Hey, we made it to Friday! Join Jim and Greg as they applaud cities and states for gearing up for the worst of coronavirus before it hits. They also cringe as Washington, D.C., officials claim the COVID-19 peak may not come there until late June or early July. And they call for a common sense review as sheriff’s officials in southern California arrest a man for defying state orders by paddle boarding in the ocean by himself.
Congress is currently engulfed in impeachment hearings, subpoenas, and talking points. But House Republicans say if they regain the majority in 2020, they will reduce the debt and repeal Obamacare.
Should they be believed this time?
Republicans made Obamacare repeal the centerpiece of their campaign messaging from 2010-2016. After winning the House, the Senate, and the White House, Republicans tried to move on Obamacare. Ultimately, GOP leaders did not push a straight repeal. Instead they looked to repeal key mandates and make other reforms. The legislation passed the House but died in the Senate.
The individual mandate was ultimately neutered in tax cut legislation, when the Republicans voted to fine people zero dollars for refusing to purchase health insurance.
However, costs are still rising and Americans are deeply frustrated with their coverage. So would Republicans actually move to repeal Obamacare? What other provisions ought to be part of any plan to remove Obamacare but still cover pre-existing conditions, bring down costs, and address other major concerns?
Greg Corombos asks Chris Jacobs, a longtime health policy expert and the author of “The Case Against Single-Payer.”
As Democratic presidential hopefuls argue about whether to pursue single-payer or keep private insurance but add a government-run public option, Jacobs explains why he believes those candidates are debating distinctions without a difference. He reveals why a pubic option would also eventually lead us to government-run care.
Listen to the full podcast here.
For more than a generation now, Americans are increasingly told by some of our own citizens that America really isn’t all that great and never was. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson can’t be heroes for their roles in founding the freest society in history because they owned slaves. Christopher Columbus shouldn’t be commended for his daring and courage, and neither should the pilgrims because of their supposed mistreatment of the natives they encountered.
In his new book, “War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past,” Daily Signal columnist Jarrett Stepman walks readers through every era of American history from Columbus up to modern times and how liberal activists and academics are trying to re-imagine American society by convincing us there’s no good reason to remain moored to the people and ideals that got us here.
Listen to the first of our two-part interview with Stepman to hear how this effort to erase American history began, how it went from the radical fringe to conventional wisdom, and what we lose by failing to set the record straight.
On Monday, the morning commute in Washington, D.C., was snarled by climate demonstrators taking over high profile streets and intersections to demand residents focus on the allegedly urgent need need to confront and reverse climate change. But what the activists actually revealed is an anti-capitalist agenda.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Christopher C. Horner reacts to the Shut Down D.C. movement and what it actually accomplished – not greater awareness of their cause but fierce anger from motorists and the demonstrators admitting their goal is to crush capitalism.
Horner explains this is nothing new for climate activists. They’ve actually been open about it for a long time, but the mainstream media stubbornly refuse to take the demonstrators at their word.
Also on Monday, progressive teen sensation Greta Thunberg delivered an angry rebuke to political leaders for not acting on climate change a long time ago. Thunberg accused the leaders of destroying her childhood and her future.
In response, Horner passionately criticizes the adults in the green movement for exploiting Thunberg and explains how the climate movement was planning years ago to use children to build emotional support for their cause.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Horner address these issues and where he thinks this fight is headed next.
Join Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America as they serve up some strong martinis to start the week. First, they find an odd appreciation for Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign admitting it needs to raise $1.7 million by the end of the month to have any chance at being competitive for the Democratic nomination – and it makes Jim wonder why several other weak candidates haven’t already closed up shop. They also shake their heads as a lot of House Republicans don’t want to be there anymore. Many of them understandably hate being in the minority but Jim offers another, more serious reason for why a lot of conservatives want out of Washington. And they have no patience for the Shut Down DC climate protesters who snarled traffic in Washington this morning by demonstrating on several critical roads and intersections.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss former special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly hesitating at testifying before the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee. They also break down a recently released investigation into the blackface/KKK photograph found in the medical school yearbook of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. And for today’s crazy martini, Jim and Greg share thoughts on Washington’s new human composting law.
Dr. Tom Coburn spent 16 years in Congress and quit because lawmakers refused to make tough choices to spare future generations the burden of crushing debt, and he is now calling for a Convention of the States so state and local leaders can do the work Washington politicians refuse to address.
Coburn served Oklahoma in the House of Representatives from 1995-2001. He was elected twice to the U.S. Senate before resigning in 2015. He is also the author of ” Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop Runaway Government.”
Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two ways for amendments to be enacted. The more common way is for both chambers of Congress to approve an amendment by two-thirds majorities, followed by three-quarters of the states ratifying the proposal. However, Article V also allows for two-thirds of states to convene and approve amendments which would still require approval by three-quarters of the states.
Coburn says business as usual in Washington proves politicians are not up to the task of reining in government.
“Everybody said things would change in 2010. Then they said things would change in 2014. Then they said things would change in 2016,” said Coburn, who contends there’s a very simple explanation for why those campaign promises are not kept.
“Most members of Congress are conflicted and the conflict is this: Do I do what’s best for the country and maybe lose my election or do I do what’s best for my political career so I can maintain my status as an elite?” said Coburn. “The desire for power, which our founders very well knew, trumps everything else.”
Among Coburn’s biggest frustrations is how public service has become a career for so many, rather than lawmakers serving for a brief time and then returning to their private lives.
“If you didn’t have career politicians, they wouldn’t be looking for the next office. It’s not the public service is in any way dishonorable. It’s that motives for most of those that run today is to get and hold and advance power,” said Coburn.
As a result he says people who want to make tough choices to tackle problems like debt and spending are scorned for putting their colleagues in a difficult position.
“Their peers say, ‘Don’t do that. We’ll have to make all these hard choices. We’ll get beat up here.’ What they need is an excuse to do the right thing” said Coburn.
“They need an excuse to be able to come home and say, ‘I’m sorry I had to cut this program because we have to balance the budget. It’s dishonorable to borrow against your children. We’re going to make these hard choices and if you don’t want to re-elect me it’s fine. I’ll be happy to go back to my real job,'” said Coburn.
“But the problem is two-thirds of the people in Washington have never had a real job,” said Coburn.
Coburn says the 1995 federal government shutdown is a perfect example of lawmakers refusing to stick to their principles and allowing government to spiral out of control. The Republicans eventually buckled in the face of intense media and political pressure, and GOP leaders have been very reluctant to even threaten such a move ever since.
Coburn was a House freshman at the time and says Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
“What we saw post-collapse of the Republican leadership was that the president was getting ready to cede the spending cuts that we wanted to make. Had we had those spending cuts, you wouldn’t be running half-trillion and trillion dollar deficits,” said Coburn.
“Leadership can either go on the basis of courage or on the basis of fear, and what you’re seeing in Washington from the career politicians is fear.” he said.
“If you’re going to shut the government down, don’t open it up until you’ve won everything you need to win. Take the heat and lose your slot. Is it better for a politician to lose an election and the country to be better off or is it better for the politician to maintain power and the kids that come after us suffer dearly,” said Coburn.
Coburn was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, but walked away in January 2015 with two years remaining in his term. Was it because Congress was doing nothing to honor its promises to get the nation’s fiscal house in order?
“It was 100 percent (that),” said Coburn. “I had told the majority leader two years before I left that I was going to leave if things didn’t change, if we didn’t start addressing the real issues, if his leadership wasn’t going to address the real issues. If he didn’t put people in position to address the real issues, there’s no reason to stay there and participate and get an ‘Atta boy’ because you’re a senator but you’re not actually accomplishing anything for the future of our country,” said Coburn.
“Nothing happened so I went to him and said, “I told you I was leaving. I’m leaving.’ I did and it was a good decision because now I’m working on the solution big enough to solve the problem,and that’s the Article V amendments convention,” said Coburn.
He says this is America’s best chance to get the ship headed in the right direction.
“The real question for you and the average American family, whether you’re liberal or conservative, is who gets to decide. Is it an un-elected bureaucrat in Washington or is it you as a free citizen in this country,” said Coburn.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching the Washington Post get called out for false reporting on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by Matt Lee of the Associated Press. They also wonder what Mike Flynn has to say to congressional investigators based on reports Flynn wants immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. And they unload on liberals for sneering at the boundaries Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have established to protect their marriage.
Lawyers for a Christian florist vow a vigorous appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a state supreme court ruled unanimously Thursday that their client violated anti-discrimination laws by refusing to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.
All nine justices ruled for the State of Washington and plaintiffs Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed and against Baronelle Stutzman and her store, Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts.
“Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” wrote Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud in the court’s opinion. The court further stated that the state’s anti-discrimination law does not infringe upon Stutzman’s freedom of religious expression.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Stutzman, begs to differ.
“They’re wrong,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued Stutzman’s case before the Washington State Supreme Court.
“We’re deeply disappointed with today’s court decision. The first amendment protects Baronelle’s rights as a small business owner and a creative professional. She has loved and respected everyone who has walked into her store. She served this gentleman (Ingersoll) for nearly ten years and simply declined an event, one ceremony that was a religious ceremony because of her religious convictions,” said Waggnoner.
While not stunned by a liberal court ruling against her client, Waggoner says it’s a mind-boggling ruling when the state conceded the crux of Stutzman’s case.
“Even in oral arguments, the Attorney General of the State of Washington conceded that Baronelle’s design of custom arrangements was expression. The court’s opinion says she intended to convey a message. The first amendment clearly protects this activity and these designs as pure speech,” said Waggoner, who says Stutzman will appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Washington State Attorney General Robert Ferguson is making name for himself. In addition to vigorously prosecuting Stutzman, Ferguson also took the lead in challenging President Trump’s executive order on travel from seven nations plagued by Islamic terrorism.
Waggoner says Ferguson is clearly trying to make an example of Stutzman.
“One wonders why it was so personal and vindictive. If it was about the principle of law, the attorney general could have just sued Baronelle’s business. Instead, he chose to pursue her in her personal capacity. The ACLU has also been behind this. They also sued on behalf of clients in this case. They also are suing her personally. Everything she own’s is at risk,” said Waggoner.
“The civil fines are relatively low. The court hasn’t decided in terms of what she must pay the couple that’s represented by the ACLU. But where the stick is and the real threat to business owners and creative professionals is in the attorneys’ fees. She’s required to pay attorney’s fees, which could exceed seven figures,” said Waggoner.
Alliance Defending Freedom has set up a web page for anyone interested in helping Stutzman face the financial challenge.
Waggoner says Stutzman has 90 days to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and then wait to learn if the court will hear the case. She is hopeful there will nine justices on the court by the time any oral arguments take place.
Waggoner is fully confident the Constitution is on Stutzman’s side.
“In the first amendment, our rights and protections for free speech and free exercise of religion protect her right to do that. Nor did she violate the statute. She didn’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. As I said, she served him for ten years. This was about her religious convictions and a sacred religious ceremony,” said Waggoner.
And Waggoner says there’s plenty of legal precedent on Stutzman’s side as well.
“The law in this area is clear and the court misrepresents that law in its decision. The U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have said these types of discrimination laws can’t be used to trump first amendment rights. The government cannot use it’s power to force someone to promote a message or celebrate a ceremony in violation of their conscience,” said Waggoner.
Waggoner says how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in this case will have a profound impact on our nation.
“If the Supreme Court sides with Baronelle Stutzman, it reaffirms that tolerance is a two-way street and that the government cannot use its power to crush people and crush dissent, crush those that don’t agree with the government’s ideology at that point,” said Waggoner.
“All civilizations have had the freedom to believe what they want. What has made America unique is the freedom to live out those beliefs in the marketplace in a peaceful way. That’s what’s at stake in this case
Four young adults in Chicago are facing a wide array of criminal charges after they live-streamed their torturing of a mentally disabled man, but the episode is also triggering a backlash against the media for allegedly treating the case differently because the perpetrators are black and the victim is white.
The video shows the victim blindfolded and gagged . The alleged perpetrators cut the victim’s sweatshirt and a piece of his scalp. Screamed insults also pepper the 30-minute video, including rants of “F–k Donald Trump” and “F–ck white people.” While the video lasted half an hour, the entire ordeal played out over 1-2 days.
On Thursday, Chicago police announced charges against Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, all 18 years old, as well as 24-year-old Tanishia Covington. All have been charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery.
While members of the media are expressing outrage across the board, critics point out the anger seems much more subdued than if the races were reversed.
The firestorm over media reaction began Wednesday, when CNN’s Don Lemon rejected the opinion of a guest that the torture was the result of evil
“I don’t think it’s evil,” he said. “I don’t think it’s evil. I think these are young people and I think they have bad home training,” said Lemon.
“I have no idea who is raising these young people, because no one I know on earth who is 17-years-old or 70-years-old would ever think of treating another person like that,” he continued. “You wonder, at 18-years-old, where is your parent, where is your guardian?” added Lemon.
Another panelist in the CNN discussion, Democratic strategist Symone Sanders, wasn’t sure hate crime charges were appropriate.
At least one prominent black conservative is shaking his head that Lemon could not see evil in the video.
“The mainstream media appears to have this thesis: When a minority does something so wicked, so depraved they come up with an excuse. When a non-minority does the same thing, they can never see an excuse,” said Horace Cooper, an attorney and co-chairman of the Project 21 National Advisory Board. Project 21 is a national leadership network of black conservatives.
Cooper is quick to point out that poor or non-existent parenting may well play a role in the depravity of the four people charged, but that doesn’t change the fact the video depicted evil.
“If he had said, ‘This is evil and it probably stems from bad parenting,’ he probably could have gotten my acquiescence and support for his observations. The destruction of the family in America, and in particularly in the black family, has wrought victimhood in so many ways,” said Cooper.
“I can’t [explain] a person who looks at this video and listens to what happens and then learns that this took place over several days and not think ‘evil’ as the first mindset that comes,” said Cooper.
The frustration with the media boiled over again Thursday afternoon, when Washington Post columnist Callum Borchers wrote that the video serves as a validation of Trump voters’ concerns over media bias, Chicago violence and targeting of Trump supporters.
But he also claims there is a valid reason why this story is getting far less coverage than if the perpetrators were white and the victim black.
“If the attackers had been white and the victim had been black, the incident would have, of course, conjured America’s ugly history of white mobs committing violence against black people. There is no parallel history of the reverse happening on anything remotely approaching the same scale,” Borchers wrote.
Cooper is stunned by that rationale.
“I’m appalled. Martin Luther King said that he longed for an America where people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” said Cooper.
Cooper says the media, and the rest of us, need to call out evil without regard to the demographic issues involved.
“We ought to be able to come together as a society – and I mean by society the mainstream media. We will give no space, no quarter to this kind of behavior,” said Cooper, who also says the Obama administration’s silence on the issue until late afternoon Thursday is also telling.
“I’m also disappointed that the President of the United States hasn’t issued a statement – and not just this particular case, hasn’t found an example like it to issue a statement. no one from the Department of Justice has issued a statement,” said Cooper.
Given Obama administration action in other racially charged cases, Cooper says the silence here is deafening.
“It sends the signal that somehow the depravity that we witnessed is different because this individual isn’t a minority. I think that is completely wrong. That is completely obnoxious. And it runs afoul of the whole idea that all Americans are equal before the law,” said Cooper.
The four suspects will face the legal system, as announced by the Chicago police on Thursday. However, Cooper points out that the same Justice Department that parachuted into Ferguson looking at hate crime charges in the Michael Brown case was nowhere to be found this time.
“Why hasn’t the media called out the Department of Justice for its silence on this matter, for it’s lack of regard for the depravity that is witnessed here. If this isn’t a civil rights violation, I guess I don’t understand what one looks like,” said Cooper.