The Washington State Senate passed a bill designed to prevent President Trump from being on the ballot in that state in 2020. Since Trump declined to release his personal income tax forms (which is not required by federal law), the bill requires every candidate to have released five years’ worth of taxes to be on the ballot. This is similar to bills being pushed by other blue states such as New Jersey and Illinois.
Although Washington’s Attorney General and Solicitor General claimed that the bill is “likely Constitutional” but would face a court challenge, Republican state Sen. Dale Righter said that it "clearly" is not Constitutional: “The Constitution lays out the qualifications to be a candidate for president. States aren’t allowed to add to those qualifications.”
Unfortunately, being told that a bill is clearly unconstitutional has seldom stopped Democrats from passing it. Here’s my question, though: since these states are so solidly blue that they could actually pass a nakedly partisan bill like this, why are they worried about Trump being on the ballot? Are they scared that the Democratic candidate will be such a far-left, socialist-sympathizing, open-borders-embracing, Green New Deal-hugging, tax-raising, economy-wrecking, job-destroying, America-hating nightmare that Trump could beat him/her/xir even in Washington State or Illinois? Actually, that sounds like a fairly reasonable assumption.
On the other hand, I thought Democrats were all about “choice” and voters’ rights. So they believe a woman’s “right to choose” extends even to killing her baby after it's born, but nobody in their state should have the right to vote for the incumbent President? They think the right to vote is so sacred that it should even be given to illegal aliens and 16-year-old kids, but they’ll limit who you’re allowed to vote for to only the candidate of their party?
Well, I guess if you want to turn America socialist, limiting the Presidential ballot to only one candidate is a standard part of the process. I just figured they’d try to bring in the socialism first.
A new USA Today/Suffolk University Poll found that half of Americans now agree that the Mueller investigation of President Trump is a “witch hunt,” while the number who say they have a lot of trust in the investigation to be fair and accurate has dropped to an all-time low of 28 percent. In a warning to over-caffeinated House Democrats, support for impeaching Trump has dropped 10 points since October to only 28 percent.
Naturally, this being USA Today, the article also notes the 52 percent who say they have little or no trust in the president's denials that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia (but even that number is down seven points since December, and the percentage who have a lot of faith in Trump’s denials is up to a high of 30 percent.) And it focuses heavily on Trump’s tweets and “attacks” on the Mueller probe as the likely reasons for the drop in faith in Mueller’s investigation.
Considering that Trump has been attacking the fairness of the investigation and tweeting that it was a witch hunt from day one, isn’t it more likely that the recent big drop has been due to something else? Like, maybe, all the revelations that the investigation was indeed ginned up from phony evidence by rabid political partisans who lied and leaked and did everything within their power and beyond it to overturn the results of the 2016 election? Or the fact that all the indictments and convictions alluded to in the story relate to process crimes and business and tax infractions from years ago that had nothing to do with the 2016 election, the kind that you could probably levy against hundreds of people in Washington if you turned a prosecutor loose on them with a wide-open mandate and an unlimited budget to find a crime?
Or maybe Americans are just waking up to the realization that they’ve been fed a 24/7 diet of Russia collusion stories by a rabidly anti-Trump media for over two years, and the only evidence of any collusion with Russia that we’ve seen proves that Hillary’s campaign paid Russians for unverified sleaze on Trump. That’s the story that mainstream media outlets really don’t want to focus on. They'd rather focus on how their relentless anti-Trump coverage made people distrust Trump's denials. Admitting their own part in advancing a false narrative would suggest that the drop in faith in Mueller’s investigation could go hand-in-hand with a drop in faith in the media to be honest, non-partisan purveyors of truth.
If that’s what they’re afraid could be happening, they might as well stop worrying. I have news for them: that ship sailed a long time ago.
Like a perpetual motion machine scheme on GoFundMe, “Beto” O’Rourke raked in $6.1 million in online contributions in the first day of his Presidential campaign. That broke Bernie Sanders’ record of $5.9 million, proving that there’s even more money in promising to get money out of politics than there is in socialism.
I wonder if any of those idealistic donors will be demanding their “Beto” Bucks back after they hear what Fox News’ Steve Hilton turned up about his real financial history. That includes taking over $100,000 in donations from the defense industry between 2016 and 2018; plus, during the 2018 election cycle, taking the second-most donations from oil and gas industry executives in all of Congress. There’s much more at the link. This is a must-read/must-see.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is calling for a Congressional pay raise since salaries have been frozen since 2009 and "Americans ought to have our nation’s diversity of economic backgrounds better reflected in this House." That's right: politicians should get more money because...diversity! Allow him to try to make sense of that:
“The cost of rent, child care and other necessities has risen substantially in Washington and across the country in recent years, but members and staff pay and benefits have not kept pace with the private sector. If we want to attract a more diverse group of Americans to run for office and work on Capitol Hill, we need to make it possible for them to do so."
Put aside the fact that many of the wealthy politicians now in office weren’t so wealthy when they came to Washington, but somehow got that way while doing “public service” (Bernie Sanders even became a millionaire and the owner of three houses while he was a socialist public servant.) Since he brought up "keeping pace with the private sector," let’s compare the salaries of Congress members to the private sector.
Representatives and Senators make $174,000 a year. The Majority and Minority Leaders in both chambers make $193,400, and the House Speaker makes $223,500. The median household income (not individual, but household) in America is $61,372.
Considering the skills required of a Congress member compared to those required of people in the private sector, I don’t think they’re being underpaid. In fact, I could name someone who probably deserved to be paid more as a bartender but is wildly overpaid as a Congress member.
I have a feeling Hoyer’s plea for a raise will not be met with sympathy from his employers (we taxpayers.) If you had an employee who went wildly over budget, couldn’t handle the most basic responsibilities of the job (such as securing the borders) and spent all day long fighting with and name-calling his colleagues and looking for his next promotion, would you give him a raise?
Besides, we have to think about protecting these poor politicians’ souls. According to stats compiled by this site…
…anyone who earns above $130,000 is in the top five percent of wage earners in America. Earn more than $250,000, and you’re a “one percenter.” Nancy Pelosi is perilously close already, just from her Speaker’s salary (and with her vast personal wealth, surely she’s already in it.)
Considering how eeeeeevil those rich one-percenters are, and how they’re the cause of all our problems and deserve to have their wealth confiscated and redistributed because of their arrogance and privilege, it would be downright mean to force our Congress members to become a part of that class they hate so much by giving them a pay raise. In fact, if we really want them to represent the people the way they say they want to, how about cutting their pay to $61,372 a year and see how well they get by on it? Of course, they won’t get the full $61,372 a year. That’s before taxes.
Another good reason for a Congressional pay cut: if Nancy Pelosi got $61,372 a year and still had to pay taxes, I’ll bet a $1,000 tax cut wouldn’t seem like “crumbs” to her anymore.
Chalk up a legal victory for the good guys: government-run CityBus of Lafayette, Indiana, settled a lawsuit by the Tippecanoe County Right to Life group and agreed to run their ad that had been banned from buses.
The ad showed three photos of a baby: the first two were ultrasounds from different stages of development in the womb, and the third was the newborn baby. It was obvious they were all the same baby. The captions on the photos read, “Me…Me again…Still me.” The group said it simply conveyed “the scientific truth that unborn children are just as human as the rest of us.”
But the bus company rejected the ad on grounds that it rejects any politically-oriented ads, and if it accepted that ad, it might have to accept ads from other organizations, “like ones that wear hoods and burn crosses.” (Talk about a leap! If we show a baby in the womb, we’d also have to show loons in sheets.) The pro-life group's lawsuit noted that the bus company had previously accepted health-related PSAs and genuine politically-oriented ads such as voter registration drives. So this was just an example of turning away the “wrong kind” of politically-oriented ad, which is a violation of the First Amendment.
The bus company has changed its policy to accept only commercial business ads from now on, but until then, the pro-life ad is running. There’s more info at the link, where you can also see the terrific ad.
Along with rising opposition to abortion that’s been sparked by Democrats discarding their vague “right to choose” verbiage and openly promoting infanticide, this ad and the attempt to suppress it prove that abortion is one of those issues that, the closer you examine it and more you learn about it, the worse it seems.
It’s great to see some Democrats join Republicans in standing up for the sanctity of life in a vote to defeat the repeal of an anti-abortion law in New Mexico. It was mostly a stand on principle, since the law has been unenforceable since Roe v. Wade. The question is, will they also uphold their principles when it’s time to vote on a pro-life bill that actually means something?
From resident “Huckabee” pop culture historian, Pat Reeder (http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodhifibook ):
One of my sad duties is to report when we lose veterans of that Golden Age when talent was actually a requirement for a career in show business. Today, we offer our condolences to the families and fans of two men who contributed a great deal to 20th century entertainment that we still enjoy today, even if you don’t know their names.
First, Richard Erdman died Saturday at an assisted living facility in West Hills, California, at 93. Unlike some character actors whose names become somewhat familiar, Erdman was one of those guys virtually nobody could name, but whenever you saw him, you said, “Oh, it’s that guy!” Whether a director needed an exasperated floorwalker or a neurotic ad man or an annoyed juror, Erdman was the go-to actor for both dramas and comedies. He appeared in dozens of movies and countless TV shows, from “The Twilight Zone” and “Perry Mason” to “Cheers” and “Felicity,” all the way up to “Community.” Obscure trivia: he was set to play a star-making role in “The Best Years of Our Lives” but Warner Brothers wouldn’t loan him out. The role went instead to real-life veteran and amputee Harold Russell, who had never acted before. Russell won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Click the link for more about Richard Erdman and a photo that will make you say, “Oh, THAT guy!”
Saturday was a national day of mourning for anyone who ever played an electric guitar (or tried to), as word came that Dick Dale (real name: Richard Anthony Monsour) had died at 81. Causes were undisclosed but he had been in ill health for several years despite continuing to tour. He had bookings listed on his website all the way through November.
Dick Dale and the Dale Tones were seminal influences on early ‘60s Southern California rock, and Dale was hailed as “The King of Surf Rock Guitar.” His radically unusual style combined percussive fingering influenced by Gene Krupa’s drumming and native dance rhythms, Middle Eastern scales, a unique left-handed way of playing in which he often reached over the neck instead of under it, rapid-fire staccato picking, very heavy gauge strings that could be bent without breaking, and tons of reverb. His playing influenced everyone from the Ventures to Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughn. His song “Let’s Go Trippin’” is considered the first surf rock record, and his classics of the genre included “Pipeline” and “Misirlou,” which sparked a new wave of surf bands after Quentin Tarantino used it in “Pulp Fiction.” It also led to his music becoming ubiquitous in movies and TV shows set anywhere near a beach.
Here is an obituary with more information on Dick Dale, plus the original “Misirlou”…
Here he is doing “Pipeline” with Stevie Ray Vaughn from the 1987 movie, “Back to the Beach”…