Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the Buzzfeed story alleging President Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie under oath to Congress. It’s potentially very serious but more questions need to be answered before Buzzfeed can be trusted to have the story right. They also scratch their heads as Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announces his resignation just two weeks into the new Congress to take a job in the private sector. And they discuss the theatrics of Speaker Pelosi and President Trump as they try to one-up each other in the stalemate over a partial government shutdown.
Archives for January 2019
Communist North Korea is once against the world’s worst persecutor of Christians, but Islamic oppression is by far the greatest threat to believers around the globe according to the 2019 World Watch List from Open Doors USA.
The list of 50 nations also shows persecution sharply on the rise in prominent places like India, China, and Russia.
While persecution is on the rise in many parts of the world, Open Doors USA President and CEO Dr. David Curry says North Korea is still home of the worst brutality.
“If people know you’re a Christian, you’ll be arrested, taken to a labor camp and (you’ll) probably die there. You’re not allowed to have a bible. They’re illegal. They consider Christians to be the number one enemy of the state,” said Curry.
Eight Islamic nations follow North Korea on the list – Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, and Iran – with Afghanistan just a whisker behind North Korea for the worst nation to live as Christians. India is now up to the 10th spot.
Curry says the growing strength of the Taliban makes life very difficult for believers in Afghanistan.
“There’s an underground church there but it’s very difficult for them to function,” said Curry. “They don’t have the prison systems that North Korea does. It’s more of a vigilante kind of a justice. If they find out you are a Christian, you’ll be expelled from the family. You could be beaten, killed, or raped,” said Curry.
Thirty-four of the fifty nations listed due to “Islamic oppression.” So why do those government feel threatened by their Christian minorities?
“The ideology is what it’s all about for them. They see Christians as apostates, as infidels. These are radical Islamic folks who have an agenda to impose their world view on everybody, including the West if they could,” said Curry.
And why is India so high on the list? Curry says the country has changed drastically in just a few years.
“The government has a radical Hindu agenda. They’re attacking Christians and there are hundreds of cases against Christians and churches in that country. They are good citizens, but it runs contrary to the BJP party’s nationalist Hindu agenda where they say you’re not an Indian unless you’re Hindu,” said Curry, noting that the government is even harassing Mother Teresa’s organization helping the poorest of the poor.
He believes a strong stand by American business leaders could make a big difference.
“I would love to see the business community in America – Amazon, Google, all these people that want to get access to that big population – look at their corporate charters. What does it mean that we’re doing so much business in India when they have such a horrible human rights pattern here over the last six years,” said Curry.
Two other very prominent nations rocketed up the list in 2019. China surged 16 spots to 27th, while Russia was off the list and is now at 41st. Curry says Russia is still plagued by Islamic violence in the Caucuses but he is also worried about new religious expression rules being implemented by the government.
He considers China the big story of this year’s list, noting President Xi Jinping’s efforts to consolidate more and more power in the state. He says the Communist Party is infiltrating the churches because the regime is fearful of the 100 million Christians there. Surveillance cameras are everywhere to monitor services and those refusing the cameras are shut down. So are any pastors refusing to follow the demands for how churches ought to function..
Listen to the full podcast to hear much more about the World Watch List. Dr. Curry explains why Christian women in these countries are the most vulnerable people in the world, where there is a major bright spot in the middle of the Islamic world, and what he hopes people do with this information. Dr. Curry also talks about the perseverance of believers in the midst of persecution and how churches in many of these nations continue to grow.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back with another full serving of crazy martinis. First, they question the motives and geometry skills of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who publicly insists that Lindsay Graham is somehow “compromised” because he’s become more supportive of President Trump. They also dissect the bumbling scheme confessed by Michael Cohen, who says Trump directed him to pay thousands of dollars to rig online polls in 2014 and 2015. And that’s just the beginning of the story. Finally, Jim shares some lesser-known details and oddities from the career of former Vice President Joe Biden that he uncovered for his latest article.
From Vietnam to the Iraq War, conventional wisdom suggests Democrats are the anti-war party while Republicans are more eager to embrace foreign intervention, but the reaction to President Trump’s plans for a withdrawal from Syria is revealing something different
Liberty Nation economics correspondent Andrew Moran says a closer look shows Democrats are more than willing to begin and continue military campaigns, both in past generations and in the present day.
Moran also discusses why he believes libertarians are beginning to win the fight within the GOP over the proper role of U.S. intervention.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Moran discuss all these issues and why he believes the media are piling on Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard because she is the only true anti-war candidate in the group.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of CNN commentator Areva Martin telling radio host David Webb his success is a result of white privilege – until Webb tells her he is black. They’re also aghast as 59 percent of registered voters support a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the nation’s highest earners, including 45 percent of Republicans. And they shake their heads as Beto O’Rourke openly wonders whether our “empire” can “still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago.”
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to House Republicans stripping Iowa Rep. Steve King of all committee assignments after his controversial comments in the New York Times. Jim also reveals some his interesting discoveries after combing through the record of California Sen. Kamala Harris as she prepares for a 2020 White House run. And they wonder why New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is bothering to run for president and planning to run as a champion of women in a Democratic primary full of them.
Democrats in Virginia are mounting an aggressive campaign to roll back right to work laws that have been on the books for more than 70 years, but a leading right to work activist says doing so would damage Virginia’s economy, limit personal freedom, and pit rank and file employees against organized labor.
“First of all, it’s an issue of freedom: individual freedom and choice and liberty in the workplace, Nothing in Virginia’s right to work law stops you from joining a union if you want to or giving your entire paycheck to a union official if you choose to do that,” said National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix
Freshman Democratic Del. Lee Carter is leading the effort in the Virginia House of Delegates. Carter is an avowed socialist who was part of a blue wave that nearly regained the majority for Democrats in 2017.
During his campaign, Carter expressed his animosity toward the right to work movement by filming the shredding of a questionnaire he received from Mix’s group. Mix says he credits Carter for his consistency,
“He’s made good on his promise. You have to give the guy credit. He told people that he would introduce a repeal of Virginia’s right to work law that’s been in effect since 1947 and simply says no worker in Virginia can be forced to pay union dues or fees to get or keep a job,” said Mix.
Just two years ago, Virginia voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have written the right to work into the commonwealth’s constitution, but Mix says there hasn’t been a serious effort to repeal the right to work law since 1991.
“It appears with the margins the way they are and the climate changing the way it has that this delegate is going to make an aggressive effort to try to force Virginians to pay union dues to work,” said Mix.
The Carter legislation specifically calls for the creation of “agency shops” as opposed to “union shops.” A union shop requires all workers to join a union but a 1960’s court ruling declared it illegal to force anyone to join a private organization. The agency shop does not require membership but it does require everyone to pay union dues and fees.
Mix says it’s a distinction without much of a difference.
“The unions will say, ‘No worker is forced to join a union or will ever be forced to join a union, but you’ll be forced to pay up to 100 percent of dues to keep your job, which is basically a union shop.
“Union officials had to create semantic differences so they could say no one is forced to join a union. You’re just forced to pay dues to work, and that’s really what this bill’s about,” said Mix
The argument from organized labor is very different. Their officials contend that all employees benefit from the collective bargaining agreements they negotiate and anyone who benefits from those negotiations ought to pay dues to the union that helped them get better pay or benefits.
Mix says labor leaders like to pitch the battle as workers vs. management but he says compulsory dues really create a different conflict.
“Basically what we’re talking about here is a fight between union officials and the rank and file workers they claim to want to represent. Ultimately, that’s what this is all about. They’re trying to force those workers who they “speak for” to pay for the privilege of working,” said Mix.
Republicans control both chambers of the Virginia legislature but both majorities are very narrow. The GOP holds a 51-49 edge in the House of Delegates and a 21-19 edge in the state senate. All 140 of those seats are up for election this year in Virginia. Republican leaders insist they will vigorously oppose the Carter legislation.
Listen to the whole podcast to hear Mix lay out more of the debate and discuss why right to work laws make a big difference in the economy of the states where they exist.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and naming two stellar judges to the Florida Supreme Court. They also discuss Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joining the 2020 presidential race and how her defense of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad could impact the campaign. And as many breathlessly await the Mueller report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that the report will likely be anti-climactic.
Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn says Republicans and Democrats in Washington will never make the hard choices to rein in runaway spending and debt, so a constitutionally prescribed Convention of the States is the only possible remedy.
Coburn is a physician who was elected to three terms in the House of Representatives and two-terms in the U.S. Senate. He developed a reputation for attacking wasteful spending and the federal government’s habit of growing beyond its constitutional limits.
Now Coburn is a leading voice for calling a Convention of the States. It’s a provision contained in Article V for amending the constitution. In addition to Congress approving amendments and passing them on to the states for ratification, two-thirds of the states can demand a convention to debate and adopt proposed amendment. In both instances, three-quarters of the states must approve the amendments for them to be ratified.
“Having served 16 years in Washington, I see no other solution. It doesn’t matter who’s in charge. I see no other solution to returning the liberty and independent thought and freedom that is ours by starting to limit the role of the federal government.
“Remember, the enumerated powers were very specific and the federal government has now just abandoned that. The consequence is that 60 percent of every state budget, on average, is not controlled by their legislature. It’s controlled by the bureaucrats in Washington,” said Coburn.
Coburn says the founders never wanted the federal government to have the power. The states were expected to wield most of the power but events like the 17th amendment grew the centralized power of the government in Washington. The founders wanted state legislatures to elect senators. The 17th amendment changed that to allow voters to do it.
Coburn says a Convention of the States could convene so long as a narrow area of discussion were established ahead of time. He would like to see amendments passed that mandate a balanced federal budget and would require two-thirds of the states to approve any significant borrowing by the federal government.
He says neither party is interested in making hard decisions because members on both sides are focused on getting elected – supposedly to do the most good.
“The fact is they spend all their time getting re-elected rather than doing some good,” said Coburn.
He says half our deficit could be wiped out by addressing waste, fraud, and abuse in various programs, and by killing duplicative programs. Coburn pointed to 41 federal job training programs, none of which met their goals.
Listen to the full podcast to Coburn’s extended assessment of government and our dire fiscal health. He also explains the very simple ways to improve our health care system and greatly reduce costs.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Republican leaders denounce the latest controversial comments from Iowa Rep. Steve King and argue that while it’s worth defending the greatness of Western Civilization, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. While being perfectly fine with a wall at various points along our southern border, they offer multiple reasons why an emergency declaration to move it forward would be a bad idea now and an even worse precedent for when a Democrat eventually becomes president. And they get a kick out of CNN’s Jim Acosta intending to make an argument against the need for a border wall but accidentally demonstrating why a wall works. And Jim explains how Acosta has become the Hollywood caricature of an arrogant reporter.