Thursday, November 30, 2017

McConnell: McCain Won't Mutiny Against Trump Tax Reform

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Denies that John McCain will Scuttle GOP Tax Bill

Geraldo Rivera Sticks Up for Matt Lauer as News is Flirty Biz

Geraldo Rivera Defends Matt Lauer as News is a Flirty Business

NBC News fired Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct on the job shortly before exposes were published by the New York Times and Variety.  Although after his termination Lauer expressed contrition for some of his actions, the long-time former anchor of the Today Show had a high profile special pleader with a newsworthy defense.

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera took to twitter to defend Lauer, claiming that the newsroom is a flirty place and has resulted in many good relationships.  Geraldo's employer quickly distanced themselves from this unique apologia.

Geraldo later tried to walk back some of his defense of Lauer.  This did not fool astute pundits on social media.

Linda Sarsour on the Media

Linda Sarsour on the Jewish Media and Anti-Semitism

During a symposium on "Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice” at the New School in New York City,  progressive political agitator deigned to comment on Anti-Semitism.  Sarsour tried to mitigate mainstream perceptions of Muslims in America by blaming "the Jewish Media".

Her prepared remarks at the New School did little to dispel myths about how her faith is practiced.

Denzel Washington on Black Incarceration

Denzel Washington on Black Incarceration

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Repelling Ersatz Indian Indignation

When President Donald Trump was honoring the surviving Navajo Code Talkers from World War II, he made an off-prompter quip about Pocahontas in the Senate.  Mr. Trump was referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who gained her position at Harvard Law School via minority status by claiming that she was 1/32nd Cherokee because her Oklahoma papi (grandfather) had high cheek bones.

Democrats decried Trump's comment as being clearly racist.  When  Navajo Code Talker Thomas Begay was asked about this controversy, he dismissed Democrat's claim that this was a racist slight by recalling his time with the United States Marine Corps. 

Navajo Code Talker Thomas Begay's Take on Ersatz Indian Indignation

Does Hope for "A Better Deal" Scuttle Bipartisan Budgetary Cooperation?

Trump Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders Denonces Democrat Intrisigence on Budget Talks

Hitting Home on Net Neutrality?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai condems at home tactics of Net Neutrality protestors

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced last week that the Commission was rolling back Obama era regulations on Net Neutrality, which sought to expand the reach of the 1934 Federal Communications Act to the Internet towards an end of making the it a regulated media.  Net Neutrality critics, like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), liken it as Obamacare for the Internet which promise to lower price and improve delivery but do the opposite and make Uncle Sam the undisputed middle man.

Proponents of Net Neutrality, which were protesting a repeal in May at FCC Headquarters moved their protests to Chairman Pai's suburban Virginia home and used signs which proclaimed "Dad murdered democracy in cold blood."

Such an in-your-face political protest calls to mind the 2012 stunt in which the SEIU used 14 buses to move 500 protesters on a bank executive's front lawn in suburban Maryland to denounce bank foreclosures.  This tactic seems straight out of Saul Alinky's Rules for Radicals (1971) playbook.

The Net Neutrality home invasion comes at the same time that Keith Olbermann is stepping down from giving the GQ daily podcasts for "The Resistance".

It is worth contemplating if this mark a divergence in tactics amongst Leftists, or if more entrenched progressives are getting out of activism while the getting is good.

Nonetheless, it is reprehensible to harass public officials living in private residences about policy disputes. Mob mentality following people home discourages civic minded civilians from serving a stint in office and needlessly involves innocent family members.

Net Neutrality may have legitimate public policy merits, but the fascistic manner which these progressive activists pursued their policy wins neither hearts nor minds. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Trump Takes Ingrate UCLA Father to Task

Donald Trump Takes Ungrateful UCLA Father to Task on Twitter

The Flakey Conscience of a Conservative?

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was caught on a hot mike opining that if Republicans continued on a political path towards anti-Establishment Donald Trump that the GOP was toast.

This personal animus against President Trump did not go unanswered on Twitter.

Earlier in the year, Senator Flake was hawking a book "The Conscience of a Conservative" (2017) which echoed the title of  his Arizona predecessor (1960) Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ).  This sort of self promotion is often the precursor for a politician who is seeking higher office.  Yet Flake was convinced not to run again in 2018.  Since then, Flake has reveled at being a gladfly against the Trump Administration.

While it would be hard to quibble with Flake being a Republican, it is egregious to appreciate him being a quintessential conservative.  Senator Flake's hot mic moment might better be understood how Establishment Republicans see how the comfort of being go along to get along hacks who talk a good game on the hustings but become docile in the District of Calamity. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Remembering the Gettysburg Address

 On November 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address to dedicate the battlefield in the bloodiest skirmish during the war between the States as a resting place for the fallen.

Photo of President Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg Battlefield, November 19, 1863


 Lincoln was said to have written his brief remarks on the back of an envelope, yet those scribbling still resonate today.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The acclaimed PBS Civil War documentarian Ken Burns has been promoting  "Learn the Address" by inviting 58 prominent Americans to recite those solemn words of President Lincoln from 150 years ago.

It is worth noting that the only person amongst the nearly three score of cynosures who failed to read the speech as delivered at the cemetery in Gettysburg was President Barack H. Obama.  The 44th President omitted the words "under God".  Perhaps there was a teleprompter glitch.  More likely, it is conscious return by Mr. Obama to conveniently edit seminal American documents to suit his tastes. Such a cavalier approach to what Ken Burns called pure Presidential poetry seems to be what honest historians want to avoid.   

In addition, President Obama chose not to travel the 75 miles to Gettysburg for the Sesquicentennial, despite having a light official schedule.  This is an odd omission as Mr. Obama declared his Presidential run at the steps of the Lincoln statehouse in Springfield, Illinois and adorned the White House with many Lincolnesque trappings. Yet  President Obama will be in the forefront in ceremonies commemorating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

Despite this historic slights, this should not stop us from actualizing Abraham Lincoln's exhortation:
[T]hat we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

When Swamp Rats Are Dirty Rats

The revelation of sexual misconduct by Hollywood's Harvey Weinstein has transitioned to the District of Calamity.  Accusations of sexual impropriety threatens to swing two Senate seats and effect the balance of power on Capitol Hill.

Much has been made about  allegations of skivvy conduct by Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore (R-AL).  These accusations stem from conduct nearly four decades ago that were unreported to authorities, but came to light in the closing days of a special election to fill the seat vacated by now Trump Administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The alluvia of allegations sound bad, but are past the statute of limitations, based she-said-he-said allegations with little to no corroborating evidence and relies upon the court of public opinion. 

From a political standpoint, Democrats are anxious to make Roy Moore a poster child for Republicans in 2018 and use the hermaneutic that Republicans condone sexual harassment as a cudgel to impeach President Donald Trump if Democrats regain the House of Representatives.  In the near term, the muck about Moore put the White House in a box.  On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, establishment Republicans did not like a loose cannon like Judge Moore to be in the Senate chambers, when it endangers the clubby atmosphere of the Upper Chamber and he could help shake up the leadership.  So many GOP party loyalists were quick to condemn Moore for the alleged but unproven misconduct.

There are concerns that Republicans might lose this previously considered "safe" seat, as Moore is polling with a double digit deficit after these allegations have been publicized.  Since candidate Moore refuses to step aside due to this scandal, the DC GOP suggested writing in another Republican. Apparently, this did not test well and was dropped.  After a careful reading of the Alabama state statutes, centrist Republican Hugh Hewitt claims that the problem could go away if   Senator Luke Strange (R-AL) resigned, creating a new vacancy which would cancel the shaky December 12th election, and Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) could appoint another caretaker Senator until the next general election (in November 2018).  Considering the shaky ground Jeff Sessions is in at the Department of Justice, it is possible that Sessions be appointed back to his own seat.

[L] Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) attending [R] Senator Luther Strange (R-AL) swearing in

Recently, after a pleasant Sunday brunch, we chatted about the troubling news about Roy Moore. As the topic expanded to include sexual harassment by elected officials, two ardent feminists insisted that Congress needed to do something about it and make offenders on Capitol Hill as accountable as the rest of us.  I asked who were their bosses.  The obvious answer was the people.  I maintained that voters get to fire their elected officials periodically and they should decide rather than an insider committee.  That viewpoint was not well received.

Well, it seems that when Congress pushed to make the same rules apply to them as their constituents, there were a few quirks.  Regarding charges of sexual harassment with members of staffers, there is 30 day waiting period before pressing charges.  In addition, the victim making the accusation must undergo mandatory counseling.  That sounds munificent, except the counseling comes from the employer whom someone is accusing.  It would seem that it could be made clear to accusers that going public would not be in anyone's best interests.   If I recall correctly, John Batchelor's news-maker interview indicated that this system has paid out $15 million since its advent in the 105th Congress with nary a word making the press.

Congressional Sexual Misconduct payout ledger 

What took party hacks off their sexual harassment game plan was the revelation by a Los Angeles radio personality of Al Franken's inappropriate conduct during a USO mission to the Middle East in 2006, before he was elected as Senator from Minnesota.  The woman reported that she was supposed to do a skit written by Franken that involved a kiss and wanted to rehearse-- she demurred but eventually consented.  During the practice, she alleged that Franken put his tongue halfway down her throat and grabbed her head.  She immediately insisted "Don't do that again!", and she deflected his approach during the skit.

The problem with sexual conduct and Al Franken is about the contemporaneous  photographic evidence. The woman in question wanted to grab some rack time during the 36 hour military flight.  When she was asleep, Franken was seen with a coprophagic grin cupping at her breasts.  No doubt, Franken thought this was funny at the time (and probably a great way to get back at her).  Franken has been known to take outrageous photos for laughs (but the infamous Franken diaper photo was a fake).

Citizen Al Franken takes a picture with a sleeping beauty during a 2016 USO tour.

But this Al Franken moment  was captured on camera. Oops. And the accuser is Leeane Tweeden, a KABC-AM radio personality. Tweeden initially posted #MeToo, but she decided to come forth after hearing Congresswoman Speier's (D-CA 14th)  allegations that members on both side of the aisle have thrust sexual advances while in Congress.

Now this puts a kink into progressive partisans' plans. One of their prominent members stands accused. The public has been primed to always accept the word of victims.  In addition, there is photographic proof. This takes away from the rip the GOP as blanket sexual predator smear.  Rush Limbaugh points out that in this environment, Democrats will have to proverbially throw Senator Franken (D-MN) under the bus to not to seem hypocritical and prospectively use it against their ideological opponents. 

Franken publicly apologized to his victim, claiming that he thought that it was funny.  In addition, Franken submitted himself to scrutiny from his peers.  Maybe this gets it out of the headlines and it gets buried by the press.  If push comes to shove, Minnesota has a Democrat Governor Mark Dayton (D-MN), so Franken would undoubtedly be replaced by another Democrat. 

While justice is a noble pursuit, in this charged environment, the court of public opinion may well condemn non-guilty people just based on innuendo or unproven accusations which are promptly swept under the rug out of convenience.   The reform from the 105th Congress seems to allow members to slide, in a process intended to apply the peoples' law to Congress.  Although there are Ethics Committees to punish members egregious actions, I suspect that the ballot box is still the most efficacious way to punish when swamp rats act like dirty rats. 

Patrick Leahy on Bacon and Judges

Senator Patrick Leahy on Bacon and Judges

Friday, November 10, 2017

Bob Hope on Sacrifice

Bob Hope on Sacrifice

Hollywood comedic actor Bob Hope was renowned for making 57 tours to entertain military troops for the USO  over 60 years, including 79 shows in the Southwest Pacific in 1944.  Writer John Steinbeck, who then served as a war correspondent, wrote of Hope:

When the time for recognition of service to the nation in wartime comes to be considered, Bob Hope should be high on the list. This man drives himself and is driven. It is impossible to see how he can do so much, can cover so much ground, can work so hard, and can be so effective. He works month after month at a pace that would kill most people.

By an act of Congress, Hope was named an honorary veteran in 1997. Hope's humble response to this honor was: "I've been given many awards in my lifetime — but to be numbered among the men and women I admire most — is the greatest honor I have ever received."

Thanks for the memories and entertaining those who serve to preserve our freedom.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Orson Welles on Happy Endings

Orson Welles on Happy Endings

Katy Tur on Trump Coverage

NBC News "Journalist" Katy Tur on Trump Coverage

Katy Tur's crude commentary on Recode on the one year anniversary of the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States sounds less like a reporter and more like an agenda driven Jo-Whore-nalist.  

But consider the source.   Tur's news organization is devoting four hours of the Today Show to feature a new book by Joe Biden.  To echo Joe Biden and Katy Tur, "That's a big F-ing deal.".  Is it a reboot of Lunchbucket Joe into the political ring or just the news that people need to know? 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Show After the Show for Ferguson the Play's Final Closing Curtain

Playwrigh Phelim Mc Aleer on unscripted closing for Ferguson the Play

Conservative entertainment activist Phelim Mc Aleer held the World Premiere of his  2015 play "Ferguson the Play" in New York City . The drama depicts the shooting of Michael Brown by a greater St. Louis police officer  in 2014 which sparked several days of rioting. This ugly incident which galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement under the ersatz slogan "Hands up, don't shoot."  Mc Aleer wrote the play because he believed that the truth that it was a defensive shooting was not getting out because of media bias buying into a progressive activist agenda.

What made Ferguson the play notable is that playwright McAleer constructed the verbatum theater completely using the released transcript of the Ferguson Grand Jury.  McAleer and director Jerry Dixon worked with a multi-racial cast to put on the controversial courtroom drama  for a short run at the 30th Street Playhouse in Manhattan.

On the closing night, Cedric Benjamin commadeered the stage at the close to voice his displeasure as he thought that the play was unbalanced and biased.

Director Jerry Dixon shut down the rogue actor's rant, but the histrionic polemic spilled out into the street, with actor Benjamin accusing playwright Mc Aleer  of "white arrogance".  

Mc Aleer later praised the director for shutting down the unscripted lecture by a cast member.

It seems ironic that the actor invoked arrogance against the playwright, who raised over  $51,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to mount the production, when the actor could not just say his lines. Mc Aleer deliberately brought Ferguson the play to New York after the cast of Hamilton accosted attendee then Vice President Elect Mike Pence to defy the conceit that conservatives are not welcomed in the New York theater community.

On the first production, which was a stage reading in 2015, nine members of the Los Angeles cast walked off, with one actor claiming that he did not trust Mc Aleer's motives.  At least those thespians were professional enough to disassociate themselves with a theatrical vehicle with which they could not agree.

Ironically, Cedric Benjamin's grand gesture might prove to be counterproductive.  It has drawn more attention to a small production, thrusting it into the news.  Phelim Mc Aleer continues to fund raise over the controversy with an expressed purpose of continuing to perform Ferguson the Play in New York.   Mc Aleer took great consolation that one BLM attendee who attended the play and left shocked and mystified that "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" was a lie.

Pollster George Barna recently sought to understand why evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump, who seemed to contradict many of their mores.  A large part of the answer is that SAGE-cons (Spiritually Aware Governmentally Engaged) conservatives have great distrust in the mainstream (a.ka. lamestream) media because of biased reporting against Trump that they now use alternate media sources to avoid "fake news".  By banding together on core issues like rule of law,  Barna contends that this 11% sliver of of the American electorate voting for Donald Trump was "The Day Christians Change America" (2017).

The strength of SAGE-cons influencing America was shown more than for Election 2016.  The informal boycotts by football fans of the NFL as they tolerate players who Take A Knee during the National Anthem has severely cut into attendance along with television ratings and is influencing advertisers like Papa John's Pizza to pull back.  Such a motivated minority of SAGE-cons may well see Ferguson the Play as a chance to actuate their ideas and counter the "fake news" phenomenon in entertainment as well as cultural conceits.

Shelby Steele on Liberalism

Shelby Steele on Liberalism

Nelson Mandela on Adversity

Nelson Mandela on Adversity

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hillary Clinton on Her Walk in the Woods

Hillary Clinton tells Daily Show's Trevor Noah that "I'm back"

In promotion of her book about the 2016 election "What Happened", ex First Lady, Senator and failed Democrat Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (D-NY) conducted a softball interview with the Daily Show's Trevor Noah. During the short hit, Hillary lambasted President Trump's reaction to the NYC Halloween Truck terror attack for not being empathetic enough as well as trying to dismantle Obama's agenda.


 Hillary insisted that: "I'm back". It is worth noting that she makes that declaration on Comedy Central, but we can suppose that she is more serious than her jocular trick or treat costume proposal.  However, with the Uranium One Clinton scandal, the looming Clinton emails and ex DNC Chair Donna Brazile's book which documents how Mrs. Clinton's campaign rigged the 2016 Democrat primaries and may have conducted rackateering, it is questionable if the Democrat base wants her to return from the woods. Politically speaking, the Clintons may just be the walking dead. But then again, Democrats seem to go for zombies.  

It seems the Slick Willie and Crooked Hillary have not discerned that politically speaking that they are The Walking Dead.

Washington Capitals Captain Alexandr Ovechkin on Team Putin

Washington Nationals Captain Alexandr Ovechkin on Team Putin

Washington Capitals hockey superstar Alexandr Ovechkin has long thought that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin was "a nice guy." Thus, it is not surprising that he speaks highly of being on "Team Putin". 

How that goes in an American media environment which has taken a frosty stance on Russian collusion allegations, the Uranium One scandal concerning the Clintons as well as geopolitical tensions amongst Asian powers remains to be seen.