Happy Thursday morning!
It’s a girl!!! I’m one proud papa, but my mother was ecstatic.
Pete who? The first openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., is the first openly gay candidate for president. He announced yesterday.
He’s a millennial, a Harvard alumnus, and an Afghanistan veteran. When my Anglican Church left the Episcopal Church because of its growing heresies, he stayed — and got “married” to a man. He also calls Mike Pence “homophobic,” but genuine. He might be able to win the Democratic primary, but don’t bet on him.
Read more about Buttigieg (pronounced “boot-a-judge”) here. His last name is Maltese, and it means “lord of the poultry.” I still get a kick out of that.
In a typical move for South American countries, an opposition leader attempted a coup on Wednesday. I don’t usually like coups, but anyone who cares about the horrific destruction big government socialism has wreaked on Venezuela under Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro should support Juan Guaidó.
Guaidó, the 35-year-old leader of the opposition party, declared himself acting leader in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, on Wednesday, the BBC reported. A number of South American countries — Brazil, Colombia, and Peru — recognized Guaidó as president, and so did President Donald Trump.
The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. https://t.co/WItWPiG9jK
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019
Maduro was sworn in for a second term earlier this month, after a vote that was undermined by an opposition boycott and widespread claims of vote-rigging. He responded to Trump’s recognition of Guaidó by cutting off diplomatic ties with the United States and giving U.S. diplomatic staff 72 hours to leave Venezuela. “We’ve had enough interventionism, here we have dignity, damn it!” he declared.
Venezuela’s socialist implosion has caused a continental crisis across South America. Nikki Haley, then-U.S. ambassador to the U.N., called for regime change in Venezuela last May. She noted the Venezuelan migrants who are destabilizing neighboring countries. The country is even facing a spiritual crisis — Catholic priests trudged through the rain from Colombia to deliver communion wafers for Easter Sunday last year.
It is truly tragic to see the home of the great liberator, Simón Bolívar, struggling so much. Bolívar led South American countries to throw off Spanish rule, but he failed to unite them in his dream of Gran Colombia, which could have looked more like the U.S. than the constant destabilization so tragically familiar in South America. His dream was impractical and he was far from perfect, but it is still tragic to see what has become of his home country.
The State of the Union
Welcome to 2019! This year, we’re going to have a tussle between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Donald Trump over when and how the State of the Union is going to happen. A source of mine in Congress said the Senate should host the speech if the House won’t, but traditionally, both branches of Congress have agreed to invite the president. In any case, Trump has the high ground and Pelosi is trying to make hay of this shutdown.
As for the political games, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) had a good brief summary.
1/3: Speaker Pelosi invites Trump for SOTU
1/16: Pelosi changes course, says “security concerns” prevent SOTU from happening
1/16: DHS and Secret Service fact-check Pelosi, say they’re fully prepared
1/23: Pelosi then disinvites @POTUS
Blatant partisan games on display
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 24, 2019
Nancy Pelosi said the State of the Union — which the president is constitutionally mandated to give — isn’t happening in the House of Representatives until the government opens.
This afternoon, I sent @realDonaldTrump a letter informing him that the House will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened. https://t.co/r1oad0xEAh pic.twitter.com/kGEbayx95u
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 23, 2019
Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation, offered her organization as the location.
POTUS, I'm told, reassured conservative leaders he has no intention of "caving" on shutdown, per @MarkSKrikorian, and Kay Cole James told him he's welcome to deliver SOTU from the Heritage Foundation.
— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) January 23, 2019
While the Constitution requires the president to brief Congress on the state of the union, early presidents merely sent a written document to avoid the pageantry of European kings. In the era of television, the State of the Union has become a national annual event, to the extent that someone like George Washington would likely complain about the pageantry.
Congress has traditionally passed joint resolutions to invite the president to give the speech, but Trump could give the speech anywhere and merely send the transcript to Congress.
He owns the speech
She just owns one potential venue https://t.co/yhNnnqngKf
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) January 24, 2019
But he’s not doing that.
….alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2019
Photo of the day
On this day in 1965, Sir Winston Churchill breathed his last. The great British bulldog had rallied his country to stand together in defense against Adolf Hitler, and toward victory in Europe. He had long warned about Hitler from the sidelines in the House of Commons, only later to become Prime Minister and give his country the fortitude it needed to carry on a brutal and unforgiving war. His soaring rhetoric will live on to inspire future generations.
I was blessed to study Winston Churchill’s statesmanship with Dr. Larry P. Arnn at Hillsdale College, and I will always remember his question, “What is statesmanship?” Leave your answer in the comments. I’m sure he would eviscerate yours just as thoroughly as he eviscerated each of mine. That man really makes you think.
Roe v. Wade is for amateurs: New York’s Radical Abortion Law Repealed Protections for Wanted Babies, Too
My friend Sam Pauken just launched his blog. Here’s his first post: How We Got Our Bibles (Part 1): How Seminary Revolutionized How I Saw the New Testament
Americans don’t want “VA health care for all” Poll: Americans Like ‘Medicare for All,’ Until They Learn What It Costs
That’s all for now, but I’ve got some doozies coming up…