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Paul Ryan

September 28, 2016

We’re seeing it: Nothing brings Republicans together better than the threat of a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Gosh, what a unifying force she’s turning out to be!

What appeared to be hopeless fragmentation --- wildly played up in the media --- within the GOP is morphing into cohesiveness as we get closer to the finish line. Evidence of this comes in the form of post-debate support from none other than Paul Ryan.

The Speaker had positive things to say about Trump’s first big one-on-one debate. We all wish Trump had offered more detailed responses and had dared to bring up a host of issues that the moderator, unbelievably, failed to mention at all. But in a strong and hopeful statement at a news conference Tuesday morning, Ryan praised him as a “spirited voice” and one who “showed that for 90 minutes he could go toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton.”

It seems obvious that Donald Trump saw this debate as his “warm-up” for the contests to come. He’s a political novice, pitted against the Politician Of All Politicians, and there’s been a learning curve, to be sure. But now, when Hillary Clinton smugly says, “One down, two to go!” I can just hear him thinking, “You better believe it, sister.”

Donald Trump found himself on the defensive during much of Monday’s debate. Perhaps he hadn’t anticipated that in addition to battling Hillary Clinton over her mischaracterizations of his views, he’d have to counter the moderator as well. If so, this event had to be a rude awakening for him regarding the brutal reality of media bias and his need to prepare well for it. On Monday night, NBC’s Lester Holt couldn’t resist interrupting and pompously “correcting” Trump on his own views, repeatedly.

In one exchange, Holt insisted that Trump was not correct in stating he had not supported the Iraq war. “The record does not show that,” he said. By “record,” he was referring to an offhand comment during a 2002 Howard Stern show, before Trump had even considered the issue in detail.

In interviews from 2003 and 2004 --- with FOX News’ Neil Cavuto and Esquire magazine, respectively --- “the record” shows that Trump clearly did not support the war in Iraq. And the Esquire piece includes what turned out to be an accurate prediction of the long-term consequences of an invasion and resulting leadership vacuum. If only our leaders had been looking at the same crystal ball!

So which “facts” should so-called fact-checkers (and moderators, but I repeat myself) be using? All too often, they limit themselves to the “facts” that further their partisan goals.

For the full story, along with some refreshingly accurate fact-checking, click here.

http://ijr.com/2016/09/702847-a-2003-clip-has-surfaced-that-flips-the-script-on-trumps-iraq-war-opposition/

This post is sponsored by Iris Plans.

By now, you’ve probably heard debate analysis until you’re tired of it (I heard from a number of people who got tired of the debate itself and tuned out halfway through), but I’ll throw in my two cents. I think I have a unique perspective most of the talking heads don’t have, since I’ve actually participated in Presidential debates, including debates with Donald Trump.

First of all, when you listen to all the armchair quarterbacking about who won or lost, remember that there are two scales for determining that, and the one the pundits use is almost entirely irrelevant. They like to judge the winner on points, as if it were a UIL high school debate. By that measure, I think we can all agree that Hillary did everything a good, practiced debater should do. She obviously studied for days, memorizing what stand-up comics call “hunks,” or carefully-crafted pieces of a monologue, each word painstakingly honed to accomplish the multiple goals of making herself look steady, experienced and well-informed and her opponent seem dangerous and unready. You could easily imagine her rehearsing into her bathroom mirror, practicing smiling while sticking in the shiv.

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Trump, on the other hand, often seemed to be winging it. He’s great at that, and he landed some solid hits, but he also let a lot of softballs whiff by. He sometimes went into rhetorical cul-de-sacs, repeating the “we make bad deals” theme that can make him sound like a one-trick pony. And he let Hillary (and moderator Lester Holt, but more on that later) put him on the defensive too often. For instance, he could have brushed off some of the piddling attacks on non-issues like birtherism or what he once allegedly said about a beauty pageant contestant by reminding viewers of the serious issues America faces and how such petty nonsense pales in significance to Clinton’s demonstrated record of failure on national security and the economy. But he missed many such opportunities. Plus, Hillary made it all the way through the debate without fainting or having a seizure. I know that sounds facetious, but a lot of people were watching very closely for signs of ill health, and she managed to “power through” admirably. So on the “Tracy Flick” high school debate “win through doing homework” scale, I’d have to give the debate to Hillary.

However…

The only judges who really matter are the undecided voters in the viewing audience. And I doubt that many of them were watching to hear what Hillary said (although if she had passed out, that might have influenced their votes.) After more than 30 years in politics, Hillary Clinton is known only too well. Her carefully focus-grouped speeches about all her government experience and her 25-point plans don’t impress anyone who knows that it was bad experience and that her plans are nothing but more of the same foreign policy weakness that’s letting ISIS, Iran, Russia, China and North Korea eat our lunch and the same old big government control policies of tax/regulate/spend (sorry: “investments”) that have exploded the debt, crippled small business and put Obama on track to be the first President in history never to preside over a single year of GDP growth above 3 percent (One of Trump’s best moments came when he declared that America can’t afford four more years of her kind of experience.) And does anyone with a memory longer than a housecat’s truly believe that the 2008 meltdown was caused by tax cuts and not by Clinton/Carter policies that forced banks to give home loans to people who couldn’t pay them back? Hofstra University should’ve issued a “trigger warning” to conservatives that they might hear some revisionist history that would cause them to do double-takes that could induce whiplash.

No, undecided voters likely won’t be swayed by Hillary’s shiny new plans to deal with the disasters caused by her previous plans. Many of her claims were downright laughable, such as her smug assurance that she’s uniquely qualified to fight cyber threats from foreign governments, when we all know she thinks you “wipe” a server with a dust cloth and destroy data by hitting smartphones with a hammer, and all her own emails are all over WikiLeaks. I would also hope everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a “nuclear button” – the only person who ever traveled to Russia with a Staples-like prop push-button was Hillary. And her attempts to spark Internet memes with painful canned groaners like “trumped-up trickle down” – she said that twice, as if it would sound wittier the second time – landed with a clunk and just drew attention to her lack of spontaneity.

After 30 years of exposure to Hillary, anyone who has still not decided to support her is likely someone who really doesn’t want to but is scared of the alternative, after hearing the non-stop Democrat/media depiction of Trump as a crazy, fire-breathing, sexist, racist fascist or any other “ist” the liberals can think up. Trump proved to fence-sitters that he can show restraint when attacked, which was the whole point of goading him. For instance, when Hillary brought up some left-field accusations of sexist things he’d allegedly once said, he could have pointed out the bull elephant in the room – her husband Bill -- but he declined in deference to Chelsea being present. That may have frustrated conservatives who wanted to see blood drawn, but Trump was appealing to the undecideds who wanted to be reassured that he was a palatable alternative to Hillary. Not taking the bait helped him clear that low bar. By that far more important standard, Trump was the winner, because he was playing for votes, not an A+ from the media debate judges.

By the way, one of the best comments I saw online was from a poster on the Yahoo News comments section, who said that Trump reminded him of a doctor with no bedside manner. He tells you that you need to lose 100 pounds and stop smoking. You’re offended, you’re angry, you come up with 10 reasons why he’s crazy…and then you finally realize that he’s the only one telling you the truth.

Finally, a word on moderator Lester Holt. I’m hearing a lot of complaints about bias, and they’re not unjustified. Some of the bias was by omission; for instance, Holt devoted a ridiculous amount of time to the long-past-its-shelf-date birtherism story (news flash: Obama isn’t even running this year), yet never brought up the Clinton Foundation and its pay-to-play scandal, the immunity deals the FBI handed out like pizza discount coupons to Hillary insiders, her family’s enrichment through speeches to Wall Street banks and foreign nations with business before the government, her plan to greatly increase the flow of Syrian refugees and many other issues far more relevant to this election. And as Clinton kept giving shout-outs to her “fact-checkers” (the greatest misnomer of 2016) to save her, Holt answered her call, repeatedly arguing with Trump on her behalf (actual fact-check: Trump’s claim about the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk was correct). But there’s no point in a Republican whining about the moderator being a biased liberal. It goes with the territory. Besides, if Holt didn’t slant the questions and drill down harder on Trump, he might find himself exiled to the Siberia of TV news channels, MSNBC. Who can blame him for wanting to avoid that?

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The New York Times, to the surprise of absolutely nobody with a pulse, endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.  Here’s the full story.

It’s no surprise that the Times editors think America would be better off with Hillary. Check out the link below to their previous presidential endorsements. You have to go all the way back to 1956 and Dwight Eisenhower to find a Republican that the Times deemed worthy of the White House. That’s right: the Times editors, in their infinite wisdom, seriously believed that what America needed down through the decades was Presidents McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and, of course, a second term of Jimmy Carter instead of that crazy cowboy actor, Ronald Reagan. Read through their rationales for endorsing each one, and imagine the words being pontificated at you in the condescending, know-it-all tones of Professor Kingsfield from “The Paper Chase.”

I particularly love the excerpt from their reasoning for reelecting Bill Clinton in 1996: “The presidency he once dreamed of is still within his reach if he brings the requisite integrity to the next four years.” Yes, let’s give the Clintons four more years and see if they develop any integrity. And how did that work out? Is “integrity” the word you associate with the second Clinton term? The Times now yearns for yet another term of the Clintons in the White House. Over the ensuing 16 years, have Bill and Hillary demonstrated any growth in the area of integrity, or have their more recent exploits managed to make their lies and scandals of the ‘90s look like a kid cheating on a spelling test in comparison?

The First Debate

September 26, 2016

Tonight is the first Presidential debate, and the media are abuzz: Will Trump maintain his presidential composure or lose his temper? Will Hillary manage to remain vertical all the way through it? Will her Tracy Flick-like devotion to wonky homework and detailed 50-point plans make people forget that we’ve followed liberal plans like hers for the past eight years, and they’ve made a wreck of the economy and the world (seriously, she tries to scare us with what might happen if Trump were in power while ignoring that under hers and Obama’s watch, the word “beheadings” returned to the daily headlines for the first time since the French Revolution).

One thing that Hillary should be prepared for is that unlike the media, Bernie Sanders and the FBI, Trump will not roll over and make it easy for her. Her camp already tried to rattle him by inviting Trump critic Mark Cuban to sit in the front row. I can’t imagine that would bother Trump, but he returned fire with a Howitzer by inviting alleged Bill Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers to sit in the front row, which set off a series of calls by Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and other alleged victims, clamoring for tickets to come fill the arena.

I’m sure the media can’t believe Trump “went there,” because both they and previous GOP candidates have always studiously refused to. But Trump is a different kind on candidate in more ways than one. He’s not a genteel Ivy Leaguer who fights by the Marquess of Queensberry rules. He’s a Queens-born street fighter. I know from personal experience that he is incredibly cordial to anyone who doesn’t attack him. But if you try to sucker punch him, you’d better brace for him to slug you back twice as hard.

Still, I think that anyone hoping for a Trump meltdown will be disappointed. Trump wrote “The Art of the Deal,” and he knows how to get what he wants. He is surely aware that most Americans don’t want Hillary Clinton for President, but they’ve been frightened by a relentless media onslaught painting him as the worst human since Hitler. All he has to do is show the world that he’s nothing like that media-created cartoon and come across as a reasonable alternative to Hillary Clinton, because, just as in previous elections, that’s all that most voters are looking for.

Arnold Palmer

September 26, 2016

There are only a handful of athletes so good at what they do that their names become synonymous with excellence in their sport. When it comes to golf, even Tiger Woods will tell you that that the “king,” the man whose name will forever stand for greatness on the links, is Arnold Palmer. Palmer died Sunday in Pittsburgh at 87, ending an astounding 52-year career as a professional golfer that encompassed 95 professional wins and 62 PGA Tour wins.

But Arnold Palmer was more than just a great golfer. Even more important, he was also a great human being. In the 1980s, he and his wife were given a tour of the small neonatal ICU and pediatrics unit of the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Deciding that the city could do better, he lend his name and his fundraising efforts to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for children. He urged the staff always to strive to make it one of the best hospitals in the world. Today, the hospital’s website cites his legacy of caring by recalling how he said that none of his achievements in golf compared to being a part of saving the life of a child.

Arnold Palmer may be gone, but his name will live on, in golf, on the children’s hospital that bears it, and let’s hope, as a sorely-needed sports role model for current and future generations.

It’s disturbing to see the FBI – once considered a ramrod-straight agency above the corruption of politics – repeatedly doing late Friday “document dumps,” just like any other shady bureaucracy with something to hide. But digging through the 189 more pages of documents relating to the “investigation” of Hillary Clinton’s email server yields some things that the Administration would obviously rather have released while most Americans are out eating wings at TGI Friday’s.

We learned that a number of Hillary Clinton staffers were granted immunity to testify, even though they might reasonably have been considered targets of the investigation. It wasn’t necessary to give them immunity to compel them to talk to the FBI or to hand over records that could have been subpoenaed and seized. Two of the immunity recipients, top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, were even allowed to continue to represent Clinton as attorneys in the very investigation they’d been potential targets of, which one legal expert described as unbelievable.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he has lost confidence that the FBI made a serious effort to investigate this scandal, adding that it was “no wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case. They were handing out immunity deals like candy.” Why, it’s almost as if the entire “investigation” was just political theater, and it was decided from the get-go that no matter what was found, nobody would be indicted.

Another stunning revelation that the FBI tried to sneak by us was the fact that President Obama sent an email on June 28, 2012, to Clinton, under a fake name that the President uses on unsecured communications. Which is interesting, considering he told CBS News in 2015 that he had no idea Hillary was using an unsecured, private server until he saw it in the news.

And then there was the email that contained a reference from a tech worker about a request for an unprecedented 60-day email retention system that the writer referred to as “the Hilary cover-up operation.” Remember how FBI Director James Comey told us that Hillary couldn’t be indicted because she didn’t “intend” to expose national secrets, even though intent isn’t necessary under the law? Well, even intentionally planning ahead to cover it up wouldn’t have gotten her busted.

If this information had been leaked about a Republican President and a GOP nominee, the media would treat it as a bigger scandal than Watergate. But it involves Hillary and Obama, so it was barely covered at all outside of conservative websites. After all, the “paper of record” (these people are forcing me to wear out my quotation marks key), the New York Times, was too busy writing their editorial endorsing Hillary for President.

Here’s more from the National Review about the FBI handing out immunity deals as if they were Chinese takeout menus and the damage that does to trust in government and the rule of law:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/440370/why-did-obama-justice-department-grant-cheryl-mills-immunity

My advice for Hillary

September 23, 2016

Having run for President a couple of times myself, I could offer the candidates some tips on things they don’t want to do. One tip I’d give to Hillary Clinton is, “Don’t remind voters of Michael Dukakis. And especially don’t remind them of SNL comic Jon Lovitz’s impression of Dukakis.”

During an oddly strained video message for the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Hillary blurted out in frustration, “’Why aren’t I 50 points ahead,’ you might ask.” Frankly, I don’t think anyone other than her was wondering about that. To most pundits, it immediately brought to mind Lovitz’s Dukakis in a 1988 SNL debate sketch, lamenting about Dana Carvey’s George Bush, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!” Whether that led to comparisons of Dukakis’ technocratic aloofness or Lovitz’s parody of his oblivious egomania in the face of electoral catastrophe, it’s not a comparison any candidate wants to face.

It also provided an open invitation for Internet wags to suggest answers to her question of why she’s not 50 points ahead – and they did. Even Trump weighed in. Some of the suggestions are at the link, along with video and some more excerpts from her speech, including a promise to fight all “so-called right-to-work” laws that prevent people from being forced to join unions to hold a job. BTW, according to Gallup, right-to-work laws are supported by 7 in 10 Americans, including 65% of Democrats. Personally, I can’t fathom why she’s not 50 points behind.

If you'd like to offer your suggestions for why she's not 50 points ahead, that's what the comments are for. Have at it.

Friday Roundup

September 22, 2016

Millennials have been sold quite a bill of goods by the left.  The media have made it their mission to push the idea that Obama is the epitome of cool, and no young person would want to risk unpopularity with their peers by not hopping on the “progressive” bandwagon.  But gradually, over the past eight years, cracks have started to appear in that narrative.  Young voters were noticeably less enthusiastic about Obama in 2012 than in 2008.  By 2016, many refused to swallow his DNC-anointed successor. Too many thought the best alternative to Hillary was socialist Bernie Sanders, but we can chalk that up to leftist professors filling their heads with economic nonsense that we hope will be dislodged once they get into the real world and have to earn a paycheck that they’d like to keep a little of.  New polls show that Trump is actually gaining ground among Millennials, many of whom are fed up with seeing their 30th birthday approaching while they're still stuck in their parents’ basements, surfing the net and working two part-time waiter jobs to try to pay off their student loans. 

And if anything will boost Trump’s support among Millennials, this is it: Trump has come out against Obama’s plans to turn over control of the Internet to a globalist body at the UN.  For eight years, the Democrats have assumed they had a lock on the youth vote, even as they made the country less secure and hampered job creation and wage growth, which harms young people just starting out the most.  But allowing China or Russia a say over what we’re allowed to see or post on the Internet?  That may be the last straw!

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/09/21/donald-trump-comes-out-against-obamas-united-nations-internet-takeover/

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Defenders of the Clinton Foundation urge the media to ignore the shady donors, the questionable accounting procedures and the stink of government corruption, influence peddling and pay-to-play, and look at all the good that the Foundation does for the poor and needy. Okay, let’s ask the former President of the Haitian Senate about the great things the Clinton Foundation did for the poor, suffering earthquake victims of Haiti:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/21/former-haitian-senate-president-world-trusted-clintons-help-haitian-people-deceived/

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A new Gallup poll illustrates why Hillary Clinton's tsunami of negative ads against Donald Trump isn't raising her poll support.  Even $50 million worth of ads in one month can't sell a defective product, and that's how most Americans see her. 

Gallup asked which words people remembered hearing in descriptions of each candidate.  By far the #1 word associated with Hillary was "email," with other top words including "lie," "health" and "scandal."  The top words people associated with Trump included "speech," "immigration" and "President."  That last one will terrify Democrats because they know something I've been saying for months now.

Hillary can't get above 50% by winning over more voters because there is no big pool of voters who just don't know her yet.  She's been around so long that everyone knows her only too well.  That's why the countless reintroductions of her are futile.  Her only hope is to convince voters that Trump would be even worse.  Hence all the attack ads.  Those may not be the waste of money they seem; without them, Trump might be ahead by 20 points by now.

This is why liberals who claim Trump faces a high hurdle at the debates and will crash there are deluding themselves.  All he has to do is come across as someone viewers could conceivably envision as President without fainting (which is why his numbers soared after his press conference with the President of Mexico.) 

Democrats and the media have spent many months and millions of bucks painting him as a deplorable, irredeemable, sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic cross between Hitler, Hannibal Lecter and Jabba the Hut.  If he just comes across as slightly better than that, a lot of voters may say, "Eh, at least he's better than Hillary."

http://www.gallup.com/poll/195596/email-dominates-americans-heard-clinton.aspx

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You can always count on White House spokesman Josh Earnest to make justifications for President Obama’s policies and actions that are so absurd that like Baghdad Bob, you wonder if he even believes himself.  And his latest is a triple-decker whopper with extra cheese:

 

In trying to refute Ted Cruz’s attempt to block Obama’s October 1st handover of control of the Internet to an international body, Earnest claimed that a small government conservative shouldn’t be arguing for federal control of the Internet.  He actually implied that the takeover of the Web by a board controlled by multiple foreign governments, some of them quite authoritarian and censorious, was a form of limited government. 

 

I would strongly suggest that Mr. Earnest go search up the meaning of “limited government” on Google, while he’s still able to.

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/22/josh-earnest-white-house-ceding-us-internet-contro/

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When you get all your news from sources that do nothing but mock anyone who disagrees, you have to expect that they’ll occasionally make a mockery of themselves without even realizing it.  And so, Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” did that thing they always do – mocking some dumb rube for thinking you can stop terrorists by posting a “No Muslims” sign – without realizing he’d just obliterated the entire basis of his leftist audience’s faith in “Gun Free Zones.” 

 

Noah ridiculed the poor sap for not realizing that never in history had anyone been dumb enough to try to dissuade a killer by posting a “no killers” sign.  But that wasn’t true: he’d forgotten about Columbine High School; Sandy Hook Elementary; that Aurora, Colorado, movie theater; the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; the civic center in San Bernardino; Fort Hood…the list goes on and on.  You’ll find it here, along with much more about how “The Daily Show” accidentally threw a pie in its own liberal face.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/22/watch-daily-shows-trevor-noah-accidentally-destroy-case-gun-control/