I was reading the latest spin from the liberal press and they are quoting some “nonpartisan” group about the tax reform that found that it will cause famine, plagues and swarms of insects to infest the US. Well, not exactly, but if these “nonpartisan” folks thought anyone would believe it, they would float it out there.
It is interesting that according to the mainstream media there are only two kinds of groups – nonpartisan and conservative.
Just like when liberal became a bad word and even the most liberal politician became a moderate, now there seems to be no liberal think tanks; according to the mainstream media there are only conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and nonpartisan groups like everyone else.
The idea that any of these groups is nonpartisan is like believing that The New York Times and The Washington Post report the news from an unbiased perspective.
The New York Times admitted after the election of Donald John Trump that it had allowed its reporters covering the presidential election to put their opinions in what were supposed to be news articles. But even though The New York Times editor admitted allowing opinion in his news pages, people still defend The New York Times as being unbiased.
People understand exactly what Trump is saying when he accuses the major media outlets of fake news. The hundreds of thousands who attended a Trump rally and then went home to watch the news reports on it, or read about it the next day in the newspaper, learned first hand why during the rally Trump pointed to the media and called them the most dishonest people on earth, which he did over and over again.
Presidents are usually judged based on the economy. Trump has already done what President Barack Obama was unable to do during his eight years in office; Trump has put together two consecutive quarters of economic growth over 3 percent.
Goldman Sachs, which is an extremely biased group – not biased in favor of one party or the other but in favor of economic growth – is predicting that the US and the world economy will take off in 2018.
If it does then Trump’s popularity may soar. Then again, the people who supported Hillary Clinton for president will never admit that Trump is doing a good job, and the never-Trumpers in the Republican Party appear to hate Trump more than the Democrats.
Trump won the presidency with less than 50 percent of the vote, so for Trump’s approval rating to be in the high 40s means he has kept his base, and that is all he needs to be reelected if he chooses to run.
Who knows, Trump may decide that giving the country four years is enough. It’s not like he needed a job as have so many folks running for president.
And it’s easy to see why some Republicans hate him. Some said that Mitt Romney was too rich to be president, and then Trump comes along who is maybe 10 times richer than Romney and he wins, despite the fact that he is a multi-billionaire. And he won despite the fact that he did everything the high paid consultants tell candidates not to do. He won being Donald Trump.
A person who I consider bright and well informed told me with a straight face that he believed Trump ran for president to make money – that the whole idea of Trump getting elected was so that his various companies would increase their profits.
This to me is an absurd notion for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the biggest is that Trump has a huge ego. I don’t think even his most ardent supporters would argue with that statement. Certainly there can be no doubt in Trump’s mind that he would run his companies much better than his sons. The decisions that he made would be better than the ones they are making because Trump is Trump, and although he taught them everything they know, he hasn’t taught them everything he knows.
If the goal was to make more money Trump would have stayed at the helm of his companies and gone about the business of making more money, something that he has in his life done very well.
I have no idea if Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore behaved improperly with a 14-year-old girl or not. She says he did. He says he didn’t. But I do know that The Washington Post sent reporters to Alabama to try and dig up any dirt they could about Moore. And that’s fine – it’s what newspapers do – as long as The Washington Post sent someone to Alabama to try and dig up dirt on Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones.
But if The Washington Post did that, then they are keeping it a big secret. You would think that if he had absolutely nothing worth noting in his background they would write about that.
When Sen. John McCain was running for president, The New York Times had a team of reporters working for months to try and dig up some dirt on McCain. The best they came up with was that some members of McCain’s staff thought he spent too much time with a female lobbyist. The New York Times ran those stories on the front page, which was a smart move because people who didn’t read the articles to the end would think from the headlines that they did find something.
At the same time, no one at The New York Times or The Washington Post was interested in the fact that at that time Sen. Barack Obama had been a heavy illegal drug user. No one did a long series on how extensive his drug use was. His drug use was mentioned in passing.
The major newspapers did so little research on Obama that they couldn’t agree on whether or not he ever played basketball for the Occidental College team. No one discovered how he went, by his own admission, from a not very good student at Occidental to Columbia University. Usually not very good students at small colleges don’t get the opportunity to attend Ivy League universities.
In fact, people who were at Columbia at the same time as Obama swear they never saw him once at Columbia.
No one has ever been able to explain how a relatively poor college student managed to spend a summer traveling in Asia and spending a lot of time in Pakistan. Most college students in his economic class spend the summer working to make money for the next year. Obama didn’t.
In fact, the mainstream media did so little research on Obama that they never required him to produce his birth certificate. McCain, by contrast, had to produce his.
Trump still gets criticism from the mainstream media for not releasing his tax returns, which are far more private than a birth certificate. All of that birther stuff could have been avoided if the news media had forced Obama to release his birth certificate while he was running, and yes, the news media can do that kind of thing simply by constantly asking about it. The candidate usually wants to get the story off the front page and complies with the wishes of the news media.
But the news media had almost no interest in finding out about Obama. The mainstream media reported his stump speech, not his background.
The point here is that, no, it isn’t fair to have The Washington Post delving into the dating practices of Moore 40 years ago unless they also delve into the personal background of Jones with the same intensity.
And, of course, the mainstream media have pumped up the allegations against Moore. It is constantly reported that he dated teenagers, as if that were against the law. An 18-year-old woman can vote, can get married, can join the Army (although because of past discrimination she doesn’t get to register for the draft) and can get a tattoo. Just about the only thing an 18-year-old woman cannot do is buy alcohol, which makes no sense, but in the US we have a huge problem with age-related matters. The point is there is nothing legally or morally wrong with an 18-year-old woman dating a 30-year-old man. But it is presented in the media as if all teenagers are equal, so dating a 14-year-old is the same as dating an 18- or 19-year-old.
If Moore were only a little younger, the mainstream media could constantly report that he was a sexagenarian, but he isn’t anymore. Still, it seems like it would be worth mentioning that he was one for 10 years.
Fortunately, we have a method of determining whether or not Moore deserves to be a senator and that is the voters of Alabama get to decide. If they decide that what a woman said happened to her 40 years ago with Moore is a sufficient reason not to vote for him then they won’t, and the people of Alabama will be represented in the Senate by someone who they disagree with politically.
But what this is all about is not really Moore, he is simply a pawn.
What the whole deal with Moore is really about is the battle between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump.
Steve Bannon, who still represents Trump although he doesn’t do it from the White House anymore, has said that he is going to run conservatives against all of McConnell’s supporters in the Senate.
McConnell is sending Bannon, who helped defeat McConnell’s candidate Sen. Luther Strange in the Republican primary, a message that winning is not so easy, and if Bannon isn’t willing to play hardball he had better stick to writing stories for his website and leave politics to the big boys.
The Democrats in Congress are virtually powerless with Republicans controlling the House, the Senate and the White House, so it is understandable that they do dumb stuff. It’s the kind of thing most of us do when we are frustrated and no one will listen to us.
But all this talk of impeachment is even dumber than most moves.
In the history of the US, only two presidents have been impeached. One was President Andrew Johnson, who became president after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and was from Tennessee – one of the states that had left the Union. The other was President Bill Clinton, who was having an affair with a White House intern and lied about it under oath, among other things.
Neither was removed from office.
Trump is not going to be impeached by Democrats for, among other things, “undermining the freedom on the press.” If it becomes an impeachable offense in this nation to be critical of the press then we won’t be able to keep a president in office for longer than a few days.
The Democrats actually have a chance to have some influence because the Republicans are so divided, but they have decided not to cooperate with anything the Republicans want to do.
Speaking of Bill Clinton, people keep comparing Bill Clinton to Roy Moore. It’s a tough comparison. Clinton was having an affair with a White House intern barely out of her teens when he was president. He was also accused of rape by Juanita Broadderick, and of exposing himself to Paula Corbin Jones in a hotel room when he was governor of Arkansas and she was a state employee.
At the time one of the reasons that Jones, according to the press, could not be believed was that she was receiving legal advice from a conservative group.
Moore is being accused of behaving improperly with young women – including a 14-year-old – 40 years ago, and, of course, according to the press it doesn’t matter that his accusers are receiving help from Democratic operatives.
No one has accused Moore of rape or of any improper behavior in the last 25 or 30 years.
And of course Moore was not impeached for lying about his behavior. It’s hard to see how anyone can justify Bill Clinton’s behavior and say that Moore is not fit to be a US senator.
But politics is chock full of contradictions that people would not accept in other parts of their lives.
Then there are Bill Clinton’s more recent activities when he flew on the private jet of a convicted child molester, Jeffrey Epstein, 26 times. The jet was called the “Lolita Express” and reportedly had underage girls on board for the pleasure of the men. It is known that at times Bill Clinton ditched his Secret Service detail to go on these flights.
Epstein also has an island in the Caribbean called “Orgy Island,” where reportedly girls as young as 12 work as prostitutes. It cannot be confirmed that Bill Clinton has visited the island, in part because the Secret Service won’t release records of Bill Clinton’s travels.
But Bill Clinton did travel on the “Lolita Express” with a soft core porn star and young women who were only listed by their first names on the manifest. It does make you wonder why they only used their first names and why they were traveling around with Bill Clinton and Epstein.
It’s pretty easy to see why UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball shoplifts in foreign countries – his father LaVar Ball doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Like father like son.
If LaVar Ball doesn’t believe that being caught shoplifting in China and having the president of the United States step in to get you released is a big deal then it’s a safe bet that his son will get caught stealing again and this time President Trump won’t step in to save him.
If this proves anything it’s that Trump can do no right according to some people. Trump was under no obligation to step in and rescue the three UCLA basketball players from going to prison in China. They were caught on video and with the stolen goods in their hotel rooms.
You may think people are innocent until proven guilty but that is in the US. China could have decided to make an example of these students and put them in prison for as long as they wanted.
Shoplifting is stealing and illegal, despite what LaVar Ball says, but their shoplifting in a foreign country when on a trip representing their university and country is much worse because it reflected poorly on UCLA and the US.
Trump was simply being a nice guy. He had the power to help some young basketball players who he no doubt thought had made a dumb mistake and he did.
But it turns out the three players are just young hoodlums who think the world owes them whatever they want. They should have thanked Trump and apologized for their actions without being told to do so. But with LaVar Ball’s reaction you can see why at least his son didn’t.
It’s sad to see young talented athletes let the special treatment they receive go to their heads.
Big professional football fans need to be getting prepared, because showing disrespect for the nation by refusing to stand for the national anthem may be the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to professional football.
Attendance is down, as is television viewership, and it’s going to be hard to get those folks back once they learn that there is life without football.
It’s key to get people in the habit of watching football or participating in any other leisure activity because there are so many other ways that people can spend their time.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a huge gamble and so far it isn’t paying off. He bet that this national anthem thing would be a flash in the pan. The NFL would get bad press for a week or two and then everyone would forget all about it. But he didn’t count on Trump getting involved.
Trump’s base and the NFL fan base happen to be the same group, and those people tend to be folks who respect the flag and the nation for which it stands. Very few make as much money as the lowest paid NFL player and it is hard for them to imagine these super rich athletes, to whom so much has been given, having a good reason to disrespect the very nation that has been so generous to them.
But there is another issue that the NFL and football at all levels is going to have to deal with, and that is head injuries. It turns out that you can’t pound someone in the head week after week without long-term effects. The helmets may keep football players from cracking their skulls but it does little to protect the brain inside that skull.
The lawsuits over brain injuries are going to become more frequent, and eventually the NFL is going to have to reach some settlement like the tobacco companies did. The fact that the NFL is facing a massive payout for long term head injuries is going to be more difficult to pay if the NFL doesn’t have the money coming in hand over fist.
It seems absurd at this point, but in a few years the NFL could be bankrupt.
Former Internal Revenue Service executive Lois Lerner, who was guilty of targeting conservative groups for special treatment by the IRS, now wants her testimony about her actions kept secret.
Lerner should be in jail. She used the power of the IRS to discriminate against organizations based on their political beliefs. She isn’t in jail because Obama supported her actions to target conservatives.
But now she is asking that her testimony in the lawsuit over the actions of the IRS be permanently sealed because she fears for her life if her testimony is revealed to the public.
If her testimony is that bad, it should be revealed to the public. If she didn’t do anything wrong then she has nothing to worry about, but it appears she did a whole lot wrong and she is convinced that if the public finds out just how horrific her actions were then someone will try to kill her or a member of her family.
One would hope that no one would take the law into their hands and try to kill her, but it seems there might be another motive here. If Lerner’s actions are made known to the public, the demand that she be tried for the crimes she committed might force the government to do something.
With all the hoopla over Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, there aren’t many folks writing about the big picture.
In the big picture Democratic Senate Candidate Doug Jones is largely ignored because the battle here is between Trump and the swamp. Unfortunately for Trump the swamp is both Republican and Democrat. It’s the folks who have power in Washington against everyone else.
The swamp was actually pretty excited about getting Hillary Clinton in the White House. They all knew her and knew that she understood the rules. Hillary Clinton could be trusted not to do anything that might damage the swamp and the sweet life it provides for the folks in Washington.
But instead, somehow they got Trump, who they don’t trust and has actually said he wants to drain the swamp.
Bannon left the White House to help Trump keep a campaign promise and start draining the swamp. Trump discovered that you can’t drain the swamp from the White House, because the swamp is too powerful. The way to drain the swamp is from the outside. The swamp has to be drained by the people, but it takes leadership.
Moore is a warning to Trump that the people in Washington are not going to give up easily.
Up until The Washington Post sent a team of reporters to find anything they could dig up on Moore, it looked like he was going to waltz into the White House hardly breaking a sweat in the general election.
But McConnell, McCain and company are revealing that there will be no easy victories for people who don’t meet with their approval.
To get anything done, Trump needs like minded individuals in the House and Senate. He doesn’t have them. What he has in the House and Senate are Republicans more committed to the swamp and their own careers than to the country.
McConnell didn’t use the term swamp, but he did say that it was important to get incumbents reelected to the Senate.
He also didn’t say that the path they are on is to complete nihilism. McConnell and his minions are only steps away from not even bothering to introduce legislation.
Why bother arguing over things like repealing Obamacare when you know ahead of time that you aren’t going to pass it? McConnell knew each time an Obamacare repeal was introduced that it wouldn’t pass because it was his job to get is passed and he knew he wasn’t going to do his job.
So why go through all that hassle? Why not simply sit back, keeping people at home happy with massive amounts of federal largess and let the next crowd worry about little things like the deficit, health care, North Korea, Iran and building a wall?
Immigration reform is a ticklish issue; why even tackle it when it is so much nicer just to hang out in plush offices with your buddies where you have a full compliment of servants at your beck and call paid for by the taxpayers of the country.
McConnell and his chums could do a lot more nothing and have fewer worries. They wouldn’t have to travel back to their home states every six years and explain their votes if they didn’t vote on major issues.
It’s surprising that McConnell hasn’t already figured this out.
Bannon and Trump have already picked off a few swamp creatures who have announced they don’t plan to run for reelection.
Nobody leaves the US Senate to spend more time with their family. If the Republicans in the Senate realize that Trump is coming after them, it would give them a huge incentive to get on board or retire from elected office so they can pick up the big bucks in the private sector.
If Trump and Bannon can do it, then in 2018 Trump will have a Senate with a different attitude. McConnell will not be majority leader because his buddies will realize that his ineptitude, which they had considered an asset, is now a liability. They won’t be able to afford to have a do-nothing majority leader. The new Senate should be in favor of electing a new majority leader with some leadership abilities.
If Bannon and Trump fail, then the swamp wins. McConnell will still be majority leader on his death bed when he can barely speak and has no idea what is happening around him, because that is exactly what the swamp wants.
Reading your thoughts on the UCLA players shoplifting in China, I agree that the President was under no obligation to help these young me out of their self imposed legal mess. I was glad that he did, but I realize that it was not at all necessary, and should have been greeted with more gratitude from LaVar Ball. However, your assertion that the players are “just young hoodlums who think the world owes them whatever they want” is a bit unfair.
The players did something incredibly stupid, not to mention illegal, not to further mention embarrassing to their families, university, and nation. But none of them have any previously recorded behavior of this type that I have seen, and none of them seems to have had any previous legal troubles. They seem to be a bit entitled, but that should not be a surprise nor a “shame” as you put it; when young people are constantly catered to, praised, and placed on a pedestal it should come as no surprise that they feel entitled.
But, the players, including LiAngelo Ball, did apologize for their actions and thanked the President for intervening on their behalf (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lFKga1_kVk)
so I don’t know where you got the impression that young Mr. Ball failed to do so; don’t assign the idiocy of Lavar Ball to his son. The son did the right thing, the father did not.
As for the NFL, the league has already reached a $1 billion settlement in the concussion class action suit and has begun making payments to individual players (https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/12/505279156/supreme-court-rejects-challenges-to-nfl-concussion-settlement). The protest controversy has hurt the image of the league, and their new asinine idea to keep players in the locker room during the anthem won’t help, but I don’t think the NFL is facing bankruptcy or total ruin any time soon!
Also, in case you missed it, the NFL is very unlikely