Today is primary election day in Colorado, New York, Utah, Oklahoma, Maryland and Mississippi, so be sure to get out and vote if you’re in one of those states. There’s also a run-off election in South Carolina for the Republican governor’s race between John Warren and Henry McMaster. The poll at this link shows Warren ahead, but with just slightly over 50 percent. Remember, you can't complain about the candidates on the ballot in November if you didn’t vote in the primaries.
Thank you Steve
Admittedly, I don’t get many chances to praise Chuck Schumer, but he deserves a salute for his public rebuke of the kind of mob threat tactics leftists such as Maxine Waters are encouraging against members of the Trump Administration and their families. Even Nancy Pelosi issued a tweet distancing herself, but her’s was much more mealy-mouthed.
Meanwhile, one Congress member knows exactly how deadly such unhinged rhetoric can be when it inspires violent, mentally-disturbed people. Rep. Steve Scalise, who is still trying to recover from nearly dying of a gunshot wound by a fired-up Bernie Bro who wanted to massacre Republicans, had his own message for his reprehensibly irresponsible colleague. Check it out at the link.
Election polls tighten
Weeks of shameful, misleading and overheated rhetoric and media coverage comparing US detention centers for illegal immigrants to Auschwitz doesn’t seem to be having the intended effect.
The latest YouGov Battleground tracking poll for CBS News shows the Democrats’ generic ballot advantage for the November elections is down to only 4 points. When asked what should be done with families caught trying to enter the US illegally, only 21% believe they should be released in the US and required to show up for a hearing later. Nearly two-thirds (63%) believe the families should either be sent back where they came from or arrested. It’s true that separating families is very unpopular, but so is replacing border security with a welcome mat. A slim majority (51%) now approve of a border wall, and 61% say the recent media controversy over detention centers hasn’t changed their opinion of President Trump, while 10% say it’s made them like him more.
It gets even more interesting when you look at the party breakdown of the group polled. The total of those who are Democrat, strong Democrat or lean Democrat is 40%. Another 22% describe themselves as Independents. Only 34% are Republican, strong Republican or lean Republican. In a time when the vote margin is often a razor-thin 50-50, the Democrats have only a 4-point lead among a poll sample where they outnumber Republicans by 6 points. And the poll has a margin of error of +or- 2.6%, so a 4-point lead is meaningless.
Remember when I was one of the few people who predicted a Trump win in 2016 when everyone else was crowing over polls showing Hillary with a double-digit lead? It’s internals like this that convinced me. If they had to oversample Democrats by 24 points to get her to an 11-point lead, she was in trouble.
These polls also don’t take in to account the shock and revulsion of decent Americans at seeing leftist thugs harassing and threatening women and children who are associated with the White House, or the shameful spectacle of party leaders like Maxine Waters actually encouraging such repugnant behavior. Those who block real history from schools are doomed to repeat it, and the current wave of “Resistance” Millennials were obviously never taught how the Silent Majority reacted in 1968 to seeing all those self-righteous rioters at the Chicago Democratic Convention. Americans quite understandably decided that those uncivilized, radical loons needed to be kept far away from the levers of government power, and they showed up at the polls to vote accordingly.
Republicans should not get overconfident, but they also shouldn’t be demoralized by the talk of a “blue wave” and Democratic poll leads. Remember the computer term, GIGO: “Garbage in, garbage out.” The only poll that matters is the one on Election Day, and no liberal media outlet can screen your opinion out of that one.
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Undoing Obama legacy is going well
Maybe Donald Trump’s campaign slogan should have been “Change…back!” So far, most of his original ideas, such as a border wall and a new market-based health care plan, have been stymied by Congress. But he’s having incredible success and supercharging the economy and job creation, just by undoing the things the last President did. It turned out to be a good thing in the long run that Obama refused to deal with Congress and tried to legislate via executive order, because that made it easier for Trump to undo almost his entire legacy (although some federal judges are still inexplicably claiming that Trump has no power to undo an executive order that Obama had no power to issue in the first place.)
From deregulation to killing the Obamacare mandate to getting us out of bad trade deals and international agreements to unshackling the military in dealing with ISIS, Trump is making America great again simply by undoing all of Obama’s changes that made America worse. And now, here’s another Obama change that was insane on its face and is long overdue for reversal:
The Army will once again prioritize training soldiers in honing their battlefield skills over social engineering such as training in drug abuse, media awareness and transgender transitioning. The Pentagon said soldiers are already under great stress and have limited time, and they need to prioritize fighting and survival training, so those other things will go from mandatory to optional. In other words, they’re trying not to say they’re a waste of time, just that they’re a poor use of time for people who need to be training in how to kill and avoid being killed.
Besides, one memo says that “Transgender training is complete across the Total Army,” and doesn’t need to continue, since younger troops are already used to transgenderism and older military members have had it. I’ll bet they have.
As the article notes, another Trump reversal is letting officers in the field make more decisions instead of having every move micromanaged by the President or the Pentagon. The world’s greatest fighting force is changing back to that again, after an unfortunate attempt to change it into a laboratory for PC social experimentation. That helps explain why ISIS, which quickly spread into a worldwide threat under Obama, has been virtually obliterated in only a year. When I see all the leftist protesters going insane over children being housed in a converted WalMart, I wonder where their rage was when ISIS was murdering, raping, torturing and enslaving countless children on the last President’s watch. Thank God that’s another Obama legacy that President Trump has reversed: he’s changed ISIS back into “the JV team.”
SCOTUS ruling impacts small business
Last week, the Supreme Court issued a ruling requiring Internet sellers to pay sales taxes even in states where they don’t have stores or warehouses. That won’t affect giants like Amazon that already collect and pay sales taxes, but it could devastate small businesses that can’t afford $250,000 worth of software to calculate the taxes in every location in America.
I know this isn’t something Congress is used to, but they need to take action swiftly and pass a bill to protect small Internet retailers. That’s not just me saying that; it’s also Chief Justice John Roberts. In his sharp dissent, he pointed out the dangers of the ruling to small business and the economy and urged Congress to act. His dissent highlighted some of the confusing state tax laws that retailers will have to deal with. For instance, New Jersey collects sales tax on yarn bought for art projects, but not on yarn to knit sweaters. And Illinois considers a Snickers bar to be candy and a Twix bar to be food (it has flour) and taxes them differently.
Congress should heed Justice Roberts’ call and pass a remedy for this immediately. And while Justice Roberts is at it, how about urging state legislatures to clean up those ridiculously confusing tax laws so that it’s not just small online retailers who don’t have to deal with the insanity anymore?
MIA remains returning
It appears that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is about to start making good on a promise to President Trump to return the remains of MIA and POW soldiers from the Korean War. So far, many pundits, reporters and celebrities have mocked the Trump-Kim summit as a fruitless photo op. If they attempt to mock this as meaningless, then they should be forced to look into the eyes of the American families who’ve waited for this closure for decades and see how “meaningless” it is to them.
Absurdity on the Left
Just when you think the anti-Trump movement can’t get any more ridiculous, they prove they are, if nothing else, endlessly creative. This one is so childish and nutso, even Jerry Brown thinks it’s absurd.
Political Left goes after Half Pint
The PC academic world is also giving the mouth-foaming anti-Trumpers a run for their money in the lunacy department. Latest example: At its meeting in New Orleans, the board of the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) voted unanimously to rename the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" to the "Children’s Literature Legacy Award,” a move “greeted by a standing ovation by the audience in attendance."
And why? Because Ingalls’ beloved “Little House on the Prairie” books include “stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness” concerning Native Americans. In other words, they depict the language and fears of 19th century settlers on land taken from Indian tribes who resented the encroachment and violently retaliated, and on which federal authorities did not protect the settlers’ safety. It wasn’t a pretty chapter in history (there were no “safe spaces”), but the books accurately reflect how the people at the time felt and how they talked about it. But if children learn accurate history told in an interesting style, it would negate everything that today’s liberal education establishment stands for, which is to rewrite, censor and homogenize history and tell it in the most boring, pedantic way possible.
At least they only changed the name of the award. The next step will be to demand that the books either be banned or bowdlerized. Maybe they could rerelease them under the title, “Little Sensitivity-Training Center on the Prairie."
An update on what happened after my daughter and her husband went home from that notoriously unwelcoming restaurant. Here’s the full story, and what it shows us about the debilitating mental effects of Trump Derangement Syndrome is even worse than originally reported.
Democrats call your office
Speaking of the hysterical, violent, unhinged mob that the anti-Trump left has become, this is a development that I doubt they foresaw. It’s the Facebook page for a new counter movement, the Walkaway Campaign (#Walkaway) for reasonable, conservative Democrats who can no longer tolerate what the party has become. From their site:
“The Democratic Party has taken for granted that it owns racial, sexual, and religious minorities in America. It has encouraged groupthink, hypocrisy, division, stereotyping, resentment, and the acceptance of victimhood mentality. And all the while, they have discouraged minorities from having independent thought, open dialogue, measured and informed opinion, and a motivation to succeed…”
This is “a grassroots movement of patriots of all walks of life who have come together to reclaim unity, civility, and understanding in spite of our differences through the collective agreement that the divisive and dishonest rhetoric of the left has gone too far, and we want a kind, tolerant, inclusive, and honest America back again.”
I keep inviting Democrats onto my TBN TV show for a civil discussion of political differences, but I’ve had a hard time finding any takers. Let’s hope this movement succeeds. It will be good for America, good for the two-party system, and really good for my show bookers.
Thoughts on a trade war
I’ve said before that when I disagree with President Trump, I say so, and I have been concerned about the fallout to American businesses from the threats of a tariff war. I understand that he wants real free trade with no tariffs, not a rigged system where only American goods face crippling tariffs. Right now, he’s playing hardball with his negotiations, and we’re in the “who will blink first” stage. That’s having some disruptive effects for US farmers and manufacturers (see the story about Harley Davidson shifting some production overseas.)
I’m not going to urge Trump to blink first, but I will urge our trading partners who have benefited for a long time from unfair tariff policies to remember that it takes two sides to engage in a trade war, and neither one of them wins.
Congratulations to HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines on the arrival of their fifth child. It’s a boy. To see some photos and find out the name, click the link.
Monday's SCOTUS rulings
The Supreme Court handed down several decisions Monday, but the major cases such as rulings on the Trump travel restrictions are still to come.
The biggest decision was a punt: the SCOTUS declined to rule on the religious freedom case of Arlene’s Florists. Owner Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington State grandmother, has been relentlessly pursued and punished by the state for declining a job creating floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding due to her Christian religious beliefs. The SCOTUS lifted the lower court ruling against her and sent her case back to Washington to be retried in light of their recent incredibly narrow ruling in favor of the Colorado baker.
While this is something of a victory for religious rights, it’s still not the definitive ruling reinforcing the supremacy of the very first clause of the First Amendment that is needed. In creating a right to same-sex marriage, the Court also created a huge mess of conflicting rights claims that partisan activists are using to try to deny Christians their enumerated right not to be coerced by the government into violating their religious principles. The Court now seems intent on letting their own mess fester, clog courts and ruin people’s lives and livelihoods for years while they dodge the only responsibility they have, which is to protect citizens from unconstitutional laws and court rulings. I fail to see how ruling so narrowly that a decision applies only to one case, then sending back another case to be retried in light of the decision that applies only to the first case clears up the confusion.
Hey, Supremes: I know you’re the ones with the black robes and gavels, but consider this: Protecting religious freedom was listed as the very FIRST right for a reason.
A couple of other decisions will have ramifications on the upcoming election. In a sharply divided 5-4 decision, the SCOTUS overturned a three-judge federal panel that declared the voting district map drawn by Texas' GOP legislature to be racially discriminatory gerrymandering. The majority found that since the panel allowed interim voting using the lines that had mostly been developed by the Texas court, the legislature had a good faith reason to believe the lines were legally sound. Over the furious objections of the Court’s liberals, the majority found that only one district was an "impermissible racial gerrymander."
The Court also declined to hear a challenge to North Carolina’s GOP-drawn districts and sent it back to a lower court for more work. Details are at the link. With last week’s ruling that challengers to Wisconsin’s GOP-drawn districts didn’t have standing to bring suit, this marks three losses (or at least setbacks) in a row for the left on redistricting disputes.
I think Republicans might have more sympathy for Democrats’ complaints about gerrymandering if they hadn’t exploited it to the hilt when they were in power. I’m reminded of a friend of mine from Texas who used to complain that his entire town was conservative but they had one of the most liberal Representatives in the House because their voting district map looked like the chalk outline police would draw around a dead centipede. Incidentally, that district is now a rough rectangle shape that exactly follows the borders of two adjacent counties. And it now has a Republican Representative.
Schumer blocks bill
In case you missed this news amid all the media assaults on President Trump over separating illegal immigrant parents and children: Congressional Republicans introduced legislation that would have ended it. But Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer took time out from crying about the separation of these parents and children to block the bill. His excuse: “There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense. Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”
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For reference: there is an obstacle to the President using his pen to rewrite laws. It’s called “The Constitution.” The only obstacle to legislation being passed is Chuck Schumer and the Democrats, who will flood the Potomac with crocodile tears over the poor suffering children, but apparently find it more important to keep the issue alive until the November elections.
From the “Do You Ever Think About Things You DO Think About” Desk: A liberal writer on Twitter pointed to a USA Today story about a little girl dogged by permit zealots for selling bottled water and claimed conservatives wouldn’t defend her because she’s black. Oops: the article he linked to was written by a conservative defending her.
Tweet of the Day
Tweet of the Day, from PJ Media blogger Debra Heine (@NiceDeb): “In the past week, progressives have taken hostile actions against Melania Trump, Kirstjen Nielsen, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Pam Bondi. 6 years after Dems screamed about a #WaronWomen, we finally have one.”
SCOTUS upholds Trump Travel Ban
Today, the Supreme Court handed down a major ruling and ended a year-and-a-half of pointless, dangerous and indefensible meddling in executive power by federal judges, by upholding President Trump’s right to ban entry to the US of immigrants from a handful of terrorist-plagued nations.
The Court ruled 5-4 that the order was “expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” and “The text says nothing about religion.” Justice Roberts wrote that it was “well within executive authority and could have been taken by any other President—the only question is evaluating the actions of this particular President in promulgating an otherwise valid Proclamation.”
To block the ruling, lower courts had cited Trump’s campaign rhetoric and other irrelevant issues to try to divine his hidden intentions as racist and anti-Muslim, even though, as the Court noted, such outside comments are irrelevant. What matters is the order itself, which was legal, neutral and contained no racist or anti-Muslim language. (The idea that it did shows how effective and pernicious biased “fake news” can be: even as the SCOTUS was throwing out the challenge as bogus, I noticed that the CNBC web link for its story on it contained the phrase “trump-muslim-travel-ban-case.”)
The ruling also included a remarkable reference to a subject I like to bring up whenever anti-Trumpers accuse him of wanting to put “immigrants” into “concentration camps,” and that’s Franklin Roosevelt's internment of legal immigrants and American citizens of Japanese extraction during World War II. That Democratic icon is still the only President who has ever actually done anything like that, and the Court took the occasion to make it clear that Korematsu v. United States, the ruling okaying FDR’s action, was a real example of federally-sanctioned racism, “gravely wrong on the day it was decided” and “has no place in law under the Constitution.” Which, coincidentally, means it was completely different from Trump’s travel ban order.
Naturally, Democrats are howling that this is a racist and anti-Muslim ruling, despite the fact that it was decided precisely because Trump’s order was NOT racist nor anti-Muslim. It applied only to a handful of countries and not to dozens of other majority Muslim nations. As President, it was his responsibility to protect the US from a known ISIS plot to send sleeper agents into the US to launch attacks on citizens. In blocking that, liberal lower court judges delayed preventative action, endangering countless Americans, and tried to establish a precedent that every federal judge in Podunk had the power to interfere with and block the President taking swift emergency actions to protect national security. It was an insane and outrageous judicial power grab, wrong on the day they did it, and it has no place in law under the Constitution.
The only thing that should be shocking about this ruling is that it was 5-4 instead of 7-0. Four Supreme Court Justices actually believed that federal judges should have the right to conjure up a power for themselves out of thin air to dictate national security policy, based on issues irrelevant to the language of the law or executive order in question. This should be another shock to Republicans to get them to the polls and insure that the right to nominate and confirm judges does not pass to the Democrats. Imagine the damage to the Constitutional separation of powers in this case if Hillary had been in office and nominated her pick for the SCOTUS instead of Neil Gorsuch.
Of course, that point is moot, since if Hillary had been elected, there would have been no attempt to stop the tide of immigration from terrorist-ridden nations in the first place. Maybe that’s a hypothetical thread that it’s best not to tug on for our own peace of mind.