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.
While President Donald Trump is producing tremendous results for the United States economy, some left-wing analysts expect him to actually lose the 2020 election. According to polls by liberal media outlets CNN and Morning Consult/Politico, former Vice President Joe Biden is comfortably ahead of the President in a hypothetical 2020 presidential match-up.
While other pollsters show the President doing better in terms of his approval rating and getting credit for the strong economy, it seems his re-election bid in 2020 will be much closer than it otherwise should be. In reality, with an economy this strong, President Trump should be on the path for a landslide re-election.
Unfortunately, in our country today, the Democratic Party has some powerful allies who boost the political standing of their horrific candidates. The only reason the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee may even have a chance in the 2020 election is due to the tireless work of these powerful supporters.
Obviously, the mainstream news media has consistently been promoting the Democratic Party for decades. This includes the three major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, their cable news partners, CNN and MSNBC, and a bevy of powerful newspapers led by such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as news services such as Reuters and The Associated Press.
They are joined by the “Deep State” bureaucrats who are in powerful positions throughout our government and the ultra-progressive culture warriors that control Hollywood and our entertainment industry.
Despite the incredible influence of these powerful Democratic Party allies, they pale in comparison to the new “Masters of the Universe” who control several huge social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. This increasingly important ally for Democrats is getting ready to exert tremendous influence in the 2020 election. It can be argued that the left-wing bias of social media helped the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 election. The “blue wave” in the recently concluded mid-terms is a mere appetizer for what the social media giants are preparing for the 2020 presidential election.
Their most important tool is censorship and they utilize that weapon on a regular basis. Every day, social media platforms ban conservative activists and media figures from their sites. This week, Alex Jones, controversial talk show host and commentator, was banned by Facebook. This follows his removal from other platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. Along with Jones, Facebook banned conservative commentators Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and others in an all-out attack on “far-right” and “fringe” personalities. Facebook even deemed the popular videos of conservative personalities Diamond and Silk as “unsafe to the community.”
While some of the opinions espoused by these commentators may be controversial, conspiratorial or completely inaccurate, they should be protected by the free speech rights enshrined in the First Amendment. The fact that these protections are eroding in our society is downright frightening. An Orwellian suppression of free speech is not only a disservice to the American people, it also helps promote the prevailing liberal ideology that has not been banned by either social media or their partners in the mainstream news media.
The social media agenda is apparent to any objective observer. They will be working overtime to assist the Democratic Party between now and the election next November. The examples of such assistance are plentiful. For the past week, Hollywood conservative James Woods, a rare breed indeed, has been banned by Twitter. In response, President Trump tweeted an important question, “How can it be possible that James Woods (and many others), a strong but responsible Conservative voice, is banned from Twitter?”
Sadly, it is possible because these social media outlets do not care about fairness or freedom of speech. They only care about power and promoting their left-wing ideology. To win the 2020 election, it will be essential for these social media titans to continue to silence those voices who may be promoting President Trump or providing an alternative narrative to the liberal propaganda being promulgated by the allies of the Democratic Party.
The assault on conservative values is pervasive and dangerous. It not only includes the First Amendment, but the Second Amendment as well. On Saturday, Donald Trump, Jr. raised concerns about Google’s rejection of an advertising request by a pro-hunting group, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Trump, Jr. tweeted that Google was “kowtowing to left-wingers & blacklisting hunters from advertising on their platform. But we’re really supposed to believe that Big Tech isn’t biased?”
Clearly, “Big Tech” is biased against the right to bear arms and the free speech rights of a hunting group with a long tradition and a large following in Montana. Fortunately, some members of Congress are fighting back. On Friday, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) sent a letter to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai insisting on a reversal of the advertising ban. It states, “We, therefore, demand you reverse these prohibitions and request that Google reexamine their policy interpretations on prohibiting hunting promotions. We also request a meeting to discuss the importance of Montana’s and the United States’ hunting heritage.”
Hopefully, these lawmakers will be able to convince Google to reverse their policy; however, it is just one battle in a continuing war with the social media giants. It is time for hundreds of members of Congress and political leaders across the country to challenge the daily assaults on the rights established for Americans in our all-important first two constitutional amendments.
If not, more our precious constitutional rights will be forfeited until the day arrives when those who strongly believe in these amendments may be imprisoned for espousing “dangerous” ideas. Liberty loving Americans must begin to immediately engage in this monumental struggle for it is about much more than the 2020 election, it is actually a fight for the future survival of our free nation.
It looks like another heavyweight Democratic presidential contender is on the verge of entering the race. Former Vice President Joe Biden is moving closer to making an official announcement that he will be a candidate in 2020.
If he runs, Biden will start at the top of the polls. The latest Emerson national poll has Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont tied at 26%, leading the large field of candidates.
The 70+ year old frontrunners are followed by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California with 12% support and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke with 11% in the poll of Democratic primary voters.
In recent weeks, Sanders, O’Rourke and Harris have climbed in national support, while Biden has been stagnant. Once thought to be a strong favorite in the race, Biden is now the object of ridicule. At Thursday’s Bermuda Executive Forum in New York City, billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg mocked Biden. He said, “Joe Biden went out and apologized for being male, over 50, white. He apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anti-crime bill, which if the liberals ever read it, most of the things they like is in that bill. They should have loved that. But they didn’t even bother to read it. You are anti-crime, you must be anti-populist.”
As Biden inches closer to an announcement, other curious rumors have been floated. Since he is 76 years-old, it was reported through anonymous sources that Biden was considering a pledge to serve only one term as President. It was also leaked that Biden had promised the position of his vice-presidential running mate to former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, an African American female, who is three decades younger. This trial balloon was later dismissed as a “false” rumor by one of his aides.
It is curious that so many Democratic Party insiders want Biden to run for President again. He has never done well in this type of campaign. His presidential races in 1988 and 2008 were miserable failures. Of course, he was elected Vice President, but Barack Obama would have won with anyone on the ticket. He chose Biden because it was a “safe” choice, a rather boring, older, white liberal with no chance of overshadowing his boss.
As Vice President, Biden was relatively non-controversial, but he did make a number of embarrassing gaffes, which added to his reputation as someone who regularly makes cringe worthy comments. Running against Biden will be very easy as his opponents will be able to highlight his long history of bloopers.
He also has a history of being very touchy with women and young girls at public events. This inappropriate behavior might become a major issue in this #MeToo generation.
Biden relishes his role as a “tough guy” and he has threatened to punch out President Trump on numerous occasions. In reality, he is a Washington D.C. insider who has led an extremely privileged life as a United States Senator. He served for six terms, starting in the United States Senate at the young age of 29.
Biden cannot relate to blue collar Americans who have had to work tirelessly to provide for their families. As a United States Senator, Biden has never had to work much at all. It is one of the easiest and cushiest jobs in the world. He has spent his working life as a member of the “World’s Most Exclusive Club,” not exactly great experience for a candidate trying to win Rust Belt states in 2020.
As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he played a major role in harassing good Republican Supreme Court nominees like Justice Clarence Thomas. When the Democratic Party needed an attack dog, Joe Biden was always willing to fulfill the role. For example, in the Vice-Presidential debate in 2012, Biden delivered an unhinged performance, barely giving his GOP opponent, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a chance to respond.
In this year of progressive and socialist Democrats, Biden will find it difficult to connect with the angry mob of liberals who will be voting in the upcoming primaries. Despite his recent comment that he has the “most progressive record of anybody running” Biden has a typical liberal Democrat background.
Unlike the socialists who dominate the Democratic Party today, Biden has never advocated a 90% upper tax rate, eliminating private health insurance, infanticide, allowing 16-year-old children the right to vote, the $93 trillion Green New Deal, etc.
He is an old school politician which might not reflect where the Democratic Party is today. Biden will certainly garner media attention and raise funds, but he will find it difficult to excite millennial and progressive voters, the base of the new radicalized Democratic Party.
In his address to the nation, President Trump once again offered an olive branch to the Democrats. In exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall, he gave his support for a three-year extension of protection for the 700,000 immigrants who arrived in the country as children. This group was protected from deportation by former President Obama in his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
His previous offers to negotiate and compromise have been rejected by Democrats, who are being held captive by their far-left wing, which supports open borders. The President may soon come to the realization that the only way to end the government shutdown is to give up on a deal with the Democrats and declare a national emergency and start building the wall on his own.
With the 2020 presidential campaign already in motion, President Trump recognizes the importance of this issue to his chances of winning another term. It has been his most significant campaign pledge since the very beginning. In his announcement speech, Trump focused on the problem of illegal immigration. He famously said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” These remarks led to a swift backlash as he was universally denounced by the news media, Democratic and Republican Party leaders, Macy’s, Univision, NBC and other corporate giants.
Despite the uproar, Trump did not apologize, and this launched his campaign as a candidate who was not only fighting against political correctness, but also one who understood the problems of open borders. For decades, politicians of both parties had promised action in curtailing illegal immigration; however, they never delivered anything but broken promises.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that granted amnesty to approximately 3 million illegal aliens. In exchange for supporting this measure, Reagan was promised that the bill’s “keystone” was a provision that would eliminate “job opportunities which draw illegal aliens here.” The bill created fines up to $10,000 per case for employers who “knowingly” hired illegal aliens.
Unfortunately, Reagan was sold a bill of goods as amnesty was awarded, but the crackdown on employers never materialized. Thus, the country’s illegal immigration population has grown from 3 million in 1986 to at least 22 million today, according to a September 2018 study released by Yale University and MIT.
President Trump realizes that the open border situation has become a full-blown crisis, while Democrats and their partners in the news media claim it is only “manufactured.” One group that truly recognizes the problem of illegal immigration and knows it is not “manufactured” is working class Americans, who have been negatively impacted for decades. These are the people who have lost their jobs or seen their wages reduced. While the business elites from Wall Street pushed unchecked expansion of illegal immigration and open borders, tax paying Americans on Main Street wanted our government to address a growing problem.
After decades of meaningless rhetoric, Donald Trump entered the political arena and effectively championed the issue of border security and a wall to win the presidency and shock the so-called experts. It is an issue tied to Donald Trump’s success, but, if he does not deliver on his promise, it will be the anchor that will bring down his presidency and destroy his chances for re-election. His large and loyal base of supporters is demanding that the President stand firm on his pledge to build a border wall despite the government shutdown.
A recent ABC News poll revealed that 82% of Americans have not been personally impacted by the government shutdown, so the media focus on the horrible consequences of the President’s position is not ringing true. Predictably, weak Republicans in Congress are starting to cave and demand the President reopen the government and deal with the border wall at a later time. This advice is political suicide for President Trump for he will never recover from breaking his campaign promise. If anyone doubts this outcome, just look at the 1992 presidential campaign when George H.W. Bush lost his re-election bid. A major reason for the defeat was that he reneged on his oft-repeated pledge, “Read my lips, no new taxes!”
A more important reason to stand firm on the wall today is that it will never be built if Trump relents to the pressure. Without a border wall, illegal immigrants will continue to stream into the country and Democrats will benefit as Republican states such as Texas will turn into liberal strongholds. This is exactly what happened in California and it is in the process of happening in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. If this Democrat Party aspiration is ever realized, Republicans will have no chance of winning the presidency again and the dreams of a border wall will never be fulfilled.
The stakes in this battle are huge for the future of the Trump presidency, the Republican Party, and especially the country. For all of these reasons, the President needs to stand firm, withstand the pressure and, finally, build the wall, one way or another.
Throughout our 20 years of Ringside Politics TV and radio programs, we have established an annual contest of awarding our “Turkey of the Year.” This Thanksgiving tradition was started to recognize those individuals who distinguished themselves in a particularly idiotic way. It seems appropriate since turkeys are commonly regarded as one of the dumbest animals on the planet.
Every year, the competition is fierce for there are many deserving celebrities and politicians. Previous winners have included filmmaker Michael Moore, former House Speakers John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, former President Barack Obama and former New Orleans Mayor, current federal inmate, Ray Nagin.
We have recognized both Republicans and Democrats, men and women. Last year, then Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu was the consensus choice by placing his selfish political aspirations over the well-being of his city. He removed historic monuments without a vote of the people and used the issue to garner national publicity, while ignoring long standing problems such as violent crime, poor drainage and horrific street conditions.
This year, our radio 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 2018 award is House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Ryan is an establishment Republican who has been a very weak House Speaker. He has not pursued an aggressive congressional agenda and has none of the leadership qualities of a successful House Speaker, such as Newt Gingrich, who campaigned on the ambitious Contract with America. Gingrich help deliver capital gains tax cuts, welfare reform and produced the first budget surplus in decades. In the mid-term election, Ryan barely campaigned and strongly advocated few, if any real issues.
What really motivates Ryan is the opportunity to criticize Donald Trump. Ever since Trump burst upon the political scene, Ryan has relished occasions to appear before the media and make critical comments. After Trump’s 2005 “locker room” remarks to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush were improperly released to the public, Ryan told fellow Republicans that he would no longer “defend Trump.” Thereafter, he cancelled a joint appearance with Trump, claiming he was “sickened” by the comments. Instead of standing by his party’s presidential candidate and condemning the media for releasing a tape that was secretly recorded, this so-called GOP leader abandoned his party’s presidential nominee.
Of course, President Trump achieved victory without any help from Ryan. In fact, he has been working to “Make America Great Again” without much assistance from the top congressional leader of the Republican Party. Ryan has not championed many of the major issues on the President’s agenda such as the funding of a border wall, even though it was a prime reason why Republicans won the White House and maintained control of Congress in the 2016 election.
It was no surprise when Ryan deserted his party and his colleagues by announcing his retirement from Congress several months before the end of his term. An honorable man would have immediately resigned, allowing his party an opportunity to select another House Speaker before the mid-term election. Instead, Ryan remained in place, offering no leadership and withholding funding from candidates who were involved in close races. The result was a bloodbath for the House Republicans as Democrats took back control of the House and won close to 40 new seats.
Ryan’s leadership was pathetic and his fundraising for GOP candidates was anemic. While finding little time to show support for President Trump and his agenda, Ryan never missed chances to belittle his Commander-in-Chief in the media. For example, in the aftermath of the President’s comments at the news conference following the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ryan eagerly offered his criticism. He was upset that Trump was reluctant to accept the findings of U.S. intelligence services, the same groups which had surveilled a member of his campaign team during and after the 2016 presidential election.
As the caravan of migrants headed toward the U.S. border, the President expressed his support to use executive action to eliminate birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens. Ryan criticized the idea and said it was akin to what Barack Obama did as President. In response, President Trump fumed that “Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!”
Sadly, Ryan did not focus on holding the House in this mid-term election, so now the next Speaker will be liberal Democrat Nancy Pelosi. The blame for this debacle does not rest with President Trump, who won major victories for several Republican U.S. Senate candidates, but directly with Paul Ryan who leaves his post with few victories. He also leaves his Republican Party in the minority in the House and in a severely weakened position. Clearly, Paul Ryan is the right choice for our 2018 Ringside Politics Turkey of the Year.