The Erick Erickson Show 10-10-17

Tonight on the show Erick goes over absurd level of protesting surrounding the NFL, the President has nothing twitter fight with a cabinet member and a Georgia middle school has a new transgender policy.

Bernie’s Socialist Utopia Venezuela is Facing a 2300% Inflation Rate

In 2011, Bernie Sanders wrote an essay accusing America of being a banana republic and gushing that it is now easier to achieve the American Dream in socialist Venezuela than in the U.S.A..

Fast forward to today, and the IMF is now estimating that Venezuela’s inflation rate will soar to 2300% in 2018. Of course, the IMF did have to put in some work to come up with this number, because Venezuela’s central bank gave up even trying to publish inflation data back in 2015. If you’re wondering how bad 2300% is, for or a point of reference, the Congo was number 2 on the IMF’s inflation scale and they are supposed to increase by 44% next year. Venezuela’s GDP is tanking as well. In 2012, the average Venezuelan earned the equivalent of about $14,500. By 2016, that number decreased to the equivalent of about $12,800.

The saddest thing about all of this is the human cost. Venezuelans are literally starving. The average individual involuntarily dropped 19 pounds  last year. Crime rates in Venezuela are sky-rocketing as well, with its capitol, Caracas, now bearing the dubious distinction of being the murder capitol of the world. The U.S. government estimates that Venezuela had over 27,000 homicides last year, with a rate of 91.8 per 100,000 people. (The U.S. had about 5.3 per 100,000). The Venezuelan government does dispute these figures, but their estimate is 70.1 per 100,000.

None of this had to happen. Venezuela was once the richest nation in South America, and still sits on the largest oil reserve of any one country in the world. But unfortunately, they allowed a socialist government to seize nearly absolute power and are now following down the inevitable path of destruction that always ensues. (See also: The 43 million people who starved to death in Communist Russia and China in the 20th century.)

So the next time that Bernie and his followers start preaching to you about the evils of our Nation, remember what they would like to see it become.

 

Dog Confirmed As Man’s Best Friend

The Minnesota State Patrol credited the family dog with helping them locate a missing two-year-old toddler who had gotten lost in a cornfield last night. The little boy had been playing outside with other family members when he disappeared, shortly before dark.

After an initial search by family members failed to locate the child, police were notified. As the nighttime temperature dropped, a helicopter and tracking dogs were brought in to assist with the search effort, due to concerns about the dangers of hypothermia.

As the video above clearly demonstrates, an infrared camera in the helicopter easily pinpointed the boy’s location for the rescue team on the ground because the dog hovered so close to the child, creating a larger heat signature that was relatively easy to see.

A police spokesman characterized the dog’s behavior as going into “protection mode.”

Rumors persist that a third heat signature shown in the video belonged to the family cat. Police explained the lack of recognition for the cat by saying that from their perspective, the family dog had clearly been the hero of the story.

Witnesses on the scene had formed the opinion that the cat was only there at the scene to observe their search and recovery efforts with disdain and disinterest.

(Just kidding, cat lovers.)

 

Conservatives Are Unifying Around Tax Reform… For Now

Republican unity has long been a problem. Factional fighting within the GOP is a problem that predates President Trump, but things have not gotten better under the new administration as Republican infighting resulted in the death of the Obamacare reform bill. Now, however, there are signs that conservatives may be uniting around President Trump’s framework for tax reform.

In contrast to the Republican healthcare bill, broad support is emerging for the tax reform plan. A coalition of 30 conservative organizations has sent a letter of support for the plan to House members.

“We urge Congress to expeditiously pass a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions so that the promise of tax reform can be made a reality,” the letter, which is posted in its entirety on the Chamber of Commerce website, says. “It has been 31 years since Congress last reformed the tax code. Since then, the code has become an anchor weighing down the economy, job creation, and wage growth for American families.”

“The single-most important next step is for Congress to adopt a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that will permit tax reform to move forward without the threat of a filibuster,” the group said. Using a budget reconciliation will allow the tax reform bill to be enacted with only 51 votes in the Senate, but subjects the bill to additional restrictions.

At this point, the tax reform legislation is still being written, so many of the specifics of the plan are not known. As the bill is put together, factional differences over details may make it difficult for some Republicans to support the final product. It was these factional differences between the party’s conservatives and moderates that doomed the party’s healthcare reform effort.

With only 52 Republicans in the Senate, a loss of more than two votes would kill tax reform. Conservatives will be watching senators such as John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R- Maine) closely for signs of wobbliness.

If Republicans can stay unified on the issue, they may finally be able to score a legislative victory on one of the core issues of the 2016 campaign. If they can’t pull off tax reform, it will likely give a boost to Steve Bannon’s effort to remake the party in President Trump’s image.

Satanist appeals her abortion rights case to Missouri Supreme Court

According to Missouri law, before a pregnant woman can have an abortion, she must wait 72 hours after making the appointment before having the procedure. During that period she is required to view an ultrasound of her baby, offered the opportunity to hear the child’s heartbeat, and compelled to read a pamphlet that claims life begins at conception.

Which is true, according to science. Even the fertilized egg contains living cells. An abortion terminates human life, a living organism — whether you merely want to call it a fetus or prefer to describe that living organism as an unborn child in the womb doesn’t change what it really is — a human being.

A plaintiff identified using the pseudonym Mary Doe in court documents has successfully appealed her claim that her freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights had been violated by the so-called “72 hour” rule to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court may eventually need to settle this case, which has a number of interesting aspects to take into consideration. An alleged member of the Satanic Temple, Ms. Doe contended that her “religion” teaches that human life doesn’t begin at conception, and argued that she shouldn’t be compelled to read a pamphlet containing information that conflicts with her religious beliefs.

According to the Kansas City StarMs. Doe complained that she felt “guilt and shame” after the ultrasound and reviewing the educational materials, which clearly explained the abortion procedure would terminate “the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

Questions: if she sincerely believed the teachings of her so-called religion, what difference would an ultrasound, or reading a pamphlet make? Why would the plaintiff admit to feeling guilt or shame about doing something that she honestly believed was the right thing to do?

Another problem for the argument of Ms. Doe is the fact that many subject matter experts agree that life begins when the egg is fertilized.

In her article originally published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Dr. Dianne N. Irving of Princeton University wrote:

Abortion is the destruction of a human being.

Can’t really get any clearer than that.

In her article, Dr. Irving defined a zygote (cell formed from the union of egg and sperm) as a single-celled human being. She also astutely pointed out that the issue of when human life begins is a scientific question that falls strictly under the purview of human embryologists, not “philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, politicians, x-ray technicians, movie stars, or obstetricians and gynecologists.”

In other words, we can argue about definitions as much as we’d like, but she’s the expert, so her opinion counts the most. Besides, there’s no point in arguing, because she’s absolutely right.

Furthermore, we know when science has taken a position that contradicts an individual’s personal religious beliefs, science typically wins the argument in court. Parents have been sent to jail for refusing to have their children properly vaccinated. Historically speaking, the courts have consistently put the perceived best interests of the child above respect for any religious beliefs of the parents.

Finally, there is the problem that the New York Times exposed the fact that the Satanic Temple isn’t really a religion. They don’t worship Satan; they don’t even believe Satan exists. The Satanic Temple is an organization created by a couple of people who don’t like organized religion, and like drawing media attention to their lawsuits — even the frivolous ones, like this case appears to be. After all, Ms. Doe was allowed to have her abortion performed in May 2015, after the three day waiting period elapsed, and the requirements of the law fulfilled.

The purpose for her lawsuit proceeding at this point seems rather obvious — Ms. Doe wants to impose her own immoral, anti-scientific and anti-religious beliefs on vulnerable young women and deprive them of information that might change their mind about aborting their baby.

Unless, of course, Ms. Doe anticipates needing another abortion in the future, and wants to be able to utilize an express service. No more 72 hour delays.

Either way, she should be ashamed and feel guilty for her evil intentions.

 

Murderer Che Guevara Shouldn’t Be Lionized 50 Years After His Death

Today marks 50 years since Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed by CIA-backed Bolivian forces. Yet, our country and countless nations abroad still idolize him as a pop culture figure while whitewashing his crimes against humanity.

Here in the U.S., modern-day leftists love and worship Argentinian-born Che Guevara–who was instrumental in helping overthrow Cuba’s government to install the now-dead Fidel Castro as supreme leader there. Guevara, who was ruthless and devoted to Marxist-Leninist ideology, was responsible for overseeing the personal execution of 123 individuals (recorded thus far) without a fair trial–while communist Cuba oversaw 14,000 executions by the late 1960’s. Ultimately, Cuba has been responsible for the deaths of an estimated range of 35,000 to 141,000 people (with the medium number at 73,000 individuals) since a communist dictatorship was installed there in 1959. Freedom has yet to touch the island nation in the present day.

Guevara’s role as mass executioner for Fidel Castro drew inspiration from behind the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union (which viewed Cuba as a “little sister” nation). He wrote, “‘My ideological training means that I am one of those people who believe that the solution to the world’s problems is to be found behind the Iron Curtain.” Here’s more on his affinity for Karl Marx from his Notes for the Study of the Ideology of the Cuban (October 1960):

The merit of Marx is that he suddenly produces a qualitative change in the history of social thought. He interprets history, understands its dynamic, predicts the future, but in addition to predicting it (which would satisfy his scientific obligation), he expresses a revolutionary concept: the world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny.

Controversy is brewing across the Atlantic (and rightly so) over the decision to glorify Che Guevara’s “legacy” fifty years after his death by Ireland’s An Post. Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick designed a €1 stamp in Guevara’s honor. In response, prominent Cuban-American figure Ninoska Perez Castellón from Miami, Florida, told Morning Ireland it’s objectionable to feature and “celebrate a man who slaughtered so many people.”

So why would Ireland decide to lionize this murderous thug? Apparently, he boasted Irish roots and was born as Ernesto “Che” Guevara Lynch:

His father was Ernesto Guevara Lynch, a civil engineer of Irish descent.

A quote from Ernesto, “in my son’s veins flowed the blood of Irish rebels”, features on a cover envelope to accompany the stamp.

Some in Ireland’s parliament have found this decision objectionable, asking if fellow murderous thugs Pol Pot (Cambodia) and Nicholas Ceausescu (Romania) are also acceptable to display on stamps. Senator Neale Richmond is quoted as saying the following:

“Although Che Guevara seems now to be classed as a romantic revolutionary figure and that some of his political ideals might be shared by some in this country, it is my belief that he is most definitely not a suitable candidate for such an honour,” said Senator Neale Richmond, who represents Dublin and wrote in a letter to Minister Naughten.

He added, “Minister, as you will be aware, Che Guevara was a violent revolutionary whose legacy has been greatly glossed over. While I do not dispute that the Batista regime that ruled Cuba prior to the violent revolution was deplorable, what came after and the actions of Guevara where equally as heinous.”

The Irish Times approached Che Guevara’s brother, Juan Martin Guevara Lynch–who explained more about the family’s Irish roots:

“My grandmother was North American. A Lynch, but born in the US. She was born in San Francisco. The family moved from here, the province of Buenos Aires, but moved to San Francisco where she was born. But her father yes, he was born in Ireland, ” he said, continuing.

“Then on the other side the Guevaras were Basque. It is because of that our aunt always said we are the descendants of the Basque and Irish, meaning we have one steadfast idea of how things are and we are not for turning.

“With my old man a bit, yes. He used to speak about the rebellious nature of the Irish. Beyond that he liked the Irish because of their party nature; they like to drink a drop of whiskey! He was really fond of all that.

Irish roots or not, Che Guevara is not someone to celebrate. He was an unrepentant executioner, narcissist, racist, and homophobe who thrived on bloodshed as a means to usurp and retain power.

Not surprisingly, the New York Times published a piece entitled Che Guevara’s Fiery Life and Bloody Death today in response to the 50th anniversary of his death.

Fifty years ago today –October 9, 1967–Guevara was captured and shot by Bolivian forces–aided by the C.I.A. Fidel Castro praised him as a central part of the bloody coup d’etat in Cuba, calling him “the paradigm of the revolutionary” who is “everywhere there is a just cause to defend.”  He was lionized in the film The Motorcycle Diaries–and yet, Hollywood has yet to offer a counter narrative highlighting his crimes and his true brutal nature. Sad.

With the centennial year marking the start of the bloody Bolshevik Revolution coming up, it’s no surprise why Che Guevara and other brutal communist dictators are being propped up more than ever. That’s why it’s imperative to honor and commemorate the 100 million plus lives lost to global communism today and every day.

Steve Bannon Declares War On Republicans

With a call for one sitting Republican senator to resign and announcement that he plans to back primary challengers for nearly every sitting Republican in the Senate, Steve Bannon, former White House strategist and past and present chairman of Breitbart News, has effectively declared war on the Republican Party. While ostensibly still backing President Trump, Bannon’s effort also includes challengers to some Trump allies.

Bannon’s primary target at the moment is Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). After Corker and Trump engaged in a flame war on Twitter over the weekend, Bannon called for the Tennessean to resign for his disloyalty to President Trump. In a tweet, Corker, who is not running for re-election,  likened the White House to a “day care center” and said in a New York Times interview that President Trump acted “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” and that his lack of diplomatic skills could put the world “on the path to World War III.”

“If Bob Corker has any honor, any decency, he should resign immediately,” Bannon told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

“This is what they think about President Trump behind closed doors,” Bannon added. “He happened to tell The New York Times exactly what he thought, it’s totally unacceptable. In a time of war, we have troops in Afghanistan, in the Northwest pacific and Korea. We have a major problem that could be like World War I in the South China Sea. In the Persian Gulf, we have American lives at risk every day.”

That Bannon equates Corker’s comments with all Republican incumbents provides insight into why he plans to try to unseat practically every Republican senator. The Washington Post notes that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is reportedly the only senator who will not be fending off a Bannon-backed challenger, but a CNN source said, “Nobody’s safe.” Cruz was a favorite of Bannon’s Breitbart until Donald Trump usurped that role. Cruz angered many Trump supporters with his long-delayed endorsement of Donald Trump and his heated exchanges with Trump in the primary.

Breitbart quotes Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance and ex-White House aide, who said, “We’re planning on building a broad anti-establishment coalition to replace the Republican Party of old with fresh new blood and fresh new ideas.” The site notes that the Great America Alliance is a “pro-Trump Super PAC.”

The Breitbart article also quotes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who said, “The conservative tidal wave that carried Donald Trump into the White House may soon be eclipsed by what appears to be a conservative tsunami that threatens the [Republican] establishment death grip on the U.S. Senate.”

Much of the antipathy to the “establishment” Republicans seems to stem from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) refusal to end the filibuster and change Senate rules to allow passage of bills with a simple majority, commonly referred to as the “nuclear option.” President Trump urged McConnell to change Senate rules in a tweet in August. Mr. McConnell told Politico in April, “There’s not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster. Not one.”

Surabian hinted at the “nuclear option” when he noted, “The group of candidates we are looking to support in 2018 are all bound together in their agreement that the new Republican Party must be bold in their thinking and aggressive in their tactics.”

Bannon’s tactics have potential downsides. If his candidates defeat Republican incumbents in the primary, they still must win the general election. This could present a problem for some Bannon-backed candidates, particularly in moderate states. President Trump alluded to this risk in deep red Alabama when he campaigned for incumbent Luther Strange (R-Ala.) against primary challenger Roy Moore, who was supported by Bannon. With a slim majority of only two seats, Bannon’s war against Republican incumbents could tip the Senate to the Democrats.

A second problem is that, if Bannon’s plan succeeds and the filibuster is killed permanently, Democrats would have the same advantages the next time they are in power. President Trump’s agenda could be passed more easily without the cloture rule, but it would also be easier for the next Democrat majority to repeal Trump’s reforms and enact their own leftist agenda.

Bannon’s frontal assault on sitting Republicans brings the GOP civil war into the open. Trump supporters like Bannon are attempting to purge the party of traditional Republicans who represent the “establishment,” regardless of voting records or conservative credentials. CNN notes that even John Barasso (R-Wy.), typically considered a Trump ally, is a target of Bannon’s effort.

It is normally very difficult to unseat incumbents, but 2018 may be different. There may be additional retirements that leave open seats vulnerable to Bannon’s candidates. Further, polling shows that President Trump is far more popular among Republicans than congressional leaders. If Republican voters back primary challengers supported by Bannon and President Trump over party incumbents, it will signal a permanent shift in the direction of the Republican Party.

Hill Hath No Fury Like Trump Scorned

Rush Limbaugh has often said that if you set out a flaming bag of excrement, Democrats would happily go out of their way to step on it.  A sizeable contingent of NFL players have also taken that strange fetish to heart, as they continue to take a knee during the national anthem to protest. . .well, at this point it’s anybody’s guess, although the consensus seems to lie somewhere between police brutality and Donald Trump calling them sonofabitches.  Never mind that their antics tend to reenforce the president’s opinion in the minds of most reasonable Americans.  At this point the die has been cast, the Rubicon crossed, the pooch screwed—and the players have gone all-in on a dismal hand, not realizing that what they’ve got in the hole is even worse than what’s on the table.

This particular movement reached its nadir when Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers channeled his inner Colin Kaepernick last Sunday, saying that Vice President Mike Pence had engaged in “systematic oppression” when he walked out out Lucas Oil Stadium after half the field took the hoisting of Old Glory as their cue to drop faster than Harvey Weinstein’s trousers during auditions for Shakespeare in Love.  I don’t know about y’all, but I would welcome the kind of oppression that comes with a $100 grand-per-game paycheck—but never mind.  It was more important that a grown man who gets chased around by 300-pound defensive tackles got to express his feelz, even if he alienated what’s left of his team’s already dwindling fan base.  Hint, Eric:  San Fran is filled with liberals, but most of them don’t watch football.

Anyhoo, after all of this nonsense, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apparently reached his limit and told his players that anyone who disrespected the flag during the national anthem would get benched.  Out here in Normal America, there was much rejoicing.  Over at ESJWPN, however, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth—which led the outspoken SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill to tweet the following:

Ouch!  A sports reporter encouraging people to boycott the companies who advertise with the Dallas Cowboys?  Why, most of those companies advertise on ESPN too!  How incredibly brave of them to allow their employee to take such a principled stand, even if it costs them desperately-needed ad revenue.  Bravo, ESPN!  Bravo!

Wait, what?  ESPN isn’t doing that?  Oh, right!  Their subscriptions are in the toilet, so they need all the money they can get.  Sorry, Jemele.  That’s a two week suspension for you.  Yeah, we let it slide when you tweeted that Donald Trump was a white supremacist, but this is business.  I’m sure you understand.

Trump, meanwhile, seems to be savoring Hill’s comeuppance like a well-done, ketchup-covered filet:

Sure, he could be more gracious in victory—but that wouldn’t be near as much fun, would it?