RABBIT HOLES AND LOOKING GLASSES

The Speaker of the House made it official: we’re going to have an impeachment inquiry to remove President Trump from office. But Democrats are not following their own rules and procedures from the previous impeachments of Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. This is strictly partisan, because Democrats have shut Republicans out of the process.

The way it’s supposed to work is that the House first votes to begin an inquiry; then the Judiciary Committee or some other designated committee does an investigation and determines whether the facts support impeachment. If that committee agrees that the President should be impeached, they vote on it and send it to the entire House for a vote. A simple majority vote (218 members) impeaches the President; then it goes to the Senate for a trial.

The House should be following its own rules and past precedents. If they think the President has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” they should make the case and have the guts and integrity to vote on it. The House is the body that most closely reflects the will of the people – that’s why they’re elected every two years. To hold not a single vote in this most democratic of institutions is a real and present threat to our democracy.

But of course, they are progressives and thus unbound by tradition and precedent. Theirs is a political movement governed by the needs of the moment. And those needs, and their solutions, always increase their power.

The substance of the impeachment is absurdly thin. The Democrats say that President Trump pressured the President of the Ukraine to give him dirt on former VP and Presidential candidate Joe Biden, or else (no aid from the US) – the classic quid pro quo. So I did my due diligence as a citizen in our still- great republic by reading the whistleblower’s complaint and the transcript of the phone conversation between the Ukrainian President and President Trump. And I found (a drum roll, please): nothing. No sane jury would ever buy what the Democrats are selling. In the hyper-cliched world of political punditry, this is a nothing-burger and at the end of the day, there’s no there there. To make the case even weaker, the so-called whistleblower actually stated that his information is second-hand.

This is a phony impeachment lacking the moral authority of members’ votes. No wonder Trump is saying to the Democrats: bring it! Republicans should welcome this fight.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

PROGRESSIVES: NO LIMITS

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Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Recently, forty people died in mass shootings in El Paso and Midland, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We’ve had too many of these, and we need thoughtful and honest discussions about causes and solutions. But as usual, before the bodies are cold and the facts are in, progressives call to ban guns, confiscate guns and hyper-regulate lawful gun owners. Progressives attack the NRA as if the NRA and its members pulled the trigger. Many progressives oppose the 2nd Amendment. While some nominally support it, they could easily change their minds. What’s to stop them from legislating the 2nd A. out of existence?

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Uber-progressive New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pretending to support the 2nd A.  Gun owners: Does seeing Cuomo with a gun make you feel better?

The fundamentals of progressivism should frighten all who value individual liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Progressives believe in a “living Constitution,” which means the Constitution changes with time and circumstances. But as if by magic, their reading of the Constitution always grows government and empowers progressives.

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Woodrow Wilson on the Constitution: “…It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.  Woodrow Wilson on government: “…no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the state may not cross at will….”

Woodrow Wilson was a founding member of the progressive movement and our 28th President. For Wilson and present-day progressives the Constitution is an evolving document, which makes it possible to evolve the 2nd Amendment out of existence. I can hear the Democrats bleating now: “The 2nd Amendment was written for a different age. It doesn’t work in modern times. To protect our children we must outlaw all assault rifles.” They’ve already done it. Democrats passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. An assault weapon is a political construct. The ban did not reduce gun crime one bit but it did frighten voters, which was the point. And again, progressives attack so-called assault rifles—a stealth attack on semi-autos. That’s one trigger pull and one shot. What happens if the next madman uses a bolt action rifle? Then it will be: ban the bolt. Think it won’t happen here? It’s already happened in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are based on natural rights, the idea that we are born with rights that predate any government. Natural rights are rooted in our humanity. The will to survive and to protect our loved ones is as human as breathing. That is the basis of the 2nd Amendment. Progressives do not believe that we are born with rights. Instead, they believe that our rights come from government. But what the government gives – the government can take away.

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The Constitution codifies the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Our freedoms are precious and worth fighting for. If we lose them, they’re gone forever.

Progressives are not bound by the principles embodied in the Declaration. Nor are they bound by the text of the Constitution, or by tradition. Theirs is a political philosophy motivated by the needs of the moment, a political movement with no limits, and they are the core of the Democrat party. To them, your right to defend hearth and home is obsolete, a relic of a bygone era and part of a deeply flawed Constitution that needs fixing. Deleting the Second Amendment is high on their to-do list. Don’t let them. They are absent internal limits so it falls to us, the freedom-loving people to impose limits via elections, law, political contributions, participation in political parties and joining organizations that will defend our rights. If they don’t know their limitations, let’s show them what limits are.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

WHO’S FREDO?

 

 

 

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Tom Hanks as Forest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Chris Cuomo threatened to throw a man down the stairs for calling him Fredo, a reference to the character brilliantly played by the late John Cazale in Godfather 1 and 2. Fredo was easily the dullest of his three brothers, and as a result, he was given menial tasks in the Corleones’ vast criminal empire. I’m Italian-American and proud of it, but calling someone Fredo is calling them stupid, bumbling and incompetent; it is not an ethnic slur. Since the Fredo affair I’ve been thinking: which Cuomo brother is the biggest bumbler? Who’s really Fredo? It’s a close call.

 

Astonishingly, both Cuomos claim that calling them Fredo is smearing their Italian heritage. They’re the sons of a former governor, presidential hopeful and scions of one of New York’s most powerful families. One is a CNN anchor, the other New York’s governor. They both whine like victims. If that’s not Fredo-level stupidity, I don’t know what is.

 

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Fredo Corleone: “I can handle things.  I’m smart and I want respect.”  Like running New York State, Andrew?

Let’s look at Andrew Cuomo’s record as Governor. Upstate NY has been hemorrhaging people since 2010. The grim numbers show that 43 of the 50 upstate counties have lost population since the last census.

Cuomo had a chance to jump-start the upstate economy, but he banned gas development. Fracking would have brought billions of dollars into Upstate. Pennsylvania produces 20% of the nation’s natural gas, second only to Texas. Imagine the cash tidal wave flooding into that state. That could have been us. But instead of being a net exporter of gas, we are an importer. Our dollars flow out but in Pennsylvania, dollars flow in. Cuomo looked prosperity in they eye and said no, thank you. This should go down in history as one of the dumbest executive decisions in the history of executive decisions.

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Cuomo banned fracking, rendering the vast natural resource that is natural gas unusable.  Natural resource development has been a source of prosperity throughout history. Steuben County NY is a stone’s throw from Tioga County PA.  But while Tioga County prospers because of fracking, Steuben County withers, in no small part because fracking is banned.   

Cuomo’s economic development plan is a joke. Cuomo “invested” $15 million in the Central New York Film Hub. It was sold last month for $1. Soraa LED reneged on a $90 million factory near Syracuse funded by us, the taxpayers. But don’t worry, the State Senate “invested” $15 million more to lure another company to the factory.

New York State’s jobless rate lags behind the national average of 4.1 percent at 4.7%. In 55 of the 57 counties outside of New York City the jobless rate rose from 2016 to 2018. Then there’s the Buffalo billion. Cuomo “invested” $750 million of our hard-earned money to create 3,000 jobs. So far the jobs created stand at 700. Cuomo spent $600 million for a factory for a company called Ams AG. They bailed on the deal. Job growth in the counties outside of New York city was a puny 1% from 2010 to 2016, but from 2016 to mid-2019 job growth slowed even more, to 0.5%

Like that great philosopher Forrest Gump said, “stupid is as stupid does.” By the Gump standard, Governor Andrew is really stupid.

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One Cuomo brother screws up New York State, the other brother makes a hash of television journalism, but the question remains, who’s Fredo?

Chris may be adding to the low ratings and joke status of CNN, but you can turn off CNN. Sadly, Andrew’s governorship has no off button for New Yorkers. The mute button offers relief from Andrew’s noise, but not from his policies. By the sheer the weight of impact, the hands-down winner of Who’s Fredo is Andrew, and the joke is on us.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

LIARS FIGURE— THE GENDER WAGE GAP

The old saying goes, figures lie and liars figure. This is never more true than in the debate over the so-called gender pay gap, the allegation that men are paid more than women for the same work because of discrimination. A sure sign that our progressive friends are lying is the moral preening that began soon after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed equal pay for equal work legislation for women. Cue the epic virtue-signaling. Cuomo said, “ by signing this legislation…we are doing the moral thing.” Not to be outdone, Senate Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said of the champion US women’s soccer team, “…we are reminded that these champions do not make the same that the US men’s team makes.” Here’s the truth: female professional athletes are paid less because women’s sports draw many less fans than men’s sports, resulting in a smaller purse from which the athletes can be paid, and therefore, yes, the women earn less money at this time. Simple as that. Discrimination has nothing to do with it. But honesty and common sense deserted progressives a long time ago.

I fully support equal pay for women. I have a mother, a wife, a sister, several nieces and two granddaughters. I love them and I want the best for them. They work hard and they deserve to be paid what men make for the same work. What I don’t support is using women (or anyone else) as political human shields, which is what progressives always do.

The so-called gender wage gap is calculated by dividing the median income of all men employed full time by the median income of all women employed full time. The result is the endlessly repeated number that women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, or 23% less than men. This number proves nothing (please read on to see why), but that doesn’t stop progressives from robotically repeating it, along with the ugly charge of discrimination. If they were really interested in the truth and not political exploitation, they would ask three questions. Do women really earn 23% less than men and if so why, and where?

When I was in graduate school my professors said: if you want to do research, start with a research question. For example: What laundry detergent gets clothes whitest, Tide or All? To answer the question every variable must be controlled, such as the type of washing machine, water temperature, amount of detergent, and how dirty the clothes are. All these variables must be equalized, and only then can the question be answered with any certainty and honesty.

To answer the wage gap question, we must match subjects. A male physician, for example, is expected to earn more than a female police officer. The expected wage gap between them is due to education and occupation, not discrimination. To see if men are paid more than women you must control for the variables: type of job, education, years of experience and hours worked. There are no controls in the wage gap number, and therefore no one can correctly claim that women make 23% less than men, never mind that the cause for the so-called gap is discrimination.

Comparing all men to all women yields a simplistic number that proves nothing. This comes to us from the “We believe in science” crowd, who are all very keen to call conservatives backward and anti-science. How do they make the number stick in the public mind? They repeat the message ad infinitum. Much of our culture is controlled by progressives; the news media, entertainment, schools and universities are firmly in their hands. They use those levers of power to create myths and make them stick.

Have you noticed that no specific industry or job title is ever identified as a source for the wage gap? Where is it exactly that men are paid more than women for the same work? Is it in government? Highly doubtful. How about major corporations, which are subject to government oversight? Are women accountants, attorneys, doctors or engineers paid a lower hourly rate than their male colleagues? No specifics are ever looked at, because the progressive agenda is not to solve problems, but to score political points and gain power.

Think the progressive argument through for a minute. There must be a lot of people (men) who hate women. The country must be shot through with them. They’re everywhere. Here’s the progressive message in a nutshell: America sucks. That means you suck. But if you want to un-suck, you must agree that Americans meanly and routinely discriminate. You must denounce your fellow citizens for the bigoted creeps they are, and most importantly, vote for progressives. Give them the power they crave, and only then will you will receive absolution.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

 

THE PROGRESSIVE EUPHEMISM MACHINE

Progressives are expert at misbranding and using euphemisms to shape the terms of a debate. Let’s start with abortion.

Abortion ends a life and buries a potential that will never be realized.

As the character Bill Munn, played by Clint Eastwood in the movie Unforgiven, said, “It’s a hell of a thing killing a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.”

Given this unarguable reality, the lefty spin machine has given us: “reproductive rights,” “choice,” “reproductive health care,” and “women’s health care.” Notice what’s missing? No mention of the death of a human being and what could have been. Why? Because women vote, and fetuses don’t.

Renewable energy” and “green energy” are outright falsehoods. There is no such thing as renewable energy. Energy always has a source, be it natural gas or solar cells. Both require a manufacturing process that relies on fossil fuels and consumes resources that are mined or drilled. Taken as a whole, there’s nothing green or renewable about either of them.

Whoever coined the phrase “environmental justice” should be charged with assault on the English language. Justice is a human concept. People who are wronged seek justice. The environment can’t seek justice because it isn’t human. Progressives claim to speak for the environment. If so, I want the progressive who claims he heard the environment ask for justice removed from office for mental health reasons.

This leads us quite neatly to healthcare. Progressives have branded their Venezuelan-style takeover of healthcare as the innocuous-sounding “Single-Payer,” “Universal Healthcare,” or the very utopian “Medicare for All”. It’s properly called nationalization, which is defined as “transfer from private to state ownership or control.”

Describing criminal border-jumpers as “Undocumented Immigrants” belongs in the euphemism hall of fame. Immigrants are people who are here legally. If they’re undocumented, they are illegal. If they’re illegal, they are most accurately called aliens. Alien means “not of this place.” An individual who violates immigration law to get here or stay here is an illegal alien.

The terms “weapon of war” and “assault weapon” is an attempt to brand every firearm as “military” and therefore too dangerous for public use. This argument is easily skewered. A single-shot revolutionary war musket was an assault weapon and obviously a weapon of war. Progressives will always mount an argument, no matter how silly.

Progressives hijacked the term “liberal.” Up until the 1930’s, liberals were people who believed in individual rights, limited government and economic freedom, which sounds like – you guessed it – conservatives. Now, “liberals” believe in group rights, centrally planned economies and big government.

Democratic Socialism” is an oxymoron, using two contradictory terms. There is nothing democratic about socialism, which always requires extensive government control. It is elected tyranny.

Progressives control almost every part of culture, entertainment and news media. That’s how they get away with mangling the language. We can push back by, for example, calling “undocumented immigrants” by the correct term, illegal aliens. Doing this in our own lives makes it harder for progressives to frame the issues, and makes it easier to hold them accountable for the real damage that their policies do.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

ONE-TRICK PHONIES

Let me get this right. President Trump told four radical, anti-Semitic, America-hating Congresswomen to go home, fix the broken places they escaped from, and then they’d have the right to come back and tell us how to solve our problems. This led to a pearl-clutching meltdown of the statist left. It’s the end of the freaking world if the President calls out the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. What’s missing is what is always absent in a hysterical fit: rational thought, proportion, context and most important, honesty.

The two words “go back” are endlessly repeated without the context of his full remarks. If you haven’t read the whole 3-paragraph tweet, please do. Here’s the link:

https://www.newsweek.com/you-can-disagree-his-language-trump-right-about-squad-opinion-1449766

Character assassination is a time-honored tool of the left, and their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Liberal lion of the Senate” Teddy Kennedy destroyed the reputation of Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, who was highly respected by all who worked with him and by those who appeared before him. But Kennedy was on a seek-and-destroy mission, and he succeeded. In his infamous “in Robert Bork’s America” speech, Kennedy threw every vile, loathsome charge at Bork, saying, “In Robert Bork’s America, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters.” The so-called conscience of the senate had, as it turned out, a very tiny conscience, but a large sexual appetite for women other than his wife. One of the many young women was Mary Jo Kopechne, who died at Kennedy’s hands in Chappaquiddick Creek to protect his chances at the presidency. This murderer was called a champion of women.

Another Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas, was dragged through the mud by Democrats and accused of sexually harassing a subordinate, Anita Hill. In front of the U.S. Senate and in full view of the nation, Thomas had to answer questions of a deeply personal nature, most phrased like this– “When did you start sexually harassing Anita Hill?” It was political blood-sport of the worst kind. Thomas’s reputation was damaged forever.

Most recently, of course, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused by Senate Democrats of rape. They dug up Christine Blasey-Ford and erased her social-media history (which pegged her as a Trump-hating Democrat activist,) and presto – instant victim-turned-accuser. Two of the lowest forms of human life are racists and rapists, and Democrats often accuse Republicans of both. Just to put a cherry on top of this ugly cake, Democrats added gang rape and alcoholism to the mix.

When then-Presidential candidate George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a black man, James Beard Jr., was tortured and killed by three racists who put Mr. Beard in chains and dragged him behind a truck. Bush refused to accept Justice Department help, which came in the form of labeling the murder a “hate crime;” instead, Bush let the process go forward in the Texas courts. Two of the three men were executed and a third is now serving a life sentence. Justice was done, and what did Bush get for his actions? That’s right, Democrats called him a racist.

A glaring double standard divides left and right. The left can accuse us of the most vile things and we’re supposed to take it. It takes courage to defend ourselves. Aristotle said, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” Trump has oodles of it, and he was absolutely right to defend us against those four by calling them out. Don’t be intimidated by the latest tantrum thrown by the statist left. Look them in the eye and tell them, yep, I’m voting for Trump, and I’m giving him money, too. And I’ll be damned if I’ll be lectured by the likes of you.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.