Sports Commentariat Demands More Inequality in College Sports

Sports was much more enjoyable when reporters covered sports. Now print and broadcast coverage is cluttered with breathless opinionating regarding race, ‘gender’, inequality and which high school will next host barnstorming Colin Kaepernick’s Aerial Circus.

Koterda Omaha World Herald

The latest social justice crusade for the sporties is what Sally Jenkins terms the NCAA’s “economically preying on athletes rather protecting them.”

This doesn’t mean the NCAA is forcing scholarship athletes to pay for housekeeping in away stadium locker rooms. It means the NCAA is using player’s images to promote college football without paying the athletes. The NCAA also stifles individual initiative by forbidding athletes from cashing in on their reputation while they are still playing in college.

Or as Jenkins with high umbrage terms it, “NCAA denies athletes their natural economic rights, and hijacks their names, images and likenesses for financial gain. Ohio State’s Chase Young is a star who may not sign his own autograph for money or endorse a Columbus car dealership.”

She then pulls out an apples–to–oranges comparison that supposedly wins the debate, “What member of a university marching band is told that they must not profit from the trumpet so long as they’re at the university?”

The answer right now is none, but when the Pride of Oklahoma starts recruiting trumpet players like the football team recruits the next Baker Mayfield, we’ll have to revisit the trumpet’s last call.

Fact is the football players Jenkins is putting up for auto dealer adoption are already being paid. In 2011 Dr. Patrick Rishe – at the time an Associate Professor of Economics at Webster University – ran the numbers on the value of a football scholarship.

At the University of Oklahoma, the out–of–state scholarship value was $124,556. And that’s not all, “intangible benefits associated with the scholarship [include] free gear, free publicity, free high-quality training and coaching, free access to trainers and fitness centers [and] lower unemployment rates for college graduates.”

Plus, the relief of avoiding the ball–and–chain of student loan debt.

Rishe concludes, “adding the short-term cost savings to the long-term earnings enhancement, the value of a college football scholarship at the Top 25 schools is potentially as high as $2.2 million for those student-athletes that complete their degrees.”

Those were 2011 numbers. The total value would be higher now.

The players, whose pain SJW sportswriters are feeling, represent maybe three percent of all the scholarship players on a team. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence might cash in by endorsing hair salons but the vast majority of the team would remain anonymous and uncompensated.

And if you think the college football and basketball recruiting process is sleazy now, wait until boosters can bid for 5–star recruits! The players may as well list themselves on Ebay during their last semester of high school.

John Feinstein, another player pay supporter, does make an interesting point. Non–revenue or minor sport athletes, usually also–rans for collegiate attention, could benefit handsomely. “Why not pay a star swimmer, soccer player, tennis player or golfer to put on clinics for local kids? When Oklahoma State wins the NCAA golf championship, maybe local businesses around the state might want to use some of their players to promote products — or their golf courses.”

California just passed the “Fair Pay to Play Act” that will allow in–state athletes to go on the auction block. Other states are checking with head coaches who have winning records to discuss feasibility. While a miscellaneous congressman wants to strip the NCAA of its tax–exempt status if it doesn’t surrender.

Jenkins is convinced the NCAA is doomed because a political consultant told her so, “once the public suspects an organization’s motives don’t align with its mission, ‘we often see a rapid decline in the public seeing that organization as indispensable.’”

Maybe if Jenkins had been a paying client she would’ve been told the rest. Individuals often despise an organization overall, say Congress, but heartily approve of their individual congressman. The same is true of the NCAA and universities.

The situation may not be perfect, but players on a football team currently enjoy a rough equality. Some are more famous than others, but they all labor under the same economic system. And they are all getting more compensation than the rest of the student body.

Players are only undercompensated when compared to the NFL, which most of them will never join.

What Jenkins is advocating will replace this equivalence with a permanent caste system that geometrically enhances the inequality the left purports to abhor.

Think California, only in cleats.

Chase Young, Jenkins’ pet, will be making buckets of money, while the lineman next to him continues to labor in obscurity and now relative penury. It’s a recipe for jealousy, dissention and team disintegration.

‘The Hunt’ Is Canceled, But the Left Still Pursues Conservatives

It was disappointing when Hollywood temporarily canceled the premier of ‘The Hunt,’ a movie where leftists killed Deplorables for sport. Don’t mistake this cancellation for a ceasefire. Conservatives may not be shot on the big screen, but leftist commissars are still gunning for us.

Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

The Washington Post’s Viewpoint section is proof. On any Sunday, the WoePost’s opinion pages read like the editorial page of the Oberlin College student newspaper. Feverish leftists imagine conservative shock troops massing behind every Chick–Fil–A. [Closed on Sunday, so storm troopers in the parking lot won’t interfere with business.] A blast on a racial dog whistle will signal the beginning of a goose–stepping march toward Congress. [Also closed on Sunday and inactive for most of the rest of the year, too.]

Last weekend a vile woman named Eve Fairbanks published an almost 3,000–word slander of prominent conservatives. (For comparison, newspapers only allow me 800 words of calumny.)

She began, “After the El Paso shooting, Ben Shapiro, a popular conservative podcaster, asked Americans to draw a line between the few conservatives who are white supremacists and those who, like him, aren’t. [He complained] ‘Too many on the political left [are] castigating the character of those who disagree,’ lumping conservatives and political nonconformists together with racists and xenophobes.’”

Eve then proceeds to give Shapiro his lumps by contending conservatives derive their inspiration from antebellum slavery defenders. “The reasonable right’s rhetoric is exactly the same as the antebellum rhetoric I’d read so much of. The same exact words. The same exact arguments. Rhetoric, to be precise, in support of the slave-owning South.”

Translation: There is no “reasonable right.” All conservatives are racists.

The part I found most rewarding in this guilt–by–grammar character assassination was Fairbanks’ all–inclusive indictment. She includes lukewarm, don’t–hold–Trump–against–me cringers like Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens in her list of Deplorables, along with non–Trump voter Bret Easton Ellis and lefty Nicholas Kristof whom she accuses of channeling John C. Calhoun when he merely calls for supporting freedom of speech.

There are no conscientious objectors in a culture war. You are with the left or you are on their list.

Fairbanks’ smear of mainstream conservative thinkers is designed to blacklist them and their ideas. By linking Shapiro with slavery, she seeks to narrow the range of approved opinion and approved opinionators. She and the WoePost’s leftist stenographers know that by publishing her contemptable Rhett McCarthyism it gives her dishonest attack the stamp of authenticity and mainstream validation.

Publication in the WoePost enables others to cite her dishonest bile as a legitimate reason to dismiss all conservative ideas and deny conservatives a platform. This is not an isolated instance.

The week before Marissa Brostoff accused moderate author J.D. Vance, nominally a Democrat, of being a racist because he “lamented a falloff in white births.” Only Vance said no such thing and over Brostoff’s objections the WoePost corrected the slander.

This week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.” This means in the city where poop on the sidewalk is “the San Francisco treat”, duck hunters who don’t even own an AR–15 and think the NRA can be a bit extreme are now official terrorists.

Do you notice a pattern here? Speakers, organizations and ideas are systematically being ruled beyond the pale.

The left intends to make public expression of conservative ideas socially unacceptable and professionally risky. How many average conservative citizens are going to express their thoughts in public when they see high–profile individuals driven underground? How many will attend rallies? How many will even put a bumper sticker on the car?

Fairbanks is convinced conservatives are afforded too many opportunities as it is. She spins universities forced to pay for security to prevent leftist thugs from attacking conservative speakers as, “bending over backward to give platforms to right–wing writers and speakers who already have huge exposure.”

Exposure is defined as appearing on Fox News or writing a New York Times bestseller in spite of your book being denied reviews by the same NYT.

The kind of “exposure” Fairbanks and her fellow travelers really seek for conservatives is demonstrated by a Reddit thread that advertises a web guide to locate otherwise anonymous Trump contributors and learn their home addresses and occupations.

Snooze–alarm conservatives need to wake up. In the left’s view, no one is a little bit conservative and no blow is too low. These developments are ominous alone and together constitute a warning klaxon.

Claremont Review of Books writer Angelo M. Codevilla termed our current situation a “cold civil war.” Every indication is the cold civil war is heating up faster than the left’s climate fantasies.

It’s Time for Trump to Take On Mitch McConnell

This week we have one of those rare occasions when government priorities and government funding match exactly. Fox News reports, “Loose change left at airports may be used to help fund border operations.”

RJ Matson; CQ Roll Call

If you need additional proof Washington, Inc. doesn’t give a damn about stopping and reversing illegal immigration this should do it.

Maybe Trump will order the Pentagon to go through the seats looking for nickels after Nancy Pelosi commandeers a military jet to take her home on weekends.

Pelosi, though isn’t the problem. She’s doing what she promised her voters. The House isn’t the problem. Even under the ‘leadership’ of Paul RINO immigration bills were passed and forwarded to the Senate.

The problem is the Senate. Even when Republicans controlled the presidency and both houses nothing was done. People are tired of an immigration policy that only works against citizens and the Chamber of Commerce conservatives who refuse to change it.

Already Sen. Thom Tillis (R–Carolina del Norte) has a primary opponent named Garland Tucker III who is running TV commercials. Sen. Susan Collins (R–Intermittantly) has a primary opponent, as does Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–Weathervane). All fit Tucker Carlson’s description of our ruling class, “decadent and narcissistic.”

These primary opponents are a start, because without a change in the Senate, retaking the House and re–electing Trump will be as meaningless for border enforcement as it was in 2016.

The only way for Trump to send a message that he demands cooperation from the Senate is if he personally defeats his main roadblock: Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell.

McConnell has treated Trump and his agenda with thinly disguised disdain since the election. McConnell’s claim to fame is mere longevity in office as if he were a turtle only to be valued by how long he has been in existence.

McConnell is completely undisturbed by the single most important issue facing the nation, the approximately 30 million illegal aliens already living inside our borders.

Instead of bucking the cheap labor lobby that supports the world’s first taxpayer–subsidized invasion, McConnell proudly introduces trivial legislation to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.

“Youth vaping is a public health crisis,” McConnell announces while the real crisis is bussing the table in the restaurant where he eats.

As long as McConnell is ‘leading’ the Senate, Trump’s immigration agenda and reducing the size of government is dead. (Although Mitch and Jared – that negotiating fool – might be able to work something out on keeping Mitch’s wife as part of the cabinet during the second term, too.)

The Curator is gearing up for his 2020 re–election by trumpeting his two biggest accomplishments: Acting as the Judicial Human Resources Dept. for the White House and increasing the national debt.

Instead of tweeting about whatever has penetrated his thin skin this morning, President Trump should be lining up and funding a primary challenger for McConnell. Mitch’s approval rating among Kentucky voters is what pollsters term “underwater.” Fifty–six percent disapprove of job his performance while only 33 percent approve.

But wait until they find out about his get tough policy on Juul!

Trump on the other hand is vastly more popular. His approval rating is 61 percent compared to a disapproval of 35 percent. Even in 2016 Trump was more popular. He carried Kentucky by 30 points, while McConnell two years before won by only 16.

Challenging McConnell in the primary isn’t exactly a suicide mission. His last challenger, Matt Bevin, is now the state’s governor.

If Trump recruited a primary challenger and then put his charisma and his cash behind the challenger I believe the Mitch the Turtle would be soup. More important, it would send a message to the rest of the housebroken conservatives in the Senate that there are real costs to opposing the president’s agenda.

And so what if the challenger loses? Could McConnell pass any less of Trump’s immigration and border security legislation? How much more passive aggression does the Curator contain?

Either Trump changes the composition of the Senate or his administration will have accomplished less than the Bush Interregnum. The only difference being Trump’s was noisier.

Four Weeks from Oblivion, GOP Congress Slumbers On

The session of Congress that occurs after the just–completed election and the swearing in of the new Congress in January is called a lame duck session. It will last four weeks.

RJ Matson CQ Roll Call

These are the last weeks Republicans will be in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. This was supposed to be a golden age of conservative accomplishment. In reality, it was two more years of the Can’t–Do Caucus telling voters what they promised on the campaign trail at home, can’t be done in DC.

Next year the charade will be over, because the left will control the House.

This brief session will constitute another Gohmert Moment, which I’ve named after Louie Gohmert, the genuine Texas conservative congressman.

When Gohmert first entered Congress he and other freshmen were excited about the prospect of passing truly conservative legislation. That was before he met the timid, country club conservatives who comprise House leadership.

Gohmert explained at his first GOP House conference the leadership’s caretaker conservatives were worried. They acknowledged the campaign has promised big things. But in Washington there was “a small chance” Republicans might lose the majority in two years. To play it safe, leadership wanted to do small things, win the election and keep the majority.

Then, leadership promised it would be time to do big things.

Gohmert disagreed, “If there’s any chance we might lose, then this is the time to do the big stuff.” Gohmert was ignored. He’s been ignored ever since.

Rachel Bovard, of the Conservative Partnership Institute, reminds us of what could be done if our placeholder GOP believed in the issues on which it campaigned.

Bovard suggests this last GOP Congress, “take a cue from the Democrats’ playbook in 2010. Like present-day Republicans, House Democrats were then about to lose their majority. Republicans, like now, were expanding their majority in the Senate. But in the face of waning power, Democrats did not fold. They fought.”

The left focused on Cultural Marxism and one foreign policy initiative. The Cultural Marxist hot buttons appealed solely to left’s base — a concept as foreign to GOP leadership as quantum physics is to a cat. The goal was repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so homosexuals in the military could go ahead and flaunt it, and pass the DREAM Act, an amnesty for younger illegal aliens. The foreign policy initiative was the NEW START nuclear arms treaty. Sure to rev up any surviving ‘Ban the Bomb’ marchers from the 60’s.

Bovard explains, “Democrats intentionally chose to aggressively move forward on controversial legislation on which they had previously punted — likely driven by the fact that they were not sure when they’d again control both houses of Congress and the White House.”

The left was successful on two out of three. Only the DREAM Act failed.

If our conservatives–in–name–only Republicans followed that successful template, top legislative priorities during this lame duck session would be terminating the funding of the organ harvesters at Planned Parenthood; pulling the plug on PBS, NPR, NEA and NEH; fully funding President Trump’s border wall, and reforming immigration law by ending the anchor baby and asylum scams.

Then conservatives would miss them when they were gone.

William Galston, a former advisor to Bill Clinton, said Democrats were successful because, “They were prepared to pull out all the stops.”

Unfortunately, today’s conservative “stop” is Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell, who follows an extra–Constitutional policy of requiring 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate, while a simple majority works fine in the House.

And what are the curator’s priorities for the lame duck session? The Hill reports Mitch wants to pass a criminal justice “reform” bill, a pork–laden Agriculture bill, a foreign aid measure and ratify judicial nominations — a routine task in any other Congress but an activity for which this pack of seat–warmers expects fulsome praise.

Do you see any correlation between what the conservative base wants passed and what the housebroken conservatives intend to pass? It’s no wonder many conservatives were guided to the polls by muscle memory rather than enthusiasm.

Evidently lame duck is a dish that can only be prepared by leftist chefs.

As these dissemblers stagger toward the finish line of this Congress, I feel much like Oliver Cromwell did in 1653 when he dismissed the equally wretched Long Parliament:

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, …[you are] enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

“In the name of God, go!”

The Constitutional Work–Around for Term Limits

I’ve always wondered why the National Education Association (NEA) and the country club conservatives in the Republican House and Senate leadership aren’t allies, instead of enemies. Both organizations use the same tired talking points to defend inert members from the forces of accountability.

When education reformers urge legislative bodies to adopt merit pay for teachers and thereby reward the best teachers with the most money, the NEA counters that experience is crucial and paying teachers according to seniority rewards that excellent system.

Bill Schorr, San Clemente, CA

In the same fashion, when congressional reformers urge House and Senate leadership to adopt an amendment adding term limits to the Constitution, leadership rejects the proposal out of hand, claiming seniority is crucial to keeping Congress the paragon of competence it is today.

It’s no accident that education, Congress and penal institutions all grant more privileges based solely on how much time you’ve served.

Cong. Francis Rooney (R–Doomed) wants to remove Congress from that list. Rooney has formulated a brilliant method of implementing term limits that does not require an amendment to the Constitution. Rooney’s Thomas Jefferson Public Service Act would place no limits on how long a member could warm a seat in Congress — that requires an amendment — instead Rooney would reduce a member’s paycheck to $1 per year after they served six terms in the House or two terms in the Senate.

My wife is skeptical. She believes after 12 years our ‘public servants’ have already made themselves millionaires, so the $173,999.00 pay cut won’t bother them. She is not alone.

FedSmith.com downplays Rooney’s bill, too, “…most Congressmen make a career out of remaining in Congress (often moving on to the Senate). Many become millionaires within a few years after their election and, of course, they also receive a pension under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).”

What both overlook is the loss of status if Rooney’s bill passes.

When Newt Gingrich was running the show, Republicans imposed term limits on committee chairmen. In the House and Senate, Republicans are limited to six years as the jefe of any committee.

At the end of their term as chairman these members must surrender the gavel, without any reduction in salary or benefits. Many retiring chairmen look upon that gavel as the closest thing to Thor’s Hammer they will ever wield. Giving it up is such a personal Ragnarök that they retire from Congress rather than revert to being hammerless rank–and–file member regardless of their salary.

I’m thinking not getting an envelope on payday would have the same effect. It’s one thing to talk about being a ‘public servant.’ Becoming one and working for free is something entirely different.

I’m willing to grasp at Rooney’s straw if there’s even a slim chance of success.

Rooney is so serious he’s prepared to become very unpopular with his colleagues. In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Rooney correctly termed arguments against term limits legislation as “elitist paternalism.” He already has seven co–sponsors for his bill and he intends to put the heat on nominal term limits supporters.

“There are 90 co–sponsors on term limit by [constitutional] amendment bills and there’s something called the ‘Term Limit Caucus.’ Let’s see what they want to do,” Rooney explained. This is where Rooney drops off Christmas card lists.

Co–sponsoring a term limits constitutional amendment is exactly like promising to repeal Obamacare. It’s showy and consequence–free.

The chance of the amendment coming up for a vote is exactly the same as the chance of Donald Trump being named Man of the Year by La Raza. If the unthinkable happens — see Obamacare vote — and term limits comes to the floor, co–sponsors will cheerfully betray their voters just as Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins did.

Rooney’s bill will put these poseurs on the spot. There are 26 members of the Term Limits Caucus, yet only two are co–sponsoring his bill. Rooney should have 31 co–sponsors and that’s before he goes after the amendment popinjays.

Baier went to Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell for a comment on Rooney’s bill. In a voice dripping with disdain, McConnell gargled, “I would say we have term limits now, they’re called elections, and it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

True and the current system has given us McConnell as an example of what term limits would prevent.

Rooney’s only misstep so far came in his announcement. He quoted former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R–Great American) who said Americans “are frustrated with the federal government.” True again. But Coburn is no longer in the Senate, because he imposed term limits on himself.

I fear the time–servers Rooney is trying to persuade will hear that name and ask themselves, “yeah, and when was the last time Coburn was on TV?”

More Evangelicals Selling Their Soul to Support a Loser

It’s sad to say another Christian group has decided to maintain access to DC power rather than tell the truth regarding the shortcomings of a prominent politician. Maybe it’s the ego rush when calls are returned. Or maybe it’s the meetings in off–limits–to–the–public Capitol hideaways that persuades these organizations to publically support a man who’s repeatedly failed to live up to expectations.

Their support would make perfect sense if I was referring to Donald Trump. His personal failings are legion, but he’s delivered. I’m talking about the Evangelical embrace of Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. His personal life lacks ‘hos and handsy–ness, but his public life is steaming pile of defeat and insincere promises.

Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe

McConnell’s failures are manifest in the Family Research Council’s scorecard on the 115th Congress. FRC tries manfully to make a silk purse out of McConnell’s ear, but the task is impossible. Once you get past the hyperbolic lead, “A record number — 245 Members of Congress — scored a perfect 100 percent…last year.” One realizes most of the votes counted for nothing.

If FRC rated on legislative effectiveness the scores would max out at 25 percent.

The House passed eight laws and one resolution used for scorecard evaluation. Four of those bills failed in the Senate. McConnell’s ‘accomplishments’ were so paltry, FRC had to use the routine confirmation of appointees for most of the scorecard.

That’s the legislative equivalent of giving participation trophies at the end of ballerina ball season.

Separating what the House passed from what the Senate failed to pass shows just how much damage McConnell single–handedly does to the conservative cause.

This political mastermind is responsible for the defeat of bills designed to stop funding Planned Parenthood and forcing Christian organizations to provide contraception coverage that conflicts with their Christian belief. McConnell is responsible for the defeat of the clean Obamacare repeal and it’s ‘skinny’ brother. And just this week McConnell passively watched the Pain–Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’s defeat even though it had a majority of 51 votes.

Yet there is zero criticism of McConnell’s serial failures! Instead FRC blandly refers to defeats requiring 60 votes without explaining why a simple majority of 51 isn’t enough.

This self–imposed 60–vote requirement is an internal Senate rule that only dates back to 1975. Before if a bill was scheduled to come to the floor and a senator or party opposed the measure, they had to conduct a genuine filibuster. This meant the senator had to hold the floor, blocking consideration of any other legislation or Senate business.

Senators read aloud, told stories or simply listened to the music of their own voice during their time at the podium. The filibuster was an around–the–clock affair and sympathetic senators had to continue the delaying drone by volunteering to take a shift. This took a physical toll and many filibusters ended because the opposition simply ran out of gas.

The other way to conclude a filibuster was a cloture vote to end debate. That’s what requires 60 votes.

Today if the minority party wants to filibuster a bill it simply informs McConnell and he considers the bill blocked until 60 votes materialize to bring it to the floor. McConnell could revert to the pre–1975 filibuster this week if he wished. Changing the rule only requires a majority and he has 51 votes.

Democrats would be forced to go public with their obstructionism. Voters would see which party is blocking the function of government and I don’t think Schumer could stand the heat.

But this small–minded, political coward won’t make the change. McConnell is a double–minded man who in his heart doesn’t believe in the conservative principles he claims to support. McConnell is a defeatist who fears success. That’s why he told AP “Republicans will welcome the [post 1975] filibuster when they return to the minority.” And he’s just the man to lead them there.

The thought that Republicans could pass conservative legislation that rolls back at least some of leftism’s excesses and puts the onus on Democrats to repeal those bills never enters McConnell’s mind. He just keeps the furniture dusted until his inevitable Democrat take over.

McConnell’s wasted an entire year in which Republicans controlled the presidency, House and Senate. It may well be one half of the time during the Trump administration when the GOP controlled all three branches.

An accurate FRC scorecard would give every GOP senator a zero rating, because their votes keep McConnell Majority Leader.

McConnell is a weakling who will never change Senate rules unless he’s pushed and pushed hard. It’s time conservative and Christian organizations told the truth about the man who is single–handedly blocking the agenda of the people who sent Republicans to Washington.

Let’s Revive Extreme Vetting for Politicians

It’s amazing the American public can be so right in general and so wrong in particular when it comes to evaluating Congress. The Gallup survey found the approval rating for Congress as a whole is currently a dismal 20 percent. This means our DC swamp denizens are tied with members of the opposition media, lawyers and car salesmen when it comes to the public’s general distaste.

But at the same time, when rating their individual member of Congress, the public gives that representative a much better grade of nearly 50 percent. Somehow the fact their representative is part and parcel of the entire wretched institution escapes voters.

On Election Day the situation is even worse.

We’re told in most cases familiarity breeds contempt. In politics familiarity evidently stupefies, because an absolutely stunning 98 percent of the incumbents up for re–election in 2016 were returned to office.

Members of Congress are evidently as hard to fire as employees of the Veterans Administration.

Re–elect numbers at the sure thing level only serve to make Republican cowardice when faced with the daunting prospect of keeping their promises that much more repugnant. Sending the same people back election after election only guarantees voters will get the same lack of results election after election.

What’s the solution? Strange as it may seem Mexico may have a suggestion and I don’t mean revolution or cartel government. Find out by clicking the link below and finish the column at Newsmax:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/constitution-military-tlaxcallan/2017/08/15/id/807832/

 

Newest Congressional Perk Comes with Sidearm

The lunatic that opened fire at Republicans practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game may have only succeeded in making Congress even more remote and detached from the lives of the people the members allegedly represent.

Now the Washington Post reports panicky representatives “are traveling the halls of the Capitol — and the streets of their home towns — with security details.” The question is how do they justify the expenditure and the resulting imposition on the public?

Easy, they have an inflated estimate of their own worth.

Members of our Imperial Congress, in their minds, have gone from being representatives of the people to becoming caretakers of the people. And without our caretakers how would we get along?

In reality, every member of the House and the Senate is a public servant, no more important individually to the functioning of the Republic than the cop on the beat. It is only en masse that the individual politician starts to become a special case.

While being short one representative out of a total 435 isn’t going to cripple the nation, losing them in bunches would be a symbolic loss with worldwide repercussions. That is why I reluctantly support the fortress–like atmosphere of the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings. We can’t always rely on the Flight 93 Militia to guard those buildings from attack.

Individual members in their district and outside the government complex should not have “security details.” And the Capitol Police should have no role outside the federally controlled part of DC. Larger gatherings of elected officials and politicians who feel particularly threatened should ask for protection from local authorities.

Otherwise one might get the impression the local police, that are good enough for the public that elects them, aren’t worthy to protect senators and representatives.

However, there are other questions involved in this issue, too. Like who created this political environment and how should citizens expect politicians to respond? I have some ideas, but you’ll have to click the link below to explore them as you read the remainder of my Newmax.com column.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/congress-representatives-senators-security/2017/07/27/id/804136/

 

Illinois Leftist Democrat Petitions Congress With a Rifle

In all the discussion of the shooting during Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game, I was struck by the fact no one thought it odd that none of the other participants tried to help seriously wounded Rep. Steve Scalise to safety.

They knew he was hurt. They saw the trail of blood as he tried to drag himself off the field. But no one went to his aid. Like a herd of wildebeest fleeing a lion attack, the wounded and slow were left behind.

Now that the coast is clear, members of Congress are leaping out of the dugout and discussing ways taxpayers can protect them in the future.

Certainly this unprovoked attack was cowardly, but the fact the victims were politicians doesn’t require mobilizing the nation. I’d feel equally outraged if the Bernie Bro had shot up a gathering of Jaycees — that notorious hatchery of young capitalists.

What I’m trying to do is put the incident in perspective.

Fact is if you were offered a choice between being the cashier in a tow truck facility and a member of Congress, people interested in personal safety should choose Congress. The last member to be killed in an individual attack was Leo Ryan in 1978. Before Scalise was shot, the last member attacked was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Prior to that it was John Stennis in 1973.

Four attacks in 44 years isn’t exactly the definition of danger.

If you’re looking for a “public servant” that’s actually in danger while doing his job, talk to a mailman not a politician.

An intelligent, as opposed to hysterical, response to the shooting confronts taxpayers with a paradox: most individual members of Congress are eminently replaceable mediocrities. It’s only in clumps that congressmen are valuable. I wouldn’t go so far to say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but you get the idea.

Losing members in bunches of 20 or 30 would convulse the country and subject the remaining members to crippling workloads. Mitch McConnell might have to establish the four–day workweek in the Senate.

So I reluctantly support the security state measures taxpayers are subject to when they enter the Capitol and House or Senate office buildings. Off–Capitol gatherings that attract 20 or more members — say two lobbyists having lunch with an open seat at the table — also deserve enhanced security. But I draw the line at individually assigned protective details.

Naturally that’s exactly what big–government politicians and Democrats too passive to be responsible for their own safety are talking about. Many of the politicians who promise to “fight for you” are seriously considering protective details for every member of Congress. An extravagance Politico calculates would cost over $1 billion.

Instead, I support Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Don’t Tread on Me) who introduced a bill that would require gun–phobic Washington, DC to honor concealed carry permits from other states. This would let DC politicians defend themselves.

Massie explains, “After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God–given right protected by our Constitution.”

I’d support Massie if the bill only applied to politicians, particularly if the alternative is taxpayer–paid bodyguards. Those micro–potentates don’t need anything else to feed their egos. Why can’t they take their chances with everyday life just like the rest of us?

A Washington Post reporter described an encounter Sen. Orrin Hatch (R–Methuselah). Hatch invaded an elevator with three members of his security detail. The Postie asked whether more of his colleagues should receive security details. Displaying the noblesse oblige that’s made him a byword for the common touch, Hatch replied, “I think all of you deserve protection, too. I think we have to protect everybody.”

No word on whether he offered to detail one of his three bodyguards to accompany the reporter.

Individual security details will soon become 535 mini–motorcades clogging up the nation’s streets in the name of “national security.”

Taxpayers don’t need to harden the DC bubble. Let politicians experience life like the rest of us. The argument is made that these indispensible marshmallows are the nation’s leadership. They get death threats, suffer road rage incidents and people say mean things about them. My response is, so what? I’ve been on the receiving end of all three offenses and I’m not looking for a taxpayer–paid Praetorian Guard.

Harry Truman said if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. My advice to politicians is if you won’t carry the heat, don’t get out of the office.

Business Learns Trump Giveth and Trump Taketh Away

Conservatives always knew Trump’s policies would be a dog’s breakfast of competing initiatives and impulsive proposals. His State of the Administration speech only served to confirm it.

There were solid assurances to reestablish the rule of law and promises to develop a “historic” tax reform program that will make US businesses more competitive with other countries.

Unfortunately, waiting for tax reform from a Republican Congress that supports business because it makes campaign contributions and ignores competition because it doesn’t, is like waiting for a pause in an Obama monologue.

Rather than wait, Trump issued an order that requires the executive branch to remove two old regulations for every new one it issues.

That’s a great start; although something tells me at least initially the regulations deleted are going to be those covering the sodium content of salt pork issued to the Army of the Potomac.

But how does removing burdensome regulations on US business square with requiring those same businesses to provide paid family leave? I know it’s a logical progression from universal Pre–K, which is taxpayer–funded daycare, to paying mothers to raise their own babies, but it’s not logical for Republicans trying to make America competitive.

Trump’s new Commissar of Motherhood is going to be regulating up a storm. What number employees is the cutoff for coverage? Will men get to take advantage of paid leave? What about men who can’t decide if they are a man or a woman? Can homosexuals take off to raise a surrogate child? Is a polygamist limited to children from one wife or do all qualify? Does a mother of twins get twice as much leave? Can a divorced husband take off if he still gets along with the ex–wife and she has a child? Will leave only apply to immediate family or will it be like chain immigration and apply to cousins, uncles and people with similar last names?

Do mothers who abort their child get time off to sooth a guilty conscience? How long does the leave last? If a woman gives birth to a girl and a few years later she decides she’s a boy, can mom take another leave to help with the transition? If a woman adopts an infant, does she qualify? If a woman serves as a surrogate mother can she take paid leave, too?

Will the payment be a percentage of salary or a fixed rate? Will there be a means test? How about a citizenship test? Does a woman continue to earn seniority as she cares for junior? Does the leave clock for a premie start when the child was born or when it should have been born? If a mother’s state already has a paid leave program does she have to choose one or can she double–dip?

Just answering those few questions will generate reams of regulations. Will the Commissar get a free pass on the new one–for–two regulatory rule and start from scratch? Or will he have to persuade other agencies to donate old regulations he can sacrifice on the altar of red tape?

I’m sorry, but this has Ivanka’s fingerprints all over it and no one that I know of voted for her.

This program better left to the states. California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island already have leave programs. The other states are free to follow their lead and burden their businesses, too.

This is not to say I downplay the importance of motherhood. I don’t. Conservatives put much more emphasis on the nurturing of the nuclear family than the left does. Strong families build a strong society.

Let’s say Virginia, where I live, wanted to encourage working mothers to stay home with their children for the first three months. I could support a plan that takes inspiration from the foster parent program.

Virginia pays foster parents $462 a month for children under age four. It could start a new Leg Up on Life program that pays working mothers a similar amount for the first three months of the child’s life. This encourages mothers to take time off from work to establish a relationship with the newborn and removes some of the financial pressure.

In the interest of equity I would allow both working and non–working women to be eligible. In the interest of keeping the program simple, the payment would not be means tested. If women already had paid leave from their place of employment, they could collect both payments.

This program has the advantage of being simple, non–federal and no burden on business. It encourages mothers without discouraging job creation. Best of all it doesn’t establish a federal entitlement Democrats could increase at some time in the future, like Trump’s does.