RedState writer Kira Davis is joined by co-hosts April Gregory and Teri Christoph to talk escape rooms, lessons Aziz Ansari might learn from Mike Pence and the false premise of the #MeToo movement. April reviews “I, Tonya” and the ladies geek out over the upcoming Winter Olympics.
This is the guy who looked shocked to discover on TV that his pardon meant that he was guilty of the charge he was being pardoned from.
That’s right, Arpaio. You can’t get pardoned if you’re innocent.
And now Joe Arpaio, the octogenarian former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff is hoping to get that contempt of court conviction removed from his record.
It probably has nothing to do with the fact that he has recently tossed his hat in the ring to run for one of the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seats.
Local Arizona news station KTAR reported Friday that Arpaio has filed an appeal with the U.S. District Court, arguing that Judge Susan Bolton “refused to give the Sheriff a trial by jury,” and that her “verdict was completely unsupported by the evidence, among numerous other reasons” when she found him in contempt of court for refusing to stop racially profiling Hispanic people at traffic stops for immigration checks.
Arpaio, a dedicated Trump supporter, is also a premiere “birther,” having pulled one publicity stunt after another, in search of that ever-elusive “real” birth certificate of former President Barack Obama.
At nearly 85 years old, however, he feels a new career path is in order.
Nobody answer. I know that’s really the only qualification that matters in this current political climate.
“I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not be doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that every day, anyway,” he said.
Yeah, but not always for good reasons. I think that’s the part you’re brushing over.
Arpaio is vying to compete for Senator Jeff Flake’s seat. Whether this becomes another Roy Moore moment depends on if he can get past Dr. Kelli Ward and Arizona Rep. Martha McSally.
Currently, McSally holds a slight lead in the 3-way race, with Arpaio’s entrance serving as a foil to Ward’s ambitions.
Shoes. They’re a favorite topic of conversation — even a favorite pastime — for many. They’re not just apparel or accessory; they’re a statement, an expression, a source of bonding.
Funny aside from long ago: My daughter was turning 3, and I took her to the Sears Portrait Studio to have some pictures taken because that was when I was still a good mom and did those sorts of things. While we waited in line, another little girl, who appeared even younger, came in holding her mother’s hand. She and my daughter eyed one another up and down, as girls so often do, and then she cooed to my daughter, “I like your shoes!” It was such a quintessentially girl thing to do, I couldn’t help but laugh. Even by early toddlerhood, we’ve learned to relate to one another over…shoes!
Though I’ve never been all that big on shopping (unless we’re talking hardware or office supplies — or Target!), shoe shopping with my sisters or friends has most always been a fun occasion. And what mom doesn’t smile (and maybe feel a slight bittersweet twinge) the first time her daughter borrows a pair of her shoes because they fit — both size and looks-wise?
It isn’t just women who love their shoes — men get in on the act, too. I’ve certainly spent some time in the Cole Haan store in Chicago with my beau while he’s ogled their stylish selection. (Note to self: Leave some time for Cole Haan while in Chicago next month!)
And when we wish to encourage empathy, we remind one another to “walk a mile in so-and-so’s shoes.” It sounds a bit trite, but really, there’s both wisdom and compassion packed into just those few words.
It occurred to me yesterday, as I watched my diverse group of friends express an exceedingly polarized array of opinions on social media, that we seem to have forgotten how to do that anymore. Instead, we all too often seem primed and poised to hurl our Franco Sarto’s at one another rather than stopping to consider what a stroll in that guy or gal’s loafers might be like.
And when this troubling development is raised, the instinctive response is to point a finger at someone else as the primary cause. “They started it!” “It’s his fault!” “Welcome to fill-in-the-blank’s America!” I think there’s plenty of blame to go around, including a heaping spoonful compliments of our 24/7 news cycle and social media, which have formed a somewhat sick-and-twisted co-dependent feedback loop in an increasingly frenzied effort to garner the most clicks, likes or views. Viral, indeed.
Mostly, though, I blame us. That’s right — you and me. Because ultimately, we are the ones who decide to click that mouse or flip that channel. We are the ones who choose to hastily type and post that snarky response designed to verbally slap the smile off other’s faces while eliciting backpats from our like-minded posse. We are the ones who, like Eddie Murphy’s mother in Delirious (WARNING: Language), whip our pumps boomerang-like through our monitors (and occasionally face-to-face) at one another — only it’s neither funny nor effective — unless your aim is discord. And if, as you’re reading this, you’re thinking of a certain newly-inaugurated and questionably coiffed Twitter hound, stop and ask yourself this: Are you guilty of doing the very thing you condemn him for doing? (Note: If your answer to this is, “He’s way worse,” your reflector might not be functioning properly. Poor form isn’t subject to the theory of relativity.)
That’s just it, though — we don’t stop, think, reflect anymore. We react. Faster and faster with each technological “advancement”. And we sure as hell don’t contemplate 5,280 feet in someone else’s footwear. (That’s feet, as in distance, not appendages, by the way.) Shoot, at this point, we’re loathe to acknowledge others’ right to march to their own drummer. If they’re not in sync with us, then they’re enemies, evil, worthy of our scorn, not our friendship, our compassion, or even common courtesy.
So, for instance, today, I have many friends who are marching in D.C. and other cities across the country — including my own. Their stated reasons vary, but politically align primarily on the leftward side of the spectrum. And I have other friends clucking at this, sneering, expressing their disgust with these marchers because of their beliefs. Next Friday, I’ll have many friends marching in D.C. and other cities across the country — including my own. Their reasons will vary a bit less, as it’s a singularly focused event, but politically align primarily on the rightward side of the spectrum. And I’ll have some of the very friends who are marching today, clucking, sneering and expressing disgust at these “others.”
These are women (and some men, but primarily women) who, in recent times, might have happily gotten together for a night of wine Bunco; who’d have shared over the phone their concerns about their significant others, their parents, their children; who’d have kvetched about their jobs; who’d have gladly spent an afternoon traipsing through DSW, Macy’s and Dillard’s trying on shoes; who’d have stood in line or at a party and broken the ice by exclaiming, “Ooh, I love those shoes!” But now? No. She’s either on board with your point of view, or she’s dead to you. We may have laced up our tennies to march with purpose and pride, but we’ve apparently lost our way.
And, no, I don’t believe it’s always been like this. While my immediate family was on the same page politically as I was growing up, my parents’ best friends (and my godparents) were in different books. My beloved Grandmother was a staunch Republican, while my parents were diehard Democrats, and there was never so much as a thrown fork or slammed door. One of my best friends in law school was as conservative as the day is long and we fought all the time over politics and such — but in friendly fashion. It was the Euchre matches among our group that got truly heated — but even those didn’t touch what now passes for “discourse”. And most importantly, my views have evolved over the years from quite liberal to moderately conservative/libertarianish while the same people appear to have liked and loved me just the same. Recently, though, I’ve felt increasingly as if some of those relationships were on rather thin ice — like the wrong comment or shared article on social media might suffice to sever a years-long bond.
Ironically, it was the words of our previous President — someone with whom I’ve rarely agreed — which were then called to mind:
If our democracy is to work in this increasingly diverse nation, each one of us must try to heed the advice of one of the great characters in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Okay – so that referenced skin, not shoes, but the point is the same. We’re so afraid to do that anymore — or worse, it doesn’t even occur to us, like it’s beneath us to extend that sort of consideration to one another. As someone who’s spent much of my life being “wrongheaded” in the eyes of many people I know, respect and love, I call hogwash. Your ears aren’t going to fall off and you’re not going to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if you hear or read a viewpoint that doesn’t match your own. You may not ever agree with it. You may even find it uncomfortable or even repugnant. But you will live. And maybe, just maybe, gain a smidge of understanding as to where that other person is coming from. Which isn’t a horrible thing. In fact, when you realize that, viewpoints aside, they lace their shoes up just like you, the world starts to look a little less angry and bleak.
I took a moment yesterday afternoon to remark on Facebook on the fact that the presence in my timeline of vastly different takes on the transition from Obama to Trump assured me that I have a diverse group of friends. I love them all, and wouldn’t have it any other way. And I’d gladly walk a mile in their shoes — or, at least, with them in their shoes. Or better yet, go shoe shopping.
As Americans awoke this Saturday morning to the first government shutdown in nearly five years, the blame game had already begun. When I was a child, my parents taught me that “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” It seems that the Washington version of those words of wisdom is “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.” Clearly, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wanted this government shutdown as a way to create some electoral momentum at the outset of 2018. As the Wall Street Journal words it so well “The Democrats Won’t Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer” with regard to a deal to avoid a shutdown.
As this midterm election year opens, Democrats have less to run on than they anticipated. The tax reform bill they denounced as “Armageddon” has already led to real pay increases for American families, jobs being created, and companies expanding their American operations. These tangible economic benefits of the tax act are going to bolster GOP prospects this fall, as not a single Democrat voted for the law in December. DACA policy seemed like a place where Democrats could corner Republicans, and set-up a fight over the future of Dreamers. Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans, however, signaled a willingness to work on a legislative form of DACA, so long as it was coupled with border security measures to avert further illegal immigration.
After Republicans agreed to address DACA legislatively, Democrats grew even more desperate for a wedge issue for 2018. Thus, the demands began with Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California calling for a “clean” DACA bill. Clean is code for do it the way Democrats demand: legislation to enshrine DACA with zero additional border security measures. Enacting DACA without border security measures will lead to a repeat of what we witnessed when President Obama illegally enacted DACA by executive order in the first place. We will see tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing our borders in hopes of being granted amnesty. This will lead to a true humanitarian crisis, as desperate parents in impoverished countries put their children onto trains, into trucks, and on foot to try and obtain entry into the United States. We cannot repeat this mistake again.
Make no mistake, this government shutdown is on the shoulders of Democrats. They want this shutdown to try and frame Republicans as opposed to Dreamers (which isn’t the case as long as there’s border security included), and as responsible for a government shutdown while there’s total Republican control in the capital. This entire fiasco is designed to help Democrats raise money and win elections this fall. It’s unfortunate that Democrats don’t care about our military men and women, who will be forced to serve without pay if this issue is unresolved, and the millions of people who will, in some form, feel the effect of their electoral gimmicks.
Republicans should not back-down, but make the Democrats own this obstructionism until they act like adults and run the country responsibly. I agree with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, this is the Schumer Shutdown.
Everyone knows all the stupid political nonsense that is ruining the NFL. But every once in a while some good stuff creeps out.
After their horrible 1-15 season in 2016, Browns coach Hue Jackson said that wouldn’t happen again in 2017. He was right – they went 0-16. Some fans decided that merited a parade, and a few thousand of them turned out in bone-chilling weather for it.
Another hapless franchise for as long as most of us can remember is the Buffalo Bills. There were enough bad AFC teams this year that the Bills were on the cusp of making the playoffs. On the last day of the season they got the win they needed, but then had to depend on the Cincinnati Bengals to knock off the Ravens on the road in Baltimore. The Bengals pulled off a near miracle to win that game in the final minute and delirium ensued. Bills fans thanked Cincy QB Andy Dalton by donating well over over $300K to his charitable foundation.
Having grown up in New Orleans, I was as devastated as anyone by the crazy play that allowed the Minnesota Vikings to pull off a miraculous TD in the closing seconds of their playoff game. The game was over but the stupid NFL rules required the extra point attempt to be taken several minutes afterward.
The Saints had already left the field and needed to send 11 players back out. Saints punter Thomas Morstead led them back and Vikings QB Case Keenum took a knee to officially end it. The remarkable part about it is that Morstead busted his ribs making a tackle on his first punt of the game. He had two 50+ yarders after that, then was back out at the end.
His actions did not go unnoticed by the Vikings fans, who have donated over $200K (and counting) to his foundation. Morstead is flying to Minneapolis during Super Bowl week to deliver those funds as a donation to a children’s hospital there.
This is an open thread of course, so feel free to add your own feel-good story or anything else, such as an explanation of why every pro sports figure feels the need to create their own charitable foundation.
Earlier I wrote about the ridiculous spectacle that the State of the Union address has become. This is the red carpet event of the year in DC. Sleazy Beltway operators will be crawling over each other to use the event (and each other) for their personal advantage.
Case in point. Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma) is bringing Bill Nye the climate change fanaticism guy as his date to nerd homecoming.
Because Bill Nye is where Bridenstine got his Science Education.
Why would a Republican invite one of the most unjustifiably condescending, anti-GOP nitwits to the big dance? Because Bridenstine is President Trump’s nominee to head NASA and Bill Nye is now the figurehead of The Planetary Society, a non-profit that promotes space exploration and science. The Planetary Society was founded by actual scientists and space exploration specialists Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and Bruce Murray. Today it seems that the Society sees greater fundraising potential having a glorified birthday party clown as its public face.
The invitation seems designed to bolster Bridenstine’s scientific credentials as he struggles to get the Senate votes necessary for confirmation. Opponents have charged that the former military pilot lacks sufficient background for the NASA job and criticized his positions on climate science.
Sadly, Nye’s position as CEO of The Planetary Society—and probably more importantly—his celebrity and outspoken leftist orthodoxy means he has some influence over Senators who will be voting on whether to confirm Bridenstine as NASA Administrator. Bridenstine seems to have no particularly convincing credentials to be space boss and he’s courting a guy with no particularly convincing credentials to be a thought leader to help make his case. It is Washington reality-show phoniness at it’s finest.
Also, being a Republican, Bridenstine is naturally a bigot and homophobe, whereas Nye has embraced the pseudoscience of gender fluidity. Nye is receiving some blowback for palling around with Bridenstine from climate nuts and social justice warriors.
Nye is also a role model for my grandkids and he will be ‘endorsing’ Bridenstine who is notoriously homophobic. Disappointing. @HRCpic.twitter.com/F3KhwEKMvD
The MoveOn petition to get Nye to back out of attending the State of the Union will undoubtedly be as successful as any online petition in acheiving its goal, which is to harvest dumb people’s email addresses for fundraising purposes.
Bridenstine’s bromance with Nye will probably be successful as well and earn him a few confirmation votes from fence sitters. Plus Bill Nye gets to look and feel like he’s important. Everybody wins.
This week, the House Intelligence Committee agreed to release the transcripts from the November 14, 2017 testimony of Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.
Fusion GPS, as we all know, is the research firm employed to gather research on Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle – first by conservative news site, The Washington Free Beacon, and then picked up by the Clinton campaign.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the dossier produced through those efforts. Some details have been proven, some disproved, and others remain unsubstantiated.
Whatever the case, Republican lawmakers insist an unsubstantiated dossier was the sole impetus for the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as possible collusion by Trump’s team, and they want the investigation shut down.
Democrats, predictably, want to push further, desperate to prove that they didn’t make a bad decision by installing Hillary Clinton as their hand-picked candidate for the presidency.
Then there are those who are standing in between, with suspicions, and maybe some doubts, but who ultimately want to hear everything and get to the truth.
That would be where I’m at, actually.
And speaking of everything, what do the released transcripts of Simpson’s testimony reveal?
Keeping in mind that this was Simpson speaking about what his firm suspected, the transcripts show that there was suspicions of something beyond just an election.
“Those transcripts reveal serious allegations that the Trump Organization may have engaged in money laundering with Russian nationals,” Representative Adam Schiff said.
And honestly, the rumors of Trump and his organization being neck-deep in dealings with the Russian mob have been around for years. These aren’t campaign-generated accusations. Talk to longtime residents of New York and New Jersey and you get the impression that it’s a badly kept secret.
So what brought Simpson and his company to suspect such nefarious activities?
In his testimony, Simpson said that his firm closely examined sales of condominiums in Trump properties in New York, Miami, Panama City and Toronto.
“There were a lot of real estate deals where you couldn’t really tell who was buying the property,” Simpson said. “And sometimes properties would be bought and sold, and they would be bought for one price and sold for a loss shortly thereafter, and it really didn’t make sense to us.”
“We saw patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money-laundering,” he continued.
The Trump Organization’s chief counsel, Alan Garten, claims that the properties referenced by Simpson were simply properties Trump had licensed his name to, rather than having any substantial interest in.
“These accusations are completely reckless and unsubstantiated for a multitude of reasons,” Garten said.
“These issues have nothing to do with the scope of the investigation” by the House intelligence committee, Garten said in a phone interview. “But it’s not surprising the minority (Democrats) would focus on this given they’ve found absolutely no evidence of collusion.”
He’s not wrong. I don’t think the ongoing Russia probe was meant to target potential criminal activity, such as money laundering. I do believe, however, that if money laundering or any other criminal activity is swept up in the ongoing investigation, it could certainly go to motive.
Simpson’s testimony also revealed suspicions that Russia sought to infiltrate U.S. politics through powerful lobbies, such as the National Rifle Association.
It’s true that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats voted to shut down the government, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had the power to defeat the Democrat filibuster. He chose not to, and so this is his fault.
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) listens to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (L) as they attend a press event on tax reform other congressional Republicans September 27, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. On Wednesday, Republican leaders proposed cutting tax rates for the middle class, wealthy and businesses. Key questions remain on how they plan to offset the trillions of dollars in lost tax revenue. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Anyone who’s read the Senate rules knows that Mitch McConnell has far more power to stop filibusters than he likes to pretend. Contrary to myth, there’s nothing in the Senate rules that requires 60 votes to pass a bill!
But what about cloture, you ask? Well, no. The Senate rules are written far more intelligently than that. The filibuster is intended as a delaying tactic. In the UK they strictly limit filibusters in the House of Commons by implementing rules on speeches: You can’t get repetitive, you have to stay on topic, you have to remain standing, and you can’t read your speech. The US Senate isn’t as strict but it does have one important limitation on filibusters.
The Senate puts a hard cap on filibusters with Rule XIX 1 (a):
No Senator shall interrupt another Senator in debate without his consent, and to obtain such consent he shall first address the Presiding Officer, and no Senator shall speak more than twice upon any one question in debate on the same legislative day without leave of the Senate, which shall be determined without debate.
(Emphasis added) If the majority actually wants to pass a bill, then all they have to do is wait it out. Mitch McConnell can tell the Democrats that a filibuster is futile by stating that the daily session of the Senate will remain open – the Senate will not adjourn for the day – until the debate is concluded and the vote happens. What does that mean? It means the Democrats could talk, one by one, until they’re done, and then a vote happens. The bill can pass with a tie even, as long as the Vice President is available to break the tie.
Why don’t McConnell and the Republicans do this? Two reasons. First, they’re lazy. If the Democrats are in the building coordinating their filibuster, rotating through speakers for hours on end, then the Republicans must remain available to vote in greater numbers. Otherwise at any time the Democrats could end the filibuster, vote, and defeat the question.
Second, and more importantly, Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to beat the Democrats very much. As we’ve seen with issues like amnesty, Republican and Democrat leaders don’t disagree on very much. They all want DACA amnesty. They all want CHIP. They all want Obamacare. But they want to go through the motions in a way that lets them look like they’re fighting, so their voters will continue to turn out for them.
Just as McConnell caved on Obamacare, he wants to cave to the Democrats on other issues. So, he lets the filibuster threat win out. Weak, weak, weak. And honest, hard-working government contractors suffer the consequences, as they no longer get paid. Unionized government employees will be fine, but the contractors lose out big time.
That is a very real event with very real consequences. That’s not just some fear-mongering take. Real people are affected by this. Sure, the average RedState reader is probably not directly affected by the shutdown, but it is a noteworthy and newsworthy event. The government has run out of funding for the time being.
There is currently a lot of finger-pointing. Who is to blame? Is it the Republicans or the Democrats? Is it Donald Trump or is it Chuck Schumer? Did Paul Ryan do this? Did Mitch McConnell? Did Nancy Pelosi?
It’s not a one-word answer. We have to go back a couple of days to figure it out.
Going into the negotiations, the Republicans had a plan. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell had a plan: A continuing resolution with CHIP fully funded and no DACA extension. It was an easy political victory. Fund the government and make the Democrats make the hard choice: Are children worth less than illegal immigrants?
That was the plan right up until 8:37 a.m., when President Donald Trump posted the following to Twitter.
CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!
All of a sudden, the Republican leverage was gone.
Democrats seized on the opportunity. “Republicans want to let your children die!” they screamed. Republicans scrambled, offering CHIP in their bill anyway. The Democrats were emboldened, and demanded more. The power of the negotiations was in the Democrats’ hands. Goodbye plan.
From the time House Republicans passed their bill to the time it got to the Senate, they tried to regain control of the message. “We have funded CHIP for a historic six-year term.” It had never been that long. “The Democrats are prioritizing illegal immigrants over our children,” they said. While that point is undoubtedly true, it was too late. The Democrats had their own momentum. The intended to use it.
The Republicans had no Plan B. There was no whip count because there was no plan of action. McConnell called a 10 p.m. vote, which appeared to be little more than a show vote. In keeping with the messaging, the Republicans proved (again, correctly) that the Democrats were, by and large, favoring illegal immigrants – people who broke the law to be in this country – over the children who desperately needed access to CHIP.
The Democrats blocked the bill. They said they would block and they did block it.
That brings us to this morning, a time when the sun rises over the desolate ruins of Washington D.C. There is no government funding, and people will be negatively affected by it.
The Democrats shut down the government. But they were able to, they had the oomph, because what was an easy path for Republicans was made infinitely harder by a President who simply refuses to rein in his social media use and refrain from posting his every thought.
This should have been a Republican victory. Although this situation is salvageable, the better message is lost now, thanks to a single tweet.
This plan was confirmed to RedState by a Senate Republican source who spoke with us on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, a deal was offered to the Democrats for a short term continuing resolution that would fund the government through February 16th, but they rejected it, the deadline passed, and the government shutdown officially began.
“The government may be heading into shutdown but the Senate’s not shutting down,” said McConnell on the Senate floor just after the deadline. “And we’re open to talk and resolve this.”
“I don’t think it makes the institution look very responsible,” he added. “The American people should expect better from us than this.”
UPDATE: CNN has confirmed our reporting, that McConnell is pushing for a continuing resolution through February 8th.
UPDATE #2: Our source also pointed out that last night McConnell had asked for consent to vote on the continuing resolution through February 16th via a majority vote, but Sen. Chuck Schumer objected and forced a vote at the 60-vote threshold, and that measure failed.
Tonight’s 50-49 vote total showed that there were in fact fifty votes in favor of the continuing resolution. So, no matter how Schumer tries to spin this, it was the Senate Democrats who blocked the continuing resolution and caused the government shutdown.
UPDATE #3: The Senate has headed home and will reopen at noon. Depending on timing and if McConnell can get consent, they could vote on McConnell’s February 8th amendment later today, or might have to hold off until Sunday or Monday.