August 24, 2020
By Mike Huckabee
Before we get into the news, let me say “thank you” to all those who sent happy birthday wishes. I also apologize if you went to the bank or post office and found it closed today. Don’t worry, it’s not another coronavirus lockdown; just the government officially observing the holiday of me turning 65 and finally getting to sign up for all that Medicare I’ve been paying for all these years.
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION KICKS OFF
The Republican virtual convention gets underway today. I seriously doubt that anyone who reads my newsletter was actually thinking of watching it on CNN. But just in case, you should know that after a week of gushing over the DNC convention and ignoring the long-debunked lies (“children in cages,” “fine people,” etc.), Brian Stelter is pushing for CNN to censor the RNC convention and interrupt the “disinformation” with “fact-checks.” So, just as with practically any other news that involves Republicans, if you want to get the full, uncensored truth, do NOT watch CNN.
I’m glad to hear that the RNC is going to do what I suggested and emphasize optimism and patriotism, two factors that were deliberately missing from the Democrats’ convention. President Trump said, “Where Joe Biden sees American darkness, I see American greatness,” and that will be the message.
And here's some more good advice for the GOP convention planners:
TLAIB, PELOSI, DEMOCRATS ARE CLEARLY INSANE
I try to be polite and respectful of other people’s political views, but sometimes, it’s difficult. Especially when you’re dealing with political views based on repeatedly debunked lies (“kids in cages,” “very fine people,” etc.) or just outright nonsense that’s dumber than a bag of hammers. Over the weekend, we had two examples of the latter, and one of them would cost taxpayers $25 billion if the Senate were as gullible as the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – who could not be bothered to bring members back to DC to work with Senate Republicans to extend coronavirus relief to people who are going without paychecks thanks to endless lockdowns, mostly in blue states – called them back for an “emergency” session to pass a $25 billion bailout for the US Post Office. The bill also halts any cost-cutting measures by the Post Office until after the election.
To explain why this is suddenly the most important issue in America, here’s “Squad” member Rashida Tlaib: “Let it be clear: This administration is waging an authoritarian campaign to sabotage this election by manipulating the Postal Service to suppress our votes…This is not a conspiracy theory. This is fascism. We will not stand for this."
Now, let me be clear: she is clearly insane. Mailboxes are not being removed to suppress Democratic votes. I assume that even Democratic voters (well, maybe not hers) are smart enough to know that they can always mail their ballots at the post office or just leave them for the mail carrier in their own mailboxes. Mailboxes are removed when they draw fewer than 25 pieces of mail a day, a practice that was going on for years before Trump was elected. The USPS also has NO financial crisis. It’s fully funded through 2021, with $15 billion on hand and access to a $10 billion loan from the Treasury.
Do you know who doesn’t have cash on hand? Americans who are still waiting for Pelosi and the other Democrats to quit chasing moronic conspiracy theories and extend coronavirus relief. Besides, if the Post Office needs help, they can always call on Cher…
The other jaw-droppingly stupid story of the weekend concerned the “OUTRAAAAGED!” reaction to photos of First Lady Melania Trump’s revamp of the White House Rose Garden, which hasn’t had a major facelift in many years. Showing that TDS destroys the part of your brain that controls perspective, Trump critics went absolutely ballistic attacking Mrs. Trump. She had destroyed the Rose Garden! She’s ripped out all the flowers (depriving the garden of “color and joy”) and cut down two trees planted by Jackie Kennedy! Just compare the new spare green look to the colorful blooming flowers of the Obama years (actually, a photo of the George W. Bush years.)
Some compared Melania to Marie Antoinette and foamed at the mouth that it looked like a “neo-fascist parade ground,” that the flowers were removed because they’re “symbols of diversity” and the flower beds are now “white only.”
Not only that, but the zigzag patterns of the bushes look like “KKK” if you’re delusional enough.
Probably the most unhinged were those who called the First Lady an “illegal immigrant” and accused her of destroying “our history.”
Well, at least we know where all the fertilizer came from. For the record: Jackie's trees weren’t cut down, they were transplanted, and the flower beds were made slightly smaller, because they had to make room for limestone paths to make it handicapped accessible (why do Democrats hate immigrants and the disabled?) And the spring flowers aren’t blooming because it’s late August. I know liberal city slickers like Mike Bloomberg know zero about farming, but with all their smug superiority about their high culture, do they not at least know from Gilbert & Sullivan about the “flowers that bloom in the spring, tra-la-la-la-la”?
As for their attacks on Mrs. Trump for being an immigrant and allegedly tearing up our history, I’ll remind them that they’re the people who are setting up “sanctuary” cities and states to protect actual illegal immigrant criminals as well as defending “peaceful protesters” who are vandalizing, toppling and setting on fire our statues and national monuments. I’ve seen what a park looks like when leftists are finished with it. I’ll take Mrs. Trump’s beautiful new Rose Garden any day.
HUNTING FOR SUBSTANCE IN BIDEN'S SPEECH, I DIDN'T FIND ANY
There’s an aphorism attributed to Abraham Lincoln, that when you see a dog walking on its hind legs, you don’t criticize its posture; the miracle is that the thing is accomplished at all. Joe Biden’s convention acceptance speech had something of that aspect to it. So many people were watching on the edge of their seats just to see if he got all the way through it that when he finally did, there was a collective sigh of relief and from the left, a whoop of celebration, none of which had anything to do with the speech’s contents. In fact, there was so much concentration on Joe’s triumph in talking coherently for 20 whole minutes that hardly anyone has commented on the substance of what he said, or rather, the almost complete lack of any substance.
Charles Lipson at Spectator USA is one of the few who examined Joe’s words rather than his presentation and found them to be as empty as the Christmas gift boxes in a Macy’s holiday window display.
I don’t expect a lot of policy details (one of the biggest time wasters at debates are the arguments over petty details of economic plans that will never be passed by Congress anyway.) But I thought the almost complete lack of any concrete proposals deserved more attention, so I went through a transcript of Biden’s speech, hunting for substance with a microscope (and that’s what it took.) Please note that for this piece, I’m not going to focus on the blatant falsehoods and misrepresentations (the “fine people” lie again), the glaring omissions (nothing about China or all the riots and shootings in Democrat-run cities) or the new charge of even more plagiarism, which at least suggests that Joe really did have a hand in writing his speech…
I’m not even going to ask how he can say, “I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness” when he plans to kill off fossil fuel energy and leave the whole country in the dark, like California.
Instead, I’m just going to focus on how, as Dorothy Parker said of Los Angeles, there’s no “there” there (see, when I borrow a line, I give credit.) Here are the issues and what Joe promised to do about them...
1. Social Security and Medicare: They are a “sacred obligation,” and they will be protected from going bankrupt. How? “You have my word.”
2. Injustice in the world: Joe will stand up for “human rights and dignity. And I will work in common purpose for a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous world.” Which nations will he stand up to (China? Iran? He hasn’t got much of a track record of doing that) and how will this be implemented? No further explanation.
3. Racism: Joe will lead this generation to “finally wipe the stain of racism from our national character.” How? “As a united America. United in our pursuit of a more perfect Union. United in our dreams of a better future for us and for our children. United in our determination to make the coming years bright. Are we ready? I believe we are.” Well, that should do it.
4. School shootings: Joe will end “the daily fear of being gunned down in school…” How? He picked a running mate who’s tough on “the gun lobby.”
5. The pandemic: For this, he offered the most policy details of any issue. Joe will “develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately” (we already have those)…“make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs” in America (Trump already launched a private-public partnership that prevented predicted shortages of ventilators and other supplies) “so we will never again be at the mercy of China…” (Trump stood up to China, Joe criticized him as a xenophobe and has a long record of kowtowing to China)…“we'll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective” (they already do; they’re not opening because teachers’ unions are blocking it)…“we’ll put the politics aside and take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve. The honest, unvarnished truth.” (Dr. Fauci: "The President has listened to what I have said...When I've made recommendations he's taken them. He's never countered or overridden me.") And he will impose a “national mandate to wear a mask” (legal experts say the President has no Constitutional power to do that.)
6. Rampant violence, crime, looting, rioting, arson, shootings and attacks on police in Democrat-run cities where leaders are defunding the police: No mention.
7. Everything else under the sun: we will rebuild America better, “with modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports…pipes that transport clean water to every community… 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs…a health care system that lowers premiums, deductibles, and drug prices…an education system that trains our people for the best jobs of the 21st century, where cost doesn't prevent young people from going to college, and student debt doesn't crush them when they get out…child care and elder care…and deal with climate change.” How? “...We can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president's $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations…”
Wouldn’t that require a massive, confiscatory tax increase that would drive rich people and their job-creating capital out of the US? “I'm not looking to punish anyone. Far from it. But it's long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share.” Note: The wealthiest 1% of Americans own 35% of the nation’s wealth and pay 37.3% of all individual income taxes. The bottom 90% pay 30.5% of taxes. How does Joe define “fair share?” No further comment.
It seems suddenly appropriate that Joe Biden’s most talked-about issue is the mandatory wearing of masks, since Joe himself has become the smiling, “empathetic” mask that the Democrats are forced to wear to hide their ruinously leftist, anti-American policies.
AINSWORTH: WAS BIDEN LIVE OR MEMOREX, AND DOES IT MATTER?
America set the bar so low for Joe Biden’s speech Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, he ended up getting raves simply for standing on his mark and reading off a prompter for a mere 20 minutes. For Democrats, he also got raves for not being Trump, which is the greatest accomplishment of all.
As author James Lileks put it, Biden benefited from “the soft bigotry of Joe expectations.”
Since there was only one noteworthy flub –- he skipped over the word “not,” but everybody knew what he meant –- the conversation inevitably turned to whether or not Biden was actually speaking live. On Friday, even Rush Limbaugh discussed this, including whether or not the speech could have been edited, given that Biden was essentially motionless throughout, and Rush said he knew of a number of people “looking at it.”
Before getting into that discussion, let me say that just the fact we’re even speculating about it should tell us what’s “off” about this crazy year and the Biden ticket in particular. When Trump hits it out of the park (as he will, guaranteed) this week at the Republican Convention --- in the middle of a no-doubt grueling schedule --- no one is going to wonder if HE spoke live and in the moment, not for one second. Because that’s just him; what you see is what you get. His party is not going to be deceiving you about that. That is so refreshing in the world of politics. Anyway...
Though my background is not in computers –- far from it! –- I know technology exists to “fix” much of what might have needed to be fixed, but probably not in such a way that it wouldn’t be detected by experts who know what to look for. (Aside: we’re not far away from the horrifying day when this CAN be done undetectably.) So it’s very unlikely that this was done. No, if Biden’s campaign didn’t have total confidence in his ability to do the speech live, the best way around that would have been much simpler.
I do have a background in writing speeches for corporate executives and even coaching them on delivery and how to appear on camera. What they would have done: get Biden rested and ready, and then run through the whole speech a comfortable number of times with Biden in rehearsal, hitting “Record” on all the run-throughs. (Don’t tire him; at some point, the law of diminishing returns will apply.) Typically in a rehearsal, you'd record the run-throughs anyway, to be able to review the performance and give the “talent” (I use the term loosely) some notes before doing another take. Once you have a full take you like --- especially if you sense he’s getting tired --- just stop. Don’t wait for perfection; a minor flub or two makes this more believable, and in this case, that’s the most important thing. Use the take that best conveys the personal qualities you want to get across, as Democrats think the election turns on this.
After that, as long as you’re down to a TINY group of people who can be implicitly trusted not to leak, it’s only a matter of hitting the right button at the right time to send out the recording instead of going live. Then, while the video played, Biden and Jill would just be “bidin’” their time in that room until it was time to walk out with Kamala and her husband to wave at the cheering crowd. Or, Biden could even do it "for real," unaware that the speech going out was really a take from earlier in the day.
That’s what Lt. Columbo would suspect. Do NOT call me a conspiracy theorist; I am not saying they did this. I’m saying this is how it could have been done if they had serious concerns about Biden "going live." It’s tempting to think of this as their “insurance policy”; we know Democrats are fond of those.
Biden probably just read it live, as it wouldn’t take much for that, given that he had the words right in front of him. But, again, the fact that we’re even speculating tells us all we need to know about what is wrong with the 2020 Democratic ticket. Given the high stakes, we have no doubt that if they were sure they could get away with this without anyone being the wiser, they'd do it.
So the bigger issue is whether the speech itself met expectations. To preface that discussion, I’d say that even without the questions concerning his mind, much of Biden’s past political life would do much to set the bar for content just as low (unless, of course, it were to be plagiarized from other sources). This opinion piece from JUST THE NEWS offers a quick background.
Gov. Huckabee has a commentary of his own today on the glaring lack of any specificity in Biden’s speech. He’s right --- this was vapid campaign talk, nothing but typical election-year platitudes. I have little to add, except that it occurs to me his speechwriter might have taken inspiration from a commercial currently being run in America by Italian coffee company Lavazza (which calls their ad a “global communication campaign”), featuring the voice of Charlie Chaplin from 1940.
The visuals are impossibly artistic and edgy, showing humanity at its most open, loving and --- importantly for leftists --- stylish. The words laud a borderless planet in which everyone gets along (as in the insipid John Lennon song “Imagine”). There's no word on how we’re going to create this beautiful world, except to “Unite!” Leftists just love flowery, uplifting speeches about mankind with no specifics.
The words Lavazza used are from Charlie Chaplin's 1940 film THE GREAT DICTATOR, a movie that rightfully savages Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
To his credit, Biden at least didn't plagiarize this.
It would be fun to create new visuals for the Lavazza ad that included shot after shot of leftist violence in Seattle, Portland and other American cities (which Biden never mentioned, incidentally). You know the images I mean: buildings burning and people being kicked in the head by radical leftist thugs demanding "justice." Oh, the humanity.
Now, I am a huge fan of Chaplin’s movies, but it should be noted that he was a far-leftist --- he grew up in dire, horrific poverty in England --- who became fabulously wealthy in capitalist America and eventually exited the U.S. to live in Switzerland. He claimed not to be a Communist, but here's an interesting piece on his Stalinist leanings.
We mustn’t forget that Russian Communist ruler Stalin was quite the dictator and mass-murderer himself. Clearly, one would have to be a dictator to have anywhere near the level of control it takes to remake society. Prospective Democrat voters might want to consider that.
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY (KJV)