Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What's the shelf life of outrage?

It’s now an almost daily occurrence. Someone comes forward saying they were groped, grabbed, or otherwise wronged by somebody famous. How long should we credibly be asked to believe that someone was wronged? In other words, what is the shelf life of outrage?

Take, for example, the woman who claims Sen. Al Franken grabbed her fanny during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 while her husband took the picture. I’m not defending Franken if he actually did grab her butt, but the shelf life on that outrage is about 30 minutes or until you leave the fair, whichever comes first. If I’m the wife, I turn around and slap the hell out of Franken. If I’m the husband, I punch the SOB in the nose.

At some point we have to separate the wheat from the chaff. Who is to be believed. Beverly Young Nelson, the woman who says Roy Moore of Alabama sexually assaulted her in his car back in 1977 gave a very convincing performance with Gloria Allred before the cameras. It wasn’t until Moore’s attorney revealed that she had her divorce petition thrown out by Moore’s court in 1999 that she was exposed as a fraud. Even now, many in the press discount that little factoid. It’s impossible to now believe she wasn’t acting out of vengeance.

In a Vox article on suspended New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, he’s accused of leveraging his position of power in journalism to accost women. Let’s examine that for a moment, this “leveraging of power.” It’s one thing if Thrush is your boss. That kind of leverage for sex is older than the water cooler. What we’re talking about here are women who worked alongside him as reporters. Apparently it was impossible to say no to Thrush. 

One reporter recounts that after a Politico going-away party, where they both worked, Thrush somehow ended up at her place. Hmmm. “I remember stopping him at one point and saying, ‘Wait, you’re married,’” she told the New York Times. “I remember that by the time he left, I didn’t have much clothes on.” Really? I wonder how that happened. Thrush’s super power must be the ability to melt clothes off women.

I should remind you that Glenn Thrush is the “journalist” caught in the Wikileaks e-mails from John Podesta sending a draft article that dealt with Podesta to Podesta to edit. He admitted in the e-mail that “I have become a hack.” Yeah, Glenn, you have. And apparently a drunk, groping, creep of a hack.

So, now the Vox folks are revisiting Bill Clinton’s predatory ways. They’ve wrongfully come to the conclusion that Monica Lewinsky was a victim via the same Thrushian logic of leveraging power. Monica Lewinsky was a stalking opportunist trying her best to “do” the president the first chance she got. That doesn’t let Bill off the hook for his rogue behavior but she’s not a #MeToo.

Whether it’s PBS’s Charlie Rose walking around naked (a revolting thought) or Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch, there seems to be a theme. Too many people for way too long believed that type of conduct passed for appropriate behavior. Here in the real world, the world of relative morality that these liberals ridiculed for generations, we all knew better.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not doubting a lot of what happened to these women happened. What I’m questioning is how outraged they actually were when it took them years, sometimes decades, to come forward. Apparently some of their outrage has the shelf life of a can of beets.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Roy Moore case proves scandals are all politics

The Roy Moore controversy should be time for all of us to do a little soul searching. Whether it’s Bill Clinton or Roy Moore, guilt seems to be related to political affiliation. Remember all of those Democrats rallying at the White House during Clinton’s impeachment? Al Gore claimed his boss would go down in history as one of our greatest presidents.

The impeachment wasn’t directly about sexual misconduct. It was about lying under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Remember? Clinton was being accused of sexual harassment against Paula Jones. Later Juanita Broaddrick came forward to say she was raped by Clinton. Still didn’t matter to the die-hard Clintonistas. Ultimately, he was never removed from office, and the accusations against him were certainly much more serious than those against Roy Moore.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot. Republicans find themselves in the unenviable position of defending a man who by all accounts was downright creepy. Dating 16 and 17-year-olds when you’re 32 might not be illegal in Alabama (the age of consent is 16) but it’s certainly worrisome. Reports from Gadsden suggest Moore may have been banned from the local mall during that period for trying to pick up teenage girls.

There are two more serious allegations, one involving heavy petting with a 14-year-old and sexual assault of a 16-year-old. Were these able to proven there would be no doubt that Moore should be disqualified from serving in the U.S. Senate. Even though the statute of limitations has run on those two incidents, the Senate would have cause not to seat.

But there is no proof, at least not at this writing. We all have our feelings about what may have happened. Our feelings are not relevant when it comes to the upcoming special senate election in Alabama. In fact, nobody’s opinion matters outside of those in the state who will have to choose.

I would hope we would all learn a lesson from this incident and develop some consistent standards when it comes to public officials, but I doubt that’s going to happen. My position has been to evaluate the evidence and make a determination based on facts. The Clinton impeachment was pretty straight forward. There’s no doubt that the president lied under oath, a clearly impeachable offense. The Constitution calls for impeachment in cases of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Bribery is a level 8 crime, according to the Department of Justice sentencing guidelines. Perjury, what Clinton was accused of, is a level 14 crime. I tried to explain all this to Lindsey Graham and the other House managers prosecuting the impeachment trial back in 1999 but that’s another story. Clinton subsequently lost his law license for essentially lying under oath.

Even to this day Democrats stand behind Bill Clinton, an indication that politics matters more than the truth.

When evaluating Roy Moore’s guilt or innocence one cannot ignore the timing. These accusations were from 40 years ago. Where have these women been? I’ve heard the excuse that they didn’t feel compelled until he was running for the Senate. Then where were they back in September when he was battling Luther Strange for the nomination? It seems rather curious that all of these accusations come a month before the special election when it’s too late to change the ballots. And hiring celebrity ambulance chaser Gloria Allred also sends up red flares. 

The people of Alabama will decide. And that should be the final word.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

GOP tax plan designed to stimulate voters more than economy

The press is having a field day with something called the Paradise Papers. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a pile of documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). They detail the business dealings of celebrities like Bono and the Queen of England, and companies like Apple and Nike. Even U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. They show nothing illegal, really, just how the rich and famous move their money around to avoid paying too much in taxes.

The media are treating this like a scandal when it’s actually a wake-up call. This is why tax reform is so badly needed here in the United States. I’ve regaled you with the stats from the IRS, like the top five percent of wage-earners paying nearly 60 percent of the income tax. The House Republican tax legislation takes some steps in the right direction but it still leaves the basic problem unresolved. They won’t tell you what that is so I will. The rich pay way too much in taxes. They’re the ones who need a tax break, not the middle class.

The middle class now pays somewhere around eight percent of their income in taxes. That’s set to go to around five percent if the House Republicans and President Trump get their way. They always target the middle class for tax cuts because there’s more of them. They just don’t need another tax cut.

If the objective is really to stimulate the economy then you’re going to have to allow the filthy rich to keep more of their money and spend it in the economy. That means the dreaded one-percenters. I know, people don’t like to hear that, but it’s true. The rich are overtaxed and the middle class are under-taxed. The poor and working poor aren’t taxed at all. In fact, most of them get money from the government through the Earned Income Tax Credit that they never paid in.

Why aren’t the folks in Washington telling you this? Because they’re cowards. Cowards and panderers. They don’t really see this as a vehicle to stimulate the economy. They see it as a way to buy votes, not dissimilar from the way the Democrats operate. So, why aren’t the Democrats going for it? Simply because they didn’t think of it first. If this were their idea they’d be all over it.

The only thing that remotely comes close to doing what we need done is lowering the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Mark my words, that’s the one thing that will probably not survive intact when the dust settles. It’s too tempting, even for the Republicans, to punish the very corporations that create the jobs.

And then there’s the SALT issue. That stands for state and local taxes. The current GOP plan would severely limit how much high-tax states can deduct those taxes. That’s raised the ire of Republicans and Democrats in high-tax states. Rep. Diane Black, chairman of the House Budget Committee and member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee pointed out to me that it’s wrong for the rest of us to subsidize high-tax states. She has a great point. Why is it fair for anyone to claw back some of the taxes they pay their own states through deductions to their federal income tax? The fact that some states tax their people to death is not the fault of the rest of us.

Getting rid of many of the deductions is the right move. Continuing to soak the rich is the wrong move.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Halloween Nazis struck again

Cultural appropriation. That’s the big buzz phrase of the politically correct these days. You especially hear that around Halloween. This past Halloween many college campuses across the nation issued warnings against offensive costumes that appropriate culture.

According to, the University of Michigan published a statement admonishing cultural appropriation “often adopted by those who hold power and privilege in society.” Does any college student hold power? This is typical leftists claptrap intended to make victims out of anyone who doesn’t happen to be white and male. They profess to fight racism when thinking that anyone who isn’t white needs their protection is the most condescending form of racism.

I was recently listening to a pitiful story on NPR of a woman whose mother is Chinese and whose father is Italian. She wore some native Chinese garb to school and got shamed by another Chinese girl for culture appropriation. She tried to explain that even though she didn’t look Chinese she really was. The girl told her that if she didn’t look Chinese she had no right to dress like one.

Now, you would think she’d get back up in this girl’s face. Instead she went home and hung the dress in the closet never to wear it again. She says to this day she’s embarrassed to express her Chinese heritage. In other words, she’s playing the victim.

Here’s the deal. If I want to dress up as an Indian or a Mexican or a German I will. You know why? Because this is America. I’m free to do whatever I want. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it. It doesn’t matter if you’re offended. I’m free to express myself as I please and if I’m feeling a little bit Arab today then get over it.

But here’s the flip side. You don’t have to like it either. However, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

I don’t think many of these PC people understand where they’re going with this cultural appropriation stuff. If that’s the way they want to play it then the Canadians called and they want their basketball back. Try telling LeBron that he’s appropriating somebody else’s culture. 

If we’re to follow their ludicrous edict then only Germans can drive cars since Karl Benz invented the automobile. And although the Germans lay claim to the printing press, it was actually invented in China about 600 years before Gutenberg was born. I guess only Chinese folks can read printed books. Only white Americans can fly since the Wright brothers invented the airplane. Writing was invented by ancient Sumerians in what is modern-day Iraq, so I guess if you write anything you’re stealing from the Iraqi culture.

What these crazy leftists don’t seem to comprehend is nobody owns a culture. We all use language that grew out of different races and ethnicities. Many of the pop culture expressions of today come from black Americans. That wasn’t always the case. To “butter someone up” came from ancient India. “Turn a blind eye” is a British expression. “White elephant” is a Siamese expression, which is modern-day Thailand. Get the picture?

There is no copyright on culture. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India. His garb sparked a fashion sensation in the ‘60s called the Nehru jacket. The Beatles sported Nehru jackets as did several Bond villains. They didn’t have to ask Nehru for permission.

Sure, there is a line of good taste regarding costumes. We don’t need the politically correct drawing that line because they obviously don’t know where it is.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NFL has championed the wrong cause

The NFL anthem protests continue without an end in sight. It’s time somebody says what needs to be said so this country can heal and move on. If you’re ready for it, this is it.

In order to understand the protests we must understand what’s being protested. Too many owners, too many Americans are willing to blindly go along under the banner of free speech. Free speech is not the issue. What’s at issue is a perception that America is fundamentally a racist society. Colin Kaepernick said as much when he started all of this. He said he didn’t want to stand for an anthem that represented a country that oppressed black people. To understand where he’s coming from is to get at the root of the problem.

We’ve been over the statistics. Kaepernick believes black people are being indiscriminately gunned down by police. The fact is white people are twice as likely to be killed by police as black people. The liberal media would have you believe that’s proof of racism just because there are more than four times as many white folks as there are black folks in this country. As I’ve explained in a prior column, the racial makeup of the country has nothing to do with it. Were that the case, one could argue that the NFL itself is racist since it’s 80 percent black.

The sad fact is black people commit crimes at far above their representation in the population. For example, 52 percent of the murders are committed by black people. It’s not racist to point that out. It’s just a sad reality. Instead of looking at the number of blacks in prison or those killed by police and assuming racism, we should dig down and try to figure out why those crime stats are so out of kilter. 

That’s what leads us to the crux of the problem. Roughly 72 percent of black children born today will be born out of wedlock. That means, in all likelihood, there’s not a father in their day-to-day lives. Ninety percent of all homeless children are from fatherless homes. Same for runaway children. Eighty-five percent of children with behavior disorders come from fatherless homes. Seventy-one percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. Of the kids in rehab centers, 75 percent come from fatherless homes. And the statistic that should hit us all between the eyes, 85 percent of all youths who end up in prison come from fatherless homes. This all according to research by The Fatherless Generation.

That, my friends, is the problem. Not that America is a racist country. Not that America is oppressing black people. Fatherlessness. That is the problem. And this is something the NFL is in the perfect position to help solve. These men are role models for millions of American boys, especially black boys.

The irony is Colin Kaepernick’s father left his mother before he was born. He ended up being adopted by white parents. Some kinda racist society he grew up in, huh? Many in the NFL who kneel know exactly what the problem is. Marshawn Lynch’s father has been convicted six times and is serving a 24-year prison sentence for burglary. He could be a shining example of how to overcome such odds. Michael Bennett of the Seahawks is raising three girls. Why not highlight that instead of protesting the anthem?

Instead of taking a knee, how about take a stand. Use your influence to end fatherless households. That’s how you can help heal this country instead of tearing it apart.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hollywood has no moral high ground

I was in Europe last week for a river cruise. I highly recommend it, by the way. My wife and I would wind down from the day’s excursions with BBC news. I don’t know what everyone was talking about back here in the States but it was wall to wall Harvey Weinstein. This is not purely a political issue, but I find it so ironic that this pig was hailed far and wide by liberals all across Hollywood as a wonderful guy who gave selflessly to liberal candidates and causes. The irony is that all the while Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment was legendary.

And now starlet after starlet is coming forward to reveal that they too were sexually harassed by Weinstein. They kept their silence because they were afraid it would hurt their careers. What does that say about them?

Everyone’s focused on Harvey, as well they should be, but we have to have a conversation about culpability. You can’t at once say you kept silent to advance your own greedy desires to succeed in Hollywood and call yourself a victim.

I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my point here. There are plenty of women who have been sexually harassed by pigs like Weinstein. They keep quiet for a variety of reasons. Some know they’ll lose in a he said/she said situation. Others actually like the guy and don’t want to ruin his career over what they hope is a temporary lack of judgement or an isolated indiscretion.

What I’m talking is the Hollywood community that knew full well that Harvey Weinstein was a monster. Still, they dealt with him because he could help them. And I’m talking men and women. What they should’ve done was lived by the principles they preach to everyone else and stop dealing with people like him. Instead, they fed on Weinstein for decades when it served their own purposes.

Hillary Clinton is one of them. She’s now going to give the money Weinstein gave to her campaign to charity. Or so she says. She’s using the Weinstein story to bash Trump. “After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office,” she told Andrew Marr on BBC. I’m sitting there screaming at the TV, “What about your frickin’ husband?” Of course, Marr never brought that up.

And another piece of irony is Weinstein helped pay Bill Clinton’s legal bills during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

Again, Hollywood knew full well about Hillary’s husband and not only never said anything, they continued and continue to give to the Clinton machine. Hillary once said on the campaign trail that any woman who accuses a man of rape should be believed. Unless that woman happens to have been raped by her husband. Then she needs to be destroyed.

This whole Weinstein thing isn’t just a Harvey Weinstein scandal. It’s a Hollywood scandal. It’s about people like Ashley Judd who put up with Weinstein asking her to watch him take a shower and never say anything, then publicly complain about an airport employee who says she’s pretty. It’s about the countless actresses who came to town very willing to take their turn on the casting couch if it got them that big part and now cry that they’re victims.

And, yes, there are plenty of victims. I just don’t think a whole community who knew of the monster in their midst and tolerated him because he was powerful are among them. Let’s stand against not only the monsters like Weinstein but the many enablers who keep a predator like that in business.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What really caused the Vegas shooting

The shooting in Las Vegas was on a scale of unspeakable horror. Dozens killed. Hundreds wounded. Predictably, the left immediately launched into an issue they keep in their hip pocket. Gun control. It’s an understandably emotional response, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem.

Before I get to that I need to point out a fallacy of the gun control argument. The most obvious flaw is the number of weapons this monster possessed. If news reports are accurate, he had 23 guns in the hotel room and another 19 at home. One has to wonder how he got so many guns into a hotel room undetected, however the left misses one simple point. More guns doesn’t make one more dangerous. You can only shoot one gun at a time. In fact, if he were putting down one gun and picking up another it would stand to reason that he would do less damage, not more. What matters is the capacity of the gun he used to kill.

We won’t know for sure until the investigation is complete, but it appears he managed to convert a semi-automatic rifle to automatic. In other words, he was able to turn a semi-automatic weapon into a machine gun. There is such a thing as a “full auto kit.” However, these kits are restricted by the 1986 law that bans civilian purchase of automatic weapons. The gun control that would’ve stopped this killer from obtaining a fully automatic weapon already exists. Yes, he had dozens of guns, but it appears the killing machine he used was obtained illegally. Passing more laws is not going to change that.

Now let’s get on to the real problem. The guy was nuts. We seem to have a mental illness crisis in this country. One in six of us is on some sort of psychiatric drug. This includes antidepressants and sedatives. That doesn’t mean that if you’re taking an antidepressant you’re psychotic, but it does mean that roughly 42 million adults are on some sort of psychiatric medication.

If you’ve ever known anyone who’s bipolar you know the difficulty is in knowing where the person ends and the disease begins. We should have the same compassion for mental illness that we do for physical illness but we don’t. It’s easy to dismiss people with mental illness. They’re odd or they’re crazy. Stay away from that guy, he’s nuts. We’ve all heard it. We’ve all said it. It’s part of what causes people with mental illness to go through life undiagnosed.

I can’t imagine that was the case with the Las Vegas shooter. You don’t get that mentally ill without someone noticing. Unfortunately with mental illness too many of us notice, too few of us help.

But what can we do? I don’t for a second think we need the guys in white jackets with nets prowling the streets in a padded van. However, there are far too many people who are dangerously mentally ill roaming free. Loved ones are oftentimes reluctant to report the danger signs out of compassion for the sick person, but you wouldn’t allow a person you knew had cancer to remain untreated,

The compassionate course of action is to help people you suspect are unstable get well. You don’t do that by ignoring the illness. If you suspect someone is mentally ill take action. Talk to one of their family members. If it’s your family member, talk with a mental health professional. 

Mental illness is bad enough. A mentally disturbed individual with an automatic weapon is a horribly lethal combination.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.