Jack Davis


Actor Vince Vaughn was trashed on social media Monday night after a video clip made the rounds showing him talking with President Donald Trump at the College Football Playoff championship game in New Orleans.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended the game, in which LSU defeated Clemson 42-25.

Vaughn — who styles himself as a libertarian — was captured on video in the luxury box occupied by the Trumps talking to the president as the first lady sat between them.

As the “DodgeBall” and “Swingers” star departed, he was seen shaking the president’s hand.

Liberals on Twitter were aghast, starting with former Deadspin employee Timothy Burke.

“I’m very sorry to have to share this video with you,” he said. “All of it, every part of it.”

As the outrage mounted, others pushed back at the cancel culture that would ordain punishment for the alleged sin of talking to a president, with some likening what was happening to Vaughn to the trashing of Ellen DeGeneres when she was spotted sharing a luxury box with former President George W. Bush during a Dallas Cowboys game.

Vaughn put a huge gulf between himself and the Hollywood left in a 2015 interview with GQ when he shared his views on gun rights.

“I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home,” he said. “We don’t have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It’s not about duck hunting; it’s about the ability of the individual. It’s the same reason we have freedom of speech. It’s well known that the greatest defense against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back.

“All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones. Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns.

“These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenseless human beings. They do not want confrontation. In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f—ing schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds. …

“Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat. Taking away guns, taking away drugs, the booze, it won’t rid the world of criminality.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Leftists Target Star Actor Vince Vaughn After He’s Spotted Talking with Trump at College Football Championship Game

For once, CNN was on the side of President Donald Trump as he attacked two Texas-based Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee for misquoting him.

Last week, as the Judiciary Committee was going through its markup of the articles of impeachment against Trump, Reps. Veronica Escobar and Sheila Jackson Lee both departed from the truth in their recounting of what Trump said during a July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymr Zelensky, according to Fox News.

A transcript of the call shows that Trump said, “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot.”

Escobar revised that to make the sentence personal, claiming Trump said, “I want you to do me a favor though.”

Jackson Lee left out the word “us” altogether, saying that Trump said, “I would like you to do a favor though.”

CNN‘s fact-checkers ruled in Trump’s favor.

“Facts First: Trump is correct that the call was misquoted during today’s debate over the articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary committee,” the CNN article stated. (Emphasis in original.)

Trump also lashed out at the two Democrats on Twitter.

“Dems Veronica Escobar and Jackson Lee purposely misquoted my call. I said I want you to do us (our Country!) a favor, not me a favor. They know that but decided to LIE in order to make a fraudulent point! Very sad,” Trump tweeted.

Trump has bristled at Democrats who misinterpret his words on the call.

On Friday, Trump attacked the Judiciary Committee for approving the articles of impeachment against him and Democrats who changed his words, according to a White House media pool report.

“I watched these Democrats on the committee make fools out of themselves. Absolute fools out of themselves. And I also saw them quoting, all the time, incorrectly. They kept saying ‘me.’ It wasn’t about me, it was about us. The word was ‘us.’ So, they would — kept saying ‘me’ instead ‘us.’ ‘Can you do “us” a favor?’ ‘Our country,’ comma, ‘our country,’” Trump said.

“For these people to say ‘me’ — they would say ‘me.’ ‘You said, “Do me a favor.” No, it didn’t say that. It said, ‘Do us a favor — our country.’ Talking about the past election. Talking about corruption,” Trump said.

“It’s a witch hunt. It’s a sham. It’s a hoax. Nothing was done wrong. Zero was done wrong. I think it’s a horrible thing to be using the tool of impeachment, which is supposed to be used in an emergency. And it would seem many, many, many years apart,” Trump said.

“To be using this for a perfect phone call, where the president of that country said there was no pressure whatsoever — didn’t even know what we were talking about. It was perfect; the relationship is perfect. I’ve done much more for them than Obama did for them. It’s a scam. It’s something that shouldn’t be allowed. And it’s a very bad thing for our country,” he said.

Trump said that impeachment should be more than a political weapon.

“And you’re trivializing impeachment. And I tell you what: Someday there’ll be a Democrat president and there’ll be a Republican House, and I suspect they’re going to remember it,” he said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: CNN Admits Trump Was Right About Democrats Misquoting Him in Ukraine Call

In looking back at his life, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says he learned the hard way that the real enemies he faced were not racists, but liberals.

Thomas is the subject of a documentary called “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words.”

“I felt as though in my life I had been looking at the wrong people as the people who would be problematic toward me. We were told that, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be the bigot in the pickup truck; it’s gonna be the Klansmen; it’s gonna be the rural sheriff,’” Thomas said, according to ABC, which said it was granted a sneak peek at the documentary to be released next year.

“But it turned out that through all of that, ultimately, the biggest impediment was the modern-day liberal,” he said.

“They were the ones who would discount all those things because they have one issue or because they have the power to caricature you,” he said.

The documentary focuses on Thomas’s 1991 controversial confirmation hearings, which were chaired by then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and featured the testimony of Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. Thomas has always denied the accusation, and says in the documentary it had a sinister purpose.

“Do I have, like, ‘stupid’ written on the back of my shirt? I mean, come on. We know what this is all about,” Thomas said in the documentary, according to ABC. “People should just tell the truth: ‘This is the wrong black guy; he has to be destroyed.’ Just say it. Then now we’re at least honest with each other.

“The idea was to get rid of me. And then after I was there, it was to undermine me,” he said.

Thomas said that he is a victim of a double standard, but not in the way many black Americans might use that term.

“There’s different sets of rules for different people,” he says. “If you criticize, say, a black person who’s more liberal, you’re a racist. Whereas if you can do whatever to me, or to now [HUD Secretary] Ben Carson, and that’s fine, because you’re not really black because you’re not doing what we expect black people to do.”

In one part of the documentary, Thomas is asked about Biden’s line of questioning concerning “natural law.”

“I have no idea what he was talking about,” Thomas said regarding the now-former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate.

“I understood what he was trying to do. I didn’t really appreciate it. ‘Natural law’ was nothing more than a way of tricking me into talking about abortion,” he said,

Bill Russo, Biden’s deputy communications director, shrugged off the comment in a statement to ABC.

“Then-Senator Biden voted against Clarence Thomas in the Senate Judiciary Committee, he argued against him on the Senate floor, and he voted against his confirmation to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. It is no surprise that Justice Thomas does not have a positive view of him,” the statement said.

Thomas said in the documentary that his confirmation was essentially about one issue.

“Most of my opponents on the Judiciary Committee cared about only one thing: How would I rule on abortion rights. You really didn’t matter and your life didn’t matter. What mattered is what they wanted and what they wanted was this particular issue,” said Thomas.

Thomas said his silence in the court during oral arguments reflects his conception of the job.

“We are judges, not advocates. It’s not my job to argue with lawyers,” he said. “The referee in the game shouldn’t be a participant in the game.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Clarence Thomas Rips the ‘Modern-Day Liberal,’ Compares Them to the KKK in Doc: Report

There is one group of Californians who are happy to praise President Donald Trump — the state’s garlic growers.

The president’s decision to slap tariffs on a wide range of Chinese products, including garlic, has meant that domestic growers are having a heyday because garlic from China has become pricey, the BBC reported.

“It is untrue that there are no winners in a trade war,” Ken Christopher, executive vice president of California-based Christopher Ranch, said.

“When President Trump’s tariffs for garlic kicked in, it was at that point that California garlic truly became competitive,” said Christopher, who oversees the nation’s largest garlic farm.

He said the good news gets lost in media carping about Trump’s trade war with China.

“It’s been a difficult thing to talk about, as the media continually simplifies the tariffs as injuring farmers, whereas it actually benefits the domestic garlic industry,” Christopher said.

He told Marketwatch other sectors are also seeing an upswing.

“[T]here’s a much larger narrative to the tariff conversation because it’s not only garlic that’s benefiting from the tariff. Honey farmers, crawfish farmers, they’re among the few that are greatly benefiting,” Christopher said.

As far back as 1994, America’s garlic growers accused China of selling garlic for less than it cost to produce. Although the U.S. put sanctions in place to punish those getting caught, the impact was minimal.

Frank Lavin, a former undersecretary for international trade at the Department of Commerce, said Chinese importers outfoxed the system.

“They would be discovered and sanctioned, and then they would simply set up another dummy structure. The fact is they were more nimble, occasionally, in setting up these entities than U.S. Customs could be in discovering them,” he told the BBC.

Christopher said there is no way around the tariffs, however, because “garlic can’t even enter the country now before the tariff is billed to them. That’s what’s tactically changing the game.”

His farm ships more than 100 million pounds of garlic a year and is enjoying a sales boom.

“We’re seeing growth year-over-year of between 6 to 23 percent every week on our fresh garlic,” Christopher said. “It may not seem like a lot, but when measured in millions of pounds it makes a huge difference to our bottom line.”

Californian farmer Jack Vessey was in the garlic game but had to give it up because China became so dominant.

“Garlic, for many years, accounted for more than 50 percent of our receipts,” he told the BBC. “But once the Chinese began dumping product in the U.S. market, we started to cut back on our acreage and build other sectors of our business.”

Christopher knows the trade war will end, and he said it is “not in the long-term macroeconomic interest of the U.S. to engage in trade wars.”

But, he said, “[O]ur industry needed immediate relief.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Farmers Praise Trump After Tariffs Lead to Boost in Demand for US Crops

In an unprecedented move, a White House spokesperson said President Donald Trump wants the impeachment trial to go forward in the Senate because he would receive due process and hopes Vice President Joe Biden will be a witness.

“President Trump wants to have a trial in the Senate because it’s clearly the only chamber where he can expect fairness and receive due process under the Constitution,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement, reported the Reuters news agency on Thursday evening.

“We would expect to finally hear from witnesses who actually witnessed, and possibly participated in corruption—like Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the so-called whistleblower, to name a few,” Gidley added, referring to House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff (D-Calif.), the leader of the impeachment inquiry into the president.

The focus of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry is a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma Holdings, until earlier this year. The Ukrainian government is currently investigating Burisma’s founder, whose whereabouts are unknown, for embezzling state funds.

Democrats said that Trump abused his power by allegedly withholding military aid to Kyiv in exchange for investigations or a meeting. Trump, Zelensky, Ukraine’s foreign minister, and other White House officials have denied quid pro quo and bribery allegations.

Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly called on the whistleblower to testify in the House hearings and allege that the person is effectively the origin of the impeachment investigation. Democrats have said that other witnesses’ testimony supersedes the original whistleblower complaint about the July 25 phone call and have added that whistleblower protection measures should be adhered to.

Republicans have also alleged that the whistleblower may have colluded with Schiff’s office before the impeachment inquiry was launched, a claim that Schiff has denied. During the impeachment hearings, Schiff said he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous person.

Several top Republican senators, meanwhile, have signaled that they would call the Bidens and the whistleblower.

One of them is Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday requesting documents related to Biden and his communications with Ukrainian officials.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) holds a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 24, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

He is trying to access any calls Biden may have made to Petro Poroshenko, a former Ukrainian president, about the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor as well as any references to Burisma.

Graham also is seeking any documents related to a meeting between Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner, and former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Such documents will “assist in answering questions regarding allegations that Vice President Biden played a role in the termination of Prosecutor General [Viktor] Shokin in an effort to end the investigation of the company employing his son,” he said.

Author: Jack Phillips

Source: The Epoch Times: White House Official: Trump Wants Senate Impeachment Trial, Expects Biden to Testify

Many House Democrats regret the party’s headlong rush to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, according to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Scalise spoke Tuesday with Laura Ingraham on the Fox News show “The Ingraham Angle.” Ingraham asked Scalise if there was a buyer’s remorse among Democrats who initially supported the impeachment inquiry.

Public hearings as part of the inquiry began Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee. On Tuesday, Scalise referred to the hearings as a “witch hunt,” according to The Washington Post.

“I think there is a lot of buyer’s remorse, Laura, especially when you look at the fact when a lot of these members of Congress go back home,” Scalise said.

“They’re in the majority. And people say, OK, what have you done with it to help improve my life?”

The lawmaker said that nothing has been accomplished because, despite Democrats having the majority in the House, Democratic leaders have put impeachment ahead of the people’s business.

“Things like lowering the cost of prescription drugs could be law today, except that they are obsessed with impeachment. Our troops aren’t getting the tools they need right now, Laura, because Pelosi is obsessed with impeachment. Our border is not secure because Pelosi is obsessed with impeachment,” Scalise said.

“That’s the kind of stuff they are hearing about when they go back home, as they should because people are looking at this, going, ‘Wait a minute, the president didn’t do anything wrong.’”

Scalise noted that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Trump did not apply any pressure during a controversial July 25 call between the two leaders.

“In fact, Zelensky himself — there were only two participants in the call, and Zelensky himself said there was no pressure. And he got the money. And so Democrats still move forward because they made this unholy pact with their far-left socialist base that wanted to impeach Trump on day one,” Scalise said.

Scalise said that voter anger is not only a threat to Democrats in majority Republican states.

“It’s all these swing states. It’s all these swing districts in the swing states where people care about their pocketbooks. They like the fact that President Trump fought to get the economy going again and they’re seeing higher wages right now and all Democrats are talking about is impeaching the president over some whistleblower that they’re hiding from the public.”

Scalise criticized the whistleblower as having “heard something third-hand and from somebody else about something that didn’t even happen.”

Democrats’ claims of a quid pro quo founder on the facts, Scalise said.

“This is all about withheld money that ultimately wasn’t withheld,” he said, referring to military aid that was delayed in getting to Ukraine — a delay Ukrainian officials have said they did not know existed.

“The facts are on the president’s side,” Scalise said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Steve Scalise Says There Is ‘A Lot of Buyer’s Remorse’ About Impeachment Among House Democrats

As Hurricane Dorian swirled through the Caribbean and approached Florida, Democrats were raging a storm of their own to attack President Donald Trump.

Many Democrats attacked Trump for using a slice of Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to support the construction of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for a hurricane. @realDonaldTrump, stop raiding disaster funds and work to ensure FEMA is ready to help these Americans,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York tweeted.

Mindful of the political controversy engendered after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, some Democrats early in the week focused on the destruction and devastation that would be hitting the island.

“As Dorian hits Puerto Rico, the Trump Admin seems to have learned nothing from its shameful failure in Hurricane Maria,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tweeted Wednesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined in the chorus of condemnation as New York State sent teams to Puerto Rico in advance of the storm’s expected landfall there.

“After President Trump and the federal administration shamefully treated the people of Puerto Rico like second-class citizens following Hurricanes Maria and Irma, New York State stepped up to help — and we’re doing it again now,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Daily News.

“The islands are still building back after the devastation of past storms, making them even more vulnerable to the impending hurricane.”

In fact, Dorian skirted Puerto Rico, causing no damage to the island.

However, Trump’s antagonists did not let that get in the way of their barrage against the president, attacking him as Trump announced on Twitter that federal agencies were ready to assist local agencies in Florida as the storm bore down upon the Sunshine State.

Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia said race was a factor in Trump’s concern for a state facing a massive storm and what he called Trump’s lack of concern to help the island that was not hit by Dorian.

“Well, part of it is that Florida could be a swing state in 2020. And part of it is Florida is not an island full of people of color. We have seen him, again and again, pick on anywhere color is involved,” he said, according to CNN.

Joe Lockhart, a White House press secretary under former President Bill Clinton, also said race was a factor in Trump’s decision making, Fox News reported.

“There’s no doubt that the president doesn’t view Puerto Rico as part of the United States. He doesn’t view people who didn’t vote for him as important. And he doesn’t view people who aren’t white as important as everyone else. That’s just — it’s that simple,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart did not address the issue of the vast Hispanic population in Florida or the fact that Miami’s Cuban population has been strongly pro-Trump.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Democrats Pounce To Politicize Hurricane Dorian, Use It To Attack Trump

President Donald Trump said Friday he is already working with new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a major trade agreement.

Johnson took office this week and replaces Theresa May, who failed to develop an acceptable plan to wean Britain away from the European Union as required by the Brexit vote. Trump said he called Johnson to congratulate him on his new job.

“We’re working already on a trade agreement,” Trump said, according to Britain’s Sky News.

“And I think it’ll be a very substantial trade agreement, you know we can do with the UK, we can do three to four times. We were actually impeded by their relationship with the European Union. We were very much impeded on trade. And I think we can do three to four or five times what we’re doing,” Trump said.

“We don’t do the kind of trade we could do with what some people say is Great Britain. And some people remember a word you don’t hear too much is the word England – which is a piece of it. But with the UK, we could do much much more trade. And we expect to do that OK,” Trump said.

Trump called Johnson a “good guy, a good friend of mine,” adding that “he will be a good prime minister.”

“He has what it takes, they needed him for a long time,” Trump said, according to Politico.

British officials confirmed the two leaders spoke, and that they are expected to meet at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, in late August.

The leaders “agreed that Brexit offers an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the economic partnership between the UK and United States,” the British statement said, Reuters reported.

Trump and Johnson “both expressed their commitment to delivering an ambitious free trade agreement and to starting negotiations as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU,” the statement said.

Earlier in the week, Trump shared an upbeat assessment of Johnson at a conference for young conservatives sponsored by Turning Point USA, Politico reported.

“We have a really good man. He’s going to be the prime minister of the U.K. now, Boris Johnson,” Trump said to the Teen Student Action Summit.

“Good man. He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying ‘Britain Trump.’ They call him ‘Britain Trump,’ and there’s people saying that’s a good thing,” Trump said.

“They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need. He’ll get it done. Boris is good. He’s going to do a good job,” Trump said.

Woody Johnson, America’s ambassador to Britain, said the Trump-Boris Johnson relationship will be “sensational,” The Guardian reported.

“I think they do have a lot [in common],” he said.

“Both these leaders have their own style, but they have similarities and I think they have clear vision of what they want to accomplish.”

Woody Johnson said the new prime minister’s past criticism of Trump that dates from 2015 is no barrier to a good relationship.

“Donald Trump is going to say what he wants to say when he wants to say it, and he will comment on injustices or inabilities or how he sees it,” he said.

“I think he respects Boris for the same. Boris is going to call it as he sees it. But first of all, I don’t think it’s long-lasting and second of all I think they have so much more in common in terms of what they want to accomplish for the good of both of our nations.”

“The UK is our most important ally, both in security and also in prosperity, so you’re very important and he knows that, and he’s made some comments regarding a free trade agreement and putting the UK at the front of the line,” Johnson said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: The Art of the Deal: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson Hammering Out ‘Very Substantial Trade Agreement’

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw set former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes straight after he questioned America’s credibility on the current crisis with Iran.

Rhodes, who was involved with selling the Iran nuclear deal to the American public during the Obama administration, replied to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on Thursday that the U.S. was blaming Iran for the attacks by saying America’s word alone was not enough.

“This definitely feels like the kind of incident where you’d want an international investigation to establish what happened. Huge risk of escalation,” Rhodes tweeted.

Texas Rep. Crenshaw sent back a bristling reply.

“So, do or don’t believe the Intel community? And you’re not really a trusted source to weigh in on Iran…You sold the public the falsehood of a moderating Iranian regime – using your media “echo chamber” (your words)- & ignoring the true danger Iran presents in the region,” Crenshaw tweeted.

In 2016, Rhodes used the phrase “echo chamber” to describe the Obama administration’s efforts to ensure that arms control experts would say that backing the Iran nuclear deal would eliminate aggressive behavior from Iran, Fox News reported.

President Donald Trump campaigned against the Iran nuclear deal and has ramped up sanctions against Iran during his time in the Oval Office.

Crenshaw further noted on Twitter that the recent attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman bear all the hallmarks of Iran’s style.

“I’ve been watching for years as Iran moves weapons to proxies around the region, looking for opportunities to destabilize & wreak havoc, and then claim innocence. This is not new. And the Administration is right to strengthen our regional presence as a deterrence,” Crenshaw tweeted, referencing the buildup of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region that began last month in response to fears of Iranian aggression.

On Friday, a video of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one tanker was released, backing up Pompeo’s initial claim that Iran attacked two tankers.

The role of former Obama administration officials in taking Iran’s side was noted by David Harsyni in an Op-Ed published by the New York Post.

“(T)he Iranians — not only responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemen but a player in nearly every destructive conflict in the Middle East today — already act with impunity,” he wrote.

“The attacks on shipping are meant to spike oil prices to damage the world economy and undermine Trump’s maximum-pressure campaign.

“An added bonus, of course, is that a campaign may undercut Trump’s electoral chances in 2020 and bring someone into the White House who would almost certainly reenter the Obama-era nuke deal with Iran and allow it a wide berth to destabilize the region,” he wrote.

“Perhaps Iranian leadership has been emboldened after listening to former Obama administration officials like John Kerry tell them to wait out the president,” he added.

Although many European nations have been reluctant to blame Iran for the attacks, Britain on Friday joined the U.S. in attributing the attacks to Iran, according to The Guardian.

“It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Dan Crenshaw Rips Ex-Obama Aide for Questioning Validity of Iran Tanker Attack Intel

Vermont will soon do away with Columbus Day and make the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day, if Gov. Phil Scott follows through on his plan to sign a bill that has passed the state’s legislature.

“I see no reason that I would not sign it, but we’re reviewing the bill as we speak,” Scott said, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Vermont has been recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day along with Columbus Day since 2016, when former Gov. Peter Shumlin began issuing proclamations to that effect.

Scott has continued that precedent of celebrating both the state holiday and the informally designated Indigenous People’s Day, but the law would now make it official.

Vermont’s Senate strongly supported the bill, but it faced contrary winds in the House of Representatives. Republican legislators sought to preserve Columbus Day and establish a February holiday for indigenous people.

The Vermont House turned back the Republican-led proposal 95-42 on Wednesday.

“I know it’s controversial from many standpoints, from many people, but you know, it’s just a day, and we’ll get through it,” Scott said. “And we’ve been treating it as something different over the last couple of years through resolutions. Without any technical difficulties within the bill, I’ll probably sign it.”

Maine is also considering a bill to change the name of the day. Last week, Maine’s bill received final legislative approval in the state’s Senate and is expected to be signed into law.

The bill had drawn debate in Maine’s House before passage last month, Maine Public Radio reported.

“Christopher Columbus, while making an important impact on history, was also a war criminal,” said state Rep. Rachel Talbot-Ross, a Portland Democrat.

“And is the symbolic genesis of the idea that Indigenous people of the Americas were a savage and inferior race that should be exterminated in order for progress and colonization,” she said.

Not everyone agreed.

State Rep. Roger Reed, a Republican from Carmel, said that the actions of Columbus are part of America’s history.

“But as regrettable as these are, they are still part of America’s’ story. We can’t change what has occurred in the past and we certainly don’t condone what has happened,” he said.

Oami Amarasingham, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, said after the law’s Senate passage that the change was overdue.

“It’s time to stop celebrating a man whose arrival brought death, disease and slavery to hundreds of thousands, and start honoring the people who lived here long before,” Amarasingham said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

“I greatly respect the history of the Italian-Americans and their contribution, however, I think we can honor their presence here without this day, which really isn’t fitting,” Democratic legislator Ben Collings, who sponsored Maine’s legislation, has said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

New Mexico and South Dakota dropped Columbus Day to recognize indigenous peoples. Alaska, which also marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day, never had Columbus Day as an official state holiday.

“Things that are symbolic can carry very far,” Brattleboro’s Rich Holschuh, who belongs to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, said.

“The degree of disinformation and lack of understanding around the situation of native people in Vermont, as a microcosm of the national situation, is totally exemplified in the way that Columbus has been celebrated and the native people ignored. It’s not trivial and this kind of opens up an opportunity for that story to begin to change,” he added.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Westernjournal: Vermont Governor Says He Expects To Sign Bill Abolishing Columbus Day

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