Son of a Mitch! McConnell Voted Least Popular Senator in Poll

The votes are in, the ballots counted, and now it’s official.  The GOP’s very own Mitch McConnell—up until now, known primarily for his razor sharp political instincts and his rakish wit—is America’s least popular senator:

According to Morning Consult’s latest Senator Approval Rankings – compiled from a poll of 255,120 registered voters in 50 states from July 1 to Sept. 30 – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is yet again America’s least popular senator.

In Kentucky, one-third of voters approve of McConnell’s job performance, while 55 percent of voters said they disapprove — more than any other senator.

McConnell’s net approval, the difference in his approval and disapproval percentages, dropped 15 percentage points, the third-largest drop in the Senate, from the second quarter, according to the survey. The slide came as he failed to advance Obamacare repeal — a key pillar of the GOP’s political agenda since the law’s enactment in 2010.

This ranking, by the way, puts McConnell well behind Democrat Bob Menendez, who registered only 41% disapproval from his constituents—and he’s on trial for corruption.  Granted, Menendez is from New Jersey so they grade on a curve over there, but come on!  A guy who’s about to spend the next three to five years playing Shawshank with a hairy cellmate named Dutch is outpolling the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky?  For the second time?  Right about now, Harry Reid must be kicking himself for retiring.

Still, it’s not all bad news.  Congress is held in somewhat low esteem by most of the American people—at around 13% approval, their popularity hovers somewhere between OJ Simpson and Harvey Weinstein—so it’s not like McConnell is alone in his public disdain.  On the other hand, to be the most reviled in that particular rogues gallery is quite the achievement.  It’s kind of like being voted the Uday Hussein of the Senate:  “You thought the other guys are bad, but look at me!”  If not for all the Chamber of Commerce and insurance company lobbyists on Capitol Hill, McConnell might start to feel unloved.

Might I suggest some couples therapy, before Republican voters get tired of waiting for McConnell to break it off with the establishment and keep his campaign vows?  Actually advancing a conservative agenda would be a good show of faith.  Right now, tax reform is out there like a big bouquet of flowers and a yuge box of chocolates, just waiting to charm the pants off your base.  They won’t play hard to get if you’re ready to show them some real commitment.

Otherwise, they’ll just keep asking, “What have you done for me lately?”  And they’re not going to like the answer.

Terror Returns to NYC

When IRA terrorists came within seconds of killing Margaret Thatcher with a bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton back in 1984, they addressed their failure with an ominous message:  “Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once.  You will have to be lucky always.”

Yesterday, when an Islamist who had pledged allegiance to ISIS plowed a rental truck into dozens of bicyclists and pedestrians on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, a similar message was clearly conveyed:  New York City’s luck had finally run out.

Although there had been attempts—a truck bomb that failed to detonate in Times Square, a plot to set off explosives in the subway system—terrorists had not successfully carried out an attack in New York since the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.  That’s a remarkable record, considering that New York has always been the jihadis’ number one target, and stands as a testament to the tireless work of the FBI and the NYPD, whose constant vigilance has been key to preventing disaster.

There is, however, only so much that can humanly be done—so it was inevitable that at some point, someone would succeed in unleashing death and destruction on the streets of New York once again.  This time, eight people have been killed—all because they chose to be out on those streets, enjoying a beautiful day with friends and family, when evil happened upon them.  It’s the same horror we saw unfolding in London not so long ago, and in Berlin before that, and in Nice before that.  Even the method was the same—a truck used to run people down.  Decidedly low-tech, the crudity of the attack was matched only by its effectiveness.

And therein lies the real terror.

How can authorities prevent anybody from renting a large vehicle and doing this?  The brutal truth is that they can’t.  That’s why ISIS encourages those it inspires to carry out such attacks.  They’re easy and unpredictable—certainly not as spectacular as a 9/11, but they also don’t require any planning, funding or expertise to carry off.  Literally anyone can do it, and it only seems as if more and more are.

So again, what can be done?

Sayfullo Saipov, the man who carried out yesterday’s murder spree, was originally from Uzbekistan, and was here on a “diversity visa” he won in a lottery.  Lucky him—but not so much for his victims.  Maybe we can start there, and ask ourselves how wise it is to give a random visa to someone from a part of the world filled with people who hate America.

That alone won’t prevent all terrorism, but at least it’ll be less likely.

And the Sign Says, “White Cisgender Males Need Not Apply”

With all the histrionics that Democrats have used to scare people into voting against Republicans over the years, there was always a danger that members of the party elite might forget their cynicism and actually start buying into their own propaganda.  Even Barack Obama, the community organizer extraordinaire, wasn’t immune, having once  remarked to a reporter that he sometimes thought his bullsh*t was the real deal.  Surprising?  Not so much.  It’s actually the most natural thing in the world, when you lie so often that it’s the truth that sounds farfetched.  Or, as Rose McGowan put it in the movie Scream, there’s only so many times you can hear that Richard Gere gerbil story before you have to start believing it.

Well, now it seems that the infection has spread to the ranks of the Democrat National Committee’s IT department, where the ironically named Madeleine Leader has sounded the battle cry of the social justice warrior in her capacity as a data services manager.  Unlike the Marines, though, she’s not looking for a few good men.  Point of fact, she’s looking for anybody but men—at least not men of a certain persuasion.

The Daily Wire has the story, which includes a lovely memo that details Ms. Leader’s requirements for the positions she currently has open:

And yes, just in case you’re rubbing your eyes and wondering if you read it correctly, Ms. Leader does indeed make a blatantly discriminatory request:

I personally would prefer that you not forward to cisgender straight white males, since they’re already in the majority.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that they’re not a majority in the DNC’s IT shop.  I also have to wonder how Ms. Leader treats the wascally white guys under her supervision.  Are they allowed out of their cubicles during office hours—or does that create a hostile an environment?  Can they talk about football, or is that too heteronormative?  Perhaps it would just be best if they were confined to their own table at the back of the cafeteria where they can’t make any trouble.  You know those cisgender types—if they don’t know their place, they’ll think they own the place.

Somebody please pass the duct tape.  I need to wrap some around my noggin before it explodes.

Glenn Beck, Russia and the Mainstream Media

I was listening to the Glenn Beck Program on the way to the airport this morning, and heard him talking in the first segment about the recent developments concerning the infamous Golden Showers Dossier.  As the Washington Post has reported, it now appears as if the Hillary Clinton campaign, coordinating with the Democrat National Committee, paid the shadowy research company Fusion GPS to create the dossier in a deliberate effort to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.  The story is important in that it flips the whole “Trump colluded with the Russians” narrative on its head, and instead has Clinton playing footsie with the Kremlin to dig up dirt on Trump.

More than that, however, it also reveals a level of corruption in the federal government that is stunning even by Clinton standards.  It’s highly likely that Barack Obama’s Justice Department laundered the dossier—which was nothing more than uncorroborated opposition research—through the FBI and used it as justification for getting FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on principals in the Trump campaign.  To call this an abuse of executive power would be an understatement for the ages.  It means there’s a level of rot at the highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ that we’re only beginning to understand, and it’s only likely to get worse the more we find out.

At the same time, though, Democrat accusations that the Trump campaign tried to collude with the Russians—efforts that seem to have been fruitless, by the way—are not entirely without merit, as Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Moscow lawyer proves.  As Beck pointed out during his monologue today, no matter where you look, it’s Russians all the way down.

That’s why he pleaded with his listeners:  Stop ignoring the fact that Clinton colluded with the Russians just because you hate Donald Trump.  And stop ignoring the fact that Trump tried to collude with the Russians just because you hate Hillary Clinton.

The bottom line is that Russia doesn’t care who wins our elections, just as long as they can sow discord and division among the American people.

In this, Beck is exactly correct.  What he forgot to mention, however, is how much the mainstream media have contributed to the problem with their dishonest reporting.  From the beginning of the Trump administration, the media have sought to undermine the president at every turn with innuendo about his ties to Russia—attempts that have mostly failed, and given credence to Trump’s claims that the entire story is a hoax.  The problem is that Russian interference in our electoral process isn’t a hoax—and it represents a very clear danger to the future of our republic.

The media’s slanted coverage has obscured that danger.  More than that, it has only increased the discord that the Russians seek to spread.  In that respect, at least, the media have inadvertently signed on to the Russian plan—just as Moscow hoped they would.

More honest coverage would alert the public as to the real nature of the threat, and help to unify the country when it needs unity the most. Here’s hoping that the Blaze, with its renewed efforts to get the truth out—no matter where it leads, or what it exposes—can assist with that effort.

Shame Change: Now It’s Halperin the Harasser?

Since the titans of television news fancy themselves as stars in their own right, it only makes sense that they would try to emulate the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.  But the sex scandals?  That’s a bit extreme, if you ask me.  Alas, if what CNN reports is true, then it appears as if there was a good reason that Harvey Weinstein got so chummy with reporters.  Turns out, they’re not so different from him:

Veteran journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, according to five women who shared their previously undisclosed accounts with CNN…

Widely considered to be one of the preeminent political journalists, Halperin, 52, has, among other career highlights, been political director at ABC News; co-authored the bestselling book “Game Change,” which was made into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin; and anchored a television show on Bloomberg TV.

But women who spoke to CNN say he also had a dark side not made public until now. The stories of harassment shared with CNN range in nature from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will. Three of the women who spoke to CNN described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed.

Sound familiar?  Throw in a bathrobe and a quick massage, and Halperin would be a dead ringer for Harvey.

The first woman told CNN she was invited to visit his office in the early 2000s, when he was political director at ABC News, to have a soda, and said that while she was there with him he forcibly kissed her and pressed his genitals against her body.

“I went up to have a soda and talk and — he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” the woman said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”

Okay, this is getting to be uncanny.  Did Halperin spend a lot of time at Miramax taking notes?  Or maybe he and Harvey went to the same fetish conventions, dressed in matching costumes?

The second woman, another former ABC News employee, described a similar experience in his office during the 2004 campaign cycle.

“The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office and he just came up from behind — I was sitting in a chair from across his desk — and he came up behind me and [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” this woman told CNN.

Eww.  Thank goodness there wasn’t a potted plant nearby, or things might have really gotten ugly.

She also alleged that Halperin propositioned her for sex on the campaign trail.

“He would say, ‘Why don’t you meet me upstairs?’ And I would say, ‘That’s not a good idea.’ And he would push the request further,” the person said. “Eventually I would just ignore him and go about my business.”

Wow.  It sounds like he got his pickup lines from an article in a 1978 issue of Penthouse:  “She Wants You, She Just Doesn’t Know It Yet.”  Personally, I’d like to know if it ever actually worked—because I can’t see any woman falling for it.  Even after five shots of Jaegermeister.

Of course, Halperin is denying that he ever forced himself on anyone, but this one tidbit from the story is telling:

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

Properly deal is mediaspeak for “consulting my lawyer to see what my options are.”

MSNBC, where Halperin makes frequent appearances on “Morning Joe,” said early Thursday that Halperin would leave his roles at that network and as an analyst at NBC News.

“We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” MSNBC said in a statement. “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

In other words, there’s enough fire with this smoke for NBC to distance themselves from Halperin. Plus the network is already in dutch for spiking Ronan Farrow’s Weistein expose. They don’t want any more of this kind of stink on them.

But hey, that’s showbiz.

Even When Jeff Flake Is Right, He’s Wrong

There was a lot to like about Arizona Republican Jeff Flake’s speech on the Senate floor yesterday.  It was an impassioned call for a decency that is sorely lacking in our politics today, and on substance I think he was largely correct.  The coarseness that has become the new normal in Washington is indeed lamentable, and–more dangerously–it has also obfuscated the debate over what should be far more important issues.  President Trump, who has an unfortunate habit of running his mouth when prudence would be a far better course of action, bears a great amount of responsibility for this sorry state of affairs, and Flake was justified in calling him out for it.

What Flake doesn’t realize is that he’s also dead wrong.

Here’s the passage that undermines his own argument:

Here today I stand to say that we would be better served — we would better serve the country — by better fulfilling our obligations under the Constitution by adhering to our Article 1 — “old normal,” Mr. Madison’s doctrine of separation of powers. This genius innovation which affirms Madison’s status as a true visionary — and for which Madison argued in Federalist 51 — held that the equal branches of our government would balance and counteract with each other, if necessary.

“Ambition counteracts ambition,” he wrote. But what happens if ambition fails to counteract ambition? What happens if stability fails to assert itself in the face of chaos and instability? If decency fails to call out indecency? Were the shoe on the other foot, we Republicans — would we Republicans meekly accept such behavior on display from dominant Democrats?

 The answer to that question is yes, the GOP has meekly accepted such behavior from dominant Democrats–and they’ve been doing it for a long time.  An ad featuring a Paul Ryan lookalike pushing granny over a cliff in her wheelchair?  Check.  How about another one accusing George W. Bush of going easy on the monsters who dragged a black man to death in Texas?  Got that too.  Let’s also not forget Harry “Red Eye” Reid calling Mitt Romney a tax cheat on the Senate floor.  Republicans grumbled about it, but ultimately Reid suffered no consequences for his slander.  Then there was 8 years of the Bush presidency, during which he was accused of everything from knowing about 9/11 in advance to blowing up the levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Bush never wanted to sully the dignity of his office by fighting back, which was noble–but it also allowed his enemies, including the media, to define him.

None of that happened in a vacuum.  GOP voters noticed, and started asking, “How come our guys don’t get as nasty with them as they get with us?”  In short, they got sick of Democrat bullies kicking sand in their faces on the beach and decided to send away for Donald Trump’s body building kit.

Flake goes on to say:

We were not made great as a country by indulging in or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorifying in the things that divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake. And we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how hard-won and vulnerable they are.

Again, he’s talking about Trump here–but couldn’t he just as easily be talking about the media?  What have they been doing, if not dividing us along the lines of man and woman, black and white, straight and gay, liberal and conservative?  With every issue, they try to drive a wedge between Americans and then peddle the outrage, turning it into clicks and views while pushing a simple, constant narrative:  Democrats Good, Republicans Bad!  That’s also the old normal–one in which conservatives reliably lose.  If those are the good old days Jeff Flake is pining for, he can have them.

Blooming Idiots

When I read about the kerfuffle between disgraced comedienne Kathy Griffin and her former lawyer Lisa Bloom, it brought to mind that time Henry Kissinger remarked of the Iran-Iraq War, “It’s a pity they can’t both lose.”

Griffin, as you may recall, got herself into a spot of bother a few months back when she had herself photographed holding the bloody, severed head of Donald Trump.  Not his actual head, mind you, but a reasonable enough facsimile that Barron Trump, the president’s 11-year-old son, was said to have thought it was the real deal.  Given that threatening to decapitate the president of the United States is a crime, even as a lame attempt at humor, most reasonable human beings would have thought twice before pulling a stunt like that.  But being Kathy Griffin means never having to say you’re stupid—and when she realized that the Secret Service could actually throw her in the clink for parading around with Trump’s make-believe melon, she did what any D-list celebrity would and lawyered up faster than Johnny Depp running away from his wine creditors.

Enter Lisa Bloom, daughter of feminist icon Gloria Allred and a noted attorney in her own right—if by noted, you mean a Hollywood shill who was on Harvey Weinstein’s speed-dial until it was obvious her libidinous client had become so radioactive that his fat retainer was no longer worth the trouble.  At any rate, Bloom seemed like the perfect choice to defend Griffin to the public—not so much on the merits of the case, but because Bloom has a singular talent for making everything about sexism.  Outraged that an edgy funny lady is playing ISIS with the president’s noggin?  You must be one of those deplorable, misogynistic Trump voters who wants to set female comedy back to the days of I Love Lucy.  If it had been Carrot Top, you wouldn’t have had a problem with it.  Besides, it’s Trump’s fault anyway for being such a big shot bully.  That’s why you never saw this kind of thing even with George W. Bush.


Well, there was that one incident…

Alas, like the time Steve Urkel ended up on Full House, this particular  episode went down in history as one of the worst crossovers ever conceived.  Griffin described the brief but memorable partnership thusly:

“If you want my Lisa Bloom statement, anybody, OK, here it is. Yes, I got Bloomed. Yes, I did not have a good experience with her. I felt that she and her husband exacerbated my personal situation. That horrible press conference was a disaster.”

Griffin added: “I’m not gonna sue Lisa Bloom. I don’t think Lisa Bloom should be shot, like people want to shoot me. So there’s my freaking statement.”

BTW, that press conference was the one during which Griffin said that Trump broke her.  Also, she didn’t use the word “freaking,” but this is a family-friendly website and we don’t resort to that kind of lowbrow expression.  So bite me.

Bloom, for her part, seemed shocked, shocked that Griffin would be such a drama queen about the matter.  Flatly denying her former client’s version of events, Bloom escalated the spat into a full-on catfight when she responded:

Kathy Griffin reached out to me after her Trump mask photo posted a few months ago and a few days later I had a press conference with her.

She said on camera “my notes are by the wayside and it’s all off the cuff” and then ad libbed. I was sorry she made that choice but I respected her right to speak as she saw fit.

Kathy has now made a video about how women should stand together, and yet she’s attacked me, a lifetime women’s rights attorney, and not the rest of her team, all of whom were men.

This is sad, but I still believe that Kathy Griffin is one of the funniest comics alive, that she meant no ill will with the photo, and I wish her the best.

And, as everyone knows, “I wish you the best” is Hollywoodspeak for “You’ll never work in this town again, loser.”  If they keep this up, Weinstein just might stage a comeback and hit them both up for a middle-aged reboot of Mean Girls.

Still, it’s hard to figure out how much of this stuff is true and how much of it is the same kind of self-serving, entertainment industry fluff you see in the pages of Us Weekly—at least until you get down to this tasty little morsel of the story:

Griffin estimated that the fees for two days’ legal representation, including arranging security and invitations to legitimate journalists for the June 2 press conference at Bloom’s offices, amounted to $40,000.

Forty grand to put together the Heaven’s Gate of press conferences?  Well, when you think about it, that production was an expensive disaster too—but that’s Hollywood for you.  Why make a flop for peanuts when you can bankrupt the studio?  I’m guessing, though, that Griffin decided to cut her losses and send the whole thing straight to video.

It’s just too bad she can’t change her name to Alan Smithee.

Hey Frederica Wilson, the Death of a Soldier is No Laughing Matter

In a way, you have to pity Frederica Wilson.  As a thoroughly undistinguished member of Congress, she’s had to resort to all sorts of hijinks to grab the spotlight–such as when she inserted herself into the Travon Martin case, inflaming an already tense situation with race-baiting rhetoric and calls to imprison George Zimmerman before there was even a trial.  Then there’s her choice of headwear–those weird, sequined cowboy hats that look as if they came from a Halloween costume or a drag show (take your pick).  Long ago, Wilson must have made the calculation that if people of District 24 didn’t even know her name, they’d at least remember her as that loudmouth with the funny fashion sense, so what the hell I’ll vote for her.

Wilson also calls attention to herself by glomming on to someone more famous, kind of like a Twitter troll who subtweets a celebrity in the hopes of going viral.  So when Donald Trump got elected, she saw the perfect opportunity to gain some brush-by notoriety by proclaiming that she would not attend his inauguration.  Never mind that this idea wasn’t even original–dozens of other Democrats beat her to the punch–so long as she cobbled together a few headlines, Wilson could claim a victory for her district without having to actually do anything.

Which leads us to today, and Wilson’s war of words with the president over the condolence call he made to the widow of La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger along with three other American soldiers.  Wilson, who said she was present when Trump made the call and overheard the conversation, accused the president of being flippant and insensitive, and promptly ran with her claim to any reporter who would listen.  Given the news media’s obsession with making Trump look bad, they lapped up the story like Alex the dog with a bowl full of Stroh’s, and Wilson has been a cable news fixture ever since.

Lost in this back and forth, however, is any consideration for Johnson’s widow, Myeshia, and her children.  Seeing his death played out in the media for political advantage has to be heartbreaking enough–but somehow, incredibly, Frederica Johnson has made it even worse.  Now she’s playing it for laughs, as you can see in the clip below:

 

What’s ironic here is that the only reason Wilson engages in this shtick is that she wants the White House to follow her every word.  Getting to be a rock star for five minutes is her goal.  And she seems to be having the time of her life now that the cameras following her around.  As for La David Johnson and his grieving family, they’ve served their purpose.  Never forget, though, Donald Trump is the insensitive one.

By the way, in the briefing that Wilson found so amusing, White House chief of staff John Kelley took the occasion to correct the Congresswoman’s characterization of the condolence call:

“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” Kelly told reporters of Wilson during the White House press briefing. “A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero. He knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist. He enlisted, and he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.”

Kelly continued, “That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.”

Kelly also related what it’s like to lose a loved one, because he knows from personal experience.  His own son was killed during combat in Afghanistan.

“Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me, because he was my casualty officer,” Kelly said he told Trump about how to deliver condolences to grieving families.

“He said, ‘Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that one percent. He knew what the possibilities were, because we’re at war,'” Kelly said.

“And when he died, in the four cases we’re talking about in Niger and my son’s case in Afghanistan, when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth, his friends,” Kelly said. “That’s what the president tried to say to four families the other day.”

Absolutely hilarious, right?

Frederica Wilson is a disgrace.