Converting One Young Person at a Time


I walked back to our Receiving department this morning to check out something on our hold shelf. The smart young man who works there asked me what I thought of last night’s State of the Union speech. Now, in the past, this young man has been a leftist and we have argued back and forth congenially. Today, however, he told me that he was really impressed with the President’s speech, and we laughed over Nancy Pelosi’s juvenile conduct with her copy of the speech. He says that he is now a supporter and I asked him what changed his mind.

He told me that, on YouTube, he had seen a video by a young black woman, who was familiar with US history, and who took her viewers on a tour through black history, emphasizing which party was the real bigoted one, and which party actually improved the lot of black people in America.

Van Jones Warns Democrats


Van Jones (former Obama official, current CNN Contributor) has a warning for Democrats following the State of the Union address. They need to take Trump seriously if they want to win. Trump has a great week. His acquittal is all but guaranteed, Iowa was a disaster for the Democrats, and the State of Union speech was strong. Trump is signaling that he is going to do something that Republicans have traditionally not done well — he is courting the Black vote. He is helping them in “real life.”

State of the Union, Pelosi ripping up the speech, the Senate impeachment vote, and the ongoing incompetence of Iowa Democrats. We’ve got it all for you today on Wednesday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they applaud the amazing number of record-low unemployment statistics cited by President Trump in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. They’re also big fans of conservative policy ideas espoused in the speech and note the impressive guests Trump invited and highlighted in his address. In contrast, they also assess House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up her copy of the speech right after Trump finished and what is says about Democrats nine months before Election Day. Finally, they have plenty more to say as Iowa Democrats release more than two-thirds of the caucus results but aren’t sure when or if the rest of the votes will be announced.

State of the Union ‘Stronger Than Ever Before’


Early in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Trump declared “the state of our union is stronger than ever before.” Behind him, Pelosi sucked her teeth while the Democrats seethed. And thus begins the 2020 re-election campaign. (We can’t count Iowa as the beginning since Dems still haven’t figured out who won.)

Instead of lofty words, Trump opened with a litany of facts and figures. Lowest unemployment in 50 years. Unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans at the lowest level in history. African-American poverty at the lowest rate ever recorded. Female unemployment the lowest in 70 years.

Democrats sat stone-faced, grumbling amongst themselves as the good news piled up. Most impressive was that these are verifiable facts, not spin or vague promises.

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I have to keep score at a varsity girls’ high school basketball game tonight. It’s our last home game this season, which means it’s the night we honor the seniors on the team. That will drag the game out a little longer than normal; with any luck, we’ll go into triple overtime and, thanks to […]

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An Extra Credit Question


Years ago, I was beginning as a student teacher in a middle school in Westchester County, New York.  It was exam week for the kids, and since I was new in town, I was given the task of coming up with an extra credit question for the 8th grade American History class.  It was about 11:30 a.m, almost lunchtime.

I came up with this: “Who is Christa McAuliffe?”

Varieties of Democrats’ Anti-Trumpism


The phalanx of morose expressions that greeted President Trump’s first State of the Union speech made Eeyore look like an optimist; indeed, if frowns are supposed to trigger more muscles than smiles, Democrats’ facial calisthenics must have left them exhausted as they slunk out of the chamber scorching the air with resentment on the way. Although their serial scowling hints uniformity, the following taxonomy that categorizes recent and well-publicized events suggests at least a few differences among them.

The Intellectually Challenged. Certainly, this is a delicate topic, but if most of us assume charitably that politicians are reasonably intelligent, being slapped with hefty doses of Democrats’ behavior during Trump’s first year demands a reevaluation. The classic smackdown belongs to Ann Coulter in her pre-Trump evisceration of Senator Patty Murray, who praised Osama bin Laden for building day-care and health-care facilities for a grateful population, making their lives better. “I defy anyone to produce something stupider ever uttered by a homo sapiens,” Coulter huffed.

Her judgment was premature; Maxine Waters and a menagerie of colleagues too numerous (and too embarrassing) to list easily surpass Murray’s numbskull comments. Although she almost certainly did not think that Taco Bell was a Mexican phone company, she cannot run away from her fear that if “North Korea nukes us, Trump’s gonna get us into a war!” Democrats desperately need huge vetting staffs for their less astute mouthpieces, especially when Trump is discussed.

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Dear fellow Americans and distinguished congress-people and senators, the state of the union is good. I’m president. I broke the glass ceiling barring women from the highest office in the land. [long coughing spell. TV takes long ad break] Yes, its true, unemployment is up and inflation is up a little, 9% this month, but […]

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Here’s the latest news on my iPhone’s lock screen. I can’t recall the MSM saying anything like Obama “made bold claims” or that reactions to his SOTU were “mixed,” can you? As usual, they’re not lying. But they ain’t telling it like it is either. Preview Open

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Trump’s SOTU Triumph, Democrats’ Defeat


At 5,100 words, President Trump’s first State of the Union address was one of the longest on record. But that’s not the only reason Democrats were checking their watches. Trump set aside his bombastic communications style to solemnly deliver the most conservative SOTU since the Reagan era. And it put Dems in an awful pickle.

Trump used the hour and 20 minutes of spin-free airtime to report a year of news that the mainstream media never quite got around to telling. “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.” As Trump spoke, Nancy Pelosi sucked her teeth.

“Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.” The Congressional Black Caucus glared at Trump with their arms folded.

Obama Is Right. America Remains Pretty Awesome. But We Can Be Even More Awesome.


In his State of the Union speech last night, President Obama declared, “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

He has a point. In fact, it’s not a particularly difficult argument to make. Despite a historically slow recovery, America continues to grow much faster than its advanced economy competitors. (Great Stagnation? Are you talking about China?) No large economy generates as many high-impact new companies as America, and no large economy is as competitive. The US remains the top destination for the world’s job seekers. Among most advanced economies, the working-age population will shrink over the coming decades. But America’s will grow. And given the difficulty of measuring the new digital economy with old wheat-and-steel economy metrics, Goldman Sachs warns that Americans should “be skeptical of confident pronouncements that the standard of living is growing much more slowly than in the past.”

Not that Team America doesn’t face challenges. Of course it does. It always does. Demographics will make fast growth harder than it has been in the past. Technology may be advancing faster and transforming labor markets more quickly than our education system is able to equip most children to fully exploit it. Our government doesn’t do particularly well in providing the key services we currently demand from it.  It’s also made financial promises it’s unlikely to keep. Too many people still aren’t working or working for decent pay. Upward mobility may not be getting worse but it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Americans are worried, with two-thirds thinking the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The State of Obama Address


president-obama-sotuPresidential State of the Union addresses have something of a checkered past.

What started as an “annual message” in 1790—all the US Constitution dictates is the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union”—nominally changed in 1946, then crept into television’s prime time beginning in 1965.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan took the big speech in yet another direction, not for the better: “heroes” in the House gallery. Reagan did it to salute an average Joe named Lenny who jumped into an icy river to save a plane-crash survivor. Since then, it’s been a seemingly inexhaustible supply of human props meant to back a presidential agenda. A pathway to America’s future, it would seem, must include a little pathos.

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The Constitution declares that the President of the United States shall “… from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient …” (Article 2, Section 3) The history of the State of the Union reflects […]

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Who Would You Invite to the State of the Union?


clint-eastwood-chair-rnc-2012We did it, America! The nation has survived to witness Obama’s last State of the Union address. Granted, he still has 12 more months to let us get taken over by Uruguay or sign an executive order ceding all 50 states to Belgium, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

As usual, the First Lady invited a slew of special guests to join her in the gallery, a convention first popularized when Nancy Reagan invited Lenny Skutnik, a federal worker who had rescued a plane crash victim from the Potomac.

According to the White House, tonight’s guests “tell the story of the progress we have made since the president delivered his first address seven years ago.” They include Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Maj. Lisa Jaster, one of the first female Army Reserve officers to graduate from Ranger School; Refaai Hamo, a Syrian refugee who lives in Troy, Mich.; and Cedric Rowland, a Chicago Obamacare “navigator.”

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Polaris<br>A sailor’s song A sailor’s song for us at sea<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;in times when spirits sag,<br>for us heirs of Aeneas ‘neath<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;John Locke’s or Gadsden’s flag,<br>in times when seas bid welcome down<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;to Davy Jones’ tomb,<br>this song of sweet Polaris:<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;star to point away from doom. Preview Open

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Sorry, Obama: No One’s Listening


The panelists on CNN were eager to hear the President deliver his sixth State of the Union address. The third-place cable news network chose commentators from across the American political spectrum, ranging from Obama’s former Special Advisor Van Jones to Obama’s former Press Secretary Jay Carney. (Obama’s unofficial debate coach Candy Crowley was unavailable.) Throughout the pre-game coverage CNN ran a countdown clock in the upper left corner, much like the on-screen visual used when MacGyver needed to defuse a bomb.

Despite the network’s desire to flesh out news stories for their already written “Obama’s back!” ledes, not even the President’s allies shared journalists’ excitement: