Evening Edition - February 17

February 17, 2020 |

Happy Presidents’ Day! This is a day when Americans celebrate all Presidents, but in a larger sense, we celebrate the system by which we pick our national leader. The Founders devised a brilliant system that gave a say to all the individual states, with their vastly different cultures and interests. We also celebrate our unprecedented history of respecting the vote of the people and the peaceful transfer of power. It’s too bad that many people now are so eager to trash the Electoral system, disrespect the voters’ choice and resist the peaceful transfer of power in the name of preserving their own political power. But they can at least pretend to respect those traditions for one day, then go back to observing “NOT My President Day” the other 364 days of the year (or 365 in leap years like this.)

I wrote an essay about Presidents’ Day in 2018, and I think it bears repeating, since nothing really has changed since it first appeared…

Monday was Presidents Day, and this year brought sobering new evidence that not only are Americans sadly ignorant of US history, but our historians aren’t exactly setting the woods on fire in that department, either.

A number of polls were released, asking the public to rank the greatest Presidents of all time. Overall, the highest vote-getters were John Kennedy, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. JFK had some major accomplishments, like the space program, but his term was tragically cut short after less than three years. Obama’s #1 ranking is similar to those Internet lists of the “all-time greatest movies” that include nothing made before 1995 (“Wow, ‘The Last Jedi’ is #1!”) They’re more a testament to the youthful ignorance of the rankers than the quality of the films. And while I take a back seat to nobody in my admiration for Reagan’s accomplishments, even he would likely protest that Washington and Lincoln should have been on top.

I don’t think most people these days appreciate the unprecedented service Washington performed by refusing to rule as a king and voluntarily stepping down from power to rejoin the people. Without his example, the presidency might not even be recognizable today. Well, at least George and Abe made the top 10 in most polls, but I suspect it’s less because of their historical significance than the fact that young people know them from the money. We’re lucky they didn’t name Alexander Hamilton as the best President, because he’s on the $10 bill and he starred in that rap musical.

But it’s easy to pick on the choices of the general public, who will naturally name things that are most recent and fresh in their minds. But what excuses do alleged experts have for their biased and uninformed choices? For instance, the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey is based on responses from current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. They ranked Lincoln #1 and Washington #2. Their top 10 also includes Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. But LBJ at #10? (I get it: they love big government). Reagan only made it to #9, and at #8: Barack Obama (it goes without saying that they ranked Trump dead last, despite him presiding over the destruction of ISIS, a tax cut that’s firing up the economy and the rollback of executive overreach, all in his first year -- yet he’s ranked lower than William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia 31 days after being sworn in. He must’ve had one heck of a month.)

I think all you need to know about the “expertise” (or the bias) of these particular Presidential experts is that their top 10 includes Obama but not, say, James K. Polk. Polk oversaw the winning of the Mexican-American War; the reestablishing of the independent Treasury system; the annexation of Texas; the Oregon Treaty that set the border with Canada and won more of Oregon from the British than anyone expected; and the Mexican Cession, which added territory that included the current states of California, Nevada and Utah, most of Arizona, half of New Mexico, and some pretty sizable chunks of Colorado and Wyoming. He even tried to buy Cuba, which would have prevented a lot of grief down the road, but Spain wouldn’t sell. And Polk did all that and more in just four years because he kept his promise to serve only one term. For that alone, he deserves to be in the top 10 (They rank Polk at #20, seven places below Bill Clinton).

In comparison, Obama’s eight years gave us…Obamacare? A record stretch of low GDP growth? The spread of ISIS? Michelle’s school lunch program?

I can’t help wondering how many of these alleged “presidential history experts” who lionize Obama live in states that wouldn’t even be part of America if it weren’t for James K. Polk.

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Over the weekend, President Trump paid a visit to the Daytona 500 that reminded NASCAR fans of why he was known as one of our greatest showmen before he even entered politics. It started with a thrilling buzz of the event in Air Force One...

https://youtu.be/t9borCIRsBw

Then the First Lady joined him for some patriotic comments…

https://youtu.be/B6_H6NjiIMk

And he even took a lap of the track in the armored Presidential limo, “The Beast.” It had the crowd cheering and race commentators declaring it “awesome!”

https://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20200216/trump-pumps-daytona-500-crowd-with-speech-starting-lap

But of course, the liberal media outlets were not impressed. They were (and stop me if you’ve heard this before) “outraged!” How DARE Trump use government resources like Air Force One and the Presidential limo to attend an event that might burnish his election chances, they stewed…conveniently ignoring all the times they cheered Obama’s coolness for doing things like throwing out the first ball at the World Series, using the limo for an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, and flying to L.A. so many times to vacuum money out of the pockets of leftwing celebrities that Angelinos coined the term “Obama-jam” to describe the traffic tie-ups from all the street closures caused by his frequent fundraiser visits.

This was the type of all-American event that Presidents often take part in, but when Trump does it, it’s an unprecedented scandal, and possibly an impeachable offense (they should ask Alan Dershowitz about that.) I wonder if these whiners realize that they’re coming off like the sad goth kids in high school, pouting at their table in the back of the cafeteria and making snarky comments about the cool kids – not realizing that everyone knows they’re jealous and secretly wish they could be that popular.

------------------

Interesting post by Steven Hayward at the Powerline blog about the recent history of newspaper journalism: how reporters stopped thinking of themselves as being in a trade and began to think of themselves as college-educated “professionals” whose stories shouldn’t be recitations of objective facts but their expert personal interpretation of events…and how this led to all the slanted leftist “reporting”…and how this has helped contribute to paid newspaper circulation dropping by nearly half since 1968, despite a 50% increase in population, and nearly 1800 newspapers going belly-up since 2004.

Of course, they were also hurt by the Internet, where people put it more succinctly: “Get woke, go broke.”

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/02/scenes-from-the-media-meltdown.php

------------------------------------

If you thought that Mike Bloomberg’s old comments about minorities and crime were bad news for his presidential campaign, then these resurfaced comments could explain why he opted to skip the Iowa Caucuses.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bloomberg-implied-farming-is-easy-in-2016-comments

Speaking at Oxford University’s business school in 2016, Bloomberg described the job of farming like this: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer. It's a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.” In contrast, he said today’s information era jobs require people to learn “how to think and analyze, and that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”

(FYI: his comment about the low mental difficulty of factory workers’ jobs was hardly any less dismissive.)

Naturally, this is not going over too well with the agricultural community, who, surprisingly, know how to access information on the Internet and how to read. As one commenter put it, you couldn’t ask for a better example of a clueless New York bubble dweller quote – short of saying that ranching is easy because meat comes on little Styrofoam trays so you just have to put plastic wrap over it. I could just as well reply that it’s easy to learn to code because all you have to do is “learn to code.”

There’s an entire literature of jokes built on farmers outsmarting arrogant city slickers, and those stretch back to long before farmers were using advanced technology to plan and time crop rotations, calculate yields, track weather patterns and run giant, Internet-connected farming equipment like this:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/358512

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I’ve said before that running for President these days is like undergoing a particularly thorough colonoscopy without anesthetic. Bloomberg’s billions can’t insulate him from having all his past statements dug up and parsed. And apparently, there are a lot more to come. His own employees even compiled a book of them, which shows that minorities and farmers aren’t the only people he doesn’t have much respect for (warning: some rough language at the link):

https://lidblog.com/the-portable-bloomberg/

And his reported comments to female employees, particularly about pregnant employees, aren’t likely to endear him to women voters.

https://www.westernjournal.com/bloomberg-camp-rocked-complaint-lists-mikes-shockingly-racist-sexist-remarks/

Maybe Bloomberg mistakenly thought running for President is easy: you just buy billions of dollars’ worth of ads and order your reporters not to say anything bad about you, only about the other guy. If so, he should’ve had more gray matter than to think that.

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Comments 1-25 of 29

  • EverettFoons

    03/05/2020 03:05 AM

    May I simply say what a relief to discover a person that actually knows what they’re talking about over the internet. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. <a href=https://wertigo.xyz/>big tits</a>
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  • Thomas Roper

    02/18/2020 01:04 PM

    Your comment about Trump at the Daytona 500, even the Drivers were awed and even says that Trump doing what he did made even one of the biggest event in their career even more impressive.
    Obama made the list only because he was very eloquent. Being eloquent doesnt made you a good president. Just more visible.

  • james peace

    02/18/2020 11:03 AM

    Mike, Ranking the American presidents is too difficult for those who do not understand cause and effect, and that's a substantial portion of the population. There exist two primary factions, those who adhere to individual responsibility and those seek government care. Among both these groups are many who do not understand the elitist drive to dominate their lives. I am an American patriot who desires the freedom to seek my own desires within the framework of individual responsibility and rule by law where the federal government protects the people while honoring states rights. As the Federal government infringes more and more upon states rights, the more control they exercise over the people, consequently less freedom. As we've seen over our life times, most presidents have embraced growth of the central government. So, how does one rank the presidents. It depends on perspective. Does the person seek to excel within the bounds of his own abilities and opportunities, or does he find a life within government welfare his utopia. Being who I am and from what I see at this point, President Trump must be rated among the greatest and of these there are few. His efforts to rescue us from those elitists who would destroy the Republic are EXCEPTIONAL. NO other president in the 20th compares! As for the other presidents, I offer no comparison, but I do reflect on vice president John C Calhoun. He warned of specific dangers facing the nation in a voluminous work of which certain sections have been removed from public view. He was a true supporter of the American dream, freedom of and for the individual.

  • Audrey Skarness

    02/18/2020 09:56 AM

    Re Bloomberg: he took out a full page ad in our little hometown paper...we who live in the country [way back there] could care less about his wealth and ideas to take over the country.

  • Kay DeWitt

    02/18/2020 09:40 AM

    Your opening paragraph validated what I have been saying about how in the name of the LETTER of law of the Constitution the Democrats...via their articles of impeachment..indicted President Trump for having VIOLATED the letter of the law....WHILE, in reality, THEIR HEART MOTIVE....for wanting to impeach their President...BECAUSE IT WAS NOT LOVE FOR THEIR CONSTITUTION, BUT RATHER HATRED FOR THEIR PRESIDENT...... MADE THEM guilty of VIOLATING the SPIRIT of law of the Constitution......THEREBY MAKING their articles of impeachment guilty of making a MOCKERY of the Constitution itself!

    This BEING the reality, it behooved the Senate to take a stand against it because to vote FOR President Trump to BE impeached would only serve to ENABLE the mockery!!!! THEREFORE, the Christianity Today's indictment against Christians FOR taking a stand AGAINST this mockery is one more example of how a Christian can know all ABOUT Christ and, yet, not know HIM! The question that should be asked OF Christianity Today is how they think Christ would have voted?

    Because your opening paragraph was such a wonderful answer TO this question, I am going to copy and paste it below:

    "The Founders devised a brilliant system that gave a say to all the individual states, with their vastly different cultures and interests. We also celebrate our unprecedented history of respecting the vote of the people and the peaceful transfer of power. It’s too bad that many people now are so eager to trash the Electoral system, disrespect the voters’ choice and resist the peaceful transfer of power in the name of preserving their own political power. But they can at least pretend to respect those traditions for one day, then go back to observing “NOT My President Day” the other 364 days of the year (or 365 in leap years like this.) "

  • Jerry Ables

    02/18/2020 09:10 AM

    Thanks for your President’s Day commentary. Now you’ve intrigued me to do a little more research into James K Polk’s presidency. I’ve always considered Calvin Coolidge as the best president, but that ranking is always subject to change.

  • Marie Frey

    02/18/2020 09:07 AM

    I have a solution to the homeless population.
    Arkansas has an abundance of Fema Trailers left over from Katrina. Arkansas has them stored. Use them for the homeless in Los Angeles. Plenty of Desert land to park them on. I know they aren't looking for a solution they like the voters where they are.

    Enjoy your Newsletter and miss Sarah.

  • William Hunter

    02/18/2020 08:32 AM

    Right on! HUCKABEES LOVE THEIR COUNTRY. GOD BLESS!

  • Jerry Korba

    02/18/2020 08:31 AM

    These polls are for people that don't have any thing better to do the cost and time to take a poll like this means what? Does it stop a potential terrorist from entering our country does it stop killing drugs from coming into the country does it stop the murder of babies yet to be born does the poll get china to a fair trade agreement does the poll help put more money into individuals bank accounts you get the picture no the poll tells me the opposite of todays issues give these pollsters a red bucket and a bell put them in front of a Kmart or Walmart and ask for donations time spent much better than bothering people about fictional opinions.

  • James R Deane

    02/18/2020 08:03 AM

    Mike, My wife and I love your Daily news sent us. we never miss your
    weekly show on Saturday evening. Keep up the good work.

  • Geneva Poynter

    02/18/2020 07:59 AM

    Thank you for pointing all of that out, especially about Bloomburg and the awful comments he has made in the past. I grew up on a farm. Bloomburg should have to make a living that way!!!!!

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    02/18/2020 07:15 AM

    Is is just me? I have noticed that Trump never offers his arm to his wife when they are walking or holds her hand? It is something "presidential" that that are not supposed to?
    Bloomburg is an affront to most of the U.S. population. thinks he can win because he is rich and then he goes after the black vote by having osama Obama speak for him in ads...Shameful.
    Also, can VA really do away with Electoral College on their own or isn't this protected under the constitution?

  • Michael Conboy

    02/18/2020 06:58 AM

    Why are individual funds exempt from the ceilings established for donations to political campaigns? This is very discriminatory towards all but the very rich. Let's set one standard for all.

  • Creola Loyd

    02/18/2020 12:51 AM

    I wish I were not so amused by some of his comments (pulled from years past and displayed as if he is with Obama right now.) Because he could scare me! Hopefully, no one is fooled by his "money" efforts to push his way into being the Democrats offer as a candidate for president. I pray daily for our President and our country.

  • BrendaWhelchel

    02/18/2020 12:41 AM

    Not related to your terrific (as usual) comments tonight, a thought occurred to me the other day as I was sitting in my optometrist's office reading that ever so familiar eye chart where you read the smallest letters possible. Saying those letters are a lot like trying to remember the proper order of the title of the "elite snowflake" group: you know, the LGBTQ+P spotlight seekers. (I hope I got the order correct.) I'm finding it is much easier to remember and refer to them simply as "the eye-chart people". That way I don't get the letters mixed up and hopefully not offend someone.
    Just a thought I wanted to pass along. Have a good day and God bless!

  • Kevin J. Cook

    02/17/2020 11:49 PM

    Hussein will go down as the most corrupt president ever with his Russian collusion election interference and presidential coup attempt. Hussein is a damn traitor

  • John Coban

    02/17/2020 10:54 PM

    Love your commentaries! Keep up the great work! Speaking of Presidents Day & Lincoln, did you read the very good article in the WSJ over the weekend regarding Lincoln and The Bible? https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/what-the-bible-taught-lincoln-about-america-11581742861

  • Dennis Mountz

    02/17/2020 10:36 PM

    How many times in the Bible did God the Father or Jesus use farmers as an example of how things should be done? And how many times did either use news reporters as a positive example?

  • Sidney Lee Patin

    02/17/2020 10:10 PM

    Bloomberg's comments make me wonder how he made so much money. Anyone who would even think of saying the things he says must have a few screws loose and clearly not enough "gray matter".

  • Anne Turner

    02/17/2020 09:40 PM

    What an uninteresting bunch of DNC candidates. None, except for .Bloomberg, have distinguished themselves by doing anything exceptional. Bloomberg is an accomplished businessman. However, it would appear that his comments make the Donald look like a monk. He is obviously crude and rude. What I find interesting is the number of people, especially women, who knew POTUS before he ran. They all have said it didn’t matter about race, gender, or whatever, as long as people performed well. Other things I have heard are stories of His kindnesses toward people who needed help. This picture is not the picture people have of him, mostly due to his own mouth. No doubt he was a womanizer but I think Melania has squelched that. Look at how many have disgraced the White
    House, all Dems, having had sexual encounters with women other than the Mrs., Johnson, Roosevelt, Clinton, JFK. Those are the ones I can think of.

    Bloomberg should never have apologized for his controversial actions. Started by Giuliani, these programs vastly cut the crime rate and murders. He should have argued that the people in the minority communities begged for help. How is this racist? If blond blue eyed old ladies committed most of the crime, I would expect to be frisk at the slightest provocation. Bloomberg is the worst kind of intellectual snob. Just because some people learned in the job instead of going to Yale, etc. does not mean they are not intelligent. My grandfather was one of thirteen and had to quit school in the fourth grade. He was one of the most respected men in his community and a pretty bright guy. He may not have always used the Kings English, but he made sense when he spoke. There is so much more to farming than Bloomberg has considered. Shows his ignorance.

  • DonaldEndicott Endicott

    02/17/2020 09:14 PM

    Personally I believe Barack Oboma's grade should be F Minus. Practically everything he did was detrimental to America and its citizens.

  • Sharon Faulkner

    02/17/2020 08:58 PM

    Funny this reminds me of the 2000 presidential poll on C-Span when it was Ronald Reagan who talked it by over 3 million votes and I expect that is what Donald Trump would get also today. These fake media polls are just that and that is why people on laughing at them remember polls are meant to manipulate public opinion not reflect it.

  • Kathleen Kemmer

    02/17/2020 08:56 PM

    Although "Doomberg" was a billionaire before OBAMA, what really exponentially set his billions into high orbit was Obama's Trillion Dollar Banking bailout. Bloomberg's organization was able to catapult into the stratosphere using his information technology base to continue the 'bailout'. The other thing "Doomberg" was up to was carving out large markets in China while no one was watching China's trying to overtake the American Economy. He is a piece of dried toast who can buy the Corrupt Democratic party, but he cannot buy Trump Supporters.
    Kat

  • Steven Lechtenberg

    02/17/2020 08:52 PM

    I always like your commentary Governor. You an Rush Limbaugh are two main news sources. I tried to ask this question before, but I think it did not post to your comment section a few days ago. Bernie Sanders is a registered independent, I know he causes with the democrats, as a registered independent how can the democrats give him the Democratic Party nomination, I still don’t think he will get it, if he is not a member of the Democratic Party

  • Ann Bellanca

    02/17/2020 08:52 PM

    Great article. Thank you!