California hate crime
Attention, Jim Acosta of CNN: This is what it actually looks like when someone is subjected to violent repression by an intolerant bully just for exercising his First Amendment right to express a dissenting political view at a public event. Except the person viciously beaten was a Trump supporter, the alleged attacker was the lead singer of the well-known punk band Social Distortion, and his followers in the crowd whom he’d fired up with his violent political rhetoric bravely held down the person he was beating so he couldn’t defend himself.
Reaction of most authorities in California’s liberal capital, Sacramento: Too bad, you shouldn’t have been where someone was likely to give you a concussion over your political views. Fortunately, the victim was finally able to find one police officer professional enough to file a report. Considering the violent, fascistic attack was caught on video, it seems that the next step should be obvious. But if local police and prosecutors refuse to do their jobs, then the feds have a term for this: “hate crime.” Law-abiding Republicans are watching, and waiting, but not patiently.
I’ve said many times that I wish President Trump would think twice before hitting the “Send” button on Twitter. Even as someone who generally agrees with his policies, I often wince at the unpresidential language (I liken it to the culture shock from the language I encountered as an Arkansas-bred Baptist the first time I visited New York City.) But if you’re going to criticize Trump’s tweets, at least do it honestly and criticize him for what he actually said.
Example: his recent blast at turncoat former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman in which he referred to her as a “dog.” I certainly understand his anger, but if he thinks she’s a dog, he should remember that when you lower yourself to get into a dogfight, all you end up with is fleas. So that was unfortunate enough without some in the media making the stretch that the term dog was racist and/or sexist. As this link shows, Trump has previously used the word “dog” to describe a number of people he was feuding with, mostly white males, including Mitt Romney, Bill Maher, David Gregory, George Will, rapper Mac Miller, Michael Wolff, David Alexrod and the list goes on and on. It’s obviously not racist or sexist, it’s just Trump-ist.
In fact, if anyone should be offended at being compared to politicians and media celebrities, it’s dogs. Why slander dogs? Harry Truman said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog, and I assure you he meant a real dog. Dogs are selfless and noble creatures. Trump would have been much better off giving that White House job to an actual dog than to Omarosa. The dog would have been hard-working, fiercely loyal for life and never bitten the hand that feeds it.
It also probably would have done a better job.
Native Americans speak out, Antifa confusion grows
Hey, Social Justice Warriors: Doesn’t it absolutely fill you with OUTRAGE to hear that Native Americans are still being cruelly oppressed by the white man’s government? As a representative of the Crow Tribal Council puts it, his people are being subjected to a “cruel nightmare,” in which they have a trillion dollars in wealth under their feet on the reservation, yet they are denied from accessing it while they suffer 70% unemployment and are rendered “starving and destitute.”
I know you’re ready to grab the protest signs and pull on the black Antifa hoods, so let me tell you who’s responsible for the suffering of the Native Americans I just described: the EPA and other liberal officials imposing anti-mining, anti-coal environmental policies.
Well, why are you just standing there looking confused? Get to protesting the EPA, if you don’t want to have to go on Twitter and call yourselves racists.
Speaking of Native Americans, the great Democratic hope for 2020, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has introduced the “Accountable Capitalism Act,” her proposed law for “improving” capitalism by injecting a ton of government control over every large company to insure that any profits that actually survive go to the people she thinks should receive them. In other words: “socialism.” Details at the link. Maybe her campaign slogan could be “MASA: Make America Stagnant Again!”
Pointing a gun at Grandma
By now, we’re all used to hearing some mind-bogglingly goofy things from MSNBC guest commentators, but this one gives even John “That press conference was TREASON” Brennan a run for his money. MSNBC commentator John Heilemann, referring to a poll that claimed 40% of Republicans agreed that President Trump had the power to shut down media outlets that engage in bad behavior, declared that he was “virtually certain” that if asked it in a poll, about 10% of Republicans would say it would be okay for Donald Trump to kill their grandparents.
I suppose you could make the argument that the question was too vague and hypothetical (What if the media outlets were broadcasting classified information? What if the grandparents were terrorists? etc.) But let’s concede that both propositions are absurd. First of all, Trump has never threatened to shut down a media outlet. For all their talk of him being an autocratic dictator, the media obviously have no fear of criticizing him constantly, which I suspect they would if they actually believed he were an autocratic dictator. Their attempts to conflate criticism of their bias and lack of fact-checking into an attack on free speech and the First Amendment itself sounded familiar, and then I remembered this famous scene from “Animal House”:
It’s also ironic that a liberal should accuse Republicans of being willing to let Trump kill their grandparents, since it’s eerily similar to an analogy that conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke made years ago to the way liberals are always advocating for higher taxes for one new program or the other.
O’Rourke explained that if you don’t pay your taxes, the government puts you in prison; and if you try to leave prison, they shoot you. Therefore, all taxes are taken at the threat of a gun. So when someone wants higher taxes to pay for some government program, you have to ask yourself, “Would I let someone put a gun to my grandma’s head and take her money to pay for this?” Maybe for necessities like national defense you would. But would you let someone rob your grandmother at gunpoint to pay for his college tuition or his cell phone or his clean heroin syringes? Not likely. Yet liberals think taxes should pay for all those things and much, much more.
Now, tell me again: which side is more likely to be okay with pointing a gun at grandma?
Comics discuss politics
Here’s a valuable lesson for young stand-up comics and all the late night “comedians” who think a monologue consists of ranting against Trump or crying about politics instead of telling funny jokes:
Steve Martin and Martin Short are touring together and still selling out large venues, even though they have both been famous for a combined total of 78 years. How have they remained so successful for so long? By not doing divisive political material that insults half their fans.
At the link, the two comics discuss why they avoid politics in their show. And here’s another lesson for young comics who might be too young to know this: Steve Martin came along in the early 1970s post-Vietnam/Watergate era, after more than a decade of comedians competing to outdo each other as deep “sociopolitical commentators, man.” Sound familiar? Steve deliberately did the exact opposite; donning nose glasses and an arrow-through-the-head, playing the banjo, being a “wild and crazy guy” and just trying to make people laugh. Audiences were so desperate for a break from all the self-important political “humor" that he quickly became the hottest comic in America and was playing sold-out sports arenas.
If I’ve made the conclusion young comics should draw from this too obvious, well, “Excuuuuuuse meeee!”
I have a reputation for being a generally nice guy, so you might think it’s uncharacteristically mean of me when I occasionally refer to the loudmouthed political extremists (on both sides) who use the Internet as an electronic soapbox as pathetic losers who live in their parents’ basements. Well, at the link is proof that I’m not being mean, I’m just being accurate. Watch the video of self-proclaimed white supremacist leader Patrick Kessler being interrupted during a live stream broadcast when his dad came into the basement and yelled at him for being a Nazi.
In a recent monologue on my TBN TV show, I urged people to deal with angry Twitter/Facebook attacks by hotheaded keyboard warriors as I do: just say, “Don’t care,” and ignore them. There are a handful of crackpots on the left and right whose obnoxious ravings are given far too much publicity and weight simply because they put them on the Internet, which – news flash – ANYBODY can do. If they were yelling their garbage on a street corner, the major media would rightly ignore them. But let them say something outrageous on Twittter, or claim they’re outraged at something someone else said on Twitter, and it’s treated as actual news. That gives them the attention and unearned sense of importance they need to fill the gaping holes in their lives and just encourages them to do it more.
Here’s today’s hilarious “Must-See Video” from Reason.com’s musical humorist Remy, demonstrating how a never-ending stream of phony, Twitter-bred OUTRAGE over nothing has replaced real news on some media outlets. Personally, this OUTRAGES me! I think I’ll go tweet about that.
Follow-up: After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blurted out during a speech that America “was never that great,” the state Republican Party sent him a free one-way bus ticket to Canada. Where were they when Rosie O’Donnell was threatening to move to Canada?
Here are some of the latest and funniest responses to news that smarmy, adulterous, biased, unprofessional, fired former FBI agent Peter Strzok had already raked in over $350,000 on his GoFundMe page. But the best response has been around since before the days of P.T. Barnum, to whom it’s often erroneously attributed: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
In Alameda County, California, a mysterious Styrofoam-encased box parachuted from the sky and landed in Castro Valley. Concerned residents called the Highway Patrol, who saw that it had exposed wires, was making a humming noise and was labeled “Dangerous.” So they called the bomb squad, which blew it up with TNT to be on the safe side. It turned out the box contained about $1000 worth of scientific equipment that had probably been attached to a balloon by university students to measure upper-air ozone content. The “Dangerous” label had originally read, “Not Dangerous,” but the “Not” got torn off.
On the plus side, it was one of the rare school science projects that did not blow up all by itself.
While we wait for the Manafort verdict
As of this writing, the jury is still out. I refer to the six men and six women tasked with making sense of the Paul Manafort trial and reaching a verdict on whether he deliberately violated tax and banking laws. Why Robert Mueller’s special counsel team would be spending its time and resources trying a case that has absolutely nothing to do with Russian attempts to influence our elections is a real puzzler –- unless one considers that Mueller’s main focus isn’t Russia but a big American fish; then it makes sense. Mueller is after the President and he thought a good way to get him...on SOMETHING...was to get Manafort to “flip.”
But Manafort didn’t flip, most likely because he just didn’t have any information to offer. He was Trump’s campaign manager for several months –- he even made an appearance at that Trump Tower meeting that is looking more and more like a set-up involving Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS –- so if Trump had been “colluding” with Russians, he might have been in a position to know something about it. But Trump was not colluding with Russians. (Heck, I was pretty close to his campaign myself during the later months, and I swear I didn’t see Trump talking with Boris and Natasha even once!) To his credit, Manafort hasn’t tried to spare himself by making stuff up. He has to know that the whole point of his trial was to get him to do that. Even the judge knows it.
If the special counsel probe were really about Russia, those investigators would’ve handed off the time-consuming Manafort case to a U.S. attorney, or let the FBI re-file it with all the other old cases they’d decided not to pursue, and then they would have gone after the people who REALLY DID collaborate with foreigners --- including Russians --- to set up then-candidate Trump with false information to help ensure Hillary Clinton would be President. At this point, enough hard evidence has finally emerged to give us our main cast of characters, much of what they did, and a timeline for it that goes back to early 2016, months before the “official” FBI investigation. We’ve got thousands of emails, texts and handwritten notes that “go to motive” and reveal a cozy relationship among the players, notably Bruce Ohr, Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson. All the evidence supports what we theorized long ago: that the made-up Christopher Steele “dossier” that was funded by the Clinton campaign was part of a plot used by high-level intelligence officials to make sure Trump wouldn’t be President. It’s just as obvious as can be.
And Robert Mueller had nothing to do with exposing any of it.
Refreshingly outspoken attorney Joe DiGenova may have hit the nail on the head when he said, “I think what has happened here is Bob Mueller has lost his way. And he’s been hit in the face with an outrageous set of facts which show that what he is doing is legally irrelevant to what actually happened during the campaign...the Manafort case is a joke. It is an absolute embarrassment to the Department of Justice. It should never have been brought. And, you know, what I think happened to Bob Mueller is he realized that everything he’s done is worthless --- it means nothing, that the big case is the case to frame the President of the United States. And he won’t touch it.”
There’s not much more to say about the Manafort case until a verdict is announced. Let’s not even speculate; it’s impossible to predict what a jury will do. But legal expert Andrew C. McCarthy has made an interesting observation in NATIONAL REVIEW about one major problem with the prosecution’s case: the dastardly deal made with their “star” witness.
Rick Gates is a sleazy guy. He could be charged with everything Manafort has been charged with and more. He actually embezzled from the man he’s now testifying against. (I think that’s what “adding insult to injury” means.) The jury knows he got a deal to testify against his partner and essentially has a “get out of jail free” card when his partner could get, oh, 300 years in prison. And yet in its summation, the prosecution made a point of saying the proof was in the documents, not the witness.
Okay, McCarthy says. If the documents tell the story, as the prosecutors told the jury, then why did they make that deal with Gates? Why didn’t they prosecute both men? What kind of justice is THAT? Apparently they still needed their extremely disreputable witness to provide one last piece against Manafort: that he acted willingly, not out of confusion or distraction or for some other reason. But as McCarthy put it back in March, Mueller is violating Justice Department guidelines by “alleging earth-shattering crimes” and then “cutting a sweetheart deal that shields the defendant from liability for those crimes and from the penalties prescribed by Congress.”
Just one more way the shameless Robert Mueller has overstepped his bounds. While we wait for the jury, the entire piece will make for interesting reading.