Culture, Politics

‘Real America’ Inside the Beltway

WASHINGTON — It is often said our nation’s capital is filled with wealthy college-educated elites operating in a company town where everything is transactional. They are a clubby set of folks who can “fail up” in their profession and rarely interact meaningfully with anyone who isn’t part of their peerage. They have lost touch with whomever they used to be wherever they used to come from.

Certainly, on the surface, things here look that way. But that is only the veneer.
Washington also serves as a destination point for Americans from across the country who often save up all year to bring their families to experience all of the history that has gone into forming this country. They visit both large and small museums; the U.S. Capitol; and the memorials honoring Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the brave men and women who fought in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

At the Lincoln Memorial one recent day, thousands of parents, children and grandparents climbed the 87 marble steps from the reflecting pool to the feet of the 16th president. Dozens of languages filled the air as young entrepreneurs swiftly dodged park rangers to sell ice-cold water from makeshift carts. “Dollar water! Dollar water!” chants formed crowds around the cheerful young capitalists.

With the Washington Monument in the distance, a group of sorority sisters dressed to the nines who said they graduated from Howard University together years ago laughed at their follies as they tried to orchestrate a selfie.
Just 300 yards northwest of the tourism bustle, a different sojourner was found at “the wall.” Hundreds walked silently and respectfully past the chronological list of over 58,000 men and women who gave their lives in service to this country in Vietnam.

One man, his cap noting his service, stood with his hand touching a name, weeping quietly. His skin bronze, his dark hair was streaked with white and pulled back in a ponytail. He was briefly inconsolable. His wife began singing a chant, the chords anguished. Strangers one by one gently patted his back as they passed by.
His wife said, “It is a blessings chant … for healing.”

Two blocks away, a different anguish was visible in an encampment of homeless people on E Street, within eyesight of the State Department and the leafy campus of George Washington University. People who have grown used to this anguish hurry past.

City officials insist their family homeless problem has abated. There is irony to the rows of tents filled with people unable to make some sort of go of it in a city surrounded by six of the 10 richest U.S. counties.

Washington is just as complex as the small towns in Middle America that are often cast as homogeneous stretches of uneducated, immobile, resentful bigots.

In the past few months, I have driven through the back roads of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and probably some other states I am forgetting. My experiences are always the same: People are nice, helpful, giving, imperfect, hardworking, deeply proud of where they come from and profoundly aspirational, no matter what trials they are struggling with.

But here’s the irony: As much as Beltway insiders are told they need to get out of D.C. and see the real America, they could see the real America in their backyard if they were to open their eyes.

We often miss what is right in front of us, no matter where we live. A several-mile walk through Washington reminded me that it truly does represent all of the aspirations, weaknesses and failures you can see and experience anywhere in this country.

Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



Culture, Issues

Losing a Hometown Hero

PITTSBURGH — Baseball is always held up as a metaphor for life in America. The struggles and disappointments, along with the workaday perseverance, form clear parallels.
Both require hope.
Baseball historian David Pietrusza once told me that like baseball, America is all about hope, necessarily tied up with effort and disappointment.
Baseball is a game without a clock. It’s never over until the final out. And no matter what the score is, there’s always a chance. Hope is the 10th guy in every lineup.
Like many traditions in American life that have changed with the times — such as knowing you can stay and prosper in the same town that your father’s father’s father did — the idea that your favorite player will be in the outfield playing for your home team his entire career is also a thing of the past.
Brad Todd lives in the Washington area, and his 9-year-old son’s favorite player, Bryce Harper, just traded his Washington Nationals jersey for a Philadelphia Phillies jersey and a $330 million contract. This brings back memories for Todd.
“I can remember the date, the day and where I was,” he said, a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and co-author of our book, “The Great Revolt.” “It was August the 3rd, 1990. I was a college student working a summer job at a newspaper, and I remember when, all the sudden, I saw it pop up on my screen that Dale Murphy had been traded, ironically, to the Philadelphia Phillies, and I looked up and everyone in the newsroom was staring at me. They had already seen it and were waiting on my reaction.” But the situation is worse for his son.
He said, “Murphy was at the end of his career. And so I still knew that he would be a Braves legend, and not somebody else’s legend. And that’s the problem I think with Harper. These kids thought that he would play for their team forever, and now he’s going to end up spending the bulk of his career playing for their rivals.” The Phillies and the Nats are both in the National League East division.
Since free agency came about in the ’70s, it has been a mournful rite of passage for young and old fans. This paralleled the broader phenomenon of more Americans leaving the place they grew up and thought they’d stay, having either been pulled away by opportunity, or pushed out by automation or foreign competition.
George Will, the Washington Post columnist who wrote the book on baseball “Men at Work,” says free agency may be one of the best things that happened to baseball. He explained in an interview: “It has, after much tweaking and accommodations, I think, contributed a competitive balance. It has made baseball more interesting. But even if it had done neither, it would be a good idea, because it’s elemental justice that the reserve clause denied. Which is the basic American right to negotiate terms of employment with the employer of your choice.”
Will, who saw his first game at Forbes Field here in Pittsburgh, knows there are plenty of 9-year-old broken hearts across the country every time this happens. “What we learn about baseball is that people are loyal less to particular players and more to the uniform and the logo and the stadium and the whole thing that goes with a team,” he says.
This is likely why in culture, you find loyalty to hometowns in other cities in the most peculiar ways. For instance, the 1,500 Steelers bars that are located across the country provide a way to connect what was lost after thousands and thousands of families were forced to leave when manufacturing collapsed here in the 1970s.
Washington is a jaded city. The adults are going be disappointed but not surprised, and will move past it. But in the end, baseball is a game that lives mostly in the imaginations of little kids and the little kid in all of us. And for that little kid, the loss of a lefty slugger is a little taste of the common sad story of losing hometown things we love.
Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



Four-Year-Old Girl Goes Home for Christmas for the First Time

Young Phaylnn Graham of Missouri was born two months premature and has spent the past four years in the hospital due to underdeveloped lungs. This Christmas, however, her doctors gave her the medical all-clear to go home for the first time since she was born, just in time to celebrate Christmas. Though she will still require the extra help of a nurse at the home, her family is excited to celebrate their first Christmas together outside of the hospital. It’s during the Advent celebration we take pause to consider the blessings that happen all around us despite our challenges. Read more…

Here’s more from Breitbart…

A four-year-old girl who spent her life in a Missouri hospital due to a lung condition is returning home for the first time— just before Christmas.

Phalynn Graham had been born two months premature, causing her lungs to be undeveloped.

For the past four years, Phalynn required round-the-clock care and had to be connected to a ventilator to breathe. But her condition improved enough that the doctors at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in Missouri decided to discharge her on Thursday, allowing her to go home for the first time since she was born.

The hospital wrote on Facebook Friday that it was a “bittersweet moment” to send Phalynn home after she had been hospitalized for 1,208 days.


Culture, Issues, Politics

Biological Man Dominating Women’s Handball

Hannah Mouncey is a 6’2″, 220 lb. biological man who is dominating as a woman on Australia’s women’s handball team after successfully petitioning that weight cannot be considered a criteria for qualification, and that doing so is “backwards.” Mouncey, who notably competed on the male team before his “transition,” is being credited for the team’s newfound success in international competition. According to Breitbart, Mouncey cited Iran for being progressive on transgender rights: “With a single-minded focus on transgenderism, Mouncey even praised Iran as ‘progressive’ for rules allowing transgender players. Yes, the same Iran that executes men for being gay is ‘progressive’ in Mouncey’s view.” Read more…

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Until 2016, Hannah Mouncey played for Australia’s men’s handball league. But now, after transitioning to a woman, the six-foot-two, 220-pound Mouncey is utterly dominating Australia’s women’s handball league, Daily Wire noted.

Mouncey literally towers over opponents and overpowers them in reach, strength, speed, and weight, but has been allowed to compete as a woman despite the incredible advantage.

With Mouncey leading the drive, Australia is back in the hunt for an Asian Women’s Handball championship for the first time in years.

Mouncey has been racking up the points at a growing rate with four goals against Kazakhstan last week, and eight goals against Japan and Iran in recent matches.

According to the Swedish sports site Handbolls Kanalen, “Australia defeated Iran by 29-24, and the result may turn out to be gold worth. If they finish in fifth place or better, Oceania is winning a World Cup through the Asian Championship. It also means that IHF will not have a wildcard to share.”


Culture, Media

Melania Makes Surprise Visit to Injured Service Members

First Lady Melania Trump arrived for an unannounced visit Tuesday to our injured military men and women and their families at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
In yet another show of class, the press was kept out and only informed after the fact when the First Lady shared heartfelt pictures of her visits across her social media accounts.
It’s a stark contrast with the previous administration and just one more example of what leadership and magnanimity can do in uniting the country on the path of making America great again.
Here’s more from The Daily Caller…


Melania Trump made a surprise visit Tuesday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit injured service members and their families.

“@FLOTUS has just arrived to @WRBethesda for an unannounced visit to combat-injured service members & their families,” the first lady’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham tweeted.

“This administration will never stop supporting our men & women in uniform & the families who love them,” she added. “Thank you!!!”

Shortly after the trip, Trump shared a few photos from her visit.“I had a wonderful visit to @WRBethesda today. Thank you to the many dedicated service members & medical staff who take such good care of our men & women in uniform,” FLOTUS captioned her post on Instagram.

The first lady underwent kidney surgery at the medical center in May for a benign embolism and missed President Donald Trump’s trip to Singapore for the historic meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and the G-7 summit in Canada.


Culture, Media

Fonda Calls for Barron to Be ‘Ripped’ from Melania’s Arms

If the headline didn’t give it away, Hollywood’s D-List Actor Peter Fonda — yes, brother of soldier-hating Jane Fonda — is attacking the President’s son over a manufactured leftwing crisis of illegal immigrant children.

They’re allegedly being ‘ripped’ from their parents’ arms or, you know, from the arms of their ‘Uncle’ Javier (aka human-trafficker and possible pedophile).

Fonda’s vile tweet called for Barron Trump to be ‘ripped’ from Melania’s arms and put in a cage ‘with pedophiles’. Appropriately, the Office of the First Lady notified the Secret Service.

It’s too bad tarring and feathering is a thing of the past.

Here’s more from Daily Caller…

The Office of the First Lady has notified the Secret Service after actor Peter Fonda called for kidnapping Melania and Donald Trump’s son, Barron, The Daily Caller has learned exclusively.

In a tweet sent Wednesday, the actor called for Barron to be ‘ripped’ from Melania’s arms and put in a cage ‘with pedophiles.’


Culture, Politics

Tone-Deaf: Democrat Party Leader Calls NFL Boycott

The grand wizards of the Democrat Party clearly haven’t learned the lesson laid out for them in their surprise defeat in the 2016 election.

Millions of Americans — including many in the battleground states who had previously voted for Obama — rejected the elitist, top-down, condescension from the DNC and its fearless leader, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And, on the cusp of the summer vacation season, the Democrats are still signaling they’re not prepared for the November election in which they really, really need to demonstrate to those voters that things are different this time.

Alas, Rep. Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the Democrat National Committee, just announced a brilliant idea: let’s boycott the NFL for finally deciding that showing respect for the flag is a good thing.

It only took the loss of a third of their audience before they got the clue. And it’s clearly a clue the DNC still needs to get. Otherwise that so-called ‘blue wave’ will be a little blue trickle, and the GOP will wipe them all over the map…again.

Here’s more from Daily Caller…

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota called for a boycott of the National Football League over a rule change prohibiting players from kneeling in protest during America’s national anthem.

After controversy marred the 2017–2018 season due to protesting players, the league is requiring players to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room until the anthem is over.

The new policy means teams will have to pay a fine if players kneel or sit on the field during the anthem.

Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, called for a boycott of the NFL in a tweet on Sunday.



Kay Coles James: Our Freedom Didn’t Come Cheaply

The list of possible activities could go on, but ask yourself: What do they all have in common? Simply this: It’s your decision how you mark Memorial Day. Because you are free.

And if there’s one thing that Memorial Day reminds us, it’s that our freedom didn’t come cheaply. Many Americans gave what President Abraham Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion” so that liberty could continue to ring from, yes, sea to shining sea.

It’s all too easy, especially for those of us blessed to have grown up in this great land, to take our liberty for granted. We forget that freedom isn’t free. It must be paid for, and not just once.

Continue reading…


Culture, Media

Obama: Netflix Projects to Help ‘Train the Next Generation’

If you’re wondering whether Barack Obama will ever just go away, the answer clearly is ‘no’.

In fact, he’s looking for new ways to invade the lives of Americans: on the television.

Barack and Michelle recently announced a new deal with Netflix to produce original content for the streaming giant designed to tell American stories that will ‘heal the political divide’ and train ‘the next generation of leaders’.

One word comes to mind when we consider Obama getting his hands into the film industry: propaganda.

But then again, his project won’t likely produce anything more leftist than what’s already coming out of Hollywood.

So feel free to tune out.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Barack Obama is speaking out about how he wants to use the film projects he develops with Netflix to heal the political divide and tell America’s stories.

Earlier this week, Netflix announced it is partnering with Barack and Michelle Obama to develop original content for the video streaming giant. Initially, no real details were released — including the actual price tag of the contract. But three days later Obama has filled in some of the blanks about his plans, Business Insider reported.

Speaking at a Las Vegas tech conference hosted by cybersecurity company Okta, Obama waxed poetic about the “stories” Americans have to tell and said he wants to use his multi-year contract with Netflix to help “train the next generation of leaders.”


Culture, Politics, States

Harvard to Award Hillary Medal for ‘Transformative Impact’

We’re reminded yet again why ivy-lined ivory towers on the Left Coast and the Blue Coast, respectively, have earned such scorn from the rest of America in fly-over country.

In addition to being the paragons of the leftward march into abject cultural oblivion, they also don’t mind thumbing their noses at the rest of us who recognize the hypocrisy of the socialist elites.

Enter Harvard which will reportedly award Hillary on Friday the ‘prestigious’ Radcliffe Medal for her “transformative impact on society.”

And they’re absolutely correct.

Hillary has done more in the last 25 years to polarize American voters against the Democrat Party than any other political figure.

We’ll raise a glass to that. Cheers!

Here’s more from Fox News…

Hillary Clinton will receive Harvard’s prestigious Radcliffe Medal for her “transformative impact on society,” according to the Ivy League university.

She will receive the award Friday as part of the school’s graduation-week activities.

Clinton is a former first lady, New York senator, secretary of State and two-time Democratic presidential candidate. Her 2016 White House bid was damaged severely by an FBI investigation into her use of private email servers to send and receive classified information while at the State Department.

Organizers at Harvard say Clinton was chosen for the award because she’s a “champion for human rights,” a “skilled legislator” and “an advocate of American leadership” on the world stage.