The elitist liberal press predicates days of repetitious reporting on two assumptions – which they claim are facts. Assumptions are NOT facts.
First is the claim that President Trump wanted Ukrainian President to “make up dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter “for political purposes.” At best, that is one person’s theory – spin. It is not an established fact by the transcript of the conversation or any of the secondary commentary.
It is equally reasonable – and there is hard evident to support it – that President Trump was continuing the United States interest in ferreting out corruption in Ukraine and that the Biden issue was just one example. It is just as arguable that Biden was mentioned because it was the most prominent example in which there was legitimate suspicion.
Biden, the Democrats and their media allies say that the Bidens have been investigated and totally exonerated. There is no there there. That is simply untrue – nothing more than a partisan narrative. Several publications usually friendly to Democrats raised questions and suspicions of Hunter’s seemingly lucrative business deals based on nothing more than his father’s power and influence.
The case-in-point was the fact that young Biden was provided a $60,000 PER MONTH part-time long-distance position on the board of Bursima, a major oil company in Ukraine, despite that fact that Hunter is without any obvious experience in the energy business, was not associated with Ukraine previously and had a personal work history that would question his ability to attain any high-level job anywhere in the world on his own.
To make matters worse, the company that “hires” Hunter is deeply involved in the corruptive environment of Ukraine and headed by an oligarch often cited as one of the corruptors. This was before the reform candidate, Volodymyr Zelensky, was elected President.
As Vice President of the United States, daddy Biden travels to Ukraine to say that the United States will withhold American funds much needed by Ukraine in their fight against Russia unless the lead prosecutor is replaced. He wanted a favor – a quid pro quo – from the widely recognized corrupt leadership in Kyiv. (Hmmm. Does that sound like what they accuse Trump of doing?)
Some say the dismissed prosecutor was investigating Bursima and some say he was one of the corrupt officials. That is irrelevant because his successor did not investigate Bursima and the Biden connection. That was simply a declaration from Biden’s new hand-picked prosecutor. Well, duh!
When Biden & Company say that Hunter did nothing wrong, that is because there was no real investigation. If the FBI had not looked into Al Capone’s tax evasion, old Scarface could also have claimed to have “done nothing wrong.”
Of course, “doing nothing wrong” and “doing nothing illegal” are also two different things – as we see in so many of the accusations against Trump. Most of the accusations against Trump deal with alleged improprieties that would unlikely hold up in a court-of-law – even though Democrats and the media claim they would.
The concern over Hunter’s Ukraine dealings gains a degree of legitimacy when he traveled on Air Force Two to China with his dad and comes home with a billion-dollar deal for his consulting business – in which the son of former Secretary of State John Kerry is Hunter’s partner. Small world.
It is clear that as Vice President, Joe Biden did help his son get access to extraordinarily lucrative deals with nations that had – at the time – a troubling relationship with the United States. The extraordinary amounts of money involved seem to far exceed the professional capabilities of the recipients – and even of far more knowledgeable and capable professionals.
There is enough there there to warrant a serious investigation of Hunter Biden. What service did he provide to the corrupt oligarch and his company? What does he know about the alleged corrupt activities of the aforementioned? What would legitimately cause any business to hire Hunter at such an extraordinary pay grade? No matter how you wish to interpret Trump’s motivation in pursing an investigation of the Biden boys, it is still very worthy of a full and thorough investigation.
So, there ‘tis.
On example of how the to-impeach-or-not-to-impeach has sucked all the air out of the airwaves, consider the workers strike against GM. At 21 days. this is now one of the longest major strikes in decades – not counting the 3-day walk out against GM in 2007. In normal times, an auto strike would be the lead story at the top of the news virtually every day – but these are not normal times.
In my surfing the news networks, I was reminded of the GM strike by a report on One America News (OAN) – a second tier (but first-class) network that actually reports a number of news stories every hour – leaving their commentary to a few personalities. I have not seen any updates from any of the so-called major news outlets – even those the cable variety have 24 hours a day to fill.
Even if I missed a report – which is possible – it is fair to say that the coverage, if not nil, is minimal. Regardless of the myopic attention to all things Trump, the GM strike is a story and has meaning. It deserves analysis.
What is the current status and what are the ramifications for the labor movement in general? I will attempt to provide an update – but first I must go do the research that the news folks fail to do.
The fact that the strike is garnering very little coverage just be a huge disappointment to the leadership of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Strikes are intended to get maximum exposure and sympathy from the public to put pressure on those mean old bosses who will not accede to the demands of the Union.
In an effort to get some media exposure, Bernie Sanders went to GM to walk the picket line in solidarity with the workers. Since the strike has gone on for almost a month, it seems that the folks with the oak paneled offices are not feeling the pressure – or “the Bern.”
So far, the Company keeps making proposals, and the union keeps rejecting them. That happened as recently as this weekend. The strike has had huge ramifications on workers. More than 50,000 GM employees are off the job. An additional 10,000 workers in Canada and Mexico have been affected by plant shutdowns even though they are not part of the Union. The UAW claims that as many as 200,000 workers may have been temporarily laid off at companies that supply GM. That last figure could be a tactical exaggeration, however.
While wage, benefits and job security are the evergreen issues in a labor strike, this one has a few issues that may be unacceptable – even impossible – for the Company to meet. The Union wants GM to put three plants that have been – or are planned to be – closed. This is where the Union may be some sympathy from President Trump. The Union wants workers brought back from Mexico.
It is ironic that the labor unions – including the UAW – align so completely with the Democratic Party when Trump is giving them – at least temporarily – what they have wanted – tariffs.
Ironically, the major obstacle to repatriation is the high wages – and other costs — the UAW is demanding of GM. It was all those years of high wage settlements that pushed auto manufacturers to seek production overseas. The high wages also led to the competitive advantage enjoyed by foreign car manufacturers that put American companies on the ropes – and in some cases out of business.
The lack of attention to this strike shows how weak organized labor has become. In many ways, they are a paper tiger politically – especially the private sector unions. Back in 1954, unions represented more than one-third of the American workforce. Today that number is approximately 10 percent – and that includes the enormous increase in public sector union membership.
While wages have gone up, many union contracts have led to workforce reduction, killed off new job creation and sent jobs overseas. In trade negotiations – and I have been involved in a few – this is referred to as “benefiting the survivors.”
This strike will eventually get settled. The real question, however, is whether the new contract will put GM and other American auto manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage … again. The unions have too often killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.
So, there ‘tis.
I sincerely extend my best wishes to Bernie Sanders for a speedy recover from his heart attack and stent operation. The operation is not all that serious – although underlying causes can be. The only delay in getting back to full activity is waiting for the incision into the artery near the groin to heal. These days it does not qualify as major surgery. It can often be done as an outpatient procedure.
How do I know that? I have more than a half dozen of those little devices in my body. Anymore and they will send me to the metal scrapyard when I die.
The fact that Sanders suffered a “mild heart attack” makes a difference. Such heart attacks are not a grim foreboding of a limited future. Many people – me included – had had them. So, from what we know, Sanders should be okay. But this medical emergency is have an effect.
The outlook for his political future is not so optimistic. For months, he and Elizabeth Warren had been running neck-and-neck for the leadership of the progressive Democrats – which currently make up a majority in the party. Once that happened, I have long predicted that the Biden lead would vanish. And so, it has.
Sanders has been slipping for several weeks (not referring to his fall in the shower that required a few stitches). For the far left, the choice will be which of these two candidates – Warren or Sanders – has the best chance to beat Trump. The momentum is moving in Warren’s direction.
She appears to have three advantages over Sanders. She is a woman. That appeals to the progressives. As much as they love the old curmudgeon, he is still an old white male – a political breed as unpopular with those on the left as the billionaires Sanders attacks so much.
The second advantage Warren has is that, despite the fact that she and Sanders are identical twins in terms of the issues, her I-have-a-plan-for-everything has been far more effective as a campaign pitch than Sanders’ I-hate-billionaires drone.
The third advantage is age and energy. For sure, Warren – at the age of 70 — is not a spring chicken. But she performs on stage – and off – like the Energizer Bunny. It seems to be a presidential campaign affectation since she has been more sedate in her senate campaigns. It is her way of drawing a comparison to the two old men she hopes to defeat – Sanders and Biden.
Both Sanders and Biden would hit their 80s in the first term. Warren would never hit 80 during a two-term tenure. In fact, Warren would be about the same age as Sanders is today AFTER serving two terms in office.
Though not life threatening, Sanders stent operation shows that he has Coronary Heart Disease. Most old folks do. He is a reminder that the odds against being alive, healthy and – most importantly –functional for the next nine years is not very good. Very few people survive their 80s – and even fewer retain physical and mental facility sufficient to maintain an active lifestyle.
Most people understand that – and that is why Sanders’ stent operation is likely to cost him votes and continue his downward slide. Warren is likely to pick up those votes and use them to overcome Biden’s current lead.
It is not a matter of how they perform today, but how they are likely to perform in the future. Former President Jimmy Carter put it bluntly – declaring that 80 is too damn old to be President. Sanders’ operation is a warning flag – and it points the issue in Biden’s direction as well. With more than a year to go until the 2020 General Election, I would not be surprised to see another one or two “health scares” for Sanders or Biden.
So, there ‘tis.
President reached into my neck of the woods to nominate another great judge for a lifetime appointment to the United States Federal District Court for southern Florida. In fact, he plucked his choice from the overwhelmingly liberal Democratic Broward County.
The nomination of Anuraag “Raag” Singhal – who currently serves as a Circuit Court judge – has previously served as an assistant state attorney and a criminal defense lawyer. He had previously served as president of the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (BACDL). Singhal is a first generation American. His parents migrated to the United States from India.
In view of the bogus racist narratives being flung at Trump, the appointment of a minority is likely to conflict the politically correct Democrats in dealing with this nomination. Even so, the hardcore left will do everything they can to destroy the reputation of Singhal. It will not be easy.
Singhal has earned a primo reputation within the legal community – including from Democrats. That is significant since the judge is considered politically and judicially conservative. For conservatives, Singhal is a diamond among political cinders.
Singhal has been a member of the Federalist Society – an organization that vets and recommends highly qualified conservative judges for high court appointments. He is also a member of another conservative legal professional organization, the Thomas More Society.
This has not stopped the local legal establishment – mostly Democrats – from heaping high praise in Singhal. The man who succeeded him as president of BACDL, Democrat State Representative says Singhal is “a “lawyer’s lawyer” who represented his clients with “intensity and integrity … no theatrics, just true grit.”
The former mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, Jack Seiler, referred to Singhal a “a very thoughtful, intellectual judge. He treats everybody with respect, whether you’re a lawyer, a juror, a party, a witness,” – adding that “Integrity again comes to mind when thinking of his career as a judge.”
Singhal has handled several very controversial cases. He ruled that deposed Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes had broken the law when she prematurely destroyed thousands of ballots during a challenge. He was assigned to handle the risk assessment of those who were subjected to the new Red Flag law enabling law enforcement to seize weapons from those believed to be potentially dangerous. The law was enacted after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
As a District judge, Singhal will not make determinations of constitutionality. He will basically deal with matters of fact in civil and criminal cases. But this is a guy who could easily rise to the Appellate and even the Supreme Court. We should keep an eye on Singhal when there is another vacancy on the highest court in the land.
So, there ‘tis.
I am not into conspiratorial theories and I do admit that the headline is a bit provocative. BUT these are unusual times and the loyal opposition – as we once called the out party – seems to have discarded the “loyal” adjective.
It started with the efforts to upset the 2016 election by having the Electoral College to break faith and elect someone other than Donald Trump as President of the United States. Failing at that, the newly formed #NeverTrump Resistance Movement tried to have Congress block Trump’s inauguration – although that is not in the purview of Congress to do such a thing. It was an act of nutty desperation.
Even before Trump took the oath of office, the calls for impeachment were voiced from the radical left within the Democratic Party. Never has it been suggested that a President be impeached BEFORE he took office. It would have been more understandable had California and New York – the epicenters of Trump hatred – led an effort to secede from the Union as the Democrats did when Abraham Lincoln was elected. Only this time there would have been no effort to stop them.
In the early days of the Trump administration, certain figures in the intelligence and law enforcement leadership elevated the Resistance Movement to the level of a bit of a d’état. Remember, former FBI Director James Comey admitted under oath that he leaked documents in order to have a special counsel named – and why would you do that unless you wanted to build a case for the removal of the President?
This led to the dubious Russian collusion investigation that fell short when Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Trump & Co. did NOT conspire with the Russians – and he further refused to allege charges of obstruction of justice. With that strategy in shambles – and the soiled hands of the coup plotters being investigated by the Inspector General – Democrats took advantage to launch more investigations of Trump than the mythical Medusa had serpents as a poisonous hairpiece – including a faux impeachment effort.
They have called for virtually every member of the Cabinet to resign at one time or another – most recently Attorney General Robert Barr.
Having failed to block both the seating of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh as justices of the Supreme Court, they now want to reclaim a liberal majority by calling for the impeachment of Kavanaugh. There is nothing … absolutely nothing … that Kavanaugh has done since assuming his seat on the high court that would remotely justify an impeachment.
Rather, the Resistance Movement Democrats want to re-do the confirmation hearings – just as they are now trying to re-do the Mueller investigation. They say Kavanaugh lied under oath – which they had alleged during the hearings. They say that the FBI failed to follow up on accusations that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a couple of drunken frat parties during his days at Yale.
(I must stop and digress. Are they kidding? We do not know if it is true or not. Kavanaugh denies it. BUT … a college kid gets drunk and whips out his wang at a frat party??? Or maybe it was just “mooning” – a kids craze as long as I can remember. Even if true, it hardly warrants even a discussion of impeachment. Oh! For the record … I never did. It is sort of like a gun. Don’t pull it out unless you intend to use it. I do have to confess, however, that a group of my classmates and I did “moon” the girls’ dorm one night. So, enough of this salacious digression.)
Kavanaugh went through one of the most thorough investigations and hearings in American history. Do you recall how the hearings were extended because the Democrats said the FBI had not finished looking into all the dark corners. The further investigation found nothing new except a phony accusation trumped up by discredited attorney Michael Avenatti.
So, now the Democrats are AGAIN saying the investigation by the FBI was insufficient. As long as they do not get the results they want, Democrats seem determined to go over the same ground in endless pursuit of something that does not exist.
The Democrats primary objective is not oversight. It is not seeking the truth. It is not upholding the rule-of-law. It is to use … abuse, that is … the power of Congress to disrupt and unseat the duly elected government of America. It is a raw and dangerous attempt to regain the power they lost in the 2016 election.
So, there ‘tis.
As my high school teacher repeatedly admonished, you first have to define terms before engaging in debate. So, we shall.
According to an online dictionary, “emolument” means “a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office.” That seems simple enough.
In terms of the Constitution and the presidency, the person in the White House is barred from receiving “emoluments.” This is what the revered document has to say on that subject.
“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
The Founders referred to it as the “Nobility of Title Clause.” If you stick with the language, it is obvious that those enacting the Constitution were most concerned with folks serving in ANY public office being coopted by a “King, Prince, or foreign state” through the granting of titles, offices, presents or … that funny word, emoluments. It says nothing about receiving things of value – including a business purchase – that is within the United States. You know … from folks who are NOT kings, princes or foreign governments.
It seems to apply to any American who holds “any Office of Profit (paid) or Trust (pro bono).” That seems to include every state and local official in addition to federal officials—not only elected and paid, but those volunteering on all sorts of boards and commissions seem to be covered.
Contrary to the Democrats political interpretation, the Title of Nobility Clause does not preclude our public officials from having successful businesses before, after and even during their tenure in office. They are barred from accepting bribes or anything of value in return for an official vote or decision. And in such cases, there has to be a direct relationship between the “gift” and the public official’s action. There is no evidence that Trump is basing his decisions as President by who is staying at his properties.
If the Founders had intended that every officeholder – and especially the President – had to divest themselves of all private business interests – they would ALL have been in violation of the Clause. When George Washington was President, he still owned his slaves and a working farm – and he occasionally travelled back to Virginia to tend to it. That would be like Trump spending a few days each month at his old office in the Trump Organization.
Public officials have businesses was the standard practice at the time the Title of Nobility Clause was drafted – and many of our colonial leaders were doing business or selling crops to foreign governments while they were in office. Surely, the Founders did not mean for that Clause to put them all out of business. You need to recall that they viewed public office as a temporary service by people from all walks of life – people who had and needed income from their businesses. The Lincoln law firm did not cease to exist when he was President.
Perhaps the most egregious offenders – if it is, indeed, and offense – are all those congressional lawyers whose law firms still promote them as ex officio, emeritus or “of counsel” on the letterheads – even as they do business with foreign governments and enterprises. Many local officials with law firms are still running them. If you check out those so-called “politically connected” law firms, you will find that they are raking in millions from foreign interests. How about a Citgo (Venezuelan) gas station seeking a zoning change in Chicago? Or a French company needing permits to build a high-rise in New York?
If there was ever a case in which the Title of Nobility Clause had any justification, it might have been in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation, which was receiving millions upon millions of dollars from foreign states when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and a prospective future President. Those were blatant efforts to buy access and influence. If you disagree, just check out the donations to the Foundation AFTER Hillary lost the presidency and her husband’s major cling to fame was his association with pedophile Jeffery Epstein.
President Trump is not running his business – nor is he taking a salary from it. It is NOT an emolument if some foreign business group stays at his Trump Tower in Washington at normal rates – which are normally very high – any more than if Washington – George, that is –had shipped some tobacco from his farm to France.
It is not a violation of the intent of the Title of Nobility Clause to have a bunch of American servicemen stay at a fancy resort in Scotland at below-market prices. Why force these men and women serving the nation to double up at Motel 6? It is our tradition to give service personal discounts and even freebies.
It is a good practice for our public officials to refrain from taking things of value from anyone – not just kings and princes – but that does not apply to businesses that provide legitimate goods and services to the general public.
The Democrats can make a political issue of all this because they know they will get the support of much of the elitist anti-Trump media to assist in misinforming the public. They can even take the President to court to create yet another phony dog-and-pony show. BUT when the dust finally settles, Trump will win because the Democrats are just wrong on this one. The Title of Nobility Clause has never been invoked in its more than its 130 years.
So, there ‘tis.
Perhaps the political class is starting to realize that we the people are sick and tired of the rhetoric warfare in which differences of opinion are consolidated into warring camps. It is bad enough that politicians are victims of strategic character assassination. As in any “war,” the people are propagandized into evil incarnate.
During World War II, we had to temporarily hate the German people, the Japanese people – and the same during the Vietnam War. The fact that we have good relations with these nations today gives hope for our own contemporary people-to-people hatemongers will find tolerance and acceptance in the future.
In recent days, there has been a rising call for civility. The family of the late Senator John McCain has launched a civility project to encourage people to reach out to what is unfortunately dubbed “the other side” in reasonable dialogue. Even the strident talking heads on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” have been talking about toning down the rhetoric.
“Morning Joe” regular Eugene Robinson, of the Washington Post, said that no one on the left believes that all Trump supporters are racists – and assumedly not sexists, xenophobes, homophobes and all those other pejoratives so often heard emanating from the left-wing of the Fourth Estate.
One of the mainstays of left-wing commentary has been the broad-brush branding of Trump’s supporters in the vilest stereotyping imaginable. If Robinson were to watch MSNBC – and not only appear on the network – he would have heard several hosts and panelists saying that supporting Trump makes the person a racist by extension. Folks like Donny Deutsch, host of “Saturday Night Politics” (one of the worst political talk shows ever conceived by the left), made their rejection of civility very clear.
You cannot – emphasized Deutsch – say you like Trump policies but not his personality (people like me). You must take the entire package. If you are a Trump voter, then YOU are guilty of everything the left ACCUSES him – no matter how outrageous the accusations may be. This same theme was played out across the MSNBC line-up by folks like Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude, MSNBC utility infielder John Heilemann and any number of other pop-up panelists.
Attacking Trump voters and supporters was not limited to the biased panels of parroting pundits but was part of the Democrat presidential candidate’s playbook. Beto O’Rourke led the assault on 40 percent of America to be quickly followed by such fellow struggling luminaries as Julian Castro, Tim
Ryan and Cory Booker.
Sorry Eugene, you just do not know what you are talking about. Or maybe you are just knowingly peddling a propaganda narrative – as usual.
Political incivility is largely a one-way street. Most of the venomous verbiage is directed at Republicans, conservatives and all those who disagree with the Democrats left-wing ideology – an ideology that is embraced and promoted in round-the-clock infomercials that the elitist east coast press passes off as news.
No, I am not absolving President Trump for his contribution to the acridity of contemporary political dialogue. I have never liked his pugnacious style and name-calling. I think he has done damage to the cause with his bellicosity. The problem of maligning the right is much bigger than him, however – and preceded his presidency. Unfortunately, he has given credence to Democrat complaints and provided a false appearance of equivalency.
It does not matter what side of the political divide you take up residency, the one thing that seems to unify most Americans – and should unify ALL Americans – is a disgust and repulsion of the degradation of political discourse. It is sad to note that false accusations, mendacious narratives and child-like name calling have supplanted serious political dialogue.
It has been evolving over the years. Back in the 1990s, President Clinton called out the trend toward “the politics of personal destruction.” Perhaps the beginning goes back to the mid-1960s, when “I like Ike” (President Eisenhower for those of you who went to school in more recent years) to “Tricky Dick” – a pejorative tagged on President Nixon by the Democrat he beat in the 1950 Senate race, Helen Gahagan Douglas.
One only need read and hear the words of our national leaders of generations past to see just how badly our current political language has been corrupted. The words of our Founders, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and others were eloquent and poetic.
We are told by the mavens of the media that both sides – Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals – use coarse language and personal attacks as a means of satisfying and solidifying their respective bases. The assumption is that supporters of one candidate or another – one perspective or another – relish the verbal mud wrestling.
That may be true – and even that is only “maybe” – of the fringe elements on the far left and right edges of the political continuum. It is certainly not the attitude of the vast majority of Americans on the rational left, right or in the middle. We are sick and tired of our national leaders communicating in ways that would bring parental correction if our children talked that way.
AND, we conservatives are particularly sick and tired of being maligned as cold, callous, heartless, inhumane, toxic human beings.
What is so hypocritical of the left is that they call on us all to be more civil while they continue to mischaracterize and malign those of us on the right with full abandon. The shallow lip-service call for civility — that was allotted less time than a commercial on MSNBC — was followed by business-as-usual brand bashing of Republicans and conservatives – and of course, Trump.
One cannot expect civility unless there is honesty. We can respect people with different opinions – even love them. All options for civility end, however, when we are unfairly and viciously maligned and demeaned – not by just another person, but by the major institutions of our society as a matter of form.
Political civility is not a grassroots phenomenon. It starts at the top and can only be stopped from the top.
So, there ‘tis.
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ihan Omar had to unpack their bags when the Israeli government declared them to be persona non grata. In the spirit that nothing negative in the world happens without President Trump being involved. You know … it was his fault that a nut-case shooter killed 22 people in El Paso, that the stock market declined for a couple days and that Jeffery committed suicide – and if it is discovered that Epstein was murdered, that makes Trump even more culpable.
Of course, Tlaib and Omar hit the airwaves in outrage that members of the United States Congress would be denied a visa for a semiofficial visit. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi thought it was a bad move on the part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But was it?
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East – unless you are inclined to believe that Turkey is still one. It is our most steadfast ally. However, that is not how the political twins see it. They describe the Jewish nation as a terrorist state. They accuse American Jews of using campaign money to “buy” the support of Congress.
Though both had promised Jewish voters that they would not support the BDS movement – which stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Yes, those ladies want the United States, our businesses and our people to boycott Israel, to hurt it economically by refusing to do business and to impose further damage by imposing sanctions. If those sound like the actions we take against our adversaries, you are not wrong.
They do not want to punish Israel. They want to destroy it. Neither has committed to the right of Israel to exist. They have described Netanyahu in the harshest terms. They do not want the United States to supply military equipment to Israel. They have never condemned the missile attacks by Hamas. They have referred to violence against the Jewish state as “protests.” They support policies that would reduce Israeli border security. They side with Israel’s enemies. In short, in terms of Israel, they are enemies of the state.
With Tlaib and Omar, their positions on Israel are not merely differences of opinion on matters of policies. Au contraire. They have a visceral and existential disdain for America’s ally in the Middle East – and more than a tinge of anti-Semitism in their remarks.
After being informed that they were on El Al Airlines’ no fly list – at least for this trip – Tlaib played the bleeding-heart card. It seems that she would be denied visiting her ailing 90-year-old grandmother in Palestine – possibly for the last time. She bled that heart for all it was worth in every interview. We could feel her pain.
I did sympathize with her. Family love is important. It should stand apart from politics, business and most other distractions. I sort of felt sorry for Tlaib and her grandmother. I am sure the old lady would have longed to see her famous and powerful grandchild. Grandmas are like that.
The Israeli government is not without heart. It offered Tlaib a humanitarian visa to visit granny. No official meetings. No pomp and circumstances. No organizing protests against the Israeli government. Just an American citizen visiting her grandmother in a distant land. This was the making of a Hallmark movie.
Then came the shocker. If you were expecting to see sweet pictures of Tlaib with her arms wrapped around her frail progenitor, you will be terribly disappointed. Tlaib would NOT be going to Israel under what she called oppressive conditions.
Apparently hugging grandma for possibly the last time was not that important after all. With her rejection of the offer, Tlaib demonstrated that the pathos of her public statements was nothing more than concocted political theater. I would suspect that grandma is heartbroken. She may never see her granddaughter again – not because Tlaib cannot come to her, but because she refuses.
And as far as the initial plan is concerned, what would make Tlaib and Omar think they would be welcomed in Tel Aviv after all the things they have said and proposed against the state of Israel specifically and the Jewish people generally?
So, there ‘tis.
One of President Trump’s hitherto most loyal AND effective defenders has raised the prospect that it may be necessary to replace Trump and Vice President Pence as the Republican standard bearers in 2020. In fact, he says that he no longer supports Trump’s re-election. WHAT??
Businessman and political wonk Anthony Scaramucci — who served a very … very very … short time as White House Communications Director — has been one of the most reliable and effective supporters, defenders and explainers of Trump the man and the President. Now he claims he has had enough of the Trump pugnacious personality.
Scaramucci was not always been supportive of each and every Trump idiosyncrasy – and has often publicly and privately advised the President to tamp down his rhetoric and his overnight tweets. That modest and well given advice is what gave Scaramucci enhanced credibility.
Scaramucci’s break with the President is fraught with much greater significance. He represents a portion of the Trump base that likes the policies but not the personality.
This does not mean that they embrace the left-wing Democrats’ corrosive corruption of the political atmosphere – their own version of hate-mongering. As bad as Trump can be, he is not nearly as bad as what the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement claims him to be – and the hateful attack on his supporters is unconscionable. Even in the so-called base, not everyone is drawn to Trump as much as they are repulsed by both the rhetoric AND the policies of the Democrats — and the dishonest partisan propaganda by the bubble-encapsulated east coast news media.
Scaramucci is not one of those false-flag conservative Republicans – the ones CNN and MSNBC employ to give a false image of balance. Those folks deserted the cause at the onset. They included the former chairman of the National Republican Committee Michael Steele, longtime conservative icon Bill Kristol and a range of so-called “Republican strategists” — including Steve Schmidt, Elise Jordan, Rick Wilson and Max Boot. In a small example of honor, some have formally switched parties, including “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC paid contributor and former Florida Republican Congressman David Jolly.
Scaramucci is a different breed. He has been a long-time personal friend of the President and for the past two years a faithful loyalist. Apart from a few snide comments by former Trump appointees, such as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly, no one from the inner circle has come out so publicly and so completely against Trump’s re-election as has Scaramucci.
Scaramucci is not leading a potential exodus of Trump supporters but is more likely reflecting the growing feelings of a significant segment of the 90 percent of Republican voters who currently support Trump. There is a measurable degree of soft support in that number.
Most of the 90 percent will stick with Trump in a General Election when the only alternative is a Democrat from the ranks of the 25-candidate field and the radical left policies they propose to inflict on the nation. The real question is how many of the 85 percent will stick with Trump in the face of a credible alternative in the primaries – and keep in mind, that number suggestions that 15 percent of Republicans are not tied to Trump. There are a lot of Republicans who would welcome the opportunity to have that choice.
Scaramucci’s call for a challenge to Trump could … that is, could … kick off a search for a credible alternative. It would not include the current challenger for the GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, who has become a bit of a political joke after his humiliating Libertarian candidacy for Vice President in 2016. Former Congressman Mark Sanford is testing the waters, but he does not have the gravitas to defeat Trump. It would take a Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz type – and so far, none of them seem to be interested.
At this point, Trump looks unbeatable for the nomination to a second term, but if his prospects continue to fall for any reason – including an economic downturn or a plunge in his polling numbers — the currently inconceivable becomes conceivable – a serious challenge in the Republican primaries.
Unfortunately, Trump’s tweeted responses to Scaramucci’s statements could be seen as evidence justifying the turnabout.
Like a time-release capsule, Scaramucci’s opposition to Trump’s re-election could be a game changer as the future unfolds – or maybe not. But the mere fact that it raises the prospect of more primary challenges should be a warning to Trump to tone down the rhetoric. Time will tell.
So, there ‘tis.
While it is still early in the presidential marathon, we may be seeing the beginning of a trend that was predicted here – several times – over recent months. Just days ago, I wrote this:
“There are probably enough radical or gullible people in the country to keep either Sanders or Warren as a threat to Biden – but not both of them. There may be enough to actually overtake Biden and give the nomination to Warren. In that case, the big winner will be President Trump.”
Essentially, what happens to former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead as the field narrows and all those progressive votes begin to converge. I will be a problem for him.
Initially, it looked like Vermont’s socialist Senator Bernie Sanders would be the beneficiary. After all, he was the guy who almost took down the anointed one – Hillary Clinton. Based on that, and the fact the Democratic Party has moved to the left, Sanders had every right to feel that the voters would “feel the Bern.”
Instead, he now appears to have become old news – with emphasis on “old.” He could not have anticipated that an equally radical challenger would come on the scene – and in the form of a younger (not much, however) woman from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren.
Let’s look at the numbers.
According to the Quinnipiac polls, Warren has started to move away from Sander and is creeping up on Biden. In last months poll, Biden held a 34 to 15 percent lead over Warren – with Harris at 12 percent and Sanders at 11.
In the most recent poll, Biden drops to 32 percent and Warren moves up to 21 percent. Sanders actually moves up to 14 percent, but now far behind his main competition. That’s right. At this stage, it is not Biden who will end Sanders’ dream of residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It is Warren.
Sanders was not the only big loser. In the presidential game of Whack-A-Mole, the once highly touted Kamala Harris joined the legion of single-digit candidates by dropping from 12 percent to 7 percent. Ouch!
Despite their popularity on the left-wing media circuit, such presidential hopefuls as Mayor Peter Buttigieg (moving from 6 to 5 percent), the frenetic Beto O’Rourke (holding at 2 percent) and Senator Cory Booker (doubling his scored from 1 percent to 2 percent) lead a field of candidates striving for a humiliating one percent.
It has been obvious from the start that once the predominately left-wing candidates start dropping off or losing gravitas, one of the radical progressives will benefit. There are enough far-left votes scattered among the contenders to swamp Biden. He may find that his floor is his ceiling. Time will tell.
So, there ‘tis.