DC Exclusives – Opinion

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Wisconsin Badgers are national champions.

My women’s hockey team defeated Minnesota 2-0 Sunday afternoon in dominating fashion to win our fifth national title in the past 13 years.

Star Annie Pankowski shredded apart the Gophers, and our neighbors to the west really never had a chance. (RELATED: Watch ‘Miracle On Ice’ Legend Mark Johnson‘s Wisconsin Jersey Retirement Ceremony)

I know that I regularly trash women’s sports, but women’s hockey is different. Whether it’s the national team or the top teams in college, those gals are exciting as hell to watch.

Just days after our hearts were broken by Oregon in March Madness, my beloved Badgers are back on the top of the world. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

What an incredible time to be a Wisconsin Badgers. Five titles since 2006. Mark Johnson really has done something incredible with this program.

Again, I know you’re probably shocked I tuned in for a women’s sporting event, but you just don’t know what you’re talking about if you don’t understand the high level of play in elite women’s hockey.

It’s incredibly entertaining and we’re here for every single second of it. Major props to my ladies back home for taking care of business. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

Finally, Wisconsin star Sophia Shaver is an absolute smoke.

With women like that on our roster, we were winners before they even dropped the puck.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Karl Notturno | Center for American Greatness

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert.

Gabbard’s bright red jacket along with Colbert’s unusually pointed, abrasive, and denigrating questions could have easily confused many in the audience — but yes, she is a Democrat.

But while many other Democrat presidential candidates have twisted themselves into identitarian knots and prostrated themselves on the altar of political correctness in order to placate an increasingly extreme Leftist wing of the party, Gabbard has primarily campaigned on removing the United States from foreign entanglements.

A combat veteran who fought in Iraq, Gabbard knows the cost of regime-change wars and has a deep distrust of the pseudo-intellectuals and supposed policy experts who start them. And she is not afraid to speak her mind, even if it displeases her Democratic colleagues in Congress and the media. She has already had plenty of experience standing up to the Democratic establishment.

Gabbard was one of the few Democrats who met with President-elect Trump shortly after the election, with many reporting that he was considering making her ambassador to the United Nations. Gabbard said that while she was defying the “rules of political expediency” by meeting with Trump, she would not “play politics” with American and Syrian lives.

Gabbard ruffled more feathers in the establishment by meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, once again showing timid policy wonks across the country that meeting and talking with enemies does not give them a magic shield of credibility. She was criticized by Democrats and the media, but she made the case for seeking peace through dialog and refused to back down.

Gabbard is one of the few Democrats who realize that while conversation may be distasteful, the lack of conversation can be fatal.

The media has largely marginalized Gabbard, opting to focus on the circus of other Democratic candidates cannibalizing each other over jokes, apologizing for complimenting their wives, and cooking up strategies to preemptively mitigate their white privilege. They do not want to give credence to a candidate who has echoed Trump’s insistence that without a “secure border, we don’t really have a country.”

As the rest of the Democratic field rushes to out-woke each other and alienate most moderate Americans, Gabbard is one of the few candidates who is sticking to her principles and continuing to fight for normal citizens who are far more concerned about maintaining peace than appeasing the radical identitarians.

It is clear that the Democratic establishment does not appreciate Tulsi Gabbard and will do everything in their power to ensure that she does not make it through the primary process. We should expect no less from the same party that rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But what should we do when a moderate Democrat gets a better reception on Tucker Carlson Tonight than on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

Conservatives — the non-neo-con ones — have a unique opportunity.

Many moderate Democrats privately despair at the radicalization of their party and the lengths their candidates have to go in order to emerge from the primary process relatively unscathed. Even Nancy Pelosi has a difficult time walking the tight-rope to ensure that she retains the support of the extremists without losing the rest of America.

Conservatives should make a concerted effort to reach out to open-minded moderate Democrats, engage them in good faith, debate their policy proposals, and find common ground to build a new pro-America coalition. We may disagree on many specifics, but at least we have the same goals and priorities.

There is a new political divide in the country between the people who want what is best for America’s citizens and those who would prefer to virtue signal by calling for increased foreign engagement, fundamental impairment of our economy, and continued identitarian strife.

This is a divide between those who believe that America — despite all of its flaws — is still a fundamentally good country and those who believe that it — despite all of its ideals — is a bad country that needs fundamental change.

Reasonable people can disagree on the efficacy of Medicare for All without tearing the country apart. But a house fundamentally divided against itself cannot stand. Self-hatred and the constant call for self-flagellation stokes internal animus, leaves the country weary, and eats at the morale of a nation that already faces existential threats.

Let’s unite a new coalition of politicians and constituents who put America first. The threat from the anti-America coalition is far greater than any petty internal squabbles we may have.

Karl Notturno (@KarlNotturno) is a fellow at the Center for American Greatness. He also serves as director of A Soldier’s Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

Charles Kolb | Deputy Assistant to George H.W. Bush

If only Christopher Hitchens were still alive!

The Vanity Fair and former Nation journalist died of esophageal cancer at age 62 in December 2011. He would have a field day with today’s strange new world: the 2016 election, the Clintons (whom he detested), Trump’s presidential antics, Brexit (born a Brit, Hitchens became an American citizen), social media, artificial intelligence, and the 2020 presidential candidates.

Hitch was a great debunker. His irreverence was exceeded only by his intelligence, his eclectic reading, and his remarkable memory. He seemed to know just about everything, and his book titles trumpeted his strong verdicts. Bill Clinton was skewered in “No One Left to Lie To,” and his slim, scathing volume about Mother Teresa was titled “The Missionary Position.” There was, however, one unassailable Hitchens Hero: novelist and essayist George Orwell.

Hitchens’s 2002 book, “Why Orwell Matters,” is worth reading today. Hitchens praised Orwell as a relentless champion of liberty and equality whose vision embraced “a society of free and equal human beings.” Orwell despised communism and fascism, and his novels “Animal Farm” (1946) and “Nineteen Eighty-Four”(1949) warned about the danger of “Big Brother” governments that adopt authoritarian tactics against the governed.

Orwell never knew the Internet, but he surely would have been concerned about how social media platforms operate, with business models heavily reliant on algorithms that maximize profits by freely mining individual data at the expense of privacy. And that’s the problem: a Faustian bargain that says “give us your personal data in exchange for free services.” Governments now justify enhanced surveillance in exchange for enhanced security. As Hitchens wrote, Orwell believed deeply that “there should be no utilitarian tradeoff between freedom and security.”

To her credit, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recognizes the dangers described by Orwell, and that is why she pledges to break up the big data-driven tech companies if she becomes president. Warren is not alone. The pushback is already starting: the European Union has adopted internet rules (the General Data Protection Regulation) that strengthen individual privacy, is pursuing vigorous antitrust enforcement, and has levied substantial fines against Facebook and Google. We can expect continued congressional hearings that will examine these firms’ business practices, their privacy protections, and their profits.

Hitchens probably would have panned Warren’s fake populism (“I’m a gonna get me a beer”) and her ludicrous Cherokee-heritage claims (“my papaw had high cheekbones”). But the irreverent journalist and the consumer-oriented senator probably would have agreed on curbing social media platforms, enforcing antitrust laws, and forcing changes to existing business models that mine “free data” while offering inadequate privacy guarantees. Warren deserves credit for pressing these issues.

Machines governed by algorithms (mathematical problem-solving formulas that impose a set of rules designed to seek, identify, and capture patterns) now impact increasing aspects of contemporary life. This development is not inherently bad. Algorithms drive a significant portion of daily stock-market trading. Driverless cars use algorithms to process information faster than human brains. Algorithms now fly planes and track our Internet activity, including our daily movements based on our cellphone locations.

Edward Snowden’s massive data dump revealed that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress when he told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) that the government was not collecting personal data on American citizens. The government was scooping up everything it could find and relying on algorithms to search that information for potential terrorist threats.

When algorithms become linked with the brave new emerging world of artificial intelligence, however, there is the potential for both good (health care, fraud prevention, driverless cars, airport facial recognition) and bad (China’s plans to use AI for political monitoring through a “social credit system” that tracks citizens and bolsters Communist one-party political control).

Along with Hitchens and Orwell, Elizabeth Warren worries about tradeoffs between freedom and security. We need to tame the use of algorithms and make them work for us, not against us. What makes us human is our personal interaction with other humans, not with machines.

“Orwellian” is now applied to situations involving official government deception, extensive secret surveillance, and evading reality through lies and misleading information. George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens are no longer with us, so we need crusaders like Elizabeth Warren (and others) to ensure that our world remains governed by humans and not by machines responding to impersonal mathematical formulas.

Charles Kolb served as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy in the Bush White House from 1990-92.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

The TV ratings for March Madness are huge.

According to a release from March Madness TV on Twitter, the Friday primetime slot across CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV hit a 28-year high of 7.7 for the tournament. Streaming numbers on March Madness Live were also up 20 percent from 2018. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Duke playing in primetime obviously helped the numbers, but these ratings are outstanding. It initially looked like the ratings were going to take a substantial dip after Thursday. Clearly, that wasn’t a trend that would actually hold. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

You know that things are going good in America when college basketball TV ratings hit a near three-decade high. Our founding fathers would be proud as hell.

The other thing worth noting that’s so impressive is the fact these games haven’t been particularly close, but people keep watching. That’s a great sign.

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Make sure to keep tuning in for all the action as we go down the stretch this beautiful Sunday and into next week. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss one second of the action.

God bless this beautiful country!

Source: The Daily Caller

Andrew Wilford | National Taxpayers’ Union Foundation

Newly-announced presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has been criticized in recent weeks for being light on policy specifics. Of course, it’s hard to blame him for holding back on policy specifics when his primary electorate is hammering him for acknowledging some pretty basic realities about our debt crisis back in 2012.

Back in 2012, when he was in the middle of a primary challenge against then-incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes, O’Rourke stated that the size of the federal government was “extravagant” with an “out-of-control debt” and that “significant” spending cuts were necessary. That was true then, and it’s only become even more accurate as spending discipline has continued to slip.

It’s true that we are running trillion-dollar annual deficits and that the national debt has blown past $22 trillion in total debt. Unfortunately, that’s small potatoes compared to what’s on the horizon. Social Security and Medicare are going to blow our short-term budget problems out of the water as the baby boomer generation retires — these two programs alone are projected to run a deficit of $82 trillion over the next 30 years.

That’s a huge crisis in two programs that Americans contribute to from their paychecks and count on for their retirement. Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible for politicians to propose meaningful reforms to Social Security and Medicare without needing to look for work come next election cycle.

Instead, it’s become a common refrain on the left that the debt only became an issue on December 22, 2017, when President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law. That ignores the clear reality that we are in a debt crisis because our government overspends, not because we are undertaxed.

Even if the TCJA had never passed, our debt-to-GDP ratio would have gone from 76.65 percent in 2017 to 111.23 percent in 2027; with the tax reform law, the debt-to-GDP ratio was projected to increase just 3 percent by 2027, to 114.2 percent. An easy way to spot a dishonest partisan is when they blame the $1.43 trillion TCJA for our current debt crisis, but are mum on the $1.66 trillion bipartisan spending bill signed just a couple months later.

O’Rourke deserves praise for making tough statements while running for Congress in 2012. The candidate has been under attack from more extreme elements of the left due to his habit of taking positions that go against the tenets of democratic socialism — for example, refusing to back Elizabeth Warren’s tech breakup plan, making positive statements about capitalism and the power of the market, and seeming hesitant to endorse a single-payer plan. All of these heresies have led many on the left to suggest that O’Rourke doesn’t actually believe anything, a refrain that has been dutifully parroted by mainstream outlets.

Unfortunately, because of this pressure from the left, his spokesman has since felt the need to walk those statements back somewhat. For a primary electorate obsessed with denial of impending crises, the irony of a major candidate being savaged for acknowledging that Medicare and Social Security are in danger of not being solvent by the time millennials are ready to receive benefits from them is thick enough to choke on.

Beto O’Rourke was right to point to the need for Social Security and Medicare reform. It’s too bad that he’s stuck with an electorate that would rather engage in “deficit denial.”

Andrew Wilford (@PolicyWilford) is a policy analyst with the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fiscal policy analysis and education at all levels of government.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Dr. Dre is very proud of his daughter for getting into USC.

The superstar rapper posted a photo of himself on Instagram late Saturday with his daughter Truly holding her USC admission letter, and captioned the post, “My daughter got accepted into USC all on her own. No jail time!!!”

It’s an obvious shot at the likes of Lori Loughlin and others who allegedly bribed their children’s way into schools such as USC and others. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Hottest Women On Instagram)

However, it is worth noting that Dr. Dre did make a donation of $70 million to USC in 2013 to start the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts and Technology, according to the Daily Mail.

Now, I’m sure a lot of people would pile on her and claim that Dr. Dre’s donation is the reason his daughter got in. Who really knows? Sure, writing a check for $70 million probably didn’t hurt, but that happened when she was in middle school.

That’s one hell of a long game strategy if he was trying to get her into USC.

The reality of the situation is that if you’re dad has a building named on campus after him, then you’re probably going to be just fine when admission time comes around.

Of course, that’s not to say Truly isn’t super smart herself. Her dad is one of the best businessmen that the entertainment world has ever seen.

Either way, writing a check for $70 million is one hell of a power move!

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson had some powerful thoughts about families that need financial assistance to see their kids play.

Houston has had a great season, making it to the tournament as a three seed. However, not all the families could afford to make the trip to watch their March Madness run, and there’s no help from the NCAA. That really bothers the Houston coach, as it should. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

“I’ve had families ask if they can sleep on their son’s hotel room floor. Think about that now,” Sampson told the media when explaining how some families can’t afford to travel.

Watch his full comments below.

I couldn’t agree more. The NCAA tournament prints money. It is essentially an ATM. There’s nothing wrong with that. People enjoy the games, and it generates big money. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

There’s no excuse for the NCAA not helping facilitate travel and housing for families during the tournament. There is plenty of money out there. At the very least, allow the schools to pay for it themselves.

The system we currently have has no problem using young men to produce cash through college football and basketball. God forbid their families get a little help so they can travel to games.

It’s almost like the NCAA doesn’t actually care about the well-being of the student-athletes. This should be fixed, and it should be fixed immediately.

Of course, we all know that’s not likely, which is a damn shame.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

“Yellowstone” season two is only a few months away, and we have the first image from the upcoming episodes.

Everybody knows that I’m a huge fan of the hit show on the Paramount Network. Kevin Costner as John Dutton is one of the coolest storylines that I’ve ever seen on TV.

The whole cast is incredible, and I’m extremely optimistic that things will only get crazier in season two. In the first image from the new season, all our favorite characters are gathered on the front porch of John’s house. (RELATED: ‘Yellowstone’ Season 2 Will Premiere June 19, 2019 On The Paramount Network)

Kayce, Beth, Jamie, their father, Rip and Monica are all in the picture. Jamie’s presence is interesting because he pretty much cut and run from the family at the end of season one.

This photo makes me think that Jamie is going to make some amends in the second season. He flamed out his father to a reporter, and that could cause some serious problems for the head of the Dutton family.

Yet, there’s a war brewing, and we all know John will close ranks. Will Jamie find his way back into his good graces? We’ll have to find out. (RELATED: The ‘Yellowstone‘ Season One Finale Was Electric [SPOILERS])

It’s also interesting that Monica is featured. Hopefully, that’s a sign she’s going to smooth things over with Kayce.

There’s no question she’s better off on the ranch than on the reservation. That was made obvious in season one.

Tune in June 19 to catch all the action in season 2. It should be great.

Source: The Daily Caller

The Alliance of American Football released a pretty cool video late Saturday of Johnny Manziel ahead of his debut.

The Memphis Express quarterback talked about his rise to fame at Texas A&M and how it all came crashing down afterwards. He was open, honest and appeared very self-aware of the mistakes in his past. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Signs With The Memphis Express In The AAF)

The Heisman winner even admitted that he has a lot of regrets about how things when down when he flamed out of Cleveland.

Watch the video below.

Now, Manziel will make his AAF debut when the Memphis Express play the Birmingham Iron tonight on the NFL Network.

Given all the things that have happened in Manziel’s life and his short stint in Canada, it’s kind of hard to believe how nicely things came together for him in the AAF. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Says He’s ‘Getting Some Of The Rust Out’ Ahead Of Memphis Express Debut)

It should be fun to see if he can still go out there and spin it like he did during his days with the Aggies.

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Make sure to tune in for the game. Johnny Football won’t be starting, but I absolutely expect him to get some snaps.

It’s going to be a good one as we watch Manziel’s return to pro football.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Fans gave Minnesota star Jordan Murphy an emotional goodbye after losing to Michigan State Saturday night.

The Gophers got blown out by the Spartans in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but that didn’t stop the fans from showing their appreciation for Murphy, who has been a major part of the Minnesota program these past few years. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Coach Richard Pitino pulled him from the game with just under a minute and a half left as the crowd got to its feet, and started applauding.

The senior star shared some emotional hugs as he went down the bench.

That’s how this journey will end for every single player on ever single team except one. Sports are about huge emotional swings, and most people will hang up their shoes without ever getting close to a championship.

I have no doubt last night was a hard pill to swallow for Murphy. I have no doubt at all, but the sting of losing his final March Madness game will eventually fade.

When it does, people will always remember just how great he was for the Gophers.

Props to him on a very successful career in the Big Ten. Now, it’s time for him to go make some money playing this incredible sport.

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Source: The Daily Caller

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