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Minutes ago, Rand Paul announced that he’s voting yes to confirm Mike Pompeo as President Trump’s next Secretary of State.

Several Monday conversations with President Donald Trump, a meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and reassurances about Afghanistan led Sen. Rand Paul to announce Monday evening that he would vote to support Pompeo as the next Secretary of State. Paul recounted his decision process on Twitter as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepared to vote on the Pompeo confirmation. The senator spoke with President Trump several times during the day and met with Pompeo.

“After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation the Director Pompeo agrees with @realDonaldTrump,” wrote Paul.

That’s just part of the breaking news today:

Three Democrat senators declared their intention to break ranks with other Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee, ahead of the vote. Red state Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), and Joe Donnelly (IN) each face November re-election fights in states that went for Trump in 2016.

It isn’t coincidental that they’re all red state Democrats in for the fight of their political lives. This means all of the Democrats voting against confirming Director Pompeo are exposed as putting their membership in #Resistance ahead of being patriots.

This WSJ editorial offers a stinging substantive criticism of the Democrats’ unseriousness.

Early in their editorial, they write about Sen. Tim Kaine’s criticism of Mike Pompeo, saying “‘I don’t want a Secretary of State who is going to exacerbate the [sic] President Trump’s tendencies to oppose diplomacy,’ Democratic Senator Tim Kaine (D, VA) told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. He cited Mr. Pompeo’s opposition to Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran and his support for ‘regime change,’ although moderator Margaret Brennan didn’t let him finish that thought. Mr. Kaine may recall that Donald Trump campaigned and won while opposing the Iran nuclear deal, and if Mr. Kaine is still sore about the outcome he should have told his running mate to campaign in Wisconsin.”

Later, they write “Democrats say they don’t trust Mr. Trump, but in denying him senior advisers they make it more likely he will govern by himself. Mark it down as one more example that hatred for Mr. Trump has caused many of his opponents to abandon rational judgment.”

The underlying truth is that Democrats don’t put the nation first. Their highest priority is to Resist! Senate Democrats are acting incredibly petty. This collage provides a wonderful comparison between Republicans and Democrats:

JFK, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Scoop Jackson and Hubert Humphrey wouldn’t recognize today’s Democratic Party. They wouldn’t be Republicans but they’d privately admit that they have more in common with Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Cory Gardner than they have with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker and Ed Markey.

Today’s Democratic Party doesn’t have much in common with the American people. The American people want serious, substantive people providing oversight over national security. Right now, Democrats (and Rand Paul and Jeff Flake) aren’t providing that.

Thursday afternoon, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced that she will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo as the next US Secretary of State.

According to the Washington Post’s reporting, “North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp on Thursday became the first Senate Democrat to announce she would support CIA director Mike Pompeo’s bid to become secretary of state, potentially clinching his bid, as long as no more Republicans refuse to vote for confirmation. Heitkamp’s announcement, in which she said that “Pompeo demonstrated … that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department,” will not make it any easier for Pompeo to secure the support of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before his bid heads to the floor. The panel is to vote on his nomination Monday, but with several committee Democrats and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) pledging to vote against Pompeo, his chances of securing the 21-member panel’s favorable recommendation are slim.”

One of the things from the article that’s troubling is where it reports “Pompeo … became CIA director last year with the support of 14 Senate Democrats; at least six of them, including the two who sit on the Foreign Relations Committee, have refused to back Pompeo as the nation’s top diplomat.”

While it’s likely that a couple more Democrats will vote in the affirmative to confirm Director Pompeo, it’s a sad day in the history of the Senate, especially for Democrats. First, playing games with our national security is disgraceful. Speaking of disgraceful, apparently, Sen. Heitkamp is apparently trying to have it both ways:

That wouldn’t be the first time she’s tried that tactic. Last September, Heitkamp hinted that she was interested in President Trump’s tax cuts. That’s why she got to fly with President Trump to a rally in North Dakota. Eventually, she voted against the tax cuts.

The Democrats who voted to confirm Pompeo as CIA Director but who won’t vote to confirm him as Secretary of State are playing political games. During Easter weekend, Pompeo took a trip to North Korea to meet with Kim Jung Un to start the process for President Trump’s meeting with the dictator. What excuse do Democrats have for not confirming Pompeo as America’s top diplomat? That he’s too accomplished at sensitive diplomacy? Would Democrats say that Pompeo finished too high in his class at West Point? That he finished too high in his class at Harvard Law School? (Pompeo finished first in his class in both instances.)

The truth is that Democrats are totally political creatures. Their special interests insist that Democrats resist, resist, resist at all costs. I wrote this post outlining the Democrats’ biggest problem:

I’d love questioning Sen. Manchin or Sen. Heitkamp why they voted against the tax cuts that’ve pushed the US economy into overdrive. That’s the opposite of patriotism. That’s the definition of partisanship.

If Democrats looked seriously at Mike Pompeo’s qualifications and accomplishments, they’d vote unanimously to confirm him. Instead, it’s likely that just 2-3 Democrats will vote to confirm him.

If Democrats cared more about their country than they care about playing politics, this nation wouldn’t be divided as it is. Finally, if Democrats put the people first, they wouldn’t have lost America’s heartland. The Democrats aren’t the profiles in courage that liberal icon JFK once famously wrote about. Instead, they’re a bunch of sniveling spoiled brats.

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If Democrats cared about the US, we wouldn’t have to deal with Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.), leaking information about the House Intelligence Committee on a daily basis. If Democrats cared about the US, we wouldn’t have to deal with discredited former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe whining about Jeff Sessions firing him. If Democrats cared about the US, we wouldn’t have to deal with former FBI Director Jim Comey leaking confidential information to a professor.

Last week, Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ presidential candidate in 2016, criticized the people living in blue collar states, saying “If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coast, I win, you know, Illinois and Minnesota, places like that. I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”

The point is that presidents are supposed to represent the entire nation.

Trey Gowdy put it best in talking about McCabe:

Here’s that part of the transcript:

WALLACE: Now, Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director who was fired late Friday night says the reason that he was fired was to undercut his credibility as a potential witness in the Mueller investigation. I want to put up some of Andrew McCabe’s statement: This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals, more generally. It is part of this administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and at the efforts of a special counsel’s investigation, which continue to this day.
Congressman, your response?
GOWDY: Oh, Andy McCabe has undercut his credibility all by himself. He didn’t need any help doing that. And I find it richly ironic that he is lamenting that those are attacking the FBI when he himself does the exact same thing. It was the FBI who said he made an unauthorized disclosure and then lied about it. That wasn’t President Trump. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t a crazy House Republicans. It was his own fell FBI agents that said he leaked and then lied about it. So, if he’s got credibility issues, he needs look no further than himself.

McCabe didn’t tell the truth. President Trump didn’t destroy his credibility. McCabe destroyed his credibility by being a partisan instead of being a law enforcement officer.

I’d love questioning Adam Schiff about what proof he has that the Trump administration gives a rip about the Mueller investigation. Thus far, I haven’t seen anything that’d indicate President Trump has done anything illegal. I’ve heard Rep. Schiff say he’s got proof that President Trump has acted illegally but I haven’t seen the proof. Thus far, the only logical conclusion to draw is that Democrats are using this fishing expedition exclusively for political gain.

I’d love questioning Sen. Manchin or Sen. Heitkamp why they voted against the tax cuts that’ve pushed the US economy into overdrive.

That’s the opposite of patriotism. That’s the definition of partisanship.

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As it consistently does, the NFL players and owners are missing what the fans are telling them. To steal a phrase from history, the NFL has a penchant of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. While players, coaches and a few owners stand in defiance to … who knows what, fans are sending the NFL a clear message that the NFL seems too dense to understand. Yesterday was an historic day in the history of the NFL. This article totally misses the point.

In saying that “Donald Trump has demonstrated himself to be perhaps the one human capable of making the NFL look like a sympathetic character in our national story”, Jack Holmes displays that he hasn’t noticed that the fans are siding with President Trump. Apparently, Holmes hasn’t noticed that NFL TV ratings have suffered while the players displayed their lack of patriotism.

Later, Holmes wrote “The president set out to demonize a group of primarily black athletes exercising their First Amendment rights to protest, silently, during a ceremony celebrating American values because they do not think America is living up to those values. It seems his attempt to isolate and marginalize them has only grown their movement.” First, characterizing this as mostly being about race is dishonest. Players of all races participated in dishonoring the American flag and the National Anthem. Next, this isn’t about the First Amendment because the Supreme Court has ruled that businesses can dictate employees’ conduct while they’re in the workplace. Third, if the players and owners want to further damage their product, they should keep doing what they’re doing.

I wonder how long before it sinks in that fans don’t appreciate the NFL’s unpatriotic behavior. Perhaps this will help the NFL recognize that the fans aren’t with them:

The NFL’s ratings are dropping. Fans are speaking out. The players continue to act like spoiled brats. In other words, the NFL is acting like Democratic activists while the fans stay rooted in reality. The question now is how long it will take for the NFL to figure things out. Based on past history, there isn’t much reason to be hopeful that they’ll figure things out.

UPDATE: I don’t think it will take long for Commissioner Goodell to get the message that this isn’t working for them. The NFL’s ratings are tanking:

Last night’s SNF peaked with a 12.5/20 during the second quarter at 9 – 9:30 PM ET. Not that such a number can feel good to the NFL with ratings down double-digits this season so far after taking a similar tackle last year.

The NFL’s activism is killing the proverbial golden goose. If the players persist in insulting fans in the name of activism, the NFL should prepare for significantly smaller TV revenue.

UPDATE II: If the NFL ratings aren’t enough to get the NFL’s attention, perhaps this will:

Alejandro Villanueva jersey sales are skyrocketing after he was the lone member of the Pittsburgh Steelers to stand for the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

The Democratic Party of Hubert Humphrey, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Scoop Jackson is ancient history. The Democratic Party of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, aka The One-Man Pocket Veto, and (especially) Chuck Schumer can be described succinctly. They party of Obama, Reid and Schumer is all obstruction, all the time.

This article highlights just how unhinged today’s Democratic Party is. The article opens by saying “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Monday predicted that Democrats would launch a filibuster against whoever President Trump picks for the Supreme Court. ‘This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,’ Merkley told Politico. ‘We will use every lever in our power to stop this. … I will definitely object to a simple majority.'”

This isn’t surprising. Democrats are upset because they thought they’d get former President Obama’s third term. They thought they’d win back the majority in the Senate, too, so they could confirm lots of liberal justices. Instead, they nominated a corrupt politician who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead, they gained 2 seats in the Senate when they needed 5.

The important point, though, is that today’s Democratic Party isn’t interested in being public servants who listen to their constituents. Today’s Democratic Party isn’t interested in putting America first. Today’s Democratic Party is mostly about complaining when they don’t get their way. Today’s Democratic Party is about obstruction when people say no to their ideological wish list.

Simply put, Sen. Merkley has passionately and emphatically stated that his fidelity is to the Democratic Party, not the people he was elected to represent or the Constitution he swore an oath to defend.

The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), which has ties to McConnell, quickly sent out emails questioning whether the red-state Democrats would back Merkley’s filibuster.

Of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the group said: “Will he stand with the people of his state who overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump to be able to pick a Supreme Court nominee? Or will he stand with [Sens.] Elizabeth Warren [Mass.], Bernie Sanders [Vt.], and the rest of the Democratic caucus that only cares about its far left base of permanent protesters?”

If Democrats want to filibuster President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, let them. That will expose them as obstructionists who obstruct for the sake of appeasing their political base. Democrats don’t care about this:

Democrats only care about maintaining power.

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When I wrote this post early Monday morning, I was stunned at what Doug Schoen, Bill Clinton’s former pollster, said on Fox Report with Harris Faulkner. What caught my attention is what half-frightened Ms. Faulkner. Mr. Schoen said “As you know, I have been a supporter of Secretary Clinton… But given that this investigation is going to go on for many months after the election… But if the Secretary of State wins, we will have a president under criminal investigation, with Huma Abedin under criminal investigation, with the Secretary of State, the president-elect, should she win under investigation. Harris, under these circumstances, I am actively reassessing my support. I’m not a Trump –”

At that point, Faulkner replied “Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. You are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton?”

When I saw this video, I saw that it was a rather lengthy video at over 13 minutes. Immediately, I thought it was the video of the entire Political Insiders segment, something that I’d wanted to see. When I started watching the video, though, it was immediately clear that this wasn’t from Sunday night’s show. That was confirmed when Ms. Faulkner said that it was streaming live on Facebook. First, here’s the video:

It’s a lengthy video but it’s worth watching it from beginning to end. Right at the start, Ms. Faulkner had a discussion with Mr. Schoen over what happened on Sunday night’s Fox Report. Here’s a partial transcript of that opening conversation:

HARRIS FAULKNER: But first, the man who made news on Fox Report Sunday night, last night, by saying that, after all the many years, decades, that he’s known Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, he’s had a change of heart and I want to bring in Doug Schoen. So, first of all, it’s great to see you.
DOUG SCHOEN: It’s great to see you, too.
FAULKNER: We’re sitting on set last night and we’re always on our devices and I didn’t realize this was happening but you made an announcement. What was it?
SCHOEN: Here’s what I said. I said that after working very harmoniously and I think very successfully for Bill Clinton for 6 years in the White House, and having been a steadfast supporter of Hillary Clinton — I helped her in her Senate campaigns, been a supporter of her first presidential campaign and, until last night, her second presidential campaign, I said ‘given what’s happened, I just cannot continue to support her candidacy. I’m not changing to become a Trump supporter. My world view is the same but I can’t vote somebody who can yield or produce an immediate constitutional crisis.

This isn’t the script for Mrs. Clinton’s coronation. Mrs. Clinton still might win but I’m guaranteeing that this won’t yield the coronation DC’s pundits predicted after the first presidential debate.

I’ve been searching for a liberal who was an American first for years. There’s no disputing that Ron Fournier is an American first. I hadn’t found another one until Sunday night. That’s when I found 2 of them: Patrick Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster in 1980, and Doug Schoen, Bill Clinton’s pollster for 6 years.

The unanswered question is whether Schoen’s shocking announcement gives other DLC Democrats ‘permission’ to abandon Mrs. Clinton. We’ll find out in a week.

Jim Geraghty’s post, titled If You’re Explaining, You Los- Eh, No, Wait, You’re Doing Your Job., demolishes Donald Trump’s fanatical rant that voters were disenfranchised. When Geraghty wrote “You vote for delegates at your precinct March 1; the delegates you elect vote among themselves for delegates to district and statewide conventions; at the district and statewide conventions, those delegates vote on who goes to Cleveland. Boom. Done.” he gutted Trump’s whining complaints with the greatest of ease.

Still, I’d add that Trump’s done something much more disgusting than just lie about the process. By saying that “one million Republicans in Colorado were sidelined,” Trump essentially said that the 65,000 people that participated in Colorado’s precinct caucuses on March 1 don’t count as real Republicans. Shame on Mr. Trump. They did something he wasn’t willing to do. They participated in the political process. They didn’t just whine about how awful America is. They stepped forward. They offered solutions for fixing the mess left by 8 years of Barack Obama. By now, they’re working hard getting legislative and congressional candidates elected.

By comparison, Mr. Trump has flown around the country, held rallies where he complained about being treated unfairly, told people that they should punch protesters if they acted up and bragged about how he’s doing in the polls.

If saying outrageous things and lying are qualifications for being president, talk radio is filled with qualified presidential candidates.

Mr. Trump complains about the power brokers who’ve rigged the game in their favor while pretending to fight for working people. That’s another myth worth dispelling. Trump is for Trump. Period. If Trump cared about voters, he wouldn’t be disparaging them for their participation in the political process. Why isn’t he working as hard as they are in getting conservatives elected?

If Trump wants to make America great again, here’s a suggestion: don’t contribute to Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Here’s another suggestion: stop supporting single-payer health care. Stop supporting tax increases. Stop supporting economic isolationism.

Comparatively speaking, Trump isn’t a patriot. In fact, Trump doesn’t fit the dictionary definition of patriot:

  1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
  2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.

Standing behind a podium and complaining isn’t defending “his nation and its interests with devotion.” That’s what whiners do. Here’s the definition of whiner:

to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way

It’s stunning that a man who’s received $2,000,000,000+ worth of free air time on TV and radio think that he’s being mistreated.

When Trump isn’t bragging about how good he’s doing in the polls, he’s complaining about getting mistreated. I can’t wait until we don’t have to deal with Trump’s complaining.

Comparing the GOP activists in Colorado with Trump isn’t fair. The activists work hard to make America the best it can possibly be. Trump complains, then passes the buck for his lack of leadership.

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Today’s big news from the campaign trail is that Sen. Cruz won a majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention. Since the delegates are technically not bound, however, it’s impossible to state with certainty that they’re Cruz delegates.

On the pro-Trump spin trail, Trump’s supporters insist that following the well-written and long-established rules for the Republican National Convention is anti-American. For instance, Laura Ingraham is upset that the rules are being followed, saying “GOP Establ delegate games in TN & LA proves that they wd rather blow up the party than change on issues driving @realDonaldTrump voters.”

Like others who’ve been infected with Trump’s mind control disease, Ms. Ingraham’s insistence that following the rules is playing games. I’d love hearing Ms. Ingraham explain that statement. Yesterday, a Branch Trumpidian insisted that Republicans were stealing Trump’s nomination. The Trumpsters didn’t like hearing that it wasn’t Trump’s nomination until he accumulated a majority of the delegates. While Trump frequently talks about leading the silent majority, the truth is that he’s leading a noisy plurality. This picture speaks volumes:

The implication is that only Trump voters are “patriots, vets and voters.” Obviously, that’s a lie. While there’s no doubt that patriots, vets and voters support Trump, there’s no doubt that patriots, vets and voters support Cruz and Kasich, too.

For Trump’s supporters to hint that they’ve got a lock on those people is intentionally insulting and divisive. If Trump insists that he’s trying to bring the GOP together. There’s nothing in his supporters’ words that say he’s capable of uniting people other than uniting them in opposition to him.

It’s time for people like Laura Ingraham to accept reality that they aren’t the final arbiters of who’s patriotic and worthy of support.

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I’ve watched the video of Red Skelton reciting the Pledge of Allegiance many times. It’s never failed to lift my spirits. Here is that video:

This most recent time, a few words struck me and stayed with me, possibly because of recent events. Here’s the text of Red Skelton’s commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance:

When I was a small boy in Vincennes, Indiana, I heard, I think, one of the most outstanding speeches I ever heard in my life. I think it compares with the Sermon on the Mount, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Socrates’ Speech to the Students.

We had just finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he [Mr. Lasswell, the Principal of Vincennes High School] called us all together, and he says, “Uh, boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems that it has become monotonous to you. Or, could it be, you do not understand the meaning of each word? If I may, I would like to recite the pledge, and give you a definition for each word:

I — Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge — Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.

Allegiance — My love and my devotion.

To the Flag — Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody’s job.”

of the United — That means we have all come together.

States — Individual communities that have united into 48 great states; 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country —

Of America.

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation — Meaning “so blessed by God.”

[Under God]

Indivisible — Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice — The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All — For All. That means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

Now let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance
to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands;
one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That is a prayer” — and that be eliminated from our schools, too?

This time, this part of the Pledge jumped out at me:

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

Let’s ask ourselves a fundamental question this Independence Day. Let’s think it through before answering because getting this question right is essential.

Does our government see itself as getting its authority from the people? Or does our government think that they give us our marching orders? When the Supreme Court told us that each of the sovereign states had to do what the Supreme Court instructed them to do, it’s undeniable that government was telling We the People what to do. Isn’t it true that we’re ruled more by bureaucrats appointed by politicians than we’re governed by We The People?

This sentence stood out, too:

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

When people live in fear of the IRS or the Justice Department destroying their lives simply because they have different political beliefs, then Americans of all political stripes need to throw people out. ASAP. Government that tells We The People what they can and can’t do is a destructive, tyrannical force. Whether this government is as tyrannical as the government that we declared our independence from 239 years ago today is something that historians can argue about.

Still, there’s no credible disputing that the current government isn’t the virtuous government that our Founding Fathers gave us.