Democrats are Laying the Foundation for Their Next Major Propaganda Campaign Against the GOP

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Although the Democrats always maintain a steady stream of anti-Republican messaging, some efforts are more strategic and require more preparation than others. These are the major propaganda campaigns that truly move the needle.

We’ve seen the Democrats execute a handful of them since President Donald Trump first arrived on the scene. They all begin with a well-defined objective and a coordinated plan of action. The party works together and sticks together.

Because we’ve witnessed several of these from start to finish over the past six years, we’ve become adept at recognizing the signs that one has begun. You might read an article that sounds a little “off” in the New York Times, or hear an unusual remark from a Democratic politician. Then a week later, a pundit may refer to it on a cable show, and within a couple months, the entire American left is focused on it. This pattern has grown very familiar.

This strategy comes from the late communist/community organizer Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals,” which says, “Accuse your opponent of what you are doing, to create confusion and to inculcate voters against evidence of your own guilt.” Alinsky drew heavily from the writings of Karl Marx and from the tactics used by Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels famously pointed out that a lie, repeated a thousand times, becomes the truth.

Every propaganda campaign directed against the GOP has followed the same formula. The effort to portray then-candidate Donald Trump as a Russian asset began with Yahoo writer Michael Isikoff’s late September 2016 report that U.S. Intelligence officials were investigating ties between Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page and the Russians. Shortly afterward, a second article appeared in Mother Jones. Just before Election Day, The New York Times published another damaging story.

The questions surrounding then-President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky which ultimately led to his first impeachment originated in the same way.

The Democrats are in the early stages of advancing a new narrative and it goes like this: Republications are undermining our democracy and pose the greatest existential threat to America’s future as a democracy.

Aside from the fact that America is not a democracy, but a democratic republic, these remarks are breathtaking. Hypocrisy comes to mind. The Democrats are accusing Republicans of what they themselves are doing.

An early reference to this narrative came in a March Vox article, which was entitled, “The Republican revolt against democracy, explained in 13 charts.” Its lede states, “The Trump years revealed a dark truth: The Republican Party is no longer committed to democracy. These charts tell the story.” Author Zack Beauchamp writes:

The Republican Party is the biggest threat to American democracy today. It is a radical, obstructionist faction that has become hostile to the most basic democratic norm: that the other side should get to wield power when it wins elections.

A few years ago, these statements may have sounded like partisan Democratic hyperbole. But in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and Trump’s acquittal in the Senate on the charge of inciting it, they seem more a plain description of where we’re at as a country.

But how deep does the GOP’s problem with democracy run, really? How did things get so bad? And is it likely to get worse?

On Tuesday, an article by far-left economist Robert Reich topped the page over at RealClearPolitics. Reich was terribly upset about Joe Manchin’s decision to vote against the For the People Act. The title of the piece? “American democracy is fighting for its life – and Republicans don’t care.” After glancing at the title, I thought a conservative must have written it. I was wrong.

Referring to the voter reform laws recently passed in Georgia and Florida, he wrote: “Then came the post-Trump deluge of state laws making it harder for likely Democrats to vote, and easier for Republican state legislatures to manipulate voting tallies.” Reich is living in an alternate universe.

Also on Tuesday, The New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, the one who found the dozens of American flags she saw on pickup trucks in Long Island to be so intolerable, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” I posted about her remarks here.

She told the panel: “Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear, ‘This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.’”

“Because, you know, the Trump voters who are not going to get onboard with democracy, they’re a minority. You can marginalize them, long-term. But if we don’t take the threat seriously, then I think we’re all in really bad shape,” Gay said.

Brzezinski “totally” agreed – naturally.

Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza joined Fox News’ Laura Ingraham to discuss the Democrats’ latest propaganda campaign on Monday night.

Ingraham was outraged. “The idea Dinesh that the Republicans are anti-democratic? They’re the most anti-democratic people out there. They shove these mandates down. They want us all scared. They don’t want our freedoms to be protected. In the end, they’re the oppressors.”

D’Souza said, “The left uses the rhetoric of democracy, but in reality, they don’t really believe in it. They believe that public opinion is something to be moulded from above. And this is why they’ve created this coordinated set of institutions from education to the media, ultimately to tell the public what to believe.”

Ingraham played a clip of Rep. Jim Clyburne (D-SC) who was upset that H.R. 1’s chances of passage are all but dead. His words illustrated the point perfectly. Clyburne said,  “If we’re not careful, the greatest democracy on the face of the earth will go the way of the Roman Empire.”

The Democrats want to take away all vestiges of democracy so they can maintain power for the long-term. Then, they’ll blame it on the Republicans.

Mark my words.

 

Please follow me on Twitter.

An Interesting Turn of Events in the Matt Gaetz Case

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On March 30, The New York Times broke the bombshell story that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is under investigation by the DOJ for the possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws. They are looking into whether he may have engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. It is illegal, the Times informed its readers, “to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value.” The encounters are said to have occurred about two years ago.

The Times also wrote that Gaetz is a subject, rather than the target, of the investigation. Their sources were identified as “three people briefed on the matter.”

As it turns out, the DOJ is investigating the congressman.

The Times described the target of the investigation as a Gaetz associate named Joel Greenberg. According to the Times, Greenberg “was indicted last summer on an array of charges, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl.” Prior to Greenberg’s indictment, he served as the Seminole County tax collector.

Last week, Greenberg reached a plea deal with prosecutors. According to The Washington Post, he “pleaded guilty Monday to sex trafficking of a minor and a host of other crimes, agreeing to cooperate fully with prosecutors and testify in court in hopes of leniency for himself.”

The Post and other major media outlets played up Greenberg’s association with Gaetz. They were delighted by this turn of events anticipating the damage that Greenberg’s testimony could inflict on Gaetz.

They wrote: “His plea and deal to cooperate is a potentially ominous sign for Gaetz (R-Fla.) because it signals prosecutors have lined up a critical witness while they continue to investigate the congressman. Gaetz has vigorously denied wrongdoing.”

But, they left out one very critical piece of information which Raheem Kassam, the editor of The National Pulse, discovered.

Kassam reports that, among other charges, Greenberg pleaded guilty to falsely accusing a school teacher (who had planned to run against him in the 2020 election for the office of Seminole County Tax Collector) of having sex with a minor. Additionally, Kassam wrote that “Greenberg is the only person making accusations about Rep. Gaetz right now – two months in – and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest his animosity is driven by Gaetz’s refusal to get involved in Greenberg’s demands for a pardon from President Trump.

Count Four states: “Greenberg used the mail, an interactive computer service, an electronic communication service, an electronic communication system of interstate commerce, and a facility of interstate commerce to engage in a course of conduct that caused, attempted to cause, and would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher.”

“Greenberg started by mailing letters. On or about October 10, 2019, Greenberg used the United States Mail to send an anonymous letter that purported to be from a “concerned student.” The letter was mailed from the Middle District of Florida and was addressed to the head of the school where the Teacher worked.”

If Greenberg was willing to smear a school teacher to prevent him from entering the race, he is capable of doing the same thing to Gaetz.

A jury would find Greenberg to be a very incredible witness. Certainly, it would be difficult to convict Gaetz if Greenberg has already pleaded guilty to a nearly identical crime.

Even taking the double standard into account, I don’t see it happening.

Read Count Four:

“The victim of Count Four is a teacher at a school located in the Middle District of Florida (referred to herein as the “Teacher”). On or about October 4, 2019, the Teacher filed with the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections to run  Because the Teacher had filed to run in opposition to him, Greenberg used the mail, an interactive computer service, an electronic communication service, an electronic communication system of interstate commerce, and a facility of interstate commerce to engage in a course of conduct that caused, attempted to cause, and would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher.

“The envelope contained an anonymous typed letter addressed to the head of the school that contained information, alleging an inappropriate relationship between a student and teacher. In that letter, Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, falsely represented that he had first-hand knowledge of a sexual relationship between another fictitious student identified as “R[]” and the Teacher. Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, falsely represented that “R[]” admitted to engaging in oral and anal sex with the Teacher and that the incidents took place at the school. Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, signed the-letter “a very concerned student” at the school.”

“Greenberg’s false accusations resulted in local law enforcement conducting a criminal investigation of the Teacher. Florida Statute § 800.101 criminalizes any “authority figure,” such a teacher at school, from soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct, a relationship of a romantic nature, or lewd conduct with a student enrolled at a school. Violations of the statute are second degree felonies.

“Greenberg’s false allegations about the Teacher involved false claims that the Teacher had committed felony criminal offenses. As Greenberg knew when he made those allegations in the letters and in the online posts, those allegations were false. Greenberg made those false allegations to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher. After investigating the Teacher, local law enforcement found no support whatsoever for the false allegations that Greenberg had made.”

Stunning New Video Shows US Capitol Police Allowing Jan. 6 Protestors to ‘Peacefully Assemble’ Inside Capitol

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American Greatness‘ Julie Kelly published an amazing video on Sunday showing Jan. 6 protestors speaking with U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol building. One officer is heard telling them, “We’re not against . . . you need to show us . . . here’s what you need to show … you understand … no attacking, no assault, remain calm.” This blows a rather large hole in the Democrats’ Capitol insurrection story and makes the U.S. media look like Pravda.

The officer, “identified in the video and confirmed by charging documents as Officer Keith Robishaw, appears to tell Chansely’s group they won’t stop them from entering the building,” according to Kelly.

Kelly reports:

The video directly contradicts what government prosecutors allege in a complaint filed January 8 against Chansley: “Robishaw and other officers calmed the protestors somewhat and directed them to leave the area from the same way they had entered. Chansley approached Officer Robishaw and screamed, among other things, that this was their house, and that they were there to take the Capitol, and to get Congressional leaders.”

Chansley later is seen entering the Senate chambers with a police officer behind him; he led several protesters in prayer and sat in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair. (The man in the yellow sweatshirt is William Watson, a drug dealer out on bond. He was arrested in January.)

Chansley is not charged with assaulting an officer; he faces several counts for trespassing and disorderly conduct. He has been incarcerated since January, denied bail awaiting trial. He has no criminal record.

Watson takes a microphone and tells protestors, “Listen up. The police here are willing to work with us and cooperate peacefully like our First Amendment allows. Gather more Americans under the condition that they will come and gather peacefully to discuss what needs to be done to save our country. … We’re going to be heard. This must be peaceful.”

Jacob Chansley, better known as the man wearing the Viking horns, or the “QAnon Shaman,” shouts to the others, “This has to be peaceful. We have the right to peacefully assemble.”

Kelly writes that she obtained the video from RMG News and that it is alleged to be a portion “of a much longer video that has yet to be released.”

I’ll post additional video as I find it.

Has it Become ‘Partisan’ and ‘Anti-Democratic’ to Choose Freedom or to Defend the Constitution?

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When I launched this blog a couple of months ago, WordPress recommended the addition of a tagline. I wrote that it was the winter of 1776 in America today. I quickly deleted it thinking it might sound overly dramatic.

But as the missteps of the Biden Administration pile up, and Americans’ liberties are under assault as never before, I find myself reconsidering that statement.

I was reminded of the tagline again last week after reading the open letter signed by a group of 124 retired generals and admirals (reprinted below) which lays out the “full-blown assault” on our Constitutional rights since the start of the Biden Administration. The signers also question the integrity of the election that brought us this administration.

The missive begins as follows: “Our Nation is in deep peril. We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776.”

Far from recommending revolution in the streets, the retired commanders write that the problems we face “must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic.”

Unable to argue against the truth contained in their message, the left is up in arms over the group’s politicization of the military.

Left wing media outlet Politico immediately called out the letter in an article entitled, “‘Disturbing and reckless’: Retired brass spread election lie in attack on Biden, Democrats.” They cite several former and current members of the military who strongly condemn this effort.

One serving Navy officer, who did not want to be identified publicly, called it “disturbing and reckless.”

Jim Golby, an expert in civil-military relations, called it a “shameful effort to use their rank and the military’s reputation for such a gross and blatant partisan attack,” while a retired Air Force colonel who teaches cadets at the Air Force Academy, Marybeth Ulrich, labeled it “anti-democratic.”

“I think it hurts the military and by extension it hurts the country,” said retired Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describing it as replete with “right-wing Republican talking points.”

Has it become “partisan” to want Americans to embrace freedom and liberty, the principles upon which our nation was founded? Is it really “disturbing and reckless” to ask that the Biden Administration obey and enforce our founding document, the Constitution? Is it “anti-democratic” to ensure our elections remain free and fair? Or to encourage Americans to elect candidates who will defend the Constitution?

There is nothing radical in this letter.

As for members of the military remaining apolitical, did they forget Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin’s hyper-political crusade to root out radical extremists (aka Trump supporters) from the military? Or his highly partisan fight against what the Biden Administration considers the newest threat to national security, climate change?

How about the rabid efforts of retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, to derail President Trump’s reelection?

Trump’s former Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned because he disagreed with his commander in chief’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. Mattis, Mr. Integrity, has accused Trump of dividing Americans and referred to him as a threat to the Constitution.

Examples of former military brass speaking on behalf of Democrats and/or to denigrate Trump abound and are entirely acceptable. It’s only the reverse that is taboo.

Questioned by Politico, retired Army Maj. Gen. Joe Arbuckle, who organized the letter, responded by email. He wrote “retired generals and admirals normally do not engage in political actions, but the situation facing our nation today is dire and we must speak out in order to be faithful to our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

“We are facing threats greater than at any other time since our country was founded … many of these threats flow directly from policy positions and actions of our own government. It is critical that the threats to our national security be brought to the attention of the American people and that is the main purpose of the letter. To remain silent would be a dereliction of duty,” he added.

It would indeed.

Fellow Americans, it is the winter of 1776.

Please read this important letter.

 

Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals: May 11, 2021

“We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776. The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.

“During the 2020 election an “Open Letter from Senior Military Leaders” was signed by 317 retired Generals and Admirals and, it said the 2020 election could be the most important election since our country was founded. “With the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.” Unfortunately, that statement’s truth was quickly revealed, beginning with the election process itself.

“Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the “will of the people” our Constitutional Republic is lost. Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc. Today, many are calling such commonsense controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic. Additionally, the “Rule of Law” must be enforced in our election processes to ensure integrity. The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020. Finally, H.R.1 & S.1, (if passed), would destroy election fairness and allow Democrats to forever remain in power violating our Constitution and ending our Representative Republic.

“Aside from the election, the Current Administration has launched a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights in a dictatorial manner, bypassing the Congress, with more than 50 Executive Orders quickly signed, many reversing the previous Administration’s effective policies and regulations. Moreover, population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression are all direct assaults on our fundamental Rights. We must support and hold accountable politicians who will act to counter Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism, support our Constitutional Republic, and insist on fiscally responsible governing while focusing on all Americans, especially the middle class, not special interest or extremist groups which are used to divide us into warring factions.

“Additional National Security Issues and Actions:

• Open borders jeopardize national security by increasing human trafficking, drug cartels, terrorists entry, health/CV19 dangers, and humanitarian crises. Illegals are flooding our Country bringing high economic costs, crime, lowering wages, and illegal voting in some states. We must reestablish border controls and continue building the wall while supporting our dedicated border control personnel. Sovereign nations must have controlled borders.

• China is the greatest external threat to America. Establishing cooperative relations with the Chinese Communist Party emboldens them to continue progress toward world domination, militarily, economically, politically and technologically. We must impose more sanctions and restrictions to impede their world domination goal and protect America’s interests.

• The free flow of information is critical to the security of our Republic, as illustrated by freedom of speech and the press being in the 1st Amendment of our Constitution. Censoring speech and expression, distorting speech, spreading disinformation by government officials, private entities, and the media is a method to suppress the free flow of information, a tyrannical technique used in closed societies. We must counter this on all fronts beginning with removing Section 230 protection from big tech.

• Re-engaging in the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal would result in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons along with the means to deliver them, thereby upsetting Mideast peace initiatives and aiding a terrorist nation whose slogans and goals include “death to America” and “death to Israel”. We must resist the new China/Iran agreement and not support the Iran Nuclear Deal. In addition, continue with the Mideast peace initiatives, the “Abraham Accords,” and support for Israel.

• Stopping the Keystone Pipeline eliminates our recently established energy independence and causes us to be energy dependent on nations not friendly to us, while eliminating valuable US jobs. We must open the Keystone Pipeline and regain our energy independence for national security and economic reasons.

• Using the U.S. military as political pawns with thousands of troops deployed around the U.S. Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat, along with forcing Politically Correct policies like the divisive critical race theory into the military at the expense of the War Fighting Mission, seriously degrades readiness to fight and win our Nation’s wars, creating a major national security issue. We must support our Military and Vets; focus on war fighting, eliminate the corrosive infusion of Political Correctness into our military which damages morale and war fighting cohesion.

• The “Rule of Law” is fundamental to our Republic and security. Anarchy as seen in certain cities cannot be tolerated. We must support our law enforcement personnel and insist that DAs, our courts, and the DOJ enforce the law equally, fairly, and consistently toward all.

• The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night. Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.

“Under a Democrat Congress and the Current Administration, our Country has taken a hard left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government which must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic. The survival of our Nation and its cherished freedoms, liberty, and historic values are at stake.

“We urge all citizens to get involved now at the local, state and/or national level to elect political representatives who will act to Save America, our Constitutional Republic, and hold those currently in office accountable. The “will of the people” must be heard and followed.”

Signed by:

RADM Ernest B. Acklin, USCG, ret.
MG Joseph T. Anderson, USMC, ret.
RADM Philip Anselmo, USN, ret.
MG Joseph Arbuckle, USA, ret.
BG John Arick, USMC, ret.
RADM Jon W. Bayless, Jr. USN, ret.
RDML James Best, USN, ret.
BG Charles Bishop, USAF, ret.
BG William A. Bloomer, USMC, ret.
BG Donald Bolduc, USA, ret.
LTG William G. Boykin, USA, ret.
MG Edward R. Bracken, USAF, ret.
MG Patrick H. Brady, MOH, USA, ret.
VADM Edward S. Briggs, USN, ret.
LTG Richard “Tex’ Brown III USAF, ret.
BG Frank Bruno, USAF, ret.
VADM Toney M. Bucchi, USN, ret.
RADM John T. Byrd, USN, ret.
BG Jimmy Cash, USAF, ret.
LTG Dennis D. Cavin, USA, ret.
LTG James E. Chambers, USAF, ret.
MG Carroll D. Childers, USA, ret.
BG Clifton C. “Tip” Clark, USAF, ret.
VADM Ed Clexton, USN, ret.
MG Jay Closner, USAF, ret
MG Tommy F. Crawford, USAF, ret.
MG Robert E. Dempsey, USAF, ret.
BG Phillip Drew, USAF, ret.
MG Neil L. Eddins, USAF, ret.
RADM Ernest Elliot, USN, ret.
BG Jerome V. Foust, USA, ret.
BG Jimmy E. Fowler, USA, ret.
RADM J. Cameron Fraser, USN, ret.
MG John T. Furlow, USA, ret.
MG Timothy F. Ghormley, USMC, ret.
MG Francis C. Gideon, USAF, ret.
MG Lee V. Greer, USAF, ret.
RDML Michael R. Groothousen, Sr., USN, ret.
BG John Grueser, USAF, ret.
MG Ken Hagemann, USAF, ret.
BG Norman Ham, USAF, ret.
VADM William Hancock, USN, ret.
LTG Henry J. Hatch, USA, ret.
BG James M. Hesson, USA, ret.
MG Bill Hobgood, USA, ret.
BG Stanislaus J. Hoey, USA, ret.
MG Bob Hollingsworth, USMC, ret.
MG Jerry D. Holmes, USAF, ret.
MG Clinton V. Horn, USAF, ret.
LTG Joseph E. Hurd, USAF, ret.
VADM Paul Ilg, USN, ret.
MG T. Irby, USA, ret.
LTG Ronald Iverson, USAF, ret.
RADM (L) Grady L. Jackson
MG William K. James, USAF, ret.
LTG James H. Johnson, Jr. USA, ret.
ADM. Jerome L. Johnson, USN, ret.
BG Charles Jones, USAF, ret.
BG Robert R. Jordan, USA, ret.
BG Jack H. Kotter, USA, ret.
MG Anthony R. Kropp, USA, ret.
RADM Chuck Kubic, USN, ret.
BG Jerry L. Laws, USA, ret.
BG Douglas E. Lee, USA, ret.
MG Vernon B. Lewis, USA, ret.
MG Thomas G. Lightner, USA, ret.
MG James E. Livingston, USMC, ret.
MOH MG John D. Logeman, USAF, ret.
MG Jarvis Lynch, USMC, ret.
LTG Fred McCorkle, USMC, ret.
MG Don McGregor, USAF, ret.
LTG Thomas McInerney, USAF, ret.
RADM John H. McKinley, USN, ret.
BG Michael P. McRaney, USAF, ret.
BG Ronald S. Mangum, USA, ret.
BG James M. Mead, USMC, ret.
BG Joe Mensching, USAF, ret.
RADM W. F. Merlin, USCG, ret.
RADM (L) Mark Milliken, USN, ret.
MG John F. Miller, USAF, ret.
RADM Ralph M. Mitchell, Jr. USN, ret.
MG Paul Mock, USA. ret.
BG Daniel I. Montgomery, USA, ret.,
RADM John A. Moriarty, USN, ret.,
RADM David R. Morris, USN, ret.
RADM Bill Newman, USN, ret.
BG Joe Oder, USA, ret.
MG O’Mara, USAF, ret.
MG Joe S. Owens, USA, ret.
VADM Jimmy Pappas, USN, ret.
LTG Garry L. Parks, USMC, ret.
RADM Russ Penniman, RADM, USN, ret.
RADM Leonard F. Picotte, ret.
VADM John Poindexter, USN, ret.
RADM Ronald Polant, USCG, ret.
MG Greg Power, USAF, ret.
RDM Brian Prindle, USN, ret.
RADM J.J. Quinn, USN, ret.
LTG Clifford H. Rees, Jr. USAF, ret.
RADM Norman T. Saunders, USCG, ret.
MG Richard V. Secord, USAF, ret.
RADM William R. Schmidt, USN, ret.
LTG Hubert Smith, USA, ret.
MG James N. Stewart, USAF, ret.
RADM Thomas Stone, USN., ret.
BG Joseph S. Stringham, USA, ret.
MG Michael Sullivan, USMC, ret.
RADM (U) Jeremy Taylor, USN, ret.
LTG David Teal, USAF, ret.
VADM Howard B. Thorsen, USCG, ret.
RADM Robert P. Tiernan, USN, ret.
LTG Garry Trexler, USAF, ret.
BG James T. Turlington, M.D., USAF, ret.
BG Richard J. Valente, USA ret.
MG Paul Vallely, USA, ret.
MG Russell L. Violett, USAF, ret.
BG George H. Walker, Jr. USAR Corp of Engineers, ret.
MG Kenneth Weir, USMCR, ret.
BG William O. Welch, USAF, ret.
MG John M. White, USAF, ret.
MG Geoffrey P. Wiedeman, JR. USAF, ret.
MG Richard O. Wightman, Jr., USA, ret.
RADM Denny Wisely, USN, ret.
LTG John Woodward, ret.

No, Actually the 2020 Election Has NOT Been Resolved

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While reading an article about Liz Cheney in The Spectator earlier, I came across the following:

“Liz Cheney erred neither in condemning the riot nor in castigating Trump’s Ahab-like obsession over his loss but in remaining stuck in January 6 as the calendar moved on for the rest of us. Cheney’s position that Joe Biden legitimately beat Donald Trump, as readers of this column and the Spectator A.M. newsletter know, found endorsement here back in November. Trump lost by 74 electoral votes, after all, not seven. But that argument took place in the media, in courts, and in Congress more than four months ago. Cheney, perhaps more so than Trump, needs to get over this as a resolved question.”

It is not a resolved question. In fact, it’s far from a resolved question. The argument took place in the media and for about five minutes in Congress, but former President Donald Trump was never given his day in court.

The anomalies in the days following the election quickly multiplied. Over 1,000 election observers signed affidavits stating they had witnessed wrongdoing. Judges refused to hear their cases. No court would hear Trump’s cases. Not even the Supreme Court.

Immediately, the media set the narrative that the election was settled. When over 90 percent of the media unites around the same narrative, a phenomenon we witnessed repeatedly during the Trump years, the power is overwhelming.

Before too long, anyone who questioned Biden’s legitimacy was labeled as a conspiracy theorist. Then it simply became taboo to mention it.

But it still wasn’t settled.

In reporting a February Quinnipiac poll which revealed that 76 percent of Republicans believed widespread fraud had occurred in the election, CNN’s Chris Cillizza wrote “three quarters of Republicans believe a lie about the 2020 election.”

Stealing the presidency is a pretty audacious thing to do.

But, after watching the Democrats orchestrate the Russia Collusion hoax, a bogus impeachment, then a second impeachment against Trump, and turn Gen. Michael Flynn’s life into a living hell for four years to further their political goals, it’s not crazy to believe they would steal a presidential election.

In November 2020, over 2.1 million people voted in Arizona’s Maricopa County. These votes represent over 60 percent of all ballots cast in the state. The Republican-controlled state Senate is currently conducting a thorough forensic audit of all ballots cast in the County which has put the election back into the national headlines.

Almost eclipsing the story of the intensive audit that’s been underway for two weeks is the Democrats’ fury over it. (I posted about those efforts here.)

One of the first to cover the topic again was Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, host of “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Bartiromo spoke to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton about the issue. “Let me switch gears and ask you about election integrity. This is a subject that has become taboo. We’re not allowed to question the 2020 election. We’re not allowed to question what is going on in Arizona or in Georgia. What do you say to what is going on in Georgia and how Texas is similar to that situation around election 2020?”

“Yeah, so if you look at election results from four years ago, Georgia and Texas were very similar,” the Republican responded. “We fought off 12 lawsuits. We were sued 12 times over mail-in ballots. It was Harris County, it was Travis County, these big urban counties that wanted to mail out all of these mail-in ballots in violation of state law. Clearly what was not allowed by the state legislature. And so, we fought these off.

“They didn’t want signature verification. We were told by a federal judge that was unconstitutional. So we had state lawsuits, different counties, federal lawsuits, we had 12 of them. We won every single one of them.

“Had we not won every single one of those lawsuits, I’m convinced that those ballots would have gone out and we would have been just like Georgia, who decided to capitulate and sign consent decrees and say, ‘It’s OK. We’re going to let these mail-in ballots go out. We’re going to allow no signature verification. We’re going to allow drop boxes.’

All of those things had an impact, and instead of Georgia and Texas having similar results this time because we defended those lawsuits, Trump won. We’re able to have a Republican legislature here, and in Georgia, it was completely turned.”

“So, are you saying that, because of what we saw in mail-in ballots in Georgia, you’re questioning the results?” Bartiromo asked.

“I absolutely am questioning,” Paxton replied. “I know what would have happened here. They would have stopped counting, just like they did in those states, and they would have been counting mail-in ballots until they get the right number of votes and suddenly Trump loses and we lose the state House here. We lose some of our Supreme Court justices. And it wouldn’t have been a legitimate count because we wouldn’t have followed state law.”

“So are you questioning what happened in the 2020 election?” she said.

“Absolutely,” he said. “They didn’t follow state law in these states. It’s clear. Whether you think there was fraud or not … we do know they didn’t follow state law.”

(The clip can be viewed here.)

Will the Biden Administration’s Out of Control Spending Turn the U.S. Economy into Venezuela?

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Prominent Manhattan attorney and conservative blogger Francis Menton points out the remarkable parallels between the current state of the U.S. Economy and 1998 Venezuela in a new must-read article entitled, “U.S. Gets Ready to go Full Venezuela on Economic Policy.”

I recommend you read Menton’s entire piece, but here are the highlights:

It was in 1998 — a mere 23 years ago — that Hugo Chavez first got elected President of Venezuela. From the start, his program was explicitly one of vastly increased government spending, which was supposed to make the economy grow, reduce income inequality, eliminate poverty and bring about social justice. Chavez called the social programs his “Bolivarian missions.” Among some 30 or so such “missions,” big ones included blowout spending on education, subsidized food, subsidized housing and healthcare.

Sounds a lot like the stated objectives of the Biden Administration, does it not?

In the early years, things seemed to be going swimmingly, at least if you believed the official statistics put out by Chavez’s government. Not only was there supposedly steady and mostly rapid economic growth (often over 5% per year, particularly 2004-10), but they also regularly crowed about how the redistributionist spending had greatly reduced the rate of poverty. Then, starting around 2013, it all started to fall apart. Today, eight years later, it continues to fall apart. More details on that later.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has so many plans, he’s trying to make an end run around the limitations on budget reconciliation bills. I posted about that here.

On March 1, prior to the passage of the bloated and unnecessary COVID relief bill, the U.S. national debt stood at $28 trillion and debt as a percentage of GDP was 129 percent.

The last time this ratio approached anywhere close to these levels was at the end of WW II. In 1945, this ratio was at 114 percent and in 1946, 118 percent. The booming post-war economy allowed the U.S. to reduce our debt to more manageable levels. A year-by-year comparison can be viewed here.

Still, when the war was over, we didn’t follow up with reckless spending,

When former President Donald Trump took office in 2017, this ratio stood at 104 percent and had crept up to 106 percent by 2019, possibly as a result of the trade wars.

Obviously, because large swaths of the economy had been shut down due to the pandemic in 2020, the U.S. was forced to provide financial relief to the American people.

The economy is strong at the moment and is poised to see far better than normal gains this year. The $1.9 trillion COVID package was about three times  larger than it needed to be.

But rather than exercising some fiscal restraint, the Biden Administration is planning a veritable shopping spree.

Yes, it’s blowout government spending, on the usual issues pushed by advocacy groups, which supposedly will shortly achieve all the usual promises of the left: economic growth, increased economic fairness, and social justice. In other words, it’s the Venezuela economic program, blown up to U.S. scale and then tweaked a little here and there to buy off the squeaky wheels of the moment.

Menton examines what’s included in the latest behemoth infrastructure bill the administration is pushing and concludes that, just as very little of the COVID-19 relief package will actually provide relief to those adversely impacted by the pandemic, only a small amount of the funds in the infrastructure bill will actually be spent on infrastructure.

“Back to Venezuela. The blowout government spending program in Venezuela got started in the very late 90s, but only really took off around 2004 (after Chavez consolidated control over the national oil company).”

Menton writes about the “useful idiots” in America who praised the Chavez economy.

This group included Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In 2011, Sanders said, “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who’s the banana republic now?”

He mentions Salon writer David Sirota, who in 2013 wrote that the results of Chavez’s program were an “economic miracle.”

Menton includes several charts which illustrate the spectacular upward trajectory of the Venezuelan economy up until 2013, followed by the sharp decline afterward.

In 2013, fifteen years into Chavez’s rule, the government statistics still showed an “economic miracle” (although keen observers knew it was not real). Chavez and then Maduro used the time to change first the election system, and then the constitution, so that removing them from power became almost impossible.

He notes that the country “stopped publishing economic data in approximately 2014, so that all numbers after that year are informed estimates.”

Poverty? They claimed to have reduced the rate from 23.9% in 1999 to 8.5% in 2013. Today, USAID estimates that 90+% of Venezuelans are in poverty. Probably, you have seen the pictures of formerly middle class people going through garbage looking for something to eat.

Also, note that these numbers end in 2018. Trading Economics here has an updated figure for Venezuela’s most recent economic “growth” rate for 2019. It is -26.8%. However, they note that other estimates range up to -36.1%. In other words, the economy is much smaller today than when Chavez first came to power in 1998. The inflation rate remains in the range of 1,000,000% or more.

The Venezuelan economy has always been tied to the price of oil and strong oil prices concealed many of the country’s underlying problems in the final years of Chavez’ life. Upon his death in 2013, Nicolás Maduro became the president.

It wasn’t long before Venezuela’s economy finally buckled. The years of overspending and corruption had taken their toll.

When oil prices collapsed shortly afterward, the economy went into free fall. And we all know the rest of the story.

Menton closes with the following question: “How bad is the damage to the U.S. economy being inflicted by the blowout wasteful spending of Biden and the Democratic Congress? Likely, we will only know the first inklings by 2022, and still only a little by 2024.”

Read the whole article – and the comments.

About Those Sex Trafficking Allegations Swirling Around Rep. Matt Gaetz, We Would Be Wise to Reserve Judgment

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Photo Credit: Image by jorgophotography from Pixabay

An otherwise quiet Tuesday night news cycle was rocked when The New York Times broke the bombshell story that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is under investigation by the DOJ for the possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws. They are looking into whether he may have engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. It is illegal, the Times informed its readers, “to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value.” The encounters are said to have occurred about two years ago.

The Times also wrote that Gaetz is a subject, rather than the target, of the investigation. Their sources are identified as “three people briefed on the matter.”

So, what’s behind the MOAB the Times dropped on Matt Gaetz?

As it turns out, the DOJ is investigating the congressman. But, we’ve been around the block a time or two and know that Democrats have made a sport out of opening bogus investigations into Republicans for political expediency. Considering the fact that Gaetz has fiercely, openly and repeatedly defended former President Donald Trump against the treasure trove of false allegations Democrats leveled at him, we would be wise to reserve judgment.

The target of the investigation is a Gaetz associate named Joel Greenberg. According to the Times, Greenberg “was indicted last summer on an array of charges, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl.” Prior to Greenberg’s indictment, he served as the Seminole County tax collector.

Anyway, after the story broke last night, Gaetz in his inimitable style, came out swinging. He appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s show to vehemently deny the allegations which were swirling around him. Gaetz claimed that a former DOJ official, David McGee, is attempting to extort $25 million from he and his family to make this story “go away.” A video of the segment is provided below, along with a transcript.

He demanded that the “DOJ and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction” which he said will prove his innocence.

One has to admit that a guilty person might hesitate before turning to the FBI if they were being extorted for a crime they did commit.

He told Carlson:

What is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former Department of Justice official. On March 16th, my father got a text message demanding a meeting, wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away. Our family was so troubled by that we went to the local FBI. And the FBI and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did with the former Department of Justice official. Tonight I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction, which will prove my innocence.

And that will show that these allegations aren’t true. They’re merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money. And this former Department of Justice official tomorrow was supposed to be contacted by my father, so that specific instructions could be given regarding the wiring of $4.5 million as a down payment on this bribe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that tonight, somehow the New York Times is leaking this information, smearing me and ruining the investigation that would likely result in one of the former colleagues of the current DOJ being brought to justice for trying to extort me and my family.

And he identified the official:

His name is David McGee. He was a top official in the leadership in the Northern district of Florida as a prosecutor. He currently works at the Beggs & Lane law firm. As a matter of fact, one of the recordings that was made at the FBI and Department of Justice request occurred at that law firm and the money that was supposed to be paid today, that would have shown even more evidence of David McGee’s work in this extortion scheme. That was foiled by the New York Times story and I believe that’s why this horrible information and these terrible allegations have been used this evening.

Gaetz won his seat in Congress in 2016 at the age of 33. He is an extremely ambitious young man, a lawyer and in my opinion, he appears to be quite savvy. Although he was new to Washington, he comes from a political family. He had also served three terms as a representative in the Florida State Legislature.

Due to his firebrand personality and outspokenness, it didn’t take long for Gaetz to become one of the most recognizable members of Congress. Add to that his bachelor status at the time, and it’s inconceivable that he did not have more than his share of female attention.

He was well aware that, as part of Trump’s preferred circle of trusted House Republicans, he would be under close scrutiny by Democrats.

Considering all of these factors, I just cannot imagine that he would take a chance on cratering his future by associating with an underage woman.

These types of bombshells also tend to take place when the Democrats want to deflect attention from their own vulnerabilities.

The reason Hillary Clinton conjured up the Trump dossier was to distract voters from focusing on her email scandal.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has come under intense fire after nine women have accused him of sexual harassment. Wouldn’t now be an opportune time to break a story about sex trafficking allegations against a prominent Republican?

I might be very wrong about Matt Gaetz. However, before he is convicted by the media, why don’t we let him defend himself.

 

Here is a transcript of the interview (via Rev.com)

Tucker Carlson:
Just a couple of hours ago, late this afternoon, the New York Times ran a story saying that Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is under federal investigation for playing some role in sex trafficking and potentially having a relationship with a 17 year old girl. There are very few details in major news outlets tonight about this story. We have no background on at all and not even any very informed questions. Instead, we’ve invited Congressman Gaetz on the show to respond to these stories and give us his view of them. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on. Appreciate it. So, this is obviously a serious allegation. Tell us what the truth is from your perspective.

Matt Gaetz:
It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17 year old woman and that is verifiably false. People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case. What is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former Department of Justice official. On March 16th my father got a text message demanding a meeting, wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away. Our family was so troubled by that we went to the local FBI and the FBI and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did with the former Department of Justice official. Tonight I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction, which will prove my innocence.

And that will show that these allegations aren’t true. They’re merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money. And this former Department of Justice official tomorrow was supposed to be contacted by my father, so that specific instructions could be given regarding the wiring of $4.5 million as a down payment on this bribe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that tonight, somehow the New York Times is leaking this information, smearing me and ruining the investigation that would likely result in one of the former colleagues of the current DOJ being brought to justice for trying to extort me and my family.

Tucker Carlson:
So, a couple of obvious questions that come to mind. And again, just to restate this just happened. Don’t have any other information beyond what we’ve already said and you have said. First of all, who is this Department of Justice former employee who’s trying to extort the money from you, you say?

Matt Gaetz:
His name is David McGee. He was a top official in the leadership in the Northern district of Florida as a prosecutor. He currently works at the Beggs & Lane law firm. As a matter of fact, one of the recordings that was made at the FBI and Department of Justice request occurred at that law firm and the money that was supposed to be paid today, that would have shown even more evidence of David McGee’s work in this extortion scheme. That was foiled by the New York Times story and I believe that’s why this horrible information and these terrible allegations have been used this evening.

Tucker Carlson:
So, I’ll get the investigation in a sec, but you’re saying that David McGee was motivated by greed. He was trying to extort money from your family. That’s his motivation you’re saying.

Matt Gaetz:
I know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators. They even claim to have specific connections inside the Biden white house. Now, I don’t know if that’s true. They were promising that Joe Biden would pardon me. Obviously I don’t need a pardon. I’m not seeking a pardon. I’ve not done anything improper or wrong, but what I am troubled by is the real motivation for all of this. Just tonight Ted Lieu, a Democrat, is calling on me to be removed from the house judiciary committee. And I believe we are in an era of our politics now Tucker, where people are smeared to try to take them out of the conversation.

Matt Gaetz:
I’m not the only person on screen right now who has been falsely accused of a terrible sex act. You were accused of something that you did not do. And so, you know what this feels like, the pain that can bring to your family and you know how it just puts people on defense when you’re accused of something, so salacious and awful. But it did not happen. It is not true. And the fact that it is the basis of this attempt to extort my family, tells a lot. And if the FBI and Department of Justice will release the tapes that they are in possession of, the American people will see what is really going on.

Tucker Carlson:
You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago. And of course it was not true, I’d never met the person. But I do agree with you that being accused falsely is one of the worst things that can happen. And you do see it a lot. Let’s go back to the investigation. You say that it was or is underway, there was an investigation. What is the basis of that investigation? What is the allegation? That really not very clear from these news stories?

Matt Gaetz:
Yeah. Again I only know what I’ve read in the New York Times. I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine. You’ll remember her. And she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme, that she could face trouble. And so, I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me. Providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you’re dating who are of legal age is not a crime. And I’m just troubled that the lack of any sort of legitimate investigation into me would then permute would then convert into this extortion attempt.

Tucker Carlson:
I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of or the context at all, honestly, but I would like to know who… So, they’re saying there is a 17 year old girl who you had a relationship with. Is that true? And who is this girl? What are they talking about the New York Times?

Matt Gaetz:
The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17 year old. That is totally false. The allegation I read in the New York Times is that I’ve traveled with some 17 year old in some relationship. That is false and records will bear that out to be false.

Tucker Carlson:
How long has this investigation been going on? Do you know?

Matt Gaetz:
I don’t know.

Tucker Carlson:
When were you first informed of it?

Matt Gaetz:
Again, I really saw this as a deeply troubling challenge for my family on March 16th when people were talking about a minor and that there were pictures of me with child prostitutes. That’s obviously false. There will be no such pictures because no such thing happened. But really on March 16th was when this got going from the extortion standpoint.

Tucker Carlson:
So, what happens next? I mean you can see there is this investigation, I guess a criminal investigation. I’m not quite sure what the sex trafficking part comes in. I don’t again for the fifth time, I don’t really understand this story very well. But where does it go from here? I mean you’ve made an allegation against someone by name on the air and accused him of trying to extort millions of dollars from your family. What what happens tomorrow?

Matt Gaetz:
Well what was supposed to happen was the transfer of this money that would have implicated the former colleague of these current DOJ officials. But that’s obviously not going to happen tomorrow because the New York Times story was leaked in order to quell that investigative effort. So, here’s what needs to happen next. The FBI and the Department of Justice must release the tapes that are in their possession, that were done at their direction. Those tapes will show that I am innocent and that the whole concept of sex charges against me was really just a way to try to bleed my family out of money and probably smear my name because I am a well-known outspoken, conservative, and I guess that’s out of style in a lot of parts of the country right now.

Tucker Carlson:
Matt Gaetz, I appreciate your coming on tonight.

Matt Gaetz:
Thanks for giving me the chance to tell the truth. I appreciate it.

Tucker Carlson:
It’s a more interesting and complicated story than that I knew from reading about it. Thank you very much. Matt Gaetz interview, that was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted. That story just appeared in the news a couple of hours ago and on the certainty that there’s always more than you read in the newspaper we immediately called Matt Gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more, which is you saw he did. I don’t think that clarified much but it certainly showed this as a deeply interesting story and we’ll be following it. Don’t quite understand it but we’ll bring you more when we find out.

VA High School Teacher Rebukes Student Who Refused to See Race in a Photo; Doesn’t End Well for the Teacher

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Photo Credit: Image by Hatice EROL from Pixabay

A high school teacher held up a photograph of two girls standing back to back, one of whom was white and the other black. The caption on the photo asks, “What is race?”

He asks his students what they see in the picture. The exchange that follows took place in an advanced English classroom in the very affluent town of Ashburn, Virginia.  It was caught on video and published by Fox News.

One boy replies, “Just two people chillin’.”

“Right, just two people,” the teacher says. “Nothing more to that picture?”

“Nah, not really. Just two people chillin’.”

“I don’t believe that you believe that. I don’t believe that you look at this as just two people,” the teacher tells him.

“It truly is just two people though, is it not?”

“I think you’re being intentionally coy about what this is a picture of,” the teacher replies.

This continues and finally the student says, “I’m confused on what you would like me to speak on…”

I don’t think you are, I don’t know why you do this…You act as if there’s noting noticeable about this apart from the fact there are two people.”

“Well, I’m confused. Are you trying to get me to say that there are two different races in this picture?” the student asks.

“Yes, I am asking you to say that,” the teacher says.

“Well, at the end of the day, wouldn’t that just be feeding into the problem of looking at race instead of just acknowledging them as two normal people?”

“No, it’s not because you can’t look at the people and not acknowledge that there are racial differences, right?

“But, if we’re looking for equality within all this, then why would we need to point out things such as that?

“Because those differences are real things.”

 

My parent’s generation was very cognizant of race. But as each new generation followed, race gradually began to recede into the background.

When my own children were going through school in the 2000s and beyond, I can honestly say it wasn’t an issue, at least from our perspective.

America had made great strides toward equality and I can’t think of a country in the world that offered greater opportunities to blacks and other minority groups than the U.S. If I’m wrong, please enlighten me.

It was when Democrats decided to use race as a political weapon against former President Donald Trump, and ultimately against anyone who supported him, that it exploded as an issue.

And now everything is racist – from the books we read to our children to the pancake syrup we use.

The teacher in this video is the problem. ‘How can this boy not see what I see? He must be lying.’

‘One girl is white and one is black, see, see!’

Sorry $#&^$%#, he doesn’t see.

The racial divide in America was closing up until liberals took a chisel and pried it open again.

This is on them.

Joe Biden and the ‘One Note Samba’

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Photo Credit: Image by David Stephanus from Pixabay

Ah, the week is coming to an end, and what a week it has been. Our AWOL president showed his face for an hour or so yesterday, carrying a binder full of reporters (no worries, Senator Romney, those binders of women still belong to you) and the weight of the free world on his shoulders.

Since that blessed event which featured the “moral and decent man,” I’ve been waiting for the long line of press releases articulating the forthcoming activities for the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the battle plan to Build Back Better has been little more than a repudiation and reversal of the policies and programs of the Trump Administration.

Donald Trump’s presidency was a symphony of activity. In four short years, he accomplished so much that even his most ardent supporters might miss an achievement or two in recall. The list is so long, Richard Edward cannot recount the entire four years of activity. Just the highlights of Mr. Trump’s tenure would make a swamp creature politician proud to include them on their resume.

Since I have turtle recall, I searched the internet and found the “score sheet” for every instrument in the Trump administration orchestra. The list of accomplishments during President Trump’s tenure requires hundreds of individual bullet points and over 10,000 words of information. There isn’t time or space to annotate each one. It’s well worth your time to review Trump Administration Accomplishments. I guarantee you will be amazed at how much was achieved, and how much you never heard about – looking at you mainstream media.

In contrast, the new Biden-Harris Administration appears to be preoccupied with tearing down existing rules, methods and processes, without regard to efficacy. I am still not sure if that means building back better or just trying to eradicate all reminders of their predecessor.

Cue Narrator: “Richard Edward, were you looking for the list of goals that the Biden Administration was going to pursue?”

Richard Edward: “You bet. I have been anxiously waiting to see how much further the Biden Administration can take America, building upon the successful programs of the Trump Administration. I mean, c’mon man, what a foundation from which to build your new presidency, right?”

Narrator: “Well, Richard Edward, it looks like the Biden list you seek may be shorter than you anticipated.”

Richard Edward: “That can’t be right. … Biden has served in the federal government for what, 47 years? He must have a laundry list of ideas and policies that will continue to make America great. President Trump did literally hundreds of positive things for America so President Biden, with all of his prior experience, should have even more cool stuff. See, CNN’s got a list of orders signed in his first few months. … I’ll bet it’s really detailed and long and ….”

Mr. Narrator:  “Okay Richard Edward, lets take a look.”

He presents a list compiled by six CNN writers of Biden’s “achievements” through 8 March 2021 (emphasis mine):

President Joe Biden has signed a flurry of executive orders, actions and memorandums aimed at rapidly addressing the coronavirus pandemic and dismantling many of former President Donald Trump’s policies.

The executive actions Biden has taken in the first days of his administration include halting funding for the construction of Trump’s border wall, reversingTrump’s travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries, imposing a mask mandate on federal property, ramping up vaccination supplies and requiring international travelers to provide proof of negative Covid-19 tests prior to traveling to the United States.

So far, Biden has signed more than 50 executive actions, 22 of which are direct reversals of Trump’s policies. Most of these actions have addressed the novel coronavirus, immigration and equity.

Biden defends the number of executive actions he has issued as necessary to undo what he considers “bad policy” inherited from Trump, especially on immigration.

To date, nine of his 11 actions regarding immigration are reversals of Trump’s policies.

And straight from the horse’s mouth as he signed a stack of executive orders on immigration in the Oval Office on Feb. 2. (via CNN):

And I want to make it clear — there’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I have signed — I’m not making new law; I’m eliminating bad policy. What I’m doing is taking on the issues that — 99% of them — that the president, the last president of the United States, issued executive orders I felt were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country, particularly in the area of immigration.

After reading the CNN article, I sit back from my laptop, somewhat stunned. I ask myself, “What is this all about? Why is Biden undoing everything that 75 million American citizens thought were moving our country in the proper direction? Even during the pandemic, we were overall winning.”

Low unemployment, increased opportunity for minorities, energy independence, new Middle East peace prospects; my favorites on the Trump “win list” swirl in my brain. There are hundreds more.

Richard Edward: “Weren’t we told that Biden is a moderate Democrat who will consider the well-being of Americans, our laws, our economy, our health and safety, and doing what’s best for America regardless of politics? Now I am learning that Biden’s really only knows how to tear down. He’s taken a wrecking ball to Trump’s accomplishments.”

Narrator:  Cue the music.

Faintly, the upbeat melody of Antônio Carlos Jobim’s One Note Samba wafts out of my stereo speakers. The English lyrics, written by Jon Hendricks, seem so appropriate for the situation.

This is just a little samba
built upon a single note
Other notes are bound to follow but the root is still that note
Now this new one is the consequence
of the one we’ve just been through
As I’m bound to be the unavoidable consequence of you

There’s so many people who can talk and talk and talk
And just say nothing or nearly nothing
I have used up all the scale I know and at the end I’ve come
To nothing, or nearly nothing

Richard Edward:  “Mr. Narrator, I hate the music you chose to make your point. Unfortunately, I get it. Mr. Biden only knows how to play one song, using one note, a discordant note of destruction. Why didn’t Biden learn to play something new over 47 years? If only we had a president who really knew how to play more than one note on one instrument, who had a repertoire of music and the ability to improvise during his performance. Biden has used up all of the scale and truly, come to nothing.”

If you think a president’s inability to do nothing but tear down what has come before him is an American Crisis, please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

—  Richard Edward Tracy

Black Leaders Take Aim at Sens. Sinema, Manchin Over Refusal to Nix Filibuster; ‘They Are, in Effect, Supporting Racism’

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Photo Credit: Image by mjimages from Pixabay

The Senate website defines the filibuster as an “informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.” This device is meant to prevent the party in the Senate minority from being completely overpowered by the majority party.

Prior to the election, the Indivisible Project, a movement dedicated to advancing the election of progressive candidates, explained why the filibuster is bad news for Democrats:

“It’s simple: none of the progressive issues that Democratic candidates and congressional leaders are discussing today will become law unless we do something about the filibuster.”

“If [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell expects to be the Grim Reaper of progressive policies, the scythe he’ll use is the Senate filibuster. Unless we change the rules.”

With a 50-50 balance of power in the Senate, Democrats control the upper chamber by the slimmest margin possible.

Current Senate rules require a minimum of 60 votes to pass legislation. Some Democrats have hoped to abolish the filibuster so that only a simple majority of 51 votes (50 Democratic senators plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote) would be necessary to advance their progressive agenda.

Their latest challenge is that two Democratic Senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have both quite strongly announced their opposition to abolishing the filibuster.

Just two months ago, a representative for Sinema told The Washington Post’s White House reporter, Seung Min Kim, that “Kyrsten is against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

Up until then, conservatives had been counting on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to save us from being overrun by leftist lesiglation. Manchin won re-election in 2018 in a state that went overwhelmingly for former President Donald Trump by nearly 40 points in 2020 and over 41 in 2016.

Shortly after the announcement from Team Sinema, Politico reported that Manchin was “emphatic” that he “will not vote to kill the filibuster.” Asked if there were any scenario in which he would change his mind, the senator replied: “None whatsoever that I will vote to get rid of the filibuster.”

Protecting the filibuster is essential to protecting us from the tyranny of the majority.

Even with the filibuster in place, Democrats can do and have already done a lot of damage. But their major radical initiatives, such as the Election Reform bill which passed the House earlier this month, granting statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and stacking the Supreme Court, can be blocked by the Republicans.

Naturally, Democrats are trying to exert maximum pressure on Sinema and Manchin to change their minds.

Politico has interviewed several black civil rights leaders to find out what they plan to do about this. According to Politico, “top [civil rights] officials framed the choice as existential for a party that depends on Black and brown voters — and they are planning pressure campaigns privately and publicly to make that clear.”

Rev. Al Sharpton plans to hold town halls and rallies in Sinema’s and Manchin’s home states. He said, “The pressure that we are going to put on Sinema and Manchin is calling [the filibuster] racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism. Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that.”

Sharpton cautioned Democrats that if they fail to end the filibuster, then “civil rights leaders might have less reason to help generate enthusiasm and turnout in the 2022 midterm elections without being able to point to actual laws Democrats passed.”

Sounds like a threat.

He added, “Many of us, and certainly all of us in the civil rights leadership, are committed to policies and laws and causes, not to people’s political careers. We’re not into that. We want to change the country. And if there is not feasible evidence that we’re doing that, it is not in our concern to be aggressively involved.”

Sinema and/or Manchin may yet flip, but I would be willing to bet it wouldn’t be because Al Sharpton and his merry band of civil rights leaders come to their states and call them racists.

Although politicians are famous for flip-flopping, after putting out such a strong statement of opposition as her representative did in conversation with the Washington Post reporter, I would be surprised if Sinema caved. Sharpton’s actions might just make her dig in her heels a little deeper.

Manchin, on the other hand, strikes me as less resolute than Sinema. However, he did say he was “emphatic” he wouldn’t vote to end the filibuster.

There is another option. The Senate could potentially create a carve-out specifically for voting rights legislation, a measure they’ve taken before. The Senate has created exceptions to the filibuster in the past for confirmations of Supreme Court nominees and for budget reconciliation (which is how the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was passed).

Manchin is currently the only Senate Democrat who is not a co-sponsor of the voting reform bill known as S. 1.

On Wednesday, Manchin told reporters, “I think all of us should be able to be united around voting rights, but it should be limited to voting rights.”

But if the bill were to be limited to votings rights, according to CBS News, “it would strip provisions related to campaign finance and ethics reform, which are key priorities for progressives.”

In a Tuesday statement, “Manchin expressed concerns about S. 1, and said that he would support bipartisan legislation on voting rights.” The statement said:

As the Senate prepares to take up the For the People Act, we must work toward a bipartisan solution that protects everyone’s right to vote, secures our elections from foreign interference, and increases transparency in our campaign finance laws. Pushing through legislation of this magnitude on a partisan basis may garner short-term benefits, but will inevitably only exacerbate the distrust that millions of Americans harbor against the U.S. government.

He issued another statement on Thursday in which he reiterated his opposition to creating a carve-out to the filibuster rule specifically for voting rights. He noted that would be “like being a little bit pregnant.” You either kill the filibuster or you keep it.

Let’s hope that both he and Sinema stand by their pledges not to abolish the filibuster. All Republican senators, even those whose votes can’t always be counted on, such as Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are unanimously opposed to ending the filibuster. They are also opposed to the voting reform bill.

Sinema and Manchin are the only thing standing between us and the enactment of the Democrats’ entire radical agenda.  Let’s hope they stand strong.