investigation going on, which he said he received permission from higher up to do this announcement — there was a story back on January 19 in The New York Times, which basically laid this whole thing out and said it was based on surveillance that indicated there had been these contacts. That story also said it wasn’t clear that the wiretaps turned up anything about the Trump campaign. So, we kind of don’t know where we are. And remember this — this is also supposedly a counter-intelligence investigation, which that means it is basically national security matters. So, what’s up with that? I mean what’s that tell us about how likely they are to find about Putin or collusion? One wonders.”

TC: You just made the point of the month, if not year. If there was an investigation, and there was, there was surveillance.

And we wait for Congress to demand an answer to that question.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

As you might have noticed over the last month I shot a video or two or ninety while I was at CPAC 2017 interviewing a lot of people attendees. If you watched my interviews you will notice they were very similar in that I asked a very specific set of questions to those who came. This is why.

There have already been plenty of words written about why the Trump voter went with him. In many ways the CPAC crowd is a very different crowd than the avg working class Trump voter.

1. They can either afford to come to CPAC (travel hotel and meals and time from work cost money) or will save up to come to CPAC each year.

2. They tend to be activists, former activists or future activists.

3. They follow the political world the way I follow Doctor Who

Thus to understand part of the current GOP/conservative coalition (and lets face it that’s what it is) the activist community must be understood.  That was my goal at CPAC.  I need to discover the whys and wherefores of what these conservative activists think about the Trump administration.  To do this I settled on these four questions:

Who did you support in the primaries?
Did you vote for Trump in the general and if you did when did you decide to do so?
What do you think of the job he is doing now?
What is the one thing you want to see President Trump achieve in his term of office (regardless of length)?

The purpose of those questions were to establish the following about this activist class

Where they were in the primaries
Where they were in the general election
Where they are now
Where the might be in 2018 & 2020

Each of these interviews were data points to answer these questions, here is what I found:

In terms of question 1. (Who did you support?) The most common person people supported was Ted Cruz, I ran into the occasional Rand Paul person, several Marco Rubio fans and a few scattered fans of others from Jeb Bush to Bernie Sanders, but most of the crowd there was a Ted Cruz crowd, which must be why I felt so at home at CPAC.


In terms of question 2, (Did you vote Trump and if so when did you decide to do so) there were three primary groups.

A: The smallest were those who in the end couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Donald Trump. That group consisted of some of the oldest and youngest of those I spoke to. The oldest tended to either have a write in choice or wouldn’t say who they voted for, while the youngest who didn’t vote from Trump tended to go to Gary Johnson but we did have one McMullin guy.

B. The next largest group was those who were party republicans. These people had decided to go with Trump as soon as he had the nomination, because they were republicans and weren’t going to let Clinton win.

C. The largest group were those who in the end went Trump after some thought. There was a lot of variance here. Some decided at the convention, some after much soul-searching at least one person say he finally decided to go Trump while actually in the voting booth. Some had been strong partisans for other candidates, some had gone from one candidate to another but in the end they had gone from Trump, a few with gusto (at least one became a key member in the state Trump team) and many reluctantly but they got there in the end. It’s fair to say that fear of Hillary and what the Democrats would do had a lot to do with that decision.


Question 3 had the most uniform answer of any other. With VERY few exceptions (less than 10%) people were very happy with Donald Trump. They liked the tone, they liked the executive orders but what seemed to be the biggest thing to people, was the feeling of DOING vs TALKING. Of the few who where not very happy, they game him a mixed report card, they liked specific things, but were worried about others or withheld judgement. It’s worth noting that the older folks who didn’t vote for Trump from previous interviews were all in this group while ALL of the younger folks who voted for someone else were in group C, while the young folks in this group tended to be more wonkish.


Question 4:   (What do you want to see Trump get done) had the widest variation of answers, which in one respect was to be expected. I got some abstract answers, vague things about unity, both nationally and within the party. Some who were all about defeating ISIS, others big on the 2nd amendment and a few who talked religious liberty and abortion (far fewer than I expected but that could be because it was my big issue) but there were two answers that were the most common.

One was Obamacare. People wanted it gone, dead, Kaput. A few of them wanted a replacement but more important that what replaced it was the idea that it needed to be dead.

The 2nd was the wall and illegal immigration. While less important to folks than killing Obamacare this was a big issue to a lot of people. They didn’t just want the laws being enforced (as we’ve been seeing lately) they wanted the actual physical wall built that they could see.

Both of these issues add up to both the greatest opportunity and the greatest danger to the Trump administration. Failure to get them done will be the easiest way for the president to lose these people, but if he manages to pull them off the upside is incredible.


So that’s the data based on my interviews,  this is what people said and it is what it is regardless of what anyone thinks of it.

As to what this data means?  Here’s my conclusion

Everything you’re seeing highlighted on TV and in the papers right now by the Press is meaningless Bullshit!

No amount of talk about Russia, Wiretapping or the media wringing their hands about the President’s tweets, his language or anything else by the media, Democrat or the chattering classes makes any difference. These activists don’t care about them and aren’t going to be moved by them.

Even the media’s attempt to promote any conservative groups whining about the current repeal bill, an issue that does matter, are just as meaningless as the rest of the chatter

The only thing that matters in the long run is this: Is Donald Trump going to deliver on these big issues (Obamacare and the Wall) that he highlighted during the campaign?

If this administration can’t answer yes, he is in danger of losing these folks and risks a primary, but if Donald Trump, in the end keeps his eyes on this prize, then these grass room activists are going to be with him when he needs them no matter what anyone in the media says.

As long as President Trump understand this fact, he’s going to do fine, and I have the distinct feeling that he does.

Update: If you didn’t see my videos or coverage here is the lot or check out my youtube channel

3/13 Voices of CPAC 2017 Traci Belmonte in the van, Michael & Mya at the airport

3/12
Voices of CPAC 2017 Emile, Robert Stacy McCain Cynthia Yockey final thoughts
Voices at CPAC 2017 Lee Stranahan, James O’Keefe

3/11
Voices at CPAC 2017 Donna Keene, David Keene and Kayne Robinson of the NRA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Naseem & her Mother Salome, Dustin (Sanders supporter) & Charles from WI

3/10
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Pastor Greg Young and Cody from MD
Voices at CPAC 2017 Senator Rick Santorum

3/9
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Mona Salama & Tyler
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kurt Schlichter and Stephen Kruiser

3/8
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Caleb from South florida and Robert Stacy McCain
Voices at CPAC 2017 Rep Josh Moore NH and Micha Pierce from WI and American Majority

3/7
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Zaire Ali from MD & Daniel from LA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michael Graham & Bill Lewis

3/6
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court NIRSA Liberals strike back, Plus Elliott and Adam
Voices of CPAC 2017 Marc Hayden Conservatives vs the Death Penalty & Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

Update 2: Instalanche, thanks Glenn.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in we will always happily accept your prayers

by baldilocks

It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one whose “surrealism” detector is pinging off the scale. In fact, I’m in good company.

Victor Davis Hansen:

There is now something called the “Resistance,” which by its nomenclature poses that its opposition to Trump is reminiscent of European partisan resistance to Hitler: Affluent progressives are now on the barricades to stop another Holocaust? Cities now nullify federal law in the spirit of the Old Confederacy. A federal judge doesn’t enforce federal law because he says he does not like what the president and his associates said in the past, during the campaign. Op-ed writers overseas wait eagerly for the president’s assassination. At CNN, Fareed Zakaria, wrist-slapped for past plagiarism, melts down while screaming of Trump’s “bullsh**.” Madonna says she has “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

Professor Hansen also outlines the Snoop Dogg/Bow-Wow saga, wherein both rappers bring attention to themselves by using, respectively, their “artistry” and words to express their desire to do harm to both President and Mrs. Trump.

I’m old enough to remember when such people would need to be bailed out of jail for such things. But, anyone who is old enough to remember the political, media, and social climate during the Obama Administration can do that, so I guess that’s nothing to brag about. More from Hansen:

Bad filibusters are now good ones. Vowing to kill, hurt, or remove the president and first family is hip, when it used to be felonious. States’ rights and nullification are now Confederate-cool. Free speech is hate speech. Censorship is a mere trigger warning. Assimilation is cultural appropriation. (…)

More and more Americans today are becoming Stoic dropouts. They are not illiberal, and certainly not reactionaries, racists, xenophobes, or homophobes. They’re simply exhausted by our frenzied culture.

More and more Americans don’t like lectures from the privileged and the wealthy on the pitfalls of privilege and wealth. They don’t like lectures from the privileged and the wealthy on the pitfalls of privilege and wealth. In response, they don’t hike out to monasteries, fall into fetal positions, or write Meditations. Instead, they have checked out mentally from American popular entertainment, sports, and the progressive cultural project in general.

He gives more examples.

A few days ago, I voiced my suspicions that nearly everything popularly believed is Bravo Sierra. This isn’t a new suspicion for me. It began in 2008 and has been buoyed over the years by things like this. Information overload, confirmation bias, lack of analysis skills, ego blindness, and plain old laziness helps the belief in falsehood along. But, as Hansen points out, a lot of people are tired of the BS avalanche and are choosing to remove themselves from its path.

I’m tempted to do it myself, sometimes. But I’m a communicator and an optimist. So, I’ll keep on plugging, buy a metaphorical umbrella against the brown, smelly rain, and wear my waders.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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Sesame Street has broadcast brutal parodies of Donald Trump over the past 40 years.

NPR and PBS are the media outlets liberals love to love.

For example, a Pew research study in 2014 found that liberals rate both the news programs on these outlets as the best in the business. NPR and PBS don’t even make the lists for conservatives.

Why is there such a difference? The American Prospect had this to say about NPR and PBS: “They’re careful, reasoned, polite, cosmopolitan, serious with the occasional touch of whimsy—in short, everything liberals either are or imagine themselves to be. And everyone at NPR seems so nice—how could you not trust them? So liberals do, and most of them listen.”

Simply put, NPR and PBS are the safe zone media if you are a liberal. They also make liberals feel smart. That’s why the news media—staffed largely by liberals—are so opposed to the elimination of funding for NPR and PBS in the Trump budget.

The argument stresses that $600 million is such a small part of the overall budget. That’s more than half a billion dollars the two organizations’ output! As the old barb goes: a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Even a member of the board of CPB, which funds public broadcasting, says that the organizations have strayed from their initial goals.

In a column in The Washington Post, Howard Husock writes, “If public broadcasters continue to receive federal support, they must start appealing to more than just blue-state America. They should revisit and expand the meaning of diversity to include more ideological and geographic perspectives.”

It’s worth noting that the program referred to Trump as “Grump” over several decades in what even The Washington Post calls “surprisingly vicious takedowns of Donald Trump.” For more details, see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/03/20/trump-wants-to-defund-pbs-sesame-street-brutally-parodied-him-for-decades/ It’s one thing to make fun of the president on Saturday Night Live! It’s entirely different for a publicly funded “kids” show.

Amazingly, Sesame Street apparently has no street smarts or business sense. It makes $150 million a year in selling stuff and licensing fees, but it usually operates at a loss.

Other content at PBS generally has reflected a liberal-to-left political slant ever since the network’s inception. As the Capital Research Center reports, “most PBS news programs are little more than left-wing agitprop”; PBS’s “flagship public affairs series, Frontline, typically focuses on “corporate malfeasance” and “political intrigue”; the “human-interest stories on Independent Lens and P.O.V. are politically correct lamentations on social oppression or celebrations of ‘diversity’”; the science program Nova “frequently bemoans man’s destructive interference with nature”; and the series NOW, hosted by David Brancaccio, “is dedicated to blaming corporate America for every crisis and targeting politicians and big media for every cover-up.

Bill Moyers, the former LBJ spokesman, was a prominent host and producer of various PBS programs from 1970 through his retirement in 2004. Toward the end of Moyers’ career, approximately 30 PBS affiliates stopped airing his partisan show NOW, which he hosted before David Brancaccio, during the network’s pledge drives, partly out of fear that the program’s bias would alienate potential donors. NOW had also become an ethical embarrassment because Moyers, without informing his audience, had used his taxpayer-subsidized show to promote guests from at least 16 leftist organizations that had received some $4.8 million in grants from the Schumann Center, which he heads.

PBS’s political bias has been evident in many of its high-profile, special productions over the years. The 2001 documentary Enemies of War, for instance, recounts the 1980s civil war in El Salvador. While denigrating the elected anti-Communist Salvadoran government that was backed by the Reagan administration and was fighting against Marxist terrorists from neighboring Nicaragua, the film lauds the efforts of those who “halted U.S. involvement” in the region and thereby helped El Salvador “generat[e] peace instead of war.”

In 2005, PBS broadcast the three-hour documentary series Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. A PBS synopsis of this production described socialism as “the vision that life could be lived in peace and brotherhood if only property were shared by all and distributed equally, eliminating the source of greed, envy, poverty and strife.”

Other notable, politically charged programs which PBS has aired include:

Alcatraz Is Not an Island, about the 1969 takeover and occupation of Alcatraz by Native American activists

Affluenza, which explores “the high social and environmental costs of materialism and over-consumption”

The Good War and Those Who Refused To Fight It, about conscientious objectors who chose not to take part in combat during World War II

Islam: Empire of Faith, a production that whitewashes the more violent and intolerant aspects of the Muslim faith.

In April 2007, PBS shelved a documentary titled Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center, which examines how moderate American Muslims have struggled to resist Islamic militancy. Frank Gaffney, Jr., co-producer of the film and president of the Center for Security Policy, asserts that PBS suppressed the film because its bluntness did not advance the network’s multicultural agenda which called for programming that was “more flattering to the Islamists.”

In a recent speech, Ken Burns, one of the most prominent fixtures of PBS, gave this description of Donald Trump:

‘’…a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan; an infantile, bullying man who, depending on his mood, is willing to discard old and established alliances, treaties and long-standing relationships. I feel genuine sorrow for the understandably scared and — they feel — powerless people who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken belief that — as often happens on TV — a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions. They can’t. It is a political Ponzi scheme. And asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747.”

PBS also has a lot of leftist financial backers. The Park Foundation, for example, is a major funder of Burns and PBS. The foundation is headed by Adelaide Gomer, who has given money to a variety of leftist causes such an anti-fracking groups. She also got me ousted from my job as the Roy Park Distinguished Chair at Ithaca College—an honorary chair named for her late father—because of my conservative views.

I don’t listen to NPR. I don’t watch PBS. I don’t want to pay anything for either. I know a lot of people who think the same way I do. If the cost of public broadcasting is so relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things, according to its supporters, let those who use the networks pay for them.


Christopher Harper teaches media law.

a week ago we talked about how lucky Canada was because thanks to all those illegal immigrants they would be simply overwhelmed with prosperity.

Imagine my surprise to discover that Canadians don’t like prosperity:

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

I guess prosperity isn’t for everyone

Health care. Russia. Travel ban. Wiretapping. Budget cuts. Leaks. And on and on and on.

Work up a lather, rinse, repeat.

O Lord, grant me relief from the endless cycle of “news” based on the possibly informed insights, half-truths, pure speculation and outright lies that pass as journalism these days.

Never has so much blather been spent on issues that are no more real than unicorn dust or three-legged Martians. Talk about Russia’s links to the 2016 election or illegal wiretapping is ridiculous until the probes are done. Fury or relief over health care changes is silly until the legislation gets through the sausage factory known as Congress. Same with the budget.

As for the travel ban, its outcome is uncertain until it finally gets out of the hands of judges who don’t understand executive authority and confuse campaign speeches with the wording of legal action.

You want solid information? You’re better off these days spending time on Pinterest projects or following some nobody’s Twitter account.

The problem is, outside of Donald Trump, news is impossible. It doesn’t happen anymore. He hasn’t just sucked up all the air in the room — he’s inhaled the Earth’s entire atmosphere. If anything that doesn’t involve the Prez is going on, it’s not getting a dab of ink, a digital pixel or a moment of airtime.

It’s all so boring.

When I was a young man, the idea of a 24-hour news channel seemed like a dream. Most people had only three options for national and global news — CBS, NBC and ABC — and they provided just 22 minutes a day. As a Detroit suburbanite, I could watch Canadian news, which offered a broader outlook on the world. I could only imagine what vistas a daylong news station would open up.

Ted Turner once considered news a joke. When the feds told him to add a news program to Atlanta’s WTBS to fulfill its public service requirements, he put a dog on the air alongside a human anchor. But after TBS became a hit on cable systems, Turner figured he could make more bucks with an all-news channel. Thus was born CNN.

From the start, CNN was a disappointment, offering repetitious reports on easy-to-cover news. Soon enough came the parade of talking heads to tell us what the news really meant. Gee willikers! Instead of being bored every Sunday morning with Meet the Press or Face the Nation, we got a chance to hear puffed-up pundits seven days a week.

My hopes rose briefly when MSNBC came along in 1996; at the time, thanks mainly to David Brinkley, NBC’s news operation was respectable. But MSNBC followed CNN’s template from the start and never distinguished itself until transmuting into a lunatic asylum for deranged leftists.

By the time Fox News came along, the mold for 24-hour news had become unbreakable. But at least we finally got news that the other channels ignored, plus some conservative viewpoints.

The basic problem is all three news channels are obsessed by immediacy instead of context. Got a wildfire in California, snowstorm in New York or school shooting in Colorado? Brace yourself for the wall-to-wall coverage. The networks are like a dog with a bone that keeps gnawing away long after the last shred of meat is gone.

Yes, at times, the networks have provided a tremendous service. CNN earned its stripes with its Gulf War reporting, and all three channels were invaluable on Sept. 11, 2001.

But the tendency to dwell on a single topic above all else is worse than ever today. CNN and MSNBC are hellbent on destroying Trump, and Fox is dedicated (sort of) to protecting him. The coverage has been going on nonstop since Nov. 9, and I’m done in by fatigue. Maybe you are, too.

But it has to end sometime, preferably soon. Because I have a tip for the news networks:  Trump ain’t going anywhere, so get used to him.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – It’s been about seven months since the devastating floods in south Louisiana caused damage to over 60,000 homes and caused billions of dollars in damage. The recovery is ongoing and fraught with frustration. Not one dime of federal money has been allocated to Louisiana flood victims.

Many residents have been living in campers on their own property next to ruined homes while awaiting FEMA dollars to help rebuild. Some are living in shelters. Some live in their garage. Some move around between friends and family. Some are even living in tents on their own property, unable to move back into their homes which are covered in black mold and unable to do repairs until the money starts to flow.

In September, the federal government allocated $1.6 billion in federal aid for Louisiana but not one dime has been released to those in need.

Congressman Garret Graves represents much of the flooded area and he wanted the federal money sent directly to the local level where it could be put in the hands of those who need it most but the state refused, opting instead to hire a contractor to manage the flood recovery program; that bidding process is a mess. Graves released this statement last week when the contract worth $250 million fell through:

Tent living post flood.

This is very disappointing news. This will further delay the allocation of badly-needed flood relief funds that we appropriated in September. It is impossible to explain to flood victims why $1.6 billion in recovery dollars are stuck in the bureaucracy while homes remain gutted, moldy and un-insulated.

This also further challenges our efforts in Congress to provide additional flood relief dollars when not a penny of September funding has been allocated to flood victims. On August 19th, I urged that a contractor be hired to administer this program.

Taking away $250 million or more from flood victims and giving it contractors to administer this program and to take seven months or more to get the money out the door further victimizes our flood survivors.

This has nothing to do with politics; it is just frustrating and sloppy.  Finally, anyone that attempts to blame these delays on the federal systems lacks a fundamental understanding of the process and opportunities to expedite flood relief.

As it is right now, nobody is in charge of flood relief in Louisiana. 

It appears that the politicians are afraid to touch the issue and with the exception of Congressman Graves, you’d be hard pressed to find one politician who has been through those flood ravaged neighborhoods or met with those desperate people since August 2016.

Entire neighborhoods remain empty in Baton Rouge.

Immediately after the flooding, and in fact while the flooding was still ongoing, a group of citizen soldiers, later dubbed the Cajun Navy and which I wrote about here, jumped into action.  These people were citizens with boats and/or a willingness to help. They worked alongside the authorities and saved countless lives and have continued to provide aid and resources to those still frustrated by government red tape and bureaucracy.

And now, a 501c3 non-profit, Cajun Relief Foundation, is partnering with a few local organizations to get help to the citizens that most need it. They are working non-stop to help people get household items that they need like beds, tables, appliances, silverware. Many of these victims were folks that were already “at risk,” and had health issues, transportation issues, employment issues, etc.

Most of these victims are self-reliant people who don’t want to ask for help even though they badly need it.

Imagine navigating the task of demolition, clean-up, rebuilding, negotiating with insurance agencies, mortgage companies, FEMA, the federal government, the state, and crooked opportunists who only want to rip you off when sometimes the best you can do is comfort your children when it starts to rain and they are terrified.

One of those citizen soldiers is Shannon Easley who oversees a distribution center of materials and supplies in her church. Shannon goes out into the communities and talks to the people; she makes live Facebook videos of their plight to bring awareness of the need. Last week she talked to a man who is blind in one eye and on dialysis three times a week; Shannon kept asking him what he needed but he just kept telling her how much he had already done. He was so proud of his work! But, it’s clear there are needs there.

Cajun Relief Foundation posted this on their Facebook page last week and this post speaks to this issue much better than I can:

Everyone expected massive needs after the flood, everyone knew it would be hard, everyone assumes there’s someone there to help. But, what if there’s not, think about it. All it takes is one person who can’t figure out what to do next, who to call, where to go, who to turn to. And they are out there, the floods forgotten.

The needs, you know they’re real. And not because of the size of the flood because that was months ago. You know it’s real because you hear about it from passers by, you see in online articles, you glance at it on the local news, you see it on the cover of the local newspapers, you pass something out of place on the street and frankly if you’re really in tune with your fellow human beings and the universe, you just frankly just sense it in the air. Let me ask you, do you walk past it, do you close your wallet? What are you doing right now to help?

I promise you when you get in your car, drive to a barren house with the elderly resident whose beloved veteran husband was all they had in world, except for their home and memories and who has no one helping her and you see it and smell it and you roll your sleeves up, get down into the nitty-gritty and actually really SEE it for yourself, a feeling of helplessness that is hard to describe will take over… you try and hide it because of the people you’re there to be strong for… but when this plays out over and over and over and over… again.. it’s hard.

Then you step out on her grimy front porch and notice an elderly neighbor standing in their door peering over and watching you and you wonder, are they being helped? You walk over and talk to them… find they are yet another lost soul, no one helping and you smell the mold coming from inside of their home.. and their living conditions have them hopeless… and you feel hopeless because you’ve tapped out your own savings… and you wonder…. how many more little houses with perfect picket fences that line the street… have studs for walls and have completely broken, forgotten flood victims living in them?

The team of people that I’m honored to see working every day on behalf of flood victims see it, hear it and patiently go about fixing it every single day. One person, one family, one pet, one home, one meal, one set of clothes, one puzzle, one toy, one smile… at a time. Yet, still we know this is simply BIGGER than anyone can wrap their head around. You alone cannot save the world, but, you that doesn’t mean you don’t still carry the weight of it. Because you are human and you try and be tune and connect with your fellow beings… and God.

You would assume that the churches in the area would help, and some are, but so many are only helping those in their congregation. What do you do if you aren’t in the congregation?

The need is great.

And none of the politicians see it first-hand. Worse, in many ways the politicians are standing in the way.

While the government fiddles, Cajun Relief is doing what needs to be done. My question is why do we need to pay $250 million to a firm to manage flood recovery when the non-profits are already doing it? The politicians need to see what the non-profits are doing and go from there. The winning bidder is going to have to come in and learn what is already being done. It doesn’t make sense.

Cajun Relief is not in Baton Rouge because they want publicity or recognition: they are in it purely to help the people. They meet the people, talk to them, assess their needs, assign case workers to help follow up, and organize crowd funding to buy the essentials for these people. These flood victims have spend their life savings (if they had any) doing repairs on their own. They don’t have money left over for a new stove.

If you want to help, go to The Cajun Relief Foundation and donate. You can be sure that your donation will get help to those flood victims who are still waiting for the politicians to figure out who gets what size slice of the federal government pie; Cajun Relief doesn’t want any of that pie. They just want to help their neighbors.

I was having a conversation with a friend recently who told me he was not optimistic about society, while I said we would both live to see things get better.

However here are a few stories on the web that support his view:

Item, How dare you not want a woman with a penis (via Ace of Spades):

So here’s the question, what is the craziest thing you’ve seen or heard?

At first I thought it might be this story, which ace covered a month or three ago, about some confused and/or mentally ill British boys who like to put on dresses, pretend that they’re girls, and then are dismayed to discover that normal teenaged boys don’t want to get into relationships with them when they are found out that they’re boys wearing dresses.

What makes it such a strong contender for the title is that it’s such a multi-layer cake of crazy:

1. British parents, schools, the medical profession are encouraging boys in their delusions rather than providing therapy.
2. The confused/mentally ill boys seem to be shocked at their lack of success with normal boys.
3. The BBC is actually making a series about all of this
4. …and portraying this festival of perversity as just another specie of teen angst. You know, like pimples, school pressures, or finding a prom date.

But crazy as that is, I actually managed to find something even crazier:

What kills me about this post is back in the days when the left was all about science and evolution the idea that evolution and natural selection would cause a man to want a spouse capable of passing on their genetic material, now such a move is considered racism by our “betters”

Item:  I’m old enough to remember when Women’s Shelters were about protecting vulnerable women (via Breitbart)

Two women were kicked out of a homeless shelter to make room for a man because he said he is a transgender woman, according to a Canadian news report. The women objected when they were told they would have to share a bedroom and live in the shelter with the man, and so “both were asked to leave the shelter for good,” said the TV reporter.

But remember for the left ideology trumps all else and if this means more women on the street and unsafe, well at least the shelter owners won’t be called bigots by Hollywood.

Item:  Everyone will be Nazi’s for 15 minutes (via PJ Media):

Princeton University’s class of 2012 planned its five-year reunion party around a Star Wars theme, calling it “Revenge of the Fifth.” According to HeatStreet, the alumni planned to dress in costume and many purchased stormtrooper costumes for the event. In late February, however, the Reunion Committee sent an email banning this particular costume — because it might remind some people of Nazis.

Who knew that when you bought your kids those stormtrooper toys you were preparing them to be the next Hitler’s of the world.  I guess George Lucas should be sued.

Item, Gay scandals in the church?  What Gay Scandals?: (via the local.es)

Juan Carlos Martínez, 40, provoked more than raised eyebrows when he joined the town’s carnival festivities last week and posed on a float dressed as the legendary lothario, complete with dressing gown, captain’s cap and cigar.

At his sides were two rather delectable companions: Two men decked in black leotards over stockings and a barely-there netting skirt and topped off with bunny ears over colourful wigs. Presumably they also had white cottontails pinned to their backsides.

In fairness Fr. Martínez story while a very public disgrace is less scandalous than this one

In the southern city of Naples, for example, a priest was recently suspended from the parish of Santa Maria degli Angeli over claims he held gay orgies and used Internet sites to recruit potential partners whom he paid for sex.

The allegations concerning the Rev. Mario D’Orlando were brought to the attention of the diocese when an anonymous letter was sent to a Naples bishop. D’Orlando denied the charges when he was summoned by the city’s archbishop, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, but is now facing a formal inquiry conducted by local church officials.

which at least didn’t involve alter boys and may I say the turning of the child sex scandals in the church which overwhelming involved homosexual acts from a “Gay Catholic Priest” scandal to just a “Catholic Priest” scandal is one of the great propaganda triumphs of the MSM/Left, in fact I still encounter people who argue that man wanting sex from boys has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Now I’ll grant that all of these stories advance my friend’s pessimism but I still prefer to remain optimistic and remember, the future belongs to those who show up.

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven.

By John Ruberry

Last week President Trump released his proposed fiscal 2018 budget. Not included in it was funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The left, which dominates the arts, responded predictably, acting as if art itself was being attacked.

Sit down and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Now relax. If the NEA and the NEH disappear–there will still be art. Even after eight years of economic dormancy under Barack Obama, the United States is still a fabulously wealthy nation with plenty of disposable income, some of which will of course be spent on the arts.

Do you feel better now? Good. I knew you would.

Art is everywhere. In fact it’s right in front of you now–my post at Da Tech Guy and all of the others here are artistic endeavors, albeit not funded by the federal government.

Yes, the NEA and the NEH, as far as I know, no longer funds exhibitions of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs showing genitalia of pre-pubescent girls or a display of Piss Christ, but this Great Society mutation of royal patronage of the arts–didn’t we fight a revolution against a king?–makes little cultural or economic sense, as George Will explains.

David Marcus, artistic director of a Brooklyn-based theater project and senior contributor to The Federalist, says the NEA produces “perverse market incentives” that explain why many arts institutions “are failing badly at reaching new audiences, and losing ground.”

“Many theater companies, even the country’s most ‘successful,’ get barely 50 percent of their revenue from ticket sales. Much of the rest comes from tax-deductible donations and direct government grants. This means that the real way to succeed as an arts organization is not to create a product that attracts new audiences, but to create a product that pleases those who dole out the free cash. The industry received more free money than it did a decade ago, and has fewer attendees.”

The arts community is incestuous, especially within its foundations and boardrooms. You scratch my Cubist back and I’ll massage your western yodeling feet. You’ve heard of crony capitalism. There is also crony arts.

As usual, I don’t have to look beyond my own grossly mismanaged state of Illinois–when we had budgets they made about as much sense as a Jackson Pollock painting–to find an example of cronyism in practice. The Illinois Arts Council Agency, which as you can tell by its name, is a state agency and it is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts cash. It was founded in 1965, which not coincidentally, was when the NEA began. The chair of the Illinois Arts Council Agency is Shirley Madigan, the wife of state House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss Michael Madigan. Their daughter is Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ attorney general.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency boasts that nearly 100 percent of the state’s legislative districts receives some IACA funding. It’s all about spreading the wealth around. As for those legislative districts, the geographic contortion created by Michael Madigan’s gerrymandering just might be worthy enough to be put on display at the Art Institute of Chicago adjacent to those Pollock-esque state budgets, but that’s another matter.

The NEA and the NEH also operates under the same spread-the-favors-around–I mean wealth, mindset–which is why defenders of these groups cite federal funding for events such as the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada and the Hip Hop Initiative in North Carolina as justification for these agencies.

Blogger on a self-funded trip to the Vicksburg battlefield

The NEH provided funding for Ken Burns’ acclaimed 1990 Civil War documentary that was broadcast on PBS, which is another success boasted by supporters of the NEH. Oh, Trump’s budget wants to eliminate for that network as well as NPR. Have you seen Burns’ Civil War? It’s fabulous. But what of the money for sales of Ken Burns’ Civil War book, or the Civil War DVDs and CDs? Or Civil War digital downloads? How much does the federal government get from those sales?

How much does Ken Burns collect?

Sure, NEA and NEH funding is a very small piece of federal spending–$148 million is the expenditure for this year. But proper budgeting means saying “No” a lot. America is wealthy–but not infinitely so.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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