I hope you’re having a fun Memorial Day weekend, and giving attention to our fallen veterans as well to the beach and the barbecue. But don’t forget to fire up the TV or the DVR tonight because I have an exciting new episode of “Huckabee” on TBN all lined up. My guests will include former Secret Service agent and Fox News analyst Dan Bongino; former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott on how to get things done in a sharply-divided Congress; and author/surgeon Dr. Richard Furman to tell you some simple lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. But it’s not all serious business: hilarious stand-up comic Rik Roberts will crack you up; plus we have music from one of the biggest country bands of all time, Restless Heart!
All that and more surprises (I bring you more variety than Ed Sullivan), tonight at 8 EST, 7 CST (rebroadcast at 10 EST and at the same times on Sunday). To find out where you can watch TBN in your town, and for clips and full episodes of past shows, visit https://www.tbn.org/programs/huckabee
A Japanese study found that walking while chewing gum can keep you thin. And if you can’t do both at the same time, don’t worry, there are still many government jobs you can do.
That joke naturally leads into this news. Friday, President Trump signed three executive orders that are right up his alley: they'll make it easier to fire under-performing government workers. Among other things, the orders strengthen accountability for federal employees, set up a working group to analyze federal union contracts, and require federal workers to spend at least 75% of their time doing the jobs they were hired to do instead of working on union business.
I’m sure you’ll be so shocked you’ll hit the fainting couch when I tell you that union leaders are screaming like goats with a hotfoot over these outrageous demands that federal workers actually do their jobs. The president of the American Federal of Government Employees declared, “These executive orders are a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress has specifically guaranteed to the two million public-sector employees across the country who work for the federal government…This administration seems hellbent on replacing a civil service that works for all taxpayers with a political service that serves at its whim.”
We’ll just skip over the part about there being two million federal employees and focus on this phrase: “a civil service that works for all taxpayers.”
I’ll bet you’re a taxpayer, so I’ll ask you: do you think the federal bureaucracy works for you? I know it’s supposed to, but does it? Sure, there are many great, hardworking civil servants doing important jobs like law enforcement, border patrol and delivering the mail. But they’re the competent people who are actually doing the jobs they were hired for, so these orders aren’t directed at them.
Do you believe that the people at the IRS who were targeting Tea Party nonprofit groups to deny them their right to participate in the election were working for you? How about the Veterans Affairs employees who let vets die on waiting lists for medical care and tried to cover it up by falsifying the records? Or the government workers at a dozen agencies, from Amtrak to the FTC, who were discovered to be spending much of their work days illegally viewing and downloading pornography? I could go on and on. And when you heard that these incompetents, pervs and political hacks were almost impossible to get rid of because of union contract protections – many either kept their jobs or were given lateral moves and continued receiving paychecks, bonuses, promotions and pensions at your expense – did you feel outrage that those protections might be weakened and harm all that those people were doing to…sorry, "for" you?
Much like tenure for college professors, government contracts have become a shield to prevent the justified removal of people from positions they plainly do not deserve to hold. Government union contracts evolved this way through years of closed-door negotiations in which union officials who help politicians get elected crafted sweetheart deals with the politicians they helped get elected. The taxpayers had no place at the table, but they got stuck with the tab and the consequences. This same process on the state and local level is why so many blue states and cities are facing ruinous government pension obligations that threaten to gobble up their entire budgets.
“Accountability” is not a dirty word, and expecting it of federal employees isn’t treasonous, un-American or an assault on worker rights. It’s the basic standard all American workers (outside of academia and government) are expected to mee every day. If the government union bosses really think they’re going to turn Americans against Trump by accusing him of trying to say, “You’re fired” to incompetent and corrupt federal employees, then they may be shocked to learn this:
That’s the very reason a lot of people sent him to Washington in the first place.
On Memorial Day weekend, we pay tribute to many American heroes of the US military who gave their lives to protect our safety and freedom. But let’s also take a moment to throw a Huck’s Hero salute to science teacher Jason Seaman of Noblesville West Middle School in Indianapolis.
Friday morning, a seventh-grade student showed up late brandishing a gun and began firing. As the students dived for cover, the unarmed Seaman started running at the shooter. Seaman tackled him, swatted the gun out of his hand and held him while the other students fled. He did all this, even though he had been shot three times himself, once through the abdomen. He and two others who were injured are recovering. Seaman is being hailed as a hero; his selfless action likely saved countless lives.
Worth noting: Seaman is also the head football coach and a former defensive end for Southern Illinois University. I’m sure he never expected to have to put those skills to use in this way, but thank God he had them, and the courage to use them.
With the elections drawing closer, Democrats are getting a bit panicky over how well the economy is doing and with polls showing most Americans give President Trump credit. In addition, the latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has been in positive territory ever since Trump took office, while their Quality of Life Index hit a 14-year high in May and their Financial Stress Index is at an all-time low.
While no President can control the economy, Trump’s aggressive rollback of Obama’s top-down, high-tax, anti-business, pro-regulation policies has helped unleash growth and hiring that had been suppressed for years. Some Democrats are trying to deny Trump credit by claiming that all that growth Obama told us was a thing of the past and all those jobs he assured us were never coming back are somehow the results of Obama’s policies that Trump merely inherited.
Well, here are some more numbers that make that as hard to swallow as a week-old biscuit. A new study by Sentier Research found that in April, median household income in America reached $61,483, which is a 50-year high. When Obama took office, it was $56,731. After six years of his policies, it had fallen by about $200. True, by his last month in office, it had finally risen to $59,471, but that was slightly less than it was back in 2007, before the meltdown.
During that long period of anemic growth that Obama’s supporters celebrated like the Second Coming, I liked to use this analogy: the US economy is so robust, it takes a heavy load of incompetence to weigh it down when it should be on an up-cycle following a recession. It’s like an Olympic swimmer who’s had anchors hung around his neck. When he proved to be such a strong swimmer that he still managed to stay afloat, some people gave the credit for that to the anchors. Voters who saw through that nonsense elected Trump to cut the ropes and remove the anchors. Getting rid of your anchors after so long is such a relief that I’m not surprised the swimmer took off like a speed boat.
Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Week: Two McDonald’s customers in Florida are suing the burger chain for allegedly charging them for cheese they didn’t get.
They claim that since cheeseburgers cost 30 to 90 cents less than hamburgers, if they order a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, hold the cheese, they should get a discount. But that burger has one price, no matter how you order it. They claim that forcing them to pay for cheese they did not want nor receive has overcharged them, unjustly enriched McDonalds, and caused them to suffer injury that it will take $5 million worth of damages to soothe.
McDonald’s argues that their legal claim is cheesy, noting that there is no cheese-free version of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. They'll hold the cheese as a special order to accommodate customers, just like holding the onions, but they shouldn't have to lower the price, too. Say, you know, I just realized: nobody ever gave me a discount for holding the onions! Why should I have to pay for all the onions I didn’t eat over the years?!
At least you can come up with some good reasons to hold the onions. If you order a “Quarter Pounder with Cheese, hold the cheese,” that’s just crazy talk.
Yes, Chief of Staff John Kelly set up a meeting between top intelligence officials and Congressional and Senate leaders, and, yes, it took place on Thursday as planned, and, yes, Democrats got to sit in, but, no, there was no document production. As committee members had feared, they were simply “briefed” verbally in the room without being able to set their eyes on any actual evidence. They’ve been trying to see certain documents relating to “human intelligence” (spying) and the origins of the FBI investigation, but the DOJ just will not let them, even though they have the required security clearance. Talk about stonewalling; this stone wall is higher and less penetrable than any wall we might someday construct at our southern border. Maybe Obama didn’t know how to draw a red line, but the intel community sure does.
Just as President Reagan famously said to Mr. Gorbachev, “tear down this wall,” President Trump needs to make the same demand to the intelligence community about the figurative wall it has built around itself. If those documents –- unredacted –- are to see the light of day in our lifetimes, Congress will just have to start impeachment proceedings against Sessions and Rosenstein. Do it! And Trump may have no choice but to use his authority to declassify the documents. Democrats will scream that he’s interfering with an investigation, but the President is not the one withholding evidence and obstructing justice here –- it’s the DOJ. We can’t trust them; we’ve already seen enough examples of their stonewalling, slow-walking, and massive redacting that turned out not to have been done to safeguard national security but to cover their own tracks. They’re such masters at self-protection in the face of legal challenge, you’d think they’d taken a course taught by Hillary Clinton. Maybe some of them did learn at her feet.
True to form, right after the meeting, Rep. Adam “Shifty” Schiff rushed to the cameras (leaving a slime trail) and said, “Nothing we heard today has changed our view, that there is nothing to support any allegation that the FBI, or any intelligence agency, placed a spy in the Trump campaign or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols.
Well, of course there isn’t! The Congressional committees are getting only what the DOJ chooses to tell them. Schiff and the rest are also using semantics to claim the word “spy” means something other than what we all know a spy to be. Also, what, pray tell, is meant by “appropriate”? That weasel word can provide cover for a multitude of what we would consider sins. Another weasel word in this context is “in”; no, we don’t have evidence (so far) of FBI spies “in” Trump’s campaign headquarters, but there definitely were spies “around” campaign staffers in remote locations. Oh, and even the word “placed”; maybe the spy already happened to be where they needed one, or some outside helper did the actual placing.
See, when you’re dealing with weasels, you have to get inside the mind of one. Remember when we had to parse every word uttered by then-President Bill Clinton? Those were the days.
Former CIA chief and noted liar James Clapper was one who objected to Trump’s use of the indelicate word “spy.” “I took aversion to the word spy,” the former head of our chief spying agency said on Thursday. “It was the most benign version of information gathering. The important thing is the whole reason the FBI was doing this was concern over what the Russians were doing to infiltrate the campaign, not spying on the campaign.” James Clapper taking aversion to the word “spy” is like chef Jacques Pepin taking aversion to the word “food.”
Besides, I don’t see anything benign about what the government was and is doing to associates of the Trump campaign. And, as many are now pointing out, if Clapper and Comey were so concerned about Russians trying to infiltrate, whey didn’t they “information-gather” (spy) on Hillary’s campaign as well, and why didn’t they brief Trump? Significantly, they discussed warning him but decided not to.
Lastly, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) expressed outrage that John Kelly and President Trump’s lawyer Emmet Flood were in this meeting, when they actually weren’t. They just stopped by before the meeting to pass along brief remarks from the President about his desire for transparency. This took about 90 seconds, and then they left. The President’s outstanding press secretary has since issued a statement making this clear.
It seems Kelly and Flood needn’t have bothered stopping by. The remarks about transparency didn’t take.