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“They” Exist!

How many times have you heard someone say, “They did it” or “They said”? We have often questioned ourselves with the puzzling question of just who this “they” is. Where do “they” live? What do “they” do for a living? What do “they” look like? Well, folks, here’s a newsflash for you.

They . . . are the establishment politicians living amongst us and supposedly looking out for us in Washington, D.C. But who are “they,” really? That is the question.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee was on the news the other day stating the obvious – that this is not a good year to be thought of as a member of the “they” group. He went on to state that we are in the middle of a political revolution. I could not agree more. The people we have elected have set themselves up as an elite group without any concern for those of us in the trenches slugging it out in the muck and grime of our daily lives.

We are not in the “in” crowd that “they” belong to. We do not get to fly first class or dine in expensive Georgetown restaurants at the expense of the taxpayers. Huckabee pointed out that the six richest counties in the nation are those closest to our nation’s capital. He states that real estate is booming with houses selling for more than their asking prices. That’s certainly not happening in my neighborhood . . . how about yours?

Just as the frog gets slowly boiled in a gradually heating pot of water, so have the average American taxpayers. We did it to ourselves; we never questioned or paid too much attention to what “they” were doing for far too many years. Now the water is boiling and some of us are jumping out and escaping, much to the chagrin of those in public office. Every day, some politician gets his hand caught in the national cookie jar and generally skates with a limp promise of . . . “It won’t happen again.”

Why did it happen in the first place? Is it any wonder that people are fed up with self-serving professional politicians who have been sucking on the governmental teat for so long they cannot see how far removed they are from those of us struggling to pay for rent, food and taxes? I suppose when you live in an Ivory Tower far above the maddening masses it is hard to identify with us average old Americans.

The political establishment is in a flee or fight mode at this time, as it appears they are absolutely astonished that those of us still able to fight would eventually get tired of their behavior and start to push back.

How dare we? How dare we question their authority or their actions? How dare we ask about their insider deals or insider trading? How could we dare question their relationships with lobbyists and governmental contractors? How dare we question their voting records on matters that mean a lot to us and that concern our daily lives, but not theirs?

Don’t we know who THEY are?

Yes, yes we do.

About the Author

Peary Perry is a former policeman and businessman,  a self-described “chronic entrepreneur.” He is now a satirical writer who reacts to the challenging events of our day, going after both Democrats and Republicans with equal zeal. In addition to his many accolades, Mr. Perry sits on the governing Board of The Proud Americans. You can learn more about him and his blogs at pearyperry.com.

The Rushmore Report – The Man Most Responsible for the Government Shutdown (It’s Not Who You Think)

So who is to blame for the recent government shutdown? Much of the media coverage has suggested that both political parties are responsible, which is, of course, laughable. While 90 percent of Senate Republicans voted to pass the Continuing Resolution that would keep the government open, 90 percent of Democrats voted against it. So the obvious answer is: Chuck Schumer and his Democratic caucus shut down the government. It was their 44 votes that did it. But not so quick. I suggest the real culprit is someone else. It was the Vice President who was most responsible.

No, not that Vice President. I’m talking about Vice President Aaron Burr. Let me explain.

Despite popular myth, the Senate was never designed to be a supermajority institution (except for approving treaties). The filibuster rule came about by accident, not design.

The year was 1805. Vice President Burr, in his role as president of the Senate, got rid of the “previous question” motion, or the rule that allowed the Senate to end debate on a bill. This was done by mistake. It was not done to allow filibusters. It would be many years later, in 1837, before a senator would use Burr’s mistake to impose the will of the minority on the majority.

And it wasn’t until 1917 that the Senate was able to add a rule to end debate (called Rule 22 or the cloture rule). But Rule 22 required a two-thirds vote to end debate, which was changed again to a three-fifths vote in 1974.

Throughout the early 20th Century, filibusters were often used to kill civil rights bills. Legislation supported by a majority of the country, such as an anti-lynching law, was prevented by the filibusters of Southern Democrats.

Since the filibuster is counter to the democratic norm of majority rule, one might legitimately question why the practice is still in place.

But be certain of this. The filibuster rule is not in the Constitution. It is an arcane rule adopted by the Senate to enable the minority to impose its will on the majority – as Democrats did last week when they shut down the government.

Yes, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats deserve blame for the shutdown, to be sure.

But don’t forget Vice President Aaron Burr and a mistake made 213 years ago. Will the government ever correct this wrong? Of course they will. But as with most things, Congress may not get to it quickly.

The Rushmore Report – Democrats Abandon Shutdown, Agree to McConnell Plan in Exchange for … Nothing

Democrats caved to pressure to end the shutdown Monday and voted to reopen the federal government, having gained nothing from three days of hostage-holding over immigration reform. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed the fold in a sad press conference held just following the vote.

According to The Hill, Democrats agreed to vote for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s continuing resolution funding the government through early February, on the promise that Senate Republicans will take up an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) sometime between now and February 8.

This means, of course, that Democrats, who held funding the federal government hostage by refusing to end a filibuster Friday night, thus causing the shutdown, gained absolutely nothing in two days of negotiations except a general promise on the part of the GOP to address border issues in the near future.

The Democrats’ plan was, apparently, to force Republicans to extend benefits for DACA recipients as part of a long-term funding bill. But when President Trump refused the “compromise immigration plan” drafted by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues – largely over a provision that granted temporary amnesty to DACA parents – the plan seemed to break down. Even typically left-leaning media chastised the Democrats for their misstep and suggested that only Democrats would suffer from negative public opinion surrounding the government shutdown.

On Monday, shortly before the official announcement was made that Democrats were caving, one Senate aide told reporters that Democrats had “miscalculated beyond belief.”

Even those who defended the move did so half-heartedly, claiming that if McConnell reneges on his promise to push a DACA extension along with a more comprehensive immigration reform plan, that Democrats will ultimately win the fight. Schumer warned McConnell that he best live up to his end of the bargain in his concession speech.

But even hardcore activists didn’t seem to believe talk of a grander agenda. And McConnell has already said that if Schumer threatens a second shutdown, immigration will be off the table.

About the Author

Emily Zanotti writes for Daily Wire.

The Rushmore Report: How Many Americans Can Name the Three Branches of Government?

I’ve long been convinced that an under-explored element of our deteriorating national discourse and paralyzing partisan tribalism is a creeping public ignorance about fundamental civics. How can we keep this republic if a rising percentage of its citizenry is unfamiliar with the core functions and structures of said republic? Yet, recent surveys confirm an amazing ignorance on the part of the American people.

A recent public opinion survey shows that 37 percent could not name a single component of the First Amendment. “Free speech” seems like it would be a layup, but only half knew it was a part of the First Amendment. Fewer than half knew the Amendment covered the freedom of religion and press.

Only 26 percent can name the three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative). For the record, conservatives are much more likely to know the branches of government than liberals.

Amazingly, there are more Americans who can name none of the three branches than those who can name all three.

America, we have a problem.

About the Author

Guy Benson writes for TownHall.

The Rushmore Report: Trump Starts to Drain the Swamp

Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a complete restructuring of the federal government. The result could be a complete downsizing that threatens to lead to massive layoffs and reform. The new order, going into effect today, comes with hiring targets in line with the spending priorities the administration laid out in March, said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The move is part of Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” and get rid of what the administration views as inefficiencies in the federal government, said Mulvaney. Their proposed budget calls for historically deep spending cuts to everything from medical research to clean-energy programs.

Trump’s proposed budget cuts are already facing strong opposition from Congress. But Mulvaney said, “We think at the end of the day this leads to a government that is dramatically more accountable, dramatically more efficient, and dramatically more effective, following through on the very promises the president made during the campaign and that he put into place on day one.”

The key to Trump’s plan, Mulvaney said, is that he is beginning the budget process “with a blank sheet.” Everything will be on the table. As an example of ineffectiveness, Mulvaney points to 43 different workforce training programs across 13 agencies – without a single point person in charge of them – that could be brought under one roof.

Expect immediate changes in federal hiring, followed by budget cuts in September. Cuts will include programs that date to the Great Society. But Mulvaney acknowledges that “Congress’ priorities may be a little different. But to the extent we have discretion under the law, then the discretion will be exercised in the method best possible to effectuate the president’s policies.”

The Rushmore Report: America’s #1 Threat – According to Americans

Barack Obama wanted us to believe the biggest threat facing the American people was gun control or global warming. Many in the GOP say our biggest threat is immigration. During her campaign for president, Hillary Clinton pointed to the threat of big business. But according to a new Gallup Poll, Americans say our greatest threat is something not on that list.

When the Gallup Poll asked Americans to name the “biggest threat to the U.S.,” illegal immigrants were way down on the list of concerns. So were the other issues the presidential candidates focused on.

For the second consecutive year, dissatisfaction with government edged out the economy as the problem more Americans identified as the nation’s top problem, the Gallup Poll reported. “According to Gallup’s monthly measure of the most important problems facing the U.S., more listed some aspect of the government as the country’s chief problem,” wrote Gallup’s analyst Lydia Saad.

“The economy came in a close second, while unemployment and immigration tied for third,” she said. Rounding out the top ten concerns were moral decline, race relations, terrorism, the federal budget deficit, the national debt, and education.

When asked to choose between big government, big labor, and big business, 69 percent said big government was the “biggest threat to America’s future.”

For those wondering, gun control registered #19 on the list of Americans’ concerns. These results help explain why the Democratic Party has lost thousands of seats in national and state elections in recent years.