Wounded warrior Joey Jones puts patriotism in perspective amid political bickering.
Wounded warrior Joey Jones puts patriotism in perspective amid political bickering.
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On the roster: The new trustbusters – Voters give failing grades all around on immigration – Trump to meet with fifth SupCo candidate Tuesday – Jordan denies ignoring sex abuse as wrestling coach – Better late than never…?
THE NEW TRUSTBUSTERS
“Distrust naturally creates distrust, and by nothing is good will and kind conduct more speedily changed” – John Jay, minister to Spain, secretary of state, governor of New
York and the first chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Many humans have lived under far worse conditions than Americans of the colonial era.
Certainly the memories of those Americans who were held as slaves defy any effort to minimize their suffering, but for most in the 13 colonies things were not that intolerable at all.
For the fraternity of American revolutionaries life was actually quite good on an individual level. This was no populist revolt. These were established leaders in their states and communities who quite remarkably embraced the concept of breaking ties with a mother country of whom many considered themselves loyal subjects.
When we see the suffering in our own world today of oppressed people it is good to remember that the depredations that drove us to armed revolt were far less than what people have and continue to endure.
Our Revolution was made possible by some remarkable factors, most of which involve the benign neglect of the British government toward the 13 colonies for much of their first 150 years. Far distanced from those in authority, a natural gift for self-governance and increasing economic vitality made the Revolution possible.
What also made it possible, however, was the trust that the leaders had with another despite being from states as varied and disagreeable as the 13 could be. There were no verifying tweets either. Elected representatives to the Continental Congress that declared independence 242 years ago were pretty much free agents once they got to Philadelphia.
And the folks back home who sent them had to accept the decision whether they liked it or not. The very act of sending a delegation was the beginning of binding this new country together. They would fight and argue and get drunk and fight and argue some more, but in the end hammered out the boldest, most significant announcement about the nature of rightful government that the world has ever seen.
The preamble crafted by Thomas Jefferson in a boarding house on Market Street has never been surpassed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Revolution was about ending the tyranny of King George III. His capricious and punitive ways were an affront to liberty and treating British subjects who happened to live in places other than Britain as lesser citizens was also wrong.
But as the Declaration makes clear, the reasons for revolution went beyond ending something bad. It was about building something good that would allow human beings to reach their fullest potential.
That big idea was held together out of shared interest and trust. The spindly legged foal of a country that arrived in July of 1776 was entirely dependent on the goodwill between those founders and the states they represented. We were friendless, except for each other.
Americans allow cheap demagoguery to divide us every day. We ask too little of our leaders and too little of ourselves. And each fresh round of dishonest emotionality in our politics produces yet again less trust between Americans.
The word of our leaders is so worthless now that Congress cannot even fulfill its basic functions. Imagine what they would do if they had to found a whole country.
We say it’s time for all of us to get serious about rejecting artificial, partisan divisions between Americans that politicians use to obtain and keep power.
It’s high time for Americans to start treating each other as participants in that same wonderful revolution undertaken so long ago.
[Ed. note: I’d say that all of us would do well to take a momentary pause from politics, and we will happily do our part! In observance of Independence Day, the Fox News Halftime Report will neither grace nor befoul your inbox for the remainder of the week – but we shall return on Monday.]
THE RULEBOOK: LET FREEDOM RING
“The first wish prompted by humanity is, that this severe trial may issue in such a revolution of their government as will establish their union, and render it the parent of tranquillity, freedom and happiness: The next, that the asylum under which, we trust, the enjoyment of these blessings will speedily be secured in this country, may receive and console them for the catastrophe of their own.” – Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Federalist No. 20
TIME OUT: FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY
Smithsonian: “By July 4, 1968, America was exposed to the brutal reality of Vietnam’s Tet Offensive and My Lai Massacre. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated; riots broke out across the country. … For many Americans, this Fourth of July wasn’t marked by Sousa marches and patriotism, but rather a skeptical view of the government’s actions, domestically and abroad, let alone of traditional American values and celebrations. … In many parts of the States, too, festivities were classically joyous where annual rites were kept untouched by the residual effects of 1968. As highlighted in the [New York] Times, Gowrie, Iowa, a small-town … enjoy[ed] a celebration reminiscent of what John Adams said he would have wanted. A parade, a fried chicken dinner, baseball games, square dancing and fireworks ensued. ‘We do love our country, it’s been good to us. We know things are wrong with it, but we still feel we can right these wrongs through the ballot box and not through all this carrying on burning and rioting,’ said Mrs. Mark Vernon, a local of Gowrie, to the Times.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 41.4 percent
Average disapproval: 52 percent
Net Score: -10.6 points
Change from one week ago: down 0.6 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 55% disapprove; Gallup: 42% approve – 53% disapprove; IBD: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; CNBC: 41% approve – 47% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk University: 43% approve – 51% disapprove.]
Control of House
Republican average: 41 percent
Democratic average: 48.2 percent
Advantage: Democrats plus 7.2 points
Change from one week ago: Democratic advantage up 0.8 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 50% Dems – 41% GOP; IBD: 48% Dems – 40% GOP; USA Today/Suffolk University: 45% Dems – 39% GOP; CNN: 50% Dems – 42% GOP; Gallup: 48% Dems – 43% GOP.]
VOTERS GIVE FAILING GRADES ALL AROUND ON IMMIGRATION
Quinnipiac University: “‘Sad,’ ‘terrible,’ ‘bad,’ ‘wrong,’ are the words most frequently used by American voters to describe the practice of separating children from their parents when families try to enter the U.S. illegally, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. In fact, the 18 words most frequently used in an open-ended question by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, allowing for any answer, are all negative. … American voters disapprove 58 – 39 percent of the way President Donald Trump is handling immigration. President Trump is racist, 49 percent of voters say, while 47 percent say he is not racist. But 50 percent of voters say the main motive for Trump’s immigration policies is ‘a sincere interest in controlling our borders,’ while 44 percent say the main motive is ‘racist beliefs.’ Democrats in Congress are more interested in ‘exploiting the nation’s immigration issue for political gain,’ 60 percent of voters say, while 34 percent say they are more interested in ‘resolving the nation’s immigration issue.’”
GOP struggles to keep Flake’s seat red – Politico: “Arizona is one of just three races where Republicans are on defense as they seek to protect or grow their 51-49 Senate majority, and a victory here would go a long way in cutting off Democrats’ path to winning the chamber. But the state comes with challenges: President Donald Trump carried it by just 4 percentage points in 2016, and Democrats who have long hoped shifting demographics would move the Sun Belt in their direction say the opportunity to win a statewide race here is very real. Arizona is problematic in another way for Republicans: The late, Aug. 28 primary turns the general election into a 10-week sprint, and that time frame is further shortened by extensive early voting by mail. Allies of Republican leaders in Washington think [Kelli Ward] can’t win the general election but have also worried that a protracted fight could cripple [Martha McSally’s] fall campaign, making it difficult to shift to a general election focus. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is expected to coast to the Democratic nomination and start the general election with a sizable head start…”
Coffman continues to hold strong in suburban Denver district – NYT: “In the fast-changing political battleground that is suburban Denver… [if] demographics really were destiny, this place would be a gold mine for the Democratic Party’s efforts to reap political gains from an increasingly diverse and nonwhite America. Instead, Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District has become a scene of frustration and failure for Democrats. In election after cash-soaked election, Democrats have been unable to unseat Mike Coffman, a five-term Republican congressman, even after his Republican-layup district was redrawn to slice out some conservative white voters and include thousands more Hispanic residents. Mr. Coffman has kept winning in part because he has sought to show he embraced the needs of his newer constituents. He has positioned himself as a renegade Republican on immigration issues, scalding the president’s policies and breaking with his party’s leadership on the need for an immigration overhaul. … [Democrats] are pinning their hopes on Jason Crow, a lawyer and former Army Ranger who won the Democratic primary last Tuesday to challenge Mr. Coffman in November (Mr. Coffman was unopposed in the Republican primary).”
Trump continues to push for end of legislative filibuster as midterms near – Fox News: “President Trump is sick of the Senate filibuster. The president intermittently demands that Senate Republicans ax the filibuster. The most recent call to exterminate the filibuster came in a tweet after the House Republicans spectacularly failed to approve what was termed as a ‘compromise’ immigration bill. The legislation only mustered the support of 121 House Republicans despite the GOP leadership massaging the package for weeks. … It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster on legislation in the Senate. Republicans currently hold 51 Senate seats. Forty-nine senators caucus with the Democrats. This may be the president’s excuse now for Republicans flailing in their effort to adopt immigration legislation. But let’s be clear: Trump and his team made a number of overtures last month to usher some form of an immigration bill across the finish line.”
TRUMP TO MEET WITH FIFTH SUPCO CANDIDATE TUESDAY
ABC News: “President Donald Trump has met with four potential Supreme Court nominees and is expected to meet with a second female justice as early as Tuesday, sources close to the president told ABC News on Monday. The four potential nominees who met with Trump on Monday, one of whom may fill the seat soon vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, were: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Amul Thapar, sources told ABC News. Trump also is expected to meet with Justice Joan Larsen of the 6th Circuit as early as Tuesday, sources familiar with the president’s meetings told ABC News.”
Schumer faces heat to keep Dem opposition strong – The Hill: “Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) is under pressure from the left to whip Democrats hard to oppose any Supreme Court nominee who might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion. Liberal activist groups are urging their supporters to attend a town hall meeting with Schumer in Brooklyn on Monday night and press him to commit to squeeze red-state Democrats who might feel pressure to back Trump’s pick. ‘We expect his constituents to be asking him really directly if he is going to commit to whipping the caucus and keeping Democratic voters together and in line in opposing Trump’s extreme Supreme Court nominee,’ said Elizabeth Beavers, associate policy director at Indivisible Project, a liberal advocacy group dedicated to defeating the Trump agenda and electing progressive leaders.”
Senate Judiciary Committee call on SupCo to release same-day audio of hearings – WashEx: “The current and former heads of the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling for the Supreme Court to release same-day audio recordings of oral arguments before the court. Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the current chairman, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the former chairman and a member of the committee, sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts urging him to consider releasing same-day audio for cases before the court next term, which begins in October. ‘By releasing same-day audio recordings of all oral arguments, the court has a unique opportunity to open up its proceedings beyond the select few who will ever have the chance to be physically present during arguments,’ the senators wrote.”
JORDAN DENIES IGNORING SEX ABUSE AS WRESTLING COACH
NBC News: “Rep. Jim Jordan, the powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, is being accused by former wrestlers he coached more than two decades ago at Ohio State University of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting them and other students. The university announced in April that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s. Jordan, who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring, and continued to deny it on Tuesday. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team. Three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments, and said it would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware; one wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse.”
Trump slams NATO allies ahead of key summit – Fox News
Another aide comes forward about Pruitt asking for help finding work for his wife – NYT
Sec. Perdue sides with House, endorses work requirements for food assistance – The Spokesman Review
White House tweets at Harris, Warren over ICE – NYT
Pompeo will depart for third North Korea trip on July 5 – Fox News
Trump orders flags at half-staff in honor of Capital Gazette victims – Fox News
AUDIBLE: WE DON’T DOUBT THAT
“I’d like to kill ’em.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, referring to the president’s growing list of tariffs.
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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER…?
WNEP: “The Minersville [Pennsylvania] Police Department just received payment for a parking ticket from 1974. Minersville’s Police Chief Michael Combs said he received a letter in the mail last week. ‘It’s addressed, of course, to the police department, with the return address of, ‘Feeling guilty, Wayward Road, Anytown, Ca.,’ Chief Combs said. In the letter, there was a parking ticket from 1974, along with some cash and a note. The note said: ‘Dear PD, I’ve been carrying this ticket around for 40 plus years. Always intending to pay. Forgive me if I don’t give you my info. With respect, Dave.’ Since that ticket was written in the 1970s, it was only for $2. The chief said the person who paid it was kind of enough to add $3 in interest. … The chief said that type of ticket would cost someone $20 today. He said the ticket was for a car with Ohio plates. Back then, the department didn’t have the technology to keep track of out-of-state cars.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“[American monuments to foreign liberators are] not for show. It is from the heart, the heart of a people conceived in liberty and still believing in liberty. How can they not? It is written in stone all around them.” – Charles Krauthammer writing in the Washington Post, Nov. 25, 2005.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C.