Most political pundits are buzzing today over various stories, some claiming that the 49 questions Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask Trump were leaked from Muller’s team, and others claiming they were meeting notes on possible questions likely written by Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow. There’s also a lot of chatter about a claim that Mueller plans to subpoena Trump to testify to a grand jury. But if you dig deep enough into that, you discover it’s actually just an unverified claim that Mueller brought up the possibility in a meeting with Trump’s lawyers.
So far there’s no solid verification of any of these stories. I’m not a major media outlet, so I’m not going to pick the story I like best and pretend that it’s the news. Please note that I acknowledged today's vital rumors, and we’ll talk about them further when we know for sure it wouldn’t be a big waste of pixels.
Tuesday, my social media tech guy and I were burning up the Internet with emails, trying to figure out why a completely inoffensive story I shared on Facebook was suddenly slapped with a banner asking readers to vote on whether this was “hate speech.” I won’t go into whether our emails contained any hate speech directed at the Facebook admins. But turns out they weren’t just targeting me: a new feature that’s still in testing got turned on by mistake, and everyone’s stories were suddenly up for votes on whether they should be flagged as “hate speech.” Fair enough, that explains what happened yesterday, apology accepted.
Now, on to the next question for Facebook: “Are you out of your ever-loving minds?!!”
Do you seriously think that a reasonable way to identify stories containing “hate speech” is to let the general public vote on it? You do realize that includes a huge contingent of people who seemingly have nothing to do with their time but cruise the Internet, looking to be outraged and offended by absolutely everything, from a teenager’s Chinese-patterned prom dress to Apu from “The Simpsons”? These are the same people who riot on campus to censor Ben Shapiro, calling him a white supremacist and a Nazi, even though he’s an Orthodox Jew married to an Israeli citizen of Moroccan heritage.
Letting all Facebook users have access to the “hate speech” flagging alert system would be as terrible an idea as trusting a gaggle of drunken teenagers with their high school’s fire alarm. This may have been the kind of mistake that turns out to be good in the long run, like accidentally discovering penicillin. Facebook saw the chaos and fury that ensued when every last story on the site, no matter how innocuous, was flagged with a “hate speech” banner. So why would they want to have that happen again, 24/7?
Sen. Marco Rubio is backpedaling from his claim that there’s no evidence yet that the tax cuts aimed at corporations are benefiting workers. The comment was seized on by Democrats, who love tax cuts about as much as Dracula loves garlic arranged in a cross pattern under a sun lamp. Rubio’s spokesperson “clarified” his criticism, saying the Senator does support the corporate tax cuts to make America more competitive, but just wants to balance the cuts for business with lower taxes for families.
I can certainly agree with him on that. And many companies are using their tax savings for stock buybacks and shareholder dividends. But it’s hardly accurate to say that the corporate tax cuts aren’t benefiting average Americans.
Over half of Americans own stock, so higher dividends are good news for retirees and people with 401Ks. Also, it’s only May; the tax cuts have barely gone into effect. Aside from the bonuses, raises and benefit increases announced by many companies right after the bill passed (and dismissed as “crumbs” by Nancy Pelosi), corporations are moving money and jobs back to the US. In the past year, 14 states have hit record-low unemployment, with a number of states chalking up jobless numbers below 3%. Black and Latino unemployment are at decades-long lows. That doesn’t just mean people who spent the Obama years either looking for work or holding down three part-time jobs can now find decent jobs. It means that businesses now have to compete to attract and keep the best workers, instead of hundreds of applicants competing for one job. That means better pay, benefits and other inducements for all good workers.
Here’s a perfect example of that: a hair-cutting franchise where employees on all levels are receiving raises of up to 33% thanks to the booming economy fueled by the tax cut.
And how does that compare to the Democratic model? In New York City, 100 restaurant owners just sent an open letter to Mayor Bill DeBlasio, begging him to let them add a clearly-marked 5% surcharge to bills to cover the cost of numerous government-mandated minimum wage hikes that are killing jobs and driving restaurants out of business. Their spokesman, who runs 38 Appleby’s restaurants, says it’s necessary for the restaurants “simply to survive,” noting that neither DeBlasio nor New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “has ever run a business in his life.” Although to be fair, they have run plenty of them into bankruptcy, or into other states.
One final example, for any young people thinking of voting the House back into the hands of Nancy Pelosi while you still need to pay off all that student debt: Under the Republican economy, the Union Pacific and BNSF Railroads are so desperate for workers, they’re offering signing bonuses of up to $25,000 for certain positions.
Even Nancy Pelosi might look at 25 grand as more than a crumb. Granted, to her, it might just be a Twinkie, but it’s still more than a crumb.
Kudos to The Hill newspaper for being the first major media outlet to announce that it will no longer participate in the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner unless major changes are made to insure that it is “non-partisan and done without hostility and personal animus toward the party that occupies the White House — regardless of who is in power.” Hill Chairman James Finkelstein said there’s simply no reason for the paper to participate in something that “casts our profession in a poor light.”
He also reminisced about previous dinners, where the jokes were good-natured and bipartisan, and compared them to this year’s event, in which he noted the “comedian” was so offensive and vulgar that for the first time ever, C-SPAN actually cut off its radio broadcast.
Since the WHCA president seemed not to grasp just how repulsive this year’s event was to Americans outside the Beltway, maybe the word that one of the preeminent media outlets for political news inside the Beltway is now boycotting it will spur some reforms. It so, it will be proof that there are ways to get your message across without being foul-mouthed and personally vicious.
There’s been a lot of talk about how the Democrats are going to take back Congress in a “blue wave,” but I keep noting the many holes in that theory. For one thing, the main motivating force behind their voters’ passion seems to be that they hate-hate-hate Trump. But even party leaders such as Nancy Pelosi know that impeaching a President for no reason other than you’re mad that he beat you in the election is a loser, and they’re trying to downplay that possibility. Otherwise, the party’s platform so far consists of (to tally up a few things I’ve heard lately) taking away people’s guns; raising taxes back up; opening the borders to illegal immigrants and disbanding ICE; guaranteeing everyone a government job at a time of record low unemployment; and restoring the same brilliant foreign policy that gave us ISIS and a nuclear North Korea, two things Trump has managed to bring to heel just in his first year. Sound like a winning message to you?
With that for a platform, we’ve understandably seen another tactic arise: the “stealth Democrat.” The Party has recruited young, attractive, moderate military veterans who buck the party line by professing support for the Second Amendment and claiming they won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. I’ve already explained the two big problems with that: First, they have to defeat the far-left “progressive” radicals in the primaries. Second, the minute they get to Washington, they’ll be told that if they want a decent committee assignment and a political career, they will get in line. And that line forms behind Nancy Pelosi, who just made it clear she expects to be Speaker again. So a vote for any House Democrat will be a vote to hand back the big gavel that she used to crush public opinion like a walnut by shoving Obamacare down our throats. Is anyone seriously eager to see another round of that?
All this may help to explain a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that shows Millennials are starting to desert the Democrats. Two-thirds still don’t like Trump, but that doesn’t mean they want to go back to the good old Democratic rule days of living in mom’s basement and using their college degrees to get jobs at Starbucks. Even some Millennials who voted for Hillary are now looking at supporting Republican Congressional candidates. And they’re about evenly split on which party handles the economy better. That should be a no-brainer, but it’s early yet, and the Republicans are up 12 points just since 2016.
One interesting detail of the poll: the group most likely to desert the Democratic Party is young white males. Gee, I wonder why those over-privileged sexist, racist, potential rapists who should apologize for their toxic masculinity and then shut up would think liberals don’t care about their interests?
Of course, it’s not just young white males who are being thrown under the bus by the Democrats these days. Hip-hop icon Kanye West is discovering that when a black man dares to voice a political opinion that isn’t approved by the DNC, the full weight of the Twitter sphere, Hollywood, late night “comedy” shows and other media enforcers of cultural group think will come down on him like a ton of manure. But bless him, he’s defying the critics anyway and defending his right to listen to any and all legitimate opinions.
One of the most shocking attacks came from a surprising source, who suggested that West – an incredibly successful, self-made millionaire – was “talking out of turn” when he voiced support for black conservative Candace Owens and gave some praise to President Trump. Frankly, that carries an ugly whiff of the old racist term, “getting uppity,” that was used to tell blacks that they were getting above their place in thinking they had a right to express themselves freely, as if the First Amendment only applied to the elite class.
That “talking out of turn” comment would seem shockingly racist under most circumstances. But what if it came from another prominent African-American? It did: Rep. Maxine Waters. That would explain the lack of self-awareness.
If you think I’m being harsh, consider what else she said about Kanye West: that he “sometimes needs some assistance in helping him to formulate some of his thoughts,” that maybe he doesn’t understand the impact that some of his comments about the President have on young people, and that “maybe he should think twice about politics and maybe not have so much to say."
Again: that’s MAXINE WATERS! See, no self-awareness at all.
Yesterday, President Trump gave a hero’s welcome to the White House to the crew of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 from New York to Dallas, which pilot Tammie Jo Shults landed safely after an engine exploded and debris broke a window. Also welcomed were five passengers who tried to help others, including by pulling passenger Jennifer Riorden back in when she was almost sucked out of the plane and giving her CPR, although she later died. Shults credited her cool head during the crisis to her religious faith and her military experience. She was one of the first group of women to become Navy fighter pilots.
Trump told them it was an honor to meet them, that America is “very, very proud of them,” and that their actions “show the great character of our nation.” Proving that part of that great national character is humility, Shults and First Officer Darren Ellisor have been avoiding the media, but they issued this statement:
“We all feel we were simply doing our jobs. Our hearts are heavy. On behalf of the entire crew, we appreciate the outpouring of support from the public and our coworkers as we all reflect on one family’s profound loss.”
Whoever would have thought the annoying “Makin’ copies!” copier guy from “Saturday Night Live” would turn out to be one of the most astute critics of the current PC culture that’s killing humor? Comic Rob Schneider whacked the Twitter hornets’ nest last week by saying that “SNL” had become predictable and unfunny because its political sketches are all just one-sided attacks on Trump, and that Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression doesn’t convey empathy for the person he’s playing, the way Dana Carvey did with George Bush; instead, it’s built on nothing but “a fuming, seething anger.”
Surprisingly, Baldwin tweeted that he had a point. But no surprise, other liberals quickly swarmed to denounce him. To his credit, Schneider didn’t back down, but elaborated further on what’s wrong with the leftist group-think infesting late night comedy. He touched on writers who put more emphasis on pushing a political agenda than on making funny jokes until it’s more like a “liberal Klan meeting” than a comedy show; the Hollywood blacklist of conservatives; replacing open debate with “demonizing and silencing” and more.
This is well worth reading and (dare I suggest it?) going to the copier to make a few extras to pass around.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Hero: Last Saturday, 96-year-old World War veteran George Boone of North Carolina visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, courtesy of Honor Flight. Boone had piloted a B-25, and he was shot down over Romania and spent time as a POW. While he was in Washington, he asked if he could stop by Arlington National Cemetery to visit the grave of his wife Alma, who passed away in 2007 after 56 years of marriage.
Unfortunately, upon arriving at the cemetery, he and his son realized that in all the rushing around, they’d left George’s wheelchair behind. He’d resigned himself to not being able to reach his wife’s grave when a cemetery employee stepped up and offered to carry George on his back. His son took photos as the strapping young man picked George up “like a toy” and carried him piggy-back to his wife’s graveside.
George said that visit would not have been possible without that young man’s “overwhelming” kindness, and "I would like him to know how greatly I appreciate what he did.” I’m sure that he, and all the rest of us, feel the same way about you, Mr. Boone. We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants like you. That worker asked to remain anonymous, so we’ll just call him, “Huck’s Hero.” To see the son’s photos of that inspiring moment, click the link.
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