No reason to panic over the NJ and VA elections … NAACP offended by the national anthem … Dennis Prager no firebrand

Here are my observations on items in the news.

ABOUT THOSE RECENT ELECTIONS – Even though Democrats are crowing about their gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia, claiming it’s a repudiation of  Trump administration policies, it’s all for show and they know it. Hillary Clinton won both states during the last election – by 14 percentage points in New Jersey and 4.5 percent in Virginia.

Virginia residents represent the second highest number of federal employees (136,377), mostly from Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax counties, who are unhappy with the president’s goals of smaller government and draining the swamp. You may recall that Hillary took 90 percent of neighboring Washington DC votes in 2016.

In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam replaces Democrat Terry McAuliffe and in New Jersey Democrat Phil Murphy replaces Republican Chris Christie, who was term limited. Republicans still hold governorships in 34 states.

With that background, it was reasonable to expect the Democrat Party to be somewhat emboldened with those expected wins. Even so, as Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist cautions, “(Republican) members of Congress are delusional if they think they can keep their jobs without passing tax reform, repealing ObamaCare, and some other dramatic achievement.”

As expected, CNN’s graphic said, “Key wins by Democrats may portend an ominous future for President Trump and his party.” At least they chose to use “may.”

“Voters delivered a forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party,” said the New York Times.

The Washington Post wrote, “Republicans seek new path after failure of Gillespie’s ‘Trumpism without Trump.’” To that, Ann Althouse asked, “How do they know what Republicans are seeking based on one Republican losing a race in a blue state?”

Indeed.

NAACP OFFENDED BY NATIONAL ANTHEM – It started with former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick and spread throughout the rosters of overindulged NFL teams. Disrespect for the flag and our national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner has been our national anthem since 1931, and singing it before sporting events has become a tradition, and now California’s NAACP chapter wants a new anthem.

They claim it is “a racist song that has caused so much controversy.” Really? It’s the first I have heard about it. In fact, their objection is to words in the third stanza. I guess I knew there were more stanzas, but I certainly wasn’t aware of the words, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flights, or the gloom of the grave,” within that stanza.

Since we usually only sing the first stanza, how can people of color be offended?

Do you think black rap “artists” would stop using foul language because I am offended?

SPEAKING OF OFFENDED – Free speech has been thwarted at another college campus last night. Conservative talk show host Dennis Prager faced an effort by offended students, administrators and campus organizations to mobilize and shut down the event at the University of Wyoming. Leading the effort was the student government’s – are you ready for this? – director of diversity. Prager was scheduled to speak on the topic, “Why Socialism Makes People Selfish.”

Calling Prager’s past comments “bigoted,” “horrific,” and “disgusting,” he has been referred to as “a polarizing conservative with a history of controversial statements and positions,” and a “conservative firebrand.”

As an occasional listener to his radio show and frequent viewer of guest presenters on his Prager U online site, I view Prager as someone with common sense views.

Prager always looks forward to answering every question and challenge students wish to pose, and promises that most students will wonder why anyone at their university would call him a bigot and a hater.

PC madness … Susan Rice’s advice … Benghazi probe gets boost … Trump administration stonewalls … IRS targeting continues … and another tale of ‘the swamp’

Here are my observations on selected items in the news.

One of three schools in Portland, Oregon that will be renamed. (Thatcher Schmid for the LA Times)

YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP – The Centennial School District in Portland, Oregon voted last week to change the names of three of their elementary schools – Lynch View, Lynch Wood, and Lynch Meadows – in response to some parents and school officials who believed “lynch” is a bleak reminder of a time in America when blacks were publicly hanged – lynched – by white mobs and the KKK. One name change document stated that “the Lynch school names have proven to be a disruption in the learning environment for our increasingly diverse student population.”

Never mind that they were originally named after pioneering berry farmers Patrick and Catherine Lynch, Irish homesteaders, who initially donated land to build a one-room school house in 1900. Officials were so pleased with that donation and a subsequent bargain land sale by the Lynches that they named the whole district Lynch, which became Centennial in 1976 when it merged with another district.

Incidentally, a survey of Lynch school alums revealed that 360 were opposed to the name changes, while just 17 favored the changes. (Rick Anderson, LA Times.com)

SUSAN RICE OFFERS ADVICE ON NORTH KOREA – Who asked her? The leftist CNN, of course. “History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” Rice said, “the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War.”

Surely, she realizes that was a different time with a Soviet leader in Nikita Khrushchev, who was a far cry from Kim Jung Un. Under a strategy of mutually assured destruction, neither the U.S. and Soviet Union wanted to launch nuclear weapons.

Only a national security failure like Rice would come up with a silly comparison like that. Serving as ambassador to the UN and former President Obama’s top national security advisor, Rice admitted to the failure of the Obama administration to stop North Korea from building its nuclear weapons capability. Of course, she also blamed other administrations (those of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) who were not able to stop it.

BEEN THERE DONE THAT – “Each administration,” she said, “tried a range of measures, from sanctions and pressure, cooperation with China, and other methods we shouldn’t speak about on television, to no avail.

“The fact of the matter is, that despite all of those efforts, the North Korean regime has been able to succeed in progressing with its program, both nuclear and missile,” Rice noted, “That’s a very unfortunate outcome. But we are where we are, and we now need to decide how to proceed.”

Why, despite all of her failures, including her Sunday news show lies about Benghazi, does Rice think the current administration is interested in her advice, but in a New York Times op-ed she offers that “President Trump should soften his rhetoric and accept a nuclear North Korea.”

SPEAKING OF BENGHAZI – The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s cover-up of the terrorist attack on our compound there that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador, got a boost this week by Washington D.C. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta. The judge ordered the State Department to search the state.gov e-mail accounts of Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan, former aides to Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act query.

While this may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal and Clinton’s involvement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton remarked that “It is remarkable that we had to battle both the Obama and Trump administrations to break through the State Department’s Benghazi stonewall. Why are Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions wasting taxpayer dollars protecting Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration?”

THAT MAKES FOUR STONEWALLS supported by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In earlier posts, I wrote about two – the Lynch-Clinton meeting document redacting, and the failure to reveal which Obama staffers did unmasking of whom – now he’s forcing Judicial Watch to fight for the Benghazi papers. The fourth involves the protection of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Lois Lerner, who stonewalled searches for documents covering their treatment of conservative organizations seeking tax exempt status. You may recall that Lerner took the Fifth Amendment during Congressional testimony and is now enjoying her government pension. Unbelievably, Obama-appointee Koskinen still holds down the IRS position under President Trump.

THE IRS TARGETING OF CONSERVATIVE non-profit organizations continues under the Trump administration, according to Kimberly A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal. She recently reported that Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Sound Government, told her that nothing has changed since Trump came into office. His organization has been funding a class action suit in Ohio federal court on behalf of groups targeted by the IRS, at a cost so far of $3 million. He’s now fighting the DOJ (Sessions) which has refused to turn over documents or make witnesses available for depositions. The Texas Patriots Tea Party continues to fight the IRS after five years of stonewalling.

ANOTHER TALE FROM THE WASHINGTON SWAMP – Most likely, you’ve never heard of Paige Herwig. She was a counsellor to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch (aka Elisabeth Carlisle) at the time Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton in her airplane, parked in Phoenix. Herwig’s name popped-up several times in the 417 pages of meeting documents recently obtained by Judicial Watch.

As often happens in “the Swamp,” bureaucrats resurface in another position. Herwig now serves as deputy general counsel for the minority (Democrats) on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she will have access to all investigative documents, including those with communications between her and her former boss, Lynch (Carlisle). Isn’t that just great?