Politics

Analysis: Fact Check: No, Democrats — The Electoral College Was Not Created Because of Slavery

Democrats are complaining about the Electoral College once again. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is running for president, told a CNN town hall on Monday night in Mississippi that she wanted to abolish it because it meant that candidates avoided states that were not “battleground states.” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) followed suit on Tuesday, telling CNN the Electoral College was “conceived in sin” to “perpetuat[e] slavery.” Fact Check: FALSE. They are both wrong. The Electoral College is an institution created by Article II of the Constitution for the election of the president. It provides that each state will appoint a certain number of “electors,” equal to the number of representatives it has in Congress (House plus Senate). The electors are to meet in their respective states and cast their votes for president. The votes from all the states are then counted in Congress, and the person who wins a majority is elected president. The primary purpose of the Electoral College was to serve as a brake on populism. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 68: “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment” necessary to select a person with “the requisite qualifications,” who would not use “low intrigue” or “little arts of popularity” to sway the masses of the people to support him. In other words, the Electoral College was designed as an anti-populist measure. Over time, the votes of the electors became more or less automatic — that is, all of a state’s electors generally cast their vote for whichever presidential candidate wins the majority of votes in that state. Few were particularly bothered about that, until George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000 despite losing the popular vote. Even after that, Democrats did not change the system. Then came the election of Donald Trump, which Democrats still regard as illegitimate. Many cling to conspiracy theories that Trump somehow conspired with Russia to steal the presidency. The real (non-)secret was that Trump campaigned in Midwestern states Democrats had taken for granted. (Hillary Clinton did not even visit Wisconsin in the general election.) Warren, Cohen, and others now want to undo the system that allowed Trump to win. But their diagnosis of the problem is wrong. The reason candidates avoid states like California, Mississippi, and Massachusetts during the general election campaign has less to do with the Electoral College and more to do with the fact that they consistently choose one party over another. (Candidates do campaign vigorous in those states during the primary stage, and visit wealthy liberal states during the general election to hold political fundraisers.) It is true that a national popular vote would mean that voters who are in the minority in any given state would see their votes “count.” But it is untrue that candidates would therefore spend more time in rural states or small states. Quite the opposite: presidential campaigns would shift to focus on the country’s dense population centers, such as the New York tri-state area and Southern California. Elections would probably be less, not more, representative. As President Trump tweeted Tuesday: “With the Popular Vote, you go to … just the large States – the Cities would end up running the Country. Smaller States & the entire Midwest would end up losing all power.” A national popular vote would also enable cheating. Democrats know the voting rules are loosest in states they control, like California. In the 2018 midterm elections, for example, they used “ballot harvesting,” in which activists delivered thousands of mail-in ballots for other people. The practice is illegal in many states, but Democrats legalized it in California. They want to run up the score there, then use their “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” to award other states’ electoral votes to the popular vote winner. Republicans cannot accept that. Then there is Cohen’s argument about slavery. He claims that the Electoral College was preferred by southern states because it allowed them greater clout than a national popular vote. Northern states could, theoretically, allow all of their adult residents to vote (though few did at the time). Southern states denied slaves the right to vote — but were allowed to count them, due to the infamous three-fifths compromise, in the size of their congressional delegations. That is part of the history of the Electoral College — even after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, when Democrats in the South continued to restrict the right of blacks to vote until the latter half of the twentieth century. But that is not the reason the Electoral College was created, and at this stage it has no effect whatsoever on the way we elect presidents. (Arguably, it is Democrats today that want to disenfranchise black voters, and other citizens, by counting illegal aliens in the Census toward the apportionment of congressional representatives to the states.) If anything, the current system favors the Democrats, because they are virtually guaranteed to win New York, California, and other large “blue” states with large numbers of electoral votes. (And it is quite possible that if the Electoral College functioned as originally designed, the electors would have stopped Trump from taking office.) The Electoral College is clumsy and archaic. But its replacement would likely be worse. The simple reason Democrats want to abolish the Electoral College is to rig the system so that they cannot lose. It is self-interest masquerading as civic virtue.

Exactly!!  And well said, Joel.  Joel B. Pollak is the author of that outstanding history lesson, and providing such great insight and perspective.  Joel is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.      🙂

CNN Poll: 71 Percent of Americans Say Economy Doing Well; Majority Credits Donald Trump

A CNN poll released Monday shows an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the economy is doing well during President’s Donald Trump’s presidency. Seventy-one percent of Americans now believe that the economy is in good shape, according to the poll. Only 27 percent rated the economic conditions as poor. CNN reports that the number is the highest positive number since February 2001 and the best of Trump’s presidency. The poll shows that 51 percent of Americans give Trump positive ratings for his handling of the economy, while 42 percent disapprove. The CNN poll shows that Trump’s overall approval rating is at 42 percent, the highest recorded in the poll since August of 2018. Fifty-one percent disapprove. Eight percent had no opinion. The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS March 14 through 17 from a random national sample of 1,003 adults with a plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News last week, President Trump cited the economy as his biggest accomplishment so far in his presidency. “Look at jobs. Best jobs record in 60 years. Best individual records for Asians, for African-Americans, for Hispanics ever,” he said. Trump indicated that he looked forward to running for re-election in 2020. “We’ve done a good job,” he said. “So, in theory, it’s easier because I can say, ‘Look what I’ve done,’ as opposed to the first time where I said, ‘I can do this.’”

Good point!  Kinda hard to argue with that!      🙂

President Trump Flips Control of First Federal Appeals Court

President Donald Trump flipped the first federal appeals court to a Republican majority on Tuesday, when the Senate confirmed Judge Paul Matey to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. America is geographically divided into 13 federal appeals courts. For example, the Third Circuit includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Puerto Rico. The Senate confirmed Matey by a vote of 54-46. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the sole Democrat to join all Republicans in supporting Matey’s nomination. Of the nation’s 179 federal appellate judgeships, the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit has 14 seats. President Trump has now appointed judges to three of those seats, with one more vacancy to fill. Consequently, seven of the current 13 judges were appointed by Republicans. Conservatives are quick to point out that a Republican majority does not mean a conservative majority, but see it as a step in the right direction. Several appeals courts already had a Republican majority at the outset of the Trump presidency. But January 2021, it is very possible that all federal appeals courts except three – the Fourth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits – could have Republican majorities. Given that President Trump has consistently nominated originalists and textualists to the bench, the president’s supporters are hopeful that several of circuit courts will have reliable constitutionalist majorities by Election Day 2020, giving President Trump a major achievement to tout to voters.

This is great news!!  Even though Trump’s legislative agenda is currently dead, thanks to the Dems’ control of the House, he is still able to have these outstanding judicial nominees approved by the Senate.

Sizzling anti-burger narrative puts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal in a pickle

When Rep. Rob Bishop wanted to signal his opposition to the Green New Deal, he did it by sinking his teeth into a juicy cheeseburger from the Good Stuff Eatery. “If this goes through, this will be outlawed. I could no longer eat this type of thing,” said the Utah Republican between bites at last week’s Western Caucus press conference. “So before they take it away from me, before it’s illegal and an endangered species — I’m actually going to enjoy this a whole lot more than I would the Green New Deal.” Three weeks after it was introduced, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s signature climate-change resolution has become embroiled in a debate over whether Americans should continue to have it their way when it comes to the all-American burger. Foes of the Green New Deal are loving it. At CPAC, former Trump White House aide Sebastian Gorka charred the anti-beef initiative, saying, “They want to rebuild your home, they want to take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved.” Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, said at the press conference that the sweeping resolution would expand government control, given that “nobody’s going to volunteer to give up their burgers or their milkshakes … People are going to need to be coerced.”

And that’s putting it mildly.  We’ll have to give up airline travel, our muscle cars,  and yes..  steaks and burgers because, well..cows fart too much.  And they’ve said as much!  How crazy is that?!?  For more, click on the text above.

Tucker Carlson: Michael Cohen demolishes the Russia collusion conspiracy – Will anyone be fired for lies?

Michael Cohen spent a decade as Trump’s high-profile lobbyer, toady, defender and personal attorney. And then one day, he decided that he hated Donald Trump and became Donald Trump’s mortal enemy. A big change. How did that happen? Well, Cohen told Congress this week that he had a kind of a road to Damascus experience. He was personally and morally offended by what his boss said on two occasions. First, after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, that was the summer of 2017 and later, when he watched Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland about a year later. Those two scandals, both of them fraudulent, entirely manufactured by the left and its servants in the media, changed Michael Cohen’s mind forever. Democrats must have been gratified to hear that. Michael Cohen is a sensitive, progressive now. He is tormented by climate change and his own toxic masculinity. He is basically a one-man crusade against privilege. He is a new man. That’s his story. Well, now comes a Daily Mail piece that puts a different gloss on it. It turns out, just weeks before the FBI raided his offices last summer, Michael Cohen was shopping a book proposal. In the manuscript, which the Daily Mail has, Cohen professes love and admiration for Donald Trump. In the book proposal, Cohen defends the president against claims that he is “crazy, dumb, paranoid, in over his head or a liar” — all claims that Cohen made this week before Congress. Keep in mind that Cohen wrote the book proposal well after Charlottesville and Helsinki, those scandals that just changed him as a man. It turns out that Michael Cohen is not a very reliable narrator. But too late, he is the narrator the Democrats have chosen, and they are stuck with him. They brought him to Capitol Hill on Wednesday in the hope, the expectation, that he would prove the Russia conspiracy true. He didn’t. Instead, he demolished that conspiracy. Nobody on the left wants to admit that, but we have the tape. Let’s start with the claim that Cohen held secret meetings with Russian agents in Prague in an effort to steal the 2016 election. On its face, it sounds nuts, but they have been telling you that for years. Even John Brennan has said it. Whatever his faults, he was literally the head of the CIA, the most powerful intelligence agency in the world, and he claimed to believe that. Oswald went to Mexico City, Cohen went to Prague … it’s the perfect conspiracy. Except that Michael Cohen has never been to Prague. He testified to that on Wednesday. And by the way, he had no incentive to lie about it. “Have you ever been to Prague?” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C. asked. “I have never been to Prague,” Cohen responded. “Never have?” “I’ve never been to [the] Czech Republic.” “Never been to Prague” … but I kind of like the music. How frustrating it must have been for Rep. Adam Schiff to hear that. “Never been to Prague.” This was the part where Michael Cohen was supposed to admit swapping micro-film with Vladimir Putin in the sauna at the Prague Marriott. Instead, he looked kind of mystified and admitted he had never even been to the country. Michael Cohen is from Long Island. He pretty much stays there. Okay, let’s try this again. How about the claim that Vladimir Putin’s agents have video of Donald Trump cavorting with hookers, and that’s how they’ve managed to blackmail Trump into saying nice things about Russia. We’ve been hearing about that since the day BuzzFeed first claimed it. If there is a hooker tape out there, I think it’s fair to assume that Michael Cohen would know about it. He is that kind of guy, a hooker tape kind of guy. Now would probably be the time he would tell us all about it, but no. “Are you aware of anything that the president has done at home or abroad that may have subjected him to or may subject him to extortion or blackmail?” asked Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md, at Wednesday’s hearing. “I am not. No,” Cohen said. “Okay, are you aware of any videotapes that may be the subject of extortion or blackmail?” I’ve heard about these tapes for a long time. I’ve had many people contact me over the years. I have no reason to believe that that tape exists. Oh damn, he did it again, straying from the script. Instead of confirming the Russia conspiracy that dominated and controlled American politics for more than two years, Michael Cohen just refuted it. What kind of witness is this guy anyway? This is getting very frustrating. Where do we get to the part where he blows the Russia case wide open and they lead Big Orange away in handcuffs and Hillary can be the president? Well, here is an idea, let’s just ask him directly. Did the Trump campaign collude with the Russian government during the 2016 election? Michael Cohen would know. He was there. By the way, it’s almost a rhetorical question. Democrats have long been absolutely certain that it happened. “I think there is plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has said. “We saw cold, hard evidence of the Trump campaign, and indeed the Trump family, eagerly intending to collude, possibly, with Russia,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said. “Plenty of evidence.” “Cold, hard evidence.” Well, if anyone can provide that kind of evidence, it would be Michael Cohen. After all, he was Donald Trump’s — is that really his name? No, it’s Donnell Troponovich. He was Donnell Troponovich’s personal attorney during the years that Troponovich was accepting suitcases full of rubles in exchange for subverting American democracy. So what is the answer, Mr. Cohen? “Based on what you know, would Mr. Trump or did he lie about colluding and coordinating with the Russians at any point during the campaign?” asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “So, as I stated in my testimony, I wouldn’t use the word ‘colluding,'” Cohen replied. “Was there something odd about the back and forth praise with President Putin? Yes. But I’m not really sure that I can answer that question in terms of collusion.” The balloon just deflated. Talk about a let-down. No meeting in Prague. No blackmail. No collusion. No Russia conspiracy at all. It was all a hoax. It was a much less interesting Loch Ness monster. You’ve got to be feeling a little silly right now if you ever believed any of this. But wait. We’ve got one last idea. There is still a way Michael Cohen could send Donald Trump to prison even without Russia. What if Cohen could confirm that Trump once told him to lie to Congress? That would be obstruction of justice, at the very least. It would certainly be a crime. BuzzFeed ran a story alleging that happened. Yes, BuzzFeed is a cat blog run by unhappy people in Brooklyn. But who knows? Maybe there is something there. Certainly, cable news was convinced they had the latest bombshell from the cat blog –our last hope to end this infernal presidency and return to the happy status quo of 2010. Our hopes are on you, Michael Cohen. Did it actually happen? The reveal, please? “You lied to those congressional committees, is that correct?” Greg Steube, R-Fla., asked Cohen at Wednesday’s hearing. “Previously?” Cohen asked. “Correct.” “Yes, sir.” “You stated that Trump never directed you to lie to Congress. Is that correct?” “That’s correct.” No. Four for four. Michael Cohen strikes out. Game, set, match. The Trump presidency continues. The other team looks despondent. You can hear weeping from the press box. But wait, before we head to the parking lot and drive home, one final piece of business: What about all of the lies you just heard, not from Cohen, but from the others? Blackmail. Collusion. Russia, Russia, Russia! Are any of the liars who told those lies going to be punished for lying? Is anybody going to lose a job? Or a reputation? Or a contributor contract? Maybe just what happened to Carter Page? That might be enough. Is there any penalty for being relentlessly and recklessly dishonest for two solid years? For intentionally misleading the public in the service of a political agenda and a political party? The Democratic Party? Is a single person even going to concede what just happened, much less apologize for it? Of course not. It’s Washington. They will all be promoted tomorrow. You watch.

Excellent!!  That was taken from Tucker Carlson’s monologue yesterday..     🙂

Lifestyles of the rich and socialist: Bernie Sanders has 3 houses, makes millions

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., entered the 2020 presidential race this week promising to transform America with a left-wing vision of economic and environmental justice. But the self-described democratic socialist’s high-end income, multiple houses and fondness for air travel have already opened him up to criticism that his lifestyle doesn’t always match the rhetoric. Sanders has pitched himself as a grassroots economic populist, focusing on income inequality and higher taxes for the rich. “Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he said. “Together you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revoution,” he said. “Now it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for.” But Sanders has raised eyebrows over his spending and personal wealth. Notably, he owns three houses. In 2016, he bought a $575,000 four-bedroom lake-front home in his home state. This is in addition to a row house in Washington D.C., as well as a house in Burlington, Vermont. “The Bern will keep his home in Burlington and use the new camp seasonally,” Vermont’s Seven Day’s reported in 2016. The multiple homes, though, bring into question past statements — like when he asked in 2017: “How many yachts do billionaires need? How many cars do they need? Give us a break. You can’t have it all.” Sanders has also earned more than $1 million annually in recent years, though he remains on the lower end of Senate Democrats in terms of net worth. VTDigger reported in May that he made more than $1 million in 2017 — $885,767 of which came from cash advances and royalties for his book, “Our Revolution” on his failed 2016 presidential bid. It’s the second time he made roughly that amount, making more than a million in 2016 also. Despite that, according to Forbes he has one of the lowest net worths among prospective presidential candidates, with an estimated net worth of approximately $700,000, according to Forbes. To compare with other Democrats, fellow left-wing firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has an estimated net worth of approximately $7.8 million. But conservatives have pointed to Sanders’ lifestyle as contradictory given his tax-the-rich mantras. “That’s why they are called limousine liberals,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said on Fox Business Network’s “The Evening Edit” on Tuesday. “You have enough money. You can imagine spending other people’s money as well.” “His health care plan, he admits, costs $32 trillion. He wants an 8 percent across-the-board tax on peoples’ salaries, which is only $12 trillion—an 8 percent pay cut for everybody in order to pay for his health plan [and] it only pays for a third of it,” he said. “So you can imagine the endless number of tax increases and regulations that they are looking to put on.” But other parts of his lifestyle are also drawing scrutiny, specifically when compared to his calls to limit environmental pollution and also to redistribute the wealth of the “millionaires and billionaires.” In October, he spent nearly $300,000 on air travel so he could speak to audiences in nine battleground states before the November midterms. This from a candidate who has endorsed a Green New Deal that seeks to dramatically reduce (if not eliminate entirely) air travel. Sanders’ team reportedly purchased nearly $5,000 in carbon offsets to balance out the emissions produced from the travel, according to VTDigger. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions to compensate for emissions elsewhere. The same day his campaign paid the jet company, Sanders called climate change a “planetary crisis” in a tweet. Since Sanders announced his presidential bid, he has received a fresh wave of criticism from conservatives, with commentator Charlie Kirk quipping: “For a committed socialist he sure seems to love living like a capitalist.” Other parts of his family dealings will likely see more scrutiny also. The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday zeroed in again on the controversy surrounding Bernie’s wife, Jane Sanders, and her time as president of Burlington College. The college closed in 2016, citing the enormous debt it accrued while Sanders was in charge — in particular when the college made a $10 million real-estate deal. Federal investigators looked into whether Jane Sanders committed bank fraud by inflating the amount of money pledged to donors by the school — but investigators purportedly closed the investigation and brought no charges.

Imagine that..  Its good to be the wife of a rich, hypocrite politician like ol’ Bernie.

Senate confirms William Barr as attorney general

The Senate confirmed William P. Barr as the new attorney general Thursday, giving President Trump a new top cop and special counsel Robert Mueller a new overseer. Analysts said they expect Mr. Barr to be a steadying presence — and doubted there will be much of a shift in course from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Both Sessions and Barr are very tough on crime, law enforcement-minded people on issues like drug offenses and immigration, so there is not much light or space between them,” said Jimmy Gurule, a University of Notre Dame law professor who was an assistant attorney general under Mr. Barr during his first term as attorney general, for President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Barr was approved on a 54-45 vote, with only a few Democrats voting in favor, and just one Republican opposed. He was sworn in at the White House on Thursday afternoon, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administering the oath of office. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Mr. Barr’s confirmation “a major victory for justice and the rule of law in America.” During his previous stint as attorney general Mr. Barr took a strict stance on illegal immigration, and pushed for mandatory minimum sentences, just as Mr. Sessions did. That could prove to be an early test for Mr. Barr, after Mr. Trump late last year signed the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that trimmed back those sentencing rules. Both Mr. Barr and Mr. Sessions had opposed it, though when asked about the legislation during his confirmation hearing, Mr. Barr promised to “faithfully enforce that law.”

Congrats to AG Barr!