After nine months of the far-left policies of President Joe Biden, the American economy is on the ropes. He inherited an economy moving in the right direction after a year of the pandemic. Unfortunately, he has squandered this momentum by bowing to pressure from the socialist wing of the Democrat Party.
The President started his administration by issuing an executive order shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline. This decision, along with a moratorium on issuing new drilling leases in federal territory, contributed to the country becoming energy dependent once again. With domestic oil production lagging, the Biden administration begged the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil supplies. Predictably, OPEC refused this request.
These measures, coupled with massive spending bills designed to rapidly expand federal debt levels, have resulted in skyrocketing inflation, supply chain problems and weaker than expected labor market gains. Biden will exacerbate this crisis if he is successful in convincing Congress to pass legislation that will add $5 trillion in new federal spending on a host of progressive causes such as combating climate change.
Biden will fund this package by gargantuan tax increases and an army of new Internal Revenue Service agents who will investigate the checking accounts of millions of average Americans with transactions of $600 or more. The goal will be to increase tax revenue to the federal government to pay for the trillions of dollars in unneeded and wasteful spending.
In response to these ongoing troubles, former Obama administration Economic Council Chairman Jason Furman tweeted, “the economic problems we’re facing (inflation, supply chains, …) are high class problems.” This insane tweet was retweeted by the Biden administration’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
Despite the nonsense spouted by Furman and supported by Klain, it is obvious that inflation is the tax that hurts the working class the most. If you are in the “high class” earning millions of dollars per year, inflation is undoubtedly not a problem. These wealthy “high class” Americans can afford an increase in the price of groceries or gasoline, but the working class will have to struggle to pay these additional costs.
Furman and Klain seem oblivious to the difficulties of average Americans. These ivory tower liberals are elitists, who consort with Deep State bureaucrats, leftwing activists, and Democrat Party donors. These progressive bureaucrats have no conception of the economic pain of average Americans.
Over the past year, the “high class” problem of rising prices has resulted in an inflation rate of 5.4%, the worst in 13 years. With wages increasing only 4.6% in the past year, Americans are truly falling further behind. In addition, the inflation rate does not include surging grocery prices and skyrocketing gasoline prices.
In the past year, the price of a gallon of gasoline has increased 50% to $3.27. All these increases impact working class Americans who must shop, commute to work and pay monthly bills with income that is not keeping pace with inflation.
Incredibly, in an interview, Furman declared that inflation was a “good thing.” This asinine comment assuredly does not ring true with struggling Americans who do not believe spending more of their hard-earned money on household necessities is a “good thing.”
Furman compounded his blunders by dismissing the supply chain problems and the backlog of ships waiting to dock at the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as the result of Americans “buying so much stuff.” Yes, this “stuff” is not arriving on our store shelves and this “stuff” might not be available when Americans want to buy their Christmas presents. It is beyond distressing that a top official of the Biden administration endorsed such outrageous comments.
Former Trump administration Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney criticized Klain’s social media tweet. He said that “Your job as Chief of Staff is to make the President look good.” Instead of making Biden “look good,” Klain created another controversy for an administration that is in total disarray.
Mulvaney also noted that if Klain’s tweet indicated a belief that inflation was “a problem only for the rich, then he probably should be fired because that’s just so tone-deaf.” Yes, Biden should fire Klain for displaying total disregard for the economic pain of Americans.
Instead of admitting their mistake and asking for the forgiveness of the American people, the Biden administration circled the wagons again. In a media briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Klain’s post by maintaining the Biden administration has “made progress in the economy and what would be worse in our view is that the unemployment rate was at 10%.”
Of course, an unemployment rate of 10% would be worse than the current rate of 4.8%, but the controversy about Klain’s tweet involved his belief that inflation was a “high class” problem. Every American should realize that such a claim is a lie.
Regarding the current employment situation, the economy created only 194,000 new jobs in September, according to the latest labor report. This was well below forecasts of 500,000 new jobs in September. The nation’s economy is struggling in all areas and the weak labor report is just another troubling sign.
To have such “tone-deaf” comments endorsed by the Biden administration should tell the American people a great deal about the ideology and motivation of this White House. They are as out-of-touch as any administration in American history.
Their goal is to remake America with more federal government control, more spending, more taxes, coupled with less freedom, and less economic power for individuals. This is an administration that values decision making and power at the federal government level and has little to no regard for the middle-class Americans who are the backbone of our economy.
From the vaccine mandates to their economic policies, it is clear this administration has no respect for our constitutional rights. Will this attempt to radically change our country succeed? It depends on whether Americans get involved in the effort to save their country.
Congressional Democrats, with the help of some Republicans, are championing several pieces of legislation to rein in the power of major Big Tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. The goal is to stop antitrust and monopolistic behavior by these tech giants who have enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years.
These bills have been introduced in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, chaired by U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI). One example is H.R. 3816, named the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act.” The bill’s authors contend the legislation “restores competition online and ensures that digital markets are fair and open.” Unfortunately, the bill “restores competition” by using the tool of big government, instead of promoting a market-based economy.
The problem is that liberal Democrats cannot be trusted to promote enhanced access, security, or fairness online. In the view of Russel Dye, Communications Director for House Judiciary Committee Republicans, “Anyone trusting the Democrats to protect conservative speech on the internet is not living in reality.”
These bills are not designed to stop online censorship as Democrats have no interest in conservatives having a robust voice on the internet. In fact, these bills are being championed by politicians such as U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who led the charge to impeach former President Donald Trump. These are also the type of politicians who supported efforts to remove Trump from online platforms and ban many other conservatives from social media.
U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) has a more sensible approach. His bill, the “One Agency Act,” would consolidate enforcement of antitrust violations against Big Tech companies from multiple agencies into the Department of Justice. According to bill co-sponsor, U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA), the “One Agency Act” would “improve the federal government’s ability to police anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech and other major corporations by consolidating antitrust jurisdiction into one agency.”
In contrast to Jordan’s goals, Democrats are advocating legislation that authorizes government agencies to increase regulation and oversight of private companies. This could lead to abusive overregulation. According to Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy for the Conservative Partnership Institute, many conservatives in Congress are “concerned with any proposal that might give the Biden government more authority to harass business along ideological lines.”
This legislation, which has curiously attracted some GOP support, would give broad new powers to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In the Biden administration, both the DOJ and the FTC will likely pursue anti-competitive and anti-business regulations that will be harmful not only to these large corporations, but also to the overall economy. One anonymous Republican congressional aide confided to Axios that this legislation will give the Biden administration “broad powers to rework corporate America in their vision.”
The last thing our country needs is for more of corporate America to imitate the far-left agenda of the Biden administration. Clearly, this legislation is a congressional attempt to garner more power for a progressive administration at the expense of “Big Tech.”
There are plenty of legitimate conservative complaints about Big Tech. There are not enough conservatives employed in these Silicon Valley giants. There is too much of a left-wing agenda at these companies and there is clear bias against conservatives, who are regularly censored. However, these bills are not about content moderation. Instead, the goal will be to foster more oversight by a very liberal administration with an anti-business agenda.
These bills will also hurt small businesses across America by creating new restrictions on how products can be sold on Facebook and Amazon marketplaces. Likewise, millions of consumers who access these small business marketplaces will be harmed as well.
If this legislation becomes law, it will become more difficult to purchase products Americans desire or need for their families or businesses. It will also become arduous for consumers to use online searches and mapping to find small businesses throughout the country.
All these changes would be happening at exactly the wrong time. As COVID-19 remains a major concern around the country, small businesses need the easiest and most efficient ways to reach their customers. Limiting access to their clientele during this crisis will be particularly harmful.
Conservatives do not want more government regulation. They want a fair opportunity to express their views, debate the issues and give contrary opinions to the “lies of the mainstream media.” They want protection of their privacy and security in online transactions, shielded from hacking and other criminal activities.
Republicans in Congress, especially conservative leaders like GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), should not be supporting any legislation that expands the power of government at the expense of a market-oriented economy. These bills add layers of bureaucratic regulation, while limiting personal freedom.
If passed, this legislation will lead to online experiences that will be more time consuming, more expensive, more confusing, and less satisfying. As consumers, Americans want choice, convenience and value and have grown accustomed to the easy access to information provided by these Big Tech companies.
While the legislation will harm American Big Tech companies, it will do nothing to rein in the activities of major Chinese conglomerates that will benefit. It is no surprise that some of the largest American business organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are opposed to the legislation.
Americans enjoy taking advantage of the conveniences provided by their laptops, their phones, and their watches. To prevent these products from becoming obsolete, let’s keep the government, which never met a problem it didn’t make worse, away from these devices.
Almost all of the largest cities in the United States are governed by hard-left Democrats. In fact, there is only one Republican Mayor among the top 15 cities in the country and only three among the 30 largest cities.
All of the problems in our urban areas today are almost exclusively the result of the failed Democratic Party leadership. While previous generations of Democrats might have tried to find bi-partisan solutions to long standing problems, the party’s leaders in 2021 are woke leftists interested only in pushing their radical agenda.
The result has been outmigration, soaring crime rates, a drug epidemic, broken families, failing public schools, an increasing number of blighted properties, high poverty and unemployment rates, an obsession with a race-based agenda and rising antipathy toward law enforcement officers. No wonder people are fleeing our cities in hopes of finding safety and a better quality of life.
Recent headlines show the absolute destruction that is ongoing. In New Orleans, there was another shooting early Saturday morning on Bourbon Street, in the French Quarter, the city’s premier tourist destination. In this case, five people were shot. Sadly, this type of carnage is becoming a regular occurrence in the Crescent City. New Orleans is suffering from a shortage of police officers and an abundance of criminals.
In Philadelphia, police department leaders are lamenting a shortage of officers as few new recruits are coming forward to replace the large number of retirements. Currently, the department is already understaffed, and the problem will only grow worse.
In Los Angeles, crime is skyrocketing while George Gascon, the new woke District Attorney, is pledging to dismantle his office’s Hardcore Gang Division. This decision is baffling to many citizens as statistics show that gang violence has contributed to approximately 60% of the murders in the first 110 days of the year.
Portland, Oregon has been a cesspool of rioting and looting ever since the death of George Floyd made national headlines last Memorial Day. Incredibly, it has never stopped. Last weekend, stores were set ablaze and burglarized. On Friday, a large mob of anarchists spray painted storefronts with graffiti, broke windows, and terrorized diners in a restaurant.
After the latest incidents, the far-left Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, asked citizens to “call the police” if they see protesters “dressed in all black.” It is much too little, much too late for Wheeler, who has been punched and ridiculed by Antifa affiliated thugs. He has not been able to enjoy a meal in a restaurant or even live peacefully at his home. Protesters, dressed in black, staged a sit-in at Wheeler’s condo building and even hurled “bags of rubbish” and other objects at him as he was walking down a street.
The chaos is also continuing in Seattle, the epicenter of Antifa related violence. In this city, the far left created an autonomous zone, attacked a police precinct headquarters, and basically declared war on law abiding citizens. The craziness never stopped due to incompetent and fearful leadership.
This week, Motion Church, based just south of Seattle, was forced to cancel a speech by Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. After the speech was announced, a Seattle Antifa organization threatened to destroy the church.
This threat forced the church’s Pastor, Roger Archer, to make his decision. According to Archer, “cops don’t have the manpower to protect the several properties used by the church.” He claimed, “the soft targets of churches, the elderly, women, children, and law-abiding citizens are vulnerable to anarchists who live free of the fear of reprisal.”
Archer also correctly noted that “What recent history has taught us is there’s an apparent lack of interest at the state level of leadership to protect decent, taxpaying citizens. Those terrorist mobs know that there is no consequence for their lawlessness. They have nothing to lose and nothing to fear.”
Archer is right, while the FBI and Department of Justice are busy arresting and prosecuting all the individuals who entered the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, there have been few, if any, repercussions for those involved in approximately 275 riots that have occurred in Seattle and other cities across the country since last summer.
Americans can thank the woke Mayors and the woke Department of Justice for contributing to the anarchy and destruction on the streets of America’s cities.
This is especially true in New York City, led by hopelessly left-wing Mayor, Bill de Blasio. During his tenure, New York is being decimated by not only the pandemic, but also by rising crime. In 2020, shootings increased by almost 100%, while murders increased by 44%.
One factor in this increase is that New York police officers do not feel any support from the Mayor. There have been multiple incidents, many captured on video, of police officers being viciously attacked by criminals, who face almost no penalties for their actions.
It is no surprise that in 2020, an astounding 5,300 police officers retired or quit. This is a 75% increase from 2019. As more police officers leave, the crime rate will continue to rise, and taxpayers and business will continue to flee. In response, Mayor de Blasio has continued to pander to the far left and failed to address the concerns of police and terrified citizens.
In Minneapolis, weak, woke leftist Mayor Jacob Frey has turned over his city to protesters demanding “justice for George Floyd.” However, the no-go zone created near the intersection where Floyd died has seen an enormous reduction in customers, mostly hurting local African American business owners.
One area restaurant proprietor, Alexander W., told the New York Post that city leaders “left me in danger.” He said, “They locked us up…left us behind…left me with no food, no water, nothing to eat.”
Hopefully, the citizens in these woke hellholes will eventually realize that the best way to improve their plight will be to stop voting for Democratic Party politicians, who deliver only poverty, misery, violence and, ultimately, failure.
President Joe Biden is a shadow of his former self. Long gone is the aggressive, pugnacious, and partisan Democrat who mistreated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his confirmation hearings. Today, Americans see a President who is clearly mentally diminished and is getting worse on a daily basis.
During the campaign, Biden refused to submit to a cognitive test. When asked by CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett if he would take a test, Biden snapped, “No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on man, that’s like saying, before you got in this program, if you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”
Biden refused to take a test because it would show he is in mental decline. His last medical report was issued in December of 2019. While his doctor, Kevin O’Connor of George Washington University, labeled Biden “vigorous” and fit to successfully perform as President, that view was not shared by other experts.
Dr. David Scheiner, the former personal physician for Barack Obama, claimed that Biden was “not a healthy guy.” In fact, U.S. Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the former White House physician for President Obama and President Donald Trump, said Biden “does not have the mental capacity, the cognitive ability to serve as our Commander-in-Chief and head of state.” He also reiterated a concern shared by many Americans, “I really think that he needs some type of cognitive testing before he takes over the reigns as our Commander-in-Chief.”
Unfortunately, no such testing has been conducted in recent months. Americans have no idea when Biden took his last cognitive test. Biden is now President and Americans are being subjected to the uncertainty of a person with serious mental issues serving in the most important position in the world.
Ever since his inauguration, President Biden has been making frequent misstatements and obvious gaffes. The most recent episodes occurred on Friday. Earlier in the day, he forgot to put on a mask after finishing a speech. Then, after a trip to Houston, TX, Biden made a series of troubling statements. He referred to high profile U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as “Shirley.” Also, he mispronounced the name of Congresswoman Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX) twice. After the mistakes, he asked “What am I doing here?”
Ironically, Biden stumbled upon the ultimate question that needs to be answered. In his first two presidential campaigns, Biden was a stunning failure. In 1988, he was forced out of the race after his repeated plagiarism was discovered. In 2008, he bombed again as a presidential candidate, barely registering 1% support.
Biden was rescued politically when Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama chose him for the vice-presidential slot. This selection was not made because of any great chemistry between the two men. Obama chose Biden even though he made a stunningly racist comment. Biden referred to Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Clearly, Biden was chosen because he was born in Pennsylvania and could theoretically appeal to white, working class voters in the Rust Belt. During eight years on the same ticket, President Obama did not value Biden as a Vice-President and never invited him to his personal quarters in the White House for a visit. Biden admitted this embarrassing fact in a recent CNN town hall meeting.
Obama held Biden in such low regard that he did not encourage him to run for President in 2016. Instead, he endorsed Hillary Clinton. In the 2020 election, Obama only endorsed Biden when it was apparent to everyone that he would be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
Obama’s reluctance about Biden extended to many leaders in the Democratic Party. It was only after the surge of U.S. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the presidential primaries that leading Democrats decided to rally around Biden. Top Democrats knew a socialist like Sanders could not win the presidency and they reluctantly backed a mentally compromised Biden as their choice.
In the presidential campaign against Trump, Biden barely left the basement of his home. He held few events and news conferences so he would have few opportunities to stumble. Although he performed adequately during the two presidential debates, he made plenty of other verbal blunders and curious comments during the race.
After the election, his mental decline has become obvious. To cover for his cerebral issues, he has not held a formal press conference and has only been interviewed a few times by friendly reporters. His one town hall meeting was broadcast on CNN, a pro-Biden network that supports his agenda and uses most of its airtime fuming about President Donald Trump and his supporters.
On a typical day, Biden will make a statement or issue an executive order. He will give a speech filled with bumbled or contorted language and then immediately exit the room as reporters are ushered out shouting questions. This is in contrast to President Trump who gave impromptu press conferences constantly.
Sadly, the liberal mainstream press is covering for Biden. If Trump had acted in such a manner during his first five weeks, there would have been a press uproar. Eventually, these mental problems will be too severe to hide and even the liberal media will have to report on these issues.
Biden is mentally deteriorating as most astute observers knew he would. His condition has become so worrisome that 31 House Democrats are demanding the control of the “nuclear football” be removed from the sole authority of the President.
In the background, smiling and patiently waiting, is Vice President Kamala Harris, a socialist with radical views on a range of issues. To bolster her position, she has the full support of former President Obama and his political entourage.
She knows that her ascendancy will come sooner rather than later.
Harris is biding her time, as the countdown has begun.
In the 2020 election, extreme reformers failed miserably. Some House Democrats, such as House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), were furious with the far-left members of their party gaining control of the airwaves and promoting such messages as “Defund the Police” and “End Cash Bail.” They believe this rhetoric cost Democrats many contested congressional seats. In the wake of riots and out of control crime in many urban areas this year, voters sent a message that public safety is a major concern, even in the most liberal areas.
For example, earlier this year, New York had to scale back criminal justice reforms enacted in 2019. At that time, their state legislators passed a measure that eliminated all forms of cash bail for non-violent offenders and forced prosecutors to turn over all evidence within two weeks of arrest.
The result in New York was predictable as repeat offenders released into the community committed horrific crimes. Not only was the public upset, but the prosecutors and police were upset as well. Eventually, the reforms were changed, led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both liberal Democrats. Thankfully, cash bail was returned for a variety of crimes, while prosecutors were given over a month to provide their evidence. The new rules went into effect in July of 2020.
In the most liberal state in the nation, California, voters passed a variety of criminal justice reform measures in November. Thus, funding will be shifted from police to social services, oversight of law enforcement will increase, sentences will not be increased for petty crimes and parolees will be given the right to vote. However, on one issue important to extreme reformers, the voters were clear, cash bail, which guarantees that defendants appear in court, will remain.
In a lopsided vote, 56.4% of California voters rejected Proposition 25, which would have ended cash bail and replaced it with an algorithm threat assessment that would determine whether or not a defendant would be a flight risk or show up for court proceedings. This new process would have possibly cost the taxpayers of California hundreds of millions of dollars to implement. More importantly, it would have subjected the citizens to unnecessary danger. There would be no assurance that the defendants would appear in court to answer the charges against them. Many fugitives would become wanted fugitives under this new system, which is comparable to what happened in New York.
In New Orleans, Louisiana’s most liberal city, voters soundly rejected candidates running on an extreme reform agenda promoted by a group called PAC for Justice. This is notable because Republicans only comprise 10% of the electorate in New Orleans.
The motto of these seven progressive candidates was to “Flip the Bench.” All the candidates were previously public defenders and supported a platform that included eliminating or reducing the use of the bail system, removing discretion from judges to hold defendants pre-trial and ending any fees or fines paid by defendants who plead guilty or are convicted for their crimes.
Of the seven candidates, only two were victorious, and it is entirely possible that the reason for their victory was not their affiliation with PAC for Justice. According to Gambit Weekly, both victorious candidates started campaigning two years before the election and had earned support from many organizations and stakeholders far beyond the “Flip the Bench” campaign.
The five candidates supported by the PAC for Justice lost even though they outspent their opponents by a wide margin. Another factor that may have impacted the outcome for the “Flip the Bench” slate was that the founder of the movement was Norris Henderson, who was convicted of a heinous crime and has repeatedly claimed that he was innocent and exonerated. Despite his controversial background, he was able to solicit massive donations from philanthropic groups and major donors from across the country.
Along with the PAC for Justice, two other progressive organizations, Working Families Together and NOLA Defenders for Equal Justice, lent their support to the seven “Flip the Bench” candidates. The groups financed slick mailers, billboards, and a coordinated media campaign for these candidates. On Election Day, paid workers distributed professional flyers at high traffic spots and near voting precincts.
Despite a huge financial advantage, five of the seven candidates running on this ticket lost, with a meager 37% average vote total. These candidates advocated such extreme positions that they were not supported by the leading Democrats in New Orleans such as Mayor LaToya Cantrell and U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond.
A major reason for their defeat was a third-party campaign which highlighted the background of Norris Henderson in a series of social media ads, as well as television and radio commercials. In their TV commercials, viewers were reminded that Henderson was found guilty of murdering a teenage girl while she was riding her bike to school. Instead of being wrongly convicted as he claimed, the ads emphasized that he was convicted twice of the crime and never exonerated. It asked voters to “remember the Flip the Bench candidates who have forgotten Henderson’s murder victim.”
Another factor in the election was the rapidly rising crime rate in New Orleans. The murder rate in 2020 will far exceed last year’s total. In fact, the 2019 murder rate was surpassed in September of this year. With crime on the increase, even the voters of New Orleans, which are overwhelmingly Democratic, did not want to support “Flip the Bench” candidates because they advocated extreme positions that would not hold offenders accountable.
With such decisive results in New Orleans, California and other areas, voters have sent a clear message to political leaders and future candidates. While voters want a justice system that is fair and constructive, they will not embrace an agenda that lacks accountability.
Measures such as defunding police, ending cash bail and removing discretion from elected judges to keep communities safe are not supported by a substantial majority of voters. This is true even in California and New York, our most liberal states, and in New Orleans, one of our most liberal cities.
Over the last few decades, Americans have enjoyed an ever-increasing love affair with the games of college and professional football. Eventually, the National Football League (NFL) surpassed Major League Baseball to become the country’s top sports attraction.
Unfortunately, in recent years, political activism has interfered with Americans being able to enjoy the game. It started to move in a disturbing direction in 2016 when San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to protest during the playing of the National Anthem before the start of each game. His kneeling protest was adopted by other players, causing an uproar in the country. The practice continued in 2017 but diminished during the last two seasons.
Everything changed with the death of George Floyd in May of this year. Street protests have led to shootings, rioting, looting and the destruction of property worth billions of dollars. Even more troubling, police officers and protesters have been injured and killed.
These protests have migrated into many sporting events, including the game of football, both in the NFL and in the collegiate level, where the top conference is the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The current policy of the SEC is for all players to stay in the locker room while the National Anthem is performed, but the protests have been expressed in other ways.
Prior to the start of Saturday’s Ole Miss vs. Florida match-up, players and coaches took a knee “to acknowledge the unrest in our country surrounding the treatment of African Americans. We will continue to support social justice efforts as members of the Southeastern Conference and members of our respective communities.”
Vanderbilt University players displayed social messages on their helmets. There are 15 approved messages, including “Black Lives Matter,” and “No Justice No Peace.” Players for the universities of Georgia and Arkansas wore “equality” patches on their jerseys.
While college football players protested, NFL players have spent the past several weeks expressing outrage at police brutality and the treatment of African Americans in our country. The league decided to play the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the “Black National Anthem,” prior to the start of all the games during the first week.
During the first few weeks of the season, a variety of players have protested either by remaining in the locker room during pre-game ceremonies or by raising a fist or kneeling while the National Anthem was performed. These actions were approved by the NFL, which changed its stance on the issue.
In fact, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for the league. He said, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
Along with Goodell’s apology and on-field symbolism, the NFL became financially involved in the issue by pledging $250 million in donations over a ten-year period to combat “systemic racism.”
Undoubtedly, these actions are popular with players and those who believe in social justice activism. However, there are plenty of fans who feel otherwise, and will take out their frustration by not watching football on television.
Diminished ratings will severely hurt the NFL during this pandemic because the league’s revenues will be much lower since stadium attendance is either extremely limited or not permitted at all.
As the 2020 season has now moved into week three, it seems that television viewers are leaving in droves. For last Thursday night’s NFL game, the television ratings sank to a four year low with only 5.43 million viewers, barely edging the viewership for the ABC show Celebrity Family Feud.
This entire year has been a ratings disaster for the NFL with both Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football experiencing massive declines in viewership.
There is a simple explanation for why this is occurring. Millions of Americans want to watch football as a distraction from their everyday troubles. For these viewers, the last thing they want is to be reminded of the national political battles on the football field or during league sponsored lectures masquerading as commercials.
If athletes want to get involved in politics, they should run for elected office. If they want to be involved in the criminal justice system, they should become police officers, lawyers, or judges. If they want to become social justice warriors, they should sign up to work as counselors or volunteer with a community based non-profit organization helping those in need. Otherwise, they can play football, or other sports, and do their activism on their own time, as opposed to doing it while hard working Americans are watching on television.
Unless the NFL and college football change course, the television viewership will never return to full strength. In fact, it is already too late for some viewers left forever because of their disgust with the politicization of athletics.
This exact scenario worried the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, who speculated that the activism may hurt the NFL’s football ratings. He noted that the majority of his team’s fans recognize “what this great country is and what this flag stands for.”
Yes, Mr. Jones, not only your fans, but most NFL fans also appreciate the greatness of this country and our American Flag. As we can see from the decline in ratings, social justice activism is not as popular as good old-fashioned patriotism.
It is an uneasy scenario for any Louisiana resident. Imagine you are heading to a hospital for medical care. Since you are heading right to the hospital, that probably means it is for an emergency. A team of doctors, nurses, and support staff check you in, figure out what’s wrong, and deliver the time-sensitive treatment you need; as they do, you’re thankful that you have health insurance which covers emergency treatment.
Unfortunately, when you open your mailbox a few weeks later, you discover an outrageous bill for some aspect of your hospital visit, such as the charges for the emergency room doctor or the anesthesiologist. This bill is not for a co-pay, or payment against your deductible, but the full price tag of that service. It could be thousands of dollars in charges for health care services that you were sure would be covered.
This situation is what is called surprise medical billing. For more than one year, our U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy has been working tirelessly to generate support among his colleagues to stop it. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry is fighting back. Their high-priced lobbyists are targeting Senator Cassidy to weaken his bill, known as the STOP Surprise Medical Billing Act.
Surprise medical bills are most often the result of a billing dispute between insurance companies and the doctors and hospitals who deliver treatment. In theory, these disagreements should not negatively impact the patient, but the reality is quite different as too many people are getting stuck with exorbitant bills.
When insurers refuse to cover an out-of-network provider, patients get caught in the middle. This is one of the problems addressed by Senator Cassidy’s STOP Surprise Billing Act. It would remove patients from the dispute completely. Due to this benefit and many others, Cassidy has recruited 30 bipartisan sponsors for his legislation.
In fact, Senator Cassidy is spearheading the effort to end these surprise attacks on our pocketbooks by adopting Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR), which encourages all parties to come together for arbitration. Hopefully, insurers and healthcare providers will come to an agreement; however, if they cannot resolve the dispute themselves it gets decided through an independent mediator. Everyone gets fair treatment.
This commonsense approach is being opposed by insurance companies, which are funneling millions of dollars into lobbying efforts. Their self-serving goal is to create a system that benefits them, and their leading proponent is Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). He is pressuring our Senator Cassidy to abandon IDR for a system of reimbursement that favors rates set by the insurance company.
Their favored approach is known as “benchmarking.” It sets reimbursement rates for out-of-network providers to in-network reimbursement rates. It also grants complete negotiating leverage to insurance companies.
Under this plan, emboldened insurers would have the ability to drive down reimbursement rates and put enormous financial strain on doctors and hospitals. Rural and urban health care providers, who do not have enough resources to make up for the lost revenue, would become particularly vulnerable.
If enacted, Senator Alexander’s plan would threaten countless doctors and hospitals with the risk of financial ruin. In addition, at the time when Americans need healthcare the most, hospitals may be forced to close and salaries for critical care workers may be cut as much as 20 percent or more. Most importantly, it will lead to less access to healthcare for patients.
Amid a pandemic, Alexander’s plan is not a solution. Instead, it will make our current crisis much worse.
We must encourage Senator Cassidy to hold firm to his current legislation, which has a companion bill in the House. His approach is the best for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers. It is time we solved the problem which is negatively impacting so many people in Louisiana.
IDR is the “fix” forward to protect patients from surprise medical bills while keeping secure the health access and affordability our families need. Please tell Senator and Dr. Bill Cassidy to stand by his bill, which ends surprise medical billing the right way.
Americans used to be able to enjoy sporting events without being lectured about their political beliefs. It used to be a nice diversion from the pressures of everyday life. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today, sports are just one more area of life that has been overtaken by social justice warriors.
In the two months since George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, the world has changed significantly. For example, major businesses in America are fully onboard with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as almost 300 top corporations have pledged support for the cause. Even though the founders of BLM admitted their “Marxist training,” no corporations have backed down from supporting the controversial aims of the organization.
The woke social justice warriors also control Hollywood, the media, most politicians, and the entire world of professional sports. On the opening night of Major League Soccer, players wore BLM shirts and either knelt or raised their fists during the National Anthem. African American driver Bubba Wallace drove a BLM car in NASCAR, which banned Confederate flags at their events.
Across the woke world of sports, fans will witness a variety of social justice messages this year. They will be featured on jerseys and, in the case of the NBA, the words “Black Lives Matter” were painted courtside in Orlando.
The NFL will surely see plenty of kneeling during the National Anthem this season. Also, in week one, the “Black National Anthem” will be played for audiences prior to the National Anthem.
The latest professional sport to begin an abbreviated season is Major League Baseball (MLB). This season, support for BLM will be widespread. The Boston Red Sox proudly displayed a Black Lives Matter billboard near Fenway Park.
Gabe Kapler, the manager of the San Francisco Giants, expressed support for his players kneeling during the National Anthem. According to Kapler, “I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well.”
Several Giants players knelt while the National Anthem was played during an exhibition game. It seems likely the kneeling will continue. Several members of the Cincinnati Reds also knelt during an exhibition game.
In response, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!” While the President obviously is speaking for millions of Americans, his views are not shared by MLB. The organization tweeted “It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.” Another MLB tweet read, “supporting human rights is not political.”
Some MLB fans may disagree, for the league did not feature many kneelers prior to this season. This will be a new cause for MLB players this season and it remains to be seen how fans will react.
Will all this social justice messaging be well received by average fans? It will be interesting to see if ratings decline like they did in the 2017 NFL season when players started to kneel during the National Anthem. This year much more is happening after the George Floyd incident, but the question remains, are sporting events the appropriate forum?
As usual, Democrats will stop at nothing to blame President Trump for almost everything. With the world anxiously watching the spread of the coronavirus, the Democrats have decided that President Trump is responsible. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are blaming the President for not allocating enough money to combat the spread of the disease.
The initial request for $2.5 billion in funding will be used to fight the spread of the disease in the country. Not surprisingly, Democrats want to allocate more funding because they believe spending more money is the answer to almost every problem. Typically, the solutions do not come from spending more money, but spending the funds in a wise and efficient manner.
There has been one death in the United States attributed to the coronavirus and 22 have contracted the disease. Fortunately, most of those afflicted with coronavirus are recovering. In a country of 330 million people, it is a very positive development that the spread of the disease, at this point, has been very limited.
Of course, this good news has not stopped Democrats, like presidential candidate Tom Steyer, from making asinine comments. He believes the President’s response to this health threat has been weak and delayed and that it will result in a Hurricane Katrina type of political disaster. On Friday, in an email to supporters, Steyer claimed “we are witnessing a total failure on the part of the White House right now that risks a Katrina level disaster for our country.”
For those of us who survived Hurricane Katrina, it is disgraceful for any politician to use such a tragedy to score political points. The deadly storm killed over 1,800 people, but it was a disaster that was man-made in many respects. The federal levees designed to protect New Orleans failed and 80% of the city flooded. It was a failure at all levels of government: local, state and national.
In contrast, President Trump has acted aggressively to deal with the coronavirus threat. He wisely shut down travel from China in January, despite criticism that it was a racist policy. According to Vice President Mike Pence, “It simply had never been done before by any previous administration.” With the outbreak spreading, the President has also issued travel restrictions to Iran, Italy and South Korea.
He established a task force in January to handle issues resulting from the coronavirus and has appointed Vice President Pence to oversee the federal government’s response. The task force has been meeting regularly and issuing recommendations to the President. On Monday, he will be meeting with the country’s largest pharmaceutical companies on ways to expedite the development of a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.
Instead of focusing their ire at President Trump, who has been moving rapidly to deal with the crisis, Democrats and all Americans should be furious at communist China. The disease started in their country. It may have resulted from a leak from a microbiology laboratory in Wuhan, China, not in a food market as initially advertised. China has not been forthcoming with details on the origin of the disease and have not allowed representatives of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) access to their country to assist in fighting the spread of the virus.
Communist nations like China are historically secretive and repressive. Conspiracy theorists may even see some benefit for China to have this disease spread in their country and throughout the world. The massive protests in Hong Kong have stopped, while world economic conditions have deteriorated. If this leads to an economic downturn in the United States, it may harm the political standing of President Trump. With a weakened economy, the Democratic presidential nominee may win in November, a result that will certainly not displease the communist leaders of China.
They dislike Donald Trump because, unlike previous Presidents, he stood up to China on important economic issues. He has demanded trade deals be renegotiated and that tariffs be placed on Chinese goods. If he is replaced by a Democratic President, business as usual with China will resume and the communist nation will continue to enjoy the benefits of unfair trade deals and business practices. Prior to President Trump, our horrific trade agreements allowed the Chinese government to realize tremendous profits that were used to modernize their military and build their country’s economy.
It is essential that the American people do not blame President Trump for what China has done and do not listen to shameless Democrats who are trying to use this threat to their political advantage. It is another reason why the stakes are extremely high for not only our country, but for the entire world, in this upcoming presidential election.
Since the beginning of the Ringside Politics TV and radio shows, we have enjoyed an annual Thanksgiving tradition of awarding our “Turkey of the Year” to recognize individuals who distinguished themselves in a particularly foolish way. It seems appropriate since turkeys are commonly regarded as one of the most dim-witted animals on the planet.
The winners are selected by our viewers and listeners and each year it is a robust competition with many deserving celebrities and politicians. Previous winners have included both Democrats and Republicans, so it is truly a bi-partisan award. Here is a partial listing of some of our past top turkeys: filmmaker Michael Moore, former House Speakers John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, former President Barack Obama and former New Orleans Mayors Mitch Landrieu and, current federal inmate, Ray Nagin.
In 2018, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) was the clear choice for Turkey of the Year. Ryan is an establishment Republican who was a very weak House Speaker. His major accomplishment was the passage of the tax cut bill. He failed to deliver on an array of important issues such as border security and entitlement reform. He did not pursue an aggressive or conservative agenda. In fact, his weak leadership was one of the major reasons that the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections. This led to the impeachment nightmare and the constant harassment of President Donald Trump, which probably delighted Ryan who take advantage of every opportunity to criticize the President.
This year, our viewers and listeners nominated several dozen individuals and groups, all with outstanding credentials to become our Ringside Politics Turkey of the Year. Nevertheless, the clear winner with the most votes and the best choice for our 2019 award is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Schiff has been suffering from a horrible case of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” for years. Ever since the President’s election, Schiff has been obsessed with his impeachment. He was so driven to destroy the President that he allowed some Russian comedians to prank him on a phone call promising to provide pictures of “naked Trump.”
After the President released the transcript of his call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Schiff realized that the details were too benign, so he fabricated the contents of the call in a “parody” speech to the American people from his seat as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
For weeks, he conducted secret impeachment hearings and interviewed witnesses in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. It was so biased and unfair that Republicans stormed into the hearings to protest the proceedings.
Eventually, the public phase of the hearings was announced, and all the news media eagerly anticipated the “Schiff Show.” In fact, all the major broadcast and cable news networks televised the hearings. Instead of producing bombshell testimony implicating the President in a crime, Schiff presented to the American people a collection of witnesses who relied on hearsay and did not ever directly talk to the President. Some of the witnesses had never met the President.
The result of the process is that millions of Americans were turned off by the entire stunt. Despite coverage on all the broadcast and cable news networks, only 13.1 million people watched the first day of the hearings. This is a sharp decline from the audience of over 20 million Americans who watched the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings or the 19 million Americans who watched the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.
It seems the American people realize there are major problems with the impeachment process. The inquiry was approved by the House of Representatives without a single vote from a Republican member, while two Democrats voted with the Republicans against launching the inquiry.
Schiff has devoted all his committee’s attention to this witch hunt and failed miserably. After two weeks of public hearings on the impeachment of President Trump, the result is that more people are sympathetic of President Trump and fewer people want to impeach him.
The American people are becoming fatigued with this unfair partisan process. According to a recent poll by Emerson College, support for impeachment has fallen from 48% to only 43% in the last month, while opposition has increased from 44% to 45%. The Emerson College poll also showed that the President’s approval rating has increased from 43% to 48% in the last month.
While Schiff and his colleagues are focused on impeachment, the American people want Congress to address other issues. In a recent piece published in Vanity Fair, Ken Stern examined poll results of independent voters who ranked impeachment last among 11 issues. These independent voters were primarily concerned with fiscal health, the budget deficit, infrastructure among other longstanding concerns. Instead of dealing with these issues, Schiff and other House Democrats are trying to destroy President Trump.
Eventually, Schiff’s antics may cause a backlash against House Democrats, especially for those 31 members who represent districts won by Trump in the 2016 election.
Our country will soon know the outcome of impeachment and how it will impact the 2020 election. In the meantime, we know Congressman Adam Schiff is helping the very person he wants to destroy, President Trump. With such a misguided and failed mission, Schiff is a perfect choice for our 2019 Ringside Politics Turkey of the Year.
Ever since he burst upon the political scene, the political establishment has been targeting Donald Trump. First, they attempted to deny him the nomination, then they worked overtime to deliver the election to Hillary Clinton.
A phony dossier on Trump was prepared by Christopher Steele, a former British spy, using Russian sources. It was funded by the Clinton campaign and used to obtain approval for FISA warrants targeting Carter Page, a volunteer Trump campaign foreign policy adviser.
This sophisticated spying operation investigating “Russia collusion” failed to defeat Donald Trump and he still won the presidency against all odds. Thereafter, there was an effort to thwart his transition team as the spying operation continued into the start of his administration.
Donald Trump was framed by opponents both within and outside of his administration. After he fired FBI Director James Comey, a lying Deep State political operative, President Trump had to withstand a “witch hunt” led by a conflicted and biased Special Counsel Robert Mueller. When the Mueller report was completed, it was determined there was no “Russian collusion” and obstruction of justice could not be proved. Thus, President Trump was innocent because he certainly was not proven guilty.
It took two years and $40 million and a full-scale investigation from Mueller’s team of attorneys, filled with Democratic Party donors and supporters of Hillary Clinton, to determine that President Trump was not guilty of any crimes.
After the failed Special Counsel report was published and testimony of Mueller was a disaster for the Democrats, Trump’s enemies began searching for their next method of attack, all to destroy Donald Trump.
They have tried to investigate his family members, his businesses, his non-profit foundation, his tax returns and his supposed relationship with a porn star and a Playboy centerfold. None of the probes succeeded and the President continued to score approval ratings over 50%, according to the nation’s most reputable pollster, Scott Rasmussen.
After searching through everything related to Donald Trump and launching six separate House investigations, Democrats believe they have struck gold with the intelligence community whistle-blower complaint about the President’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. Never mind that the whistleblower never heard the call or even read the transcript. The complaint was filed even though the Ukrainian Foreign Minister claimed the call was fine and no aid was withheld from the country.
The demands grew until the President released the transcript of the call on Wednesday. It showed the President asking about a prosecutor who was relieved of his duties after investigating the activities of Burisma, a Ukrainian oil company, that paid Hunter Biden, the former Vice President’s son, $50,000 per month.
In the call, the President said, “The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”
Not only does it sound “horrible” to the President, but to many Americans as well. Why was Hunter Biden cashing in on a relationship with Ukraine? He had no expertise in the oil business, and he had no specialized knowledge of Ukraine. His main qualification was that his father was Vice President of the United States. Imagine the liberal media uproar if one of Donald Trump’s sons had signed a similarly lucrative deal with a foreign oil company.
During his tenure as the Obama administration point person on Ukraine, former Vice President Joe Biden did demand that prosecutor Victor Shokin be relieved of his duties right before he was about to interview Hunter Biden. In a 2018 speech for the publication Foreign Affairs, Joe Biden boasted that he pressured the government to fire the prosecutor. He said, “I’m telling you; you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch (laughter). He got fired and they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
For Joe Biden, someone “solid” was a prosecutor who would not investigate his son. Once again, Trump is investigated for potentially illegal activity being committed by his Democratic Party opponents. Only Hillary Clinton colluded with Russians, yet Trump was investigated. Only Joe Biden improperly pressured Ukraine, yet President Trump will probably be impeached. The effort is being led Democrats in the House of Representatives who are obsessed with destroying President Trump and could not care less about serving their constituents.
No wonder so many Americans have lost faith in our political and judicial systems. Everything is upside down and the one who is continually mistreated and unfairly investigated, President Donald Trump, is the person trying to “drain the swamp.” Unfortunately, the corrupt denizens of the swamp still wield incredible power and they want to keep it. Get ready America, another political battle royal is about to begin.
During the eight years Barack Obama served as President of the United States, the Democratic Party was united. He was the coalescing force that held the party together. By bringing in Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State at the start of his administration, Obama healed the wounds from the bruising 2008 presidential race. During his re-election campaign of 2012, Obama was not challenged for the Democratic presidential nomination and he won another term as President.
The Democratic Party unity started falling apart during the 2016 presidential race. The party was split between the progressive supporters of socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and the more traditional Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton. The split intensified after it was revealed that CNN political analyst Donna Brazile gave Clinton questions in advance of a debate. It was also discovered that Clinton’s campaign basically controlled the Democratic National Committee’s fundraising operation and had a lock on super delegates prior to her securing the party’s nomination.
Basically, Sanders never had a chance to win the party’s nomination in 2016. While many of the Senator’s followers eventually supported Clinton in the general election, a sizeable number either flipped to Trump, voted for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein or boycotted the election altogether and did not vote. It was certainly a contributing factor in Donald Trump winning the presidential election and shocking the political world by securing 306 electoral votes in the biggest upset in U.S. history.
As a new presidential election has begun, the Democrats are splintered among almost two dozen candidates. The members of the more traditional wing of the party are backing former Vice President Joe Biden, while the progressives are either supporting Sanders again, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) or one of the other left-wing candidates.
While Biden was the initial favorite in the early polls, his lead has been dramatically reduced since a poor debate performance. He has also been hurt by a string of gaffes that have exposed his flaws as a candidate once again. Biden has never been a very good presidential candidate and suffered overwhelming losses in his previous races in 1988 and 2008.
To blunt the criticism and stop the loss of support, Biden is working tirelessly to switch his positions on an array of issues to satisfy the angry progressives who don’t trust him or any old guard Democrat. For example, Biden withdrew his four-decade support of the Hyde amendment, which prevents federal dollars being spent on abortions. Biden changed his position after being condemned by Hollywood stars like Alyssa Milano and other progressives.
The Democratic Party split is apparent on many levels. New progressives are not only more liberal than Biden, Clinton and others among the elite of the Democratic Party, but this new movement also includes more women, more minorities and are younger.
The multi-faceted rupture is also quite apparent among Democrats in Congress. Relations are horrible between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the four progressive “women of color” who were elected in 2018: Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Talib (D-MI), and Ayanna Presley (D-MA).
These progressive women are not very supportive of Pelosi because they feel she has been too moderate and has been targeting them for unfair criticism. Ocasio-Cortez also questioned whether the Speaker assigned her to active committees and sub-committees to keep her “busy.”
This conflict reached a boiling point over disagreements related to a bipartisan border spending bill. The group of four, which Ocasio-Cortez calls her “squad” voted against the bill. Pelosi said that despite “their public whatever and their Twitter world” they only mustered four votes in opposition to the bill. According to Pelosi, this “squad” is only “four people” without much support in Congress, although they have a large social media following.
This insult led Ocasio-Cortez to label Pelosi a virtual racist. In an interview with The Washington Post, she complained that Pelosi’s criticism was “just outright disrespectful…the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
The division will surely continue because Pelosi represents the type of Democratic Party Ocasio-Cortez and her “squad” are trying to destroy. It is the same schism that is apparent in the presidential race.
If Biden wins the nomination, with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as the top Democrats in Congress, the progressives will be completely shut out of the power positions in the party once again. At that point, there is real potential for the party to split apart. The progressive wing does not want to be appeased; they want control of the Democratic Party.
This Democratic Party infighting is great news for President Donald Trump. The longer it continues, the better his chances will be to win a convincing re-election victory in 2020.