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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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I appeared on Silvio Canto Jr's talk show from Dallas.  It's here.

 

 

 

JANUARY 24-25,  2023

NO CONFIDENCE:  New polling shows a strong belief by Americans, across the political spectrum, that their leaders no longer represent their beliefs and values.  This is not good.  From Issues and Insights: 

Washington, you have a problem, and elected officials should take note: Regardless of party affiliation, those who elected you no longer have faith in the idea that you actually represent them, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.

It’s no surprise that many voters are turned off by the political class these days. As repeated polls show, voters from both parties agree that the results of recent years from Washington have been less than stellar. And the voters feel Washington is divorced from their everyday concerns.

In the most recent online I&I/TIPP Poll, taken Jan. 4-6 from 1,107 registered voters across the country, we asked voters two questions about their elected officials in Washington.

In the first we asked simply: “In general, do you believe that elected officials in Washington represent MOSTLY the views and values of … ” with the choices being “their constituents,” “big donors,” or “not sure.”

The answer was overwhelming and doesn’t bode well for official Washington. Two-thirds (66%) said elected officials represent mostly the views and values of their big donors, not average Americans. Just 16% said they felt their elected officials represented their constituents. Another 18% said they weren’t sure.

When it comes to the politics of those who took the poll, which has a margin of error of +/-3.0 percentage points, this was one of the most uniform responses in I&I/TIPP Poll history.

Among Democrats, 61% said “big donors,” compared to 68% of Republicans and 73% of independents. “Constituents” garnered 20% of Democrats, 16% of Republicans and just 9% of independents.

So the political disgruntlement is deep, widespread and multi-partisan.

But there were some deeper demographic differences. Most notably, the older the person responding, the more likely they were to believe that their elected officials were really representing the interests and views of those who gave them big bucks.

Among voters from 18-24 years of age, just 53% responded “big donors,” while 21% said “their constituents.” That compares to the 25-44 age group (57% “big donors”, 24% “their constituents”), the 45-64 age group (70% big donors, 13% constituents) and age 65+, the most negative group at 75% “big donors,” compared to a mere 8% for “their constituents.”

The older the voter, the more wary they are of their Washington representatives.

Race was another big difference. Among white voters, 71% said their representatives worked for their big donors, while a tiny 12% said for their constituents. Among black and hispanic Americans, 52% felt their representatives reflected the views and values of their big donors, compared to 27% who responded “their constituents.”

We then asked one more closely related question, reflecting how people felt about their own representatives in Washington: “How satisfied are you that your congressional representative represents your views and values?”

Once again, voters were not happy. Just 39% of Americans said they were satisfied with their congressional representative, while 52% said they were not satisfied.

This time, the political differences showed. Overall, 50% of Democrats called themselves “satisfied,” vs. 43% “dissatisfied,” with their representative. Not so Republicans or independents. For GOP voters, just 36% said they were happy with their representative, 53% unhappy.

By far, independents were least happy: Only 27% declared themselves “satisfied,” compared to a whopping 64% who said they were “dissatisfied.”

COMMENT: As always, we caution that a poll is a snapshot in time, and the results are affected by the way questions are worded.

However, please consider:  Alan Jay Lerner, the great lyricist, once said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."  Success in politics often comes to the side that works the hardest, is most dedicated, and is willing to remain committed over time.  In the last 50 years, that side has been the American left.  Not liberals.  The left.  They have penetrated into every aspect of American life – the universities, the churches, local school boards, small towns, the media.  They are relentless...but they rarely represent the basic American values that most of America cherish.  I suspect the sense of distance from their elected officials that Americans feel comes in some important measure from the dedication of the left, and the ability to keep that determination quiet when necessary. 

Our side has to work harder, every day.  Politics is not a gentleman's game, nor a weekend sport.  Our ideas are better, and usually more popular.  We have to have a greater will to win. 

January 25, 2023       Permalink

 

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

A SIGN OF THE TIMES:  From CBS:   NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams didn't hold back Monday when asked about a decision from Chase Bank to close some of their city ATMs during overnight hours, citing crime and vagrancy concerns.  Customers didn't hold back, either.  Using an ATM is exactly what Sunny Ng wanted to do last Tuesday night, but when he tried to enter a Chase ATM vestibule in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the only paper he got was a warning that, for now, the once 24-hour ATMs will close at 10 p.m.  "The advantage of using Chase is that they have so many ATMs, and so for it to close at night is kind of unbelievable," Ng said.  So Ng got online and complained to Chase in a tweet, and the company replied, apologizing and saying it has decided to close some ATM vestibules not just at 10 p.m., but at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., depending on the location. The bank even gave a reason: rising crime and vagrancy in vestibules that were 24/7..."Those are all indicators, when you have to lock up supplies, when you have to close early due to people sleeping inside," Adams said.  The mayor said the city is working to provide care to homeless people in need of help, and also said the city needs to create an environment where people feel safe.  "People don't want to walk into their ATM and see someone urinating, see someone screaming and yelling. People don't want to go through that," Adams said. "And that is what I am saying I need to stop, because I don't want my ATMs closing down. I don't want people leaving our city."  The mayor gets it right.  People are leaving New York in droves.  What has to be closed next, in New York and elsewhere, before people realize that their city is dying?  The problem is that the hard left, which controls the mayor's Democratic Party, won't do a thing for public safety.  It's against the party line.

A RISING GOP STAR GETS IT RIGHT AGAIN:  From Fox:   Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an unprecedented school choice bill called the Students First Act on Tuesday, allowing any Iowa student to use public money to pay for private school tuition or other expenses.  "For the first time, we will fund students not systems!" Reynolds said on Twitter.  "Parents, not the government, can now choose the education setting best suited to their child regardless of their income or zip code. Iowa has affirmed that educational freedom belongs to all!"  After the Students First Act was passed, Iowa is now the third state to pass a school choice measure that expands to every student in the state.  "This is one of the best vehicles for providing families with more options, since parents can use the ESAs for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, curricular materials, special-needs therapy and more. We’ve already seen success from ESAs in Arizona," Jason Bedrick, a research fellow in the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital.  "Although Iowa is the 3rd state to pass universal school choice, it is the state with the heaviest foot on the accelerator. Although Arizona was first state to pass school choice for all families last year, their program had been around for over a decade. Gov. Reynolds just signed into law a program that includes most families in its first year and automatically expands to all families after two years," American Federation for Children Senior Fellow Corey DeAngelis told Fox News Digital.  The latest example of a significant passing of school choice legislation happened in Arizona under Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the most "monumental" education savings account program in the United States.  Good for Kim!  She's an excellent governor and would be an excellent vice-presidential candidate in 2024.

January 24, 2023     Permalink


 

JANUARY 22-23,  2023

ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY:  She surfaces again.  Kamala Harris is not only an embarrassment to the country, I think she's downright dangerous.  A foreign nation assessing her might actually think she represents the true capability of the United States, and decide that it's safe to make a move against us, or even attack.  She is no ornament to our deterrent forces.

You would think by this time she would have learned something about presenting herself to the nation.  But no, Kamala never seems to absorb much, and so she has just made a total fool of herself mangling one of our most sacred national documents.  From Fox: 

Twitter users hit Vice President Kamala Harris for omitting "right to life" while reciting a quote from the Declaration of Independence during a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that granted nationwide access to abortion.

"We collectively believe and know, America is a promise … It is a promise of freedom and liberty. Not just some, but for all. We are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Harris said Sunday.

The document's original text reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Critics were quick to slam Harris for omitting the right of life from her remarks, slamming her for attempting to rewrite history and conveniently omit the phrase that allegedly contradicted her message.

Some said the omission exposed her argument as weak.

"When you have to omit entirely one of the most integral parts of the Declaration of Independence in attempts to further your argument, said argument is immediately and objectively powerless," the Senate Working Group's Leslie Ann Robertson said.

"This point is obvious but when the ‘right to life’ blows up your message so bad you have to pretend it doesn’t exist, then maybe your message isn’t very good," GOP operative Matt Whitlock said.

Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy shared images of Harris's speech transcript with the portion under scrutiny highlighted.

"Here is Vice President Kamala Harris omitting the inalienable right to life when referencing the Declaration of Independence in defense of Roe v. Wade," he captioned.
Nile Gardiner, former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, sounded off as well, writing, "Kamala Harris clearly does not believe in the ‘right to life’."

Others noted Harris also omitted "creator" from the endowment portion of the quote, including The Daily Beast senior columnist Matt Lewis, who wrote, "Kamala Harris says that, according to the Declaration of Independence, "we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (***She leaves out the key words "by our Creator" and 'the right to life.')"

Harris also used Sunday's speech as a platform to lambast Republicans calling for a federal abortion ban at 15 weeks of pregnancy, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

COMMENT:  An unforced error, as they say in baseball.  Didn't any of her staff read the speech before she delivered it?  Or didn't she care?  I don't think I've ever seen a document so basic to the American creed so thoroughly botched.

If Kammy were smart, which she's not, she would offer a public apology.  She won't because it might "offend" her radical base. 

Her office demands a higher standard.

January 23, 2023   Permalink    

 

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE: 

LATEST WOKE NEWS:   From Legal Insurrection:  Thanks to a $1.2 million government grant, Norway’s University of Bergen is looking into how white paint has contributed to white supremacy around the world.  The U. Bergen study, called “NorWhite,” focuses on whether the Norwegian-developed paint pigment titanium dioxide white helped advance white “as a superior color,” Fox News reports.  Although Norway isn’t a colonial power in the tradition of Spain, England or Portugal, NorWhite shows “how the country has played a globally leading role” in making white a preferable hue.  The study examines the titanium white pigment via “historical, aesthetic, and critical lenses. Whiteness, it says, typically “is understood as cultural and visual structures of privilege,” but NorWhite offers “a distinctively different battleground for politics of whiteness in art and architecture.”  It's about time we confronted this ugly part of our past.  Inwardly, we all knew that white paint was sending a message.  I mean, what do you think the White House is all about?  And how about "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas"?  That tells you everything you need to know about your privilege. 

WELCOME TO NEW YORK:  From the New York Post:  A Fox News meteorologist was pummeled by a group of teens when he tried to stop them from harassing another straphanger on a Manhattan subway early Sunday, cops and the Prognosticator said.  Weatherman Adam Klotz, 37, recounted the vicious attack in an Instagram video, appearing bruised and battered as he described how he was coming home on a train after watching the New York Giants NFL playoff game at a bar when he saw “this older gentleman was being hassled by this group of seven or eight teens.  “I was like, ‘Yo, guys, cut that out.’ And they decided, ‘Alright, if he’s not going to get it, you’re going to get it.’ And boy did they give it to me,” Klotz said. “They had me on the ground. My ribs are all bruised up, too. They got their hits in.”  Police sources said the meteorologist was on a No. 1 train around 1:15 a.m. when he confronted the teens, who may have been smoking weed at the time, too. Nothing new on this.  I doubt if they'll ever catch the assailants.  And, if they do, nothing much will happen to them.  We are living through the possible death of a city.

CHILLING:  From Fox:  The FBI said Wednesday that it is "too early" to determine whether gunfire at a substation in Randolph County, North Carolina, this week was connected to December’s attack on the nearby Moore County’s power grid that still hasn’t resulted in any arrests despite causing outages for tens of thousands.  "The FBI is working with the Randolph County Sheriff's Office to investigate after gunfire damaged an EnergyUnited substation on January 17, 2023," a spokesperson for the FBI Charlotte Division said in a statement to Fox News Digital Wednesday. "At this time, it is too early in the investigation to determine whether this case is connected to the ongoing investigation in Moore County."  On Tuesday morning, EnergyUnited officials responded to an alarm that notified personnel of an equipment issue at its Pleasant Hill Substation in Thomasville, N.C.  Crews found the substation transformer was damaged by gunshots and alerted law enforcement. The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and suspect the attack occurred around 3 a.m. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force responded to conduct a parallel investigation. The Bureau had better get this right.  We've been warned for decades that an enemy could launch a devastating attack on our power grid, paralyzing the nation for days or weeks.  Are these recent attacks the opening steps?  I have no idea, but they tell us that the threat is out there.  We cannot afford an electrical Pearl Harbor. 

January 22-23, 2023      Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
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