Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read.
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Sad news for Dolly Parton fans
This was originally published on 10/31.
This will be sad news for Dolly Parton’s fans, of whom I am one of many millions. She’s not retiring (I can’t imagine her ever doing that), but she announced that she’s decided not to tour anymore.
She says she might do the occasional festival or special appearance, but she wants to stay home and spend more time with her husband Carl now that they’re getting older. Fortunately, she will continue to write songs and record new music. I wonder if they might consider getting a second home in Las Vegas so Dolly could perform regularly and just let her fans come to her? I know they would!
Whatever she decides to do, I wish the very best to one of the kindest, warmest, most talented and most generous women in show business or any other industry. Here’s just one example. Her Imagination Library charity just gave away its 130 millionth book to children.
She said, “If I’m remembered 100 years from now, I hope it will be not for looks but for books.” I don’t think Dolly has to worry about being remembered 100 years from now, and for a lot of things.
Missouri v. Biden
This was originally published on 10/25.
In case you missed it…and chances are you did, since most media outlets are trying desperately to ignore it…Miranda Divine had a report in Sunday’s New York Post about the “little-noticed” federal lawsuit, Missouri v. Biden, which could be something very big.
She says it’s uncovering “astonishing evidence” of a censorship conspiracy between the federal government and Big Tech “that would make Communist China proud.” So far, 67 individuals and agencies, including the FBI, have been accused in the lawsuit of pressuring Facebook, Twitter and Google to censor users for spreading “misinformation and disinformation” about such subjects as Hunter Biden’s laptop, COVID-19, the efficacy of masks and vaccines, and election integrity. What that meant in many cases was that they were sharing facts and Constitutionally-protected opinions that conflicted with the government’s narratives but that later were proven correct.
Read the whole article so you’ll be prepared on the hoped-for day when all this comes out in court and even media outlets that don’t have to be pressured to parrot Democrat narratives are forced to cover it.
Related: David Strom at HotAir.com looks at the latest example of a “fact-check” designed to deceive the public.
In this case, it was the “fact-checkers” jumping on Tucker Carlson for saying that the CDC vote to add COVID vaccines to childhood vaccination schedules meant it would be a requirement. Technically, that’s not 100% accurate. The CDC schedule is a “recommendation,” and states can set their own policies. But as Strom notes, that ignores the actual fact that at least 12 states simply cut-and-paste CDC recommendations into their requirements.
It also helps distract from the much bigger story of why the CDC is recommending regular doses of a vaccine that many experts say poses more risk to children than the disease itself. As Strom points out, while the CDC is “recommending” the vaccine to children as young as five, Denmark doesn’t even offer boosters to anyone under 50 unless there’s some specific reason.
An erratic Trump needs to clear his head and assess his role
This was originally published on 11/12.
On Friday, we featured a reader letter on the future of the Republican Party as it relates to President Trump and the way he’s handling –- or not handling –- this post-election moment. She felt that it’s time for Trump to step back.
Trump has been reacting wildly on social media (Truth Social now instead of Twitter) in the very style that at times has put off even his some of his most ardent supporters, and newly incomprehensible as well. He’s coming off as vengeful and bitter, and that’s not a good look if he’s getting ready to announce another run for President.
Certainly the pressure was on him to provide the coattails for the GOP, especially for certain candidates he’d endorsed. And the outcome is turning out to be disappointing and uneven, given the expectations many of us had. Losing the House would have been a disaster in many ways, but at this writing, late Friday, we’re almost sure of taking it. Still, another disappointment has hit, as it was reported Friday that Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, a reliable Biden rubber-stamper, will keep his seat, with a win over GOP candidate Blake Masters in Arizona.
But, aside from that, it does appear that there was quite a red wave, much more, I'm sorry to say, than is apparent in the appropriation of actual seats. Aaron Kliegman reported for JUST THE NEWS that according to Cook Political Report, Republican actually won 52.3 percent of the total ballots cast, at least as of late November 10, with the Democrats coming in considerably lower at just 46.2 percent. We checked for an update early November 12, and Republicans were still in the lead, though their margin was a little narrower, 51.8 percent.
This report is updated regularly, so you can check here to see how we’re doing.
Kliegman wrote: “It’s unclear at this point what explains the glaring incongruity between the GOP’s underwhelming performance in terms of winning seats on the one hand and its significant lead in the popular vote on the other.” That’s something to look at, certainly. But those overall percentages are at least something to celebrate --- and they’re no doubt very concerning to Democrats looking ahead to the next election. Marc Elias must be lying awake nights coming up with more ideas for putting a thumb on the scale in 2024.
Certain races, however, particularly the Senate race in Pennsylvania where Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz lost to cognitively-impaired far-leftist schlub John Fetterman, so irked President Trump that he took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to say some extremely ill-advised things. The worst of all was his totally nonsensical jab at Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, which seems as though it might have been posted while Trump was under heavy medication. (One almost hopes we could find out that it was.) In a rant saying Youngkin wouldn’t have been able to win the governor’s race without him, he referred to the name Youngkin –- “Young Kin” –- as “sounding Chinese.”
Youngkin stayed above this. “Listen, you all know me,” he told reporters. “I do not call people names. I really work hard to bring people together...that’s not the way I roll and not the way I behave.”
The NEW YORK POST spoke to sources who had been around Trump as returns came in, and they didn’t paint a pretty picture. Trump had focused his ire on the increasingly popular GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis when DeSantis had said nothing to provoke him, violating President Reagan’s “11th Commandment” about not speaking ill of others in the party. Trump succeeded only in making Republicans long for someone like Ronald Reagan at the helm of our party instead of what we have. And that makes the more measured DeSantis look even better.
Given what Trump has been put through by his political enemies ever since he first announced he was running for President, it’s amazing he came through it in one piece. He is still standing after attempts on every front to destroy him, and we love him for that. But he needs to demonstrate for us that the saying, “What does not kill us makes us stronger,” is true in his case. (Research has shown that this is not generally true.) Trump needs to be stronger, not flailing. Wiser, not more emotional. More strategic, not more impulsive. If he has been weakened, if he is now more of a political liability, he’ll need to understand that it’s time to embark on another phase of life, outside of politics, for the good of the country he loves.
On the other hand, when Dan Bongino addressed this issue during his Friday podcast, he said he’s not worried that a primary contest between Trump and DeSantis will weaken the party. Judging from history, he believes this would strengthen it, no matter how much aggravation and airing of dirty laundry is involved. It’s good, he said, “because by the time you get to the general, all the dirty laundry’s been aired.” He also reminded us how hard Trump campaigned for Ron DeSantis in his first, very close election, saying that’s probably what placed him in the governor’s chair. He credited Trump for Florida’s move to “red.”
But Trump was certainly wrong, Bongino (who lives in Florida) said, to call DeSantis an “average” governor, when he is an excellent governor. “He took what Trump started,” he said, “and ran with it in the state of Florida.”
“The best approach right now is to slow down,” he cautioned. It should be about the party right now, and the races currently at stake. “There’s no rush,” he said; “there’ll be more than enough time to attack each other [on issues].’ He’s confident they’re “not gonna hurt each other” but strongly warns they must NOT make it personal, because voters will be deeply alienated by that. I would say this warning might have come too late for Trump, though, as we’re already seeing him alienate them.
What do you think? Here’s the podcast; his remarks on Trump/DeSantis start about 43 minutes in…
This article was originally published on 11/10.
As of this writing, early on Wednesday morning, control of the House and Senate remain undetermined, although the GOP is still favored to take the House by a much smaller margin than I hoped. We may not know about the Senate until December, if there’s a run-off in Georgia between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker (and Georgia Republicans had better show up and vote in that run-off; do NOT curse all of America with a Senate tie breakable by Kamala Harris again!)
Some other big races are also still nail biters. At this writing, Katie Hobbs, a wet dishrag of a candidate, is inexplicably ahead of Kari Lake for Governor of Arizona by about 30,000 votes. But that’s with only 63% of the vote counted, so let’s hope and pray that turns around. Hobbs couldn’t even competently perform her current job of running elections that she should’ve recused herself from. Lake fumed that it was an election “run by a bunch of clowns.”
This midterm will make history as one in which one of the most unpopular Presidents of all time, who has inflicted policies that are almost universally disastrous, didn’t suffer a well-deserved rebuke from voters. In fact, the electoral results suggest we might be entering a new era of political polarity in which, regardless of how bad the President is, red states get redder and blue states get bluer until we really are living in two Americas.
In blue areas, voters have become so partisan and so unwilling to listen to anything other than propaganda from Party-approved outlets that they will keep voting Democrat no matter how much it hurts them personally. Look at Pennsylvania, where Democrats elected a Senator who clearly belongs home in therapy and not in the Senate; or Memphis, where they literally elected a dead woman with a (D) after her name – by 73%!
Voters in New York, Michigan, California and Illinois reelected Democrat Governors by comfortable margins who treated them like abusive spouses and who are virtually guaranteed to continue making their lives exponentially worse. Republicans might wonder what it would take for New Yorkers to elect a Republican Governor; does someone have to club them over the head? Then you realize, they are getting clubbed over the head, and they’re still voting for Democrats.
Meanwhile, in red states, Republicans are winning by eye-popping margins. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won his last election by 0.4%; yesterday, he crushed Charlie Crist by nearly 20%. By the way, if you didn’t see DeSantis’ victory speech, it was great, and a wonderful blueprint for other Republicans to lead us out of this dark period of leftist insanity.
In other red states, Democrat dreams of winning the Governor’s race in Oklahoma evaporated, J.D. Vance easily beat Tim Ryan for Ohio’s Senate seat, and two of the Dems’ media darlings, “Beto” O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams, got their heads handed to them by Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas and Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia, respectively.
(On a side note, I want to thank those two for wasting so much Democrat donor money on their quixotic ego trips. It’s estimated that their two 2022 campaigns cost a combined $200 million. And “Beto’s” hat-trick of loserdom, for Senator, President and Governor, burned a combined quarter of a billion dollars that might’ve gone to electable Democrats. Most of it, of course, poured in from outside of their states. Having lost two presidential races myself, I honestly feel for them. It’s tough to work so hard and get rejected by the voters. But I had to pay off my own campaign debts, I didn’t turn losing into a lucrative career. And I can assure you, it’s possible to lose a race for less than a hundred million dollars.)
Is this phenomenon of blue and red states becoming ever more polarized because so many reasonable, hard-working, law-abiding residents of blue states are giving up and moving out, leaving behind blue states with majorities of criminals and what Steven Kruiser of PJ Media calls “socialist sheep?” He also makes the great point of what a mistake it was for Republicans to let leftists take over our education system and turn schools into leftist indoctrination centers.
In retrospect, despite the false hopes of the polls, maybe it was never possible for any Republican to win as Governor of New York because too many New Yorkers who’d be smart enough to vote for him already moved to Florida and voted for DeSantis.
If so, it doesn’t bode well for the future for a “United” States of America if we become two separate groups of states, one where freedom and prosperity are paramount, and the other where crime and failed big government tyranny reign supreme. Maybe Republicans should follow the Democrats’ playbook and try recruiting brave pioneers to move into blue states to vote Republican and save them from themselves. But good luck finding any volunteers!
This article was originally published on 11/11.
As all the postmortems of the midterm elections roll in, one narrative that’s rising to the top is that many Republicans who were Trump supporters are now starting to see DeSantis as the Party’s future and Trump as an anchor. Blogger Don Surber sums up the case well that even though we Trump supporters know most of the accusations hurled against him were false, manufactured and libelous, they worked to made his name toxic with millions of voters, especially Independents who never be convinced to vote for Trump or anyone aligned with him.
Surber points out that while Trump-backed candidates in red states and districts did well, those in swing states polled well below other Republicans, suggesting that if Trump ran for President, he would not be able to carry those states, even if he won them before. The betting markets seem to agree, as DeSantis has leaped into the #1 spot as most likely President in 2024 (29.7% odds) with Trump falling to second (17.6%.) You’ll be relieved to know that AOC is at 0.6%.
Trump also hasn’t helped his own case by continuing to focus on the 2020 election (which I agree was unfair and a travesty and has yet to be really investigated, but it’s over) instead of the future, and by attacking other Republicans against whom he holds grudges. As great a President as some of us think he was, it takes a strong team to win the Presidency, and you don’t win by tackling your own teammates.
When I ran for President in 2016, Trump was my primary opponent. I refused to let debate moderators goad me into attacking him (and they tried.) I told them that every person on that stage would be a better President than anyone the Democrats nominated, and I think history bore me out.
After Trump won the nomination, I didn’t sit around sucking on sour grapes. I thought about how I could help restore American strength and values outside of the political realm. I also joined wholeheartedly in helping Trump’s campaign. When he became President, I continued to defend him against a barrage of false and unfair charges, although I did criticize him when I felt it was warranted.
Now, I fear, is one of those times. Maybe it’s possible for Trump to somehow overcome the huge resistance against him among Independents, but he’s not going to do that by alienating Republicans, too. As much as I would love to see Trump make a comeback in 2024, he needs to remember that making America great again -- returning power from Washington to the people, draining the Swamp, and restoring Constitutional rights, military strength and the rule of law -- is a popular movement, it’s not a cult of personality. It’s bigger than any one person. I know he loves America, and that’s why he gave up so much to run for President.
If he cares about Making America Great Again as much as I think he does, I hope he will reflect seriously on what’s the best way to accomplish that, if what he’s doing now is really helping, and whether he can make his greatest contribution by leading the parade or cheering it on from the sidelines.
Related: Trump’s former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany agrees that Trump should put any announcements about his 2024 plans on hold until after the Georgia Senate run-off. There’s no point in stirring up a lot of animosity and side issues that might impact an election as important as that. This would be a good way to show Republicans that he can prioritize the GOP winning the Senate over his own political plans.
I Just Wanted to Say:
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