Politics

Trump responds to CNN, says no First Amendment right to enter White House

Journalists have no First Amendment right to access the White House and CNN isn’t harmed by having reporter Jim Acosta barred from obtaining press credentials, the Justice Department said Wednesday, firing back at the cable network’s new lawsuit. CNN has 50 other journalists covering the White House and so the network isn’t punished by having one barred, the department said in a 28-page response filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. “No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House,” the administration argued. The lawyers added: “The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position. The First Amendment simply does not regulate these decisions. And the First Amendment does not impose stricter requirements when journalists, as a subset of the public, are granted or denied access to the White House.” The White House said Mr. Trump gave his personal blessing to strip Mr. Acosta’s pass last week after he verbally sparred with the president during a press conference, then got into an altercation with a White House intern. When the woman came to take the microphone from him, Mr. Acosta refused to give it back, using his hand to chop at the woman’s elbow as she tried to take control of the microphone. That contact has been widely debated. CNN downplayed it, while the White House said it was a physical assault on the woman, and used that as one justification for revoking Mr. Acosta’s press pass. The Justice Department said his conduct “disrupts press events and impedes other reporters from asking questions,” which officials said was “a more-than-sufficient reason for revoking his hard pass.” CNN counters that the move will produce a “chilling effect” in the media. Fox News, the Associated Press and other press outlets agreed, announcing Wednesday they will file friend-of-the-court briefs backing CNN. The Justice Department, though, pointed to a 2006 case involving a dispute between Maryland’s governor and the Baltimore Sun newspaper. A federal court in that case ruled the governor didn’t violate the First Amendment by ordering state employees not to speak with two reporters from the paper. “In reaching that conclusion, the court explained that providing ‘relatively less information’ to one reporter was permissible, even when done ‘on account of [that journalist’s] reporting,’” the lawyers argued.

The lawsuit filed in federal court by CNN against the White House for stripping Jim Acosta of his “hard pass” is beyond ridiculous.  The very notion that his First Amendment rights were somehow violated is silly.  As a refresher…  The First Amendment to the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  The key words are “Congress shall make no law..”  Nowhere in there does it say the White House, or the President, or the Executive Branch may not prohibit a member of the press from going into the White House.  Nowhere.  Previous administrations have revoked “hard passes” for all sorts of reasons.  But, of course..this is Trump.  So, suddenly its “unheard of” or an “assault on the press” and other such ridiculous nonsense put out there by CNN, MSNBC, and other members of the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  We’re disappointed to see Fox News jump on the band wagon.  Jim is a self-serving, grand-standing, obnoxious tool who makes his broadcasts all about himself; not the president he’s supposed to be covering.  Historically, the President calls on reporters and answers questions.  Not Jim.  He likes to be combative with Trump.  And, he’s very open about it.  He’ll say, “I’m gonna challenge you on…”  That’s not his role.  It’s simply to report along with the rest of the press “pool”..and if given the opportunity to actually ask the president a question, the he should ask, then sit his ass down and pass the microphone to the next reporter…and allow the president to answer.  By the way.. The president is NOT obligated to have such Q & As with the press.  And, the whole incident with Jim getting physical with the poor White House intern just trying to do her job was the final straw for a White House press office that has endured Jim’s nonsense for far too long.  So, he had his hard pass rejected…and deservedly so.  Let’s hope the courts slap CNN down for this ridiculous lawsuit.

Opinion/Analysis: Why Hillary Clinton will never be president

An op-ed published this week in the Wall Street Journal has ignited rumors of a potential 2020 presidential run for Hillary Clinton. The piece discusses the different iterations of Hillary Clinton the public has seen over the past 30-plus years. But none of those versions became president and no matter how many times Clinton tries to reinvent herself she cannot change who she is at the core: inauthentic, unlikable and out of touch. According to the op-ed by Mark Penn and Andrew Stein – headlined “Hillary Will Run Again” – Hillary Clinton 1.0 was a “universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand” in 1994 when she was first lady. Hillary Clinton version 2.0 was a moderate when she successfully ran for the Senate and again when she lost in the Democratic presidential primaries to then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008. In 2016, Clinton 3.0 was a progressive who moved further to the left because of her challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. And Hillary Clinton version 4.0 will run for president in 2020 by returning to her roots as a progressive, Penn and Stein predict. But the fact there have been so many different versions of Clinton is precisely the problem. Clinton is inauthentic. Former Obama adviser and Democratic strategist David Axelrod nailed this point about Clinton and the 2016 election when he said: “Authenticity is a big factor and a leading indicator for candidates, and they have to be comfortable in their own skin. There is no one wishing that Donald Trump would speak his mind. Hillary Clinton has always been allergic to revealing herself, and when she does talk, it comes out through a political filter.” Clinton’s authenticity has also taken a major hit over the years because she changes policy positions depending on where the political winds are blowing. This gives the perception that she is not rooted in any core beliefs. One issue that probably hurt Clinton most in the rust belt was trade. As secretary of state in 2012, she backed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, even calling it the “gold standard.” However, she changed her position in 2016 while under scrutiny from Bernie Sanders on the left and candidate Trump on the right. Clinton also has a likability problem. In an interview with the Washington Post, Democratic pollster Peter Hart put it this way: “I bring it down to one thing and one thing only, and that is likability.” The likability issue was also brought up during a 2008 Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire, when the moderator said voters were impressed by Clinton’s resume but were “hesitating on the likability issue.” Obama famously quipped that she was “likable enough” during the exchange. Clinton is also out of touch. Her surprise pit stop to an Ohio Chipotle in 2015 while on the campaign trail demonstrated this. Despite it being a great opportunity for pictures with customers, she wore dark sunglasses in the restaurant. She couldn’t be bothered to speak with anyone. Clinton’s infamous “basketful of Deplorables” comment also underscores this point. In response to her comment calling his supporters “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic,” Trump responded that Clinton showed “her true contempt for everyday Americans.” Other gaffes also speak to Clinton’s disconnect with voters. In response to a question from ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2014 about her $200,000 speaking fees, Clinton said that she and President Bill Clinton “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.” President Clinton received a $15 million advance for his memoir after leaving the White House and then-Sen. and former first lady Hillary Clinton received $8 million in a deal for her memoir. In what will likely be a crowded 2020 Democrat primary field, Hillary Clinton would not stand out. Her time has come and gone. She is a relic of the past. No amount of pollsters, speechwriters, or consultants can change who she is – and that is why she will never be president.

Agreed…and well said, Lisa.  Lisa Boothe is responsible for that spot-on op/ed.  Hillary has no core beliefs.  And a great percentage of Americans absolutely despise her.  Her likability” factor is in the toilet.  When she said she was “dead broke,” a LOT of us said.. “can I please be that ‘dead brok?'”   Unreal…   Hillary is a self-righteous, arrogant, sanctimonious, entitlement-minded, liberal elitist.  She changes her “views” based on what’s currently popular.  And, she’s a brazen hypocrite.  Remember when she said we all need to believe “all women” who make sexual allegations against men?  Yet, when such very credible accusations were leveled at her husband, she fought them tooth and nail.  In other words, to her..  Believe all sexual accusations made by women, unless they’re against my husband.  So much for the #MeToo movement, lol.  Hillary made her 2016 campaign all about herself.  Donald Trump made it about “the forgotten men and women”..and to “Make America Great Again.”  That was the difference.  Heck, the man only takes $1 a year for his salary (because he has to), and donates the rest of his presidential salary to charity and federal government agencies like Health and Human Services (it rotates each quarter).  In a million years, Hillary would NEVER do that.  Remember when she got caught stealing the china out of the White House when the Clintons left it in 2001?  They had to go back and recover the china and other items and return them to the “People’s House.”  Lisa is right..  Hillary’s time has come and gone, and America has had enough of her.  But, hey..  If the Dems are dumb enough to renominate that nauseating bitch, then they deserve to lose….again.

Feds Collect Record Taxes in October; Still Run $100B Deficit

The federal government collected record total tax revenues of $252,692,000,000 in October, the first month of fiscal 2019, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Tuesday. Despite the record tax collections, the government still ran a deficit of $100,491,000,000 for the month—because it spent $353,183,000,000. This October’s record $252,692,000,000 in total tax collections was $11,414,590,000 more than the $241,277,410,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars) that the federal government collected in October 2017, which was the previous record for federal tax collections in October. Although the total federal taxes collected this October set a record, the individual income taxes that the federal government collected in October did not set a record. This October, the Treasury collected $128,866,000,000 in individual income taxes. In October 2017, the Treasury collected $131,056,520,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars). Corporation income tax receipts, however, were significantly higher this October than they were in October 2017. This year, the Treasury collected $8,000,000,000 in corporation income taxes in October. Last year, it collected $3,823,060,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars). The $8 billion in corporation income tax revenues the Treasury collected this October is the largest amount since October 2015, when the Treasury collected $10,893,630,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars) in corporation income taxes. Excise taxes and customs duties also increased. In October 2017, the Treasury collected $7,651,250,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars) in excise taxes. This October it collected $14,715,000,000. In October 2017, the Treasury collected $3,320,700,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars) in customs duties. This October, it collected $5,551,000,000. Social Security and other payroll taxes also increased slightly rising from $86,137,330,000 (in constant October 2018 dollars) last October to $86,553,000,000 this October.

Trump Picks Retired General John Abizaid for Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

A retired four-star general is President Donald Trump’s pick to be US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, filling a key diplomatic vacancy at a time when US-Saudi relations are being tested by the slaying of a journalist critical of the Saudi royal family. Trump announced Tuesday that he is nominating John Abizaid, the longest-serving commander of the US Central Command, to lead the US Embassy in Riyadh. It’s a post that has been empty since former ambassador Joseph Westphal left in January 2017. If confirmed by the Senate, Abizaid would become ambassador as the Trump administration is weighing the U.S. response to the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials claim Khashoggi was killed by a 15-member assassination squad sent from Riyadh on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi government. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has revoked the visas of the Saudis implicated in the killing. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said additional measures will be taken. Abizaid, who retired in 2007, served in wars in Grenada, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Following the war in Iraq, Abizaid assumed control of CENTCOM, which overseas military operations in 20 nations stretching from northeast Africa to the Middle East to Central and South Asia. Abizaid, of Nevada, currently works as a private consultant and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Previously, he was the distinguished chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point. He also served in various senior positions on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

GEN Abizaid (Ret) is an outstanding choice for Ambassador Saudi Arabia.  Left out of this rather lazy AP story is the fact that GEN Abizaid also happens to be of Lebanese decent (his grandparents immigrated to America), which gives him an Arab connection, which the Saudis will probably appreciate.  And, the man speaks Arabic.  So, as he deals with the Kingdom, that will also come in handy…not the mention the fact that he is a retired Army 4-star General who commanded CENTCOM.  The Saudis respect status, and GEN Abizaid has plenty of that.   GEN Abizaid is a grad of West Point, and got his Masters from Harvard where he wrote a paper on Saudi Arabia that won him accolades.  Again, an excellent choice to be the next Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.  We hope he is confirmed quickly.     🙂

Tucker Carlson: Independent counsels are a handy way to settle political scores

CBS News reported Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller may soon issue new indictments. It’s not clear who will be charged, but there are indications of it. Some suggest that political consultant Roger Stone may be on the list. Another possible target is a man called Jerome Corsi, a 72-year-old author and Harvard-trained political scientist, who is an associate of Stone’s. Of course, he has said he expects charges soon. What for? Well, apparently for perjury. Corsi says he was manipulated into making false statements to Mueller’s lawyers. And if that’s true, well, obviously, it’s not good. But let’s put this into some perspective. False statements are everywhere in Washington. That’s what the city specializes in. And not small statements about small things. Barack Obama told you your premiums would go down and you could keep your doctor. James Clapper told Congress that the NSA was not spying on you. Clapper said that under oath. It was an outright lie. He was never charged. So the obvious lesson is, as long as you’re powerful and your lie is big enough, you are never, ever charged in Washington. No one is. You can wreck an entire health system, you can take an entire country to war under false pretenses. You can kill American citizens with drone strikes. And you can lie about all of it. Nobody will ever think, for a moment, about prosecuting you. But give the finger to the establishment? Mock the people in power? That is dangerous and they’ll get you for that. — Jerome Corsi is learning that lesson the hard way, just as Mike Flynn learned it, just as George Papadopoulos learned it. All three – and others – have been bankrupted and destroyed by Robert Mueller for doing something that virtually everyone does in Washington every day with impunity – lying. So what was the point of all this? Why are we destroying all these people? What’s the justification for it? It was supposed to be about Russia! Remember? There were foreign spies afoot, there were dark forces sent by Vladimir Putin to destroy our democracy here in America. That’s what they told us again and again on cable news. That’s how we were sold on the Mueller investigation in the first place. Well, two years later we learn it was all fake. There’s no evidence that any of that was real. No plot has ever been uncovered. All we’ve really learned is that independent counsels are a handy way to settle political scores and that a lot of people on the left don’t really believe in the tenets of Western justice. One of the resident geniuses on MSNBC on Tuesday explained the new legal standard for guilt in this country. “When Mueller indicted those Russian military intelligence officers, there was a very big hint in the indictment that there was an American deeply involved,” said former U.S. Atttorney Chuck Rosenberg. “It talked about an American playing a role in that Russian interference scheme.” MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace laughed and responded with this comment: “I remember the keystroke intelligence and remember thinking anyone emailing with Russians – you’re going to be in trouble!” Emailing with Russians. That’s all it takes now to destroy a life. It’s been enough to destroy Carter Page’s life. Remember Carter Page? Page graduated at the top of his class from the Naval Academy and served this country for five years as an intelligence officer. Then he made a fateful mistake. He backed the wrong presidential campaign. Page soon found himself accused of being a Russian spy. There was never any evidence that he actually was a Russian spy. Page was never charged with spying. He was never charged with anything. It didn’t matter. The ghouls on cable news kept up the drumbeat: Carter Page, Russia! Carter Page, Russia! Before long, Carter Page’s life was over, his reputation gone. Who would hire him now? Nobody. Ever. But the ghouls don’t care. They’re on to the next victim. So is Mueller. Maybe it’ll be Jerome Corsi this time, facing a criminal perjury count. Maybe someday it will be you. They’ll make up some official-sounding charge, but don’t fool yourself. What they’re really punishing is disobedience.

Well said, Tucker.  Nothing really you can add to that.  Tucker Carlson currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Tucker Carlson Tonight (weekdays 8PM/ET).      🙂

Guardian: White Women Who Vote Republican Embrace ‘Racist Sadism’

Trump supporters are not only deplorable, they also exhibit a “peevish, racist cruelty,” declares the Guardian newspaper Friday, which makes white women who vote Republican especially guilty. The 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump in 2016 bear out “the conventional wisdom that white women would rather choose the racism espoused by the Republican party than join in the moral coalition represented by men of color and other women,” writes Guardian columnist Moira Donegan in an over-the-top essay. While white men “support Republicans at alarming rates,” she states, white women should know better since they are themselves victims of sexism. The reason that no decent, intelligent woman should vote Republican, especially in the present context, is the “sadistic racism that is Donald Trump’s stock and trade” as well as the “peevish, racist cruelty” embraced by his supporters, Ms. Donegan confidently proclaims. White women need to “break with their historical loyalty to white supremacy and embrace a kinder, more sustainable model for the future,” she states, meaning, of course, a shift to the Democrat party. “But white women are not leaving the Republican party as fast as one might hope,” she continues, evidence of which is that white women in Texas supported “the reptilian Ted Cruz” by 59 percent in midterm elections. “What is wrong with white women?” she asks rhetorically. “Why do half of them so consistently vote for Republicans, even as the Republican party morphs into a monstrously ugly organization that is increasingly indistinguishable from a hate group?” The astonishing conclusion Donegan comes up with is that white women must themselves be racist. They have embraced the opportunity to “savor the pleasures of being cruel.” “It is likely that the white women who voted for him in 2016, and who will vote for him again in 2020, find this racist sadism gratifying. It is fun for them,” she states. The “persistent sexism” of the Republican Party can be seen in their dislike of Hillary Clinton as well as in “the mocking and hounding of Dr Christine Blasey Ford, and in the theatrical sexism that Brett Kavanaugh displayed at his confirmation hearing,” she proclaims, while conveniently forgetting that Judy Munro-Leighton publicly admitted that she had invented claims that Kavanaugh had raped her “several times,” saying that in fact she had never even met Kavanaugh. There is, of course, another possibility that Ms. Donegan does not explore. Some people — white women included — may just prefer to think for themselves rather than be told how they are supposed to think as members of a certain demographic. Some white women may indeed find the Democrats’ full-bore support for abortion-on-demand and its marriage to abortion giant Planned Parenthood to be distasteful, if not despicable. Others may think that it is good for Americans to have jobs and want to see the economy booming, rather than sucked dry by bloated government programs demanding more and more tax dollars. Still others may reject the Democrats’ identity politics, preferring instead to live in a country where people are not judged “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Whatever the reason, a sneering, condescending article suggesting that there must be “something wrong” with white women who vote Republican may just galvanize them in their intentions to keep doing so.

Moira Donegan is a pathological nut-case, and being a white female, also a hypocrite.  She cannot stand white women who actually think for themselves, and dismiss the silliness of the extreme-liberal, socialist, Democrat Party, MoveOn.org, #MeToo nonsense.  So, she went off on this silly diatribe, and made herself look like a complete idiot.  Thanks to Thomas D. Williams, PhD, for bringing us this story.

Bill Bennett: The GOP lost the House – Here’s how they can get it back (plus, my advice for Democrats)

The forecast for Tuesday’s midterm elections called for a blue wave to crash on our shores. What occurred was more of a steady, light blue rain. What happened? The Republicans lost the House by a comparatively small margin and gained firmer control of the Senate. Specifically, with some close races still undecided, Democrats have picked up at least 29 seats in the House. Republicans have picked up at least one seat in the Senate, with races in Arizona and Mississippi remaining undecided. By comparison to the 29-seat loss suffered Tuesday by President Trump’s Republican Party, President Obama’s Democratic Party lost 63 seats in the in 2010 midterm elections. In fact, the incumbent president’s party has lost an average of 37 seats in midterm elections since WWII. While it’s typical for the president’s party to lose seats in the House in midterms, it’s highly unusual for the president’s party to gain seats in the Senate in the same election. It’s only happened three times in the past 104 years – in 1914, 1962 and 1970. Four Senate Democrats lost elections Tuesday after voting against the confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Their seats in Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota and Florida went to the GOP (however, in Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has not conceded and is seeking a recount in his Senate race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott). What’s more, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., won re-election Tuesday after voting to confirm Kavanaugh. This could signal that voters saw the Kavanaugh hearings for what they were: a farce and an outrage committed by Democrats. This consequential mistake by the Democrats will endure. In the states of Texas, Florida and Georgia white women supported Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and for governor. Some 59 percent supported GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, 51 percent supported the Republican candidate for governor Ron DeSantis in Florida, and 76 percent voted for the Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp in Georgia. Despite the far left’s groundswell for women to rebuke the Republican “patriarchy,” this demographic had a strong turnout in red states for the GOP. Republicans won governor races in the traditionally blue states of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Voters are demonstrating a willingness to consider issues and candidates more thoroughly at the state level, not just their own registered party. Democrats saw wins come in for more moderate candidates. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., was re-elected to the House. Lamb champions bipartisanship and focuses on his legislative agenda, rather than on antagonizing President Trump. In addition, Lamb has resisted endorsing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for speaker of the House. Also, four Democrats who are military veterans won House seats. Exit polls show President Trump’s national approval rating at 44 percent. But in states where it mattered most for Senate races, he had higher support. Exit polls also show the primary issues for voters were health care at 41 percent, immigration following at 23 percent and the economy at 21 percent. What does this tell us moving forward? Democrats are seeing increased support for moderate candidates. However, the party leadership, with the celebration of the media, often positions itself on the far left. Will the Democrats embrace a migration towards the middle or undervalue this winning trend at their own peril? On the other side, the GOP at long last needs to work diligently toward an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, since health care was the biggest issue at the polls. Republicans must also loudly promote their success with two of the country’s most enduring, important issues: the economy and national security. For many Americans, strength in these two areas is substantially more important than anything else that influences their vote. They need to be reminded why. Despite the advertisement of a fierce blue wave from the left, President Trump and the GOP weathered the steady light rain quite well. The midterm elections were supposed to be a referendum on the president. The polls suggest a more nuanced response from the voters.

Excellent post-election assessment by Bill.  William J. Bennett was the former Sec. of Education under President Reagan, and is the author of the “Book of Virtues. “