Scalise Is Back! Plus, Items Various and Sundry
Scott McKay
by

My viewership of 60 Minutes has been all but nonexistent for more than a decade, but that changed Sunday.

On Sunday Norah O’Donnell had an interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who made a dramatic return to the public stage last week after spending several months in recovery from a bullet wound to his hip courtesy of a former Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer named James Hodgkinson. The would-be assassin who hit the congressional baseball practice of the Republican team in June almost killed Scalise, and O’Donnell’s report went into the deepest detail yet offered as to how bad things got at MedStar Washington when the helicopter evacuated Scalise from the scene.

Included in the report was a segment with Dr. James Sava, whose medical team saved Scalise’s life. Sava said that when Scalise arrived at MedStar, there was no discernible blood pressure. He said his team responded by giving a massive blood transfusion to the congressman of some 18-20 units of blood. That’s more than the human body typically holds.

But as June has turned into September, near-death has turned into life. Scalise made a trip to the House floor Thursday, giving a speech which turned the Beltway crowd on its ear. He’s even making progress walking again; he’s slow and he’s got to have crutches, but his doctors are confident he’ll be fully ambulatory and might even run again before he’s done.

And by Saturday the Congressman made it home to Louisiana, showing up on the field at Tiger Stadium before the LSU-Troy game (let’s not talk about how the game turned out, as that’s a whole other column).

There is a good deal of speculation about Scalise’s future in the wake of his ordeal and his victory over that bullet. That future could include moving up in the House, though he won’t challenge Kevin McCarthy for House Majority Leader or Speaker, in the event Paul Ryan were to quit. That means he doesn’t have much of an opportunity to let his political talents, which are becoming recognized as considerable, reach full blossom.

The Whip position, after all, is an important one — but the public doesn’t have to like or even know the Whip. Most people hated Tom DeLay and yet he was pretty effective getting things passed.

Back home in Louisiana there is a growing desire on the part of Republican activists to recruit Scalise to run for governor. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that (1) Democrat governor John Bel Edwards is strangling the state’s private sector economy, which was the nation’s worst-performing in terms of median income growth (or reduction, in Louisiana’s case) last year, and (2) so far Edwards isn’t paying a price for it in his approval rating, which hovers in the high 50s.

That’s probably going to change, as the number one factor in Louisiana politics at present is voter fatigue. As 2019, the next statewide election cycle, gets closer that’s expected to change — and Edwards has a host of negatives brewing which will drag that approval number down.

But while the Louisiana GOP has a reasonably deep bench at present, there is no Republican in the state whose entry into that race would provide more assurance of a GOP takeover than Scalise. If he ran — which he could do without endangering his seat or his job as Whip in the event he lost — he would be nearly impossible to beat, and the state’s Republicans know it.

Last week, I tried to watch LaLa Land, which was nominated for 12 Oscars and won five.

I didn’t get it. Maybe you guys did, but I didn’t.

A depressing musical with wooden characters played by actors who can’t sing? And it wins five Oscars?

It’s not a surprise this is Hollywood’s worst year ever.

Does San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz realize that when Kathleen Blanco did the blame-the-president act following Katrina it didn’t work out so well for her?

Apparently not. Otherwise Cruz probably wouldn’t have stoked a fight with President Trump over what she called the slow pace of federal hurricane recovery following what Maria did to Puerto Rico. Especially when she doesn’t even know what she’s talking about.

It’s a bad scene there, for sure. There isn’t a lot more the federal government could be doing to improve things, though. San Juan’s port is small — it was only the 51st busiest port in America in 2013, just below Port Lavaca, Texas in the standings, and the ports of Kingston, Jamaica and Freeport in the Bahamas are busier. So pushing cargo through that port isn’t the easiest job in the world, and with the island’s roads and fuel supplies badly disrupted it’s even harder to move cargo off the docks to where it needs to go.

But it turns out the worst problem with Maria recovery in Puerto Rico may be a union. Frente Amplio, the Puerto Rican Teamsters Union, is striking over a local beef with the island’s governor, and that’s why there aren’t enough truckers to move hurricane aid around the island.

Good chance that’s why Cruz started her fight with Trump, who was perfectly happy to participate in his own right. It wouldn’t do for the local leftists in Puerto Rico to have to explain a misbehaving union as the cause of its acute misery, would it? Now we have a different narrative to chew on.

So in Marseille a man wielding a knife in a train station yelled “Allahu Akbar!” and commenced to stabbing strangers, and yet the authorities seem puzzled as to the motive.

Enough already, no? Can’t we at least be honest about who these people are and why they’re doing what they’re doing?

Finally, this:

A Chinese billionaire living in virtual exile in New York, Guo Wengui has riled China’s leaders with his sometimes outlandish tales of deep corruption among family members of top Communist Party officials.

On Saturday, his tales proved too much for one of his favorite platforms for broadcasting those accusations: Facebook.

The social media network said it had blocked a profile under Mr. Guo’s name and taken down another page associated with him. Facebook said the content on both pages had included someone else’s personal identifiable information, which violates its terms of service.

Here’s the thing — if Mark Zuckerberg isn’t willing to allow Chinese patriots to expose corruption in that country, then he damn sure doesn’t have any business playing in American politics.

Scott McKay
Scott McKay
Follow Their Stories:
View More
Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a novelist — check out his first book “Animus: A Tale of Ardenia,” available in Kindle and paperback.
o
Sign Up to receive Our Latest Updates! Register

Be a Free Market Loving Patriot. Subscribe Today!