The Utter Selfishness of Roy Moore

Judge Roy Moore

At this moment, there are people on social media who are begging for Al Franken to resign. He will not do so, nor will his party request (much less demand) it from him. He will be allowed to hold his seat and I don’t see much of a chance of him losing his next election because of it.

But there are people out there calling for it. They do so because he groped and kissed a woman against her will. That is bad, of course, and no one should ever do that. Still, it’s not like his head is going to be on a platter anytime soon.

However, in Alabama, you have a Senate candidate in Roy Moore who is accused of (and has offered virtually no defense against allegations of) dating young girls well below his age, some of whom were even underage at the time.

In spite of this, the very same people who call for Franken to step down are defending Moore. They come to his defense, they smear the women accusing Moore of things, and they remain steadfast in their faith. They do not see the hypocrisy in such actions.

Moore himself has vowed that not only will he remain in his race, but he will fight even harder.

The polls do not lie, however. The two latest polls show that Doug Jones is over Moore substantially. RealClearPolitics has a polling average of 0.2 in Jones’ favor. Granted, 2016 is the year that polling officially died, but there is something to be said for trends.

I am working under the assumption that Moore is going to win his race. The polling says one thing, but I am not yet convinced it will happen. Yet.

This does present a problem for the Republican Party. Namely, that Moore is very likely to face some party disciplinary action and possible expulsion from the chamber before he can even get started “fighting” Mitch McConnell and the Establishment.

One of the chief complaints from Trump and Moore supporters (that Venn diagram pretty much overlaps completely) about critics from their own side is that we are trying to help Democrats win. That we are really closet liberals bent on handing this country back to the Democrats. If that were the case, then what on earth would you call Moore?

Moore’s presence within the Republican Party is toxic. Nothing he says or does from here on out is going to be treated as anything other than “Wow, a child molester said/did this.” There is no way he can advance any sort of conservatism if it is forever tainted by his taste for teenage girls.

This is the short-sightedness of the Republican Party in general, which has of late been focused entirely on the here and now fight and not enough on the if and when. They aren’t future planners, and it’s showing.

Roy Moore, if he were truly about advancing conservatism and stopping the Democrats should recognize this. He should see the writing on the wall and back down. But Moore is a man who is interested in pushing Trumpism, Bannonism, or whatever else you want to call it. He is not a panacea for Washington D.C., but a toxin.

It is his utter selfishness that makes this so dangerous for the Republican Party. It could very well cost them a seat.

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Begun The Troll Wars Have: Donald Trump Responds to LaVar Ball

As I mentioned early this morning, Twitter provocateur and United State President Donald Trump has gotten himself into a trolling war that he may not be able to win: He is up against LaVar Ball.

Well, with Ball’s comments downplaying Trump’s hand in getting his son out of China (as you may recall, LiAngelo Ball and two of his teammates apparently stole sunglasses from a Louis Vitton while UCLA’s basketball team was in the country), Trump was bound to respond. And boy did he.

Donald Trump should know better, because what Ball did is exactly what Trump does on a daily basis.

  1. Make controversial statement about someone.
  2. Elicit response from said person.
  3. Come get yourself media attention for the response that person gave.

Ball is a brand-builder. As is Trump. Trump is no more successful in real estate and your local agent. He just happens to have started out with some money and the ability to garner media attention for himself.

At the same time, Ball is no sports genius. He isn’t some great athlete builder. He’s a dude with a loud mouth, decent athletes for sons, and the ability to garner media attention for himself.

So, Trump should know better, because all he is doing is giving Ball a bigger platform to launch his sons from. It’s all a game of headlines and we as America lose when they play it.

God, I hate everything.

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Has Donald Trump Been Out-Trolled?

Donald Trump is America’s first true Troll President. He is the kind of guy who goes out of his way to provoke, attack, and belittle his adversaries in whatever way possible. He is without a doubt one of the best out there, whether you agree with his politics or not.

There have been many challengers to Trump’s trolling attempts. The infamous North Korean propaganda was a thing of beauty, but it did not seem to have an effect. Other political opponents of the President, both foreign and domestic, have tried, but all have failed.

However, he got trolled by the greatest troll in the sports world yesterday, and no one really paid attention. But they should have. Trump may very well be up against the greatest troll walking the earth today.

If you haven’t been following, three UCLA players were arrested for shoplifting from a Louis Vitton store in China. They were eventually released, but forced to remain in their hotel by Chinese authorities.

Apparently, Donald Trump personally intervened on their behalf during his Asia tour, talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping and getting the young men released and sent back to the states.

LaVar Ball, whose son, LiAngelo, was one of those three UCLA players, was apparently asked about Trump’s intervention on behalf of his son and his son’s teammates. His response was classic LaVar Ball.

“Who?” LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday, when asked about Trump’s involvement in the matter. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

As we have seen time and again, belittling Trump uses forces a response. While Trump himself hasn’t said anything, Dan Scavino did offer this gem on Twitter.

The troll got someone to engage, which is the troll’s only purpose.

You have to hand it to Ball. He has managed to take his entirely mediocre son and land him an NBA role almost exclusively because of his own outlandish personality and self-branding. As a marketing guy, he has been a complete and total success. But his son, Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, hasn’t lived up to the hype. He is mediocre at best, and the Lakers are in the bottom five of their division.

Not to mention the shots taken at Lonzo (no pun intended) by other players in the league.

Plus, his second son has been indefinitely suspended for stealing and getting arrested in China. LaVar’s response? “I’ve seen kids do worse.” That was it. What the hell kind of parenting is that?

In a sense, LaVar and Trump are incredibly similar. Both are completely incapable of backing up the biggest promises they make, they are full of bluster, and they are somehow still considered successful despite this.

Plus, they both play the same troll game. Someone publicly dislikes or disrespects them, and they post something provocative that encourages the “hater” to say something back. For these two men, it is all about two things: Themselves and their media appearances, and their constant need to find someone to blame for their own failures.

If Donald Trump happens to get into a war of words with LaVar Ball, then America will likely suffer for it. Mentally, anyway.

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New California Textbooks to Put Focus on People’s Sexuality Instead of Their, Ya Know, History

As a state, California has adopted a fresh take on history: A person’s sexual identity is what matters more than what that person does.

The state’s board of education has approved ten textbooks that it has deemed “inclusive enough,” and rejected two others that were not, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt*, one of the top textbooks producers in the United States.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The rejected textbooks failed to abide by California’s 2011 FAIR Education Act. The law, written by former state Sen. Mark Leno, requires that schools teach about historical figures who were LGBT or who had disabilities.

Equality California’s executive director, Rick Zbur, called the board’s decision a “long-fought victory.”

“Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people, and Equality California applauds the State Board of Education for this historic decision,” Zbur said.

Okay. Cool. LGBT people have contributed to society. This isn’t something that’s up for debate. Likewise, straight people have. White people also have contributed, as well as black, Asian, Hispanic, and other groups.

But, there are two problems here. The first is that we are still addressing the issue of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican who, as a Senate candidate, is having to face allegations that he sought relationships with teenagers in his thirties. Many of the people, including myself, who are thoroughly creeped out by the age difference and, more specifically, the age of the girls in question.

Kindergarten is for five-year-olds. Eighth grade is for 13- to 14-year-olds, typically, which is right in the lower range of the girls Moore was (is?) attracted to. Children between five and 14 years old are not mentally, socially, or emotionally equipped to fully understand sexuality, much less engage in a relationship that will almost certainly include sexuality.

If we are to agree on that, and Heaven knows many folks on the Left outraged by Moore do, then how can we also argue that they are fully equipped to deal with homosexuality, bisexuality, or transsexuality?

The second problem, which ties into the first, is that children at this age don’t need to know sexual preference in order to understand what a person has contributed to society. That Emily Dickinson was a lesbian or that Walt Whitman was gay in no way changes the fact that “A Noiseless, Patient Spider” is one of the best poems I read in high school or that every Emily Dickinson poem can be read to the tune of “Yellow Rose Of Texas.”

This shouldn’t matter in education. Kids sure as hell don’t really care, unless they’re being raised by little activists at home (in which case they’re going to end up being libertarians when they grow up), and you’re getting in the way of real education when you toss activism into the mix. What you end up doing is muddying the waters and confusing who someone identifies as with what they did.

It means very little to children. It may mean more in college, where you can really dive into the psychology behind what people do or write. In elementary and middle school? They care about what is written or what happened, what it means, and how you can extend your knowledge of the subject matter. Sexual identity doesn’t help with those goals. It just confuses the kids as to what the goals are.

 

*Let’s also throw out there that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a way better publisher than McGraw Hill.

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Hezbollah Gearing Up for War on Israel… With U.S. Military Aid?

A Hezbollah fighter holds an Iranian-made anti-aircraft missile, right, as he takes his position with his comrade, left, between orange trees, at the coastal border town of Naqoura, south Lebanon, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Hezbollah organized a media tour along the border with Israel meant to provide an insight into defensive measures established by the Israeli forces along the southern frontier in the past year in preparation for any future conflict. The border tour is the first since an inconclusive month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, and comes amid heightened tensions along the border between the old adversaries, with each side promising to inflict massive casualties on the other in any upcoming war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

That’s what it looks like, at least.

Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror group appears to be stockpiling weapons along Israel’s border, and U.S. military aid may be involved. The concern among U.S. officials is that the aid, which had gone to the Lebanese, is now under Hezbollah control.

The Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo has more on this story:

Following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who fled the country and disclosed that Hezbollah controls the entirety of Lebanon, the U.S. government has continued its support for the Lebanese military, which multiple sources say has long been under the thumb of Hezbollah militants.

The ongoing policy is said to be fueling diplomatic tensions between the United States and Israel, which has found itself allied with Saudi Arabia as the American government advances a host of policies that have contributed to Iran’s regional dominance, including in Iraq and Syria.

The Trump administration’s State Department is coming under increased pressure from lawmakers and other foreign policy insiders to halt all military aid to Lebanon in light of Hariri’s resignation and new evidence that Hezbollah is benefiting from the American arms and aid.

The State Department appears to be completely off-base when it comes to its assumptions about Lebanon, according to the sources who spoke to Kredo.

“It is clear that the State Department and [Defense Department] operate on the false construct that Lebanese Hezbollah and the Lebanese State are two distinct entities when in reality the information available to decision makers points to the dominance of Hezbollah within the state,” one former senior U.S. defense official familiar with the matter disclosed to the Free Beacon.

“Our Gulf allies and the Israelis are intimately familiar with the internal dynamics of Lebanon and clearly understand that Hezbollah is the defacto Lebanese state today, but we refuse to acknowledge this unfortunate reality even when confronted with obvious evidence,” said the source, who would only discuss the sensitive information on background.

As mentioned earlier, that is causing major issues with Israel, who is our best and closest ally in the region. They have a perpetual target on their backs from pretty much everyone who surrounds them, and it makes life incredibly difficult.

So, if the Trump Administration isn’t paying enough attention, that exacerbates an already tense and dangerous situation in the Middle East. It’s clear that the Trump Administration should re-evaluate what’s going on, but with a still largely understaffed State Department and no clear foreign policy for the Middle East, we just don’t know what will happen.

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Top Senate Democrats Call for Ethics Investigation Into Al Franken

Senator Al Franken is in deeper trouble than perhaps he anticipated over the allegations of sexual assault leveled by Leeann Tweeden, a model, sportscaster, and media personality.

Mitch McConnell’s call for an ethics investigation into Franken is one thing. But, for top Senate Democrats to also make that call is another thing entirely. Franken himself, realizing the gravity of the situation, said in a longer statement that he welcomed the investigation.

At the top of the list of Democrats making statements about Franken is Chuck Schumer, who earlier today had to cancel a press conference seemingly because of the scandal.

I hope and expect that the Ethics Committee will fully investigate this troubling incident, as they should with any credible allegation of sexual harassment.

Dick Durbin, who is the second-most powerful Democrat in the Senate, added his statement:

There is never an excuse for this behavior—ever. What Senator Franken did was wrong, and it should be referred to the Ethics Committee for review.

Patty Murray also released a statement.

This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad that Al came out and apologized, but that doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter. I support an ethics committee investigation into these accusations and I hope this latest example of the deep problems on this front spurs continued action to address it.

The Democrats’ rush to come out with statements is understandable, given the current air in Washington and around the country. Given their outcry against Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate of Alabama accused of having relationships with underage and teenage girls, it would be outright foolish of them to hold back their condemnations.

If nothing else, it is nice to see Democrats not waiting twenty years to condemn a sexual assault that is alleged to have been committed by one of their own.

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BREAKING: Al Franken Offers Less Than Mediocre Response to Kissing/Groping Accusation

Al Franken has given a response to the accusation that he kissed model and sportscaster Leeann Tweeden against her will. However, it is not one that really seems to express true concern on the matter.

That’s… not a response. That’s a shrug. He shrugged using words. You can visibly see the shrug he gave as he originally heard Tweeden’s story.

That’s a horrifying reaction to the accusations Tweeden made against him, but it’s clear that Franken doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did.

“It was supposed to be funny” and “I shouldn’t have done it”? That’s not at all how you address that issue. “I don’t remember it that way” is a phrase that I am shocked wasn’t followed by the “but whatever. My bad.” it so clearly implies.

He’s going to have to do better.

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New Report Says Skyrocketing Medicaid Enrollment Actually HURTS Those in Need

One of the long-standing and key arguments for creating and enforcing work requirements for any government benefits recipients is that people who get these benefits end up so dependent on them that they wouldn’t risk giving them up.

Now, a new report by the Foundation for Government Accountability seems to be backing that claim up.

The paper identifies work requirements—similar to those in place for other welfare programs such as food stamps and cash assistance—as an effective way to reduce caseloads, increase the incomes of individuals in welfare, and reduce government dependency.

The report found that:

  • 52 percent of non-disabled adults on Medicaid do not work at all.
  • Since 2000, Medicaid enrollment has more than doubled, with the number of able-bodied adults more than quadrupling.
  • In the past year, taxpayers spent more than $632 billion on Medicaid, more than triple the $206 billion spent in 2000. Enrollment, including the expansion of ObamaCare, made up for 70 percent of the spending increase.
  • In 2000, Medicaid was 19.5 percent of state budgets—today, it is 30 percent. Nearly one in every three dollars goes to Medicaid.

Here’s the thing: With many states expanding Medicaid because of the Affordable Care Act, all that really did was open that spending up to more people. With no requirements for them to earn it, there is no way of controlling that spending.

If there is no method of earning or maintaining that money, what’s to stop someone from just living on these benefits from here on out?

That’s what the FGA’s report says is happening.

“FGA’s past research has shown that the most effective way to free people from the trap of dependency is through work—and Medicaid should be no exception. Since 2000, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid has more than doubled. Total Medicaid spending has nearly tripled since 2000 and spending on able-bodied adults has increased by an astonishing 700 percent. Not only is this unsustainable, but it’s limiting our ability to help the truly needy,” said [Research Director Nic] Horton.

“We know work requirements work. We’ve seen them work in Kansas, and Maine, and in states across the nation. When able-bodied adults gain their independence through work, their incomes skyrocket and they’re able to free themselves from government dependence. It’s past time for the federal government to empower states to enact Medicaid work requirements,” said [Vice President of Research Jonathan] Ingram.

We live in an era where, yes, government benefits like Medicaid do serve a useful and valuable purpose. It’s not really advisable or feasible to completely strip them away from everyone. The backlash would be fierce and human impact would be so negative that it would create a genuine crisis.

However, there has to be a more conservative, more responsible way to make sure that those in need get their access, but are also motivated to go out and find work in order to help them improve their lives. That’s what these benefits are supposed to be for, but they aren’t just a safety net anymore. They’re a security blanket that people hide under when they don’t want to come out and face the world.

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BREAKING: Al Franken Accused of Groping/Kissing Woman Against Her Will (and There Are Photos)

In a shocking accusation, journalist Leeann Tweeden of KABC news has revealed that Democratic Senator Al Franken kissed and groped her without permission.

Not only that, but there is photographic evidence.

The photo in that tweet is pretty conclusive. She is asleep, he is grabbing her breasts. Here’s part of Tweeden’s account, which you can read in full here.

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.

I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.

I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.

I felt disgusted and violated.

Then, she explained the photo above:

I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.

I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?

I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.

I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster.

But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.

For those who don’t understand why someone might not report these allegations, this is why. However, as the number of accusations continues to grow against the big name and powerful people, more and more women now feel comfortable in reporting the abusive behavior.

Franken’s behavior is as repulsive as the rest of the behavior we’ve been hearing reports about from Hollywood to Washington D.C. and everywhere in between.

One hopes that Franken has the decency to apologize.

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Trump Is Absolutely Sure Putin Didn’t Do It, You Guys

I mean, that dreamy look on his face sold me.

After speaking together in Vietnam, President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin seem to have reached an accord over the 2016 elections.

Despite all the evidence and the testimony of the United States intelligence community, Trump says he absolutely believes Putin when Putin says he didn’t try to meddle in the election.

Mr. Trump told reporters traveling with him after a series of talks with Mr. Putin on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Vietnam: “Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. He says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

Mr. Trump did not answer a direct question about whether he believed Mr. Putin’s denials, which contradict the assessment of American intelligence agencies that the Russian president had directed an elaborate effort to interfere in the vote.

Mr. Trump also said that the continued focus on whether his campaign aides had worked with Russian operatives to sway the election was souring Washington’s relationship with Moscow and was blocking progress on vital security issues, such as confronting the nuclear threat from North Korea and ending the Syrian civil war.

Okay.

That’s, um, cool and all, but are we really just going to ignore the evidence? It’s not really a good look for a U.S. president to be actively ignoring/slamming/contradicting his own intelligence community’s information. What’s worse, is that no one was really pushing the idea that Russia is the sole reason Trump won anymore.

Sure, there are investigations into what Trump’s campaign was talking to Russia about, but there is still no evidence that Trump himself did anything. Every time he opens his mouth with a denial or anything like that, he’s just fueling a fire of his own making, and leading people to believe that there is still a there there.

However, most importantly, it’s a bad idea for Trump to be siding with Putin, when Russia has a very long history of trying to mess with the rest of the world, the U.S. and its allies in Europe, included. Why on earth would he think that Russia wasn’t trying to do something to screw with us now?

Did Putin use the puppy dog eyes? I bet he used the puppy dog eyes.

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