Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tax Reform - Analysis

State of Play  

  • Republicans have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver historic tax reform for the American people.
  • In survey after survey, the American people say they trust Republicans more on the economy than Democrats.
    • This is Congress’s opportunity to show that trust is well-placed.
  • The economy is revving up because of the President’s pro-growth, pro-American jobs agenda – including his historic efforts to eliminate crushing regulations – but also in anticipation of our plan to cut taxes for the middle class and American businesses.
    • Now is the time to deliver.
  • This tax reform plan expands economic opportunity so that every American has a chance to reach their dreams.
    • That’s what this is all about: empowering American families to build a better life for themselves and their children.

Individual Mandate  

  • The President supports repealing the individual mandate as part of the tax reform plan.
    • The mandate – which the Supreme Court ruled is a tax – disproportionately hits the lower- and middle-income families to whom we are working to provide relief.
      • 79% of people who paid the penalty had household income below $50k.
      • 86% of the penalties collected were from people in households with less than $100k. 
  • The President’s priorities have been consistent:
    • Tax cuts for middle-class families,
    • Simplifying the tax code for all,
    • Slashing taxes for businesses of all sizes so they can grow, create jobs, raise wages for their workers, and compete in the global marketplace.
  • We support using the savings from repealing the individual mandate to provide additional economic growth and tax relief for hardworking American families.

Johnson Amendment  

  • The President has maintained all along that he would like to see the Johnson Amendment repealed.
  • That is why earlier this year he signed an executive order establishing that, among other things:
    • It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law's robust protections for religious freedom.
    • All executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech.
  • If Congress is able to use the tax bill as a vehicle to repeal the Johnson Amendment, the White House would support it.

Delay of Corporate Rate Cut  

  • Cutting our corporate tax rate from 35% -- the highest among our economic competitors – to 20% -- among the lowest – will level the playing field for American companies so they can dominate their global competition.
    • This will be an infusion of rocket fuel into the economy, empowering companies to more quickly create jobs and raise wages.
  • However, even if it does not go into effect until 2019, many other important changes will go into effect on January 1st and drive massive economy growth.
    • Most notably, businesses will immediately be able to deduct 100% of the money they spend on capital investments for at least the next five years.
      • This will empower manufacturers to buy the heavy machinery they need to grow and thrive in America.

House and Senate Bill Differences  

  • The legislative process is working exactly how it is supposed to, and both bills achieve the President’s priorities:
    • Tax cuts for middle-class families,
    • Simplifying the tax code for all,
    • Slashing taxes for businesses of all sizes so they can grow, create jobs, raise wages for their workers, and compete in the global marketplace.
    • Bringing back trillions of dollars American companies currently have parked overseas.
  • We are on pace to deliver a Christmas present to the American people in the form of a massive tax cut.

Small Businesses / Pass-Throughs  

  • Both bills reduce the tax burden on businesses of all sizes -- regardless of their structure. The bills help everyone from mom and pop shops to Main Street businesses to large manufacturers and other job creators.
  • The House bill lowers tax rates on pass-through business income to 0%, 12% and 25% -- the lowest top rate in more than 80 years. It also provides a special low rate of only 9% for the smallest businesses.
  • The Senate bill allows all pass-through businesses in all tax brackets to deduct a portion of their business income so that 17.4% of their business income is completely tax-free.
  • Both bills ensure that wealthy individuals cannot avoid taxes by characterizing all of their wages as business income.

Key tax cuts expiring in 2023 in the House bill and in 2026 in the Senate bill  

  • If you look at history, Congress has always extended tax benefits that make sense.
  • They have extended tax cuts for middle-income families, and they have extended important business tax cuts that are good for the economy.
  • There’s no reason to believe that would be any different here.

Questions about Details

What does  the White House support?

  • What the White House is supportive of is:
  • Cutting taxes for hardworking, middle-income families
  • Cutting taxes on American businesses to make them more competitive
  • Making the tax code more fair by eliminating special interest loopholes and deductions
  • Making the tax code more simple so that the large majority of Americans can file their taxes on a single page
  • The process is moving forward the way it’s supposed to in Congress, with members having input and ironing out the details.

But does the tax plan eliminate?

  • Opponents of the bill are being disingenuous, because they are focusing on the elimination of targeted tax provisions while ignoring the tax cuts in the bill.  
  • In other words, they’re trying to get you to focus on the little sandbox – we’re trying to give you the entire beach!
  • The Washington Post fact-checkers gave Democrats FOUR PINOCCHIOS for their claim that our tax plan will raise taxes on working-class families. 
  • "Any Democrat who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error.”             – Washington Post

  • Middle-Class Tax Cuts and Bigger Paychecks
    We’re going to put over $5,000 PER YEAR in the pockets of hardworking American families through tax cuts and pay raises.
  • Here’s how:
    • The typical American family of four – making the median household income of $59,000 – would save well over $1,000 per year on their taxes.
    • The Council of Economic Advisors estimates that middle-income families will also see higher household income – a minimum of $4,000 higher – as a result of the business tax cut. 
    •  That’s why the President said we’re going to give the American people “a big, beautiful present for Christmas in the form of a tax cut.”

Tax Cuts for Jobs  

  • Numerous analyses show our plan will produce massive job creation and economic growth.
  • The Council of Economic Advisors estimates:
    • 3% to 5% increase in GDP over ten years.
      • That means an additional $700 billion to $1.2 trillion in economic output.
  • The non-partisan Tax Foundation estimates:
    • Cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% will increase long-run GDP by 3.1 percent.
    • 3.9% increase in the size of the U.S. economy.
    • 3.1% higher wages for American workers.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The National Black Republican Association Endorses Judge Roy Moore


In support of the Trump Agenda for American prosperity and national security, and, while recognizing Alabama voters will make the ultimate decision, the National Black Republican Association herewith endorses Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate based on the following considerations:
Judge Moore who shares our support of the Trump Agenda has over 40 years of public service, has been married to the same woman for 33 years and has four children and five grandchildren;
Judge Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, is an ultra-liberal Democrat who does not support the Trump Agenda and is on the wrong side of a crucial life and death issue — the killing of innocent, unborn children;
Doug Jones would not have voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and will vote in lock-step with the liberal Democrats in Congress who are now voting solidly against the Trump Agenda and, thus, against the economic progress and national security of our country;
The liberal media that functions as an advocacy arm of the Democratic Party launched a political dirty trick just weeks before the election, orchestrating reports of incidents alleged to have taken place when the now 70-year-old former state Supreme Court Judge Moore was serving as an assistant district attorney in his early 30s;
Judge Moore has denied the allegations and, if any of the allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now, plus none of Judge Moore’s accusers ever filed a police report or a civil suit;
The liberal media and Democrat hypocrites who are attacking Judge Moore now with mere allegations are tolerant of alleged, admitted and proven sexual abuse by liberal Democrats; and
There was no chorus of calls by the liberal media or Democratic Party leaders for the resignations of:
Democrat President Bill Clinton, for his many allegations of sexual misconduct, including a charge of rape by Juanita Broderick;
Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, for his philandering, including being involved in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne;
Democrat Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, for allegations of sexual misconduct by four women;
Democrat Representative John Conyers of Michigan, the longest serving member in the U.S. House and the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, as has been done by his hometown paper, the Detroit Free Press, for allegations of sexual misconduct;
Democrat Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, for hiring his male lover, Stephen Gobie, as an administrative aide who operated a male prostitute business from the basement of Frank's home;
Democrat Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, for participating in a gay pride parade in San Francisco, marching with representatives of the North American Man-Boy Love Association who advocate sex between mature men and young boys;
Democrat former Representative Fred Richmond of New York, for being arrested in 1978 after soliciting sex from a 16-year-old, but still won re-election and remained in Congress before eventually resigning in 1982 after pleading guilty to tax evasion and drug possession;
Now deceased Democrat Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, for his being accused in the 1990s by numerous women of sexual harassment;
Now deceased Democrat former Representative Gus Savage of Illinois, for having been accused of fondling a Peace Corps volunteer in 1989 while on a trip to Africa;
Now deceased Democrat former Representative John Young of Texas, for having increased the salary of a staffer after she gave in to his sexual advances and who won re-election in 1976; and
Now deceased Democrat Representative Gerry Studds of Massachusetts, for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male page in 1983 and who stayed in Congress until he retired in 1997 when he was lauded by Democrats and honored with an award named after him called the “Congressman Gerry E. Studds Visibility Award.”

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The True Story of the First Thanksgiving

What you didn’t learn in school

The story of the Pilgrims began in the early part of the seventeenth century. The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone who did not recognize its absolute authority.
Those who demanded freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs.
A small group of separatists fled to Holland, where they established an outpost.
A decade later, about forty of the separatists decided to embark on a perilous journey to the New World, where they could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.
On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail carrying a total of  102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford.
On the journey, Bradford set up a contract that established laws that would govern the new settlement. The values and principles set forth in the Mayflower Compact were derived from the Bible.
Because of an unshakable belief in Divine Providence, the Pilgrims never doubted that their bold experiment would succeed. But their journey to the New World was long and arduous.
When they landed in America, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold and desolate wilderness.
There were no friends to greet them, he wrote, or houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could find temporary lodging, and no trading posts where they could buy food and other necessities. The numerous hardships they would encounter in the name of religious freedom were just beginning.
During the first winter, half of the Pilgrims – including Bradford's wife – perished from starvation, sickness or exposure.
When spring came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved on the margins, but the colony was still a long way from assured survival.
The original contract that the Pilgrims entered into with their merchant sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, with each member of the settlement entitled to one common share.
All land they cleared and houses they built belonged to the community.
The plan was to distribute everything equally.
No colony member owned anything beyond a proportionate share of the common output. 
Under this communal living arrangement, the colony’s most industrious members lacked incentive to produce as much as they could.
Soon, it became obvious that the collectivist system was not yielding enough food.
Faced with mass starvation, Bradford decided on bold action, and assigned each family its own plot of land.
With private property rights and personal incentive in play, food production began to soar.
The Pilgrims scrapped the collectivist system that almost led  to their demise.
What Bradford wrote about the colony’s near-disastrous experiment in communal living should be taught to every child in America:
"'…. this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and to retard much employment that would otherwise have been to its benefit and comfort. Young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine [complain] that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without compensation.”
Under the new arrangement, every family was permitted to sell its excess crops and other products.
The result?
'This had very good success”, wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”
With an abundance of food at hand, the Pilgrims set up trading posts and began to exchange goods with the Indians.
The profits they earned enabled them to pay off their debts to their sponsors. News of the settlement’s prosperity attracted other Europeans, and precipitated what came to be known as the Great Puritan Migration.
Many of America’s schools incorrectly teach that the first Thanksgiving was an occasion where grateful Pilgrims thanked the Indians for saving them from starvation.
But the true story of Thanksgiving is that of William Bradford giving thanks not to the Indians, but  to God, for the guidance and inspiration to establish a thriving colony, one that enabled the Pilgrims to generously share their plentiful bounty with their Indian neighbors at that first Thanksgiving.
Omitted in many classrooms is the historical fact that it was not Indians who saved the Pilgrims. Rather, it was free enterprise capitalism and Scripture, the latter of which was acknowledged by George Washington in his Thanksgiving Proclamation issued on the 3rd day of October, 1789.
America was founded on an unshakable belief in Divine Providence. 

Courtesy of the Excellence in Broadcasting Network, owned and operated by radio commentator Rush Limbaugh 


The Desolate Wilderness

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:
So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.
When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.
The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other’s heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.
Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.
Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.
If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.
This editorial has appeared annually since 1961. It appeared in the November 22, 2017, print edition.


 We Can Still Learn from the Pilgrims' Gratitude

An undatged photo showing the shelter that showcases the famous Plymouth Rock which marks the supposed spot where the first Puritan Pilgrims landed in America in 1620 in Plymouth, Mass. (Marcio Silva/Dreamstime)  

By Jerry Newcombe
With another Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it's good to consider what the Pilgrims endured and how they thanked God through it all.
I just finished reading a phenomenal book on the group of dissident Christians who founded the Plymouth Colony in 1620. Historian Rod Gragg wrote "The Pilgrim Chronicles: An Eyewitness history of the Pilgrims and the Founding of Plymouth Colony" (Regnery History, 2014).
I thought I knew a lot about the Pilgrims, but this book added greatly to my knowledge.
The Pilgrims were one congregation that was born in mid-England around 1606 at a time where church meetings, apart from the Church of England, were illegal. Their goal was to worship Jesus in the purity of the Gospel as they understood it. The Bible (Geneva version) was the focus of their existence.
Because of persecution in England, they decided to emigrate to Holland; but even leaving the mother country was problematic. A sea captain betrayed them, and several of their men ended up in an English jail. About 1609, they were able to finally make it to Holland.
Initially, the Netherlands was a good place for them. At least they could worship without government interference. But over time, they saw that some of their children were following the ways of the worldly Dutch youth. Meanwhile, the permanency of the Jamestown settlement in the New World allowed them to explore the possibility of coming to America to stay intact as a congregation and be able to worship Jesus in peace.
They borrowed money, and they received permission from King James, who was glad to be rid of them, to sail to the "northern parts of Virginia," which at that time that would have been about where New York Harbor is today.
The voyage of the Mayflower was treacherous. One storm was so fierce they almost ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean.
When they finally came to the New World, they were 250 miles north of their target and unable to safely sail south. They made history by writing up a Christian agreement for self-government that they signed before disembarking. This "Mayflower Compact" was the first step in the eventual creation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution 150 years later.
Then came the hostile winter of 1620-1621, where illness, cold, and starvation killed about half of them. They slept mostly onboard the Mayflower, having little opportunity to build houses in the howling winter.
Of the 18 women on board the Mayflower, only four survived that winter. Half of the married men died. There were 29 unmarried men — of these, 10 died, 19 survived. The children had the best survival rate. All seven girls lived. Of the 13 boys, three died, and 10 lived. Yet through it all, they trusted God, giving him thanks.
The spring came early in 1621, and the deaths stopped. Two friendly Indians, able to speak English, came and greeted them. They aided them in making peace with the Indians, and learn how to plant corn and capture eels for survival food.
The Pilgrims enjoyed a great relationship with the Native Americans — including making a peace treaty, one lasting for apprximately 55 years. It was brokered by Chief Massasoit.
At harvest time in 1621, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and enjoyed a three-day feast with the Indians. This was the beginning of our Thanksgiving celebration in America.
Gragg quotes John Pory, a scholar from England who had served in the colony of Virginia, who was on his way back to England. Having visited Plymouth in 1622, Pory wrote, "the reasons of their continual plenty for those 7 months in the year may be the continual tranquility of the place, being guarded on all sides from the fury of the storms, as also the abundance of food they find at low water.  . . . Now as concerning the quality of the people, how happy were it for our people [in Virginia], if they were as free from wickedness and vice as these are in this place.  . . . As touching their correspondence with the Indians, they are friends with all their neighbors."
Gragg also quotes Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow, who declared, "[N]one will ever be losers by following us so far as we follow Christ.”
Rod Gragg (at page 288) concludes on the Pilgrims’ settlement, "And they had succeeded. No one in Ameratica would be raiding their Sunday services to stop their worship. Neither would they be hauled off to jail because of their beliefs, nor ever again forced to flee their homes because of their faith. And the way of freedom they had blazed in the wilds of the New World would eventually become the path of liberty for countless people from around the world: people yearning for a new life, a new start, a new home — and who would find it as Americans."
Jerry Newcombe is co-host/senior TV producer of Kennedy Classics. He has written/co-written 25 books, including "The Book That Made America, Doubting Thomas" (with Mark Beliles), "What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?" (With D. James Kennedy), and "George Washington's Sacred Fire" (with Peter Lillback).


Christmas Gift Idea For Your Children Or Grandchildren

Rush Limbaugh is author of a series of best-selling books for children that correct revisionist history taught in public school classrooms by progressive teachers. The cover of the first book in the series is shown below.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims
#1 best-seller in all categories, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Great Christmas gift for children.

Buy at Walmart.com for $12.44.

Buy 3-book hardcover series here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hell Is Getting Crowded for Liberal Hypocrites

By Clarence McKee

Democratic Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned Tuesday after more allegations of child sexual abuse surfaced in what is becoming a disturbing pattern of Democratic politicians involved in crimes and allegations of child sexual abuse – scandals largely ignored by the media.

That so-called special place in hell is getting a bit crowded.

Remember when former Secretary of State Madelyn Albright introduced Hillary Clinton at an event in New Hampshire last year, tellng the crowd that "there was a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other?" The phrase is catching on!
Ivanka Trump, speaking about the sexual abuse allegations against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, told the Associated Press that there’s a "special place in hell for people who prey on children . . . "
And then there is former Clinton adviser and Democratic strategist Doug Schoen who said that there was "a special place in hell" for Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who, after accepting endorsements, funding, and support from the Clintons — and assuming Clinton’s Senate seat — recently said that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after the affair with Monica Lewinsky.
If Gillibrand deserved a special place in hell for being ungrateful to the Clintons, why not LaVar Ball, father of UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball, one of the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting, who were released after President Trump intervened with Chinese President Xi.
Ball said that Trump didn’t deserve any credit for getting his son and his two teammates released; and, that if he was "going to thank somebody, I’d probably thank President Xi."
Talk about ingratitude. No wonder Trump called him an "ungrateful fool."
He should talk to the family of American college student Otto Warmbier who died a few days after returning home in a vegetative state coma from North Korean detention.
As my friend Richie said, Ball’s son’s conduct shows how "horrible a job he did as a father in raising a son who grew up thinking it was okay to steal. He should be thanking the president!"
Many would argue that, if any group merits a reserved seat in that "special place," it is those feminists and left-wing women who looked the other way when any of their liberal male politicos were accused of sexual harassment or misconduct.
Silence was and is the rule!
The National Organization of Women (NOW) and other women’s groups did not go on the warpath against Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., for his philandering, including being involved in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. They were also silent during the travails of former President Bill Clinton and the many allegations of sexual misconduct including the Lewinsky affair.
And, note that they have not called for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., based on the allegations of sexual misconduct by two women.
It’s a virtual certainty that they will not call for the resignation of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the longest serving member in the U.S. House and the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, as has his hometown paper the Detroit Free Press, for allegations of sexual misconduct. And of course, they would not dare attack or criticize a black liberal Democrat.
You can also be assured that the most vocal female members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are so high and mighty against Trump Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and the Democrats’ favorite diva Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., will remain silent on their Caucus colleague.
In that regard, we have not heard any outrage from the 16 female Democrats in the U.S. Senate regarding the allegations against their colleague Mr. Franken.
Those who would usually be running to the microphones and cameras to attack a conservative or Republican accused of such conduct to bolster their illusionary hopes for a chance at a 2020 nomination have run for the door — Gillibrand, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Of course, let’s keep in mind that feminists and liberal Democrats will tolerate almost anything from a male politician as long as he supports abortions or partial birth abortions. Enter Alabama Democratic Senate candidate and abortion supporter Doug Jones!
That’s why many would agree that they deserve that special place in hell for their hypocrisy on such an important life and death issue — the killing of innocent, unborn children.
Finally, as we enter the home-stretch on tax reform, we will see how many Senate Republicans will deprive the nation of over-due and well-deserved tax reform to foster economic growth and job creation.
To those who do, there will be a special kind of place for them, maybe not in the hell as discussed above, but in every politician’s form of hell — defeat at the ballot box.

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters.

Playboy Ethics, Puritan Consequences in the Year of Sex Scandals

2017 may go down as the year that sexual scandals rocked America.

The thing about a charge of rape, said 17th century British judge Sir Matthew Hale, is that it ‘‘is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused” — even if that party is innocent. It is an excruciating dilemma. Most such crimes occur in private. And yet false charges are also sometimes made. How do we give proper due process to the accused while showing compassion to victims?
But one thing that troubles me about all this is that Hollywood and the culture do so much to promote an immoral sexual ethic.
Pop music and movies and TV routinely promote sex outside of God-given marital boundaries. Then when someone engages in these activities, especially if they want to run for office, they are besmirched by this.
I think what we are seeing in some ways is this: Playboy ethics, but Puritan consequences. We are constantly bombarded with messages to do whatever feels good. Then if someone does it, he suddenly faces censure.
We teach young people today how to put condoms on cucumbers in schools, but then we frown at teenage illegitimacy.
The pop culture revels in sexual immorality. In one of her songs, Madonna croons, “If it’s against the law, arrest me. If you can handle it, undress me.”
Not to be outdone, Lady Gaga sings, “But I got a reason that you're who should take me home tonight. I need a man that makes it right when it's so wrong.”
We routinely see sex outside of marriage on the big screen and the little one. In 1995, Don Wildmon, of the American Family Association, complained that 88 percent of sexual activity in prime-time television was between unmarried people — thus, making “lust more attractive than love.”
If it was that bad in 1995, it’s only worse in 2017 — since marriage as a whole continues to suffer significantly in our culture.
Of course, just because we’re bombarded with these messages doesn’t excuse anybody from giving into his or her base nature or from making unwanted sexual advances.
One of the sacred cows of the Playboy ethic on sex is that anything goes as long as it’s between two consenting adults. But the “consenting adults” principle still doesn’t halt the consequences of promiscuity, such as a failed marriage, a broken heart, venereal disease, or scandal.
Why do we have the Puritan consequences to sexual practices? I believe our forebears were on to something with their belief that sex was to remain within its God-given strictures: inside the bounds of holy matrimony (of course, between a man and a woman). When we venture outside of God’s boundaries, we go against the order He designed for our safety and flourishing.
We may mock monogamy all we want, but interestingly, a major study on sex in America in 1992, under the auspices of the University of Chicago, found that the Puritan-type ethic of sex promotes happiness in the bedroom to its adherents.
They reported, “Once again contradicting the common view of marriage as dull and routine, the people who reported being the most physically pleased and emotionally satisfied were the married couples .... The lowest rates of satisfaction were among men and women who were neither married nor living with someone — the very group thought to be having the hottest sex” (Sex in America, p. 124).
The Bible admonishes us to avoid even the appearance of evil. So tell me — why is it that some in our culture were wagging their tongues at Vice President Mike Pence for refusing to go out in public alone with women that weren’t a part of his immediate family?
This culture encourages you to freely let your libido flow — but then when you do, you might end up being punished for it. Playboy ethics, Puritan consequences. But as Jesus put it, let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.

Jerry Newcombe is co-host/senior TV producer of Kennedy Classics. He has written/co-written 25 books, including "The Book That Made America, Doubting Thomas" (with Mark Beliles), "What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?" (With D. James Kennedy), and "George Washington's Sacred Fire" (with Peter Lillback).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Charlie Rose fired by CBS, PBS and Bloomberg over sexual misconduct allegations

By Daniella Silva and Kalhan Rosenblatt

Talk show host and journalist Charlie Rose was fired Tuesday by CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg in the wake of eight women accusing him of sexual harassment and unwanted advances in a report in The Washington Post.

"A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose's employment with CBS News, effective immediately," said a statement posted to Twitter from CBS News President David Rhodes. "This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program."
In a statement, PBS also announced it had ended its relationship with Rose, whose self-titled interview show began airing in 1991.
"In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and cancelled distribution of his programs. PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect," PBS said.
Bloomberg TV confirmed it had severed ties with Rose, but had no further comment as of Tuesday afternoon.
The claims made against Rose, 75, in The Post's report included groping female acquaintances and walking around naked in their presence. The women were either employees at the "Charlie Rose" show or aspired to work for the show in allegations spanning from the late 1990s to 2011, according to the newspaper. Three women were on the record and five were anonymous.
Two of the women The Post interviewed, Kyle Godfrey-Ryan and Megan Creydt, confirmed their accounts to NBC News on Monday night.
Early Tuesday, "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King said she was "really grappling" with the accusations against the veteran newsman, calling them "horrible."
"He doesn't get a pass because I can't stop thinking about the anguish of these women; what happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened to maybe even their careers," King said. "I can't stop thinking about that and the pain they're going through."
King and co-host Norah O'Donnell said they had not spoken to Rose as of Tuesday morning, but planned to reach out.
"I'm still trying to process all of this," King said. "I'm still trying to sort it out because this is not the man I know, but I'm also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and very damaged by this."
Rose on Monday released a statement apologizing for his behavior while maintaining that some of the allegations were inaccurate.
“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose said in a statement to The Post that he later posted on Twitter. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.”
"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” the statement continued. “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."
Rose has long hosted his show, which airs on PBS, and is also a co-host of "CBS This Morning" and a contributing correspondent for "60 Minutes."
By Monday evening, representatives from CBS News said Rose was suspended while they looked into the matter, while representatives from PBS and Bloomberg said they were suspending distribution of his show.
"I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too," Rose said in his statement. "All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives."
The five women who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity did so over fears of Rose’s stature in the media industry.
A woman who was one of Rose’s assistants during the mid-2000s, Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, told The Post that Rose allegedly walked naked in front of her at least a dozen times while she was working in one of his homes in New York City. She also said Rose called her repeatedly late at night or early in the morning to ask her about her sex life and describe a “very specific, repetitive fantasy” of her disrobing and swimming naked in a pool at his suburban home in Bellport, New York, as he watched. She was in her early 20s at the time.
“It feels branded into me, the details of it,” Godfrey-Ryan told the paper.
The Post said that in addition to the eight women, the newspaper spoke to about two dozen former employees of Rose on condition of anonymity and that six said they had seen what they considered to be harassment, and eight said they were not comfortable with the host’s treatment of his female employees.
Another 10 said they had not witnessed or heard anything concerning about Rose, according to The Post.
The women ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged incidents, according to The Post.
Rose's show was produced by independent television production company Charlie Rose Inc., aired on PBS and was filmed at Bloomberg headquarters. PBS, CBS and Bloomberg told The Post they had no record of sexual harassment complaints against Rose.
A PBS spokesperson said the channel "does not fund this nightly program or supervise its production, but we expect our producers to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect."
Two women who spoke to The Post said they had complained to Rose's executive producer, Yvette Vega, about the alleged inappropriate behavior.
Vega said in a statement to The Post that she should have stood up for the women.
"I failed," said Vega, 52, who has worked with Rose since the show was created in 1991. "It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them."