Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read.
And after you read my Sunday Standard, please leave me a comment.
Biden to the border: Will it be a political smokescreen?!?
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on January 6, 2023.
Kevin McCarthy for Speaker
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on January 4, 2023.
I’m disgusted with a small and selfish group of Republicans who probably feel they are “Spartacus” but the movie best fitting them is “The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”
Several of these hold-outs (I should say “hold-ups”) are friends and I supported and campaigned for many. I won’t be in the future. The simple of rule of politics is that you take your stand, but if you don’t have enough following to lead, then recognize that you simply didn’t sell your ideas very well. Less than 20 GOP members of Congress are stopping 200 of their fellow Republicans from getting about the business of investigating corruption in the White House, FBI, DOJ, and in Congress itself. Instead, without being able to articulate a specific reason for their objections, they have blocked the election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker and in so doing making the Republicans look like a bunch of 6 year olds who refuse to play unless the majority surrenders to the tantrums of the few.
Is Kevin McCarthy perfect? Of course not. But he has faithfully worked to recruit candidates, help fund them, and get them elected. The ultimate outrage is that some he helped win and raised funds for now have shown they really DO think it’s about them and not the bigger principles of the conservative movement.
Dr. E. V. Hill, longtime CA pastor used to say “If you think you’re a leader and you look behind you and no one is following, you aren’t a leader—you’re just out for a walk.” The actions of the petulant circle of “Never-Kevins” don’t amount to enough votes to get close to winning. But they may have enough to make sure their own team loses. These guys are setting fire to their own hosue, but they are arsonists who didn’t even have fire insurance. The mission is just “burn it down.” And in so doing, empowering the very Democrats some of us worked very hard to put in the minority.
We did NOT work to blow up our own opportunity to take on the Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and Squad team, but that’s the effect of the actions of the camera hungry Congress members who may deep down believe they are more “principled” than everyone else, but have shown a startling level of political immaturity.
If the tiny crowd of political tots can’t convince a majority of their peers to follow them off the cliff, they should have the self-awareness to admit they fired their best shot and simply missed the target. Now it’s time to fight for the American people. If after taking leadership, Kevin and company don’t deliver, you might be able to make a better case for lighting the fuse to the bomb to blow up the place.
Under the radar: another election story that almost slipped by
By Mike Huckabee
This was originally published on January 2, 2023.
Looking ahead to a great year
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on January 2, 2023
Happy New Year! I can’t speak for you, but I’m glad we’re moving out of 2022. Highest inflation in over 40 years, fuel prices double from when Donald Trump was President, interest rates climbing, a border that is easier to get through than a wet paper towel, and a lazy and irresponsible media that lies to you every day and pretends they are telling you the truth.
But one thing that has been a wonderful part of 2022 is that my wife and I started the year with 2 wonderful new puppies. We actually got them the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Gumbo is a Cavalier King Charles/Bichon mix and Bandit is a Shi-Tzu/Bichon mix. They aren’t blood brothers, but don’t tell them that. They are virtually inseparable. The love to wrestle, chase each other, and sometimes make big messes. But these boys have brought a lot of joy to our lives in a year that otherwise would have been at times rather depressing.
I often say “I wouldn’t live in a world without dogs,” and I really mean it. During the past year, these 2 guys have taken more of my time than I had, caused me to do a lot of cleaning up behind them, replacing things they chewed up, and trying to figure out what they’re barking at. But through it all, they have given a level of loyalty I sure never experienced in politics, and a steadfast love that is a true taste of God’s unfailing love for us.
You may wonder why I’d start my 2023 newsletter talking about my dogs. And the honest answer is, “Because I could!”
But there’s method to the madness. I’m convinced that dogs bring people together. It’s hard to frown when looking into the eyes of a puppy. It’s hard to think about harsh divisions in our nation and world when holding a puppy in your lap. So I just think a lot of our problems would be solved if people got a dog. Maybe Democrats and Republicans would still disagree, but not be hateful about it. And dogs can teach us a lot about being patient as well as grateful for even the smallest thing, like a tiny treat.
I don’t mean to imply that all of 2022 has been unpleasant. Our daughter got elected Governor of Arkansas and will sit in the old seat I sat in. She will be sworn in in less than 2 weeks and start her own journey of leading our state. We’re proud of all three of our children, but they have their own lives and careers. We do as much baby-sitting of our 7 grandchildren as we are allowed, but when they aren’t there, having the dogs fills the house with activity, love, and of course noise. Lots of noise.
Some of our friends thought we were crazy to get two dogs at the same time, but it just doubled our delight to watch them grow, play, and show us their unconditional love. So, we’re starting 2023 with hope and anticipation and year-old puppies that got us through this past year. From Janet and me and Gumbo and Bandit, Happy New Year, and may God give you a great year, and maybe a puppy of your own!
Ainsworth on "wokeness": Why I no longer eat Peanut M&M's
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on January 12, 2022.
I wish to thank Mars --- the corporation, not the planet --- for instantly curing me of my addiction to Peanut M&M’s.
A little background: I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, just because I think it’s healthier to be on a low-carb diet. But one exception I’ve made was Peanut M&M’s. I rationalized that since the candy was just on the outside of each piece, surrounding a peanut, the protein sort of “canceled out” the sugar. And, to some extent, I was correct.
But lately at our house, we’ve been buying not just the little single-serving packages but the big bags, and my nightly ritual was to pour a pretty fair amount into a dish and polish them off after dinner, typically while watching Tucker Carlson. (Tucker can thank me for the plug later.) I even had a little ritual surrounding which colors would be eaten first, leaving one each of green, orange and blue before they were all gone. I am not kidding. And I thought I could stop any time, though I hadn’t yet tested that theory.
But a few days ago, a story came out about the little animated M&M’s mascots getting an “image makeover” for 2022. And my love affair with Peanut M&M’s was suddenly and absolutely over.
I don’t care if they want to change the look of their characters. But this is yet another example of tedious virtue signaling about “inclusiveness” brought about by the current climate of corporate fear, and I have had enough of it. Mars Inc. had already bowed to pressure and changed the name of its beloved Uncle Ben’s brand rice. The real Uncle Ben was not a slave or a servant –- from the best I can gather, he was a real rice farmer in the Houston area known for his superior product. The model for the picture is Frank Brown, head waiter at a high-end Chicago restaurant when he posed in 1947. But now, in Orwellian fashion, Mr. Brown’s image has been erased, a casualty of wokeness.
But back to M&M’s. From Mars Inc.’s own press release: “M&M’s, a proud part of Mars Incorporated, launches a global platform to increase a sense of belonging for ten million people by 2025, helping to connect and celebrate one another.” Good grief.
Their release announces “a global commitment to creating a world where everyone feels they belong, and society is inclusive.” Skipping down a bit: “Studies show our desire to belong is as strong as our desire to be loved, and that desire is common for all people irrespective of culture, race, ethnicity, geography or location.” Skipping down a bit more, we see that there will even be more emphasis on the ampersand in M AND M’s, “to demonstrate how the brand aims to bring people together.”
Silly me, I thought we came together because of our mutual love of the candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hand. This is too...heavy-handed.
They say they’ve even updated their “tone of voice” to be “more inclusive, welcoming and unifying, while remaining rooted to our signature jester wit and humor.” I apologize for not having picked up on M&M’s “signature jester wit” in the past. But do you know what destroys wit and humor with a sledgehammer? Fear of not being woke enough.
The Global Marketing Vice President refers to these as their new “evolved” characters, introduced as part of their effort “to create a world where society is inclusive.” Other aspects of their “global [there’s that word again] commitment” are “gender balanced leadership teams, running an independent annual diversity audit of its advertising by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media [I am not making this up], and its role as Vice Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance, part of UN Women, amongst others.”
“The world we want tomorrow starts with the way we do business today,” they say, and I agree with that statement. But this way of doing business is just pandering. It’s yet another case of a corporation drinking the Kool-Aid of wokeness, using the required buzzwords and professing the required intentions. It’s already become a cliché. But as fun as it would be to write a parody of this type of press release, why should I when it already reads like a parody of itself?
When you get down to the actual changes being made to these colorful candy characters, they mostly involve superficial characteristics such as footwear. (Come to think of it, that’s just about all they have to work with, style-wise, as M&M’s are otherwise sans clothing. But the brown one does wear glasses, I assume to make nearsighted people like me feel included!) The green M&M used to wear high-heeled boots, which have been exchanged for sneakers. The brown M&M also wore high heels, but they are lower heels now. Well, it’s about time those poor M&M’s got to be more comfortable! Perhaps their focus groups included an oversampling of podiatrists.
The red, yellow and orange M&M’s all sport shoelaces, with the laces left untied on the orange M&M, to make him/it more casual and “street.” I would have loved to be in on the creative session when they decided which color of candy would get which footwear: “Hey, we can’t put the untied shoelaces on the brown one!”)
Sorry to be flip, but you KNOW they talked about it.
Oh, and they’re doing away with prefixes that might identify gender. They want to “focus on their personalities, rather than their gender.” Maybe that’s why high heels were done away with. But what if a male M&M identified as female, and wanted high heels? Somebody has to think about these things!
As reported in the New York Post, “The characters are changing up their looks for ‘a fresh, modern take’ on their style and ‘more nuanced personalities to underscore the importance of self-expression and power of community through storytelling’...adding that today’s ‘more dynamic, progressive world’ would be reflected in the changes.”
They now have “personalities and backstories...representative of today’s society.” Backstories, really? They’re M&M’s.
As the Gov. said when we brought you this story last week, M&M’s were already teaching the lesson that whatever colors we are on the outside, we’re the same on the inside. I’ve always thought that was a great message, but right now, it’s not the precise message that everyone in business must –- repeat, MUST –- convey. So apparently Mars is the latest corporation to be assimilated, like pods in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” They’ve all been frightened by the “progressive” (radical) left into parroting the same mandatory messages in the mandatory vocabulary. They think they have to do this to bring their product up to date, but to me it already seems old, lame, dated –- so 2021.
And, you know what? I’ve completely lost my taste for M&M’s. So, thank you, Mars Incorporated, for that.
Laura Ainsworth is a staff-writer at MikeHuckabee.com. You can read more of her work here.
I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Sunday Standard.