Is there any Democrat who won’t run for president at some point this year? Today, Jim and Greg dissect the eleventh hour campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and the message he’s sending to the other Dems in the race by launching a campaign now. They also sigh as they realize the impeachment process is going to play out for months and it appears highly unlikely that anyone in Congress is likely to change their mind about anything. And they laugh as Michael Bloomberg apparently settle upon the strategy of skipping the first four Democratic presidential contests and putting all of his chips on winning in the South on Super Tuesday.
Archives for November 2019
As the impeachment drama kicks off, Jim and Greg nearly injure themselves rolling their eyes as a longtime Republican aide who is pro-impeachment suggests allowing a secret ballot vote in the Senate to improve the odds of President Trump being removed from office. They also slam Trump for warmly welcoming Turkish President Erdogan despite his atrocities towards the Kurds and other antagonism towards the U.S. And they cringe a bit when looking at numbers suggesting Democrats might have a chance at winning Georgia this year, although they do find a deeply satisfying silver lining.
Immigration remains a highly volatile issue and the odds of finding common ground on any meaningful reform seems less and less likely as the nation heads into a presidential election year.
Immigration was also front and center at the Supreme Court Tuesday, as justices heard arguments concerning President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.
DACA was created by the Obama administration in 2012 to grant legal status and work permits to people brought to the U.S. illegally when they were small children. Roughly 700,000 people enrolled in the program.
But Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian says Americans need to understand what the court is actually deciding here.
“This case is not about whether DACA is a good idea or not or whether it will cause people hardship to have their work permits not be renewed,” said Krikorian. “This is purely about whether a president has the authority to end a program that a previous president made up.”
Krikorian says that question is a constitutional no-brainer in Trump’s favor and he is appalled that the matter even reached the Supreme Court.
Krikorian, who is firmly in favor of lowering the number of legal immigrants, believes keeping DACA could be useful if the accompanying legislation limits practices such as chain migration.
However, he places the odds at any significant immigration reform in the next year at zero. Krikorian says election year politics and the leftward lurch of many Democrats in this debate make common ground hard to find.
Recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said if elected he would move to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol. He would also decriminalize illegal immigration, making it a civil offense. In addition, Sanders would suspend deportations and allow 50,000 climate migrants into the U.S. in his first year in office.
Krikorian says those are quickly becoming the standard positions inside the Democratic Party.
“It has become truly radicalized on immigration and I don’t use that word lightly,” said Krikorian. “That fringe perspective on immigration, that immigration control of any kind is illegitimate, that borders are illegitimate, that’s not fringe anymore in the Democratic Party. That is the basic mainstream position of Democratic elected officials.”
Listen to the full podcast to hear Krikorian’s full breakdown of the Supreme Court arguments and the dwindling prospects for any constructive immigration reform.
Jim is back! Join us for the Tuesday edition of the Three Martini Lunch as he and Greg get a kick out of candidates like Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar playing the race and gender cards against Democratic primary voters to explain why their campaigns are struggling. They also roll their eyes at reports that Democrats are trying to get witnesses to cry in the open impeachment hearings in order to build emotional support for President Trump’s impeachment. And they discuss why even more Democrats – like Eric Holder and Deval Patrick – are seriously looking at late entries into the 2020 campaign.
Democrats in Congress are pushing legislation to force pharmaceuticals to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The goal is to ensure that all Americans can afford the medicines they need to preserve their health.
Pharmaceutical companies are pushing back, stressing that researching and developing successful new medicines costs billions of dollars, and the unsuccessful efforts cost a lot of money too. They say prescription drug prices cannot be artificially lowered or else efforts to bring new and better treatments to market will be derailed.
How exactly would the legislation from Democrats work? Why are prescription drug prices so much lower in other countries than they are in the U.S.? What can be done to help patients afford the drugs they need right now without stalling progress on future treatments?
We tackle all of these questions and more with Chris Jacobs, CEO of the Juniper Research Group and author of “The Case Against Single-Payer.”
Thanks for joining the Three Martini Lunch today. Once again, Rob Long of National Review and Ricochet is sitting in for Jim. Today, we celebrate the resignation of socialist Bolivian dictator Evo Morales and notice how very sad the mainstream media and far left politicians are that Morales is no longer in power. They also note the retirement of New York GOP Rep. Peter King, and while they don’t really care if King retires. they see it as further evidence that things look bleak for Republicans in the suburbs in 2020. And they chronicle ABC and CBS acting like the Keystone Cops in apparently firing the wrong person for leaking the Amy Robach rant against ABC for spiking the Jeffrey Epstein story for three years. Rob is also shaking his head at the producer tearfully insisting she would never make public something as compelling as Robach’s comments.
On Tuesday, Democrats won the majority in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. Come January, gun control will be at the top of the agenda for Gov. Ralph Northam and his allies in the legislature.
This past summer, Northam called a special session to address gun legislation. The Republican majority promptly adjourned the session. Now with control of both the State Senate and the House of Delegates, Northam is making his agenda known.
According to the Washington Post, Northam held a cabinet meeting Wednesday and publicly laid out his gun control agenda. He “mentioned universal background checks, banning the sale of [semi-automatic firearms] and high-capacity magazines, restoring the law that limits purchases to one gun a month, and a red flag law that would empower a court to temporarily remove a gun from a person deemed to be a risk to himself or others.”
Northam also admitted he was seriously examining how to confiscate firearms already legally owned by Virginians but would be banned under his proposed legislation.
But what exactly does Northam mean by an “assault weapon.” Gun Owners of America Legislative Counsel Mike Hammond says Northam appears to have a broad swath of weapons in mind for his ban.
“As far as I can tell, it’s basically all semi-automatics that have one or no features that make them look like actual automatic firearms. The term assault weapon is sort of a fraudulent term invented by the left in order to make regular rifles and handguns more dangerous or more exceptional than they in fact are,” said Hammond.
And what does Hammond think about Northam’s confiscation plans?
“Oh, I hope he goes that route because, as (former Democratic presidential candidate) Beto O’Rourke found out, when you talk about raiding someone’s house in the middle of the night through these red flag gun confiscation laws and seizing their semi-automatic rifles, then at that point I think firearms owners in Virginia will finally wake up and there will be a red wave during the next gubernatorial election,” said Hammond.
Listen to the full podcast as Hammond explains why any component of Northam’s agenda would be an unacceptable infringement on the Second Amendment and why he thinks it’s possible to defeat the gun control agenda in the Virginia legislature even with Democrats in charge.
Rob Long takes over Jim’s stool for the day to discuss a big day in political announcements. First, they size of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions running for his old U.S. Senate seat and starting his campaign by praising the president who fired him, a move Rob describes as brilliant. They also watch Virginia Democrats talking about gun confiscation and Bernie Sanders proposing the end of illegal immigrant deportations and the abolition of agencies like ICE and Customs and Border Protection, and marvel at how the left just can’t help embracing extreme positions when it seems to have some momentum. And they dissect former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to begin filing paperwork to seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, with Rob wondering how Bloomberg thought his record in the Big Apple could be attractive to rank and file Democrats.
This week, a federal district court judge in New York struck down conscience protections for health care providers whose sincere religious beliefs convict them not to participate in abortion, gender reassignment procedures, or dispense birth control.
“Health care is a basic right that should never be subject to political games,” said New York Attorney General Tish James, who brought the case, according to Politico. “Once again, the courts have blocked the Trump Administration from implementing a discriminatory rule that would only hurt Americans.”
The rule administered through the Department of Health and Human Services threatened to curtail federal funding for institutions that refused to allow providers to opt out of such procedures on grounds of their conscience. Judge Paul Engelmayer agreed with state and local officials and groups like Planned Parenthood.
But defenders of free religious expression are furious.
“This particular ruling is absolutely outrageous,” said Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver. “They’re not going to lose any federal funding as long as they simply do what they’re supposed to and that is to honor the constitutional protection to free exercise of religion.”
Listen to the full podcast to hear Staver explain that the Trump administration’s rule is not some radical departure from precedent but is actually restoring a long-held precedent reversed during the Obama administration. He also shares how he thinks this issue will be resolved on appeal.
Jim is on vacation but there’s still plenty of fireworks on Thursday’s Three Martini Lunch. Greg is joined by Chad Benson, host of “The Chad Benson Show.” Today, they get a kick out Bill Gates wondering just how much of his money Elizabeth Warren wants and concluding a conversation with Warren might not be worth his time because he’s not sure how open-minded she is. They also recoil as a judge allows police to demand DNA from one of those outfits that tracks your heritage as part of an investigation, although Chad reminds us we all have pretty much voluntarily given up our privacy. And they fire back at 11,000 “scientists” who now say the Green New Deal is not enough, but we have to engage in population control too.