It’s said that in Washington, a “gaffe” is when a politician slips up and accidentally tells you what he’s really thinking. By that standard, California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu committed a double gaffe in revealing his attitudes about free speech and the First Amendment that I fear applies to a lot of his fellow modern Democrats. Marta Hernandez at the Victory Girls blog examines it in some depth.
Take a break from Christmas shopping and settle back this weekend for another great new episode of “Huckabee” on TBN! Tonight, Rep. Matt Gaetz will tell us about his incredible week of grilling former FBI Director James Comey and the CEO of Google. I’ll visit with Fox News host Steve Doocy, and the Rev. Franklin Graham will tell us how Samaritans Purse is making sure Christmas will be merry for impoverished children around with world (and how easy and inexpensive it is for you to help.) I’ll have some crazy news “In Case You Missed It,” plus more serious commentaries. And we’ll send you off in a real Christmas spirit with the great music of Francesca Battistelli and multiple Grammy-winning gospel artist Cece Winans. How’s that for a stocking stuffed with treasures?
It’s all coming your way tonight at 8 and 11 EST, 7 and 10 CST, and the same times on Sunday. To find TBN in your local area and to stream previous episodes of “Huckabee,” visit https://www.tbn.org/programs/huckabee
A federal judge in Texas has ruled in favor of 20 states and struck down the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) as unconstitutional. As many legal scholars argued, the only reason Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts could conjure up for finding it constitutional was that it could be called a “tax.” That opened up a lot of other cans of worms nobody wanted to discuss, like the fact that its defenders had denied it was a tax when that was inconvenient to its passage, or that it could be used to justify forcing Americans to pay for any private product the government thought they should buy as long as it was called a “tax,” which exponentially increased government power over individuals.
In this case, the judge agreed with the plaintiffs that when Congress voted last year to get rid of the tax penalty that forced people to comply with the mandate to buy insurance, it gutted the “tax” part of the bill. Since that was the only reason the SCOTUS could name for upholding it, without it, the whole thing is plainly unconstitutional. You can tell how solid the ruling is by the response of Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, which was to resort to the usual phony wailing about how millions of Americans were going to lose their health coverage and to accuse the judge of “absurd” and “faulty” legal reasoning without specifying why he was wrong.
In fact, this is the decision the SCOTUS should have handed down in the first place and forced Congress to start over and produce a real, bipartisan health care bill that would have helped patients with preexisting conditions while providing market-based, cost-lowering solutions for everyone else. Instead, we got this unconstitutional, government-bloating boondoggle.
Naturally, the ruling will be appealed, and it will probably end up at the SCOTUS again. It will be interesting to see if Roberts and the other Justices who joined him will finally cave in and do their duty to protect the Constitution, or if they’ll pull some new and fanciful justification for it out of thin air.
There’s so much news gushing out about the special counsel, Michael Cohen, etc., that I plan to take some time to sort through it all and go into more detail on Monday. For now, just a few points.
On that self-serving interview by fallen fixer Michael Cohen, claiming that that naughty Donald Trump knowingly made him do illegal and immoral things: first of all, this is a guy whose #1 character trait is being a lying sleazeball, so it’s amusing to see the media suddenly transform him into a fount of truth-telling and a wounded innocent the second he’s willing to turn on Donald Trump.
Second, I often have to start out these commentaries by reminding people that I am not a lawyer, but I’m beginning to wonder if Michael Cohen is one, either. So far, we know he’s secretly taped his clients; he’s turned those tapes over to prosecutors as well as revealing private conversations with clients in blatant violation of attorney-client privilege; he’s pleaded guilty to things that aren’t crimes; he’s accused Trump of committing felonies in doing things that campaign finance law experts (even former members of the FEC) say are not illegal; and now, he’s accusing Trump of making him do things that were illegal. But as Trump’s attorney, it was his duty and obligation to inform Trump if things he suggested might put him in legal jeopardy and to protect his client by refusing to do them.
So I have to ask: Is this guy really an attorney, or does he just play one on ABC? So far, his pathological inability to tell the truth is the only evidence I can see that he might actually be a lawyer.
Here’s some more on that story, video of the Cohen interview, and comments from someone who really is an attorney.
Another thing I might talk about in more detail next week, but you can read the original now: Judicial Watch finally forced the State Department to hand over documents that appear to indicate that the Obama State Department was gathering classified information on the Russian investigation and secretly passing it to friendly Senators immediately prior to Trump’s Inauguration, in an apparent attempt to undermine the incoming Administration before it could even get started.
At the link, special counsel Robert Mueller hits back at criticism of how the FBI dealt with Michael Flynn, claiming Flynn had enough government experience that he didn’t need to be told it would be a crime to lie to the FBI, and that he admitted to knowingly lying.
I’ll just let you read his defense of the agents who, as we now know, deliberately encouraged Flynn not to have a lawyer present and misled him into thinking it was merely a casual conversation. I’ll write more in detail about this later. Just bear in mind two things as you read Mueller’s defense: If he believed that Flynn was well aware of the criminal liabilities of lying during a sworn FBI interview, then didn’t the decision to discourage him from having a lawyer present imply that they were deliberately misleading him into thinking it wasn’t an official FBI interview? And when he refers to Flynn’s admission of knowingly lying, is he referring to the plea deal under which Flynn pleaded guilty to lying after losing his house, his life savings, his job and his reputation, and being threatened with prison and having his son targeted by prosecutors?
Pardon my skepticism, but by that point, he might have agreed to plead guilty to being a witch to make this stop, but it wouldn’t necessarily mean it was true.
Liberals seem to get upset when you point to examples of how socialist policies destroy everything they touch in places like Venezuela. Okay, how about something closer to home, in New York City?
When ultra-left Mayor Bill DeBlasio wasn’t working hard to reverse the miraculous rebirth of the Big Apple wrought by Rudy Giuliani, he’s been fighting charter schools and pumping hundreds of millions of tax dollars into revamping a failing public school system that prioritizes the desires of teachers’ unions over the needs of the students (note that when conservatives complain about this politicized waste of tax money and squandering of children’s futures, it means that we “hate public schools”)
Well, some results are in, as Dick Morris notes at the linked article. Schools in DeBlasio’s “Renewal Schools” program spend an average of $30,355 per pupil, while Success Academy Charter Schools (run by a private company) spend only $18,264. Both cater largely to children from poor families. Yet only 8.3% of Renewal students pass standardized math tests and 12.4% pass English exams, compared to 81.3% in math and 95.6% in English at the charter schools. Not surprisingly, 10,000 students are on waiting lists, hoping to get into the charter schools.
Meanwhile, DeBlasio is finding other ways to put his leftist instincts ahead of the students when it comes to admission to the city’s elite Specialized High Schools, such as Staten Island Tech. Admission is determined by passing a specialized test, but since not enough poor black and Hispanic public school students can pass it (they make up 68% of the city’s students but only 9% qualify for the specialty schools), DeBlasio is backing a bill to lower admission standards and set aside 20% of the places for them in the name of “diversity.”
That has sparked a lawsuit based, ironically, on racial discrimination against Asian-Americans. They make up 62% of the elite school students, and their parents are suing to prevent their kids from being kicked out because they aren’t black or Hispanic, even though they passed the higher admission standards. They say DeBlasio’s high-minded talk about “diversity” is really just a smokescreen to cover up the fact that if his public schools weren’t doing a lousy job of educating black and Hispanic students, they’d be able to pass the entrance test.
Practicing racism and calling it “diversity?” Lowering standards and shifting blame instead of improving schools? Yep, sounds like “progressivism” to me. I’ve always wanted to say this to a socialist-leaning Democrat:
“Won’t somebody think of the children?!”
Here’s a hopeful and inspiring story for the Christmas season, at a time when we could all use one.
The Thistles Center Mall, a shopping center in Stirling, Scotland, rejected a request by the Catholic Legion of Mary to set up a Nativity scene. Managers cited the usual PC excuse that it might offend somebody, and that "Thistles prides itself on being religiously and politically neutral…”
They didn’t seem to care that it offended Catholics and other Christians for the mall to commercialize Christmas to make profits, but banned references to the real reason that it’s celebrated. As the dispute over attempts to banish Christianity from the public square grew, two young Christians, John Mallon and Elena Feick, decided to take matters into their own hands.
Mallon dressed up as Joseph, Feick dressed as Mary holding a Baby Jesus doll, and the two just went and stood around the mall, acting as a living Nativity scene and sharing their faith with anyone who wanted to talk to them.
Now, brace yourself for the real Christmas miracle: NOBODY was “offended!” Mallon said, "The shoppers loved us. No objections from shoppers." Even the mall Santa didn’t mind being upstaged: he welcomed them with a jolly smile.
The strong showing of support from shoppers caused the mall managers’ hearts to grow three sizes that day, and they reversed their ban and allowed a Nativity scene to be installed. In return, a spokesman for the local archdiocese praised them for their “generosity and inclusivity” and for “recognizing that contemporary Scotland should be a place that both respects and upholds religious liberty in the public square. We wish the management, staff and shoppers at Thistles a very happy and very peaceful Christmas indeed."
A couple of points that deserve mention:
1. Notice when you hear of things being banned for the fashionably PC reason that someone might be “offended” that it’s often because of some self-righteous activist who goes around looking for things to be offended about and complaining on behalf of some group that never actually said it was offended. Or else some bureaucrat afraid of a lawsuit by someone like that.
2. As the Catholic spokesman pointed out, “inclusivity” also means including the predominant culture of Christianity. If you think you’re practicing “inclusivity” by banning displays of Christianity, then you’re doing “inclusivity” all wrong.