Trump is Still Odds-On Favorite to Win Re-Election. Wall Street Agrees.

by Christopher Paslay

Fake news stories and threats of impeachment have had minimal impact on President Trump’s chances of re-election in 2020.    

As the old saying goes, money talks, and B.S. walks.  And despite the bovine excrement pouring out of Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and all the pundits, politicians, and swamp creatures who have done their damndest to lie, spy, twist, and sling mud at President Trump in order to destroy his chances at re-election, Vegas odds-makers and Wall Street power brokers know the truth: Trump is still the prohibitive favorite to win in 2020.

According to the website “The Lines” which tracks the American sports betting industry:

Donald Trump opened at even odds of +100, or even money. This means you would need to wager $100 to win $100 (and $10 to win $10). Since the Democratic debates have begun, Trump’s odds have improved as high as -120. This means you would need to wager $120 to win $100.

As of September 25th, with the launch of Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry and all the negative news coverage surrounding Trump’s Ukraine phone call, betting odds have barely moved.  The popular Bet365 and Betway both have Donald Trump at +110 to win re-election, and Odds Shark lists Trump at +120.  In contrast, major sports betting sites list Elizabeth Warren between +275 and +300, and Joe Biden between +550 and +650.  

Not that odds-makers are perfect.  In 2016, Trump was listed by most betting sites at 500/1. According to “The Lines”:

When Donald Trump declared for President, he was priced at 500/1, or +50000 on betting sites. This means that the implied odds gave Trump a 0.2% chance of winning the presidency.

So, if you saw Donald Trump listed as 500/1, a moneyline wager of $1 winning would return $500. If you see it priced at +50000, then a $100 bet would return $50,000 profit.

For the 2020 Presidential election, Donald Trump is the “odds-on” favorite on some sports betting sites, where he’s priced at 1/1 or +100.

Financial investors are confident in Trump as well. In March, a poll of Wall Street insiders showed that over 70 percent expect him to win re-election in 2020. As stated by CNBC:

“Most expect Trump to win in 2020, but there’s still some nervousness around the event,” Lori Calvasina, RBC’s head of U.S. equity strategy, wrote to clients. Sixty-seven percent “of our March 2019 survey respondents believe that Joe Biden is seen as the most acceptable Democratic candidate by the stock market for the White House. No other candidate got a significant number of votes.” . . .

Presidential elections can have important implications for financial markets based on what traders believe the elected candidate will prioritize while in office. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied more than 450 points in the two days following Trump’s election in 2016 and jumped nearly 8 percent into year-end as investors grew confident in future corporate tax reform and big spending.

Currently, even after the launch of the impeachment inquiry by Democrats and the horrendously biased coverage by the mainstream press, Wall Street still believes Trump is safe.  As reported by CNBC on September 25th:

Investors shouldn’t worry about what a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump could mean for his current term or even his reelection chances, Wall Street investment banks advised clients.

But what they really should be worried about, Washington policy analysts said, is what the impeachment inquiry means for a potential trade deal with China and an already agreed-upon deal with Canada and Mexico. Investors also can forget about any new legislation like a drug prescription policy, they said.

Although Democrats are willing to both cripple Americans financially and hinder their health insurance as a means of hurting Trump, it appears this strategy isn’t working.  In fact, it may be having the opposite effect: Trump’s re-election is now more important than ever, especially if Americans want to steady the economy, keep and reform private health insurance, and engage in fair trade with China and North America.  

But money does have a way of talking.  And right now, most of the cash is coming in on Trump.       


No, Youth Sports Aren’t Being ‘Hijacked’ by the Wealthy

President Donald Trump talks to his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump as they watch former NFL star Herschel Walker throw a football during the White House Sports and Fitness Day event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

by Christopher Paslay

A rich array of sports programs and college grants are available to any child of any background who wants to take advantage of them.

According to Derek Thompson at The Atlantic, meritocracy is killing high school sports. Not cellphones, or video games, or father absenteeism, but wealthy families hijacking athletics at the expense of the poor. Thompson writes:

If you want to understand how income inequality and opportunity-hoarding by the rich can combine in toxic ways to hurt the less fortunate, you could look in all the usual places—elite colleges, housing policy, internships.

Or you could look at high-school sports.

There is no need to read past these opening lines, as Thompson has given you everything he wants you to take away from his article: America’s rich are so greedy that their “opportunity hoarding” has now tainted even high school sports, killing participation and further disenfranchising the poor.  The fact that participation in high school sports hasn’t declined, and that affluent families do not kill athletics doesn’t seem to concern Thompson in the slightest; he simply contorts reality to fit around his grievance-driven narrative.

“In the 2018–19 school year, the number of kids participating in high-school sports declined for the first time in three decades,” Thompson writes, drawing on information from a recent survey. What Thompson doesn’t mention, of course, is that in the 2017–18 school year, participation in high school sports was at an all-time record high, with 7,980,886 students joining at least one team.  And although the 2018–19 school year was down slightly, it was still the third-highest ever, with 7,937,491 participants.  So when Thompson says meritocracy is killing high school sports, what he means is that there was record participation in high school sports over the past two years.   

“The most obvious reason for the decline of high-school sports is that football, the Friday-night-lit mainstay of the high-school experience, is withering on the vine, likely due to fears about injuries and head trauma,” Thompson goes on to state in his article.  “Many schools cannot field a full team and have resorted to a six-on-six version, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). America’s most popular sport on television could be close to a full-blown crisis.”

Football is “withering on the vine”? Seriously?  

Football is by far the biggest and most popular boys high school sport in America, with 1,006,013 students participating last school year—nearly double that of boys outdoor track, which was second with 605,354 participants.  Similarly, Thompson’s claim that “many schools cannot field a full team and have resorted to a six-on-six version,” is ridiculous.  According to the NFHS, 14,247 high schools still offer 11-player football—which is an increase of 168 from last year; data from the past two years indicates that the average number of boys involved in 11-player football on a per-school basis is a whopping 70.  As for America’s most popular sport on television?  The NFL made over $16 billion in revenue in 2018, far from a “full-blown crisis.”

Although injuries and head trauma have had an impact on participation in high school sports, technology has had an ever bigger impact.  Thompson briefly considers this in his article, but quickly dismisses it, instead turning his focus back on his meritocracy theory.  “Kids from homes earning more than $100,000 are now twice as likely to play a team sport at least once a day as kids from families earning less than $25,000,” he states, citing Tom Farrey, the executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program.  But a closer look at “State of Play,” Aspen Institute’s research report analyzing the trends of scholastic sports, shows that family income is only a small component of a very complex issue, and that technology does have a significant impact on sports participation.  

“We need to realize that the youth sports model is being disrupted in the same sense that the newspaper industry, cable TV, books and so many other sectors have been,” states Chris Marinak, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president, who is involved in Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program.  “What we need to do is redefine the value proposition and show that sports is a much better experience than digital entertainment for kids because it provides so many benefits from the standpoint of health, social interaction, and leadership skills development.” 

But Thompson downplays such information in the report, choosing to frame sports participation as a social justice issue:

The deeper story is that the weed of American-style meritocracy is strangling the roots of youth sports. As parents have recognized that athletic success can burnish college applications, sports have come to resemble just another pre-professional program, with rising costs, hyper-specialization, and massive opportunity-hoarding among the privileged.

Basically, Thompson argues that specialization in youth sports and obsessive competition in high school sports—where affluent parents remove their children from neighborhood teams in order to get them involved with high profile clubs as a means of gaining college admission—sucks the talent from the general population, thus decimating youth organizations and leaving the poor kids to rot.  This, of course, is nonsense.  The problem facing youth organizations is not a lack of talent produced by rich kids joining clubs, but a lack of participation in sports by communities themselves.  

The breakdown of the nuclear family has had an enormous impact on sports at all levels, especially father absenteeism. Dads don’t need to be rich to teach their sons or daughters how to catch a ball or swing a bat, and they don’t need to be privileged suburbanites to volunteer to coach or assist at practice, or to line the field or help run the scoreboard at games.  

Dads do, however, need to be there.  Tragically, especially in poor and minority communities, dads aren’t there.  Interestingly, as the percentage of African American out-of-wedlock births have drastically gone up during the past several decades (from 24% in 1965 to 77% in 2019), the number of black Major League Baseball players have drastically gone down (from 20% in 1975 to only 7% in 2019).  Which is why Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program has initiated their “Parent Engagement Campaign.”  As mentioned in “State of Play” study:

Project Play 2020 members recognize the need to empower parents as agents of change, from the grassroots up. It’s why Aspen partnered with Target to create the Project Play Check-lists—10 questions parents can ask themselves, their child and local sport providers that will help build an athlete for life. 

The study also called for community involvement, concluding that neighborhood engagement is vital for youth sports participation. Which is why, as noted in the study, President Trump nominated new members for the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, asking Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to develop a national strategy to increase youth sports participation, including developing metrics to gauge participation and physical activity.

As with technology, Thompson refuses to acknowledge the significant impact parents and the community have on high school sports, and how their lack of involvement hurts overall participation.  

To conclude his article, Thompson brings up college sports scholarships, stating: 

You might think most of that scholarship money is going to help kids from poor families who couldn’t otherwise afford college. That’s not the case. In 2010, just 28 percent of Division I basketball players were first-generation college students, meaning they likely came from low-income families. Five years later, that figure has fallen by nine percentage points.

What Thompson doesn’t mention is that rising standards at the NCAA mean many poor kids aren’t academically eligible to accept scholarship offers, and that a growing black middle class—which have the resources and enthusiasm to get their children involved in sports at a young age—put impoverished kids at a disadvantage, too.  

Still, college scholarships, which gave out $3 billion in funds, aren’t the only ticket to an education. Pell grants, which are reserved for low-income college students, serve over 7 million families, and gave nearly $30 billion in aid in 2018—ten times as much as division I & II athletic scholarships combined.          

Meritocracy is not killing high school sports.  Far from it.  A rich array of sports programs and college grants are available to any child of any background who wants to take advantage of them.  The real issue facing high school sports participation is not “opportunity hoarding” by the rich, but a lack of interest and engagement in youth sports by parents and communities.      

Not that Thompson would want to accurately present this information to his readers. That would be called journalism, which would get in the way of his wonderfully deceptive social justice advocacy.      

Teaching Students the Truth About Police

by Christopher Paslay

Spreading propaganda about law enforcement is no way to improve relations between communities and cops.

Recently, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors introduced new language for criminals, changing “convicted felon” to “justice-involved person,” and juvenile “delinquent” to a “young person with justice system involvement,” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”

“We don’t want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done,” Supervisor Matt Haney told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.”

Haney’s reasoning makes some sense.  From both a psychological and sociological standpoint, using words with positive connotations — or, by contrast, refraining from using words with negative connotations — does affect perception, and can have an impact on behavior.  

When it comes to social justice, the influence of perception on individual behavior is taken very seriously. This may explain why unfavorable facts and data about minority groups — such as father absenteeism and out-of-wedlock births — are regularly ignored by liberals and the mainstream media.  Putting forward mainly positive images of African Americans, the thinking goes, will limit negative stereotypes, thus creating a strictly positive social perception of the black community which in turn will influence behavior and help bring about equality and justice.          

Curiously, this same approach isn’t used when dealing with the challenges facing America’s police departments.  When it comes to cops, liberals and their media allies prefer using words with negative connotations, and surprisingly, do much to portray police in a negative light.  Apparently, trying to stay positive in order to prevent negative stereotypes and inflammatory misconceptions now takes a back seat to highlighting negligence and transgressions.  But the campaign to disparage America’s cops goes beyond simply pointing out their mistakes: liberals go the extra mile, using propaganda and flat out falsehoods to systematically smear our country’s law enforcement officers.       

On August 9th, the fifth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted, “Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement.”  Elizabeth Warren did the same thing, tweeting: “5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times.”

The fact that two high profile women such as Harris and Warren would so irresponsibly misrepresent the facts of Brown’s death is cause for concern.  Brown wasn’t murdered by a police officer.  After a thorough investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department, it was determined that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Brown in self-defense; the DOJ didn’t prosecute and Wilson wasn’t indicted.  As cited in the DOJ’s official report, when Wilson tried to stop the six-foot-four, 290-pound Michael Brown (who was walking down the middle of the street after stealing a box of cigarillos and assaulting a store owner), Brown shoved Officer Wilson back into his patrol car, punched him in the face, and tried to take his gun.  The gun went off, hitting Brown in the hand, and Brown ran.  When Officer Wilson got out of his car and ordered Brown to stop, the 290-pound man turned around, charged at Wilson, and was ultimately shot and killed. 

Incredibly, the website PolitiFact, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for fact checking, refused to issue a ruling on whether Harris and Brown made a false claim when they used the word murdered.  “Because the significance of Harris’ and Warrens’ use of the word is open to some dispute, we won’t be rating their tweets on the Truth-O-Meter,” the fact check website wrote.

On August 16, the Los Angeles Times published an article with much of the same divisive anti-police undertones.  Headlined, “Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America,” the article proceeded to cherry pick data and misrepresent information to portray cops in the worst light possible.  As PJ Media writer Jack Dunphy pointed out:

Most readers of course will not delve beyond the headline, but even those who do will not encounter anything resembling journalism as it was once practiced. Rather, they’ll find more than 1,400 words devoted to the racial-grievance agenda that drives so much of what appears in the Los Angeles Times.  And worse, not only is journalism itself perverted with the story, but so is science, for the story is presented as such on the page and was written by Amina Khan, who is billed on the paper’s website as a “science writer.”

But there is little that is scientific about Khan’s article.  Although she provides a plethora of information to suggest that police are disproportionally violent toward minorities — and that such violence is a public health problem that has toxic effects on the physical and mental health of minority communities — Khan conveniently fails to fully explore the root causes of such violence, relying on the logical fallacy correlation implies causation, which is a favorite of liberals when trying to slander law enforcement and conjure up resentment against cops.     

But correlation doesn’t imply causation, and when taking all available information into consideration, the truth becomes clear: police aren’t racist. In fact, a police officer is 18 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.  Amina Khan, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren would be wise to watch the PragerU video “Are the Police Racist?”, which, unlike the half-truths put out by dishonest liberals, gives the full picture of the issues facing cops and minority communities.  Amazingly, this video is currently on YouTube’s “restricted” list, which means it will be filtered from being watched in schools and libraries.  When Dennis Prager filed a formal complaint and demanded to know why, YouTube stated that this video wasn’t “appropriate for the younger audiences.”  Prager’s lawyers have in turn sued YouTube and Google.  (Click here to watch this 5 minute video.)    

Here are some factual excerpts from the video not mentioned by the mainstream media:

A recent “deadly force” study by Washington State University researcher Lois James found that police officers were less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white or Hispanic ones in simulated threat scenarios. Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer analyzed more than 1,000 officer-involved shootings across the country. He concluded that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings. In Houston, he found that blacks were 24 percent less likely than whites to be shot by officers even though the suspects were armed or violent.

Or this eye-popping statistic:

An analysis of the Washington Post’s Police Shooting Database and of Federal Crime Statistics reveals that fully 12 percent of all whites and Hispanics who die of homicide are killed by cops. By contrast, only four percent of black homicide victims are killed by cops.

Or these statistics, which explain why minorities are disproportionally targeted by cops: 

According to the most recent study by the Department of Justice, although blacks were only about 15 percent of the population in the 75 largest counties in the US, they were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults. In New York City, blacks commit over three-quarters of all shootings, though they are only 23 percent of the city’s population. Whites, by contrast, commit under two percent of all shootings in the city, though they are 34 percent of the population. New York’s crime disparities are repeated in virtually every racially diverse city in America. The real problem facing inner-city black communities today is not the police but criminals.

Of course, Los Angeles Times “science” writer Amina Khan didn’t mention these statistics.  Social justice warriors like Khan never do. Why?  Because just like in San Francisco, labeling someone a “felon” is like “a scarlet letter that they can never get away from,” and may lead to negative stereotypes.  Better to silence those who bring up the other side of the argument.  Just ask Kathy Zhu, who was stripped of her 2019 Miss Michigan crown because she had the nerve to tweet this about black murder rates: “Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks?  Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”

The real tragedy here is not that America’s police are being unfairly labeled racist, or that the divide between cops and communities may be widening as a result (or that people like Dennis Prager and Kathy Zhu are being silenced for speaking the truth), but that good, law abiding folks living in many minority communities are being harmed by the irresponsible rhetoric of the Los Angeles Times, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.  As stated in the PragerU video about supposed racist cops:

Police officers are backing off of proactive policing in black neighborhoods thanks to the false narrative that police officers are infected with homicidal bias. As a result, violent crime is going up, in cities with large black populations, homicides in 2015 rose anywhere from 54 percent in Washington DC to 90 percent in Cleveland. Overall, in the nation’s 56 largest cities, homicides in 2015 rose 17 percent, a nearly unprecedented one-year spike.

If we truly want to save lives and improve relations between communities and police, it’s time to end the double standard and start holding both sides accountable in a fair, proactive manner. 

The Duplicitous Mangling of Trump’s Words

Marian Kamensky / Austria

by Christopher Paslay

The purposeful misrepresentation of Trump by the mainstream media is both shameful and dangerous.     

In July of 2016, while Hillary Clinton was doing damage control at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia after the world found out she rigged her own primary, Trump said sarcastically during a press conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” 

It was obviously a joke, and Trump said so.  But the American media, out to destroy Trump’s candidacy, pretended it wasn’t. The press went bananas, calling Trump a traitor and a spy and demanding that he be tried for treason.  It was quite disturbing, the fact that seasoned journalists would suddenly fail to understand sarcasm.  But fail to understand it they did.

A similar thing happened in August of 2017.  When violence started to escalate during a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va., Trump tweeted, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”  Later, after a 32-year-old female was hit and killed by a white nationalist’s car that ran into counterprotesters, Trump made the following statement: “We condemn in the strongest most possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

Because Trump’s short impromptu response – made during televised remarks about a bill signing already underway – failed to specifically condemn white nationalism, this could only mean one thing: Trump was defending white nationalists, or was perhaps even a white nationalist himself.  Again, the media went bonkers with such accusations, even after Trump later clarified his statement by explaining that yes, such hatred from neo-Nazis was wrong.  Interestingly, such standards weren’t applied to President Obama when he failed to specifically condemn Islamic extremism in the Fort Hood terrorist attack that killed 13 people; no one in the mainstream media suggested Obama was a Muslim terrorist, or was defending Islamic extremism.      

But this was the kind of media Donald Trump was facing when he decided to run for president in June of 2015.  A media that was not only careless with their facts and reporting, but a media that was willfully duplicitous in their coverage – a collection of “advocacy” journalists with little integrity, who purposefully misrepresented information for political reasons.

The purposeful misrepresentation of Trump by the mainstream media is both shameful and dangerous.  Manipulating information to provoke resentment is like playing with fire.  Case in point: Travon Martin.  

In February of 2012, a nearly six-foot tall, 17-year-old black kid named Trayvon Martin sucker-punched a five-foot-seven Hispanic man named George Zimmerman because Zimmerman was following him around his development in the rain.  After knocking Zimmerman to the ground (whom Martin described as a “creepy-ass cracker”), Martin proceeded to ground-and-pound Zimmerman’s head off the cement mixed martial arts style (according to eye-witnesses at Zimmerman’s trial).  But then something unexpected happened: Zimmerman managed to pull out his gun and shoot Martin in the chest.           

The media reported the tragedy this way: Racist white man kills black middle school child for carrying a bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.  CNN reported that Zimmerman called Martin a “coon,” but later corrected the story, explaining that Zimmerman simply had said it was “cold.”  ABC News reported that there were no visible cuts or lacerations on Zimmerman’s head (based on grainy cellphone footage falsely listed as a “security camera” at the police station), but later retracted the story, as medical evidence showed there were indeed major cuts and bruises on his scalp.  And NBC News, using a nonemergency 911 call that was selectively edited by news producers, played an audio to show that the “white-Hispanic” Zimmerman was indeed a racist.    

President Obama, being biracial himself, was in the perfect position to be a neutral arbitrator, and could have attempted to unify the country.  Instead he took sides, stating, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” and later saying, “I could have been Trayvon,” the latter statement being totally ridiculous; Obama was raised by his affluent white grandparents, and given the best education money could buy.  Still, President Obama, along with his advisor on race relations, Al Sharpton (who was caught in 1987 faking a race crime with Tawana Brawley), used the tragedy to galvanize voters for the upcoming election and stoke racial tension, sparking riots and violent protests across many cities in America.       

Then there was Michael Brown.  In August of 2014, a six-foot-four, 290-pound Michael Brown stole a box of cigarillos and assaulted a store owner.  When Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson tried to stop Brown (who was walking down the middle of the street), Brown shoved Officer Wilson back into his patrol car, punched him in the face, and tried to take his gun. The gun went off, hitting Brown in the hand, and Brown ran.  When Officer Wilson got out of his car and ordered Brown to stop, the 290-pound man turned around, charged at Wilson, and was ultimately shot and killed.      

The media reported the tragedy this way: Racist white cop kills unarmed black man execution style in the street.  Soon came the phony phrase “hands up, don’t shoot,” which was based on a completely fabricated version of events.  But the media made no attempt to verify any information, and simply ran with the bogus account of the tragedy, prompting Time to put an unrelated picture of a young black male kneeling in the street with his hands up on the cover of their magazine, with the caption, “The Tragedy of Ferguson.”       

President Obama, along with his advisor on race relations, Al Sharpton (who never paid restitution for defaming Steven A. Pagones in the Tawana Brawley case until 2001), again used the tragedy to galvanize voters for the upcoming midterm election and stoke racial tension, sparking riots and violent protests in a number of cities across America.

Although the intensity of racial unrest under President Trump pales in comparison to the kind of rage fermented under Obama (remember also the killing of the five Dallas police officers during the Black Lives Matter Rally in 2016), today’s media consistently proclaims Trump’s America is more racist and hateful than ever.  Yet besides the violence perpetrated by the hard-left group Antifa – and the annoying activist mobs that pop up after things don’t go the way of the Democrats – there has been no major riot under Trump; not a single city has been destroyed like Baltimore in 2015 or Ferguson in 2014.      

Not that the media isn’t trying their damnedest to incite racial unrest and provoke resentment against Trump.  The constant reference to Trump’s “family separation policy” on the border is one example (Trump signed an executive order to stop the law that requires minors to be detained separately from adults), and the recent manipulation of Trump’s “go back home” tweets is another.

Here were Trump’s initial tweets concerning The Squad: 

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

Although only one member of The Squad wasn’t born in the United States (Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia), this still doesn’t excuse the willful misrepresentation of the tweets by the media. Notice that’s there’s two parts: Trump invites the congresswomen to go back to their home countries, and he also invites them to come back, as well.  It’s the second part of the tweet that the media (and the Democrats) conveniently ignore.  Trump is basically saying, Put your money where your mouth is. In other words, if you want to constantly criticize the way I do things, let’s see you do better.  Go to the broken places where you come from (like Somalia), fix them, and then COME BACK TO AMERICA and tell us how it’s done.  That’s what Trump tweeted.

Of course, that’s not how the media is spinning it.  The press, in conjunction with The Squad and fellow Democrats, are claiming the tweet was a racist call by Trump for the women to get out of the country and “go back” to where they came from (notice the phrase “go back” is always isolated in quotes and taken out of the context of the rest of the tweet), because they’re not really American, and they’re not really welcome here.          

But that’s not at all what Trump meant.  And even when he clarified his statement in a press conference, the mainstream media still kept the original spin, proving they care more about maligning Trump than accurate reporting.  

This is exactly what is meant by the term fake news.   It’s irresponsible, shameful, and very dangerous.

Ironically, Trump is Megan Rapinoe’s Biggest Ally

by Christopher Paslay

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe continues to spread misinformation about Trump, despite his efforts to protect the integrity of women’s sports and to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations.

Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the United States women’s World Cup team, is an extremely talented soccer player.  But like many professional athletes and celebrities, her fame and fortune have impacted her ability to accurately process reality, and she lives in an alternate universe where she projects her own intolerance onto others and manufactures acts of oppression out of whole cloth.     

For all of her incessant talk of “inclusion,” she’s ironically big on the theme of exclusion.  She excluded herself from participating in the national anthem during the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, she excluded herself from accepting Trump’s invitation to visit the White House (I’m not going to the f**king White House, were her exact words), and has apparently persuaded her teammates into excluding themselves from visiting Trump, too.

During a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Rapinoe had this to say to President Trump:

“Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.  What you’re saying about Make America Great Again, I think that you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America’s great for a few people right now but it’s not great for enough Americans. . . .”   

Anderson Cooper then followed up with this comment

“The idea of Make America Great Again if it means going back to an America from the ‘40s or ‘50s, that’s an America where you could be imprisoned for being gay or you could be sent by your family to a mental hospital where you could not walk down the street holding hands with your loved one or I could not walk down the street or go dancing or anything.”

Now, excuse me if I’m a little confused, but what in God’ name are these two talking about? Anderson Cooper can’t possibly believe that “Make America Great Again” means going back to the time “where you could be imprisoned for being gay or you could be sent by your family to a mental hospital,” can he?  Of course not.  This is exactly the kind of blatant, misrepresentation of information that is ruining CNN’s reputation, and has prompted Trump to declare that they are “fake news.” 

Likewise, what does Rapinoe mean when she says Trump is “harking back to an era that was not great for everyone”?  She provides no examples, making her rhetoric meaningless, propagandistic blather that celebrities like her spout to convince themselves they’re fighting against injustice, even if that injustice needs to be created by them (think Jussie Smollett). 

Economically, everyone is doing better under Trump, especially minorities, whose unemployment rates are the lowest in 50 years.  In terms of social issues, Trump is doing much to reform the criminal justice system, and passed the “First Step Act,” lauded by both Republicans and Democrats, which provides prisoners with a second chance through rehabilitative programs, fair sentencing, and smart confinement, and helps inmates successfully transition back into society.  

Trump even opened his administration to the concerns of the African American community, inviting Kanye West – who actually went to the White House – to lead a forum designed to ease the relationship between black citizens and police.  Perhaps Rapinoe might want to watch the video, “The Young Black Conservatives of Trump’s America,” which has 3.2 million views, and features conservative actress Stacey Dash and pro-Trump activist Candace Owens, who also went to the White House to meet with Trump about important issues in the black community.  

As for Rapinoe’s ridiculous statement that Trump is excluding people that look like her, this is another example of her complete isolation from real world events, and of her penchant for gobbling down the latest anti-Trump agitprop.  Not even six weeks ago, Trump became the first Republican president ever to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month, Tweeting:

“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”  

In February of 2019, Trump even launched a global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality.  According to NBC News:

The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it’s still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

Despite Trump’s pro-LGBTQ policies, the effort to paint him as “homophobic” by people like Rapinoe continues. Specifically, LGBTQ activists bring up the fact that Trump opposed the LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill (The Equality Act, H.R. 5), but there were two reasons for this.  One, the bill, which was passed in May, gives males who identify as females the right to women’s spaces, which, according to Rep. Mike Johnson, “eliminates sex-based protections for women by forcing rape crisis centers, lady’s locker rooms, female prisons, women’s sports leagues and other sex-based organizations to admit biological males.”

Two, the bill allows biological males who identify as females to compete in women’s sports, and gives them access to athletic scholarships and Title IX funding set aside for females; Republican legislators tried to amend The Equality Act to protect women’s spaces and sports, including Title IX funding, but Democrats pushed the bill through unchanged.  

Ironically, it’s Trump who’s actually protecting the integrity of the U.S. women’s World Cup team by refusing to support a bill that gives biological males who identify as females the right to compete with women.  I wonder how Megan Rapinoe would feel if she – or any of her teammates on the World Cup soccer team, for that matter – lost their spots on the roster to transwomen (that is, biological men who identify as women)?  

This could happen sooner than you think.  In April of 2017, the FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage, 5 – 2.  And yes, Megan Rapinoe was on that team.  Allow me to repeat: the FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team, 5 – 2.  Basically, with The Equality Act now on the books, it’s only a matter of time before transgender women at any level – high school, college, or even pro – start plucking away the U.S. women’s World Cup roster, one by one.  

And what would Rapinoe have to say about that, once she’s unemployed?  Would she still hate Trump with the same level of passion?  

Only time will tell.  The universe and Mother Nature don’t take sides, and they don’t care a wit for self-righteous, uninformed soccer players, either.

Yes, You Can Wear a MAGA Hat and Still ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

by Christopher Paslay

Zack Ford, a writer for Think Progress, says you can’t wear a MAGA hat and still be a loving person.  I respectfully disagree.

Zack Ford, an LGBT advocate who covers the Trump administration for Think Progress, is having trouble feeling the MAGA love.  Recently, Zack broke off a friendship with an old high school acquaintance because the woman posted a picture of herself on Facebook wearing a MAGA hat while holding her daughter in her lap.  Although Zack and this woman, who is an evangelical Christian who believes in traditional marriage, had respectful disagreements in the past, seeing the woman “proudly wearing a MAGA hat in public – and with her daughter no less,” was too much for this man to take.  

According to Zack’s newsletter, Fording the River Styx:

It’s not just a hat. It’s a symbol of all of the oppression and injustice the Trump administration is responsible for. It’s an endorsement of caging kids, banning Muslims, firing trans people, and dozens of other ways Trump has undermined our democracy – up to and including the fascist military display that graced the National Mall last night. More than anything, “MAGA” represents the idea that some human lives are worth more than others.

Now, that’s a lot of stuff to project onto a hat.  Especially when these projections are not totally accurate representations of reality. Trump doesn’t endorse caging kids or separating families, but has signed an executive order to keep illegal immigrant families together during the detention process (the law that prohibits minors from being held in adult detention centers has been on the books for decades, which is why Trump has been fighting so hard to pass legislation that will keep children and families safe by ensuring immigrants and refugees come through legal ports of entry).  

Trump never banned Muslims, either.  The countries on his travel ban were the exact same countries on President Obama’s list, which included two non-Muslim nations and excluded Indonesia, which has over 225 million Muslims, more than any other country in the world.  In 2018 the Supreme Court agreed with the legality of the ban, and upheld Trump’s executive order.  As for the statement of a “fascist military display that graced the National Mall” on Independence Day, Zack should watch Trump’s full “Salute to America” on YouTube, which is actually pretty cool.  I don’t consider celebrating the history behind the birth of our great nation, as well as honoring the brave men and women who died for our freedom, “fascist.”  I consider it patriotic, but that’s just me.

Zack Ford (Twitter)

Still, if Zack wants to portray these events in a bitter, resentful and negative light, that’s his prerogative. His life experiences shape the seeds of his perceptions, and he has every right to water these seeds.  As the French novelist Anaïs Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”  So touché, Zack.  Project all of this stuff onto the MAGA hat, and get yourself worked into a tizzy.     

But back to Zack’s inability to tolerate his friend’s MAGA hat:

I explained all of this to my old friend. To those inclined to reject the humanity of any particular group, a MAGA hat is a symbol of affirmation – license and encouragement to continue holding those beliefs. To members of those many rejected groups, it’s a threat – a warning that such prejudice is welcome in that person’s vicinity (and may come from them directly). It’s unacceptable to me to be subjected to that symbol from someone with whom I hypothetically have mutual trust.

So Zack gave the woman an ultimatum: he’d end their friendship, unless she apologized for wearing the MAGA hat and promised to never post it on his social media feed again.  At this point Zack’s friend defended herself, saying she was equally offended by the Pride flag, which Zack said in turn was a “false equivalency,” because the MAGA hat was a symbol of “exclusion,” and the Pride flag was a symbol of “inclusion.”  Not that a single group of people has ever been prevented from voting for Trump or supporting his MAGA agenda.  In fact, the number of blacks and Hispanics backing Trump is steadily rising, as minority unemployment levels are the lowest in American history.  The same goes for American Muslims and legal immigrants: many are glad Trump is keeping them safe from terrorists and reserving jobs for actual citizens.  As for the “inclusiveness” of the Pride flag, I don’t think those who support traditional marriage – like Christian baker Jack Phillips or Chick-fil-A – are invited to the rainbow party.  

Anyway, back to Zack’s disdain for the MAGA hat:

We have free speech, but we don’t have freedom from accountability for that speech. Anyone reading this is free to wear a MAGA hat, but you can’t both wear a MAGA hat and claim to “love thy neighbor.” You can’t both wear a MAGA hat and claim to respect me or millions of other Americans. You can’t both wear a MAGA hat and believe that you’re not reinforcing hate and oppression against others. We’re way too far past such naivete at this point, and I certainly want no part in helping you to convince yourself otherwise.

That’s the best part of Zack’s letter: We’re way too far past such naivete at this point, and I certainly want no part in helping you to convince yourself otherwise.  Loose translation: Zack’s right, and everyone who disagrees with him is wrong.  Period.  End of discussion.  He doesn’t really want to have a dialogue, anyway.  He wants a monologue, a lecture, where he does all the talking and those in MAGA hats do all the listening.  Where he not only gets to define who he is and what his beliefs are, but where he also gets to define MAGA people and their beliefs, too.  See, folks like Zack want total control of the conversation.  And right now, Zack’s telling everyone that Trump’s a racist pig, and so are his supporters, and so is that stupid, maddening MAGA hat.

So don’t wear it.  Ever.

The nerve of this guy, really. But I’m not here to hate.  I’m not here to project anger and division and bitterness onto the world like Zack, I’m here to love.  If you’re reading this, Zack, allow me to apologize on behalf of the 63 million people who voted for Trump, including your old high school friend. We’re sorry, brother.  We really are.  We’re sorry you’re so infuriated by a hat, and that when you see this hat, you have the kind of meltdown that warrants the breaking up of a friendship that goes all the way back to high school (yes, the woman chose the hat over her friendship with Zack).  We’re sorry you project so much contempt and antipathy onto this hat, so much anguish and pain.    

But there is another way.  It’s the way of Gandhi, and the Buddha, and Jesus, and Martin Luther King.  You could open yourself to MAGA people like us, and actually listen to what we have to say.  And when I say listen, I mean really listen, as in seeking first to understand, and then be understood.  As in not projecting all your own baggage onto others, or onto a hat, or onto anything else.  As in not making broad generalizations about tens of millions of people, or stereotyping every MAGA hat wearer as some hateful bigot, despite the fact some may exist. I mean this with all due respect, because I don’t know you from Adam, and all I have is this letter you posted on your blog.  But know this: we’re probably the same, you and I.  We both love our neighbors and want to help make the world a better place.           

Trump people are good people, at least most of us are.  We’re not “reinforcing hate and oppression against others,” like you insist.  And there is more than one interpretation of that red hat, believe it or not.  To me, MAGA is about loving America, and freedom, and God, and the Constitution.  It’s about doing everything we can to improve the country for ALL people of ALL backgrounds, no matter their race, religion, gender, or sexuality.          

But if you want to see the MAGA hat as hateful and oppressive, that’s your right, and I respect that.  Just know there are millions of Americans, myself and your old high school friend included, who see the MAGA hat much, much differently, and you should respect that, too.                  

God bless you, Zack. May you find peace in the world and may your life go well.

Media and Big Tech Are Misinforming Our Students About Trump

by Christopher Paslay

Inaccurate and misleading information on Trump abound.  Positive stories on the president and his policies are nearly nonexistent. 

Students doing research papers on President Trump and his policies may be hard pressed for objective information that shows both sides of important issues.  Since he won the presidency in 2016, media coverage of Donald Trump has been overwhelmingly negative, leaving teenagers with an unbalanced view of the president and limited access to his achievements and the merits of his policies.  A according to a study from Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project: 

Two-thirds of news stories about Trump from his first 60 days in office were negative — more than twice the negativity seen in stories from the first 60 days of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama’s presidencies.  Meanwhile, only 5 percent of stories about Trump were positive, compared to 42 percent for Obama.

Amazingly, network news (ABC, NBC, and CBS) was 91 percent negative from January of 2016 to March of 2018.  “Out of a total of 712 evaluative comments made on the air, only 65 were positive, or 9 percent,” the Washington Times reported.  “The rest — 647 comments — were negative.”

If this wasn’t bad enough, big tech companies continue to set their search engine algorithms to bury the positives about Trump even further.  Paula Bolyard, the managing editor at PJ Media, performed a Google search for “Trump” using the search engine’s “News” tab and analyzed the results using Sharyl Attkisson’s media bias chart to test this premise:  

I expected to see some skewing of the results based on my extensive experience with Google, but I was not prepared for the blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets. Looking at the first page of search results, I discovered that CNN was the big winner, scoring two of the first ten results. Other left-leaning sites that appeared on the first page were CBS, The Atlantic, CNBC, The New Yorker, Politico, Reuters, and USA Today (the last two outlets on this list could arguably be considered more centrist than the others).  Not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of search results. 

Incredibly, 96 of the first 100 sites were from liberal media outlets; PJ Media did not appear in the first 100 results, nor did National Review, the Weekly Standard, Breitbart, the Blaze, the Daily Wire, Hot Air, Townhall, Red State, or any other conservative-leaning sites except the Wall Street Journal and Fox News.  

In January of this year, I required my 10th grade English students to write a research paper on a current event related to a policy of Donald Trump.  To my astonishment, my students were met with the same pattern of search engine results as Paula Bolyard.  In particular, students were having trouble finding relevant information on the pros of Trump policy, and were inundated with results highlighting only the cons. This, of course, hindered them from presenting both sides of their chosen issue, which was one of the requirements of the research paper.        

Information on Trump’s enforcement of illegal immigration at the border, for example, was completely one-sided and misrepresented. Articles talking about Trump’s heartlessness kept coming up, like Time magazine’s article, “Here Are the Facts About President Trump’s Family Separation Policy.” 

The inaccuracy of this article was mind-numbing.  Trump’s approach to illegal immigration on the border was simple: unlike Obama, he chose to fully enforce immigration laws.  Specifically, his policy was called “Zero Tolerance,” which meant people who broke the law and crossed the American border illegally would be prosecuted and detained.  Unfortunately, because the law stated that minors couldn’t be held in adult detention centers (or be released into the custody of anyone except a parent or relative), children had been getting separated from their families.  Trump didn’t write this law, of course.  It wasn’t his “policy” to remove kids from their parents.  In fact, he issued an executive order to try to mitigate these separations, although in some cases it couldn’t be helped.

In June of 2018, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explicitly tweeted that there was no family separation policy. “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period,” she wrote. She also stated, “This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.”

(See the Heritage Foundation’s article,“Who’s Responsible for Separating Alien Kids From Their Parents? Many People, but Not Trump” for a clear analysis of the issue.)  

So Time’s headline, “Here Are the Facts About President Trump’s Family Separation Policy,” was totally misleading and irresponsible. Again, Trump never had a policy to separate children from their families; it was simply a law that was already on the books concerning minors and detention centers.  But Time, through advocacy journalism, was not only fighting for relaxed/open borders, but was also trying to malign Trump, so the news organization felt it could misrepresent the truth; currently, Wikipedia has an entire entry titled The Trump Administration Family Separation Policy, which insists it is an official aspect of Trump’s immigration policy. 

But the challenges with the research paper didn’t stop with Time or Wikipedia.  Several of my students writing about Trump’s border policy wanted to know about Obama’s policy to serve as a comparison.  But when they Googled “Obama immigration policy at border,” an interesting thing happened: they were given more links to anti-Trump articles.  It’s true (Google “Obama immigration policy at border” and see for yourself).  The first four results linked to articles which stated “Trump falsely blames Obama for family separation policy,” or something similar (nine out of the 12 links on the first page did the same).  What did Obama’s border policies have to do with Trump being a liar?                 

Needless to say, when my students wrote their papers, some lambasted Trump for being a heartless creep intent on separating little children from their parents, which was exactly the goal of magazines like Time. It’s not that I wanted my students to agree with Trump’s policy on illegal immigration and border crossings – not at all.  I just wanted them to have accurate information.  If they advocated for open borders, or argued Trump should use catch and release, or even called for decriminalizing border crossings, that would be fine.  It would be factual, which is what true education is all about. 

But unfortunately, their research included a healthy dose of anti-Trump propaganda.  To use a cliché, I try to teach my students how to think, not what to think.  It’s a shame the mainstream media and big tech can’t do the same.