The Jury Talks Back

7/27/2019

Nick Sandman’s Lawsuit Against The Washington Post Is Dismissed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:14 am

[guest post by Dana]

Remember Nick Sandmann? He was the 16 year old Covington High School student who wore a red Make America Great hat and a so called smirk during a face-to-face encounter with Native American Nathan Phillips. Video of their meet went viral, and internet lynch mobs and social media users attacked Sandmann as an arrogant, white and Catholic Trump supporter being disrespectful to an elder tribesman. The accusation stuck in spite of later-released video showing the fuller story.

Attorneys for Sandmann later filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post for $250 million for compensatory and punitive damages:

The lawsuit claims that the Post “wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C.”

The lawsuit adds that the Post engaged in “a modern-day form of McCarthyism” and “ignored basic journalist standards.”

“They didn’t investigate it,” Wood said. “They got it wrong. They published the false narrative and did not publish the truth.”

Yesterday it was reported that U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman dismissed the lawsuit. Responding to Sandmann and his attorney’s argument that that in its original story, The Post had put forward that Sandmann “had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips and engaged in racist taunts,” Judge Bertelsman wrote that “this is not supported by the plain languages in the article, which states none of these things”:

As the Court explained at oral argument on this motion, in modern libel law there are many affirmative defenses, even for blames based on defamatory statements. These defenses are calculated to protect defendants, especially the press, from strict liability.

The defense that a statement of opinion is not actionable protects freedom of speech and the press guaranteed by the First Amendment.

More from the ruling:

The Court accepts Sandmann’s statement that, when he was standing motionless in the confrontation with Phillips, his intent was to calm the situation and not to impede or block anyone,” the judge wrote.

“However, Phillips did not see it that way. He concluded that he was being ‘blocked’ and not allowed to ‘retreat.’ He passed the conclusions on to The Post. They may have been erroneous, but, as discussed above, they are opinion protected by the First Amendment,” Bertelsman wrote. “And The Post is not liable for publishing these opinions.”

The suit against the Washington Post was the first of three suits filed against media outlets. The other two pending suits are against CNN and NBC.

The Sandmann family plans to appeal.

–Dana

7/26/2019

Three House Republicans Announce This Week That They Will Not Seek Re-election

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:49 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Actually, in less than one week these members announced their retirements: Rep. Martha Roby’s (AL), Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI) and Rep. Pete Olson (TX):

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Rep. Roby, who won Alabama’s Republican primary runoff in spite of retracting her endorsement of then-candidate Donald Trump after the Access Hollywood tape was made public, will say in a soon-to-be published op-ed:

Over the last nine years, we have put Alabama first and delivered results for the American people, and we are not finished yet. While my name will not be on the ballot in 2020, I remain committed to continuing the fight for Alabama and the people I represent in the Second District until I cast my last vote on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Until January 2021, I will continue the important work we started over nine years ago.

Rep. Roby’s district is solidly red, and there doesn’t seem to be any concern about that changing.

Rep. Mitchell, who will be stepping down after serving two terms, elaborated on his decision:

The congressman first told Politico that he wants to spend more time with his family, including his 9-year-old son, who has special needs.

But he also said he’s tired of partisan bickering and a lack of legislative progress. “You look at the rhetoric and vitriol, it overwhelms policy, politics becomes the norm,” he told Politico. “Everything’s about politics. Everything’s about an election. And at some point of time, that’s not why I came here.”

… “Rhetoric overwhelms policy and politics consumes much of the oxygen in this city.”

Most recently, Rep. Mitchell, who represents a safely Republican district, was critical of President Trump and his “go back” tweet directed at four Democratic congresswomen:

“We must be better than comments like these,” he tweeted. “I share the political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders.”

In a statement announcing his retirement, Rep. Olson said:

“As someone who has long advocated for policies that put our families first, it’s time for me to take my own advice and be a more consistent presence to help our family.”

“It’s time for another citizen-legislator to take up this mission,” he said. “Not to make a career out of politics, but to help lead in the cause of empowering our people, defending our liberties, and making sure America remains the greatest nation in history.”

Rep. Olson was also critical of the President and his recent inflammatory tweets:

The Tweet President Trump posted over the weekend about fellow Members of Congress are not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people in Texas 22. We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments.

Rep. Olson’s district is a bit trickier. He won the election by a mere 5 points against his 2018 Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni, who plans to run again in 2020. Rep. Olson’s win was down 19 points from his previous win two years earlier. Though it has been a solidly Republican district, it could become a toss up, given the shift in demographics:

The rapidly growing southwest Houston suburbs are undergoing a rapid demographic shift: the 22nd CD, once held by Tom DeLay, is now just 40 percent white (down from 45 percent in 2010) and voted for President Trump by just 52 percent to 44 percent, a third of Mitt Romney’s 25 point margin in 2012. The district is 26 percent Hispanic, 19 percent Asian and 12 percent black, and 43 percent of adults hold college degrees, among the highest in the state.

Additionally:

Democrats are planning to make Texas a major House battleground in 2020 — and some Republicans are already starting to feel the pressure.

Of course, behind the announcements comes speculation that runs the gamut from ho-hum, business as usual… to oh no, everyone’s jumping ship! (It must be exhausting to be a GOP member for this reason alone: By now, everyone knows that their hand will be publicly forced by yet another incendiary comment from the President, and they will have to decide whether to risk his political wrath by calling him out on it when it’s obviously the right thing to do, or choose to remain silent, thus showing little to no moral courage.)

–Dana

Hollywood Actress: Shut-Up About Protecting Unborn Babies If You Want To Execute Vicious Child Killers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

I don’t usually care what Hollywood folk think about issues because, why?? However, in light of the federal government’s decision to resume capital punishment after nearly two decades, it’s interesting to see the huge disconnect when it comes to abortion, particularly third-trimester abortion and capital punishment. The fight against putting to death those found guilty while vigorously fighting for the right to kill those who are innocent is a popular position. Just look at what some of the Democratic presidential candidates said when the decision to resume capital punishment was made public.

Anyway, here’s the lead-in to actress/activist Alyssa Milano’s damning tweet: Milano was called out for supporting Planned Parenthood: “Murdered like ya PLANNED PARENTHOOD? Murdered like THAT? Is that what you mean?”

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Milano responded:

Your administration just reinstated the death penalty and scheduled 5 executions of *actual* people. You’ve lost the right to pull your, “pro-life” narrative-talking-point- bullshit with me.

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In Milano’s twisted view, it’s perfectly reasonable to draw an equivalence between viciously depraved criminals and innocent, unborn babies.

Let’s take a look at what those “five *actual* people” did to end up on the short-list for execution. [Ed. Because of how gruesome and disturbing the details of their crimes are, I am not publishing them in full. However, you can go to the links provided at the end of each snapshot and read for yourself. But be forewarned: some details are simply unspeakable.]

Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group, murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou. On May 4, 1999, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found Lee guilty of numerous offenses, including three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and he was sentenced to death. Lee’s execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 9, 2019. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Lezmond Mitchell stabbed to death a 63-year-old grandmother and forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her lifeless body for a 30 to 40-mile drive. Mitchell then slit the girl’s throat twice, crushed her head with 20-pound rocks, and severed and buried both victims’ heads and hands. On May 8, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona found Mitchell guilty of numerous offenses, including first degree murder, felony murder, and carjacking resulting in murder, and he was sentenced to death. Mitchell’s execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 11, 2019. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Wesley Ira Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned, and dumped the young girl’s body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane. On Nov. 5, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri found Purkey guilty of kidnapping a child resulting in the child’s death, and he was sentenced to death. Purkey’s execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 13, 2019. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Alfred Bourgeois physically and emotionally tortured, sexually molested, and then beat to death his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. On March 16, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found Bourgeois guilty of multiple offenses, including murder, and he was sentenced to death. Bourgeois’ execution is scheduled to occur on Jan. 13, 2020. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

Dustin Lee Honken shot and killed five people—two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters. On Oct. 14, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa found Honken guilty of numerous offenses, including five counts of murder during the course of a continuing criminal enterprise, and he was sentenced to death. Honken’s execution is scheduled to occur on Jan. 15, 2020. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Now I want to share with you what that the unborn baby did to deserve the death penalty:

It’s ironic that innocent babies in the womb are killed through more brutal and barbaric means than those who used brutal and barbaric means to kill innocent people.

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–Dana

7/25/2019

Arizona Democrat Works To Hasten Removal Of Migrants Without Valid Claim For Asylum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Immigration advocates are strongly opposing this effort by Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz), as expected:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is pushing for the implementation of a pilot program along the U.S.-Mexico border that aims to more quickly screen and remove migrant families without valid legal claims for asylum in the United States.

Sinema, D-Ariz., joined a bipartisan group with eight other senators who sent a letter Wednesday to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan describing their proposed program, dubbed “Operation Safe Return.”

How the program would work:

The program would allow the Department of Homeland Security to deport certain migrants within 15 days, according to the letter, and would help alleviate overcrowding at border facilities, Sinema said.

“This pilot program would apply to families who aren’t claiming ‘credible fear,’ which of course is the first threshold in seeking asylum,” Sinema told The Arizona Republic. “If someone says ‘I left my country because I can’t make a living,’ (or) ‘it’s hard to take care of my family’ — that’s what we call an economic migrant.”

Sinema, who is one of the creators of the program, explained how the program came about:

Sinema said she came up with the idea for the pilot program in response to a meeting with White House and Trump administration officials who she said were focused on changing asylum laws and challenging court rulings like the Flores Settlement Agreement, dictating how the government treats certain migrants.

“I just felt those weren’t the right answers,” Sinema added. “We wanted to solve the problem. We wanted to protect the asylum process for valid applicants … and we want to respect the Flores decision.”

And speaking of Arizona Democrats bucking their Party on immigration, U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly flashed his own independent streak when he voiced opposition to making Tuscon a sanctuary city:

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Mark Kelly blasted an initiative to make Tucson a “sanctuary city,” saying that he will not vote for the measure.

“(I’m) strongly against this, I’m not going to vote for it,” Kelly said Tuesday, “I think it’s a mistake.”

In November, voters will decide whether Tucson declares itself Arizona’s first “sanctuary city,” which limits local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Kelly… said cities and states should follow federal laws.

“This is contrary to that so I’m not in favor of that. I think it’s also detrimental to the City of Tucson in that it could impact some federal funding it receives,” he said.

Ironically, this stand puts him on the same page as his Republican opponent, Sen. Martha McSally.

But Kelly didn’t just buck Democrats on sanctuary city policies: He also said “no” to extending health care to illegal immigrants, a position all of the Democratic presidential candidates support:

‘We’re having a hard time providing good healthcare for all Americans,” Kelly said, “providing free healthcare coverage for folks who are here illegally, I’m just against that.”

Moreover, the Democratic candidate also said he was not in favor of decriminalizing illegal border crossings:

Kelly disagreed with the more progressive candidates in the presidential field who want to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

“I am not in favor of decriminalizing that it makes border security more difficult,” he said.

I’m liking these Arizona Democrats.

–Dana

UN Recognizes Israel As Only Country To Violate Women’s Rights

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 12:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The hell:

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan were among members of the UN’s 54-nation economic and social council, a principal organ of the world body, who voted to single out and condemn Israel yesterday as the only country in the world that violates women’s rights.

The Jewish state was harshly and repeatedly condemned in a resolution, adopted 40 to 2 with 9 abstentions and 3 absent (see breakdown below), for allegedly being the “major obstacle” for Palestinian women “with regard to their advancement, self-reliance, and integration in the development of their society.”

Out of 20 items on the UN Economic and Social Council’s 2018-2019 agenda, only one — Item No. 16 against Israel — focuses on condemning a specific country. All the other focus areas concern global topics such as disaster relief assistance and the use of science and technology for development.

The resolution completely ignores how Palestinian women’s rights are impacted by their own governing authorities—the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza—nor does it mention how women are discriminated against within patriarchal Palestinian society.

Moreover, ECOSOC concluded its annual session by ignoring the world’s worst abusers of women’s rights, refusing to pass a single resolution on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, or DR Congo, all of which ranked in the top ten worst countries in last year’s Global Gender Gap Report, produced by the World Economic Forum.

Here is the breakdown of the vote on condemning Israel for violating women’s rights:

YES: Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Benin, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, South Korea, Russia, St. Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Yemen.

NO: United States and Canada

ABSTAIN: Brazil, Cameroon, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Romania, Togo, Ukraine, and United Kingdom

Tell me this organization isn’t just one festering cesspool of unabashed hypocrisy. Some things never change. They just get worse.

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(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

About This Ridiculous Argument that Mueller Inverted the Burden of Proof

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:09 am

I watched some of the Mueller hearings yesterday and realized I have nothing in common with the Republicans any more. They were all up there trying to pretend that this was a giant witch hunt and waxing indignant about how poor Trump was the most oppressed guy ever. Example:

“Mr. Mueller, I want to focus on one word in your report. It’s the second to the last word. It’s “exonerate.”… What I’m putting up here is the United States code. This is where the attorney general gets his power, and the Constitution, and the annotated cases of these, which we’ve searched. We even went to your law school.… I thought maybe your law school teaches it differently. Mr. Mueller, nowhere in these is there a process or description on “exonerate.”… You don’t have the power or authority to exonerate Trump. You have no more power to declare him exonerated than you have the power to declare him Anderson Cooper.” Congressman Michael Turner, R-Ohio

Thanks to Bugg for the quote.

“Let’s pretend different rules don’t apply to the President and then feign indignation” Congressyapping is my favorite Congressyapping. Mueller twisted himself into a pretzel applying the rule that says Presidents can’t be indicted. He took that rule it so seriously that when he had a provable obstruction case — one that would get anyone else on Earth indicted — he not only didn’t indict, but he won’t even say the obvious: that he would have indicted absent that rule. But, not wanting to send the false suggestion that he failed to indict because he lacked the evidence, he said that he could not exonerate the president.

Then people like Michael Turner (consistent with his surname) turned that perhaps overly careful example of rule-following on its head, and converted it into an example of Mueller supposedly being unfair to Trump.

And the people who love conservative talk radio applauded.

If you can’t see that Mueller is bending over backwards to be fair to Trump here, you might be a redneck hopeless partisan.

Don’t fret. You have plenty of company.

Let me put it a different way: if you really think Mueller is being unfair because he’s not applying all the standard rules to Trump regarding the burden of proof, then I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say: let’s apply all the standard rules to Trump — including the one that says that guilty people get prosecuted. How about we apply the rule when a prosecutor builds a mountain of evidence against you showing your obstruction of justice, you get indicted. Let’s see how well that works out for poor oppressed Mr. Victim of a Witchhunt then.

Until then, save your complaints. They don’t convince anyone whose judgment has not been clouded by partisan politics.

7/24/2019

Environmentalists Superglue Themselves To Capitol Building Because They’ve Run Out Of Ideas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

There’s just all kinds of stupid happening:

Environmental activists blocked congressional staff and lawmakers after super gluing themselves to doors and each other in a building on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

The Washington, DC, chapter of Extinction Rebellion glued their hands to one another and to door knobs, forming chains around entryways and exits at the basement in a building for House lawmakers.

The protesters hung signs around themselves imitating emergency notices and calling for the passage of the Green New Deal.

“DECLARE CLIMATE EMERGENCY,” one sign said.

“We’re sorry. Due to the CLIMATE EMERGENCY Congress is shut down until sufficient action is taken to address the crisis,” another sign said.

The superglue used in the protest comes with a a warning about making contact with the skin. And if you’ve accidentally gotten some superglue on your fingers when using it, you know how unbelievably dumb it is to willingly put it all over your hands for a cheap stunt that likely had no outcome other than to annoy people inconvenienced by such foolish and selfish behavior.

–Dana

President Trump To Students: I Have The Right To Do Whatever I Want As President

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 12:25 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump addressed an audience of young people at the Turning Point USA Action Summit yesterday. In his remarks, he brought up the “Russian witch hunt,” telling the teen students that the Constitution gives him carte blanche to do anything wants as the President:

… Give me $40 million. Give me unlimited FBI, unlimited interviews, unlimited — they interviewed 500 people. Listen to this: Two thousand five hundred subpoenas. They did everything. Their collusion; no collusion. They have no collusion. (Applause.)

Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President. But I don’t even talk about that because they did a report and there was no obstruction. After looking at it, our great Attorney General read it. He’s a total professional. He said, “There’s nothing here. There’s no obstruction.” So they referenced, “No obstruction.” So you have no collusion, no obstruction, and yet it goes on.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has made such a claim.

About his assertion that the President has “the right” to do whatever he wants:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

I really hope the young people in the audience take the time to read Article II themselves, so that they can see that it also provides for a president being removed from office “via impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Go figure.

Anyway, I’m sure supporters will say that Trump didn’t really mean that, or that I’m taking his words out of context, or that this is just yet another attack on Trump. And that’s fine. But before you do, read the entirety of his comments (linked above) or watch the video below. Also, consider the possibility that he has no clue about what he is saying.


(At the 49:26 mark)

-Dana

President Trump Sues To Prevent Obtainment of His Tax Records

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:04 am

[guest post by Dana]

I posted earlier this month about Gov. Cuomo signing a bill that would allow to congressional committees to access the president’s state tax returns: “The bill requires state tax officials to release the president’s state returns for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” on the request of the chair of one of three congressional committees: the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation.”

Unsurprisingly, President Trump is suing the state over the tax return law, calling it “political retribution”:

“We have filed a lawsuit today in our ongoing efforts to end presidential harassment. The targeting of the president by the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York Attorney General, and a New York tax official violates Article 1 of the US Constitution,” Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement. “The harassment tactics lack a legitimate legislative purpose. The actions taken by the House and New York officials are nothing more than political retribution.”

The state of New York plans to fight this lawsuit:

“President Trump has spent his career hiding behind lawsuits, but, as New York’s chief law enforcement officer, I can assure him that no one is above the law — not even the president of the United States,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “The TRUST Act will shine a light on the president’s finances and finally offer transparency to millions of Americans yearning to know the truth. We have all the confidence that this law is legal and we will vigorously defend it against any court challenge.”

Some are questioning the state’s pursuit of Trump’s tax returns:

What legitimate legislative or law enforcement purpose is served by demanding the release of the President’s tax returns, either federal or state? Congress is charged with providing oversight, but that doesn’t include going on politically driven fishing expeditions.

While it’s true that most presidents and presidential candidates release at least some of their returns voluntarily, it’s never been mandatory. And our tax laws are set up in such a way as to take great pains to keep everyone’s returns private except under extraordinary circumstances. If the citizens of the nation truly think it’s a terrible thing for a presidential candidate not to voluntarily disclose their returns, the remedy is to not vote for them or vote them out at the next election.

So what specific crime does the committee believe has taken place and how would Donald Trump’s tax returns help resolve the situation? All we’ve heard thus far is some vague references to the emoluments clause, but for a person who owns a chain of international hotels, that’s a ridiculous charge since it couldn’t possibly be avoided.

–Dana

7/23/2019

Tribal Affiliation And Mob Mentality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This:

Which brings us to the problem of trying to have a productive conversation with people who are caught up in the vast sprawling electronic apparatus of self-moronization. It does not matter what anybody actually has said or written. The rage-monkeys have an idea about what it is they want you to have said, or what people like you are supposed to think about x or y. I cannot count how many times I have had some person respond to something critical I’ve written about some lefty fruitcake with “What about Trump, huh?” When I point out that, among other things, I wrote a little book called The Case against Trump, the response is: “Well, Republicans . . .” And then when I point out that I am not one of those, either, the retreat into ever-vaguer generality continues incrementally. The fundamental problem is that what’s going on in “conversations” such as these is not conversation at all but a juvenile status-adjustment ritual. These people do not care about ideas — they care about who sits at which cafeteria table in the vast junior high school of American popular culture.

Kevin D. Williamson is a great writer.

–Dana

Post-Budget Deal Rant: What Is the Point of the Republican Party?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:04 am

DRJ had a headline about the new budget deal but I want to talk about what it says about the Republican party. New York Times:

White House and congressional negotiators reached accord on a two-year budget on Monday that would raise spending by $320 billion over existing caps and allow the government to keep borrowing, most likely averting a fiscal crisis but splashing still more red ink on an already surging deficit.

. . . .

[I]t is another sign that a Capitol once consumed by fiscal worries simply no longer cares — even as the government’s deficit approaches $1 trillion a year. Still, the accord would lift the debt ceiling high enough to allow the government to keep borrowing for two more years, punting the next showdown past the 2020 elections.

“It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add,” said David M. McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates free enterprise.

. . . .

But with the top-line figures all but secured, the deal would be the end of the Budget Control Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law after House Republicans pushed the government to the brink of defaulting on its debt. That law, once seen as the Republicans’ crowning achievement in the Obama era, set strict spending caps, enforced with automatic spending cuts.

. . .

And this time around, the approach of the debt limit hardly caused a ripple of consternation about the rising red ink. “I’ve seen no evidence that it’s even being discussed,” said Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma. “That’s the hard part for me.”

Meantime, the federal debt has ballooned to $22 trillion. Despite healthy economic growth, the federal deficit for this fiscal year has reached $747 billion with two months to go — a 23 percent increase from the year before.

“It appears that Congress and the president have just given up on their jobs,” said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which blasted out a statement arguing that the tentative deal “may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.”

My question is: what is the point of the Republican party any more? The TEA party supposedly consisted of people outraged by the size of government, who wanted to return to our founding principles so much that middle-aged white guys were going around in tri-cornered hats. Now those people are all Trumpers, and it looks like the support for small government was a passing fancy — just one of several ways to trigger the libs.

Republicans are OK on the budget (relatively speaking; in absolute terms they are still terrible) when a Democrat is in office. Witness the Budget Control Act, which Republicans crammed down Obama’s throat. But they spend like drunken sailors when the GOP takes over the Oval Office. Can you imagine Republicans forcing the Budget Control Act on Trump?

My core concerns for the federal government are 1) excellent judges who apply the law, 2) preserving the free market, and 3) shrinking the debt and deficit by reducing spending and the size of government. (I know: quaint, right?) Donald Trump is good on judges. I always said he would be. But with his love for tariffs, he is horrible on free markets. And he is giving Obama and Bush a run for their money in the race for being the president who cares least about spending.

Budgets like this mortgage our children’s future. They are an outrage and should motivate any sensible person to stand up, scream, and throw the bums out.

That doesn’t mean I will vote Democrat. As long as the president picks judges, I can’t go that far. (Turn over picking judges to Congress and I might vote for Joe Biden to get Trump the hell out of there. But that will never happen.) So I’ll be sitting out the next presidential election.

But this is not what I signed up for when I became a Republican some 30 years ago.

It is, however, precisely what I expected when I left the party over three years ago.

This party stands for owning the libs and for nothing else. This budget deal proves it. And aside from a handful of sensible people, nobody will care. Meanwhile, our kids are screwed.

This is why people become disgusted with Washington D.C. To hell with the people involved in this travesty. Each and every one of them.

7/22/2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: Paging Bernie Sanders!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:20 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, JVW wrote about Bernie Sanders’ unionized staffers demanding a “living wage” of $15 per hour. Today, Rep. Rashida Tlaib upped the ante:

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) called for a $20 federal minimum wage less than a week after the House of Representatives voted to raise the wage to $15 over the next six years.

A video from America Rising shows Tlaib making the remarks at an event for One Fair Wage, an organization that lobbies to raise the federal minimum tipped wage. Tlaib said the $15 minimum wage demand needs to be updated to reflect the rising price of food.

“By the way, when we started it, it should have been $15. Now I think it should be $20,” she said.

“It should be $20 an hour, $18 to $20 at this point,” she repeated, continuing to claim that the price of food such as milk and eggs has increased.

Reality bites:

Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creators Network, told the Free Beacon, “America can’t afford a $15 minimum wage, never mind $20.”

Ortiz also pointed to recent move by the Bernie Sanders campaign to cut hours for its staff as an example of the economic impact wage increases have.

“It’s a shame Rep. Tlaib didn’t hear that Bernie Sanders is cutting his staff’s hours to meet their demands for a $15 minimum wage,” Ortiz said. “If she won’t listen to job creators about the unintended consequences of a higher minimum wage, maybe she’ll listen to a socialist politician.”

We’ve seen how mandatory wage hikes have forced layoffs, reduction in work hours, businesses closing their doors, and an ever-increasing focus on developing automation to replace the live worker. This in turn leaves the once employed, now unemployed. Here’s a look at the real life consequences of raising the minimum wage.

Last week, House Democrats passed the “Raise the Wage Act”, which would increase the federal minimum to $15 an hour by 2024, and after 2025 the minimum wage would be tied to inflation.

My question as well, especially as the next round of debates are just a week away. Tlaib’s timing couldn’t be better:

Democratic candidates, including the relative centrist Joe Biden, have come out in favor of a $15 minimum wage. But given how in the previous debate Democrats came out in favor of radical proposals including providing free health insurance to illegal immigrants that had never really been part of the national conversation, it would be interesting to see if any of the candidates would feel the need to join Tlaib’s call for a $20 per hour. If they do not support a $20 minimum wage, it would be interesting to hear all of them articulate on what basis they support a $15 minimum wage while believing a $20 minimum wage would be too high.

[I]s there a level at which Democrats believe the government could set a minimum wage that would be so high that the negative effects would outweigh the positive effects?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

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