The White House announced on Tuesday that U.S. troops stationed along the United States-Mexico border have just been authorized to come to the aid of U.S. Border Patrol Agents if they should come under attack by illegal migrants attempting to force their way through the fortified border.
The President’s decree came only days after the President witnessed a mob of Hondurans and other Central American migrants attempting to overpower Mexican police dressed in riot gear trying to hold the line in the border town of Tijuana over the weekend.
In that incident, Tijuana residents aided the police in holding the line, driving back the rock throwing migrants.
The order for the military to engage runs counter to the previous request to only defend themselves and not intervene if a border agent is attacked or overran by a surging mob.
Although the Department of Homeland Security did not confirm or deny the President’s decree, they stressed the importance of safety for those individuals tasked with manning and protecting the homeland from a hostile foreign assault.
Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Kate Waldman told ABC News, “As Secretary Nielsen has said, we will not allow our frontline personnel to be in harm’s way.”
Adding, “We will do everything we can to protect those who defend our nation’s sovereignty and secure our border. We appreciate the Department of Defense stepping in to assist the Department of Homeland Security as needed.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis at first rejected the new directive by the President after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asked for assistance by the military in crowd control – and if needed riot control. Both functions are considered by the Pentagon to be law enforcement applications. Moreover, active duty troops are prohibited by federal law from performing law enforcement activities unless specially ordered by Congress or the president.
The brief video clip on Sunday highlighting Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city protesting the marauding horde of Central American migrants converging on their capital seems to have awakened many within the Mexican community regarding a nation’s sovereignty.
“Hundreds of Tijuana residents gathered today to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan hoping to seek asylum in the U.S.”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 19, 2018
Another post on social media described how the migrants overran the tiny border town:
“They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an ‘invasion.’ And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group.”
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) November 19, 2018
Perhaps the most important post came from the Commander-in-Chief himself, monitoring the situation.
“The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico, just stated that “the City is ill-prepared to handle these many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months.” Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2018
This is not the biggest story in America – but it is part of one. It is a very local story, but one that says a lot of what is going wrong in America.
The New China Restaurant
William Gee grew up in the food service business in the Chicago suburb of Fox River Grove, Illinois. His parents opened the New China Restaurant in 1974. It immediately became one of the most popular eateries in town. Through the years, countless numbers of the communities’ young people worked at the New China to earn money for college or maybe that first car.
In 2013, the New China was destroyed by fire. The cost of rebuilding was beyond William Gee’s budget. That is when the people of Fox River Grove sprang into action. They raised enough money to enable Gee to open the new New China Restaurant.
Despite being closed for a month, the new eatery had regained its old popularity – and then some. According to Gee, he was serving more than 120 pounds of chicken A DAY – not to mention a lot of egg rolls and fortune cookies.
Happy Days …
Gee had the perfect restaurant in the perfect location in the perfect community as far as he was concerned. What could go wrong? In a word, everything.
… until the politicians get involved.
It seems that the Fox River Grove village board has other plans for the block where New China and a number of other businesses were located. They want to tear down the entire block and make it available for a “higher and better use.” That is the legal language for exercising the power of eminent domain — to force all the property owners to sell their buildings and businesses.
Historically, the power of eminent domain was to be exercised only in situations where there was a clear PUBLIC good or necessity. Note the emphasis on “PUBLIC.” Land could be taken for a public project, such as a highway, library or tertiary treatment plant. It was also necessary to make a case that the particular land in question was essential to the project.
Kelo v. City of New London
The definition of “public good” changed in 2005 when the liberal faction of the United States Supreme Court (John Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer) were joined by recently retired Anthony Kennedy in a 5 to 4 decision that said economic development was a permissible reason to confiscate property under the “takings clause” of the Fifth Amendment. Of course, this is not the first time the activist liberals had weakened our Constitutional guarantees – of which property rights were paramount in the thinking of our Founders.
It was no longer about the importance of the project to the community, but the money it would generate for the town treasury. If, for example, some developer would build a shopping mall or high-rise apartment on the property, it would generate more tax revenue than the New China Restaurant and all those other stores up and down the block.
According to modern urban management, the income from a property is more important to the public good than some mamasan and Papasan restaurant. (yes, I know “mamasan” and “Papasan” are mostly thought of as Japanese, but the terms also apply to other East Asians. So, give me a little literary license on that one.)
More and more, eminent domain is being used to force the transfer of private property from one owner to another at rates of prescribed reimbursement that never reach fair market value – what an owner could actually receive from the property in a private sale.
No development is in sight
In the Fox River Grove case, it is even worse. You see, the town fathers (and mothers, I presume) have no idea what they will be doing with the property once they acquire it. There are no private developers who have requested to purchase the downtown block. There are no proposals for that shopping mall or high-rise apartment. None of those pretty artist drawings. Nothing.
The village board wants to gamble that once the village has title to the property, they will be able to sell it for a nice profit AND get higher taxes – although not as high as they could be because these same board members will often offer tax breaks to get a developer on board.
Fair compensation … not
Fox River Grove has told Gee that his property is worth no more than $330,000. The Gee family purchased the property in 1974 for $190,000 (equivalent to more than $800,000 today). Gee has put more than $200,000 in developing the property. Then there is the value of the business. In a private transaction, Gee would likely receive more than $1 million for the property. The $330,000 offered by the Village would not come close to enabling Gee to secure new property and re-open his restaurant for the second time.
An attack on private property
Though we do not hear much about it, the abuse of eminent domain has been a serious problem for many property owners. Although our Constitution was drafted to defend our property rights, the courts have frittered them away on all sorts of decisions undermining those rights. It is not just eminent domain, but civil seizure and even the IRS’s confiscation of property without even adjudication.
As Gee said, “If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.” And it does – more often than we could possibly know.
Good fortune needed.
Gee’s future is hanging in the balance. The next time he opens a fortune cookie, we can only hope it says, “You will find happiness staying where you belong.”
(I must confess that I have a personal interest in this story because my own son earned a lot of his college money delivering Chinese food for a local restaurant and, oh yeah, I also really like Chinese food.)
So, there ‘tis.
The massive outbreak of raging wildfires in California drew a series of eye-opening tweets from President Trump criticizing state officials about their environmental regulations and water management policies.
Experts have now gone on record declaring that the California wildfires currently raging across the state are the worst ever recorded in California.
The President’s criticism of California’s progressive policies began long before this series of wildfires, back several months ago, with several tweets warning state officials to take aggressive actions in combating fires.
“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
The next day, the President once again took to social media and again warned the governor:
“Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
No doubt the left will argue that climate change is to blame for the epidemic rise in fires across California. While the science is being debated, it’s worth reminding all that during the 1930’s an extended period of severe droughts and poor farming techniques created an environmental disaster dubbed the “Dust Bowl.” The ecological crisis lasted a decade – destroying the agriculture industry.
The fundamental differences between the natural devastation of the 1930’s and the decade-long wildfires gripping California today can best be summed up in one word: “politics.”
A recent Reason Foundation study noted that wildfires were considerably better controlled in the early part of the 20th century when the U.S. Forest Service was exclusively tasked with the responsibility of maintaining successful fire prevention methods that were arbitrarily abandoned when politically motivated environmental activists began challenging those methods.
Randal O’Toole, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, noted that the Forest Service became more costly and less effective as it increasingly “rewarded forest managers for losing money on environmentally questionable practices.”
During a congressional hearing held in May of 2018, Republican Congressman Tom McClintock addressed the growing crisis: “Forty-five years ago, we began imposing laws that have made the management of our forests all but impossible.”
The congressmen went on to explain how federal authorities have failed in reducing the number of deadly fires annually.
“Time and again, we see vivid boundaries between the young, healthy, growing forests managed by state, local, and private landholders, and the choked, dying, or burned federal forests,” McClintock said. “The laws of the past 45 years have not only failed to protect the forest environment, but they have also done immeasurable harm to our forests.”
McClintock went on to address the reason for the devastating increase in wildfires, pinning the blame of poor forest management and bad 1970s laws, like the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Since the beginning of the year, 47,700 wildfires have burned 8 million acres across the country, with the majority of the devastation in California and Montana.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed what the Trump Administration is planning to do.
“This Administration will take a serious turn from the past and will proactively work to prevent forest fires through aggressive and scientific fuels reduction management to save lives, homes, and wildlife habitat. It is well settled that the steady accumulation and thickening of vegetation in areas that have historically burned at frequent intervals exacerbates fuel conditions and often leads to larger and higher-intensity fires.”
Zinke continued, “These fires are more damaging, more costly, and threaten the safety and security of both the public and firefighters. In recent fire reviews, I have heard this described as ‘a new normal.’ It is unacceptable that we should be satisfied with the status quo. We must be innovative, and where new authorities are needed, we will work with our colleagues in Congress to craft management solutions that will benefit our public lands for generations to come.”
That crashing sound you hear emanating from Washington early next year will be the visions, expectations and egos of the new freshman class of the 116th Congress.
Having been part of the Washington political scene for years, I have witnessed the arrival of several classes of these legislative newbies. They appear on the steps of Capitol filled with ambition and determination. Movies like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” are on endless loop in the subcortex of their brains.
Remember, they have just finished campaigns where they have made the most exuberant promises of what they will do – what they will achieve – when sitting in the hallowed chamber. For months, they have been fawned over by adoring fans and their every utterance the topic of news reports. They have appeared before innumerable civic, fraternal, business and social groups – and had been teleported into the homes of hundreds of thousands of voters via radio and television. For them, the word represented by the “V” in VIP is in all caps.
They may expect to see the figurative red carpets rolled out as they arrive, but that is not what they will experience.
In the social and political pecking order of the nation’s capital, a freshman congressperson is among the lowest ranking. Oh sure. There are exceptions. Those from famous families, those who had previous fame in other fields – sports or entertainment — and those with more than a small fortune will get greater attention at the onset, but for the run-of-the-mill congressperson-elect it is more like being a new army recruit showing up for induction into Texas’ inappropriately named Fort Bliss.
In some ways, it is a surreal experience because they will live among the most famous and powerful political figures in America. They will see them in the hallways, on the streets and in the restaurants. Yet, there will be an almost impermeable invisible social wall that separates the political classes.
They will quickly learn that despite all those things they sincerely promised the folks back home that they would do once they get sworn in, they will have zero ability to do any of it. In their orientation, they will be subtly advised that if they behave like good little freshman, they can look forward to rising up the social scale after a few terms.
And what about those important committee assignments? Most freshmen will not be sitting on those key committees you hear about in the news every day. They will be assigned to obscure subcommittees where the work is … well … boring and mundane. How about spending your first term on the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research? It actually sounds more interesting than it is.
Most freshman legislators sit silently on the proverbial back bench while the more senior leaders do all the work. All the bills the newbies thought they were going to introduce and enact will have to wait. The job of the freshman legislator is to vote – mostly as their party leadership “suggests.” There will not be many, if any, opportunities to rise to address their fellow members of Congress. Although there will be time to “address” the empty chamber to produce video clips for back home consumption and future political commercials.
Even if they are so bold as to propose a piece of legislation, it will die in committee. They can hop on the serious legislation advanced by the major players — as one of the legion of “co-sponsors” — but initiating a bill is a no-no. Virtually any bill that a freshman legislator puts into the “hopper,” will go to a committee where it will be assigned to the dark hole, where such legislation dies unceremoniously.
If a precocious legislator wanted to get his or her bill moved in committee, he or she could request a meeting with the chairman of the committee to which the bill has been assigned. Unfortunately, most such requests are denied. And if one of these new legislators wanted to meet with Speaker Pelosi – assuming she is restored to that post – the request would be denied. There is too much serious business – and too many more important people with which to deal – than to spend time with the lowly freshmen.
Members of the freshman class will realize their status when it comes to office assignments. If they think that every member of the House has one of those massive offices you see in the movies, they are in for a rude awakening. They will not even be housed in the same buildings with the upper echelon legislators. One has to move up the legislative ladder over a number of election cycles to move up from the Longworth to the Cannon to the Rayburn House office buildings – and only the top leadership will have offices in the Capitol Building, itself.
Then there are all those fabled fabulous social events – White House receptions, embassy parties, diplomatic balls, grand holiday events, etc. etc. etc. There are not enough “etc.” to reflect the number of such events. Freshmen legislators will not find invitations to those events in their mailboxes. They will be lucky to be invited to one of those ubiquitous lobbyist-sponsored cocktail parties at the Hilton hotel.
Not only are the freshman House members competing for attention with their own leadership, they are outranked by scores of senators, Cabinet officials, agency heads, Supreme Court justices, White House aides, diplomats, visiting heads-of-state and on the top perch, the President of the United States.
The realization of political and social impotency will hit hardest on those with the greatest arrogance and the biggest egos – those who believe that their election was the granting of some sort of grand entitlement. In my days in Washington, it was referred to as “freshman depression.”
That’s brings to mind the fiery Alexandra Ocasia-Cortez – who is already making waves by complaining about what she perceives as a lack of respect for her new title. While she sees herself as a leader in a movement that is entitled to “occupy” all that it sees and surveys – and which is currently occupying the Democratic Party — she is more likely to earn the title of “least effective legislator” of the freshman class. The political establishment does not admire “attitude” in its freshmen legislators. And Joining a group of anti-Pelosi demonstrators outside the office of future-Speaker, and threatening to “primary” her less radical Democrat colleagues, was not the best way to achieve success, or anything else, in Congress.
Like the Remora fish that attaches to the much larger sharks, freshman legislators can take the ride, but they are not going to pick the direction. That is for bigger fish than them.
So. There ’tis.
Despite a drop off in automobile manufacturing, total US manufacturing output rose for a 5th straight month in October. According to The Federal Reserve, manufacturing production rose 0.3 percent last month. According to Reuters, economists had predicted a rise of 0.2 percent for October.
The figures were beyond expectations for October and suggest an underlying strength in US factory output, despite dips in auto production.
Manufacturing Gains Offset Other Losses
October’s rise in manufacturing production offset decreases in mining and utility output, leading to a 0.1 percent gain in industrial production last month. Industrial output rose 0.2 percent in September.
Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the economy. The upward trend in manufacturing output has been spurred along by a strong domestic economy. But will the growth continue? There are signs that the momentum cannot be sustained due to growing capacity constraints amid labor shortages and more expensive raw materials.
Also, the growth in US manufacturing output is primarily based on the strengthening domestic economy, but a strong dollar, cooling global growth, and fear of retaliation for Trump tariffs, are restraining exports. Many believe that growth in the manufacturing sector cannot be sustained by domestic sales alone. In fact, according to a report recently issued by Supply Management earlier this month, what it refers to as the “export-orders gauge” fell for the third time in four months, while new orders decelerated for the fourth month in five.
This report echoes the concerns of many economists that President Trump’s trade war with China is starting to inflict more pain on manufacturing, even as the gross output numbers, as mentioned above, indicate that the manufacturing sector continues to expand.
Exports and the “Trade War” with China
The Supply Management data comes on the heels of other reports that came out mid- November, that also indicates that manufacturing in some of Asia’s most export-driven economies softened in October, highlighting spillovers from the trade spat. However, US stocks rallied recently, after President Trump said he had a productive conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade.
This all means that, as with any economic indicator, the better than expected manufacturing numbers posted in October, cannot be looked at in a vacuum. While it is true that any number that indicates growth is a good thing, one must also look at the overall picture. True, the Trump economy is strong, but analysts are also monitoring factory reports to assess whether the tax-cut-driven boost to business investment may be fading. Figures last week showed corporate spending on large ticket items such as equipment, cooled in the third quarter to the slowest pace of gains since 2016.
However, on the plus side of things, the job market remains stable, and the October jobs report showed that along with an increase in total output, manufacturing payrolls climbed.
Recently, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expressed confidence in U.S. economic strength, and despite his admission that in “the global economy”, there has been “a gradual chipping away” at growth, the US economy “is in such a good place right now” and he credited the Fed’s monetary policy for mostly encouraging that growth.
Outgoing Republican United States Senator Jeff Flake has made himself a national figure by being a bit of a maverick in the tradition of his Arizona colleague, the late John McCain. Unlike McCain, Flake will not ride out his political career to its final days in the Senate.
Ironically, Flake first stepped out from the relative obscurity of being little more than one one-hundredth of the Senate membership when he announced his intention to step down from an expected bid for re-election.
Flakes retirement from the upper chamber was not due to age, moving on to another public office or the offer of a high-paying job in the private sector. He dropped out of his race for re-election because – to put it bluntly – he was not re-electable. His frequent apostasy from conservative Republican orthodoxy made him a rather unpopular figure among Arizona’s conservative Republican primary voters.
Even though a bit of a back-bencher, Flake had visions of occupying that cornerless office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After all, if John McCain could ride maverick-hood to a presidential nomination, why not Flake?
McCain’s friends and critics were united in their belief that the late Senator was one of a kind. Flake failed to appreciate that. Also, McCain survived on the political momentum of seniority more than the abject admiration of all his Republican peers – despite the effusive eulogies.
Furthermore, Flake began to out maverick the maverick – and in doing so made himself even more unpopular than his Arizona colleague.
Once he pulled the plug on his 2018 Senate re-election bid, Flake demonstrated a bitterness by finding common cause with Senate Democrats in their #NeverTrump Resistance Movement. As one might expect, Flake’s attacks on Trump and conservative Republicans – often from the floor of the Senate — were welcomed fodder for the liberal news media. He became a frequent guest on shows that had previously failed to recognize his existence.
With Republican control of the Senate held by a razor-thin one-vote margin, Flake could leverage his vote into spotlight grabbing strategies. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Flake was able to extend the hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh for a week by siding with Democrats in what could only be described as meaningless grandstanding. Regardless, the national media focused on Flake as he huddled with the Democrats.
In one of his final imperious acts of egocentricity – at least we can hope so — Flake more recently announced that he would block all of the pending appointments to the federal bench unless the Senate put a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from an excessively reported firing by Trump – a firing that has not happen during almost two years of erroneous predictions by Democrats and the media, and an equal number of accurate refutations by Trump and administration officials that Mueller was not being fired.
Like Flake’s optics-only extension of the Kavanaugh hearings, taking a vote on the bill to protect Mueller is meaningless. The bill is not likely to pass both chambers, and if it did, it would be vetoed by Trump. There is also a serious question if it would be held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court since it appears to violate the separation of powers. And the bill, itself, does not actually prevent the President from firing Mueller. The President, not the Congress. Is in charge of hiring and firing in the Executive Branch.
In just a few short weeks, Flake will be flying off to Phoenix. While he has not announced any future plans, he seems a man too firmly embraced by the political spotlight to move into the shadowy abyss of private life.
Flake appears to have burned too many GOP bridges to restart his career in the party of Lincoln. In fact, his actions on the way out the door suggest he knows that – with one possible exception.
Flake could see himself as a primary challenger to Trump in 2020 as an independent moderate – but even Flake must realize that he has made himself too unpopular with too many Republican voters to get any political traction in the GOP.
This leaves the other option. Switch over to the Democratic Party. This would take him out of the 2020 presidential race because the Democrats already have a too many wannabes. No new kid on the block is going to push all of them aside.
However, at 55, Flake is young enough to be eligible to run for president in 2024, 2026, 2030, 2034, 2038 and maybe even in 2042, when he would be 79 years old – about the same age as two current contenders, Joe Biden, who will be 77 in 2020, and Bernie Sanders, who will be 79.
In the meantime, there is always a governorship, a return to the Senate on the other side of the aisle or a Cabinet position in some future Democrat administration. In any case, it is unlikely that America has heard the last of Jeff Flake. Arrrgh!
So, there ‘tis.
A report conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates the cost of providing government benefits to illegal immigrants costs the American taxpayer $100 to $135 billion annually.
The report released in September of 2017 also estimates the number of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. at around 12.5 million people, plus another 4.2 million children of those illegal immigrants. The Federal Government pays approximately $50 billion, while both state and local governments pay the additional $89 billion annually.
Those numbers were cited during a recent Trump rally in Cleveland, Ohio by the President.
“Illegal immigration costs our country more than $100 billion every single year,” he said.
The President, referencing the FAIR Report on November 5th ahead of the midterm election, noted that the majority of this expense comes in the form of medical care and public schooling expenditures.
FAIR also concluded that illegal immigrants generate about $19 billion in taxes each year, bringing the net cost down to $116 billion annually.
While the FAIR report is one of the few studies to attempt to examine the overall financial costs of housing illegal immigrants, the actual numbers of illegal immigrants are hard to come by – no doubt because of political considerations.
In 2013, a study by the Heritage Foundation estimated that illegal immigration costs the government about $54.5 billion per year, less than half of the FAIR estimate.
The discrepancies lie in the actual number of Illegal immigrants in the United States. Most estimate the amount to be around 12.5 million, and that’s the number the FAIR report is based on.
However, the Pew Research Center estimated in 2016 that there were approximately 11.3 million Illegal immigrants within the United States, while the Center for Migration Studies put the number at around 10.8 million.
Another recent study, this one by Yale University, had the number of Illegal immigrants at almost double the FAIR report at well over 22 million Illegal immigrants.
Remarkably, the last review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was released in 1995, over 21 years ago.
At that time the net cost of illegal immigration ranged between $2 and $19 billion a year. The report was published at a time when the Census Bureau estimated that approximately 3.5 to 4 million illegal immigrants resided within the United States.
Robert Rector was one of the senior research analysts in 2013 for the Heritage Foundation. He explained why the cost of housing illegal immigrants has skyrocketed within just the last decade.
“The reality is, as almost anyone would acknowledge, even outside the context of immigration, is that a person that only has a high school degree is very likely to receive more in government benefits and services than they pay in taxes. And of course, half of the illegals don’t have a high school degree.”
One of the subjects of extensive media coverage – although nothing near the time devoted to negative opinions about Trump – is the prospect of California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi reclaiming her political perch as Speaker of the House. The Democrat caucus will meet in a matter of days to elect its new leadership and the only question is how much “new” there will be in the new leadership. Understandably, the most important question involves Pelosi.
If there is a legitimate question regarding Pelosi’s future, there are two reasons. The first is her general unpopularity. Even though she is the most powerful Democrat in America – with apologies to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – Pelosi is so unpopular that she was considered by Republicans to be the best reason for not turning the House over to the Democrats. Now that that strategy has failed, Pelosi’s future is now open to debate.
The second reason that some may see Pelosi as something less than a slam dunk to be Speaker in January is the number of Democrats who have promised voters that they would oppose her restoration to the chair overlooking the chamber. The #NeverPelosi faction includes a number of the rabid radicals that will be heading to Washington with only one primary objective – to oust President Trump and vanquish every Republican and moderate Democrat – if there is such a thing – from the halls of government.
Despite her unpopularity and the number of her newly minted Democrat caucus members calling for new leadership, the chance that Pelosi will not be the Speaker in January is between nil and none. All this conjecture and drama seen in the press is nothing but Kabuki Theater. Even when there is no drama, the minions of the Fourth Estate will conjure up faux drama just to engage in play-by-play coverage.
There are several reasons why Pelosi will win her race for Speaker without breaking into a sweat. The very fact that Democrats won an impressive victory in taking over the House gives Pelosi a lot of political capital. She was largely responsible for the selection of many of those winning candidates – and more importantly, providing record amounts of money for those winning congressional campaigns. She has a lot of political I.O.U.s put on the table.
In addition, no formidable candidate has emerged to challenge Pelosi’s reelection. For sure, there are whispers and several who would love to see an opening – but as of this moment, they do not. You cannot beat someone with no one.
If a challenger does come forward, it will be more for the publicity than any hope of winning. Such an impotent challenge will not intimidate or humble Pelosi. Once the gavel is in her hand, she will rule over the House with authoritarian fervor.
Of course, the biggest reason Pelosi will be elevated to Speaker is the most fundamental of all political reasons. She has the votes. With a majority of 226 seats — and counting – the #NeverPelosi faction is relatively small.
It is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of those who will be voting on Pelosi had repeatedly given her the Speaker’s gavel. There is no reason to expect a revolt to spread to the ranks of the incumbent Democrat establishment.
Rather than appear hypocritical, the most vociferous of the anti-Pelosi members will cast a vote for someone else IF there is a someone else for whom to vote. But that will not be adversarial. Under the rules of Kabuki Theater in Washington, they will be given a pass. They will be allowed to cast a meaningless face-saving vote against Pelosi as long as it is not a close race – after which the freshman class of Democrat legislators will do what all good Democrats do. They will fully engage in a game of follow the leader.
So, there ‘tis.
The Women’s March was anti-Semetic. In a great touch of irony – and another example of liberals destroying one another – the organizers of the identity politics charade for more government control have lost out on the esteemed ” Human Rights Award,” given out by the Freidrich Ebert Foundation.
The group had been poised to win the award last evening, but then came the surprise announcement: Rather than winning the award, the foundation publicly rebuked the progressive feminist organization and their leader Linda Sarsour.
One of the foundation’s umbrella organizations, Critique of Anti-Semitism and Jewish Studies, sent a letter to the foundation categorizing the Women’s March as anti-Semitic – dripping with anti-Israel rhetoric and the vile anti-Semitic language by Louis Farrakhan.
“We believe that the Women’s March USA does not meet the criteria of this award, as its organizers have repeatedly attracted attention through anti-Semitic statements, the trivialization of anti-Semitism and the exclusion of Zionists and Jews since Women’s March USA establishment in 2017. Women’s March USA does not constitute an inclusive alliance,” read the letter.
The letter continued: “An organization that may support feminism, but discriminates against Jews and Zionists and denies Israel’s right to exist should not be honored by a democratic foundation that advocates diversity and speaks out against discrimination.”
The letter also openly condemned other’s within the leadership of the Woman’s March organization stating: “Sarsour, Carmen Perez (another board member of Women’s March USA), and Tamika D. Mallory (co-chairwoman of Women’s March USA who is to receive the FES Human Rights Award) have attracted attention due to their long-standing support of the notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, who, among other things, called Adolf Hitler a ‘very great man’ while recently comparing Jews to termites.”
Linda Sarsour has a long public history of anti-Semitism, dating back almost a decade. It’s no secret she supports radical extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and has also gone on record in support of Sharia Law – which remarkably is opposed to what the Woman’s March actually advocates.
She also openly supports Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, tweeting out in 2012, “When we write the history of Islam in America, the Nation of #Islam is an integral part of that history.”
Farrakhan is the same individual back in 1984 who said, “Hitler was a very great man,” and then in 1985 reminded Jews, “And don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, its forever!”
It appears the fascists are starting to show their true colors.
The ubiquitous interviews with the newly elected Democrats have a disturbing similarity. Those invited before the cameras of CNN, MSNBC and the other left-leaning media outlets are the most radical and the most socialist of the congressional class of 2019. They are welcomed with obvious delight by their media interviewers – the kind of giddy excitement that one might bestow on the person who just kicked your team’s game-winning field goal.
All those tough, in-your-face questions that the media management typically excuses as “journalists doing their job” are no longer evident. The congresspersons-elect are welcomed with high praise and softball questions.
The fact that Democrats now control the House of Representative should not be our greatest disappointment or concern. It is the left-wing racial philosophy that has increased its political might in America through the Democratic Party that should concern us. No … it should scare the hell out of us.
In a recent interview on Morning Joe, Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat soon to be representing the people of the gerrymandered 13th District, was introduced by Mika Brzezinski with Tlaib’s Muslim religion being the seemingly most noteworthy political accomplishment – closely followed up by her gender. For lefties like Brzezinski, it is still about identity politics.
Tlaib said that her religion is immaterial and should not be the issue. I totally agree. It is what Tlaib said in that and other interviews that is most troubling – what she will represent in Congress. She is an avowed socialist.
If you count her references to the apparent (to her) evils of corporate America, you will know how she will work to have Washington take over and suppress America’s highly successful free-market system with the restoration of suffocating regulations and job-killing taxes. She proposes and supports enormous taxpayer expenditures to “benefit” those she sees as downtrodden and outside the gate of America’s opportunity society. This is the same old snake oil policies that the left has been hawking for eons despite endless examples of abject failure.
Perhaps it is her broken-lens view of America that had her proclaiming Detroit – part of which she represents – as the “most beautiful black city in America.” WHAT? Staib went on to describe Detroit as the birthplace of both the civil right and labor movements. The first credit is totally untrue and the second dubious at best. Perhaps Tlaib confused the civil rights movement with Motown music, the last great thing that came out of that sorrowful city since the Corvette.
Detroit is a city where powerful labor interests and their progressive Democrat allies –under the initial leadership of Mayor Coleman Young — combined to make Detroit what it is today. The no longer “Motor City” – long abandoned by the automobile industry — Detroit is what it is today because of the very policies Tlaib hopes to resurrect on a national scale.
It should not be lost on anyone hearing Tlaib’s praise that Detroit is a financially destroyed, mostly desolate place where government services have all but collapse. We can see how municipal socialism worked for Detroit even if Tlaib cannot.
If Tlaib were some malcontent outlier, there would be no need to worry, but she is only one of a number of radical leftists, socialist-promoting candidates who won election this November. Their recruitment and support from the national Democrat leadership and their victories in the Democrat primaries attest to the fact that the radical, anti-free-market forces have now staked a major claim over the party of Jefferson.
If the people of America had thought that turning the House over to the Democrats would being some positive balance to our federal government – or would be unifying influence – they may be in for a great disappointment over the course of the next two years. Hardline socialists like Tliab are not seeking compromise, they are seeking dominance for a political and economic philosophy that is an anathema to America’s longstanding values and devotion to grassroots governance.
President Lincoln said that our government “of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” It will if we succumb to a socialist government of the elite, by the elite and for the elite.
So, there ‘tis