This week’s State of the Union (SOTU) speech and the on-going FBI Follies dominated the news, as expected. The Grammys followed the footsteps of the Oscars. Nothing else was able to make a dent:
- Grammys: The Anti-Trump Show!
- The FBI Fears Disclosure
- State of the Union: When Inclusiveness Is Divisive
Hollywood continued their anti-Trump “resistance” with the Grammy Awards. Hillary Clinton (was she a nominated musical artist?) starred in a skit mocking President Trump which referred to the discredited (but still revered by Hollywood) Fire And Fury book. Some consider the focus on politics to be overshadowing the celebration of music, in addition to being out-of-touch with everyone except Hollywood.
This may be impacting the ratings; the 2018 Grammys had the lowest ratings in nine years, since 2009! Despite Democrat “resistance”, President Trump’s SOTU (below) had more than twice as many viewers!
That memo from House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes reportedly describing the many ways the FBI has been botching things? It will be released today (Friday.) It couldn’t be released earlier due to the process, which requires the President have five days to review it.
President Trump isn’t really, despite media reports, “ordering release” of it. He can’t. This is more of a pocket-signing situation; if he fails to object, it is released. Trump has said he would approve releasing the memo. The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, is objecting over edits that Chairman Nunes made without his prior review/approval… even though he’d asked for the FBI to have a say and Nunes claims the changes were minor and grammatical except for a few made at the request of the FBI.
That the FBI doesn’t want the memo released saying they were “…provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” The media, who is usually for releasing secrets, doesn’t want these secrets released. Of course, Nunes considers this all B.S., as the FBI has been withholding data and ignoring subpoenas all along.
The memo is the Republicans’ attempt to get around the FBI’s continued stonewalling and selective-leaking against President Trump, due to that stonewalling. Reportedly the memo alleges senior FBI officials abused their authority by using a secret surveillance program (FISA) to target the Trump campaign in 2016. The impropriety stemming from the belief that the evidence provided to gain the warrant was built primarily on the Steele dossier (which was partially funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC).
This was going to be big news regardless. It was Trump’s first State of the Union. And, as expected, it generated some controversy.
- The speech was very successful – according to polls, about 75% of viewers approved of it.
- When President Trump accurately stated, “African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded“, the Congressional Black Caucus remained seated, stone-faced and silent. This is widely considered a sign of their partisanship over the interests of black Americans.
- The Democrats “refused” to stand or applaud even on news of the great economy and low overall, including black, unemployment.
- Trump has a hit with “Americans are dreamers, too“, a statement that sounds unifying: “Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”
- The Democrats are claiming that this is divisive because it’s like saying “All Lives Matter“ when their point is it is black lives that are more at risk. (Blacks are five times more likely to be murdered than whites… but over 90% of those murders are by other blacks. Other groups caring may not help much.)
- Trump generally refers to DACA rather than Dreamers. DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It was an Executive Action signed by President Obama in June 2012. “Dreamers” are named after the DREAM Act – Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors, which was proposed in the Senate in 2001, but never passed. So DACA is an unconstitutional end-run around the law, which President Trump has asked Congress to formalize, while DREAM is a failed bill. Neither one has been law, but there are no DREAM recipients.
- Trump has said, “I’ve been hearing about DACA for so many years. Some people call it ‘dreamers.’ It’s not dreamers. Don’t fall into that trap. It’s just much different than dreamers. And I said the other night, we have dreamers too. We have dreamers in this country too. You can’t forget our dreamers. We have a lot of dreamers here.”This is true, but their nickname is now Dreamers, so it’s a bit pedantic.
- Trump claimed it was the most watched SOTU ever. Nope. Obama’s first SOTU had more viewers (48M watched Obama versus 45.6M watching Trump). However Trump’s SOTU did have nearly 26M more viewers than the Grammys!