Here are my observations on items in the news.
OBAMA WRONG ON CITIZENS UNITED v. FEC CASE – For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with this case, the U.S. Supreme Court held (5-4) on January 21, 2010, that freedom of speech prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by nonprofit corporations, labor unions and other associations.
The case arose from Citizens United’s desire to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts shortly before the 2008 Democrat primary. It was considered a violation of a federal statute prohibiting certain electioneering communications near an election. The Court found the provisions of the law that prohibited corporations and unions from making such electioneering communications in conflict with the U.S. Constitution.
On January 27, 2010, a furious President Obama used his appearance before a joint session of congress at his State of the Union address to denounce the decision, saying, “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.” Democrats, notably Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), embarrassingly jumped to their feet applauding while surrounding members of the Court.
With that, I thought you would be interested in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “The Citizens United Disaster That Wasn’t,” by Floyd Abrams, who participated in the oral argument before the Court. The opening of those floodgates of corporation money never materialized. In fact, in the list of the top 20 big spenders revealed by Abrams, it is dominated by big individual donors to the Democrat party, like Thomas Steyer and George Soros; unions like the NEA, SEIU, the Laborer’s Union and the Carpenters and Joiner’s Union; and advocacy groups like NextGen Climate Action and Priorities USA Action were listed.
BERGDAHL AND THE OBAMA LEGACY – You may recall that in 2009, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit in Afghanistan and within hours was captured by the Taliban. Several American warriors were seriously injured in firefights while searching for Bergdahl, one who is confined to a wheelchair today, unable to speak or care for himself.
If we are to believe Bergdahl, he was severely beaten with rubber hoses and copper cables during his five years in captivity.
In 2014, President Obama authorized the release of five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay imprisonment in exchange for the return of Bergdahl, a decision that brought much criticism against the president.
Despite the criticism, Obama invited Bergdahl’s parents to meet the press in a Rose Garden ceremony, and stated, “while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten.” Incredibly, Bergdahl’s father spoke in Pashto, the primary Taliban language
Appearing on ABC This Week, National Security Advisor Susan Rice defended the administration’s deal to return Bergdahl, saying, “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”
Unbelievably, during a preliminary hearing by the Army’s chief investigator, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the general said there was no evidence that the sergeant intended to desert and join the Taliban. Bergdahl claimed that he set out to walk to another base 18 miles away to report on the leadership in his unit. Get this … the general testified that he found the sergeant to be truthful, albeit naïve and delusional, and that jailing him would be “inappropriate.”
The sergeant’s defense team argued that Donald Trump’s reference to Bergdahl as a “dirty rotten traitor” during the presidential campaign made a fair trial impossible, but the judge refused their request for dismissal.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty yesterday and a hearing is scheduled to begin next week. The desertion charge carries a potential five-years sentence, while the charge of endangering troops carries a potential life sentence.
“TODAY SHOW” RATINGS SLIP with Megyn Kelly as the host. You may recall my observations about Kelly in my October 27, 2016 post, “Too big for her britches.” It appears that her desire to be the next Barbara Walters has hit another obstacle at NBC, where her viewership slipped from 0.77 on Monday to 0.54 on Tuesday last week. Her lackluster ratings also dragged down the “Kathie Lee & Hoda” show that follows, and, according to Page Six, insiders are blaming that on Kelly’s weak lead-in.
THE TRUMP EFFECT on the Dow Jones was highlighted again as 48 record market closes, the most all-time high finishes in a single year since 2013. MarketWatch credits the expectation of tax cuts and further deregulation for the optimism. The market has gone up more than 20 percent since Election Night. As I write this, the market reached the 23,000 mark on Tuesday. Look for the Democrats to obstruct passage of the tax cut/reform legislation as they continue to refer to it as a “tax cut for the wealthy.”
DEMOCRAT SUPER PAC AD CAMPAIGN demagogues GOP tax cut plan. If you have seen one of the commercials, you’re probably wondering who’s behind Priorities USA.
Priorities USA is the Democrat’s largest Super PAC, and has launched a $250,000 ad buy in states where senators are up for reelection in 2018. Those of you in Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin are seeing 30-second television commercials attacking the Republican tax cut as a plan “for the wealthy,” before the details have been released.
Founded in 2011, the PAC supported former President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and was the primary Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The top six donors, including George Soros, have given more than $43 million.