Rob Long is in for Jim today. Join Rob and Greg as they welcome encouraging news about a coronavirus vaccine. They also unload on the United Teachers Los Angeles union for wanting Medicare for All, a moratorium on new charter schools, a wealth tax, and defunding of police before they’re comfortable going back into the classroom. And they have fun with the most predictable news of 2020…John Kasich will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
In the first two portions of our interview with “Ball of Collusion” author and former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy, he and Greg Corombos discuss the origins of the probe and why Special Counsel Robert Mueller waited two years to issue a report despite there being no evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
In our new podcast, McCarthy details the meandering path of the supposed genesis of the investigation, including the various human sources used to incriminate Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. The operatives were later identified as figures such as Alexander Downer, Stefan Halper, and Joseph Mifsud.
“Papadopoulos meets this shady, Maltese professor known as Joseph Mifsud, who I think is probably the most interesting figure in this whole narrative. And that’s saying something, because there’s some real winners in this narrative,” said McCarthy.
Also in this podcast, McCarthy explains how the collusion narrative was falling apart from a lack of evidence before it really even got started in the summer of 2016. But it was surprisingly revived by the hacking of DNC emails and Donald Trump’s own behavior.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Roy Moore a distant third in the GOP race for U.S. Senate in Alabama.. They also cover the National Rifle Association’s decision to shut down NRATV. And they discuss Pete Buttigieg facing new criticism for his handling of police and race issues as mayor of South Bend.
Need a break from the memo frenzy? Have some martinis with us! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of seeing the Democratic National Committee with less than half a million dollars on hand heading into the midterms while Republicans have $40 million ready to go. They also shake their heads as Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan wants to opt out of the Trump’s administration’s plans for offshore energy exploration, a move made much easier by government already granting an exemption for Florida. And they bang their heads against the desk as PolitiFact hired unhinged former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson to be part of their team, only to reverse course after liberals and conservatives howled in protest. Jim and Greg also share their unvarnished thoughts on Groundhog Day and offer their Superbowl predictions.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy learning that the Democratic National Committee is still mired in chaos and that the liberal establishment and the Bernie Sanders supporters are still feuding more than a year after the 2016 campaign and just months before the midterm elections. They also groan as the threat of a government shutdown looms and some Republicans think they can win the public relations battle, even though the media always pin the blame on Republicans, regardless of the circumstances. And they shred CNN for co-opting the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. to advance progressive environmental policies and for suggesting King was a socialist “before it was cool.”
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the Washington Post revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided some of the funding for the infamous and largely discredited Trump dossier that involved significant collaboration with officials in Russia, and they shake their heads as Democrats insist this was just simple opposition research. They’re also unmoved by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s denunciation of President Trump or Flake’s decision to fight back by retiring from the Senate, when it’s obvious the real reason he ended his campaign was because he can’t win. And they get a kick out of the Washington Post fact checkers making a big deal out of determining that Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie was wrong by claiming there were 2,000 MS-13 gang members living in one Virginia county when the best guess of law enforcement is there are just 1,400 violent criminals from that gang roaming area streets and neighborhoods.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America give President Trump credit for admitting his Afghanistan policy changes go against his instincts, and they also like some of the other changes he outlined in a policy with few good options. They also enjoy seeing the woeful fundraising totals for the DNC in July and discuss the deep dysfunction still engulfing the Democrats. And they shake their heads as a criminal in Texas is arrested for plotting to bring down a Confederate statue with explosives.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud a federal appeals court for striking down the District of Columbia’s policy of requiring a “good reason” for allowing resident to conceal carry their guns. They also welcome back John McCain and the start of the health care debate but lament how tough it will be to pass a good bill and McCain’s castigation of everyone for the Senate gridlock. And they marvel at the lack of media coverage as a top IT expert for former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and several other Democratic lawmakers is arrested for bank fraud while trying to leave the country and the FBI looks into hard drives demolished by hammers.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of the Democratic National Committee arguing in court that it can’t be sued for fraud because everyone knew the 2016 nomination process was rigged. They also grumble at Republicans for giving the Democrats virtually everything they wanted on the latest spending bill. And they express frustration with the media for running breathless headlines every time Pres. Trump says he’s considering something, but they also wonder what other things they could get Trump to publicly mull over.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says all Democrats should support line up in favor of abortion and calls the position “not negotiable,” a clarification for which pro-life groups are exceedingly grateful.
The issue arose after Perez publicly backed the pro-life Democratic nominee in the race for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. After criticism from pro-choice forces, Perez released a statement insisting he and the party were not straying from their stance on abortion.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” stated Perez. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
“At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country, we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice,” added Perez.
Democrats supporting abortion is nothing new but even pro-life groups are a bit surprised that Perez would publicly such a blanket position for the party.
“I think it’s a clarifying statement but I think these are always good to really hammer home to the grassroots that there’s a huge disconnect here. There’s such an extreme disconnect about what Perez said and the way that rank and file Democrats act in their state legislatures and in the way that they vote,” said Susan B. Anthony List Communications Director Mallory Quigley.
But she appreciates Perez offering the real position of Democrats on abortion.
“He is the perfect chairman for a party whose platform says, ‘We support abortion on demand up until the moment of birth, paid for by tax dollars,'” said Quigley.
Quigley also says Democrats are stifling candidates at the state and local levels because of abortion.
“At the state level, there are still a decent number of pro-life Democrats but we see that they’re not moving up. There’s only less than a handful of pro-life Democrats in the House,” said Quigley.
She says the pro-life Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., are buckling under the pressure to conform.
“Joe Manchin, who for a long time now has been the only reliable pro-life vote in the Senate, took a picture with Planned Parenthood supporters and said that he’s all in for Planned Parenthood,” said Quigley.
Some Democrats tried to soften the party line, at least semantically.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., claimed the Democrats had room for pro-life lawmakers. But the number two Democrat in the upper chamber told CNN that room did not extend to actual policy.
“We need to be understanding of those who take a different position because of personal conscience, but as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe v. Wade, back women’s rights as we’ved defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party,” said Durbin.
Quigley says that explanation and similar efforts by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are really no different than what Perez said.
“That’s not a pro-life position. It is not enough for the pro-life movement for you to say, ‘I personally wouldn’t have an abortion or encourage an abortion, but I’m not going to do a single thing to help a baby at 20 weeks or beyond, capable of living outside the womb, and I’m not going to protect that child from abortion.’ That is not a pro-life position,” said Quigley.
She adds that the mild rebukes from Pelosi and Durbin are most likely just for public relations.
“What seems to be a disagreement is actually just a show to try to continue to obfuscate their abortion extremism because some people, like Pelosi and Durbin, know that it sounds better to allude to some sort of right to conscience in the Democratic Party, which of course is non-existent,” said Quigley.
With Republicans in charge of Congress and in the White House, Quigley is hopeful that this will be the year to move federal dollars away from Planned Parenthood and into community health centers that provide health care to women without performing more than 300,000 abortions per year. She also wants to see passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban most abortions after weeks of pregnancy.
She says the shifting of money away from Planned Parenthood should happen through reconciliation on the health care bill. However, with the 20-week ban needing 60 votes to advance in the Senate, Quigley suspects the GOP will need to pick up several seats in 2018 to push that bill over the finish line.