James Comey Really Does Not Matter

I know James Comey’s publisher wants him to matter. I know James Comey wants himself to matter. And I know there are some television hosts who want James Comey to matter. But Comey does not matter.

He shot his credibility with how he handled the Clinton matter. Then he further shot his credibility with his leaks, etc. against the President. In his ABC News interview and his book, Comey has said nothing new and he offered an opinion of the President that was well circulated from others in the 2016 campaign.

Comey thinking President Trump is a stain on the presidency and a liar is what a good number of Americans thought in 2016. But Trump still won. Comey thinking Trump operates as a mob boss is what many people, myself included, said in 2016. But Trump still won.

James Comey simply does not matter. He has offered nothing really new and nothing very original.

What matters is President Trump and his actions. If the President fires Rod Rosenstein, he will further alienate Republicans in Congress. If he fires Robert Mueller, he will probably get himself impeached sooner rather than later.

But if the President keeps on as he is and nothing really changes, nothing will happen to him. The left is peddling conspiracies of the Cabinet ousting the President or the GOP impeaching him or even the Democrats impeaching him. None of that is going to happen in the present status quo.

All the cards in the President’s hands and his actions are what matter. James Comey is yesterday’s news.

Happy Easter

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.

And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Luke 24:1-12 (ESV)

Happy Easter to each and every one of you.

President Trump Unveils Solid School Safety Proposal

President Trump is getting attacked for refusing to raise the age of a rifle purchase to 21. He is also getting attacked for a new proposal, out over the weekend, that would arm teachers. Except that is not quite true and the reporters saying it are misrepresenting his proposal. The proposal is quite solid.

First, it is refreshing that the President has walked back the idea of raise the rifle purchase age to 21. Florida has just done it and that just shows this is an issue for the states. Congress need not involve itself.

Second, the President is not proposing arming teachers. He is proposing a voluntary program that would train school personnel. Others are interpreting that as meaning teachers, but that’s not in the proposal itself, other than teachers can volunteer if they are so inclined.

The proposal would pay for firearms training for school personnel and would “support the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement into new careers in education.” The proposal also encourages states to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). From the outline of the President’s proposal, White House staff explain:

ERPOs allow law enforcement, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from individuals who are a demonstrated threat to themselves or others and temporarily to prevent individuals from purchasing new firearms.

The proposal is basically an all hands on deck idea. The Attorney General and Justice Department will audit the FBI’s procedures and processing of the tip line. The Secretary of Education will set up a commission to see how schools handle safety and how they handle reporting of problematic behavior. The instant background check procedures will be improved and bureaucrats retrained to make sure they promptly enter appropriate data.

Fortunately, the proposal embraces federalism and recognizes there is not a one size fits all national solution. The President intends to recommend frameworks that states can optionally enact. This is a huge step in the right direction and the White House has done a good and credible job.

The American Media Participates in the Degenerate Political Tone

I keep hearing presidents of various news organizations lamenting the tone of American politics these days. Some of them openly question the role their networks have played and are playing in the increasingly degenerate, in your face political discourse of American politics.

Look no further than the media’s treatment of Adam Rippon. He’s a gay figure skater, which is not as new a thing as the media would have you believe. But what sets Rippon apart is that he has been openly critical of Mike Pence. Rippon did not medal in the Olympics, but you’d be hard pressed to figure that out given the media’s treatment of him. Several outlets have even started referring to him as a “media darling.”

And he is. But not for ice skating.

Or consider Chris Cuomo of CNN berating Ted Cruz for not showing up on his show to allow Cuomo the opportunity to grand stand on gun control. Cruz gave a 15 minute exclusive to CNN, but it was not Cuomo’s exclusive so he attacked Cruz. Others at that network claimed Cruz feared CNN and would not come on. But, again, Cruz gave them an interview that they did not run.

Or consider the Russian investigation. 13 Russians were indicted and the bulk of the media coverage has centered on their purported support for Donald Trump. But both a Facebook executive and the Deputy Attorney General pointed out much of the activity happened post election. The Russians wanted to drive up dissent and division in the United States. The media is willfully and gleefully participating in this.

Social media has allowed us to see many reporters unmasked as the progressive activists they really are. Increasingly, it looks like that progressive activism goes all the way to the top. There are serious, credible journalists across news organizations and they are increasingly being drown out of the conversation by the antics of their bosses and others within their networks.

Black Panther Is Worth Seeing

To begin with, I think we need to give some credit to Every Frame a Painting, which produced this brilliant video about how bad Marvel’s musical scores are. Since it came out in 2016 and went viral, Marvel has made a concerted effort to improve its music and develop some thematic musical connections within individual movies.

That leads us to Black Panther, which probably has the best musical score of any Marvel movie. The score does not necessarily become a character in and of itself as it does in a movie like Dunkirk, but the music is unique, beautiful, and consistent.

Black Panther itself is unique, beautiful, and mostly consistent. Look, let’s get this out of the way. Black Panther is not the masterpiece some are claiming. It is a top tier Marvel movie. Thematically, it is much deeper than most Marvel movies and certainly has themes that will resonate with a black audience (and did) in ways a white audience might not connect with. One scene refers to a white character as “colonizer.”

At a larger scale, Black Panther deals with mature issues better than most any Marvel movie. Those issues include abandonment, absent fathers, and being defined by the mistakes of our fathers. The movie handles those respectfully and sincerely.

Black Panther also has a good bit of humor in it. It does not take itself too seriously and uses some of its seriousness for punchlines. It kept the entertainment going and there were not really any scenes where I felt bored.

Chadwick Boseman, who plays King T’Challa, is the Black Panther. We saw him first in Captain America vs. Iron Man. He plays his character with a real dignity. Michael B. Jordan, known as Erik Kilmonger, is the bad guy who was raised on the streets of Oakland without a dad. I thought he overplayed the role, though it might have just been because of the perfectly understated treatment Boseman gives his character.

The movie had Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett in it, so you know it is good. I think the movie cannot live up to the hype of some. The racial dynamic of the movie has caused all the same sort of over praise that Wonder Woman got, but on steroids. The movie is definitely one of Marvel’s best, but it will not cure cancer or solve world problems as some of the reviews might lead you to believe.

There’s some profanity. There’s a middle finger. And there’s some blood. Of course there is violence and some of it is intense for Marvel. I know my 12 year old could handle a movie like this and I’m pretty sure my 9 year old could handle a movie like this.

Marvel has produced a very solid new entry with some of its best visuals and definitely its best musical score. Honestly, it is starting to make me sad. Marvel has mapped out its road through the Infinity War series where we know some of the characters are going to get killed just because they’re tired of playing them.

I have a hard time believing Marvel is not going to go full social justice warrior crap after that as it reboots or otherwise repackages its franchises that for now, at least, have been mapped out sufficiently to mostly avoid the postmodern nonsense to which its comic books have fallen.

The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography, by David Brody and Scott Lamb

The Weekly Standard asked if I would review the new book The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography, by Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody and Liberty University Vice President Scott Lamb. I know a lot of reviewers will skim books, but I was actually fascinated by how the authors would approach this subject and made it the whole way through.

You can read the review here.

There’s No Reason to Compromise on the Gun Issue

There’s a pretty healthy consensus in the country that we could expand background check requirements for gun ownership. There is a bipartisan congressional consensus to ban the bump stock, but the congressmen involved in drafting the legislation got too clever by half and tried to ban handguns in the language.

There are actually lots of bipartisan deals that could be had, but there is no reason and conservatives know it. There is, for example, a bipartisan consensus to ban abortions after twenty weeks in this country. But that won’t happen either for the same reason.

The media and left always demand the compromises come from the right without ever giving up anything of their own.

“Now is not the time to talk about abortion,” a news anchor might say. But then there is never a time the media wants to talk about that issue. The media demands conservatives come on TV and defend their supposedly indefensible position on gun control, then treats abortionists as heroes when they kill more kids each year than mass shooters.

So there’s no point in compromise on the issue. The left/media only what the right to move in their direction on these issues. They do not treat conservative positions with good faith, honesty, or candor. The media will focus on guns for a week following a mass shooting, but can barely give the March for Life the time of day. The media wants to spend inordinate amounts of time focusing on the boy who wants to pee in the girl’s bathroom as if he is a civil rights pioneer, but never wants to focus on the Christian who might lose her business for not wanting to provide goods and services to a gay wedding. Well, in fairness, they will focus on that lady, but only to portray her as a bigot.

There is just no point in conservatives compromising on guns or any other issue because the left/media idea of a compromise is where the right concedes the left’s points. There is no real effort to find middle ground or common ground.

So media outlets can claim Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and others are hiding from CNN and don’t want to answer “tough” questions. The reality is there is no point. CNN anchors will use liberal definitions of mass shootings and demand Republicans cave on second amendment issues. But you’ll never then hear them ask the same of the left on abortion or respect for Christian small businesses or anything else.

The media is not reporting the news. The media is trying to steer the national conversation left. So there is no trust on the right to even have a conversation. And I don’t blame the right for refusing to engage.