Quick Hits: Volume CLXIV

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- If House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's botox-injected face were capable of expressing emotion, it might convey shock and horror at this point. According to the latest Generic Congressional Ballot, that so-called "blue wave" in the 2018 midterms is becoming less and less certain with each passing day.

What had been a double digit lead for Dems back in January has quickly dissipated to the point where recent Reuters polling shows a slight advantage for Republicans among likely voters. While I've remained pretty optimistic that the GOP will maintain its majority in the U.S. Senate, it was the House I've long conceded will flip back to Democrats after the November elections. But while there's still a good 5-1/2 months until election day, the U.S. House changing hands is no longer a sure thing either.

Add to that the Democrats running low on ideas as well as money (DNC has only $8.7 million cash on hand with $5.3 million in debt), they very well could buck a long standing trend of the political party opposite a sitting president making electoral gains in Congress in POTUS's first two years. No easy feat.

- Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren recently learned that "Minnesota nice" is only selectively enacted.

The day after the Fox News contributor appeared at a “Family, Freedom and Final Thoughts” show at the Pantages Theatre, she visited the Union Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for brunch Sunday.

As she and her parents were making their way out, someone threw water on her, splashing both her and her mother.

Lahren, 25, is known for her controversial opinions. In 2016, she called Black Lives Matter the “new KKK”.

Even thought Lahren is right-of-center on the political spectrum, she's not someone I hold in high esteem when it comes to nuanced conservative commentary. However, this is merely another example of a movement (i.e. leftism) which chides the political right as "intolerant" yet whose actions indicate that such a sentiment is classic projection.

Dunno what those smug patrons were hoping to accomplish but it would appear the opposite of their intentions has occurred.

Indeed.

- I'm not certain what's more newsworthy. The NFL enacting a national anthem policy or egomaniac team owners unanimously agreeing.

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.

The new policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons. Those teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.

"We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it -- and on our fans who enjoy it."

While I've been on record saying that I'd prefer all players stand during the Anthem, I wasn't so morally offended that I'd vow to never watch another NFL game if their protests persisted. However, since the league has had a string of bad public relations over the past decade (eg. high profile players cited for domestic violence, poor handling of current & former players stricken with brain injuries, etc.), the Anthem issue was one which really appeared to polarize the fan base. As such, I'm grateful this solution was reached as opposed to a rumored proposal of issuing a 15-yard penalty for each player not standing. That would have been beyond absurd.

As expected, the initial reaction by the National Football League Players Association was not overly enthusiastic.

"We were not consulted ahead of this meeting on any potential changes to the anthem policy," (NFLPA spokeperson George Atallah) said. "If there are changes to the policy that put players in a position where they could be disciplined or fined, we are going to do what we always do—fight anything that encroaches on players' rights to the end."

I don't know how much of a leg the NFLPA has to stand on here but it'll be worth watching if this issue is broached when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in less than four years.

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