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Today's Commentary: Trump condemns system, signs spending bill to protect military -- 2200 pages of frustration -- Saudi progress -- Andrew McCabe -- Music returns -- Additional Mike Huckabee commentaries
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President Trump hastily called an early Friday afternoon press conference to announce that, yes, he is signing the “omnibus” spending bill and, NO, he is never signing such a bill again.
The reason he gave was that the military must be generously funded in order to recover from the decimation it suffered under Democratic leadership. It’s reported that Defense Secretary Mattis convinced him to go against his inclination to veto the bill in order to ensure a superior military. Trump said his goal is the creation of the strongest military we have ever had. The only way we could get that in the bill, he said, was to include expensive outlays that the Democrats wanted that are “very bad for our country.” (Well, that much is true!)
Trump said “we have to get rid of the filibuster rule” that stops a simple majority vote in the Senate from approving a spending bill. (That much is also true. We will never, ever, get the spending cuts we need under the current system, and our nation will continue its slide into eventual bankruptcy.) Republicans are on notice to change the rules.
2200 pages of frustration
By Mike Huckabee
If there’s one sure way for Congressional Republicans to tell whether or not they should support a bill, it’s to look at the reactions to it from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. If they predict that it will bring about Armageddon and kill millions of people (i.e., the tax cut), then it’s probably a great idea. If they are smiling so hard they look like a pair of Jokers, then run, run like the wind from it.
Unfortunately, that lesson didn’t sink in. Yesterday, after allowing all of 17 hours to read a bill of over 2200 pages, the House and then the Senate voted to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that explodes this year’s deficit by $800 billion. It had Pelosi and Schumer practically dancing with glee that the “era of austerity is over” (and they define “austerity” as the trillion-dollar annual deficits under Obama!)
By Mike Huckabee
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is visiting the US, where he met with Defense Secretary James Mattis yesterday and vowed to strengthen ties with the United States. This isn’t just the typical state visit hot air. In what might be the most important and least-reported story of our age, Saudi Arabia is undergoing an incredibly rapid reformation as hardline Islamic clerics and religious police are being brought to heel, the funding of terrorist groups and schools that churn out terrorists-in-training are being cut off, and women’s rights are finally starting to return.
You might not have heard about this, since the Western media mostly only reference Saudi Arabia in stories that belittle or impugn President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his diplomatic outreach efforts to the Saudis. But this Wall Street Journal article gives a quick history lesson in how the nation, taken aback by the Iranian revolution in the ‘70s, made a fatal error of trying to compromise with Islamic hardliners, and how its current rulers are finally moving swiftly to correct that mistake.
Prince Mohammed is quoted as saying that these “evil ideologies” are harming Muslim nations and giving Islam a bad name, adding, “Saudi Arabia was not like this before 1979. We want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that’s open to all religions. We want to live a normal life…coexist and contribute to the world…We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with these destructive ideas.”
I’m anxious to see how our media can possibly spin that to sound like a negative development under the Trump Administration, but I have all faith that they will find a way.
By Mike Huckabee
I was on the Fox Business News channel this week, where I was asked about all the crocodile tears flooding the banks of the Potomac over the firing of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and the strained attempts to pin it on a Trumpian conspiracy. Hey, if you want to pay the fat government pension of a guy who betrayed the public trust and was fired for cause on recommendation of his own colleagues at the FBI, then pass the hat. Just don’t pass it my way.
If you missed my appearance on FBN, the video is here:
By Mike Huckabee
Sad to see that the Guitar Center chain is having financial problems because fewer kids want to learn to play guitar or other instruments that require actual practice due to the rise of hip-hop. News flash: playing other people’s songs on a turntable or iPod doesn’t make you a musician.
I hate to see this because I have long preached how my parents’ sacrifice to buy me a guitar for Christmas changed my life. Playing with bands brought a shy kid from small town Arkansas out of his shell and set me on a career path in the public eye that I never could have imagined, even if playing music ended up being just a joyous sidelight of it all.
There are so many benefits for kids to mastering a musical instrument even beyond the fun of making music, with studies showing that it improves grades in other subjects and increases socialization skills. That’s why I have devoted so much time and effort over the years to getting music classes into schools and instruments into the hands of children who would otherwise never be able to afford them.
Let’s hope the rising popularity of the “School of Rock” model referenced in this article, in which kids learn to play music in groups instead of having to sweat it out alone, leads to a renaissance both of great music and of kids who want to learn how to play it. And kids, if there’s not a “School of Rock” nearby, might I recommend that you grab some guitars and find a friend who has a garage?