Speaker of the House Paul Ryan publicly went after President Donald J. Trump for his pardon of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. This doesn’t bode well for the Republican Party.
Ryan didn’t go after President Barack Obama when he was granting clemency to thousands of drug dealers and putting dangerous criminals, some with long felony records, out on the streets. So Ryan evidently doesn’t feel the need to comment on every pardon the president grants. It is the prerogative of the president to grant pardons or commute sentences. He doesn’t need approval from anyone.
So why would Ryan choose to pick a fight with Trump when he pardoned, not only a supporter, but someone who has a similar view on immigration? Is Ryan in favor of open borders? Or is it simply that Ryan has been in Washington too long and believes that what he reads in the far left mainstream media represents what most Americans believe.
The Republican Party is a nonselective organization. Anyone can join, and they can’t be thrown out. Ryan probably thinks that Trump shouldn’t be a Republican, but maybe it’s Ryan who shouldn’t be a Republican.
For years the Republican Party has stood for lowering taxes, reducing government spending, promoting capitalism over socialism and, in particular for the last seven years, ending Obamacare. Republicans have also favored a stricter interpretation of the Constitution, more rights for states and less intrusion by the federal government into every aspect of American life.
The Republicans have had control of the entire federal government for over 200 days. There is nothing stopping the Republicans in Congress from implementing the plans they have been promising for years. But Congress hasn’t done much of anything.
It may be that too many Republicans in Congress are not the least bit conservative. They may have joined the Republican Party because their parents were Republicans or because their parents were Democrats. Maybe they like elephants more than donkeys or thought if they joined the Republican Party they would become rich.
It doesn’t matter, but it appears that a whole bunch of Republicans, Ryan included, have no intention of doing anything conservative now that they have the power. It is becoming more and more apparent that Ryan and his buddies in the House were horribly disappointed when Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected president. They had their speeches all ready about what they would do if only a Republican had been elected, but, sadly, they couldn’t do anything because Hillary Clinton would veto it and they didn’t have the votes to override a veto.
It would have been great for Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and most Republicans in Congress. They could posture and make speeches, but they wouldn’t have to make good on their promises. So it is no wonder they hate Trump.
When Trump was elected it ruined all of their plans for another easy four years in office. No one could blame them for not being able to do anything if Hillary Clinton had been elected because the American people had chosen to elect a divided government.
What Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the Republican leadership in Congress have to figure out now is how they are going to get elected if they don’t keep any of the promises they have been making for years. But if they do keep those promises – if they lower taxes and reduce spending – then they also reduce their power.
Coming up with a healthcare plan is hard work, and if they pass one then they will have to take the blame when there are the inevitable problems. Now life is easy; all the healthcare issues are blamed on Obama and the Democrats.
Armies discover that officers who rise to the top during long periods of peace rarely make good battlefield commanders. A different skillset and attitude is needed to be a battlefield commander.
During wartime, officers that might have been shunted off to the side in peacetime find their way to the forefront because they are better commanders than their compatriots who are good at keeping schedules and training exercises but not good at making split second decisions when everything goes wrong.
It appears the Republicans have a bunch of peacetime commanders at the top. They are great at formulating bills that will never become law, but they can’t manage to shepherd a bill through Congress that will become law.
If the Republicans were smart – and sadly they are not – they would push these do-nothing leaders out of the way, elect new leaders who understand that governing is more than saying no and get the ball rolling.
The Republicans have a president with a clear agenda. It isn’t long and it isn’t complicated. Trump has already been able to keep one of his promises – the economy is doing better now than it ever did during the eight years that Obama was president.
If Trump had the support of Congress he could even do more to free up businesses to hire people and make money. So far just about everything he has done to help the economy has been done by executive order because Trump can’t get the needed assistance from the Republicans who are supposed to be on his team.
Trump can’t repeal Obamacare on his own, or pass tax reform, so he is running into real problems keeping his own promises.
Proving that Ryan and McConnell haven’t changed at all, it appears they will turn to the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling once Congress is back in session. Because there are some conservatives in Congress, the Republicans don’t have the votes to raise the debt ceiling on their own.
Remember way back when Obama was president and the Republicans said that raising the debt ceiling was a terrible thing for the country and the economy? Republicans said that raising the debt ceiling was stealing from our children and grandchildren who would be saddled with enormous debt.
It doesn’t appear that the Republicans in Congress now have any plan to stop raising the debt ceiling regularly.
Congress continues to borrow as much as a third of the money it spends. That means to balance the budget these days either revenue has to increase by about 30 percent or spending has to be cut by about 30 percent, or some combination of the two. Do you hear anyone in Congress talking about the kind of changes that would have to be made to cut federal spending by 30 percent or even 10 percent? Does anyone not believe that the federal government wastes 10 percent of its budget?
Does Ryan actually have a budget plan that has any chance of passing that would radically alter the way the federal government does business? If he does, now is the time for him to put his cards on the table. But all the evidence so far is that Ryan and McConnell plan to continue to tax and spend and raise the debt ceiling just like the Democrats did.
The problem with that plan is that it will destroy the Republican Party. But maybe that’s not really a problem, because if that is the plan of the Republican leadership then the party needs to be destroyed and replaced by a conservative party.
The possibility of a federal government shutdown is being billed as a potential disaster by the mainstream media. During the Obama administration there was a government shut down of 16 days, and somehow the country survived. According to the mainstream media it was the fault of the Republican Congress, not Obama.
Obama threatened the Republicans with a shutdown several times, and when Obama did it, the mainstream media viewed it as reasonable and within the president’s prerogative.
Since 1976 there have been 18 gaps in federal funding and seven of those have led to government employees being furloughed – what is usually referred to as a government shutdown.
The government doesn’t actually shut down during a government shutdown. What happens is that “nonessential employees” are told not to come to work, but they still get paid for the time they would have been at work, they simply don’t get paid during the shutdown. So what it amounts to is a paid vacation for “nonessential” federal employees.
Unless the federal employees have no savings and their credit cards are maxed out, it shouldn’t be a financial disaster for employees to be forced not to come to work for a couple of days.
The mainstream media have a formula for these government shutdowns. If it is a Democratic president and a Republican Congress then it is the Congress’s fault, as was portrayed when Obama was president. However, if it is a Republican president and a Democratic Congress, like under George H.W. Bush, then it is the president’s fault and Congress is portrayed as doing the right thing.
It certainly couldn’t be the result of bias on the part of the mainstream media, which often declare themselves unbiased; it’s just a weird coincidence that it is always the fault of the Republicans. And if you believe that, then you probably believe everything you read in the mainstream media.
One of the problems the mainstream media and the Washington swamp creatures have with the statement that Trump made after Charlottesville is that Trump once again said what was on his mind.
I would imagine he looked at the videos of the fights in Charlottesville and thought, like many Americans did, that everyone who participated in attacking those with different views was at fault, so that’s what he said.
What he was supposed to do, according to Washington protocol, was have a couple of speechwriters craft a speech where he condemned the white supremacists in the strongest terms possible and then added at the end that all those who participated in the violence might in some small way share some responsibility for what went wrong.
The fact that Trump didn’t make that statement is why Trump still has his base. Many Americans are sick and tired of the carefully crafted statements that sound like they are saying something while saying as little as possible.
Trump doesn’t do it. He doesn’t try to be politically correct. He doesn’t make the politically smart statement.
His current staff is attempting to rein him in, and if they succeed he will start losing his base. Fortunately for Trump, he isn’t following orders from his staff. Trump’s political instincts have gotten him this far; why stop trusting them now? Early in the campaign the political pundits said that Trump would have to tone down his rhetoric and stop attacking his fellow Republican candidates if he wanted to win. He proved the pundits wrong time after time.
So far Trump is still Trump, and it appears there is going to be some pushback from Trump against his current staff. He needed some more discipline at the White House. The country is too big and complex for the president to have an open door policy, and it appears that Chief of Staff John Kelly has slammed the Oval Office door shut and locked it. Trump is going to have to push the door open a crack. Not an open door policy, but not a locked door policy either. It’s going to take some time for Trump to come up with a system that works for him, which means if Kelly thinks he is going to control Trump, he won’t last any longer in the job than Reince Priebus. Only time will tell whether Kelly can make the necessary accommodations or not.
The death in Charlottesville has completely overshadowed the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice.
It’s true that nobody died, but House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was seriously injured by an alt-left activist who wanted to kill as many Republicans as possible, and there was no doubt of his intentions.
The alt-left shooter was stopped only because, as majority whip, Scalise had an armed escort.
Did the shooter of innocent Republicans receive the same condemnation from the mainstream media as James Alex Fields, who drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville and killed one woman?
Is anybody still talking about Black Lives Matter supporter Micah Johnson who sat up in a parking garage with a rifle and shot police officers in Dallas a year ago? Black Lives Matter wasn’t held responsible for that, even though police said he was a Black Lives Matter supporter
Here’s a great example of the bias in The New York Times in an article about DNA testing.
It states that overall in the US blacks average 73 percent African genetic material, 24 percent European and almost 1 percent Native American. Then the article states, “Experts say the large proportion of European DNA in African-Americans can be traced to before the Civil War, and the rape of enslaved African women.”
So DNA experts can now determine that the DNA in a person in 2017 came from a rape of their ancestors over 150 years ago?
It makes you wonder if they can tell if an individual’s DNA came from a loving relationship or a one-night stand.
Some experts may believe that most of the DNA came from rapes, but that’s not scientific.
I spent a couple of months in college reading newspapers from the period directly after the Civil War. I was surprised at the number of marriages between blacks and whites during that time period. Later these marriages between races were made illegal, so none were recorded.
There is no doubt that African-American women who were slaves were raped by white men. But I don’t see any way someone can look at the DNA today and determine that it is the result of a rape over 150 years ago.
It further states, “After examining data from 160,000 customers who agreed to participate, the geneticists learned that 3.5 percent of those who said they were white actually had DNA that was 1 percent or more African in origin.”
This sounds straight out of the standards set in South Africa under Apartheid.
If someone’s DNA is 99 percent Greek and 1 percent Norwegian, would they be wrong if they called themselves a Greek American? Or someone who has DNA that is 99 percent Irish and 1 percent African, is that person wrong to call themselves an Irish American?
For years I subscribed to the National Review. It had, in my opinion, the best conservative political writers in the country.
I read an online version recently, and it has become the home of the “Never Trump” forces. It seems to me that the folks at the National Review, and many Republican never-Trumpers, have forgotten a fact about the November 2016 election – either the next president of the United States was going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
A lot of never-Trumpers refuse to admit it, but they were for Hillary Clinton. There were only two people in the race, and if you’re against one then you are for the other.
From what I read, the folks at the National Review, like many of the Republicans in Congress, would have preferred if Hillary Clinton had won. Or maybe they simply planned too far in advance and they had their whole editorial calendar filled in for 2017 because they thought they knew who was going to win the election.
So the editors look at the calendar and find they are scheduled to write articles – attacking the president for her foreign policy, her economic policy and her policy on Afghanistan. They ignore the “her” because pronouns shouldn’t have gender anyway, and go on about their business.
I like the theory but have to admit that even a group as starched shirted and bow tied as the National Review probably doesn’t have an unchangeable editorial calendar for a year in advance.
Far more likely is that the National Review has fallen into the swamp and is behaving like all the other swamp creatures – fighting tooth and nail against the invader.
It looks to me like in Houston we have New Orleans all over again. A hurricane on the way that everyone predicts is going to cause devastation and flooding, and a mayor who won’t order an evacuation.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t agree and warned people to get out while they could, but Houston’s mayor said that the evacuation of 2.5 million people would cause more problems than it would solve. He should try that argument on people who are now being plucked off their roofs.
It is a tough call because until the hurricane comes ashore you can’t be positive that it will. In this case, Mayor Sylvester Turner could have recommended that people evacuate, but he recommended that they stay.
Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is a master at playing chicken. He has this tiny impoverished nation that borders China, Russia and a key US ally, South Korea, and he manages to keep them all on tenterhooks.
Both China and Russia have an unusual number of troops on their borders. Russia has reportedly evacuated citizens closest to the border. The US keeps finding reasons to send ships to the area. Any of the three of them could crush North Korea, but Kim Jong Un continues to make moves to keep the world talking about him.
His latest move was to launch a missile over Japan. His previous missile launches have gone nearly straight up and then into the sea between North Korea and Japan.
He keeps pushing and pushing, seeing just how far he can go. He certainly gives indications that one day he will go too far.
Trump’s statement about Charlottesville keeps coming up. The liberals and the mainstream media didn’t think Trump condemned the white supremacist groups enough. He also condemned the antifa groups that were fighting with the white supremacists, which evidently, according to the mainstream media, is not simply wrong, but a mortal sin.
Unfortunately, the Republican establishment is scared to death of being branded as racist by the mainstream media. Where were the voices defending the white supremacists right to free speech? It has evidently been forgotten that the ACLU defended a Nazi group when it was denied a permit to march through an area where victims of the Holocaust lived. The Nazis and the ACLU won that case, but the march never took place.
Back then, before the country became so politically correct, the ACLU could take on cases where people with despicable views were being denied their constitutional rights because of those views.
The First Amendment, despite what people are saying, absolutely protects hate speech. It’s hate speech that needs protection. No one needs a constitutional amendment to protect their right to say, “Good morning.”
In this case, no matter how much most people disagree with the views expressed by the neo-Nazis, Klan members and others, the group applied for and received a permit to hold a demonstration.
The antifa group did not. Both the white supremacists and antifa came looking for a fight. While the white supremacists had a permit to hold a demonstration, they did not have a permit to fight.
Trump was right in denouncing both groups. If the antifa people had not shown up, or had shown up to yell and jeer and not to fight, the event would likely have never resulted in the tragedy that it did. Violence begets violence.
Evidently what the liberal mainstream media wanted Trump to say was that the white supremacists had no right to free speech and the antifa people who came to the white supremacists’ demonstration in order to attack them did the right thing.
It appeared that was the opinion of the Charlottesville city hall, who kept the Charlottesville police on the sidelines while the two extremist groups fought it out. If the Charlottesville police had been allowed to do their job, the white supremacists would have shouted and yelled vile, racist, hate-filled slogans and the antifa people would have yelled back, but they wouldn’t have been allowed to fight with each other.
If there is evidence that Fields wasn’t one man acting alone, it hasn’t been released. His attack on protestors came hours after the police had declared the assembly illegal and cleared the park of white supremacists and the antifa protestors.
The police, when they were finally allowed to intervene, were right to clear the park. There is no constitutional right to beat people because you disagree with them.
Driving a car into a crowd of people with the intent of injuring them is without a doubt a serious crime. Fields has been charged with second-degree murder, among other charges, and if he is convicted he should be facing a long prison sentence.
What he did, no matter how wrong, does not take away the right of free speech from the white supremacists.
For years the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Greensboro in the governmental plaza and the Greensboro police turned out in force to protect them. White and black police officers stood side by side to protect the rights of a group that they vehemently disagreed with, but they did it because it was their job. It’s not pretty or pleasant, but freedom of speech is a right that needs and deserves protection.
Just how inane can the mainstream media get? It doesn’t get much worse than being harshly critical of first lady Melania Trump for the shoes she chose to wear to walk to the helicopter at the White House on the way to Houston.
Does the mainstream media not know that the president and the first lady don’t fly commercial? Air Force One has plenty of places to change clothes and, of course, Melania Trump did wearing sensible tennis shoes in Houston.