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Today's Commentary: Fourth of July weekend -- SPLC squanders reputation-- The 25th Amendment -- 3 states refuse integrity commercial -- Fraudphones
I hope you’re enjoying your Fourth of July weekend so far. But in addition to all the fireworks, parades, beach parties and picnics, let’s not forget that tomorrow is considered to be America’s 241st birthday, because it marks 241 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
To be completely accurate, America wasn’t born on July 4th, 1776. Britain’s King George III didn’t just send a happy birthday card and let the colonies go peacefully. Bringing America into the world required many midwives. It took the struggle and sacrifice of countless soldiers, many of them barely-trained and poorly-equipped volunteers, facing off against the most powerful military force on Earth. And the smart money was not on America to win.
The birth of America actually stretched from April 18th, 1775, when Paul Revere made his famous ride to warn the Minutemen that British troops were advancing on Lexington and Concord, to February 27th, 1782, when the British Parliament finally voted to stop fighting. America’s birth had a long labor: nearly seven years of war. We owe our very existence to a brilliant general, George Washington, and the first generation of American military members. Their “Spirit of ‘76” has inspired every generation of US troops since then.
For more than two centuries, American troops have fought and died to secure the principles of the Declaration of Independence: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Note: NOT the guarantee of happiness, but the freedom to pursue it.
So this Fourth of July, enjoy the fireworks and fun, and celebrate America’s birthday. But please remember to thank any military members you see. Because without them, this great nation would not even exist.
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SPLC squanders reputation
By Mike Huckabee
Once upon a time, the Southern Poverty Law Center had a good reputation for its efforts at fighting real hate groups, such as the KKK. But in recent years, the SPLC has been accused of padding its fundraising by declaring anyone and anything that doesn’t hew to the SPLC’s far-left agenda to be a “hate group.” They even put Dr. Ben Carson on their “extremist watch list” before being forced to back down and apologize. And you’ll recall the mentally-unbalanced man who shot up the lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington after the SPLC branded it a “hate group” for having traditional Christian religious views on homosexuality.
The SPLC has squandered its reputation by slapping “hate group” labels everywhere, like a teenager passing out Chinese take-out menus on commission. Unfortunately, word didn’t get to the charity watchdog group GuideStar USA, which foolishly accepted the SPLC’s biased word and told its users that 46 conservative nonprofits were “hate groups.” GuideStar eventually agreed to remove the disclaimers but said it will still "make this information available to any user on request." They’re about to learn that taking the SPLC’s word for who is a “hate group” can come with a hefty price: conservative groups no longer just roll over and take being lied about, and GuideStar is now facing a big, fat defamation lawsuit. If they keep listening to the SPLC, I suspect it’s just the first of many.
The 25th Amendment
By Mike Huckabee
Having exhausted all other methods, both legitimate and otherwise, to defeat President Trump, some Democrats have cooked up the notion of using the 25th Amendment to try to declare him insane and remove him from office. Which amendment do we have to cite to declare people with terminal Trump Derangement Syndrome insane and remove them from office? They’re starting to become a danger to themselves and others.
3 states refuse integrity commission
By Mike Huckabee
Three of the most liberal state leaders in America (from California, New York and Virginia) are refusing to turn over all “publicly-available voter roll data” to President Trump’s bipartisan Election Integrity Commission. They claim they will not help perpetuate the “myth” of widespread voter fraud by showing the commission the records that, if they are correct, would disprove that there’s widespread voter fraud. Ooooookay. Sounds about as convincing as buying a used car from a particular dealer because he calls himself “Honest John.”
By Mike Huckabee
The federal program to supply free or discount phone service to the poor has been around since the ‘80s, but enrollment took off so much in recent years, free government cell phones became known as “Obamaphones.” Now, a new report by the Government Accountability Office suggests that another good nickname for those cell phones might be “Fraudphones.” They're certainly not "Smartphones."
The investigation begun in 2014 after Rep. Claire McCaskill got a piece of junk mail urging her to apply for a free government cell phone (I assume she already gets one.) The GAO found that between 36 and 63% of applicants’ forms included easily-detectable lies that should have made them ineligible. But those bogus applications were approved 63% of the time. Overall, only about a third of applicants could even be confirmed as eligible, meaning two-thirds of those getting a free cell phone at taxpayer expense might not even be poor. The GAO also found more than 5500 people enrolled for more than one free phone and about 6400 phones given out under the names of people who were dead. Although to be fair, if you were buried under six feet of dirt, you’d want to have a cell phone handy
Rep. McCaskill said everything that could go wrong with the program did, and we’re letting cell phone companies cash a giant check from US taxpayers every month on the honor system. I applaud her for caring about this, but as a Democrat, her natural inclination is to blame the corporations and let the government and the entitlement cheats off the hook.
Let’s be honest: cell phone companies don't deserve all the blame. Anytime Washington creates a new entitlement program, there will be people who think they’re entitled to get something free at other people’s expense, because that’s exactly what the government is telling them. When Washington “redistributes” other people’s money and doesn’t police eligibility, there will always be fraud and abuse. That’s just as much the fault of the government as it is of the people who exploit it.
Can you hear me now?
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