At SOTU Trump Reminds me of Tip O’Neill, Sam Rayburn and Why I’m no Longer a Democrat

President Reagan & Speaker Tip O’Neill (Left) President Eisenhower & Speaker Sam Rayburn (right)

For a very long time you would have described me as a Tip O’Neill Democrat. We shared the same faith, came from the same state and shared the same values. I read his books watched his speeches loved his fight for the working man, and regretted that I didn’t take a day off to meet him at a book signing not too long before his death.

I left the Democrat party in the 90’s (and the GOP in 2013) but as I watched President Trump’s State of the Union Speech I was thinking of Tip O’Neill and Sam Rayburn who 1st put him on the rules committee and the path to power in the house. Like O’Neill and before O’Neill Rayburn was a man of the people who had never forgotten the American worker and the American Farmer and all the country owed them.

I thought of them as the president talked about jobs, taking care of Americans, protecting freedom of speech, freedom of religion and talking about American manufacturing and striking back at terrorist who targeted Americans etc etc etc.

I was thinking of them because it hit me that with one very prominent exception from Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema

…Democrats remained sitting as they president talked about gains for women, minorities and American workers.

I thought back to my youth watching these speeches as a political junkie and remembered Tip and remembered all I read about Sam and thought of how he would have reacted to all of those things Donald Trump was speaking of.

They would have been on their feet clapping.

Sam Rayburn and Tip O’Neill would be what you might call yellow dog Democrats, people who were so loyal to their party that if said party nominated a yellow dog for office they would vote for it vs any Republican but as much as they loved their party they loved America more.

They would have been cheering American victories overseas, they would have been cheering American jobs, they would have been cheering freedom of religion, they would have been cheering higher wages, more opportunities for blacks, Hispanics and women and both Speaker Tip O’Neill and Speaker Sam Rayburn (unlike Speaker Nancy Pelosi) would have been smart enough to make damn sure that their fellow democrat members were standing for these things as well.

In 2010 at CPAC while interviewing some local transit workers in DC I was asked why I was a republican. I answered on camera that as a believing Roman Catholic I felt I was no longer welcome in the Democrat party. I submit and suggest that neither Tip O’Neill nor Sam Rayburn be welcome in the party either because they were more interested in success for America and Americans than in who got credit for that success.

I think it’s a great mercy that neither lived to see what their party had become.

Footnote While Mr. Sam & Tip would be ashamed of what their party had become they’d be damn proud of Senator Kyrsten Sinema tonight.

Kobe and the media mess

By Christopher Harper

The coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death underlines just how bad the media have become when covering relatively simple stories.

Here are some of the problems that happened:

–Bryant’s widow Vanessa got the news from TMZ.

–ABC News national correspondent Matt Gutman reported that all of the Bryants’ children were killed.

–The BBC aired footage of LeBron James, identifying him as Bryant.

–Vox and others got the number of people killed wrong.

–Many outlets identified the deceased daughter incorrectly.

–Esquire got the number of championships he won wrong—as well as the number of points he scored in his final game.

–DaTimes misidentified the team James was playing for in March 2018. He was still with the Cleveland Cavaliers rather than the LA Lakers.

As my boss at The Associated Press told me many years ago: Get it first, but it damned well better be right.

But then there’s the worst of all. DaPost’s emphasis on Bryant being charged with rape in 2003, which never went to trial but was settled out of court in a civil case.

Felicia Sonmez, a political reporter at DaPost, tweeted a link to a story from the Daily Beast about the Bryant rape case. After a tremendous negative response, Sonmez tweeted a second time. “Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality,” she wrote. “That folks are responding with rage & threats toward me… speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.” 

Sonmez once accused a colleague from The Los Angeles Times of sexual harassment, and he lost his job.

DaPost’s Editor Marty Baron told her to take the tweets down, which she did, and the reporter was suspended for a minute and a half until her colleagues at DaPost and elsewhere backed her up.

The paper’s union wrote an open letter to Baron and Managing Editor Tracy Grant, accusing them of failing to protect Sonmez and noting that this isn’t the first time management “has sought to control how Felicia speaks on matters of sexual violence.” More than 300 staffers signed the letter.  

DaPost retreated and reinstated Sonmez. In a statement, it said that following a “review,” it had concluded that Sonmez’s tweets were “ill-timed,” but “not in clear and direct violation of our social media policy.” Sonmez was reinstated. In a statement of her own, Sonmez said she and her colleagues deserve to hear directly from Baron.

What’s clear is DaPost and others did a dreadful job of covering a rather simple story of a helicopter crash and ramped it up into an ill-timed examination of woke values. It used to be that a reporter wasn’t supposed to be part of the story. Unfortunately, that long-held ethical value has died, too. 

5 Iowa Caucus Thoughts Coincidences, App less voting, Participation Trophies, SOTU & NH Scrutiny Under the Fedora

It’s 8:59 AM Tuesday and I’ve just woken up and we still have no results from Iowa.

This is just a day or two after CNN and the Des Moines Register declined to release the results of the final poll.

And a few days after the Democrats allowed a rule change on Debates.

Yeah if I’m a Bernie Bro I’m going to trust the results, sure I am.


One of the things that occurred to me as the Democrats were busying blaming an app for their issues is that they had a caucus four years ago, and four years before that, in fact they’ve had plenty of caucus’ without this app and were able to count the votes.

How is it that they weren’t able to just, you know, count and report the votes without said app? I think that’s a very interesting question don’t you?


One other great coincidence of this “result” in Iowa is that all the candidates that the Democrat establishment wanted to protect were able to give speeches as if they had not lost, even better for them is that with the SOTU tonight, Impeachment finishing tomorrow, and NH only a few days away by the time Iowa DOES report their results it will old news.

Unexpectedly of course


Speaking of the State of the Union it will be interesting to see if President Trump includes a line about the Iowa voting or the fact that he managed to get just over 97% of the vote with over thirty one thousand votes vs just over 900 for Weld, Walsh and “other” combined. Somehow the GOP was able to count these votes without the Democrat app.

Unexpectedly of course


Finally for a lot the good folks at Granite Grok have been writing about the voting in NH and the sudden migration of non New Hampshire residents who suddenly become voters on Election day (completely unexpectedly of course) on election day. Normally this is reserved for the General election but with the desire to stop Bernie combined with the Iowa debacle it will be very interesting to see if democrats take a sudden interest in having the actual rule of law followed when ballots are cast in the state.

Should be fun.


Oh fyi finished the post at 9:33 AM still no results….