Media Takes a Beating during the Colorado Debate

Media Takes a Beating during the Colorado Debate
by JBS President John F. McManus

After a presidential candidate debate, everyone has an opportunity to name winners and losers. We’ll get to that shortly. But first, let’s name the biggest loser in the October 28 contest – the nation’s mainstream media that took a sound thrashing from several of the participants.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz identified the big loser early in the two-hour circus when he ignored a question about the debt limit and, instead, expressed his contempt for the entire mainstream media. He first aimed his oratorical weapons at the panel before him: “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media.” The audience applauded enthusiastically.

Cruz continued: “Look at what is being asked. ‘Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign [your Senate seat]? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?’” Now the audience was cheering. Cruz added that none of the mediators, all of whom he obviously believes are left-leaning Democrats, would be able to vote in a GOP primary. More agreement from the Colorado throng!

Later, Florida Senator Marco Rubio continued the attack begun by Cruz when he referred to the mainstream media as “the Democrat’s Super Pac.” Given his chance, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie lambasted the CNBC panel for ignoring substantive issues facing the nation and asking the panel about whether the federal government should regulate fantasy football. Angrily, he shouted, “We have a $19 trillion debt; we have people out of work; we have ISIS and Al Qaeda attacking us; and we’re talking about fantasy football???” That won him a burst of appreciation from the attendees and, likely, from the TV audience. Both Rubio and Christie should move up in the polling.

Already lagging as a result of several dull performances, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush thought he could gain some momentum by attacking fellow Floridian Marco Rubio for missing Senate votes. It didn’t work. Rubio capably defended himself and the lackluster Bush has to be considered one of the big losers in the debate. Other losers, or at very least non-winners, include Ohio Governor John Kasich who droned on monotonously about his home state’s record, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who seemed tired of the process but did assert that new House Speaker Paul Ryan wouldn’t change anything, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who stated that he had defeated the Clinton machine several times in Arkansas and could do so again against Hillary Clinton.

Participants who neither won nor lost included real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, both leaders in the latest polls. Trump attacked Super Pacs and gun-free zones. Carson repeated his contempt for political correctness and government subsidies. Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina suggested scrapping the massive tax code and issuing a three-page document that every taxpayer could read and understand. That won’t win her any support from lawyers and accountants. She ended her comments with a vain hope to debate Hillary Clinton.

Clear winners this time were Rubio, Cruz, and Christie. Mention should also be made of the four second-tier candidates who participated in a non-televised early evening debate: George Pataki, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, and Lindsey Graham.

The next debate, likely without a few who ought to drop out, will be held in mid-November. In the meantime, expect some media personalities to defend themselves and their profession.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Another “Middle of the Road” Speaker?

Another “Middle of the Road” Speaker?
by JBS President John F. McManus

As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will surely collaborate with the forces whose efforts are destroying our nation. Over the years, his voting record shows him siding with liberals and progressives on numerous key issues. To expect him to perform differently in the powerful Speaker post is unwarranted wishful thinking.

Congressman Paul Ryan has a cumulative score of 58% on the Freedom Index, which demonstrates the amount of adherence to the Constitution.

A member of the House since 1999, Ryan catapulted to national prominence as Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012. Claiming to be a disciple of hard line economists Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Murray Rothbard, he ascended to chairmanship of the House Budget Committee. Just prior to the failed Romney/Ryan run for the White House, he produced the GOP’s economic plan labeled “Path To Prosperity.” Not something Hayek, von Mises, or Rothbard would come close to championing, it called for reducing the federal deficit at a snail’s pace.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Ryan plan wouldn’t achieve a balanced budget until the year 2040. Rather than leading to “Prosperity,” it would necessarily add to the already enormous national debt year after year for several decades.

Examination of the Ryan record in Congress shows that, in 1992, he voted for Export-Import Bank reauthorization, raising the national debt ceiling, and establishing normal trade relations with Communist-led Vietnam. The debt ceiling vote passed the House 215-214, meaning that Ryan alone could have reversed approval of amassing more red ink. The Vietnam trade approval won passage by 215-213, meaning that rejection of the proposal by Ryan might well have led to full rejection of the measure by the entire House. In 2007, he cast a vote in favor of special rights for homosexuals, and in 2008, he voted for bailouts for Wall Street.

Last year, Ryan gave more indication that he is not a conservative when he sided with the GOP’s neoconservative wing to support sending weaponry to Syrian rebels. He then voted for a measure calling for the federal government to supply military equipment to local police forces, a dangerous path for the federal government to gain control over local police. In 2015, he cast votes for military aid to Ukraine and for Trade Promotion Authority for President Obama’s use in inserting our nation into the sovereignty-destroying trade agreements with Pacific nations and the European Union. Ryan has even supported amnesty for illegal immigrants.

During the brief period when the 40-member House Freedom Caucus resisted the choice of another Boehner-like Speaker, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has never been the friend of any true conservative individual or measure, spoke in favor of Ryan becoming the new Speaker. He said, “I hope he gets it. We’ve been able to work with him.”

If Reid feels comfortable with Ryan as Speaker, conservatives and constitutionalists are in for more disappointment. We hope we’re wrong, but Paul Ryan’s record gives evidence that he’s not what America needs as Speaker.

View the voting records of those in Congress with The New American’s Freedom Index and then hold them accountable.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


How Speaker of the House is Really Chosen

How Speaker of the House is Really Chosen
by JBS President John F. McManus

While the House Republicans are trying to figure out who will be their next Speaker, it’s worth a look back a few decades when this extremely important post was suddenly vacated. After riding high with the 1994 GOP victories he helped engineer, and getting inordinately favorable media attention for his namby-pamby “Contract With America,” Speaker Newt Gingrich announced his retirement. His bolt-out-of-the-blue decision stunned many. But the selection by GOP House members of little-known Illinois Congressman Dennis Hastert as his successor outdid even the Gingrich departure.

“Hastert presiding over the House of Representatives during the 109th Congress.” –from Wikipedia

Who after all was Dennis Hastert? And how did he suddenly become important enough to be named House Speaker? He was a former high school teacher and wrestling coach from Yorkville, Illinois, who rose from 16 years of obscurity to win a seat in the U.S. House in 1986. Still, even after serving in the House for a decade, and becoming its Speaker for another ten years, hardly anyone outside his Illinois district knew much about the man.

During his quiet years in Congress, Hastert was as middle-of-the-road as anyone could be. Toeing the establishment’s line on numerous issues, he favored Gingrich’s pro-New World Order preferences when in June 1996, he voted for foreign aid, Most Favored Nation (MFN) status for China, and expansion of NATO. Two years later, he approved more foreign aid, continuance of MFN for China, and a 12 percent increase in food stamp expenditures. Still, his votes on numerous less important matters enabled congressional scorekeepers to label him a conservative.

So how does such a person rise from near anonymity to become Speaker? Asked about this somewhat amazing development, then-Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) unhesitatingly offered that Gingrich himself had made the choice. And presto, the likeable but quiet man known among colleagues as “the coach” became Speaker of the House, even serving in that post from 1999 until he chose not to stand for reelection in 2008.

Lately, Hastert has been back in the news facing allegations of long-ago sexual assaults on students during his teaching years. After he left Congress in 2008, he turned to lobbying and did very well financially. When he suddenly began tapping his bank account for suspicious amounts (withdrawing as much as $1.7 million), his unusual conduct attracted the attention of federal investigators. He now faces charges of lying about the reason for his many small withdrawals and it appears that he was paying off one or more former victims of sexual abuse from his high school faculty years. It now seems likely that he will plead guilty to making false statements to the federal officials (the crime is known as structuring) in hopes that the matter won’t end up in a trial where additional charges of past sexual misconduct could easily emerge.

All of which brings up further questions. Was Hastert chosen to be Speaker by Gingrich and his establishment cronies because knowledge of his past made him controllable? Did Gingrich himself suddenly quit being Speaker because of some sort of misconduct left him vulnerable to controllers? Also, who might these behind-the-scenes individuals be, and what might their agenda include?

It is unfortunately true that much of what goes on in Washington results from blackmail. The still evolving story surrounding Dennis Hastert isn’t so much an exception. Sad to say in too many cases, it’s the rule. And one can only wonder who will now become the new Speaker of the House and why.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


The Pacific Trade Agreement is an Attack on Sovereignty

The Pacific Trade Agreement is an Attack on Sovereignty
by JBS President John F. McManus

In 1958, six European nations agreed to participate in what was then termed a “Common Market.” Fifteen years later, several additional countries in Europe joined and the relationship became known as the “European Community” (EC). In 1986, the EC expanded to 12 nations and the term “European Union” (EU) supplanted the previous label. Now the EU has become the dominant political and economic governing body for 28 formerly independent European nations.

There were warnings about what was taking place. In 2003, Czech President Vaclav Klaus objected to the proposed EU Constitution. He stated: “This is crossing the Rubicon, after which there will be no more sovereign states in Europe.” He was ignored.

That same year, British authors Christopher Booker and Richard North released their important book “The Great Deception: The Secret History of the European Union.” They termed the EU “a slow-motion coup d’état.” Their book received the silent treatment.

In 2004, Mike Nattrass, a leader of Britain’s United Kingdom Independence Party, thundered, “The EU was sold to the British people as a trading agreement and turned into a political union which is changing our basic laws and traditions.”

And in 2007, former German President Roman Herzog lamented: “84 percent of the legal acts in Germany stemmed from [EU headquarters in] Brussels.” He concluded that his country should no longer be considered an independent nation.

In 2000, Mikhail Gorbachev, the ruler of the soon-to-be-abolished USSR, had raised a different type of red flag. While in Britain, he described the EU as “the new European Soviet.” Few took that revealing remark seriously.

It is now 2015. Led by President Obama, the United States has agreed to link arms in a trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim nations. Labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposal has been promoted as a beneficial trade agreement that will enhance U.S. trade, counter China’s exports, create jobs here at home, protect the environment, enforce human rights, and more. But a close examination of what is known about this pact (no copies have been made available, other than what has leaked out) reveals that it is far more than a mere trade pact. Instead, it should be viewed as the beginning of a process similar to the one employed to create the European Union.

Negotiations leading to completion of this pact have been conducted in secrecy, even to the point of refusing to provide members of Congress with copies. Congress is given 90 days to mull over passage or refusal but no amendments are allowed because Congress has already given the President authority to forbid congressional changes. Not only that, TPP negotiators want to keep portions of the document secret for at least four years even if Congress okays it. Why any member of Congress would agree to all of this is somewhat mind-boggling.

Mr. Obama won’t admit it, but TPP is deigned to be the beginning step in a political and economic union that will result in our doing to itself precisely what has been done to 28 nations in Europe.

Members of Congress, both House and Senate, must hear from voters about this. If TPP isn’t rejected, a huge chunk of our nation’s independence will have been traded away. If asked, Gorbachev might even refer to a ratified TPP as “the new Pacific Soviet.”

Contact Congress today in opposition to TPP! Be sure to also call as that carries a greater impact than an email (Senate: 202-224-3121, House of Representatives: 202-225-3121).

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Keep up with our latest news and sign up at JBS.org or on our Facebook page.


Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Who Sets the Pope’s Agenda?

Who Sets the Pope’s Agenda?
by JBS President John F. McManus

During the visit of Pope Francis to America, wide publicity followed the back door papal meeting with Kim Davis, the county clerk from Kentucky who had spent several days in jail because of her refusal to issue same–sex marriage licenses. The term “back door” is appropriate in this instance because Mrs. Davis and her husband were required to sneak into the Vatican Embassy through a rear entrance, away from photographers and scribes who carefully scrutinized all who came and went via the main entrance. It had even been suggested to Mrs. Davis by a Vatican official that she alter her hairstyle so as not to be so easily recognized. According to Davis’s lawyer, the pope met with the couple for about 15 minutes.

“Pope Francis meets with his former student, Yayo Grassi.” Photo and caption credit: LifeSiteNews.com

Vatican officials travelling with Pope Francis were quick to insist that the pope was not endorsing the embattled county clerk’s stance regarding homosexual marriage. They also spread the notion that the pope likely didn’t even know the circumstances that had catapulted Mrs. Davis to national attention and why she received the invitation. Within hours, these Church spokesmen made light of the secretly arranged visit and even spread the possibility that the two had never met.

But there was another visitor welcomed by the pope during his stay in the nation’s capital who received completely different treatment – from the Vatican officials and the media. Yayo Grassi, a 67-year-old Argentinian now living in Washington, has known the pope since the 1960s when he studied under then Father Jorge Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis. For years, Grassi has kept in touch with his one-time mentor, meeting with him in Buenos Aires and even encountering him in Rome in 2003. Grassi happens to be a homosexual who brought his partner and several other friends to share his latest visit with his old acquaintance, now Pope Francis.

While there were no photos of the pope with Mrs. Davis, the media quickly displayed a photo taken from a video made during the Grassi visit. It showed the pope and his old friend in an embrace. And the accompanying write-ups reported that the pope had hugged the others.

Vatican officials have come close to labeling the Davis encounter with the pope a mistake. But Vatican and media attention given the meeting enjoyed by Yayo Grassi and his friends, both during and after their encounter, was enormously different. Vatican officials later insisted that the invitation given Mrs. Davis came merely from the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Vigano.

The treatment given Mrs. Davis both before and after her papal visit contrasted dramatically with that given Yayo Grassi and his entourage. Pope Francis has not changed Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality, but it is understandable if his actions have caused confusion among Catholics and non-Catholics alike as to whether that teaching has been modified.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.