It’s the weekend, and a good time to wrap up a little unfinished business. This is a particularly good weekend for that, because this past week brought commemorations of the birthday of Elvis Presley, whose motto was “TCB: Taking Care of Business.” It gives us a good opportunity to reflect on who is living up to Elvis’ credo and who is not.
First of all, a big “TCB” salute to Florida’s new Governor Rick DeSantis, for taking care of the long overdue business of suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for his deadly failure to take care of his business of keeping the students and teachers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School safe. From Israel’s office ignoring advance warnings about the shooter who eventually killed 14 students and three staff members to his deputies taking cover and waiting outside while the shooter mowed down innocent victims, DeSantis said Israel repeatedly failed and demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership, and it’s now been well-documented that the massacre might never have happened if it weren’t for his “neglect of duty and incompetence.”
Naturally, Israel said he “wholeheartedly” rejects those findings, that he did nothing wrong and acted honorably, the Governor is just playing politics with the NRA, and he’ll fight the suspension in court. But his whining and excuses cut no ice with grieving parents, one of whom said his daughter was fleeing down a hallway and would be alive today if the shooter had been delayed by even one second. But he wasn’t, because Israel’s armed deputies, following his protocols, were protecting themselves outside while listening to the shots ringing out inside the school. It only ended after officers from neighboring Coral Springs showed up and actually engaged the shooter. Israel has the right to make the case in court that he did everything right and is the wronged party here, but he’d better hope that I’m not on his jury when he makes it.
Of course, nobody “take care of business” like the US military, and that was proven again this week when President Trump revealed that a precision airstrike in Yemen was very precisely targeted at Jamal al-Badawi, one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists and an al-Qaeda operative behind the bombing of the USS Cole. That pre-9/11 attack killed 17 sailors and injured 39 more. al-Badawi twice escaped custody in Yemen and has been in hiding since 2006,
Then-president Bill Clinton vowed at a memorial service in 2000, “To those who attacked them, we say: 'You will not find a safe harbor. We will find you, and justice will prevail.’" It took until New Year’s Day of 2019, but that promise was finally fulfilled: Trump wrote on Twitter, “Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole. We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi. Our work against al Qaeda continues. We will never stop in our fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism!”
Congratulations to our military and to everyone over nearly two decades who kept up the hunt until justice was finally delivered from above. On a related note, a Chinese general recently floated the idea that China should attack a couple of US Navy ships and kill a lot of Americans, because Americans are so fat, lazy and divided that we’ll we slink away like cowards and refuse to fight. Well, it took us nearly 20 years to find Jamal al-Bawadi after he attacked one of our ships, but we never gave up and now he’s been blown to atoms. If the general hasn’t yet heard of him, then I have to assume his bosses in Beijing are not as stupid as he. They have certainly heard of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, and how effective those attacks were at intimidating Americans into surrendering.
Finally, in the category of people who are not living up to Elvis’ TCB motto, here’s the latest on the partial government shutdown, which as of today is the longest-ever.
In an age when some people think it’s the government’s business to do everything from taking over our health care to telling us how much soda we’re allowed to drink, two responsibilities that really are the business of government – securing the borders and keeping Americans safe from criminals – are not merely being ignored but openly spurned by one of the two major political parties.
President Trump is trying to take care of the government’s real business by offering to meet and work with the opposition to get the job done. He traveled to Texas, to force the TV news channels to show what’s happening at the border; and he even canceled his trip to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to stay in DC and be available to reach a deal to reopen the closed government offices.
Trump also made time to comfort the grieving relatives of a police officer killed by a criminal illegal alien who shouldn’t have still been in the US…
And he even offered to help create a path to citizenship for H1-B temporary workers with valuable skills.
Some Republicans in the House and Senate are also trying to take care of business by offering up bills to keep government workers’ paychecks coming during the shutdown, or to shut off their own paychecks until it’s settled, or else just refusing pay or donating their pay to worthwhile causes such as veterans’ groups.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall, Democrats continue to make feeble excuses for not providing a fraction as much funding for border barriers as they’ve backed under previous Presidents. They continue to engage in dismissive rhetoric about border security and illegal immigration that are 180-degrees opposite to things they’ve said in the past.
It’s become clear over the past week that their arguments run counter to obvious evidence, the hands-on experience of border security agents, common sense in general, and the views of the vast majority of Americans. Unable to refute reality, they’ve entered an ugly phase of openly denying it, with snarky tweets and eye-rolling TV appearances that mock the pain of Americans who’ve been victimized by and even lost family members to violent criminal illegal aliens. Some Angel Families are now speaking out about how low and offensive this dismissal of their suffering is.
In a final rebuke of Elvis’ “Taking Care of Business” philosophy, while Trump remains in DC, waiting to settle the impasse, both Houses of Congress went home for the weekend, where the Democratic members will no doubt bemoan the plight of the poor government workers and blame both the shutdown and its protracted length on the President who’s waiting back in DC for them to come back and do their jobs.
Ever get the feeling the wrong government workers are going without paychecks?