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Trump’s Coming Blowout Kickoff in Orlando

Rod Thomson

There’s still something going on with the Trump presidency that is lost on pollsters, the media and Democrats: The white-hot support of his base, which is definitely larger and perhaps hotter than in 2016.

This is demonstrated in rally after rally he holds, which all the talking heads told us was going to peter out. My gosh these people are wrong a lot. Consider what is happening in the leadup to Trump’s official campaign 2020 kickoff next week in Orlando.

The President tweeted Wednesday: “Wow! Just got word that our June 18th, Tuesday, ANNOUNCEMENT in Orlando, Florida, already has 74,000 requests for a 20,000 seat Arena. With all of the big events that we have done, this ticket looks to be the ‘hottest’ of them all. See you in Florida!”

These numbers will overwhelm the Amway Center’s capacity of 20,000 for an NCAA basketball crowd maximum. Center stage concerts hold 19,700 while end-stage concerts hold about 16,000. Of course Trump frequently draws more than his venues can hold. He also did this as a candidate in the primaries. Are any Democrats anywhere near this? No. Polls do not capture this.

Orange County GOP Chair Charles Hart told the Orlando Sentinel that the extraordinary request-to-availability ratio for tickets to the kickoff is “epic even for his rallies…This is a phenomenally hot ticket.”

The campaign will likely set up outdoor screens for people to watch it live with others even if they cannot get inside Amway.

If the venue held 150,000 (and there is not such a thing) it’s possible Trump could fill it in Florida. Republican clubs from The Villages, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami and other Florida areas have chartered buses to take people to the event.

But here’s the deal. A lot more Republicans would go if they thought they could get in. Most are aware that the Amway Center is overwhelmed and have decided not to go to Orlando because their chances of getting in are minimal. Anecdotally, I was in a group where several said they were planning to go until they realized they probably could not get in. It’s a lot to go through just to stand outside and watch it on large screens.

And yet tens of thousands will likely do just that — knowing that is what they will be relegated to.

That displays a level of support you don’t see in any other candidates, or really in any candidates in recent memory. Obama at his peak did not come close to swamping major venues. And he was going to be the one to lower the seas!

In addition, it shows the level of organization now in the Florida Republican Party. The Party was split organizationally and financially between Rick Scott forces and the statewide party during Scott’s governorship. But that is all united now under Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida GOP Chair Joe Gruters. DeSantis and Gruters were both early and strong supporters of Trump.

The simple reality is that the state is more unified and organized than it was in 2016.

And that shows in events such as Trump’s kickoff. The President picked Florida because of course it is the largest swing state and critical to victory. But also because the Party is healthier, and no state has a stronger economy right now.

These are positive trends you will not see reported in the mainstream media or typically reflected in these broad national polls. But they can make all the difference in 2020.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.


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Chameleon Man Vs Trump. Genuineness In The Age Of Fakery

Rod Thomson

A lot of Americans do not like President Trump’s vulgarities, the name-calling, petty Twitter feuds and previous adulteries. But they love the flag-hugging, make-America-great-again, straight-talking President Trump that is presiding over an awful lot of good in the country and clearly puts American interests first.

He’s not a global community kind of guy. He’s America first.

And it points to a powerful but underestimated strength of President Trump: His genuineness. He doesn’t poll test and run focus groups to figure out which policies are popular and which phrases to use like so many politicians do.

He doesn’t (very much) kowtow to what is popular in his Republican Party to win points. If he did, he would not be waging tariff wars to get more fair trade agreements or going to the mat to secure our southern border — both of which are intrinsically part of MAGA and that genuine love for America, but make a lot of Republicans quiver.

He’s most definitely his own man. His unpopular personality traits and his authenticity all flow together to create a public man who is the same as the private man. People can actually relate to that.

Americans like straight-talkers and not two-faced political hacks who will say anything to get support.

Which brings us to the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race.

Joe Biden is the epitome of what Trump voters despise about politics, politicians and Washington, D.C. in general. In a word, he’s a phony. (In this sense, Biden acts as a sort of stand-in for everyone running in the Democratic Party right now, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders. And let’s be honest, a lot of Republicans do the same.)

Biden morphs into whatever his wet finger in the wind tells him voters want him to be.

It’s his sole superpower: He’s Chameleon Man!

Biden stuck with the Hyde Amendment that blocked direct federal funding of abortion for decades. It was not popular with the NARAL crowd, but many in the Democratic Party and certainly most of Americans agreed with the principle.

For 46 years he supported the very “principle,” or so he said, that taxpayers morally opposed to abortion should not be forced to pay for them. But the Democratic Party has been reactionarily radicalized in the age of Trump and now heavily supports dumping the Hyde Amendment. NBC News did a story on Biden’s long support of Hyde and reported staffers saying he still did. The base represented by Alyssa Milano erupted in horror and slammed him, as did his Democratic opponents.

Cue Chameleon Man! Within 24 hours of the non-issue becoming an issue, Biden flipped on his 46-year “principles” and abandoned Hyde.

The Hill reported:

“By the time he was preparing his remarks for a Democratic Party fundraising event that night, even Biden realized there was no plausible way forward beside switching his previous position.”

Poof! No principles, just the wet finger. This is of course totally expected of politicians. But it’s actually not something Trump does. In such a situation, he punches back and punches back. It can look ugly and petty, but he rarely flips, and certainly not on any of his big issues.

Biden had already donned his Chameleon Man outfit over the crime bill he helped champion during the Clinton administration. The bill, with its mandatory minimum sentences and other points was in response to crime spiralling out of control and Americans’ frustration with judges continually letting bad guys go with a slap on the wrists. It undoubtedly was a major contributor to the decline in the crime rate. More bad guys were locked up for longer, less crime was committed. Math. Biden used to be proud of it.

But to the current left and Democratic Party, it caused a “mass incarceration crisis” because a higher percentage of the more bad guys locked up were minority, specifically black. And blacks vote Democratic at 90 percent. So the crime bill that lowered crime is now seen as a bad thing.

Shazaam! Chameleon Man leaps to the mic and flip flops on his long support of his own crime bill. He now considers it well-intentioned, does not really want to admit the mass incarceration language, but says they should have done differently and he would not do it again. He’s like a fish on the boat floor, flipping and flopping everywhere.

And then there is the really slimy thing he did with Vice President Mike Pence. Biden called him a “decent guy” but then went on to criticize him on a number of issues. Well, the “decent guy” part got him hammered on social media because Pence is a Bible-believing Christian and actually believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman — like all of history until five minutes ago.

But to the heavily influential LGBTQ+ segment in the Democratic Party, Pence is Satan — if they believed in Satan. Chameleon Man to the rescue! Biden came out the next day and “clarified” that there is no room for bigotry regarding LGBTQ+ rights. No more talk of Pence being decent.

Reuters writes of Biden and his new climate change proposal, and flip on the Hyde Amendment, in the normal language of simply accepting this is reality among politicians: “(Biden) was courting the groups he needs to consolidate his grip on the nomination: the activists, progressives and millennials who right now have the louder voices in the party.”

No principles. No authenticity. Just a big, sloppy wet finger in the wind.

Biden has been an empty vessel for a long time. He was caught lying in the 1980s when he claimed he marched with Civil Rights protesters in the south. When he was caught in the lie, he said he meant marched in spirit with them. He also was caught heavily plagiarising a paper in law school, and also on stump speeches in his 1987 presidential campaign, while additionally actually lifting experiences from other people’s lives and using them as his own.

Far left Slate magazine wrote of Biden’s troubling problems with both the truth and flip-flopping:

“What remains concerning about that history is Biden’s tendency to enthusiastically claim life experiences that aren’t his own, whether because it’s politically advantageous or rhetorically exciting to do so. He didn’t just use hefty chunks from a published law review for a 15-page paper in law school. He didn’t just lift some phrases from Bobby Kennedy. In 1987, Biden started borrowing not just language but biographical details from U.K. Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, citing nonexistent coal-mining ancestors and wondering aloud why he was the first in his family to go to college (he wasn’t). Biden also lied—repeatedly, and despite being repeatedly corrected—about marching for civil rights.”

This is just who Biden is, and always has been. He is a principle-free empty vessel into which Washington politics has been poured. In this sense, Biden acts as a sort of stand-in for possibly everyone running in the Democratic Party right now, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders.

Trump is a totally different animal. You may not like what Trump says or his policies. But he won’t cave to various special interest groups or flip on issues because it will help him pick up a few votes.

When Trump walked on stage to give a speech at CPAC in March and spontaneously hugged the American flag with that big old grin on his face, everyone knew that was genuine. And they liked him for it — not just the core conservative crowd, but a lot of non-Democratic Party Americans. It wasn’t just that he obviously loves the flag and the country, which is a sharp departure from his predecessor, but that everyone knew he really meant it. This was no poll-tested flag hug.

There is a lot of “code” attributed to Trump. But that is obvious nonsense. Donald Trump is constitutionally incapable of being subtle, at least in the public arena. To the chagrin of some, he usually says exactly what he thinks. But that separates him from pretty much all of the political world.

And many middle Americans may well be placing greater value on authenticity than they used to.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.


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I Supported You, Jeb, For A Long Time. It’s Over

Rod Thomson

I was one of the first newspaper reporters to interview Jeb Bush in his first run for Florida Governor in 1994 — which he narrowly lost largely due to a last-minute dirty-trick push poll from the campaign of incumbent Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles. I later became a big supporter and defender of Jeb as a competent, relatively conservative governor.

That all seems like ancient history now as Jeb makes himself more irrelevant than ever after being humiliated by Republican primary voters in 2016. Yet he clings to the impression that he is germane to Republicans.

Bush is the man whose most memorable moment from the primary, aside from standing gob-smacked on the stage over and over, was forlornly pleading “somebody please clap” to a group of carefully selected attendees who did not get the cue — because he really had nothing to say. Nonetheless, he still stands more than ready to tell Republicans the importance of primarying President Trump in 2020 — the most successful if controversial conservative president since Reagan.

Sigh. As a former fan and supporter when governor of Florida, I implore you to please just go quietly into the setting sun, or do something productive with your education think tank. You were great on vouchers and those remain incredibly important.

If you want to do something for the good of the country — which does not involve improving the likelihood that the newly radicalized Democratic Party takes the White House — make the case for school choice, for parental choice, for vouchers. Raise a ton of money from your friends like you did during the primary, but use it for the good of the nation, of the next generation. Stop helping Democrats because the impolite man beat you.

Jeb went on David Axelrod’s show The Axe Files on CNN — a decision that should tell you a lot — and spoke very highly of Maryland Gov. Hogan’s potential to be an alternative to Trump in 2020. He told Axelrod — the top Democratic operative in Obama’s campaign for the presidency — that the Republican Party needs to “offer a compelling alternative” to Democratic ideas rather than just calling their ideas “bad.”

First, let’s remember he is doing this on the opposition network that has long given itself over to anti-Republican mediaship. And he’s doing it on the show of one of the best Democratic operatives in modern times. Presumably he will go on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday show This Week on ABC — seeing as how Stephanopoulos was Clinton’s top strategist and it’s best to undermine the Republican Party’s political chances with its political enemies.

But most importantly, what is he even talking about? Just calling Democratic ideas bad. Well that would have been a good start for his dad and his brother. That would have been refreshing if President George W. Bush would have done that occasionally rather than just stand there like a Democratic fun-punching bag while many of us were trying to defend him. That polite “bully me” attitude is one of the streams that led Republicans to Trump.

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But Jeb is unaware of this. And, probably because he gets his news from CNN, he is unaware that Trump has pursued a more conservative agenda than did W. — to the happy surprise of many of us.

Want a compelling alternative to Democratic ideas? Here are a few:

  • Cut taxes and reform the tax code to grow the economy and allow Americans to keep more of their money. DONE.
  • Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate to grow the economy and expand American freedoms. DONE.
  • Appoint strong Constitutionalist judges to the federal Courts, starting with the U.S Supreme Court. DONE.
  • Build a strong military to protect and expand human liberty. BEING DONE.
  • Negotiate more free and fair trade agreements, such as the USMCA, which actually has net more freedoms on trade regarding un-tariffed flow of goods. DONE.
  • Repeal the odious individual mandate in Obamacare. DONE.
  • Create and strengthen work requirements for welfare programs. DONE.

And that’s just the beginning of a list.

In fact, after his first year in office, President Trump had embraced nearly two-thirds of the policy recommendations from the Heritage Foundation’s “Mandate for Leadership. He even favors Jeb’s school choice vouchers philosophies.

Trump and Republicans have put forth serious alternatives and enacted very conservative policies. If you were more of a principled conservative than you are a Trump hater, you would see that. I imagine Axelrod nodded right along in agreement with you. Stephanopoulos would, too.

I thought a lot of you, Jeb, at one point. But alas, you are leaving the legacy of a petty man.

Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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A Sober Take On The State Of The Union Through The Eyes Of CPAC

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

It was my first CPAC meeting, and it was awesome! But it was more than that. It was informative, encouraging, engaging and sobering.

So from a first-timer Here are some of the more prominent issues in the minds of conservatives this year.

 

The State Of The Union

Almost to a tee, conservatives were concerned about the state of the nation.  They recognized that for far too long America has been headed in the wrong direction, and they were painfully aware of the difficulty and the effort required to turn such a large and massive ship around.  Despite their optimism towards President Trump and the work he has been undertaking, very few seemed to believe America was headed in the right direction.

For most in attendance, the media have become an unapologetic instrument for left-wing propaganda.  The government footprint is way too large.  Our educational institutions have become liberal indoctrination camps, and the youth in our country is perilously close to accepting socialism as a valid socioeconomic alternative.

But despite these challenges, those in attendance knew they had a champion, a man who seemingly had come from nowhere and was now sitting in the White House calling the shots on the war against the Left.  And no moment solidified their faith in this President than when Donald J. Trump appeared at the CPAC stage, made his way to Old Glory, faced the audience, and gave the flag a protracted and joyous embrace.  It was a gesture that no one ever recalled any president ever doing, and it sealed their faith in the man that was both the spear for the conservative agenda and the target for the vitriol from the Left.

That image of President Trump hugging the American flag with a big, satisfied smile will likely become one of the great, indelible images in the minds of those present.

 

The State Of The Democratic Party

Conservatives’ view on the state of the Democrat Party was best articulated by Sen. Ted Cruz who, in his eloquence and sophistication, expertly and precisely described the Democrats in 2019.  To quote Senator Cruz, the Democrats have gone “bat-crap-crazy.”

From their position on border security to their Green New Deal, their open and unfettered embrace of socialism, their threats to disarm Americans, and their calls to execute American citizens without due process the Democrat mantra has devolved so precipitously that it defies belief.  The devolution of Democrat political policy is so extreme that, in a taste of so much more that is to come, it allowed President Trump to openly mock the Green New Deal and to encourage Democrats to continue to discuss it.

Objectively, it is difficult to see how a policy proposal that calls for the eradication of “farting cows,” the discontinuation of cars, and the termination of air travel can ever attract America’s swing voters.  And that’s without mentioning the Left’s renewed assault on the newborn.

 

The State of Right To Life

Amongst the issues where conservatives felt the most confident is the issue of the right to life.  Supporting their position is a recent Marist poll showing that 80% of Americans support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy.  Additionally, those identifying themselves as pro-life rose nine percentage points to 47% and even with those who called themselves pro-choice.

The most likely explanation for this renewed confidence is the predictable tendency for the Left to overplay its hand.  Other than possessing an inherent disdain for life, it is difficult to explain how Democrats would undertake such an aggressively destructive stance on human life. Yet this is exactly what they have done.

The Democrats’ position on abortion can no longer be explained as a defense of women’s right to choose, nor can it be hailed as a women’s-health issue, as the babies they are arguing may be sentenced to death are the very ones that have either already achieved viability or are freely living.

Worse yet, the celebrations that took place in the New York legislature after the passage of a bill that would allow for the death of a baby as late as during partum plays out as a disgusting site when viewed under the lens of decency and respect for others.  And the audacity of lighting One World Trade Center pink in celebration for the passage of a death sentence for scores of thousands will definitely shine as a low point in American history.

The attendees at CPAC could sense this and were salivating at the chance of bringing the Left’s misconduct and insensitivities to the public fore — and get it past the blocking line of the media.

 

The State of Socialism And The GND

For the first time in history, the Democrats are openly and unabashedly embracing socialism as a viable policy answer for America.  It is a direction that goes against every principle upon which our nation was created and one that brings to mind images of the open assault on the liberties Americans cherish.  And of course, it is a system that has miserably failed in every country where it has been tried.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President and The Green New Deal have become the symbols for such policy changes and the overtly oppressive measures the Democrats are willing to promote.

One would think that socialism would represent an untenable position for anyone to seriously propose, yet the Democrats, espouse it and openly defend it.  Their disregard for the dangers of even flirting with a socialist governmental scheme will surely come back to haunt them in a general election.

 

The State of Gun Rights

With a powerful appearance by Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President and CEO of the NRA, and Oliver North, its greatest advocate, the National Rifle Association has doubled down on its expanded role as the great defender of social liberties and individual freedom.  It is certainly the right approach because ultimately, although the Left may argue statistics and trends, or even make some up, it will never be able to propose a viable substitute for the ultimate defense of liberties and personal freedoms; a loaded weapon.

At the end of the day, this is shaping up to be a strong year for the conservative movement in America.  Between a President who is adamant about promoting a conservative vision for America, a House of Representatives in disarray, Democrat members of Congress defending absurd political philosophies, and an economy that continues to perform light-years above the rest, it is easy to see how conservatives at this year’s CPAC feel they have the wind at their backs.

Whether they do or not, remains to be seen.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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The First-Ever Woke Democratic Primary Is Going To Be Awesome!

Rod Thomson

Let’s be straight, if not for a certain dementia setting in deep within the Democratic Party, Republican chances for a successful 2020 election would not be looking great.

But hallelujah (maybe) we do have the Democratic Party racing at warp speed lurch to the jaw-droppingly radical left. When it comes to the competing nonsense of intersectional politics, grievance structures, getting rid of air travel, special interest slices and a festival of pandering, the scene for the next 16 months will be one gigantic display of neon insanity.

In other words, awesome.

Get the popcorn, pop up the recliner footrest and watch how a party led by a 29-year-old bartender seeks to remake the most successful economy in world history — all while devouring its own members in a delicious internecine display.

(Unless of course, they actually win the House, Senate and Presidency, in which case civilization is doomed.)

But let’s focus on the pure entertainment value of the next year and a half — in case it’s all that is left — and start with the most recent unprecedented wackiness: eliminating planes and cow farts in 10 years.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the notorious AOC, the bubbly, pretty, likable young ignorant whackadoodle now holding sway in the Democratic Party, thanks to a wildly irresponsible media, has proposed the Green New Deal, which is a sumptuous combination of an 8th grade Marxist class that just watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

Let’s just tap the high points: In order to deal with the threat of climate change that will end the world in 12 years (AOC’s words) the United States must lead the salvation of humanity by giving everybody free healthcare, free college, affordable/free housing, healthy food, well-paying jobs, and economic security for those unable or unwilling to work.

To accomplish this, Green New Deal says the United States need to eliminate all fossil fuels, including natural gas, in 10 years. Eliminate all nuclear plants in 10 years (yes, they are the only efficient clean energy we have, but nothing in this plan is remotely sane, so don’t draw the line there.) Eliminate all cars that run on gasoline in 10 years. Eliminate all planes and replace travel with high-speed rail. (No word from the Hawaii delegation on this point.) And naturally, we will need to upgrade or replace every building in America. Every. Building.

This is an exquisitely laughable proposal. The only challenge serious people have had in critiquing it is running out of adjectives to describe its utter madness.

The spin cover run by the media on this plan is quite amazing — honestly, almost impressive. It’s obviously indefensible by even the most partisan media (which is pretty much all of the media.) So here’s the media operatives’ spin: Republicans are hyper-focused on the details, but the goal of the plan, you see, is to get the conversation started. Republicans are missing the point. We need to have a conversation about this peril and this starts it.

First, have we not been talking about climate change? Seems to me I recall a convo or two on this point. Second, not sure we need to have a conversation on getting rid of planes and cow farts. But that could be just me.

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The next example of the unprecedented absurdities facing Democrats is the self-decapitation of the Democratic leadership in Virginia.Unbeknownst to many Americans, apparently dressing in blackface was a thing in Virginia in the 1980s.

Photos of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam from his college yearbook show him in blackface (or worse, possibly a KKK outfit replete with pointed hood.) If he falls, second in line is Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who as soon as Northam’s apparent fate became nationally known has been beset by accusations of sexual assault by two women, which seem more credible than the one who accused now Justice Brett Kavanaugh. If Fairfax also falls, next in line is Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. And like clockwork, he confessed that he, too, dressed in blackface several years ago. Fourth in line? The conservative Republican Speaker of the Virginia House.

We know how this ends. If Democrats were held to the standards they have created for Republicans and others, all three would be gone by now. As of this writing, all three remain in office and apparently are planning to stay there. So much for blackface and #metoo when it comes to Democratic politicians. So much for #believeallwomen if you are talking about Democratic politicians in office.

Republicans should be like kids in a candy store for the 2020 races, pushing every Democrat on whether they support eliminating planes or the death of the planet; and whether they #believeallwoman and compare their answer against their statements during the Kavanaugh hearing. This is a rich vein to mine. (Not by the media, of course. They’ll ignore it. But by Republican opponents.)

By way of comparison, photos of the Republican Florida Secretary of State surfaced recently of him in blackface at a Halloween Party several years ago. He resigned in hours. It’s not clear any Democrats will resign, which makes sense. I mean to put a fine point on it, they were the Party of slavery, of Jim Crow laws, of Bull Connor, of herding black Americans into tenements and locking them into welfare, and which still use race unabashedly to further their own political ends on a pretty much nonstop basis. It’s in the DNA of the Democratic Party.

Speaking of DNA in their veins, the Democratic Party now openly supports infanticide. I’ve avoided this term for decades during the abortion debate, although I do think that given the humanity of the resident in womb, it is just that. But the aforementioned Gov. Northam said a baby meant for abortion that is born alive and living outside the womb can still be killed by the “choice” of the mother. Sorry all, that’s infanticide.

This came days after the New York legislature erupted in applause after passing a bill allowing for abortion up to the literal moment of birth at 40 weeks. Further, the bill stated that a pregnant woman who is assaulted and that assault kills the baby — even if she is full term and on her way to the delivery room — authorities are banned from charging the attacker with murder. Only assault on the mother. The baby is simply non-existent to the Democratic Party. Standing applause.

More unprecedented insanity: AOC proposed a 70 percent tax rate before she unveiled her junior high plan to remake American civilization. But one of her radical compadres in Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar, saw her 70 percent and raised her to 90 percent. Within days, the New York Times ran a column calling for the abolishment of millionaires and, voila!, #abolishbillionaires was trending on the Democratic left. This is how fast the most astonishingly un-American ideas travel to the radical cliff on the left, and Democrat politicians are flummoxed in how to deal with them.

And we’ll wrap up this circus of absurdities with the combination of Medicare for All and open borders. Medicare for All, which is single-payer universal government health care, is estimated to cost $33 trillion over 10 years — nearly doubling the federal budget on an annual basis. Of course, it will cost more than that. Combine that with free college for all and assured housing and a $15 minimum wage (although why stop there?) and open borders in which literally millions of unskilled, uneducated immigrants who don’t even speak the language can roll on in, and you have a pretty massive national financial collapse racing toward us.

And this does not even reach the actual politics of the presidential campaign in which it is likely no Democratic contender ever will be able to survive the gauntlet of ever-changing political correctness standards and the viciousness of their own base. Meanwhile, every conceivable real and imagined kitchen sink has been thrown at President Trump and he just hit 50 percent approval in Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll.

So enjoy the spectacle. It’ll be awesome! (Except for the whole future-of-civilization part.)

Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

(UPDATED: Removed “with two evictions and a credit score of 430″ as that is apparently unproven.)


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John Kerry — An American Disgrace

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

There was a time in our nation’s history when speaking ill of one’s country while overseas was shunned. There was a time when politicians made it a point to keep their negative comments about the President at home and tried to not criticize their fellow citizens while they were in foreign soil.

That time has long since past.

As best as I can tell, the turning point was the election of President Bill Clinton. While he worked with Sen. William Fulbright, Clinton became deeply involved in antiwar activism. By 1969, Clinton found himself in England shamefully organizing antiwar protests in London against his home country. Clinton’s opponents brought his activities to light during his first presidential run. The talk at the time was of the deplorable nature of an American who would go to a foreign country to air out America’s internal conversations and cast his country in a negative light. 

For any other politician, Clinton’s conduct of foreign, antiwar activism would have been the death knell for a presidential bid, but it wasn’t for this saxophone-playing, shades-wearing, “cool” womanizing politician. Bill Clinton was untouchable, and his past indiscretions were not about to slow him down.

Those of us on the right looked at such disrespectful behavior with scorn and were distraught at the direction we foresaw the nation’s standards going.

Enter John Kerry. His rancid behavior was, in many ways, the obverse of Bill Clinton’s.

Kerry was a Vietnam veteran who came back to the United States and spoke ill about his fellow veterans claiming to have witnessed atrocities that he was not in a position to have seen. His commentaries were so unsubstantiated that Congressman Joe Wilson called it “one of the worst public slanders ever against the valor and character of the American military.”

Kerry, of course, lost his presidential bid, although it was likely due to his exaggerations of his military service rather than his performance before the senatorial committee in 1971.

Since that time, however, it has become acceptable for our nation’s leaders to speak ill of the United States while abroad, a behavior that was likely perfected by President Barack Hussein Obama during his apology tour and ongoing belittling of the country he purported to lead.

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And there is no sign of this kind of disgraceful behavior stopping; the latest manifestation of it being the conduct of Kerry himself. On Tuesday, during his trip to Davos for the World Economic Summit, Kerry did not pass up any opportunities to speak ill of his country. When speaking of his President’s absence, Kerry falsely claimed that it was because the President did not care about those in attendance. (President Trump did attend last year’s meeting and was criticized for that, too.) In fact, it has been meticulously documented that the President canceled his trip to Davos because of the inappropriateness of his attendance in light of an ongoing government shutdown.

When analyzing President Trump’s reasons for withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, it was not good enough that Kerry should voice a policy disagreement with the President, rather he claimed that the President had lied about the agreement, what it did, and what it did not do.

And most egregiously, when asked what message he had for the President of the United States, Kerry simply said, “Resign.”

Clearly, Kerry’s conduct is revolting, but worse yet, the direction in which he, Bill Clinton, and (lest we should forget) Jane Fonda sent the etiquette of overseas political discourse has hurt and continues to damage our nation. There are certain observations that are best made within the ambit of our nation’s borders and not while away from home so that our enemies can capitalize on our discord.

For those who understand the necessity of upholding this standard, it is high time we demand a return to a reality where such demeaning behavior while in a foreign country is once again eschewed.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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The Ominous Prosecutorial Misconduct Pattern Emerging In America

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

There is a growing pattern here, and its deeper than you think.

Last week we learned from a published plea deal with prosecutors from the Southern District of New York (SDNY) that American Media, Inc. (AMI), the National Enquirer‘s parent company, admitted to “making a contribution and expenditure. . . to the campaign of a candidate for President of the United States.” In exchange for this admission, the SDNY agreed not to prosecute AMI for any crimes related to this contribution with the exception of any criminal tax violations that may have arisen.

Although the admission allows AMI to avoid prosecution for its campaign contribution, a neutral review of the facts laid out in the addendum to the September 30th plea deal calls to question whether a contribution to any campaign even occurred.

According to the plea deal arrangement published by SDNY, AMI made a contribution to the Trump campaign when it paid $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal in order to procure the rights to her story regarding her extra-marital affair with Donald Trump. Prosecutors claim that the money paid to McDougal by AMI represented a campaign contribution because it was made with the intent of influencing the results of the election and in coordination with Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and unnamed “members or agents of the Trump campaign.”

The payment was allegedly made to McDougal after AMI CEO David Pecker received assurances from Cohen that he would reimburse Pecker for the transaction, and after Cohen created a shell corporation housing the money to be used to reimburse Pecker and AMI.

However, despite the execution of the deal between McDougal and AMI, Pecker later called Cohen to tell him “that the deal was off and that Cohen should tear up the assignment agreement.”  The addendum does not explain why Pecker called off the deal with Cohen, but it does say that AMI subsequently published articles and pictures of McDougal on many of its magazines “to keep the model from commenting publicly about her story and her agreement with AMI.”

Consequently, neither Cohen, Trump, nor the Trump campaign ever gave the money to AMI (the parent company of the National Enquirer).

Under these circumstances it is debatable whether the actions by Pecker were contributions to the Trump campaign or a business transaction voluntarily undertaken by Pecker and independent of any political campaign. Moreover, even if there was a deal with Cohen, pending the identification of the “members and agents of the campaign” and their participation in the transaction, it appears Cohen was acting as Trump’s personal attorney and not as an agent of the campaign.

And finally, being that AMI never consummated the deal with Cohen, doesn’t that obviate whatever association AMI may have had with Cohen and therefore the campaign? Regardless, it certainly seems unpalatable that a campaign finance statute would be written so broadly as to capture any activity that any person undertook in support of a candidate in the absence of any participation on the part of the campaign. Such a statute would be impossible to enforce and an open affront to the protections enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.

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So if AMI never consummated a deal with Cohen or the Trump campaign, was it really a campaign contribution? And if it was not, then why would AMI make a deal with prosecutors in exchange for immunity?

The answer is simple: economic and legal expediency.

Pecker knows that a legal defense of this matter would likely run in the scores of thousands of dollars regardless of whether or not he prevails. Additionally, although this transaction may be defendable, there’s no telling what other things prosecutors may turn up about AMI independent of the Trump dealings that may place it in real legal turmoil. So in the end, it pays for AMI, which has no unbreakable interest in Trump, to just agree to the deal and tell prosecutors whatever they know. After all, the admission of an illegal campaign contribution on the part of the National Enquirer will neither hurt its public standing nor its sales. AMI gets its immunity, and the prosecutors get a cooperative witness with which to pursue its case against the President. And the world moves on.

Indeed, if the AMI matter had taken place in isolation there would be little impetus for a story here. But consider the events involving Jerome Corsi.

Mr. Corsi is a journalist and an author notable for his book Obama Nation. Corsi was approached by Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding his alleged interactions with Candidate Trump adviser Roger Stone and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. These contacts resulted from Corsi’s investigations of the Wikileaks July 22, 2016, publication of Hillary Clinton’s emails where he noted the absence of a batch of emails between Clinton and her former campaign manager, John Podesta. According to the later-filed complaint by Corsi’s lawyers, that observation led Corsi to contact Assange regarding Assange’s possible possession of the Podesta emails and their potential publication.

As a result of this contact, Mueller suspected Corsi of possibly aiding Russia in colluding with the Trump campaign through Assange. According to Corsi’s complaint, Mueller and his team then attempted to coerce Corsi into admitting that he was colluding with the Russians on behalf of Candidate Trump. In this case, however, Corsi refused to admit engaging in activity in which he was not involved and fought back by filing a lawsuit against Mueller.

But the Corsi and AMI affairs are not the only two examples of potential prosecutorial coercion in the Trump affair.

General Michael Flynn is a soldier and public servant with an impeccable reputation dating back over 30 years. In 2017, Flynn served as President Trump’s first National Security Advisor. In December 2016, Flynn had two conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. On January 24, 2017, four days into his tenure as NSA, FBI agents approached Flynn regarding those contacts. Among the FBI agents conducting the interview was Peter Strzock, the same agent who was later disgraced because of personal texts where he openly expressed his intense bias against President Donald Trump.

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Apparently, during that interview, General Flynn was asked whether he had ever spoken to Kislyak. Flynn denied such a conversation. When confronted about this discrepancy, Flynn said that he did not initially recall the contacts. And in point of fact, Flynn had reason to not be as defensive and careful as he would have been had he known the prosecutorial peril under which he had been placed.

First, even though the law specifically prohibits knowingly and willfully lying to the FBI, Flynn was never placed under oath nor told that anything he said could and would be held against him; a basic tenet of prosecutorial conduct and fair play. Second, when Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe approached Flynn via a telephone conversation, he billed the interview as being for the purpose of pursuing information regarding media coverage of the leaked memos. Even more damning was McCabe’s reassurances to Flynn that the latter did not need his attorney to be present.

This latter fact is perhaps the most implicative of a concerted entrapment on the part of the FBI even before one considers that then FBI Director James Comey recently observed that that he knowingly broke protocol in this case because the Trump administration was a mere three days into its tenure and “disorganized.”

Based on these coercive and unethical, and likely unconstitutional circumstances, Flynn would be threatened with prosecution unless he admitted to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Kislyak and cooperated with the Mueller investigation of President Trump.  After losing his house to the overwhelming legal bills and seeing his son similarly threatened by prosecutors, Flynn acquiesced.  The case is presently under judicial review for possible prosecutorial malfeasance. A decision on this matter is expected this Tuesday as part of Flynn’s sentencing hearing.

Then there’s President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, admittedly a category onto himself. Cohen was recently sentenced to three years imprisonment on charges of campaign finance violations stemming from payments he made to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from speaking regarding her affair with Trump prior to his becoming President.

Once again, the legal premise under which prosecutors sought to indict Cohen was controversial. There is significant disagreement over whether Cohen was engaging in campaign activities when he made the arrangements with Stormy Daniels. His actions, although shady, could have reasonably been found to have taken place on behalf of Trump’s personal capacity and outside the purview of Trump’s presidential campaign. But once again, coercive prosecutorial activities come into play, and Cohen worked out a deal so to not have to defend himself in court.

In the end, Cohen was sentenced to three years in jail, largely based on his less than total candor with prosecutors. However, still unresolved is the question of whether his actions were truly illegal. Regardless, prosecutors now can use a possibly erroneous admission of guilt as another brick in their efforts to take down a sitting president.

And just this week, we learned that Dennis Nathan Cain’s home was raided by the FBI, a protected whistleblower regarding the troubled Clinton Foundation’s Uranium One dealings; a raid that may in fact be illegal.

The implications of these activities are immensely troubling.  The tendencies towards the abuse of power and prosecutorial misconduct that these cases demonstrate represent clear affronts to our democratic system of government and a testament to the dreadful state of affairs into which our nation will devolve should they not be checked.

There’s no question that any tendency towards politically based prosecutorial misconduct must be shut down. The problem is that doing so may place any resistor or whistleblower at legal and personal risk simply for calling it out. And that is the greatest danger of all.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Our Politics Are About To Get Much, Much Worse

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Last week, prosecutors for the Southern District of New York and Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered their sentencing recommendations regarding former counsel for President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen. As previously reported by The Federalist Pages, their memos provided no significant evidence against the President.

Just lots of political fodder. And now newly elected New York Attorney General Letitia James says she will being using the power of law enforcement to target President Trump, his family and his associates. “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” she told NBC News.

The witch hunt using state and federal law enforcement is ratcheting up even more, and it is all political.

More evidence of this is in the Cohen sentencing recommendations did not add any information regarding claims of Russian collusion on the part of President Trump, which is the original directive to the Mueller investigation, nor do they suggest that there was any sign of obstruction of justice on the part of the President. But they abound in politics.

What the memo did mention for the first time is an allegation of possible campaign finance violations on the part of then-candidate Trump. This focus represents a whole new direction for investigators, one that was not previously contemplated. The charge of campaign financing violations, based on money paid to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, is based on the claim that Cohen was directed to make the payments that would eventually reach the two women by the President himself.

This renewed investigative direction has sent the pundits of politics ablaze regarding potential prosecutorial scenarios for President Trump. Never mind that the bar for successful prosecution is very high, or that the allegation is presently only based on statements made by Cohen (amongst the most discredited and conflicted witnesses imaginable), or even that then-candidate Trump likely had a legally defensible position for having engaged in the agreements with Daniels and McDougal during his campaign without a requirement that the money be channeled through his campaign accounts.

Those issues are immaterial because what is truly at stake is the opportunity to take down a sitting president hated and feared by Democrats, the press and the establishment.

The Democrats, who are on the eve of taking control of the House of Representatives, have made it their goal to make Trump their greatest nemesis. Like the relentless quest for the Holy Grail, Democrats would take no greater joy during the next two years than to 1) stop every one of Trump’s agenda items; and 2) get him out of power. If they can exploit any opportunity to embarrass the President and demonize him, they will. It’s all pure politics.

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As evidence for this point, we have Congressman Adam Schiff, the likely incoming House Intelligence Chairman, who almost giddily said on Face The Nation, there’s a real possibility that “on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him.”

This is more than a mere concern on Schiff’s part; it is an agenda item.

In the face of these developments and associated chants, the road before the nation becomes distinctly clear. First, the Democrats in the House of Representatives will do everything in their power to obstruct anything of importance that President Trump wishes to accomplish. For them, Trump is an illegitimate President, one that had no right to defeat Hillary Clinton in the first place.

Second, to this day, they cannot come to grips with the harsh reality that President Trump won not because of Russian collusion, but rather because he ran a great campaign concentrating on seeking electoral college votes and because Hillary Clinton was the worst candidate the Democrats could have proffered.

Third, and even more demoralizing to Democrats, is that President Trump has accomplished more in two years than Obama accomplish in two terms. From his conservative appointments to the courts, to the scaling down of taxes, to the overt demonstration of the futility and oppressiveness of the Paris Climate Accord, to the takedown of ISIS and the jump start of the economy, Democrats have been unable to deal with Trump’s effectiveness and the furtherance of the national stability his agenda has provided.

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These realities coupled with the virtual dissolution of the Russian collusion allegations have left the Democrats desperate for a talking point and no greater talking point exists than the involvement of the President in an extra-marital, immoral sex scandal with legal overtones — whether they are real or not. That’s good politics for Democrats.

All this leaves us with a recipe for a totally fruitless and unproductive two-year cycle save for the promotion of greater discord among Americans and the continuance and amplification of fractioning among countrymen.

And that is going to make for a very long and painful haul to the 2020 elections for everyone.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Sailing With Tucker Carlson On The Ruling Class’ Ship Of Fools

By Peter B. Gemma

Pundit Tucker Carlson has all the pedigree to be comfortably sitting among the America’s ruling aristocracy. Born Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, his stepmother, Patricia Swanson, is an heiress to the Swanson frozen-food fortune and the niece of Senator J. William Fulbright. His father, Richard Warner Carlson, served as U.S. Ambassador to the Seychelles and was president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and director of Voice of America in the Reagan administration.

Carlson’s new book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution, lays out his political views as populist and unpredictable, far from “mainstream” conservatism and its power brokers. And unlike the usual media conservatives — who quickly dash off books lambasting Democrats and liberals — he can write.

In an article about Carlson in the Columbia Journalism Review, one of his former editors, Vanity Fair’s Tina Brown, was quoted as saying: “Tucker is a tremendously good writer and I always thought it was a real shame that he kind of like got sucked into this TV mania thing.” Mark Warren, who edited Carlson at Esquire, says, “He is an extremely talented writer. [Tucker’s] writing was done with such energy and vitality.”

The author has stated, “The premise of the book is really simple: Why did Trump get elected?” In Ship of Fools Carlson writes, “Trump’s election wasn’t about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America’s ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do. In retrospect, the lesson seemed obvious: Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump.”

He notes: Various experts tried to explain [what happened]. Was it sexism? Russian propaganda? Hillary’s failure to campaign in the upper Midwest? Almost nobody suggested the obvious: if voters think you hate them for how they were born, they won’t vote for you. 

Carlson points out, wagging his finger, that, “Instead of pausing, listening, thinking, and changing, America’s ruling class withdrew into a defensive crouch.” He goes on to say, “Countries can survive war and famines and disease. They cannot survive leaders who despise their own people.” 

In Ship of Fools, Carlson highlights the fact that America has dissolved into a bi-partisan oligarchy that pretends to practice democracy, and that these moneyed elites “view America the way a private equity firm sizes up an aging conglomerate as something outdated, they can profit from. When it fails, they’re gone.”

As a commentator and critic, Tucker Carlson has impressive credentials and few peers. His “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” on Fox News, was the third highest-rated cable TV news show as of March 2018. As of October, with 3.2 million nightly viewers, it clocks in as second-highest after Sean Hannity show.

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Carlson, a Fox News political analyst since 2009, has hosted other TV and radio shows on MSNBC, PBS, and CNN. He has written National Magazine Award-nominated articles for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine and Reader’s Digest. He co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of the popular conservative opinion website (12 million unique hits per month) The Daily Caller (full disclosure: articles by this writer are published on that site.)

One of his “Tucker Carlson Tonight” broadcasts reviewed a National Geographic article, “As America Changes, Some Anxious Whites Feel Left Behind,” which centered on Hazleton, Pa. Carlson commented on the growth of Hazleton’s Hispanic population, which has increased exponentially since 2000, signifying a change that “makes societies volatile.” Carlson asserted that “our leaders … caused all this,” and that they live in neighborhoods which “are basically unchanged — they look like it’s 1960. No demographic change in their zip code.” Carlson continued, “Our leaders are for diversity, just not where they live.”

In Ship of Fools, he argues, “Right now, the fault line is between whites and nonwhites. But as America grows more racially diverse, rifts will inevitably open between more groups. In a tribal system, every group finds itself at war with every other group. It’s the perfect perversion of the American ideal: ‘Out of many, one’ becomes ‘Out of one, many.’ This is the unhappy, blood-soaked story of countless civilizations around the world. It never ends well.”

Carlson also remarks, “But it does make for effective electoral politics, and that’s the point. There’s no faster way to mobilize voters than to stoke their racial fears, while promising to deliver for their particular tribe. It’s irresistible. At the moment, the coalition of identity groups has held together because it is united against white male power. But rapid demographic change makes this unsustainable. When the traditional scapegoat becomes insufficient, various factions will turn on one another. Chaos will ensue.”

Although Carlson’s writing style is breezy and funny, Ship of Fools says things that polite people don’t bring up at the dinner table these days:

In a country where, virtually, every nonwhite group reaps advantages from being racially conscious and politically organized, how long before someone asks the obvious question: why can’t white people organize and agitate along racial lines, too?

On television, Carlson signs-off every night saying thanks for watching “the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink.” That is a big target. For example, he writes that the definitive statement of the Democratic position on immigration was made by President Bill Clinton in his 1995 State of the Union address: “All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by U.S. citizens or immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.” Carlson says, “Pat Buchanan never put it more succinctly.”

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Those who think the book will bash only the Clintons, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats will be sorely disappointed.

Ship of Fools is no apology for Trumpism. In fact, in his book Carlson calls Trump “vulgar and ignorant.” However, he correctly points out that Trump “didn’t invade Iraq or bail out Wall Street. He didn’t open the borders or sit silently by as the manufacturing sector collapsed and the middle class died.”

Carlson, like his comrade-in-arms, commentator and author Ann Coulter, has run out of patience with President Trump, pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. Carlson explained in a recent interview with a Swiss newspaper that “I don’t think he understands the system.” Carlson contends that Trump “knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, [and] hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done.”

Carlson sets a new paradigm for measuring politicians and public policy: “The rift is between those who benefit from the status quo, and those who don’t.” Just as many Republicans fit that definition as do Democrats.

Carlson focuses little light on how to turn around the Ship of Fools, but can be credited as the best navigator to expose where America shouldn’t be headed.

The Heritage Foundation just awarded its 2018 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship to Carlson: “At a time when the press has become doctrinaire and is afraid to discuss what really ails America, Tucker Carlson is one of the very few prominent journalists who hosts genuine debates and who challenges the pieties of both the Left and the Right,” said the powerhouse conservative think tank. “Thanks to his courage and insightful probing, citizens of our republic can still find a public forum where the most serious questions confronting the country can be discussed thoughtfully.”

Ship of Fools will certainly make the reader think outside the conservative-liberal box, which makes it refreshingly new and different. This reader is looking forward to volume two, perhaps entitled, “The Right Course to Smooth Sailing.”

Peter B. Gemma is an award-winning freelance writer whose articles have appeared in DailyCaller.com, the Washington Examiner, AmericanThinker.com and USA Today.


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Watch Your Money: Rip-Off Artists Acting As Political PACs

By Peter B. Gemma

More than 7,000 political action committees (PACs) are on the election playing field this cycle, and most are diligent, effective, and transparent. But like any industry, from auto repairs to wedding photographers, there are operatives making a fast buck.

The business of a PAC is to invest money from contributors directly to campaigns, while some conduct independent expenditure efforts to oppose candidates or advocate issues that impact voters.

Some slick players are running PACs to simply line their own pockets: for instance, meet Jack Daly. From January 2017 to July 2018, Daly, who serves as chairman and treasurer of the Draft Sheriff David Clarke for Senate PAC, was paid more than $585,000 for his services. That’s about 30 percent of the organization’s total income, but there was even more spent on fundraising expenses. One hitch however: the Wisconsin Sheriff and conservative activist has called the PAC “a scam.” He explained to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that, “they don’t need my permission to [fundraise]. Every time I talk to people and say, ‘No, I’m not running for Senate, hang onto your money.’”

So, what does the Clarke for Senate PAC actually do? In 2016, Daly’s group spent $5,000 on tickets and expenses for President Trump’s inauguration. His PAC also paid $12,000 to be a sponsor of the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference, incurring more than $10,000 in expenses, including $1,000 for meals and lodging at the Trump International Hotel.

One of the most notorious political profiteers is Scott Mackenzie. In the 2016 election cycle, he served as the treasurer of no less than 22 political action committees. Some of the organizations affiliated with Mackenzie include the Black Republican PAC, which, since 2012, has raised $2,512,759, while donating $134,605 to candidates. Over the last four years, his Conservative Strikeforce PAC raked in a whopping $11,114,614 but dedicated less than seven percent of that booty to political action.

According to political investigative site Open Secrets, one of Mackenzie’s PACs, Freedom’s Defense Fund, paid 69 percent of its income to firms linked to Mackenzie.

Sham PAC vendors cash in on the racket too.

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InfoCision, a robo-call agency, has worked for many conservative campaigns and causes including presidential candidate Ben Carson, Citizens United, National Right to Life PAC, and something called the Committee to Defend the President. During the past five years, political committees have paid InfoCision at least $24.8 million to send recorded messages to prospective donors, keeping more than half for their services. Former employees have alleged the company preys on elderly people, and an investigation by Bloomberg Markets Magazine revealed that the company held onto 78 percent of the donation money it collected on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. At one point, the American Cancer Society reported that InfoCision kept 100 percent of what was raised, plus charged them more than $113,006 in fees for services.

Of course, political profiteers fleece donors from all sides of the political spectrum through PACs.

In the last four years, 21st Century Democrats have raised $7.1 million from donors, and blew through $5.2 million of it on salaries, overhead, and fundraising expenses. The group asserts it funds “a diverse array of candidates who show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals,” and contributes “in some of the most competitive races.” However, 21st Century Democrats gave $11,847 to candidates (.0015 percent of its gross) but spent more than 30 times that amount on promoting itself in the media.

Last year former MSNBC host Krystal Ball created the People’s House Project to help Democratic candidates. So far, the group has raised $734,419 and paid its founder and staff almost half if its income ($339,300); candidates were allotted about 10 percent, and the rest, incredibly, covered the cost of doing business.

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And here’s a huckster who does business on a bipartisan basis: Brian Hampton, treasurer of Put Vets First PAC, uses veteran’s issues to solicit funds. Since 2016, his group has raised more than $4 million, but only $14,000 (.0035 percent) has been used to help Democrat and Republican candidates. More than $1.7 million was paid to one vendor, Outreach Calling, a telemarketing company that has raised more than $118 million on behalf of a dozen charities — two of which have been forced to close by New York regulators. According to New York state government records, Outreach Calling keeps 90 percent of the money it brings in.

There is some good news in all this.

Campaigns & Elections magazine quotes Republican strategist Tony Marsh as saying: “The rise of scam PACs has created new energy for federal investigators.” Last May, the FBI raided the offices of Scott Mackenzie, and Outreach Calling executives have been banned for life from fundraising in New York. In January, InfoCision agreed pay $250,000 to settle a civil complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission.

Again, most political action committees are professionally run and have above board business practices. They represent the legitimate interests of conservatives, liberals, farmers, chiropractors, defense contractors, labor unions, and more. But just as supermarket customers check the ingredients and not just the labels, political donors must remember caveat emptor — buyer beware — when spending money on politics.

Peter B. Gemma is an award-winning freelance writer whose articles have appeared in the websites DailyCaller and AmericanThinker, as well as the Washington Examiner and Military History.


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