Wow, here’s a surprise: an Obama-appointed federal judge in San Francisco barred the President of the United States from changing immigration policy to ban giving asylum to migrants who cross the US border illegally.
As a side note, Homeland Security officials said Monday that “most of the caravan members are not women and children" and that more than 500 criminals are traveling with the group that has already amassed on the other side of a San Diego border crossing.
There are more details at the link. Trump is expected to take this to the Supreme Court, just as I’m sure he expected a liberal federal judge in San Francisco to step in and try to take over border security. Let’s hope the SCOTUS acts quickly. In the meantime, if the judge demands that the migrants be allowed into the US, then someone should definitely tell those 500+ criminals about the wonderful sanctuary city policy in San Francisco, where all those liberal judges who don’t believe in putting up walls to keep criminals out live.
I don't buy the narrative
Anyone who’s still trying to figure out how the Democrats did so well in the midterm elections when they had nothing to run on but failed, last-century, big-government clichés, divisive identity politics and hatred of President Trump may have underestimated the voters’ growing weariness with the constant rhetorical warfare between Trump and his critics.
Of course, I don’t buy the popular narrative that the “lowered tone of political discourse” is all Trump’s fault. I was one of his first opponents in the 2016 primaries, and unlike other candidates on both sides, I didn’t attack Trump and call him nasty names like “racist” or “con artist” (I kept my criticism focused on the other side’s policies) and I noticed something amazing: he was perfectly gracious to me – and still is. He didn’t start mud fights, but what made him an unusual Republican, and one the media didn’t know how to deal with, is that when someone threw a mud ball at him, he didn’t just stand there and take it. He unleashed a mudslide in return.
The media were shocked and offended at the thought of a Republican who didn’t nod his head politely at their unfair criticism and agree with them, but who punched back twice as hard (to quote a President they did respect, Barack Obama.) The Republican base was also energized at finally having a fighter who responded to the left’s low blows not with a bowed head but with a knee to the groin. I can understand that.
But after two years, while much of Trump’s base still relishes the brawling style, there’s a sense that voters in the middle who wanted a change from Obama policies and were willing to take a chance on Trump are starting to grow tired of the constant turbulence. Unlike the left, they don’t blame it all on Trump (a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 64% of Americans think the media have done more to divide than unite Americans, compared to 56% who think that of Trump – about the same rating Obama had in his sixth year.) But enough people are just fed up with the constant punching and sniping that it might be time for Trump to start picking his battles a little more carefully and not responding on Twitter with beartrap intensity to every slight. For instance, here’s a good example of a PR battle no politician could win, no matter how solid you think your argument is:
There are some hopeful signs after the Democrats’ recent electoral gains that Trump senses a hunger among the public for him to act a little less pugilistic and a bit more presidential. He just visited California to view the devastation from the wildfires and appeared with Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov-elect Gavin Newsom, two ultra-liberal Trump critics, who put aside their political animosity to shake his hand and thank him for his sincere efforts to provide federal aid to fire victims. Naturally, this show of mature bipartisanship in a crisis infuriated their stridently-leftist constituents. They responded with anger and ridicule because, in some people’s warped minds, making Trump look bad is more important than helping fire victims. By rising above that, Trump, Brown and Newsom all elevated themselves in the eyes of the not-insane majority.
Likewise, Trump recently held a press event to promote criminal justice and prison sentencing reform that Democrats have claimed they’ve wanted for years. Many black leaders came to show thanks and support. Even former Obama official and CNN host Van Jones said liberals should give Trump his due for actually doing something about this issue. For that, Jones was attacked by the left (again, refusing to give Trump credit is more important than prison reform for black inmates). Sen. Cory Booker, who claims to be a crusader for that issue, refused to attend the event with Trump, which resulted in his home town newspaper chewing him out in print for his pettiness and hypocrisy.
Maybe that will be the key that convinces Trump of the upside of acting presidential on appropriate occasions. It makes it harder for those who are trying to “delegitimize” his presidency to make their case, and they just delegitimize themselves in the eyes of the public. It not only makes it harder for voters to envision anyone else being President in 2020, but when his critics reflexively turn every issue into a mud fight, if he simply stays above them and keeps his powder dry for the big fights, they’re the only ones who end up covered in mud. He doesn’t even have to aim Twitter mudballs at them. They'll splatter themselves.
Be careful what you wish for
There’s an old saying: “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.”
CNN and all the media outlets that backed their lawsuit to force overgrown toddler Jim Acosta back into White House press conferences might soon be pondering that piece of ancient wisdom when they realize what their belligerence has wrought. Yes, the judge did issue a temporary order restoring Acosta’s press pass, ruling that revoking it caused him “irreparable harm” (one wonders if he would have let someone back into his own courtroom who kept interrupting the proceedings, or jail him for contempt of court).
But he based his ruling in CNN’s favor on the White House’s decision being based on “arbitrary” standards. That means the White House foolishly assumed professional journalists knew how to behave like adults without having to spell it out for them. And now, they’re about to get just what they asked for: clear rules of decorum for reporters, as spelled out by President Donald Trump.
Asked what these rules might entail, Trump explained, “You can’t take three questions and four questions. You can’t stand up and not sit down. We want total freedom of the press. It’s more important to me than anybody would believe. But you have to act with respect when you’re at the White House, and when I see the way some of my people get treated at news conferences, it’s terrible. So we’re setting up a certain standard, which is what the court is requesting.”
Imagine that: White House reporters being held to a standard of professional decorum, all as a result of CNN's lawsuit. They must feel like the dog that chased speeding cars until one day he caught one.
I’m not a big fan of making federal legal cases out of every little thing, and it is notoriously difficult to prove deliberate perjury, but this deserves attention. Turns out that the judge’s decision in the CNN lawsuit to order the White House to give unrepentant showboat Jim Acosta his press pass back was at least partly influenced by Acosta’s written statement to the court declaring “under penalty of perjury” that he had “firmly but politely” persisted in asking President Trump just two questions, but Trump “did not respond to them” and repeatedly interrupted Acosta.
At the link are video and a full transcript. Count how many questions Acosta actually asked, how many times Trump answered him and tried to move on to the next reporter, and how many times Acosta kept rudely interrupting them both. If that’s his definite of “polite,” then maybe his best defense would be that he doesn’t know what the word “perjury” means, either.
Frightening Capital Letters
From Great Britain, the nation whose brave young soldiers of previous generations helped win World Wars I and II, comes word that the current crop of university students are frightened catatonic at the sight of capital letters. It’s reported that Leeds Trinity University has ordered teachers not to overuse the words “do” and “don’t” and not to use capital letters for emphasis (“DON’T do that!”) because…well, to be honest, I read the reasons and I still can’t follow their convoluted logic. Suffice to say that the poor little snowflakes might be traumatized by classroom instructions that are too explicit, or not explicit enough, or something – and that instructions that seem too definite might cause them anxiety that would terrify them into not doing the assignment at all.
Funny, when I was in school, what prevented you from not doing the assignment was the terror of knowing what would definitely happen to you if you didn’t.
The moral to this story is one for British parents: if you don’t want your children to turn into useless, quivering blobs living in your basement for the next 40 years, DON’T SEND THEM TO TRINITY LEEDS UNIVERSITY!!!
New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson reminds us all of what a genuine NFL role model who puts principles above peer pressure really looks like.
What do you call people who say President Trump is right, that massive caravans of migrants intent on entering other people’s nations uninvited are “invaders;” that they are messy, ungrateful, dangerous and put a strain on social services and taxpayers; that everyone is welcome who comes in legally, but “you must have papers, you must identify yourself” and not “come in like animals;” and that they should stay in their own nations and fix their governments rather than imposing on their neighbors?
We know that Democratic politicians, media figures and Hollywood celebrities (you know, the kind of people who live in secure homes in walled communities or apartment buildings with a guard at the gate or door 24/7) would call those people “fascists,” “racists,” “bigots,” “xenophobes” and “white supremacists.”
But according to the story at the link, they’re Mexican residents of Tijuana.
Restraining order filed
Latest update to the story of sleazy lawyer Michael Avenatti being arrested for alleged domestic violence: it’s now assumed that the woman behind the charge was young actress Mareli Miniutti, who appeared in “Ocean’s Eight” and was reportedly Avenatti’s date to a recent Anthony Scarmucci book-signing. That’s because Ms Miniutti has filed a domestic violence restraining order against Avenatti.
Avenatti continues to adamantly deny that he has ever been physically abusive to any woman, claiming that the charges “are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation” (admittedly, it would take a really horrible charge to lower his reputation any further), that he’s the target of partisan false allegations, he’ll be completely exonerated, and so on…
Tell you what, if you want to hear more, click the link. Short version: He now wants us to no longer believe whatever a woman says.
I don't envy
I don’t envy Dan Calabrese for actually reading this piece in the Washington Post and trying to figure out why in the world the author thinks that President Trump awarding a posthumous medal of freedom to Elvis Presley is somehow a secret signal to racists. I’m just glad he did it instead of me. Trying to follow those kind of tortured, leftist, identity-politics mental processes make me feel itchier than a man on a fuzzy tree.
For those of us who started our careers in radio, or just have fond memories of growing up listening to Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40,” this is a shocking and disturbing story.
Kasem died four years ago at 82 of a Parkinson’s-like disease, leaving behind a vast personal fortune estimated at up to $100 million. Now, CBS’ “48 Hours” reports that his widow Jeannie and his three grown children are accusing each other of making self-interested decisions about his medical care that killed him. Both even used the word “murder” – and their various lawsuits and a report by Jeannie Kasem’s private detective have convinced police in Gig Harbor, Washington, where he died, to open an investigation into possible homicide.
It’s a very sad story, not only because Casey Kasem’s final years were marred by such anger, greed and animosity, but just as a cautionary tale about how money and personal disputes over care of a fading parent can take precedence over what’s really important. Having that much money at stake can rip families apart just at a time when it’s most important that they come together.
I hope this turns out to be a case more of bad feelings and suspicions than criminal intentions, and that the family members can eventually heal their rifts. As for me, I intend to spare my family the trauma of fighting over my vast personal fortune by spending it all before I go, on a really sweet bass boat.