The Wire

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

  • Black Bear Sightings Continue to Increase in Alabama

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    Add Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and St. Clair counties to the growing list of black bear sightings in Alabama in 2018. In recent years, bears have also been recorded in Chambers, Elmore, Jefferson, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties. These recent sightings are more evidence of the state’s expanding black bear population.

    Biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say the increase in sightings may be due to a combination of factors including changes in bear distribution, habitat fragmentation, seasonal movement and the summer mating season. However, most spring and summer bear sightings are of juvenile males being pushed out of their previous ranges by their mothers and other adult males.

    Historically, a small population of black bears have remained rooted in Mobile and Washington counties. Baldwin, Covington and Escambia counties on the Florida border host yet another population of bears. In northeast Alabama, bears migrating from northwest Georgia have established a small but viable population.

    “While seeing a black bear in Alabama is uncommon and exciting, it is no cause for alarm,” said Marianne Hudson, Conservation Outreach Specialist for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF). “There has never been a black bear attack on a human in Alabama.”

    Black bears are typically secretive, shy animals that will avoid human interaction. Occasionally, a curious bear will explore a human-populated area in search of food.

    “If you are lucky enough to see a bear, simply leave it alone,” Hudson said.

  • Rep. Byrne Releases Statement on Russia

    From a Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this morning in Helsinki.

    Congressman Byrne said: “I applaud President Trump’s decision to start a dialogue with President Putin and I’m glad he is making it a priority. However, we must remember that Russia is not an ally – economically or militarily. They are an adversary. The United States should not tolerate actions by the Russians that intervene in our domestic affairs or pose a threat to our national security.”

2 months ago

How the Russia investigation helps Trump

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

This week, for the first time in months, a generic ballot poll showed Republicans beating Democrats in the midterm elections.

According to Reuters, Republicans are now leading by six points. And while that poll is obviously an outlier, the movement of the generic ballot in the direction of Republicans isn’t: The average lead for Democrats has been dropping steadily since late February, from a nine-point lead to a four-point lead.

Why?

Certainly, the economy has something to do with it: The job market continues to boom; the stock market continues to hover around 25,000; and GDP continues to grow steadily. And, certainly, foreign policy has something to do with it: There are no catastrophic foreign wars on the horizon, and President Trump’s gutsy calls to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem resulted in zero serious backlash.

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Democrats opposed the Trump tax cuts and have whined incessantly about Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, even going so far as to demonstrate a certain level of warmth toward terrorist group Hamas. This isn’t exactly brilliant politicking.

But there’s another reason Democrats seem to be dropping like a stone, too: their Russia obsession. The reality is most Americans think the Russia investigation is going nowhere. As of early May, just 44 percent of Americans though the FBI special counsel investigation of President Trump and his associates is justified; fifty-three percent thought that the investigation is politically motivated. Three-quarters of Americans think Trump should cooperate with the probe, but Americans are skeptical that there is a there there.

And so far, Americans have been right. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resulted in indictments of Trump associates on a charge of lying to the FBI, but there have been no indictments related to the original brief of his investigation: election collusion with the Russians. Meanwhile, each day seems to bring new headlines regarding the extent of the FBI investigation, dating all the way back to mid-2016. Americans aren’t going to read all the details of the various stories — they’re just going to take away that law enforcement was all over the Trump campaign, has come up with nothing thus far and continues to hound the Trump White House.

Furthermore, Democrats are getting discouraged. They were promised a deus ex machina — an alien force that would swoop in to end the Trump presidency. They hoped it would be Mueller; they were convinced the election was stolen. It wasn’t, and it’s unlikely Mueller will end Trump’s presidency.

So when Trump fulminates about the supposed sins of the “deep state,” few Americans are exercised. Most shrug; some even nod along. Democrats seethe but have no new fodder for their ire — and every day that passes with the media chumming the waters and coming up empty drives down enthusiasm even more. And Trump’s focus on Russia means that he spends less time tweeting about other topics — which helps him, since he’s less likely to make a grave error on those fronts.

If Mueller truly has nothing, there’s a serious case to be made that the Russia collusion investigation actually helped Trump more than it hurt him. And Democrats might just have to come up with a plan for dealing with Trump’s policies other than praying for an avenging angel to frog-march him from the White House.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Pew: 65% of white Democrats don’t believe in ‘all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving’ God

(W.Miller/YHN)

Two-thirds (65%) of white Democrats do not believe in a God or higher spiritual power that is “all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving,” Pew Research Center reported Wednesday.

Pew released results of a  new survey of more than 4,700 U.S. adults regarding their views on the existence and nature of “God, higher power or spiritual force” showing that 95% of Republicans and 95% of nonwhite Democrats believe in God/higher power. But, only 78% of white Democrats believe in the existence of God/higher power.

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Believe in God/Higher Power/Spiritual Force:

–Republicans: 95%
–Non-White Dems: 95%
–White Dems: 78%
–All Dems: 86%

And, while two-thirds of both Republicans (67%) and nonwhite Democrats (64%) say God is “all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving,” only a third of white Democrats (35%) share this belief:

God All-Knowing, All-Loving and All-Powerful:

–Republicans: 67%
–Non-White Dems: 64%
–White Dems: 35%
–All Dems: 49%

Republicans and nonwhite Democrats are also much more likely to believe God possesses any one of these traits than are white Democrats:

God All-Powerful:

–Republicans: 72%
–NonWhite Dems: 72%
–White Dems: 38%

God All-Knowing:

–Republicans: 80%
–Non-White Dems: 77%
–White Dems: 52%

God All-Loving:

–Republicans: 85%
–Non-White Dems: 83%
–White Dems: 63%

Likewise, only 32% of white Democrats hold the traditional view of God “as described in the Bible,” compared to 70% of Republicans and 62% of nonwhite Democrats:

Believe in Bible God:

–Republicans: 70%
–Non-White Dems: 62%
–White Dems: 32%
–All Dems: 45%

About three-fourths of Republicans say God influences their lives, but less than two-thirds of Democrats agree:

God determines mix of big and little things in their lives (those who believe God determines anything):

–Republicans: 76%
–Dems: 62%

God determines mix of good and bad things in their lives:

–Republicans: 74%
–Dems: 63%

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

3 months ago

Americans want Republicans, not Democrats, to run the economy

(Pixabay)

More American voters want the Republican party to remain in charge of the economy and tax policy, according to an NBC News/WSJ poll released Monday evening.

The two media outlets found that 35 percent of Americans believe the Republican party is better suited to handle the economy, compared with 28 percent who think Democrats have the better economic policies.

Roughly three months ago, Democrats had the upper hand. Thirty-five percent of American voters thought Democrats were the better choice in December — the same month Republicans passed the 2017 tax reform bill.

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The party now holds a slim 2 percent advantage over Democrats on the question of who has the better tax policy. Democrats had a 4 percentage point advantage in December.

Americans remain divided on whether or not the 2017 tax reform bill was a net-positive. Only 27 percent of Americans think the bill was a good idea, while 34 percent say they don’t know enough about the bill and 36 percent say it wasn’t a good idea.

A slim majority of Americans — 53 percent — think it is likely a negative because of expectations that it will greatly increase the federal deficit. Americans also believe the bill was a giveaway to the wealthy and major corporations.

Recent findings from government oversight officials work to back up Americans’ growing federal deficit concerns.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects the Republican tax reform bill and 2018 congressional budget agreement to grow the economy over the coming years, but adds nearly $2 trillion to federal deficit over the next decade.

The CBO released analysis earlier in April detailing how the federal budget deficit will be $804 billion in 2018 and exceed $1 trillion in 2020. Publicly held U.S. debt will total $28.671 trillion by the end of 2028, amounting to over 96 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) that year.

Republican tax cuts are expected, as leadership has repeatedly claimed, to grow the economy over the next two years. Real GDP will expand 3.3 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2019. Starting in 2020, those gains are expected to taper off. The CBO expects real GDP to grow 1.8 percent in 2020, continuing at an average annual rate of 1.7 percent from 2020-2026.

While the deficit remains a concern, the tax bill has shown and is expected to show some other net-benefits for the American people. Hundreds of corporations and small businesses announced bonuses and wage increases following the bill’s signing last December, although many have decried the moves as simply a public relations stunt. Americans filed their first tax returns under the new Republican tax plan Tuesday, a first litmus test for voters and politicians as to how effective the tax cuts will end up being.

Tax cuts are also expected to bring nearly $2 trillion in capital held overseas back to the United States, according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments report.

The U.N. expects the Republican tax law could lead to the repatriation of roughly $2 trillion in funds that American multinationals are holding overseas. U.N. analysts attribute their predictions to the dramatic cut to the U.S. corporate tax rate that took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

3 months ago

Sen. Doug Jones has proved himself — so far — to be a moderate Democrat

(YHN/PolitiFact)

A recent Morning Consult poll showing Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’s approval rating at 47 percent – four points under Shelby’s 51 percent – gives me reason to revisit my thoughts on Sen. Jones’s politics.

A few days after Doug Jones was elected as a U.S. senator, I offered four reasons why he looks like a moderate Democrat.

My reasoning was based primarily upon some of Jones’s statements and actions during his campaign, which I found peculiar and non-descriptive of a thoroughbred progressive: He used a Confederate colonel, even calling him brave, to make a point about finding common ground in politics; he rejected the idea – at least at the time – that President Trump should resign because of how badly he governs, as his party colleagues embraced it; he was genuine in his remarks about compromise and demonstrated a real desire to work with his Republican counterpart, Sen. Richard Shelby.

Now that he’s had a few months in Congress, what kind of Democrat has Doug Jones — so far — proved himself to be?

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Many of his votes have been fairly nondescript. He voted for February’s continuing appropriations resolution, for the recent spending bill, against the White House’s immigration proposal, against the banning of abortions after 20 weeks. These votes fall mostly within the party’s mainstream.

However, Jones has elsewhere demonstrated a willingness to split from his party in support of some key conservative reforms and of the president.

Chief among those cases is his vote in support of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which loosened financial regulations put in place by Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Progressive heavyweights – Sens. Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and 28 other Democrats – voted against the bill. Dodd-Frank is at the heart of progressive regulatory policy, and a vote in favor of reforming it is a significant split from that.

Jones has also supported several of President Trump’s nominees, voting in favor of Alex Azar’s nomination to the post of secretary of Health and Human Services and in favor of David Ryan Stras’s nomination to the Eighth Circuit. Only five other Democrats supported Azar’s nomination, and only six others supported Stras’s.

To be clear, these things make Jones a moderate Democrat, not a political moderate overall.

Most Alabamians surely like to see Jones supporting conservative reforms and supporting the president, but his extreme position on abortion remains a major hurdle.

Jones should – as Yellowhammer News Editor Pepper Bryars argued in January – sincerely consider reforming his position on abortion, not only to reflect the overwhelming majority of Alabamians’ beliefs about abortion, but because it’s the right thing to do.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

4 months ago

We, the voters, are suckers as politicians campaign for their base, govern for the center

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States, they feared the possibility of partisanship overtaking rights-based government. To that end, they crafted a system of checks and balances designed to pit interest against interest, promoting gridlock over radical change. The founders saw legislators, presidents and judges as ambitious in their pursuit of power.

They could not have foreseen our politicians.

Our politicians aren’t so much ambitious for power as they are afraid of accountability. And so, we have a new sort of gridlock on Capitol Hill: Politicians campaign in cuttingly partisan fashion and then proceed to avoid solving just the sorts of issues on which they campaigned.

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Last week, for example, Republicans passed a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus funding package to avert a government shutdown. It included full funding for Planned Parenthood and the regional Gateway rail project, but not full funding for the border wall. Republicans had spent years decrying deficits, criticizing funding for Planned Parenthood and ripping useless stimulus spending; they’d spent years clamoring for a border wall. When push came to shove, they did nothing.

Meanwhile, Democrats tore into the Republican budget for failing to ensure the permanent residence of so-called DREAMers, immigrants living in the United States illegally who were brought to the country as children. Then they rallied in Washington, D.C., along with gun control-minded students from Parkland, Florida, calling for more regulations on the Second Amendment. When Democrats held control of Congress and the presidency from 2009 to 2011, however, they promulgated no new gun legislation and passed no protection for DREAMers. Instead, then-President Barack Obama issued an executive action during his re-election cycle after saying repeatedly that he could not legally do so, and he complained incessantly about guns.

So, what should this tell us?

It should tell us that we, the voters, are suckers.

Our politicians use hot-button political issues in order to gin up the base and get us out to vote. They talk about how they’ll end funding for Planned Parenthood and cut back spending on the right; they talk about how they’ll end gun violence and protect DREAMers on the left. Then, once in power, they instead focus on broadly popular legislation instead of passing the legislation they’ve promised. They campaign for their base, but they govern for the center.

So, what are the real differences between the parties? The Republican Party is in favor of tax cuts and defense spending; the Democratic Party is in favor of increased regulation and social spending. All the other discussion points are designed merely to drive passion.

Practically speaking, this means gridlock on the issues about which Americans care most. Don’t expect Republicans to stop funding Planned Parenthood anytime soon. And don’t expect Democrats to start pushing serious gun control. They keep those issues alive deliberately to inflame excitement during election campaigns. Then, once in power, those issues go back into the freezer, to emerge and be defrosted when the time is right.

It’s a convenient ploy. It means that partisan voters will never buck their party — after all, if the other side gets into power, they’ll really go nuts. And, hey, maybe this time, our party bosses won’t lie to us.

But they will. And we’ll swallow it. And the government will grow. But at least we’ll have the comfort slamming one another over issues that will never get solved.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

David Limbaugh: Hillary’s hateful harangue

Hillary Clinton’s abhorrent remarks in Mumbai, India, last week warrant our attention because, like it or not, they represent the thinking of a large swath of the modern Democratic Party.

But my aim is not to highlight Clinton’s never-ending catalog of excuses for losing the presidential election, except to note that rather than blame everyone and everything but herself, she should apologize for stealing the nomination. If she hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have to blame anyone.

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She should also have to answer for FISA-gate, but I don’t want to waste space demonstrating Clinton’s unfitness for office — because I have little fear she’ll run again, and Democrats surely aren’t crazy enough to indulge her if she tries.

Instead, let’s review her disgraceful tirade in Mumbai, in which she blamed Americans’ racism and misogyny for her election loss.

“We do not do well with white men, and we don’t do well with married white women,” said Clinton. “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Hold the phone. Do you see the rich irony here? “Hear me roar” Hillary is impugning the independence and courage of women — the very people she is pretending to defend against our GOP misogyny? Seeing as she is maligning men, wouldn’t it be prudent not to insult the other half of the human race at the same time? I know few men who don’t have a higher opinion of women than this female liberal icon is displaying here.

You know darn well that Bill Clinton has a devil of a time persuading Hillary to do what she doesn’t want to do — unless it will advance her interests. So why would she assume that other women would be any less independent?

Sure, you can say she isn’t talking about all women — just white wives of Republican men — but what difference, at this point, does it make? There are way too many white GOP wives to pretend they are an exception to the norm. If GOP men are so evil, why did so many women marry them? Are they evil themselves, Mrs. Clinton? Or are they just gullible, malleable, soulless or weak? Choosing any of those options would reveal egregious disrespect for millions upon millions of women, which shatters Clinton’s argument to smithereens.

The India Today interviewer asked Clinton why 52 percent of white women voted for Trump despite the “Access Hollywood” tape showing him using vulgar language about women. I guess that even though the host is balding and graying, he is too young to realize how awkward this question was for the spouse of our former commander in heat, Bill Clinton. Then again, Hillary didn’t flinch before launching into her next set of progressive talking points.

“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,” she said. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”

Not only is Clinton doubling down on her “deplorables” slander of Trump supporters. She is confirming the Obama-Clinton progressive view of America: Its best days are in the past. Settle in for economic malaise, because that’s the best you’re going to get. For if you want a government that isn’t hostile to business and entrepreneurship and that will reduce the tax and regulatory burden on America and unleash its engine of free market growth, you are “backwards.”

But the real kicker was Clinton’s summary of Trump’s supposed message to voters: “You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights. You didn’t like women, you know, getting jobs. You don’t want (to), you know, see that Indian-Americans (are) succeeding more than you are.”

You know, you know, you know? No, we don’t know. You ought to be ashamed, Mrs. Clinton, especially for lying when you apologized for calling us deplorables and said we are driven by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” beliefs. You meant it then, and you mean it now.

But again, my beef isn’t with Clinton. It’s with the Democratic Party proper, which has long been cynically peddling this very message in direct and subtle ways to alienate minority voters from the Republican Party, whose policies are manifestly more conducive to their economic well-being. For starters, go back and look at the racially charged statements Obama sprinkled throughout his terms in office.

Sadly, this messaging works; I have seen too much evidence of it in my adult life to rationally deny it. The Democratic Party is running out of effective ideas, so it increasingly resorts to race baiting, gender shaming and other forms of intentionally divisive identity politics.

The racism smear is an evil cousin of racism itself because it falsely and negatively stereotypes groups of people and demeans their human decency and dignity. It does incalculable damage to the groups it vilifies and is corrosive to our society because it subverts racial harmony. And it certainly does minorities no favors to deceive them into suspecting that half the people in the country are somehow prejudiced against them.

But I have a feeling this shtick is losing its mojo. Under President Trump, the Republican Party is finally learning to fight back and defend itself against such slurs and showcase the superiority of its policies for all people, including minorities.

(Image: Fox News/YouTube)

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

Until Democrats come to grips with why Hillary lost, Trump will keep winning

Last weekend, Hillary Clinton spoke in India. There, she continued to struggle publicly with the most humiliating experience of her life, not her husband’s continual sexual misconduct or her State Department’s mishandling of Benghazi but her loss of the presidency to a reality television show host. Hillary’s not over it. And she never will be.

That much was obvious from her incredible, palpable anger at the American public. She first explained that Trump voters are stupid poor people: “what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”

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But Clinton wasn’t done. She then stated that Trump voters are ignoramuses who still stumble out to their outhouses in the middle of the night and stoop over a hole in the ground while reading old copies of Ku Klux Klan newsletters. Those people, she said, fell prey to Trump’s racist “Elmer Gantry” pitch: “you didn’t like black people getting rights. You don’t like women … getting jobs. You don’t want to … see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”

For good measure, Clinton tore into women who voted for Trump as well — and suggested that they are all little Tammy Wynettes standing by their men. “(W)e don’t do well with married white women,” Clinton explained. “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever believes you should.” Yes, women who voted Republican only did so because they are afraid that ol’ Bob is going to come home, get the beatin’ stick out of the closet and start a-whoopin’ and a-whalin’ on the little woman.

And then, Democrats wonder why they had trouble winning Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Here’s the reality: None of this is true. The average Trump voter outearned the average Clinton voter, and 86 percent of Trump voters were employed, about the same percentage as Clinton voters. Tribalism in voting exists on both sides: The intersectional politics of the Democratic Party is inherently race based, and Trump successfully responded to that sort of politics in reactionary fashion. As to the notion that married women didn’t vote for Clinton because of their husbands, 52 percent of married women voted for Trump; 53 percent of married women voted Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, and 51 percent voted for Republican candidate John McCain in 2008. Married women vote differently than single women not because of pressure from their menfolk but because they often have children, value family over career more than single women and are older than single women on average.

But here’s the point: Clinton represents a nasty, vengeful take on populations she has trouble winning over. That nastiness has filtered through the Democratic Party, which is firmly convinced that it’d be better off drilling down into population groups it thinks are interested in tearing down the system along with them than reaching out to populations it has lost. If Democrats continue with that quest, they’ll alienate the very voters who gave Trump victory in 2016.

(Image: MSNBC/YouTube)

Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, Copyright 2018)

8 months ago

Ben Shapiro: Bill Clinton won after all…and why Democratic indifference matters in the Moore scandal

 

 

Two weeks ago, it seemed that former President Bill Clinton was finished as a public figure. A variety of public intellectuals on the left had consigned him to the ashtray of history; they’d attested to their newfound faith in his rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick or torn him to shreds for having taken advantage of a young intern, Monica Lewinsky.

The moral goal was obvious: Set up a new intolerance for the sexual abuse of women. The political goal was even more obvious: Show that Democrats are morally superior to Republicans, and in doing so, shame Republicans into staying home rather than voting for Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore, who has been credibly accused of sexual assault of minors.

Then it all fell apart.

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — the first female speaker of the House — brushed off Clinton’s scandals with a simple one-liner: “Well, I think it’s, obviously it is a generational change. But let me say the concern that we had then was that they were impeaching the president of the United States, and for something that had nothing to do with the performance of his duties.”

Why would Pelosi defend Clinton? Because she also has to defend Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., both of whom have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault. And why would she have to defend either of them?

That’s the $64,000 question. She really doesn’t — just as the Democrats never had to defend Clinton. If they’d kept their mouths shut and let Clinton resign, then-Vice President Al Gore would have been president. There’s a high likelihood he would have been re-elected in 2000. If the Democrats were to let Franken fall today, his replacement would be appointed by a Democratic governor of Minnesota. If they were to let Conyers go down, he’d be replaced in a special election in what The Cook Political Report deems a D+32 district, meaning it performed an average of 32 points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole in 2016. Democrats wouldn’t miss a beat, and they’d have a shot at taking out Moore to boot. By defending Franken and Conyers, Democrats give Republicans ample opportunity to back Moore and point at Democratic hypocrisy all the while. While Republicans can at least point at the potential loss of a Senate seat to justify backing Moore, Democrats wouldn’t suffer any loss by dumping Franken and Conyers.

There’s only one real reason Pelosi would stand by accused Democrats: She doesn’t care. Her logic with regard to Clinton is the only one that matters. He was a Democrat, and his sexual improprieties had nothing to do with his capacity for voting for her agenda. This was the national argument we had in 1998, and it was settled in Clinton’s favor. Character doesn’t matter. Only agenda does.

Republicans bucked that agenda. They don’t anymore.

In order to shame Republicans, Democrats seemed to buck that agenda this time around. But that was all bluster.
Bill Clinton didn’t just escape impeachment in 1998. He won the argument. He taught Americans that no matter how scummy our politicians might be, so long as they side with us on matters great or small, we ought to back them. We ought to back them not because our principles are important but because there might be some point in the future when our principles are at stake, and we don’t want our feet held to the fire then, do we?

In the famous play “A Man for All Seasons,” Sir Thomas More, betrayed by his former colleague Richard Rich in exchange for the post of attorney general in Wales, says: “Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. … But for Wales?” We’re willing to give our souls for nothing. Or perhaps they’re already gone.

Ben Shapiro, 33, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM

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8 months ago

John Stossel: As Republicans seek tax reform, Dems and media tell same “evil rich” story

 

 

As Republicans struggle to agree on a tax plan, Democrats and much of the media label each attempt at reform a “gift” to rich people.

In one sense, they are right. Any tax cut disproportionately favors rich people since the rich pay much more tax.

But the media and Democrats (is there a difference?) are wrong because they routinely portray rich people as parasites who take from other people.

Flying Dog Brewery owner Jim Caruso objects to that kind of thinking. He took over a bankrupt brewery and made it successful by inventing new craft beers. I won’t buy his beers — with varieties like blood orange ale — but enough people like them that Caruso has become relatively rich.

He’s the kind of person Sen. Bernie Sanders rails about. “The top 1 percent,” complains Sanders, “earned 85 percent of all new income.”

That sounds unfair. But Caruso doesn’t see it that way.

“My goal in life is to be the best part of your day,” he told me. “You will have unequal outcomes (but) we all benefit from that.”

He’s right. Caruso provided consumers new choices and created more than 100 jobs.

But for my YouTube video this week, I pushed back: “The top fraction of earners has half the assets in this country. This ticks people off. They view it as evil.”

“Think about it this way,” responded Caruso. “Apple was the first company to be worth $800 billion dollars. I was curious, how much was (Apple founder) Steve Jobs worth in 2011 when he passed away? … Ten billion dollars! I did some quick calculations…”

His calculations revealed that because about 2 billion Apple devices were sold, Jobs collected about $5 for each device.

Isn’t your cellphone worth much more to you than $5? Mine is. It must be, since I just paid $800 for a new one. I got a machine worth hundreds of dollars to me, but the inventor got only $5.

“Steve might have been underpaid,” said Caruso. “The feeling tends to be that somebody like Steve Jobs took something away from everybody else … (but) what did Jobs take? … (H)e had this idea: Wouldn’t it be great to have a thousand songs in your pocket? (He created) one of the most massively important tools for productivity and communication in life!”

Generally, Jobs got a pass when the media attacked rich people, maybe because reporters liked Apple’s products. But other rich Americans are routinely labeled “parasites.” Sanders suggests that if some people have billions, the rest of us must have billions less.

But that’s not true, Caruso points out. “It’s that zero-sum game mentality: that somehow people who create stuff are taking it from other people. That’s simply inaccurate. It’s not a zero-sum game. They’re creating stuff that didn’t exist before.”

He’s right. It’s not as if there’s one pie and when rich people take a big piece, less is left for the rest of us. Billionaires like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, the Koch brothers, etc. got rich only by baking thousands of new pies.
Entrepreneurs create things; they don’t take from others.

Well, they do take if they conspire with government to get special deals — subsidies, bailouts, regulations that protect them from competition. But without government force, businesspeople get rich only by selling us things we willingly purchase.

We get to decide if we’d be better off with the products that creators offer to sell. Producers get to decide whether they can make enough money from those sales to make their efforts worth their while.

This mutually beneficial exchange is the heart of a market economy.

Government, on the other hand, only knows how to do two things: make you engage in exchanges you don’t want, and prevent you from engaging in exchanges you do want. With every order it issues, government makes the pie a little smaller.

As long as rich people don’t collude with government, they make our lives better.

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”


DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

1
8 months ago

Democrat senate candidate’s abortion views are abhorrent to most Alabamans

(DougJonesForSenate.com)
Photo from DougJonesForSenate.com

 

Doug Jones, the Democrat nominee to replace Senator Jeff Sessions, appeared on MSNBC recently and was asked whether he’d support banning abortion after 20-weeks, the time at which an unborn child is known to feel the pain of the brutal procedure.

“You wouldn’t be in favor of legislation that said ban abortion after 20 weeks, or something like that?” asked Chuck Todd, the show’s host.

“No, I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose,” Jones said. “That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years, it’s the position I continue to have.”

Not … in … favor … of … anything.

Jones then attempted to mask the atrocious opinion by saying that, “once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child, that’s where I become a right-to-lifer.”

Seriously?

So we’re to think that in the few months, few weeks, or perhaps even few days or hours before birth, the baby is something else, perhaps the often described “blob of tissue.” But then something magical happens that turns the baby into a person between the moment it’s in the mother’s womb and the moment it’s in the doctor’s hands.

Move over, Fairy Godmother. Your old trick of turning pumpkins into carriages is child’s play compared to this.

And that’s where Doug Jones and his party are on this issue – a land of fiction.

Anyone with eyes to see can tell a 20-week-old unborn baby is a person, and even the hardest of hearts must accept that biological fact as the months proceed.

This is biology, not theology.

Yet it’s the policy of the Democrat Party, and candidates like Jones, that these helpless unborn children cannot, must not, enjoy equal protection under the constitution.

And they think this is the man we should choose to confirm our next slate of U.S. Supreme Court justices?

Whatever concerns one may have about Judge Roy Moore, conservatives in Alabama … and anyone in the state who values life … must vote against Jones and his party’s monstrous pro-abortion policy.

J. Pepper Bryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of “American Warfighter.” Follow him on Twitter @jpepperbryars.

1
10 months ago

State GOP Chairman: Planned Parenthood is “More Than Welcome” to Stump for Jones in Alabama

ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan
ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden held a rally in Birmingham in support of Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones. The media attention surrounding that event, along with early polls, has given the Jones campaign and its supporters a glowing sense of optimism.

Republicans in the Yellowhammer State are equally eager to help Doug Jones get his message out, showing voters which organizations stand behind him and what he believes—especially state GOP Chairman Terry Lathan.

In a recent interview with Breitbart News, Lathan said she believes that voters will reject Jones because of those views and associations. In fact, she invited all such organizations to let Alabama know that they stand with Doug Jones.

“I would encourage outside groups to come to Alabama that support the Democrat nominee — Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org, who has already endorsed him, Hollywood elites and any Clinton available would be more than welcome to remind our voters who the Democrats are.”

The last time a Democrat won a statewide election in Alabama was in 2006. Since then, the state has bled red throughout every statewide election and shows no sign of switching loyalty anytime soon.

As Lathan added:

“What I do see is Alabama voters not tipping the balance of power toward the Democrats in the Senate to help [Elizabeth] Warren, [Chuck] Schumer, [Bernie] Sanders and the liberals. Since 2008, our nation has clearly moved away from their big government and socialist policies. The Democrats have lost 1,000 seats. America has spoken very clearly, and this Alabama senate race will mirror the Trump versus Clinton election in Alabama.

Donald Trump won Alabama by a vote of 62% to 34% last November, making it pretty clear that a large majority of Alabama voters reject the Democrat party’s platforms, especially over moral issues like abortion.

As noted in another recent Breitbart article, Doug Jones made his stand on abortion pretty clear to an MSNBC reporter. Here are his exact words, as reported by Breitbart:

Well, look, I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body. And I’m going to stand up for that and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen.

I want to make sure that as we go forward, people have access to contraception, they have access to the abortion that they might need, if that’s what they choose to do. I think that that’s going to be an issue that we can work with and talk to people about from both sides of the aisle.

In fact, the Breitbart article even reported that Jones supports late-term abortions, leaving readers to conclude that the only child’s life he will defend is a child that has already been born. Here’s the excerpt from that article:

When Todd asked him if he would not support legislation that banned late-term abortions, Jones replied:

I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years. It’s a position I continue to have.

But when those people — I want to make sure that people understand that once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right to lifer.

This is an interesting stance for a candidate in a strongly pro-life state because the New England Journal of Medicine reported over two years ago that infants have a strong chance of survival outside the womb after only 22 weeks of gestation (less than six months into the pregnancy).

At 34 weeks, the baby can see, blink its eyes, turn its head from side to side, feel pain, and tell the difference between day and night. This child has fingernails, toenails, and in many cases, a full head of hair. This baby’s brain has already formed trillions of connections, making it possible to learn in the womb, and it can unquestionably live outside the womb.

According to what Doug Jones told MSNBC, however, protecting the life of this child is an act of infringing on the woman’s right to choose. Therefore, if she decides this baby must die to suit her wishes, he says, “I’m going to stand up for that, and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen.”

The U.S. House of Representatives doesn’t see it that way. Yesterday, the House passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) expressed the view of most Republicans when she said, “We must care for these unborn children, not cruelly inflict pain…by treating them as objects.”

According to AbortionProcedures.com, the kind of late-term abortions Jones apparently supports are complicated, “Since the baby is removed in pieces, sharp pieces of broken fetal bones can puncture the woman’s uterus or cause a large tear (laceration)” and the most difficult part “is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head.”

Back in 1998, the New England Journal of Medicine described another form of abortion used when mothers pregnant with twins or triplets babies only want one of the babies.  They described this procedure (creatively labeled “selective reduction”) like this:

Using ultrasound to locate each fetus, the doctors would insert a needle into the chest cavity of the most accessible fetus and place the needle tip directly into the heart of the baby. Potassium chloride was then injected into the heart and the heart was viewed on the ultrasound screen until it stopped beating.

When voters understand that Doug Jones apparently supports a woman killing her unborn child no matter how late she decides to do so, and that he describes this as a health choice—despite the fact that medical science has provided incontrovertible evidence that such babies are living, learning, and feeling human beings—he will likely have a tall mountain to climb winning the majority of votes in Alabama.

1
10 months ago

Strange Defies McConnell – Withdraws Support of Filibuster Rule

During a Tuesday morning press conference in Birmingham, Senator Luther Strange announced that he has decided to take his name off of a letter he signed in April expressing his support for keeping the filibuster rule. Strange announced that upon returning to Washington, he will submit a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer withdrawing his support for the filibuster rule.

The filibuster rule has been used in the senate for years as a stalling tactic. If invoked, the rule requires a 60 vote majority to stop. This serves as a major barrier to Republicans, who only hold 52 seats in the senate – just shy of enough votes to be able to stop a Democratic filibuster. The implications of the filibuster rule were felt severely by Republicans during the health care vote this summer. That is one reason why Strange has decided to withdraw his support.

The letter to McConnell and Schumer states in part:

“I respectfully withdraw my signature from the aforementioned letter and instead make a declaration that it is necessary for Republican Senate Leadership to work to change the filibuster rule, as President Trump has requested, and give the American people’s Senators the opportunity to debate on any legislation that can receive a simple majority vote.”

Strange believes this is a step toward being able to get things done in Washington, especially given the obstructionism seen from both Democrats and Republicans. Without the filibuster, Republicans can potentially pass legislation regarding health care, tax reform, immigration, and infrastructure.

Strange’s decision marks a dramatic split from Mitch McConnell, who has been vocal in his support of both Strange and the filibuster. With this move, Strange seems to be aligning himself more closely with the Trump Administration’s agenda as opposed to the agenda of the Senate insiders.

1
11 months ago

Can Doug Jones Earn the Support of His Fellow Democrats?

(Doug Jones for Senate/Facebook)
Courtesy of Doug Jones for Senate (Facebook)

Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate for the Alabama senate race to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat, seems to be flying relatively low under the radar. While it will be tough for any Democrat to mount a significant campaign in a deeply red state, according to an article by POLITICO, Jones is “cash poor, outgunned,” and isn’t getting any help from his fellow Democrats.

Several state special elections have gained national recognition as of late, as Democrats attempt to swing seats as disapproval with the GOP continues to rise. Many of those attempts have crashed and burned, most notably Jon Ossoff’s attempt at Georgia’s sixth congressional district. Ossoff was able to gain national prominence by positioning himself as a leader of the anti-Trump resistance. He railed against Trump throughout his campaign, earning him the support of prominent Democratic super-PACs. In the end, Ossoff raised more money than any House candidate ever – $23 million – but it still was not enough to swing the election.

Perhaps in light of these recent defeats, Democrats have been reluctant to get their hands dirty in Alabama’s special election. In fact, Jones reportedly has under $100,000 in cash for his run at the Senate. However, Jones seems perfectly fine with running a low profile campaign. He appears to be an ideal Democratic candidate in the “the post-Charlottesville world.” However, unlike some other Democratic candidates such as Ossoff, Jones has refused to make anti-Trump messaging the driving force of his campaign.

In an interview with POLITICO, Jones insisted that he would rather focus his campaign on civil rights, wages, and health care.

“This election should not be about Donald Trump. He is popular in a lot of places, but he is also widely unpopular [among some] people that are going to vote. I don’t really have to talk about Donald Trump, [though] sometimes it’s just impossible not to, given some of the noise that went out of the White House these days.”

Without Jones receiving any national recognition, Democrats seem very reluctant to get involved in a race where the Republican president won by 28 percentage points last year. POLITICO also pointed out that while Trump’s approval ratings have continued to fall across the nation, his approval continues to rise in Alabama. His national approval rating currently sits at 40 percent, compared to 54 percent in Alabama.

“Alabama is a stretch. Some of the other races this year have been too, [but] this seat is probably more difficult,” said Adam Bozzi, a senior operative for the group. “Replicating what Jon Ossoff did is probably unrealistic, for anybody.”

Even the most optimistic Democrats acknowledge Jones’s chances are a long shot at best. POLITICO noted, “Jones is looking more closely at the model of Archie Parnell, the little-noticed South Carolina Democrat who came surprisingly close to winning a congressional seat in June by organizing a strong ground game that largely flew under the GOP radar.” Joe Trippi, Jones’ chief strategist, said that the campaign hopes to appeal to the state’s broader electorate by focusing on Jones’s biography instead of flashy fundraising.

Jones has received support from prominent Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden and civil rights activist Representative John Lewis. However, any major fundraising by Democrats will have to wait until after the Republican runoff in late September. Many are waiting to see who Jones’ opponent will be before promising any contributions.

“We haven’t decided to get involved in this race. Alabama is obviously a tough state for any Democrat, but with Trump’s nose-diving approval ratings and Democrats’ string of successes in special elections this year, we’re keeping a close eye on this,” said Carolyn Fiddler, political editor at Daily Kos, the blog that was largely responsible for Ossoff’s fundraising efforts.

There is no doubt that Jones will need help if he hopes to mount any sort of challenge to Luther Strange or Roy Moore. Will his fellow Democrats rally behind him or will he be left to fight on his own?

1
11 months ago

Sessions’ Justice Department Stands Strong on Texas Immigration Law

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) debates immigration reform in a committee hearing. (Photo: Screenshot)

The state of Texas recently passed a new law meant to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. This Texas law came in the wake of increasing numbers of large urban areas across America becoming “sanctuary cities” based on their refusal to comply with federal immigration law. However, earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction preventing implementation of the new Texas law.

The law, SB 4, gives local Texas police the authority to inquire into a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops and holds police chiefs accountable should they fail to enforce federal immigration laws.

In his option, Judge Garcia held that SB 4 ran afoul of other federal laws, a position that’s disputed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. In a written statement by AG Paxton, he said, “Texas has the sovereign authority and responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. We’re confident SB 4 will ultimately be upheld as constitutional and lawful.”

The Justice Department has yet to issue a formal opinion on the merits of Judge Garcia’s ruling, but Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley supported the Texas measure in a written statement, saying:

“The Texas legislature should be commended for finding ways to increase cooperation with federal immigration authorities. When jurisdiction work to keep criminal aliens off their streets, it shows a commitment to the rule of law and to reducing violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”

Texas Democrats are touting this temporary court ruling as a victory, however. As of now, the state of Texas has yet to appeal the decision, but such an appeal is probable.

1
11 months ago

The Party of Oppression

(Pixabay)

Opinion Editorial by Kaela Carpenter

The Democratic Party was formed by the anti-federalists, who opposed the ratification of the 1787 constitution. Founded by Andrew Jackson, (who supported slavery and would play a large role in the Indian removal), the party advocated westward expansion, Manifest Destiny, and greater equality among white men. When the Civil War began in 1860, it was a war between the mostly Republican north and the mostly democratic, slaveholding south. However, the portrayal of the history of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on their website reads: “For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, worker’s rights, and women’s rights.”

For the DNC to say that they have been fighting for civil rights for the past 200 years is to ignore the history behind the relationship between Democrats and civil rights. By definition, civil rights “is the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.” This includes the African American slaves at the time.  However as seen above, the Democratic Party was willing to split up the United States in order to continue to hold human beings as slaves. Additionally, Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, vetoed a bill that extended the rights of emancipated slaves by stating that “any person born in the United States, regardless of race, is a U.S. citizen.”

Along with the fact that the Democratic Party did not fight for equality and civil rights in its history, their claim that they have also been fighting for “health care, Social Security, worker’s rights, and women’s rights” for more than 200 years is false as well. Health care and the government’s involvement in it did not truly exist until the 1900’s. Social Security did not exist until 1935 when Franklin Roosevelt sighed it into being, and by doing so he went against the Democratic Party’s original intent to keep government small and forever changing the way the party ran. Additionally, women’s rights were not put in place until 1919. Worker’s rights are the only point they make that they could argue to have fought for 200 years.

Unions, organized to ostensibly protect the rights and interests of the group were headed by heavily democratic leaders. However, while the unions may have helped protect the rights of the workers, the eventually began to bully business owners. So while the workers were being ‘protected,’ who was protecting the business owners?

Because the DNC is ignoring their own history and choosing to wash it away and pretend it never happened, it is hypocritical for the Democrats to continually insult President Trump for stating falsehoods while they are trying to erase their own history. This is one of the main problems with the DNC, they bully and bash others for mistakes and statements that pale in comparison to the lies being told within the DNC.

Editors Note: The views of our Guest Contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Yellowhammer.


About the Author: Kaela Carpenter is an intern at the Reid Law Firm. She is a student at Samford University. Kaela can be reached by e-mail at kcarpen3@samford.edu. To learn more about the Reid Law Firm go to www.reidlawalabama.com

1
12 months ago

Alabama Senators Work Hard to Advance Healthcare Vote

The Senate managed to put together a vote on whether or not to debate on Healthcare legislation early Tuesday. With a dramatic entrance from John McCain and Mike Pence casting the tie breaking vote, the Senate can now debate a new healthcare bill on the floor.

Alabama’s delegation wasted no time taking to social media to celebrate the vote. Senator Richard Shelby took to twitter throughout the day to show his support, calling it a “defining moment for the Republican party.” Senator Strange was also pleased with the vote, vowing “to continue to fight for the relief Alabama families deserve.”

The vote went down to the wire as some Republican holdouts, namely Rand Paul, cast their last minute votes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump spent most of the week daring Republican senators to renege on their promise to replace Obamacare. In the end, their persistence paid off as the Healthcare bill can now move on to further debate.

Democrats still remain decidedly against the bill, while Republicans claim it will lower premiums and be a better option for the American people. At this point, it is unclear what version of the Healthcare bill senators will be debating, as every version has died in the senate. It is likely that the Leadership will make proposals and amendments that will attempt to get everyone what they want.

1
and 12 months ago

Bernie Sanders and Labor Unions Descend on Mississippi—Will Alabama Be Next?

The United Auto Workers have recently petitioned for an election to unionize the Nissan plant in neighboring Mississippi, and Alabama is likely next their list. According to Nissan and UAW officials, the vote is scheduled for August 3 and 4. This move is significant because the overarching strategy of labor unions is to gain a foothold in one Southeastern auto plant. If they’re able to do so, it’s far more likely that the dominoes will fall, allowing them to expand their reach to other automakers in the southeast, including those here in Alabama—Mercedes, Hyundai, Honda, and Toyota.

Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, does not want that to happen. As she told Yellowhammer today,

Businesses and employees have a mutually-beneficial relationship. That’s why I’m working to ensure our businesses thrive, our people succeed, and the economy grows.

As a right-to-work state, we are putting all workers on an even playing field. This gives companies confidence they can hire the best available workers regardless of affiliation.

Our common-sense approach has enabled Alabama to become a leader in both the automobile and aerospace industries and hopefully the biotech and computer science industries in the future.

Alabama business leaders concur. “We don’t need unions in Alabama, and they are not welcome. Alabama is among the least unionized states in the country, and that is a powerful economic development tool. Being a right to work state is a badge of honor. Alabama workers and employers value loyalty, and they take tremendous pride in the quality of their work and have a strong work ethic,” said William Canary, President & CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.

The hastily scheduled vote over in Mississippi is likely the result of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush election rules” that took effect in April of 2015, under the Obama administration. Under the old rules, votes were held 42 days after a petition was filed. The new “ambush” rules shortened the time between petition and vote to 24 days. This allows unions to spend months building momentum for their position before filing a petition, while those who may oppose it only have 24 days to organize their voters in response.

The so-called ambush votes are only one of the NRLB rule changes under Obama that heavily tipped the scales in favor of the labor unions. Others include:

  • • Expanding the scope of employment to allow collective bargaining negotiations to be held with workers that were originally hired as contract workers, and holding employers liable for any labor violations committed against them
  • • Allowing temp workers hired by a third party to be grouped into the same union agreements as company employees
  • • Requiring employers to publicly disclose agreements with their consultants that have long been exempt from the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act
  • • Dictating how employers develop their employee handbooks as a way to regulate rules and policies that employers develop for their workers

In addition to these rule changes, the General Counsel for the NLRB under Obama published a memorandum informing union officials that they may accept electronic signatures as proof of interest required to file a unionization petition. Right-to-work advocates cite this as another biased move that makes it easier for labor unions to gain control in the country’s 28 right-to-work states.

Nevertheless, the path for unions has not been an easy one south of the Mason Dixon Line. Failed attempts at unionizing autoworkers include a botched campaign at Volkswagen AG in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This failure led the UAW to abandon its campaign at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Alabama.

Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee all have a robust auto manufacturing industry, and many cite their strong right-to-work laws as the driving force behind its thriving presence in the region. In each of these states, high-wage, high-skilled workers benefit from the presence of these foreign automakers. In South Carolina, many BMW factory workers qualify for a low-cost lease of a new BMW as an additional perk to their high-wage job in a safe, positive, and professional work environment.

Touting Mississippi’s similar economic expansion, Governor Phil Bryant said: “As a right to work state, we have assured workers the freedom from intimidation and interference in their desire to seek economic security by helping them establish not just a job, but a career.”

Despite the tangible economic benefits seen across the Southland, the unions continue to push. Recently, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, actor Danny Glover, and the NAACP have thrown their support behind the UAW campaign in Mississippi. They claim the unions will improve the quality of life for African Americans. This race-focused tactic is new, as union attempts based solely on poor work conditions and low pay have failed to gain traction in the New South, where modernized automobile plants offer highly-coveted jobs to everyone in the community, black and white alike.

Another reason this Mississippi vote is so critical is that if unions do you gain a foothold, the automakers will be less likely to expand operations at their existing U.S. locations. They know that the unionization of their facilities will impede productivity and profitability, making them more likely to move new product lines to other countries, just as Ford recently moved to China. Conversely, the absence of unions provides a strong incentive for the automakers to add new lines to existing plants, and build new plants in Alabama.

Canary agrees, stating: “Over the last two decades, many businesses that were located in heavily unionized states have moved their operations here, choosing to locate their facilities in the right-to-work Alabama due to the ability to compete in the global market place.”

Noting UAW’s obstinance and the NLRB rule changes that have made their efforts easier, many are closely monitoring the UAW’s attempts to unionize the Nissan plant in Mississippi. While the Tennessee loss temporarily slowed their momentum, the UAW has regrouped, and they seem determined to capture the South. Many speculate that a victory in Mississippi could be just the spark they need to set up shop in Alabama.


About the authors: Chris Simmons is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a law student at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Larry Huff is Yellowhammer’s Executive Editor, and you can follow him on Twitter @LHYellowhammer

1
12 months ago

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks Calls for the Senate to End the Filibuster Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In light of the recent failures of U.S. Senate Republicans to roll back President Barack Obama’s liberal policies, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL5) is calling for the upper chamber to abolish the filibuster rule.

The filibuster is a procedural rule in the Senate that allows for minority members to block or stall legislation they oppose. First used in 1837 and strengthened in 1975, a legislative filibuster can only be broken by invoking cloture, which requires 60 votes. Republican Senators, such as Rand Paul, used the tactic under the Obama Administration, and now Democrats are doing the same to stall President Donald Trump’s agenda.

“Our Republican Senate majority is killing our conservative agenda, our Republican agenda, and President Trump’s agenda. The murder weapon is the Senate filibuster rule, an archaic accident of history created during the days of horse and buggy, and slavery,” Rep. Brooks said on the House floor this morning.

Over the past several years, Democrats and Republicans have changed the rules to limit when the filibuster can be used. Such a tactic — which only requires a simple rather than a super majority — has been dubbed “the Nuclear Option.”

On November 21, 2013, Democrats instituted a rule change lowering the requirement for cloture to only 51 votes for all debates on executive and judicial nominees (excluding Supreme Court nominees). During the recent struggle to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Republicans struck back by applying the same rule to Supreme Court nominees. The traditional filibuster is still in place for debates over Senate legislation.

Brooks, who wants to be the latest Alabamian to represent the state in the Senate, believes the historical scale has always tipped in the Democrats’ favor.

“In the past 90 years, Republicans have not had a single filibuster-proof Senate while Democrats enjoyed filibuster-proof senates in the 1930s, the 1960s, and in 2009,” he said. “In those years, Democrats passed ObamaCare and forced Great Society welfare programs on us that busted our budgets, destroyed the work ethic, broke up American families, and threaten America with a national insolvency.”

To the North Alabama Representative, the issue is a timely one instrumental to ensuring the passage of Trump’s agenda. Like Brooks, Trump is a strong opponent of the filibuster, and he has taken to Twitter to express his frustration.

“Now is not the time to play procedural games,” Brooks said. “I agree with President Trump. Senate: end the filibuster!”

 

1
1 year ago

Alabama students will soon be free from Michele Obama’s awful school lunches

First Lady Michelle Obama joins Riverside Elementary School (Miami, Fla.) students for a “Let’s Move!” Salad Bars to Schools launch event (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture is rolling back Obama-era regulations on school lunches that were costly for districts and unpopular with students. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the changes Monday, stating that the federal government will halt sodium reduction requirements for the next three years and allow schools to serve non-whole grain products.

Schools struggling with the cost of the Obama whole-grain regulations will be allowed to be exempted by their state in the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.

Perdue emphasized that the program may have been well intentioned, but that a better long-term plan was needed. Highly unpopular to students, he noted the entire program was counterproductive. “This announcement is the result of years of feedback from students, schools, and food service experts about the challenges they are facing in meeting the final regulations for school meals,” Perdue said in USDA statement. “If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition – thus undermining the intent of the program.”

The regulations rolled back by the Trump Administration were originally authorized under the Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity. It gave the USDA the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods sold in schools, including vending machines, “a la carte” lunch lines, and school stores. The USDA has since set limits on the amount of fat, calories, sugar, and sodium in school foods. The Act also increased the number of children eligible for free and subsidized lunches.

Liberals have praised the program, but local school districts have denounced the cost while students have complained about the terrible quality. Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL4) witnessed the program’s issues first-hand and attempted to resist it while Obama was in the White House.

RELATED: Aderholt slams Michelle Obama’s gross, expensive school lunch program that is rolling back in Alabama

“I have been in the school lunchroom, I have sat down with the individuals responsible for preparing student meals, and I have sat down with the students about this,” he explained. “As well-intended as the people in Washington believe themselves to be, the reality is that from a practical standpoint these regulations are just plain not working out in some individual school districts.”

1
1 year ago

Alabamians in D.C. ready to do what it takes for Neal Gorsuch to be confirmed as next Supreme Court Justice

President Trump recently nominated Neal Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, but despite his qualifications, his nomination faces an increasingly contentious road to confirmation.

For starters, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee secured a one-week delay to vote on sending his confirmation to the Senate floor. That committee vote will now happen on April 3rd and the subsequent battle on the Senate floor is expected to unfold shortly thereafter.

A simple majority can confirm a Supreme Court nominee, so the path forward seems easy enough. There are 52 Senate Republicans, all of whom will presumably vote to confirm Gorsuch. Therefore, even if all 48 of the remaining Senators (46 Democrats and 2 Independents) vote against the confirmation, the Republicans still have a simple majority. However, Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York says not so fast. He vows to filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation. Because it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster, Republicans will have a tougher mountain to climb if Schumer makes good on his threats.

It’s important to note, however, that there’s never been a successful filibuster of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and Huntsville, Alabama native Caroline Aderholt doesn’t think this will be the first. In fact, Aderholt, Chief of Staff for Concerned Women for America, isn’t convinced the filibuster will even happen. “I think it’s likely the Democrats are posturing to appease their base, but when it comes down to it, I’d be a surprised if they actually follow through,” she said. And as she pointed out, Democrats like Patrick Leahy from Vermont are already signaling hesitancy on the filibuster. As Leahy told the Vermont Digger, while he won’t support the Gorsuch nomination he’s “not inclined to filibuster.”

Whatever hand the Democrats ultimately play, there’s no shortage of hard feelings surrounding Gorsuch’s nomination, as Aderholt’s colleague Penny Young Nance was reminded last week. After attending the highly intense confirmation hearing and leading a rally supporting Judge Gorsuch, Nance returned to her car and experienced a close-call blowout a few minutes later. After examining her vehicle, Arlington, VA police told Nance someone had inserted over 10 screws in her tires, which could’ve easily caused a fatal crash at freeway speeds (the incident is now under investigation).

Such acts of hostility aside, CWA remains resolute in its support of Judge Gorsuch. “We’ll watch this debate each step of the way and we’re poised to activate the 500,000 women in our organization to engage their Senators on this issue, including any Republicans who may be hesitant to do what it takes to confirm Gorsuch,” Aderholt said.

That “doing what it takes” if the Democrats do filibuster is likely the so-called “nuclear option.” The requirement that it takes 60 votes to override a filibuster is only a Senate precedent, and while such precedents matter, it isn’t a Senate rule, much less a Constitutional mandate. So the Republicans can override it. Moreover, this same “nuclear option” was set in motion by the Democrats back in 2013, so one could argue they opened the door to this measure that they so vehemently oppose.

Regardless of what plays out on the Senate floor, Alabama’s Senior U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby, is ready to confirm Judge Gorsuch. As the popular Senator told Yellowhammer:

    We absolutely cannot back down. Judge Gorsuch is highly qualified, well respected and committed to defending our Constitution. If the Democrats are determined to obstruct his nomination, then I believe we should use every tool available to confirm Judge Gorsuch. This is too important to the American people.

Caroline Aderholt agrees, and along with the half-million women belonging to her organization, she’s standing with Senator Shelby to support the Gorsuch nomination until he’s confirmed as the 113th Supreme Court Justice of the United States.

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1 year ago

Alabama court waiting for state Democratic chair to pay fines

The chair of the Alabama Democrats has experienced a rocky few years overseeing the floundering state party. Amid reports of infighting and skirmishes, a local news team has revealed that Nancy Worley owes court fees dating back to 2012.

According to WAAY, her critics say “she’s acting as though she’s above the law.” The story didn’t come to the station’s attention until a current member of the party asked for an investigation into the fines.

Montgomery County Court documents show that Worley owes $1345, which were incurred after she was charged with a misdemeanor five years ago.

She would not immediately agree to pay the outstanding fees.

“I am unaware of any Court charges which I owe in Montgomery, Alabama, since I have never received a notice of any charges,” Worley said in a statement. “I have called one of my attorneys and he does not recall receiving a notice of these charges either. The other attorney is deceased. I have also called the Clerk’s Office and she plans to investigate what, if anything, that I owe. I shall be glad to pay anything I owe if I receive a bill with details.”

Former Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D- Gadsden) is among those who doubt Worley’s side of the story.

“I think her being in the position she’s in, she knows,” Rep. Ford insisted.

Rep. Ford, a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2018, urged Worley to step down in October.

“To put it bluntly, the Alabama Democratic Party is on life support, and the only hope we have of turning our situation around is if we make immediate and significant changes, including changes in leadership,” he wrote at the time.

When Worley took over in 2013, the Democratic Party was broke and facing eviction from their Montgomery headquarters. They were duly labeled as one of the “most dysfunctional” state parties in the U.S. by Roll Call magazine. There hasn’t been much improvement since then. A February meeting of the Democratic Executive Committee saw several public clashes of power and loads of blame shifting as party members attempted to grasp control of the Democrats’ future.

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1 year ago

Trump: attacks on Sessions, administration are a ‘total witch hunt’

Senator Jeff Sessions (Left) and Republican presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump (Right)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the emerging allegations that Jeff Sessions improperly tied himself to Russian authorities during the 2016 presidential race, President Donald J. Trump is strongly standing by his Attorney General.

RELATED: Sessions recuses himself from Russia probe

“Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional,” Trump said in a statement. “This who narrative is a way of saving face for the Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks and other information. It is a total witch hunt!”

It was revealed Wednesday that Sessions, while serving as a Senator, held a meeting in his office with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. While some have implied the new information meant that Sessions wasn’t forthcoming about speaking with the foreign diplomat, he adamantly stated that he was fully honest during the course of his confirmation hearings, and believed Sen. Franken was referring to ongoing meetings.

According to Sessions, his discussion with Kislyak was an independent event, and two senior staffers were present during the meeting. Topics of discussion included the Ukraine and terrorism; not the election.

RELATED: Alabama Republicans react to Sessions hysteria

In a press conference yesterday, Sessions formally announced that he is recusing himself from from current or future investigations regarding the Trump campaign. “I think I should not be involved in an investigation of a campaign I had a role in,” he said.

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1 year ago

POLL: Bipartisan majority of Alabamians support term limits

According to a new poll from McLaughlin & Associates, a whopping 84 percent of Alabama voters support a constitutional amendment to institute term limits for members of congress. Currently, representatives and senators can serve as long as they are continually reelected.

The survey revealed that 89 percent of Alabama Republican voters and 79 percent of state Democrats are in favor of term limits. It also showed that 81 percent of those questioned wanted their state representative to vote in favor of such a measure, while only 3 percent wanted it to be opposed.

“The public’s message is clear: it’s time for term limits on Congress,” said. Nick Tomboulides, Director of U.S. Term Limits. “They are overwhelmingly in favor of this common-sense reform.”

Results were calculated by surveying 400 likely general election voters registered in Alabama. The poll was conducted in March of 2016, and the process consisted of phone interviews conducted by researchers at McLaughlin.

Putting term limits on Congress would require a constitutional amendment because no such restriction exists in Article II. Article V of the U.S. Constitution outlines the amendment process, which can be done in one of two ways. The language of an Amendment can be drafted by either a convention of the states – called for by two-thirds of such – or by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress. The amendment must then be approved by three-fourths of the states, which can be done by the state legislatures or special state ratifying conventions.

Originally, the Constitution did not contain term limits for the president, either. Every president prior to Franklin D. Roosevelt had honored the tradition established by George Washington of stepping aside after a second term. In 1951, presidential term limits where officially enshrined into the law with the Twenty-Second Amendment.

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1 year ago

Good intentions, bad results: Democrat files bill to raise Alabama’s minimum wage

Fast food workers protest McDonald's, push for higher minimum wage. (Flickr user Light Brigading)
Fast food workers protest McDonald’s, push for higher minimum wage. (Flickr user Light Brigading)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A new bill has been pre-filed in the Alabama House of Representatives to institute a minimum wage of $10 per hour. State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) wants to raise Alabama’s minimum wage from the federally mandated floor of $7.25 to a higher hourly rate because “we have people who are barely making ends meet in the state of Alabama.”

“It’s just time and it’s a uniform minimum wage act so it’s not just for one municipality versus another, it’s for the entire state of Alabama,” Givan told WSFA.

If passed, the law would apply to all hourly workers. It also includes a provision for tipped employees, mandating that they also receive $10 per hour, with 30 percent of the total coming from wages.

Several states across the country have already forced employers to pay more, with California and New York demanding wages as high as $15 per hour. While well intentioned, economists have found evidence that minimum wage laws have little overall effect on poverty rates, and in some cases, the laws have adverse effects on the poor.

In a 2007 peer-reviewed study conducted by economics professors from Cornell University and San Diego State University, researchers examined U.S. Census data from 1979 to 2003 to estimate the effects of minimum wage increases on state poverty rates. According to one of designer of the study, they “found no evidence that minimum wage increases were effective at reducing overall poverty rates or poverty rates among workers.”

Similar studies from The Cato Institute show that minimum wages create serious disincentives for employers to eliminate and replace low-skilled labor. In reality, minimum wages help seal the economic doom of the very people they are intended to protect. As the Nobel-Prize winning economist Milton Friedman once said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Many major chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Panera Bread, have heavily invested in kiosks that will replace hourly workers. Business Insider recently chronicled the shift from man to machine, and noted that executives are explicit as to their motivation. “If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science,” said Andy Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

Alabama’s legislative session begins today. With solid Republican majorities in both houses, and a Republican governor, the bill will likely be dead on arrival.

(h/t WSFA)

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