THE EVENING EDITION
BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family and from all the Huckabee staff! Thank you for subscribing and I hope you enjoy my newsletter.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
A Case Study in Failure
Some people have an almost religious devotion to the public school system, and will literally refer to it as “sacred.” I already have religious beliefs, so I have no faith-based attachments to failing governmental systems, especially not one that in too many cases has become more of an indoctrination camp for leftist politics and a protective racket for incompetent union teachers, with the last consideration going to how well it’s preparing students for success in life.
If you think that’s harsh, take a look at the Baltimore public school system. It has a $1.6 billion budget and spent an average of $21,606 per pupil in 2022. A new study found that across 23 different city schools, zero students are proficient in math. Let me repeat that: "ZERO." Ninety-three percent of third-eighth graders not only weren’t proficient, they tested below their grade level. If you went to a Baltimore public school, I should explain that 93% is a lot, and “zero” means none of them.
In the state of Maryland as a whole, math proficiency for grades 3-8 dropped from 33% in 2018-‘19 to 22% in 2020-‘21. I won’t even try to explain those numbers, but I assure you they're bad. No doubt the endless pandemic lockdowns played a role, but 33% was hardly a high bar to begin with.
Anyone who claims to care about children while reflexively opposing school choice and homeschooling doesn’t really have the best interests of children as their top priority. If you don’t want to give parents and students alternatives, then come up with some real ideas for fixing public schools. And you’d better do it fast because a lot of families have already left this system, and even more are heading for the exit doors.
James Clapper under the spotlight
Former CIA Director James Clapper helped give us the Russia Collusion hoax that hamstrung President Trump’s Administration, then he became one of the most prominent signers of that bogus letter from “over 50 intelligence experts” claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop story was likely just “Russian disinformation.” It was not, and polls show that if voters had known the truth, they would have reelected Trump, so the only people who really used disinformation to interfere in an American presidential election were people like Clapper.
Well, Clapper apparently doesn’t like the truth being spoken, even if it would hardly interfere with his gigs as a commentator on liberal news channels that couldn’t care less about that. He’s criticizing Politico for describing that letter as an attempt to dismiss the Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation. Why, it wasn’t “definitive!” It only raised the possibility that it might be Russian disinformation. It merely offered an alternative viewpoint. The signers NEVER expected it to be used as justification to censor that story.
At the link, law professor Jonathan Turley reexamines the letter (which did include some weak weasel words that were easy for the media to dismiss) and shows why this is a barrel of hogwash and a disingenuous attempt to rewrite history. He also notes that once the media started using the letter as a reason to censor the story, Clapper didn’t rush to correct them. And he makes the very good point that when scientists or pundits "offered alternative views" on COVID policies or election irregularities, they were censored and suspended from social media.
In short, Hunter Biden is not the only one in this story with unclean hands.
Liz Peek at FoxNews.com agrees with me that my daughter, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, perfectly encapsulated the current political situation when she said in her State of the Union Response that it’s not right vs. left but “normal vs. crazy.” Ms. Peek has compiled the polling data, crime stats and news headlines to make the case that one side of that divide really is crazy and the other side is finally starting to realize it.
Officials are telling residents of East Palestine, Ohio, that it’s safe for them to return home two weeks after a train derailment released toxic chemicals into the environment, and a controlled release of vinyl chloride to prevent an explosion sent thick clouds of toxic smoke into the air that has apparently sickened and is killing animals. Needless to say, many residents aren’t buying the reassurances.
Meanwhile, Monday morning in Splendora, Texas, a train hit an 18-wheeler that was in its path, killing the truck driver and causing a 10-car train derailment.
While many people are criticizing the Biden Administration’s handling of the aftermath of the Ohio derailment, it’s also worth repeating that he came into office and immediately shut down projects to build safe pipelines for transporting oil and gas. Since we still have to transport it, that means it will have to be moved by trains and trucks, which not only creates far more pollution, but also exposes the environment to dangers like this. The greens always point up the possibility of a pipeline leak, but how could that possibly be as likely or as catastrophic as a leak caused by loading toxic substances onto fast-moving vehicles and sending them out into traffic?
Combine that with this Administration’s obsession with high-speed rail (let’s make the trains move even faster!) and a Transportation Secretary who’s so asleep at the switch that I’m surprised he’s not causing train derailments himself, and it’s a recipe for more disasters.
Now this is funny
The funniest Super Bowl ad didn’t actually run during the Super Bowl. That’s because it would be hard for the last remaining Blockbuster Video store in Bend, Oregon, to pay for the airtime. But it did run on YouTube, and you can read about it and see it here. It shows how a little wit and resourcefulness can create something better than an ad agency with a multi-million-dollar budget.
The ad also makes a good point about how DVDs and tapes will still be around even if streaming is long gone. Our resident pop culture guru Pat Reeder adds this:
“This is why my house is filled with books, DVDs, VHS tapes, LPs, CDs, 45s, memory sticks of digital files, and even 8-tracks. Streaming allows you to see whatever the people controlling the streaming want you to see. Even now, if you want to watch old politically-incorrect “Our Gang” or “Looney Tunes” shorts or Disney’s “Song of the South,” you’ll have to come over to my house. And who knows what they’ll decide to censor or bowdlerize next, in the belief that mature adults can’t handle watching something made in a different time without immediately adopting the viewpoints of that era? What I always tell people who rely on streaming is this: If you can’t hold it in your hand, you don’t really own it.”
AINSWORTH: TN state legislator plays race card when asked to put on a tie
by Laura Ainsworth, ‘Huckabee’ writer/researcher
(And, heck, if Pat Reeder can be the pop culture guru for music, I can be fashion guru!)
Now, I know a lot of guys who don’t like to put on a tie, but they don’t start yelling about white supremacy when they’re told to.
A freshman Tennessee state representative from Memphis, Justin Pearson, is making an “anti-racist” statement with his fashion choices on the floor of the legislature and says those who’d prefer he wear a suit jacket and tie are white supremacists. He chose to wear the dashiki associated with West African culture instead.
Never mind that the person who originally gave the order for ties to be worn on the Statehouse floor was herself a black woman, the late Speaker Pro Tempore Lois DeBerry. DeBerry was the second black woman to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly and the first woman to serve as speaker pro tempore. She served as a legislator for four decades, the longest-serving representative in the Tennessee state legislature, and was a powerful female role model. All the men still wear ties in her honor. Women on the floor also wear traditional business attire.
A Republican lawmaker, David Hawk, accused Pearson of violating decorum for not wearing the traditional suit and tie. He’s had personal experience with that rule, having at one time been banned from entering the House chamber for not wearing a tie himself.
But according to Pearson, when the same standard is applied to a black man, it can only be coming from a “white supremacist.”
“We literally just got on the state House floor and already a white supremacist has attacked my wearing of my Dashiki,” Pearson tweeted. “Resistance and subversion to the status quo ought to make some people uncomfortable.” “Thank you to every Black Ancestor who made this opportunity possible.”
He said something similar on radio station WPLN (ah, yes, media attention): “This dress is resistance. This Afro is resistance. What we are doing here is resistance to the status quo, and I think that’s going to continue to make people uncomfortable.”
Of course, I can’t speak for others, but I doubt his style makes anyone “uncomfortable.” It’s a look right out of the 1970s --- which, coincidentally, is when Lois DeBerry first came to the Statehouse floor. Let’s see, that was...half a century ago. Pearson’s grandfather might have styled himself pretty much like this. And in 2023, Pearson himself isn’t exactly taking a fashion risk with this look. Right now, fashion happens to be experiencing a 1970s revival. Lots of ‘fros, lots of global fashion. And as for the hair, remember WELCOME BACK, KOTTER? Everybody had Afros, even the white guys.
And “opportunity” for what? To be elected to the state House, which he has now been, and which truly is an accomplishment that would make his ancestors proud? Or to fritter away this chance to help his city and state by race-baiting and focusing on something as trivial as this? Sadly, he chose the trivial --- the symbolism-over-substance. This is just one more bright shiny object to distract us from real problems our cities have as they slide down the tubes.
Without getting too far into the plight of our "blue" cities --- this piece is only about fashion, after all --- Memphis is quickly turning into “the Murder Capital of America.” The crime rate there is skyrocketing. Pearson represents Memphis. How about focusing like a laser beam on the crime in that declining city and re-thinking the policies that are fomenting it?
Pearson WANTED to make people uncomfortable by dressing this way; he said so himself. If his attempt to be provocative with his black dashiki and Afro had been met with nothing but a yawn, he would’ve been keenly disappointed. And that big yawn would’ve been my response. I’d have thought, “Sigh, here's one more person who’s just trying to tick people off and play the race card. I’d like to see him put on a tie, just out of respect for the office, and it's the tradition, but he can be a clod if he wants to."
Come to think of it, the same goes for throwing around the term “white supremacist,” which used to be a terrible, terrible thing to call someone. But when there’s always SOME reason to call someone that, then it's not so much. Our skins, no matter their color, should be getting thicker, because if everyone is a white supremacist (even Larry Elder), then nobody is. Congratulations, name-callers.
In an update to the story, the state House GOP decided to crack down regarding the dress code, and have tweeted, “If you don’t like rules, perhaps you should explore a different career opportunity that’s main purpose is not creating them.” This is likely just the sort of pushback Pearson was looking for. Let’s keep this story going!
The last I've heard, Pearson says he intends to wear his dashiki again, especially since it's Black History Month, with a jacket and tie over it if he must. If you search on his name, a number of news stories come up about this vitally important controversy, so, mission accomplished. Meanwhile, the murder rate in Memphis continues to soar.
After wearing traditional garment on the House floor, TN lawmaker told to look for a new career
Oh, no. I was just about to hit "send" when I saw that the candy company that makes M&Ms has decided to keep its little cartoon characters after all and be all about belonging and inclusiveness! This is getting ridiculous. Again, talk about milking a story.
Now it looks as though I'll have to give up peanut M&Ms all over again.
Can I NOT write about this? Get woke, be a joke! In the meantime, here's the story...
I JUST WANTED TO SAY:
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