Just to make it clear, because it might be hard to tell this from reality: the Babylon Bee is a satire news site.
Happy Abraham Lincoln’s birthday! Lincoln was born in Kentucky on Feb. 12, 1809. The late Southern comedian Brother Dave Gardner used to joke that even Lincoln was a typical lying politician: he was called “Honest Abe from Illinois” when he was really “born in Kentucky, that scamp.”
Lincoln’s birthday was never a federal holiday, but George Washington’s (Feb. 22) was, and some states lump Lincoln’s along with Washington’s. In 1971, Congress moved several holidays to Mondays instead of fixed dates to create more three-day weekends, and Washington’s birthday became the third Monday in February, which is next Monday. Although it's official in only about a dozen states, most people now call it Presidents Day and consider it to be a holiday in honor of everyone who’s ever held that office, which means this year, it will be one more thing for Trump haters to get pointlessly outraged about. Since it's partially in honor of Trump being President, they'll have to express righteous fury at getting the day off work.
By the way, if all these ever-shifting birthday celebrations aren't confusing enough, under the old calendar in effect in 1732, Washington would have been born on February 11. So if you missed work yesterday, just tell your boss you go by the pre-Gregorian calendar and were taking your three-day Presidents Day weekend off.
Dumbest Line of The Week, And It’s Only Tuesday: "With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand, here in one of the safest cities in the United States of America -- safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls..." – Beto O’Rourke
El Paso is safe “in spite of walls”? Is your house safe in spite of the walls? Seems like you'd be in danger not only from intruders but from the roof falling on you. Would your gated community be safer if it weren’t surrounded by a wall? Why not rip all the walls down, then? Imagine how safe we’d be if we were all living open-air carports.
That’s the kind of comment that might get a big round of applause from the audience at “The View,” but if you give it even five seconds of thought, you realize it’s loonier than Jim Carrey on five pounds of crack.
Bonus Beto line: "We stand for America and we stand against walls." Is that a suggested slogan for the US Olympic dodge ball team? Or does he mean his supporters lean against walls all day so they need one of those guaranteed government checks for those unwilling to work?
Here’s a “Stop the Presses” moment (if presses still exist.) The notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled in favor of the Trump Administration and against blue states and environmental groups trying to stop construction of a border wall. No, this is not a dispatch from the Twilight Zone.
President Trump’s rally Monday in El Paso ended with his standard exit music, the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Mick Jagger & Co. might not be thrilled with Trump’s use of the song, since it’s very important for nonconformist music stars to all share the exact same liberal political views, but as long as Trump pays the ASCAP licensing, he can play any song he wants at rallies. I used to wonder why he picked that one instead of something more upbeat and rousing, but it now seems like a genius song choice.
At the latest count, about 20 Democrats are either officially running for President or considering it, and they’re all running so far to the left, they make Barack Obama look like Barry Goldwater. Several have even endorsed Rep. Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” a liberal arts college dorm beer bong fantasy so absurd, it was yanked from her website when its debut was greeted with gales of astonished laughter. (In El Paso, Trump mocked it as being like a high school term paper that got a low mark):
Since Trump began using that song in 2016, the Democrats have become the party of “You CAN Always Get Everything You Want,” and it will be supplied by the government. Don’t believe me? Let’s take inventory.
Want a high-paying job with good benefits? The government will give you one, guaranteed! Want that paycheck but not willing to work for it? Okay! Want top quality health care for free? Done! Want to go on college for free? Sign here! Want cars that don’t pollute, 100% green energy with no fossil fuels, no nuclear plants and zero CO2 emissions? Okee-dokey! Want all major US cities connected by high-speed rail and every structure in America rebuilt to top energy efficiency standards in just ten years? Step aside! Want the government to lower the world’s temperature? Piece of cake!
Oh, and I hate to mention this, but it would be nice if cows would stop passing gas. Well, that’s a toughie, but they’re working on it! See, you can always get everything you want from the government! And all of it will be paid for by taxing the “tippy-top” earners, even though if you confiscated everything the wealthy own, it would barely make a dent in the bill for these programs. But that’s a fact, and no annoying “fact” can outweigh being morally correct.
Of course, as long as this remains in the realm of the theoretical, you can always pretend it could work. The problem is, all this stuff has been tried before and failed miserably. For instance, California has been trying to build one high-speed rail line between L.A. and San Francisco since 2008. The cost has ballooned from $39 billion to $100 billion and the completion date has been pushed back to 2033. Several states have tried variations on single-payer government health care; they had to be quickly axed when cost and demand far exceeded projections. Government involvement in college funding has made college more expensive and saddled young Americans with crushing loan debt. Socialism in general has an unbroken record of bringing poverty, misery, corruption and death everywhere it’s tried. (This is why I don't understand why they call themselves "progressives." Doing the same stupid thing over and over and expecting a different result isn't progress, it's the definition of insanity.)
The socialism-friendly state of Vermont that gave us the Wilfred Brimley of socialism, Sen. Bernie Sanders, tried getting rid of nuclear power and replacing it with renewable energy. Result: they have to buy fossil fuel power from other states. Vermont’s legislators promised in 2005 that these Green New Deal-type measures would reduce the state’s emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2028. Instead, they’ve risen by 16.3%, over twice the national average.
Incidentally, in 2011, Vermont became the first state to vote to create state-level single payer health care. It was scrapped in 2014 due to a $2 billion budget shortfall. If states are the “laboratories of ideas,” then Vermont has been like Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. It shows Washington politicians the kind of monstrous socialist experiments to avoid, but the temptation of playing God is just too great for those on the left.
So to return to my original point, Trump’s choice of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” turned out to be a prescient stroke of genius. It answered the Democrats’ rising chorus of impossible promises before they even started making them. And even the second line of the song turns out to be the perfect response to all that socialist pie-in-the-sky from Republicans who believe that all Americans need is freedom, a strong economy and a willingness to work, and they can succeed on their own:
“But if you try, sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.”
One of the greatest lines in political history came when a debate moderator questioned Ronald Reagan about his advanced age, and he joked that he would not exploit his opponent’s youth and inexperience. It was such a perfect response, even his opponent, Walter Mondale, had to laugh with him, and it defused that issue with voters.
Sadly, today, we have many politicians who seek to take advantage of their supporters’ youth and inexperience. Having turned schools into institutions of indoctrination rather than education, they know young people are ripe for being misled into thinking America is the source of all evil in world history and socialism just means caring deeply about people. And it works, which explains why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has 3 million Twitter followers (although for comparison, Kim Kardashian West has 59.5 million). But it works only as long as their supporters can be kept naïve and uninformed.
So of course, a lot of young people think a “Green New Deal” sounds like a cool idea. But what happens when they’re told what’s actually in it? Campus Reform reporter Cabot Phillips went to the University of Miami to find out…
News You Can Use: If you are going to abandon a home, don’t leave your pets inside to starve. Especially if one of those pets is a 1,000-pound tiger. Someone might break into the place to smoke pot and mistake the tiger for a hallucination. No, I’m not just riffing nonsense off the top of my head. This is an actual news story:
Mayor Bill DeBlasio wants to do for America what he did for New York City! Elect him President and he promises to fill every Amtrak train across the nation with homeless drug addicts!
Before any more Democrats cram into the overcrowded '69 VW microbus full of 2020 Presidential contenders, they might want to note this: according to the latest Rasmussen survey, President Trump’s approval rating among US likely voters has climbed to 52% following his State of the Union Address, the highest since his Inauguration.
Also, the latest Gallup Poll finds that “Americans' optimism about their personal finances has climbed to levels not seen in more than 16 years, with 69% now saying they expect to be financially better off ‘at this time next year.’”
This might explain why so many Democrats are adopting the two-pronged strategy of promising everything you could want for free (except a flatulent cow; guess they’re banking on not many voters wanting one of those) and getting as many people as possible who aren’t Americans to vote.
Last night, Congressional negotiators reportedly reached a deal to keep the government funded and open. Democrats did drop their demand to limit the number of beds in detention facilities, which, as President Trump said at his El Paso rally, would have resulted in the forced release of thousands of illegal entrants. But the border wall funding is still only about $1.4 billion, far short of Trump’s request of $5.7 billion. Trump assured his rally audience that the wall or similar barrier will be built, but whether he means by some other method or that he’ll refuse to sign this deal isn’t yet clear. Stay tuned.
Monday was a red letter day for politics junkies. It gave us a rare chance to witness examples of two distinct, classic styles of phony-baloney political “apologies” on the same day.
Phony Apology #1: Rep. Ilhan Omar
The most straightforward style of coerced, insincere apology came courtesy of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. She sent out tweets suggesting that Congress members support Israel because they’re paid by the Jewish lobby. She specifically cited AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. FYI: AIPAC is a political action committee and does not give money to any individual politicians.
(Full disclosure: I am currently in Israel, which I have visited many times. I am a great admirer of Israel, and not because anyone is paying me, Heaven knows. Israel is not only America’s best friend and ally in this dangerous part of the world, it is the only democracy in the Middle East. It’s a Jewish homeland where the religious freedom of residents of all beliefs is protected. The amazing people of this nation have literally made the desert bloom, both with crops to feed the hungry and with cutting edge technology in many fields. There was even a recent report that Israeli researchers may have made a breakthrough that will lead to curing cancer. So anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel are not only repugnant on a gut level, they’re also intellectually indefensible.)
Omar faced intense pressure from fellow Democrats to apologize, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others issuing a statement that read, "Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments."
Omar apologized but in that “sorry-but-not-sorry” way that made it clear it was about as sincere as a used car salesman’s smile. Let’s unravel the spin, shall we? Her carefully-crafted statement starts out apologetically enough:
"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”
(Now, here comes the attempt to make herself the victim): “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize."
(And then she equivocates by implying that she was really right): “Omar added she still ‘reaffirms’ what she considers a ‘problematic role of lobbyists’ in politics. She highlighted AIPAC, as well as the NRA and fossil fuel industry as particularly troubling. ‘It's gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,’ she continued.”
(And in conclusion, she’s sorry-but-not-sorry): She said she is "listening and learning, but standing strong."
So she apologizes for saying it, but she stands by it? Apparently so, because just hours after making the apology, she retweeted a thread defending her for making the original accusation:
In terms of consequences for her anti-Semitic tweeting, there will be none. Pelosi made it clear that Omar will not be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and it’s time to move on (this from people who still can’t get over the 2016 election.) So, outrageous statement followed by phony apology followed by zero consequences. The Democratic Trifecta.
Interestingly enough, this comes very shortly after Republicans stripped Rep. Steve King from his committee assignments for saying some things about white supremacy that he insists were taken out of context by the New York Times. Omar’s tweets were in her own words, just like her long history of other outrageous statements, yet Democrats feigned outrage while letting her keep her committee assignments.
She did pick up one supporter who probably recognized the apology as the meaningless pablum it is. She now has the full-throated backing of former KKK grand wizard, David Duke.
Do you think we’ll hear calls from the media for Omar to lose her committee assignments, or attempts to tar her and all her colleagues and supporters with the association with the Klan, the way they did in 2016, when Donald Trump repeatedly repudiated Duke and was attacked for allegedly not doing it forcefully or often enough?
Greg Gutfeld of Fox News recently pointed out that the media always paint the entire Republican Party with the views of its most extreme members, but they never do that to Democrats. Ironically, if they ever did call the Democratic Party the party of the KKK, it would at least be historically accurate.
I suppose if Omar does get any flak for being praised by the odious racist/anti-Semite David Duke, she can always issue another meaningless apology and go on her merry way.
And just to be clear: the Democrats’ anti-Semitism problem is not limited to just one Congress member:
Phony Apology #2:
In today’s must-read, Ed Driscoll at Instapundit does an excellent job of rounding up and analyzing the theatrics of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s strategy for wiggling out of calls for his resignation over his blackface/KKK photo scandal.
Northam is trying the “I’m truly sorry, but isn’t this really society’s fault?” style of phony apology popularized by Bart Simpson and, as the late Charles Krauthammer noted, Barack Obama. When Obama made a mistake, such as blaming police racism for incidents that later turned out not to be racially-motivated, he would say that this shows the deep divisions and historical problems in America for which this was a “teachable moment” – in other words, it was his mistake, but it was the fault of all the rest of us that he made it so we needed to be taught a lesson.
Northam is trying to claim that all the upset over his past shows “that we still have a lot of work to do” in “the area of equity,” and he’s the person to heal these deep wounds, so he’s going to impose “sensitivity training” on everyone from his Cabinet officers to kids in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Just out of curiosity: how many of them posed for school photos in blackface or a Klan hood? Because I could swear that was only him (although with the Virginia Democratic leadership, you never know.) How about if he undergoes “sensitivity training,” and while he’s at it, he could be trained to be sensitive enough to know that when a baby has been born and needs medical attention, you get it to a hospital, you don’t hold a debate.
The “my mistake is really the fault of American culture” scam is a popular one among Democrats that, as Driscoll notes, has been used to excuse everything from Franklin Roosevelt putting Japanese-Americans into internment camps to Lyndon Johnson escalating the Vietnam War.
Say, maybe if we all get together and apologize to Northam for our racism that made him do that, he’ll agree to stay on!