Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Trump Wins by Framing the Debate

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Prior Republican presidents allowed their opponents and the media to set the agenda. The more liberal the past GOP president, the more he took his daily cues from television and newspapers controlled by the Left.

But not Trump. He tweets out what he wants people to talk about, and he has his adversaries scrambling to respond to what Trump says, not vice-versa.

The best defense is a good offense, as every sports fan knows. Trump has mastered this better than anyone in the history of American politics.

No one on the national stage was talking about the problems of Democrat-controlled Baltimore prior to last week. Now everyone is talking about it, thanks to Trump’s spot-on tweets about it.

Baltimore is ranked as one of the ten least livable cities in the United States. Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings represents much of the city, and he is one of the most powerful congressmen on Capitol Hill.

But recently he spent his time attacking the conditions in a detention center, even shouting at acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan during a hearing about it. Rep. Cummings expressed outrage about how illegal aliens are held, which caught President Trump’s eye and he contrasted it with the deplorable conditions in Rep. Cummings’ own district.
“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation,” Trump tweeted. “25 years of all talk, no action!”

It is ironic how Democrats focus so much on the conditions of illegal aliens rather than spending more time and effort helping people in their own districts. Trump would work with the Democrat-controlled House to improve inner cities, but the Pelosi crew seems uninterested in doing that.

So Trump directs national attention to Baltimore, where help is badly needed. A few years ago the Baltimore Orioles even played a baseball game without allowing fans to attend, because it was too dangerous outside of the stadium.
Other cities face similar crises. Downtown St. Louis has been on a downward spiral for years, also under Democrat leadership.

While liberals are quick to resort to the “racist” label, they did not react that way when Bernie Sanders compared West Baltimore to a Third World Country during his last campaign for president. How is it that Trump’s criticisms are considered to be racist, when Sanders’ similar comments were not?

Trump did not back down, nor should he. On Monday he tweeted, “Nothing will get done for the people in need … Sad!”
Trump’s comments create the opportunity for something to be done, as he embarrassed Democrats who spend more time worrying about the cleanliness of centers for illegal aliens than the rampant violence and poverty among their own constituents.

Every week, and nearly every day, President Trump frames the issues for the press with his early morning tweets. This is far more effective than other Republican politicians who wait for criticism by the other side, and then merely react to it.

For years the Washington Post and the New York Times set the agenda for the White House, even when there was a Republican president. White House staff were assigned to read those newspapers each morning and then reports would be given to the president and vice president so they could plan their statements accordingly.

After four or eight years of that process, it was difficult to point to any long-term accomplishments by several past Republican administrations. But Trump is showing us how important it is to take initiative in dealing with a hostile Congress and media.

Phyllis Schlafly often emphasized the importance of being able to define the terms of a debate. Trump is successfully taking a similar approach..

Michael Moore, who made a conspiracy theory movie against George W. Bush, wants Trump to lose but predicts that he will win reelection. He has been critical of the Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden as an opponent of Trump next fall.

Moore lambasted his fellow Dems for trying to set an agenda based on Robert Mueller. “A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions,” Moore said after Mueller’s testimony to Congress last week.

“All you pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller,” Moore lamented. Trump retweeted Moore’s comments, chuckling about how even Michael Moore agrees with him.

There is no one among the roughly two-dozen candidates vying for the Democratic nomination who can match Trump’s ability to reach and connect with the American public. Instead, the Democrats are relegated to the second-class status of responding to issues that Trump raises, starting with Baltimore and the deplorable conditions of many of our Democrat-controlled inner cities.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Questions to Ask Mueller

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“Just the facts, ma’am,” Detective Joe Friday was known for telling witnesses in the 1960s television series Dragnet. Trivia buffs point out that actor Jack Webb’s character never used those precise words, but he did focus like a laser beam on getting the facts when interrogating witnesses.

So should the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees when they question Robert Mueller on Wednesday. There should be no softball, open-ended questions by Democrats designed to invite baseless speculation by Mueller against President Trump.

Mueller reportedly requested that the Department of Justice send him a cautionary letter of instructions to limit the scope of testimony. The letter emphasized the longstanding policy of the Justice Department not to discuss behavior by persons who have not been charged with a crime.

That means Mueller should not be discussing President Donald Trump, who has not been charged with any crime. Mueller would be violating the Justice Department policy if he disparages President Trump.

The Justice Department told Mueller that it “generally does not permit prosecutors such as you to appear and testify before Congress regarding their investigative and prosecutorial activity.”

This does not mean that Mueller cannot answer any questions. There are multiple mysteries about his fruitless boondoggle which Mueller should address, and about which congressmen should thoroughly interrogate him.

The first question Mueller should answer is how much taxpayer money he wasted on his multiyear investigation into non-existent crimes. Then he should be required to estimate how much collateral damage he imposed on others in the course of his rampage.

A recent report says that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who spent decades serving our Nation in the Army, incurred at least $4.6 million in legal fees due to Mueller’s investigation. Gen. Flynn was the victim of an unusual sting operation whereby the since-discredited Peter Strzok oversaw the interrogation of Flynn about the contents of a phone call about which Strzok had access to a secret recording of what was said.

Next, Mueller should be asked about a report that his liberal deputy, the overzealous Andrew Weissmann, attempted to cut a deal with a notorious Ukrainian oligarch, Dmytro Firtash, if the Ukrainian would provide some dirt about Trump. If Mueller pretends not to know the details about that, then there should be vigorous follow-up questioning because surely he knew what his deputy was doing.

Mueller should also be asked about reports that his immediate supervisor, Rod Rosenstein, considered an attempt to remove Trump from power based on the 25th Amendment. That amendment, which provides for a scenario in which the president loses his mental capacity, obviously has no relevance to the current administration.

Then questions should be asked about why Mueller, with much fanfare, indicted foreigners outside of the jurisdiction of the United States. Why did Mueller waste time and money making accusations against defendants who would never receive due process to exonerate themselves here?

Attorney General William Barr, in a letter he publicly released on March 24, observed (on behalf of himself and Rod Rosenstein) that Mueller “identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct” by the president. Democrats have falsely called this statement misleading even though it is exactly correct.

Mueller himself should be asked repeatedly about Barr’s letter. Why did Mueller allow the media to push for weeks the false narrative that he was preparing a collusion or obstruction case against Trump?

Next there is the unexplained delay in Mueller waiting until after the 2018 midterm elections to exonerate Trump. Mueller should be asked why he did not wrap up his investigation in an expeditious manner.

Mueller has accused Russians of manipulating the 2016 presidential election, but why did Mueller himself manipulate the 2018 midterm elections by allowing false media reports about Trump to persist? Why didn’t he release his findings earlier to prevent voters from being misled by the false accusations against Trump?

Mueller should be asked about his bizarre statement on May 29 that “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Mueller should explain why he acted contrary to the Department of Justice policy not to comment about people who are not charged with crimes.

Mueller stated publicly that the Russians who were indicted should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and there will be no trial to establish any guilt. Isn’t the president also worth the same presumption of innocence until proven guilty?

In Dragnet, one of the most popular law enforcement television dramas ever, Sergeant Joe Friday was solving violent crimes that happened, rather than searching for non-existent crimes. If it was so important to stick to the facts in Hollywood, it is even more important to stick to the facts when Democrats want to smear our president over fictitious crimes.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Trump Demolishes the “Squad”

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

On Monday, President Trump issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to increase their purchases of products made in America. Using his authority under the Buy American Act, Trump commanded agencies to increase their purchase of American-made goods from 50 to 75 percent.

Purchases of domestic steel and iron products will increase to 95 percent under Trump’s command. As our infrastructure is rebuilt, this will give an important boost to our manufacturers.

At the same time, the Trump administration took action to sharply limit the flow of illegal aliens who seek asylum by crossing our southern border. In response to an explosion in such applications, the Department of Justice issued a new rule to prohibit applications for asylum by someone who has migrated through another country which could have granted asylum, namely Mexico.

These are all necessary steps to restore American sovereignty and jobs for our citizens. But the anti-Trumpers show little interest in these sensible new policies, and instead try to falsely label Trump as a racist.

Americans already knew Trump as a celebrity and entertainer before liberals began smearing him, which gives him the same Teflon quality that Ronald Reagan had. Critics have to pretend that Trump has somehow changed, when everyone knows he has not.

The new blizzard of false accusations of racism are for Trump’s tweets suggesting that those who dislike the United States should return to their country of origin. Trump’s comments were reminiscent of a popular bumper sticker in the 1970s, which said “America: Love it or Leave it.”

Trump tweeted on Sunday that some should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” On Monday, he retweeted that a small group of leftist congresswomen are “a bunch of communists” and “anti-America.”

Trump’s tweets were in response to the inflammatory rhetoric of the “Squad,” as the four congresswomen have become known, who have been more than disrespectful of the president. In order of notoriety, the Squad consists of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who in a joint press conference on Monday referred to President Trump as “blatantly racist.”

They also insist that the President is somehow lawless as he tries to secure the border and seek the removal of criminal aliens. But Trump’s policies have at various times been supported by Democrats in the past, even by some of the current Democratic presidential candidates.

The Squad derisively refers to our Commander-in-Chief as the mere “occupant” in the White House. The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has tried to rein in these out-of-control Democrats, only to receive a stinging rebuke from them in response.

One of the most prominent members of the Squad is an immigrant from Somalia, where American soldiers were killed and dragged through the streets while Bill Clinton was president. Americans have long been urged to leave that country rather than stay there.

But tens of thousands of Somalis were transplanted to Minnesota, creating a community large enough to elect a congresswoman from their native land, Ilhan Omar. President Trump quipped, “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements” for her return to Somalia.

Humorous, but certainly not racist. Omar has been highly critical of American policies on multiple issues, as is her right, but her outspokenness makes it fair game for Trump to criticize her in return.

Her colleague in the Squad, the already famous rookie congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was quick to accuse her fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi of racism just last week. Trump himself felt compelled to defend Speaker Pelosi against the smear.

Disputes about immigration policy are not about racism. It is not racist to try to Make America Great Again, or to urge someone to leave America if she does not like it here.

Of course, virtually everyone does like it here, and billions of people around the world want to come here. President Trump is right to call out the opponents of border security and our free market system that gives us liberty and prosperity.

Ayanna Pressley may be the least famous member of the Squad, but her recent comments about race were the most startling. “We don’t need black faces that don't want to be a black voice,” she said, and “We don’t need queers that don't want to be a queer voice.”

Later, her spokeswoman clarified these remarks by saying, “Diversity at the table doesn’t matter if there’s not real diversity in policy.” But policy diversity as advocated by President Trump is apparently not what the Squad is looking for.

Trump was elected by the American people to implement these policies. When the Squad and the media hurl insults at President Trump, they insult the American people too.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Amid Gender Hype, What About Chappaquiddick 50 Years Later?

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The biggest record broken by the national women’s soccer team was not on the field, but in the hype they received from the media. No sports team has benefited from so much free publicity, despite how Americans have always been disinterested in soccer as a spectator sport.

Empty seats plagued the French stadium where the matches were played for the Women’s World Cup, and the American television audience for the finals was 38% lower than four years ago. Some attribute the viewership decline in the finals to its scheduling midday on a Sunday, but American football draws well then.

There were strikingly few minority players in the World Cup from the quarterfinals through the finals, in contrast with the racial diversity in other competitive sports. The many photographs of the American women’s soccer team are of nearly all-white players, unlike the men’s team.

But let’s not allow facts to stand in the way of the liberals’ narrative for this. Their real game here is for “pay equity,” a demand that women be paid as much as men not for doing the same job, but for doing different jobs.
On March 8, the women soccer players sued the United States Soccer Federation in order to be paid as much as men. The men are faster, stronger, and more athletic in playing soccer, but the women demand to be paid as much.

That would mean reducing the pay of men’s soccer players based on a judge setting salaries, rather than the free market doing that. From there it is an easy corner kick to have judges change the salaries across the United States for everyone, with men taking the hit.

There is a political goal line for team feminist on this, too. They want the White House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court to be run by women, and they do not mean conservative women.

Amid all this gender talk, how about an observance of the 50th anniversary of Chappaquiddick? On that island one of the most powerful men of the last half-century, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, apparently had a late-night tryst with an attractive young blonde who had worked for his brother.

They left alone together on July 18, 1969, from a cottage where six young women staffers were brought to party with six married men, including Kennedy. The arrangement was the type of setup that #MeTooers complain about today.
But nary a word by liberals in speaking out for the young woman who left with Ted Kennedy and ended up dead, without her underwear on. Sen. Kennedy repeatedly lied about the circumstances resulting in Mary Jo Kopechne being found lifeless in a submerged car that Kennedy said he was driving.

Kennedy never obtained help for her, did not timely report the accident to the police, and did not even seem particularly bothered by it. Many feminists, then and now, seem just fine with Kennedy’s conduct as they have been with Bill Clinton’s.
If Ted Kennedy had been a Republican politician or even a Hollywood director, then his career would have been over. There would be an immense hue and cry about how powerful men exploit young women for their personal pleasure, and get away with it.

Yet for the next four decades, Kennedy reigned supreme over the Democratic Party. In 1980 many feminists even supported Kennedy’s bid for president, which fell narrowly short.

There was no justice for Kennedy’s crime at Chappaquiddick, which by his own admission included leaving the scene of a fatal accident and allowing a young woman to die there. Yet he avoided any jail time or even having to answer tough questions about what he had done.

Kennedy wore a phony neck brace to the funeral as though he had been seriously injured as part of an accident, when he had not. The movie “Chappaquiddick” (titled “The Senator” for its release in England) portrayed the deception of the neck brace by Kennedy but was unable to tell the full story because so many defended Kennedy then, and still do.

The director of “Chappaquiddick” stated that he felt the scandal would have been a bigger story today, and would have surpassed in publicity even the lunar landing which occurred two days later. Had a powerful Republican politician been involved in a similar scandal, that observation is surely correct as the media would have used the incident to promote their false narrative of Republicans exploiting women.

But the media hype about gender issues is selective. The 50-year anniversary of a powerful Democrat evading justice for his role in the death of a young blonde who left a party alone with him attracts none of the same attention that relatively minor accusations against Republicans and their conservative Supreme Court nominees receive.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Eunie Smith is not Phyllis's chosen successor

A web site controlled by Eagle Forum c4 claims:
Phyllis Schlafly was president of Eagle Forum from 1975-2016. Eagle Forum is now led by her chosen successor, Eunie Smith.
No, that is not correct.

Eunie Smith was one of six women who filed an April 2016 lawsuit to implement a hostile takeover of Eagle Forum c4. The stated purposes were:
  • to strip authority from Phyllis Schlafly, the founder and leader
  • to fire the guy who was supporting Donald Trump
  • to pay plaintiffs' million dollar legal fees from Eagle Forum c4 bank accounts
  • to put the plaintiffs in charge of the organization
The judge has still not ruled on the validity of the takeover. A ruling is expected this summer.

Phyllis Schlafly was dying at the time, and died a few months later. She fought the lawsuit, and everything Eunie Smith was doing, as she thought that Eunie Smith was ruining Eagle Forum c4.

Even if Eunie Smith wins the court ruling, it will only mean that she forced her way in, over the strenuous objections of Phyllis Schlafly. It is extremely dishonest to call Eunie Smith a "chosen successor".

The principal political difference was that Phyllis Schlafly supported Donald Trump, while Eunie Smith opposed him. The takeover was initiated immediately after Phyllis Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump. The takeover was by Never-Trumpers. The Eagle Forum c4 organization is now led by those who rejected Phyllis Schlafly's political beliefs, and it is not the same organization that it was for 40 previous years.

Update: The web page is archived here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Liberal Phobia against Tanks in the Parade

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Independence Day this week will feature fireworks, barbecues, and Nathan’s annual hot-dog eating contest on Coney Island. Spectacular flying performances, including the Blue Angels, will adorn the skies.

Yet a strange phobia by liberals against including tanks in the festivities erupts again. President Trump would like to have a few tanks in his upcoming “Salute to America” parade on July 4th, but his opponents have gone hysterical in blocking it.

Why the shrieking protest against tanks in particular, while ceremonial use of military aircraft seems just fine to the Left? After all, it was the Democrats’ own nominee for president in 1988, Michael Dukakis, who famously posed for a photo-op while riding in a tank during his unsuccessful campaign.

President Trump has long wanted to have a military parade in D.C., proposing it for Veterans’ Day, but he was stymied by exaggerated cost estimates. This time the phony argument against including tanks is that they might somehow cause harm to our infrastructure, a fancy word for roads.

In Michigan, trucks can weigh as much as 164,000 pounds, which is tens of thousands of pounds heavier than the Abrams tank that Trump wants to include in the parade. Funny how the Democrats have not been howling about the weight of big trucks on our roads, but instead stridently object to Trump displaying tanks without any evidence of harm by them.

The tanks are being delivered to D.C. by the Army’s own railroad system, which is a legacy of the Civil War when the Union took control of all the railroad tracks and bridges in the South. Any interference with that transportation system was a crime punished by execution, as featured in the classic American short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” later made into a television drama by Alfred Hitchcock.

Last spring in Europe a massive deployment of tanks and other military vehicles traveled hundreds of miles on ordinary roads without difficulty, in an important test of readiness. France and other countries regularly feature tanks in their military parades, again without untoward consequences.

But liberals stridently oppose the powerful image of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue while Trump is president, lest American voters become enthralled by the show of force. The tank symbolizes military might, and the entire world should see the military hardware that is under President Trump’s command lest anyone think of challenging us.

Nuclear weapons are within the president’s control too, but they do not seem to deter wrongdoing by two-bit dictators around the world. Military aircraft can be shot down by our enemies, as Iran just did to one of our drones.

In 2017, Trump observed tanks being used in a parade in Paris as part of its celebration of Bastille Day, which is the French equivalent of our Independence Day. The tanks did not seem to cause any problems for the roads there, so all the fuss by anti-Trumpers here is merely political.

The Abrams tank is manufactured by the Army Tank Plant in Lima, Ohio, which Trump visited in March. If the treads on this tank somehow damage ordinary roads, which seems unlikely, the manufacturer could surely put softer treads on a few for occasional use in military parades.

Our high-tech aircraft, such as the stealth bomber, are fun to watch and learn about. But air power alone cannot deter all aggression, as we continue to see countries around the world from North Korea to Iran repeatedly defy us.

The millions of children of World War II veterans do not forget how instrumental the American tank was in winning back Europe from the grip of the Nazis and their “blitzkrieg” style of warfare. The unforgettable symbolism of the tank, under the direction of President Trump, is the real reason that liberals are doing everything they can to prevent Trump from invoking that image under his leadership.

The tools of Trump’s opponents are fake news, endless lawsuits, and gender politics. But none of that will seem significant if tanks roll down a wide boulevard adjoining the Mall in D.C, to a salute by President Trump and millions watching on television.

A parade of American tanks might have a sobering effect on rogue nations who want to shoot down our planes or harm our soldiers. A stealth bomber may not scare a communist tyrant, but the sight of massive tanks driving quickly down a familiar city street is something he would immediately understand.

But Anti-Trumpers have prevailed in blocking tanks from being part of any parade this Independence Day, and may appear only stationary as if they were relics of a bygone era. The American public should be allowed to see our powerful Abrams tank surging at highway-like speeds, and the rest of the world should see it too.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.