Send in the clowns

… Where are the clowns. Send in the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here.” – Stephen Sondheim, 1973

By Steve Woodward

It is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to avoid opinion columnists who are so wrong on so many topics. Their renderings ramble on and on, littered with unsubstantiated statistics and unsourced assertions. I’m encountering these diatribes despite never, ever reading op-ed pages in The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Who needs those formerly credible publications when one can find the same extremes of anti-Republican, anti-Trump, pro-left vitriol in The Pilot? The April 28 edition showcased Robert Levy observing that illegal immigrants pouring across the southern border are the reason for the nation’s robust economy; William Shaw praising North Carolina teachers, who are not union members, for planning a union-style, May 1 March on Raleigh that will force school closures; and Don Tortorice lamenting Donald Trump’s strategy to rein in China’s intellectual property theft by imposing tariffs on its U.S. exports to trigger, for once, negotiations.

Levy’s tirade veered way off the rails in several passages, but this is the laugh-out-loud portion that is pure fantasy: “(Illegal immigrants in the workplace keep) employment numbers artificially high and unemployment, especially for blacks and Hispanics, artificially low.” Using this premise, we are supposed to believe that Democrats, who deliberately do nothing to stop illegal immigration, are nonetheless willing to let Trump get all of the credit for historically low unemployment and wage growth. Who does Levy think he is the kidding? Democrats would rather their voters (citizens, ex-cons and aliens) receive an entitlement than a job, every time.

Shaw cheers teachers who will abandon their responsibilities to swarm downtown Raleigh on May 1 during a demonstration coordinated by the National Education Association’s state affiliate (the NEA doggedly maintains presence in states without teachers’ unions). Teacher pay in North Carolina has risen steadily five consecutive years but “while progress is being made, teachers should not expect greater largesse from the General Assembly if they silence their voices.” What about the voices of parents who wonder why teacher pay always must go up regardless of student performance in the classroom? What about kids who can’t read in middle school?

In an April 29 column for RealClearEducation.com, Terry Stoops of the The John Locke Foundation observes that despite endless calls for higher teacher pay “results from state achievement tests administered last year show that only 56 percent of elementary and middle school students were proficient in math, and just 57 percent were proficient in reading.”

Why do teachers refuse to demonstrate to students that pay rises on the tide of merit, not entitlement? The students should be the ones in the streets.

Tortorice’s column is written like a textbook lecture, perhaps to be expected of a former professor at the Law School of the College of William and Mary. It is full of eye-glazing statistics and purports that tariffs are never paid by the country on which they are imposed. But Tortorice misses the essential point of the Trump-era tariffs on China. This so-called trade war is moving the two countries toward a long-term trade agreement with a goal of eliminating tariffs in both directions over time. Talks, potentially the final round, are ongoing as we speak. The imbalanced global trade system has been entrenched for too long and would never be challenged without a period of economic pain.

The columnist insists American taxpayers are paying for tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, yet the U.S. economy is growing every quarter (per a 3.2% GDP uptick in Q1), consumer confidence moved higher in a recent survey and inflation fears are off the table. Americans with a long view would rather reach an agreement that deters China from stealing intellectual property and gradually reduces tariffs.

This trio of diversions from reality pale in comparison to the unhinged column by ex-Reagan speechwriter and decades long pundit Peggy Noonan in the April 27-28 weekend editions of The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the innumerable ways in which the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have rewarded American citizens for their votes in 2016, Noonan is incensed that Trump has failed because he did not seek to pacify members of the Washington establishment (she calls them “the old ambassadors) who were willing to give him a chance. If, that is, he came around. Which Trump did not, thankfully.

“One by one,” she writes, “the ambassadors shut down and turned away. … They feared Madness of King George-ism. They’d come to think the president was, irredeemably, a screwball.”

The Swamp guards the status quo at any cost, but Trump is the one who is dangerous? The ambassadors, when they were younger, were equally skeptical of the fitness for the presidency of Noonan’s old boss, Ronald Reagan. Even when Americans cheered a booming 1980s economy long overdue, the ambassadors scowled and ordered another martini.

Now, here we are 30 years later. Noonan wrote beautiful words which once complimented the warm delivery of President Reagan. But her recent column was delivered like a manifesto written from a cabin in the woods after the meds ran out.

“There is an unarticulated wish out there to return to some past in which things were deeply imperfect and certainly divided but on some level tranquil, and not half mad,” wrote Noonan, who we assume uses “out there” and the Upper East Side of New York interchangeably, and chose not to name the deeply imperfect Barack Obama.

She reveals herself as just another horrified, well-heeled bystander peering over her bifocals, who longs for the return of a ruling elite in Washington and is incapable of understanding that this is just the opposite of what ordinary Americans between the coasts desire and will vote again to avoid in 2020 and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Tiger

By Steve Woodward

Joining millions of television viewers as golf legend Tiger Woods defied insurmountable odds to win his fifth Masters green jacket, 14 years after claiming his fourth, was intensely nostalgic.

I love the game of golf. Yet Tiger’s Masters resurgence had nothing to do with golf. Close your eyes. It’s 2005. Tiger was invincible. America was great, the indispensable nation. Our kids were still kids. Our backs were not stiff and sore. The media was, mostly, committed to journalistic integrity. Saddam Hussein was defeated in Iraq. The U.S. economy had roared back from the dot-com bubble. 9/11 still united us as a nation. George W. Bush had begun his second term as our 43rd President.

Tiger 2019
Tiger Woods wins fifth Masters.

Less than two decades ago, when Tiger Woods was the undisputed No. 1 golfer in the world, we took so much for granted that today, in 2019, is up for grabs, in jeopardy of demise.

Marriage was defined, as through the ages, as a union between a man and a woman. Gay marriage was not legally recognized.

The U.S.-Mexico border was secure.

A male was a male; a female a female. He, she. Men’s and women’s rooms.

No one faced a penalty for refusing to purchase medical insurance they either did not need or could not afford.

Speakers invited to university campuses rarely were uninvited due to the threat of violence posed by other student groups; and those who fulfilled their engagements rarely required security or feared for their well being.

There were no openly anti-semitic or progressive socialists serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected federal servants were duty bound to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Barack Obama was a junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, working on a book in his spare time. Hillary Clinton was a junior Senator from Arkansas representing New York.

Tattoo shops were not very busy. Men wore suits and ties to work. Comedians were funny, entertaining.

I closed my eyes on Masters Sunday. Those harmonious Augusta National birds were chirping as if outside my window. Crowds roared as Tiger moved into a lead he would not relinquish. If only for a moment, it was 2005.

 

Loathing hatred

By Steve Woodward

Trump Derangement Syndrome came to the fore in 2016 when angry marchers screamed at the sky, when so-called comedian Kathy Griffin depicted a decapitated Donald Trump, and when so-called entertainer Madonna publicly acknowledged her inclination to blow up The White House.

But now, two years in, what was formerly laughable is devolving into a degree of contempt for the President of the United States, for Republicans, for American values, for Constitutional principles and, most sadly, for Christianity few have witnessed in their lifetimes.

It is spreading, it is vile. The mainstream media fans its flames, daily. Democrats, now openly and willfully embracing Socialism as the foundation of a soon-to-be remade America, are deliberately wreaking havoc, sewing seeds of chaos and resisting all calls for civility. They relished the partial federal government shutdown. They cheer on a growing crisis at the Southern border still. They want only to stop Trump and Republicans from delivering on pledges to get serious about border security. Desperate asylum seekers are mere pawns, not unlike federal employees working without pay. So what? You’ll thank us someday, you saps.

Hatred is more alarming than delusion, more dangerous than derangement, more corrosive than disillusion. And it’s everywhere.

Rush Limbaugh: “They have become poisoned by a loathing hatred for us. … This is unchecked, unabated hatred. … Folks, that’s who these people are, and one of the reasons they exist today is that we have never stood up to oppose them. Well, we have. The Republican Party has not stood up.”

ky student
In 2019, a KY high schooler is ridiculed as a “punchable face” for wearing a MAGA cap.

The Left in 2019 tells themselves they are acting to save the country. They are the patriots. They must hijack journalism, as television host and Trump hater Joy Behar said on the air, because “we’re desperate to get Trump out of office,” even if that means shamefully distorting events surrounding the March for Life in Washington, and smearing the Catholic high school students who wandered into a firestorm afterwards. The left seems to believe that it will prevail only by laying bare its deepest held disgust for God and country, decency and tolerance. The self-proclaimed party of tolerance of transgenderism, gender neutrality, illegal immigrants committing crime and acts of murder, endless abortions and organ harvesting, has no tolerance for the millions who duly elected President Trump and other duly elected Republicans. None.

Writing for New York magazine (Jan. 25, 2019), Conservative author Andrew Sullivan decries “the abyss of hate versus hate” in a piece bearing the same headline. Sullivan watched all of the available video of the March for Life, where Native Americans beat drums and Black Israelites shouted anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-white smears. More appalling than these groups and their unprovoked confrontations with the Kentucky kids, Sullivan concludes, was the media’s inclination to twist the narrative, write about it breathlessly as “white privilege” run amuck and, then, defend it unapologetically after video analysis debunked virtually everything that was initially reported.

“There’s a reason why, in the crucial battle for the legitimacy of a free press,” Sullivan writes, “Trump is still on the offensive. Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism. My own trust in it is eroding. I’m far from the only one.”

And what was the reaction to Sullivan’s conclusions? A hate-spewing George Mason University law professor who, as of this moment, still has his job, defied facts on the ground as irrelevant.

“These were wealthy, privileged, white teenagers in MAGA hats marching against abortion. That is plenty of reason to want to skullf— all of them until there is nothing left but giblets and red jelly. I don’t hate them for smirking and (peacefully!) protesting against people they disagree with, and I don’t hate them for (what) they did necessarily, I hate them for what they are and what they represent. F— these kids for their politics, f— them for their Catholicism and their kkkuntserveatism, and their hateful hats. You shouldn’t need a video of some s—heel with a punchable face to know that.”

You can dismiss this demented individual as just that, but we must not forget that he is interacting with young people every day, and that George Mason is collecting tuition in order to pay Prof. David Bernstein. Perhaps he should be designated a non-essential employee.

But the threat to our democracy is not limited to rogue academics. Americans are electing people of this mindset to govern in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol. This has come to the attention of economic and cultural commentator Ben Stein, who denounces the blatantly Socialist positions espoused by the media’s newest political darling, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), recently sworn-in to her first term at age 29. She is an avowed Socialist who, even as Venezuela crumbles, advocates for a 70% marginal income tax rate for America’s highest earners, free public college, the abolishment of border and immigration control, and Medicare for all.

Stein went on Fox Business to challenge the Socialist tide. He was skewered for referencing historical truths, that “there are an awful lot of people (emphasis, ours, on awful) who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that (AOC) is promising. … These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things.”

Meanwhile, do not hold your breath waiting for re-empowered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rein in Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. AOC is, not unlike government employees and would-be immigrants, a useful idiot.

Collateral damage

By Steve Woodward

Should any intelligent, proud American be shocked or dismayed by the staggering number of (left wing) politicians, and their disengaged constituents, feigning compassion for children of illegal immigrants while expressing disdain for U.S. border security? Our mutual security.

Not in an age when the recent former editor of The Wall Street Journal, no less, writes that radical socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “one of the most important political figures of our age” while he questions “capitalism’s limitations in answering deeper human needs.” Will Gerard Baker, now Editor at Large, soon entertain an offer from The New York Times? He certainly seems to be auditioning.

Not in an age when Gillette, decades long maker of men’s grooming products, launches a campaign likely to enrage many of its customers across multiple generations. The campaign boils down to, “Buy our razors but, please, stop being masculine, male and a societal toxin.” It’s a safe bet that the best a man can get for shaving soon will be another brand, any other brand. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, might be forced to rename Gillette Stadium, perhaps inking a naming rights deal with #MeToo.

Admittedly, these are trivial examples in contrast to the real world tragedies imposed by illegals pouring across our southern border. But the mainstream, drive-by, anti-Donald Trump media, appendages of the “new” Democratic Party, are far more invested in decrying “income inequality” or “toxic masculinity” than reporting on a 14-year-old girl forced to work as a prostitute.

It happened just outside of Washington, D.C. The ABC television affiliate (WJLA) reported it, but not Associated Press, not The Washington Post, not The Washington Times, and other local TV stations. Many digital outlets picked up on the WJLA report, including The Western Journal:

Felix Silva-Zuniga is an alleged associate of the MS-13 gang who was in this country illegally, according to WJLA-TV. He’s accused of paying a gang leader $100 for access to a 14-year-old girl, raping her, and secretly recording the encounter to blackmail the teen into providing more sex.

Silva-Zuniga, 52, is a native Honduran. Before she was raped, the girl had been trafficked to the D.C. area, where she was forced to work as a cocktail waitress during drug deals.

Meanwhile, out on Long Island in New York the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has tied a legal loophole that is exploited at the southern border to the recent beating of a Huntington, N.Y., teenager by MS-13 thugs. DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman explains what happened:

Two of the suspects entered into the country illegally through the unaccompanied alien child loophole in the Rio Grande Valley. … Not only are the alleged assailants MS-13 gang members, but they entered the country illegally as unaccompanied alien children from the Northern Triangle. The Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act incentivizes unaccompanied alien children to enter the country illegally with little to no chance of ever being removed.

Democrats need to drag Hillary Clinton away from her Chardonnay barrels and make her their anti-border security spokesperson. She could dust off one of her all-timers: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

That, sadly, seems to be the prevailing Democrat illogic. We do not need to close loopholes; we need to open our arms to the “children” (but only the ones CNN camera crews discover). We do not need border security; we need to secure a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers. We do not need a wall or barriers because that is so unenlightened, so 2013, so Trumpian.

If there must be, now and then, collateral damage such as 14-year-olds threatened and raped, so be it. If there must be federal employees denied pay, so be it. What difference does it make?

Pilot embraces Trump hate

By Steve Woodward

The Pilot’s editorial standards achieved a new low when editors published a letter by Clifton Frye (The Morning After, Nov. 10) in which the author drew comparisons between the President of the United States in 2018, Donald Trump, and Germany’s Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Mr. Frye contends President Trump is a “(Russian Premier Vladimir) Putin-lover” and unconcerned about “home grown terrorist attacks”. What delusion. Domestic terrorism is driven by the refusal of citizens to be vigilant about their neighbors’ mental health issues and by the continuous illegal entry of undocumented individuals, which Democrats openly facilitate.

Being “bankrupted and sued” – which Mr. Frye assigns as a Trump flaw — comes with the territory of running a large commercial real estate empire. Bankruptcy is aided and abetted by Democrats who delight in seeing companies reorganize, which is the essence of bankruptcy. This is far different from liberal states, where pensions are bankrupt with no solutions to restructure them, save for raising taxes – again and again.

Mr. Frye says the President “feeds on divisive rhetoric”. Why? Because he desires to Make America Great Again, a goal shared by millions, control our southern borders and denounce trade partners who have taken advantage of our country for decades?

The notion that this positions President Trump as a modern day “Hitler” revolts Jewish Harvard University law scholar and lifetime Democrat Alan Dershowitz.

“It’s a horrible analogy because it’s a form of Holocaust denial,” Dershowitz said. “When you say Trump’s like Hitler what you’re saying is that the Jews of Germany and the Jews of Poland didn’t suffer anymore than we’re suffering now, and that there were no gas chambers, that there were no death camps.”

None of this occurred to the Pilot’s editorial board?

 

Pittsburgh steel

Unless you have retreated to a rural cabin to focus on pottery, it is impossible in every day life not to feel bombarded by the unrelenting foot soldiers of the extreme Left, aka, the mainstream media. But something incredible happened recently in Pittsburgh, in a state President Donald Trump won against all odds by picking up 20 electoral votes on an historic evening in November 2016.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hired a new editor. He observed that the newspaper’s political cartoonist, Rob Rogers, was obsessed with anti-Trump cartoons, including several that simply ignored reality. Rogers was fired in June. The Left’s collective head exploded. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winner! This is a travesty!

Post-Gazette cartoon.Trump

Naturally, the extreme Left was outraged by the rejection of cartoons such as this one (above), that grossly mis-portrayed the Trump administration’s enforcement of existing immigration laws at the southern U.S. border. In short order, a George Washington University apparatchik arranged an exhibit of Rogers’ never-published cartoons in the Corcoran School of Arts and Design beginning July 18.

Post-Gazette editorial page editor Keith Burris, who fired Rogers, should be saluted for carrying out what used to be known as “doing your job.” He demonstrated a steely will to honor his profession, dying though it may be. Newspapers that are agenda-driven are not delivering news and when their opinion pages are entirely invested in Trump-hating vitriol, that’s a departure from journalistic standards, too. (Go back and review the work of Washington Post legendary cartoonist Herb Block).

Those who choose to visit the Corcoran exhibit will have the advantage of finding a D.C. tourist destination with no line, no waiting.

Meanwhile, there are other political cartoonists who are paying close attention to what actually is happening during the countdown to the November mid-terms.

Red Wave Rising.png

 

Dem delusion ‘revealed’

A reader of this blog kindly drew our attention to a content-rich web site, Constitution.com, operated by Atlanta-based editor Onan Coca, who oversees multiple digital platforms covering politics. His sites draw contributions from an extensive roster of writers and scholars.

One of Coca’s latest posts addresses that which is top of mind for both political parties, but especially Republicans — the 2018 midterm elections. His piece reviews all of the historical reasons why Republicans might/should lose majorities in the House and Senate. He points to the added Trump factor, which refers to fierce opposition to the President within his own party, along with the reality that “the GOP is incredibly unpopular” when the public is surveyed.

Finally, Republicans must contend with an increasingly biased (and corrupt) mainstream media, which has become an unapologetic appendage of the Democrat party in the age of Trump.

The grim tone of the dispatch, however, is presented under the sarcasm-laden headline, Secret Democrat Strategy for 2018 Discovered. The so-called “strategy”, Coca unveils, is rife with the ability to do widespread damage to the Dem’s 2018 prospects. In other words, Republicans must remain vigilant and determined to get out the vote, but should do so with less wrist wringing. Here’s why:

Just as the Republicans spent much of the last 25+ years shooting themselves in the foot and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Democrats seem poised to be their own worst enemies come November 2018.

  • Gun “control”. Almost always a losing prospect for Democrats, Coca writes, and while many Americans may be unhappy in the wake of the Douglas High School shooting (in Parkland, Fla.), they’ve not necessarily shown any appetite for the Democrats extreme gun control proposals.
  • The Democrats just released their $1 TRILLION TAX HIKE plan that they hope America will support in November. It’s almost as if the Democrats think Americans hate it when the economy is doing well.
  • Illegal immigration policy. Democrats are moving away from any pretense of desiring to stem the tide of illegal immigration. In fact, their new united front, and with a sense of urgency, is centered around the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Democrat rock star, Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), was quickly rebutted across social media for merely suggesting that ICE plays an important role.

Democrats, perhaps more impacted than anyone imagined by Trump Delusion Syndrome, are planning to unleash a “blue wave” in 2018 thusly:

Gun Control, Tax Hikes, abolishing ICE and opening our borders. I cannot imagine a more disastrous platform to run a campaign on, but I’m not a Democrat, so I have a difficult time thinking of terrible ideas. It honestly seems as if the Democrats are trying their best to lose the 2018 midterm election, but that can’t be right. Can it?