Every Friday morning at 8:30AM, I join the Cardle & Woolley show, Talk 1370 Radio, in Austin to pick the week’s top Winners & Losers. We run the gambit from public policy and political trends to sports and culture in Texas, America and the world.

Here’s my list for the week ending June 28.

The big winner, of course, is former President Donald Trump, who didn’t have a great night at the first, and maybe the only, presidential debate of 2024, but still was good enough to trounce President Joe Biden, proving once again that the only relevant question in politics is “compared to what.” CNN’s Flash Poll immediately following the debate found that 67% of those watching believed Trump won the debate, while only 33% of those watching thought Biden won. This flipped the numbers from 2020 when 60% thought Biden had beaten Trump in the opening debate to only 30% for Trump. CNN’s pollsters also found that 14% are reconsidering their vote after the debate.

CNN’s reputation was also on the line last night and although many of their colleagues in the mainstream media disagreed I am counting CNN and it’s moderators as winners too. Jack Tapper and Dana Bash, came in with truckloads of anti-Trump bias, but with some notable exceptions on questions to Trump, they managed to pull off as balanced a debate as anyone expected the mainstream media to be able to manage. You do have to wonder why they decided to employ a split screen throughout the debate, making the lost and unfocused face of Biden all the more prominent.

That said, the so-called “fact checks” conducted by CNN and the Associated Press were loaded with bias, labeling everything Trump said as untrue, regardless of the facts. Meanwhile, they glossed over many of the looney statements Biden made including his frequent statements regarding the numbers of people coming into the country illegally and his denial of the economic state of the country.

Americans will be unpacking last night’s show in the days to come as Democrats ponder whether Biden was so bad that he has to be removed from the ticket, but whatever they decide, at this point, it looks like the debate could be a gamechanger. We won’t know for sure until we see more polling next week.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t in the big debate last night but she is a big winner this week for endorsing Jamaal Bowman‘s opponent in the Congressional race in suburban New York. Bowman, a squad member who was been outspoken – to say the least – against Israel was defeated by George Latimer who went after Bowman for his blatant anti-Semitism. Bernie Sanders and AOC were backing Bowman, but Clinton took the other side. Clinton moved to New York in order to run for the U.S. Senate and lives close to the district.

Texas is also a big winner again this week for adding more jobs than any other state in the union over the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Governor Greg Abbott announced this week that 316,700 new jobs had been created in Texas, news that falls into the “same old, same old” category for people who are paying attention, but we should never forget that our state is the economic engine that helps keep the entire country afloat despite everything Biden has done to slow down prosperity and growth, particularly in the oil and gas industry.

A big loser this week is Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services who pressured an international group of health experts to take the age requirements out of the guidelines for children to receive sex change procedures including puberty blockers and surgeries. Getting the World Professional Association for Transgender Youth to back off was not easy because many European countries have stopped physical interventions for children suffering from gender confusion because the data show it isn’t effective. However, emails reveal that Levine pressured them to drop the requirements that children be at least 18 because of the political implications in the U.S. where the left still needs to keep progressives in line.

The New York Times has admitted that “…several countries in Europe, including Sweden and Britain, have recently placed new restrictions on gender medications for adolescents after reviews of the scientific evidence. In those countries’ health systems, surgeries are only available to patients 18 and older.”

Two more losers are Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg who announced this week that he has dropped the charges against most of the protesters at Columbia University, despite property damage and days of disruption in New York City. Back at home the Travis County District Attorney Delia Garza also dropped charges against most of the protesters who were arrested at the University of Texas in late April and early May. Both Bragg and Garza both cited lack of evidence and suggested police officers should not have been on campus.

A big loser this week is Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who is seen laughing at a Fox News chyron noting that a Ecuadorian migrant was arrested for raping a 13-year old New York City girl. Appearing on MSNBC, Jayapal was asked to compare the chyron’s of MSNBC, which read “Soon: Biden announces legal protections for undocumented spouses of citizens” and CNN, which read “Biden announces new protections for some undocumented spouses” to Fox News which announced the rape. Jayapal laughed to demonstrate that she believed it was obvious Fox News was using scare tactics regarding crime and illegal immigrants. For those who are victims of crimes at the hands of illegals, including the family of Jocelyn Nungaray, who was recently killed in Houston, the only appropriate response is outrage – laugher is heinously callous.

Finally, a big win for Texas as Blue Bell ice cream announced this week that their Oatmeal Cream Pie ice cream is back by popular demand. I am not a fan but apparently many people are. Is this a great democracy or what?

Have a great weekend.


Sherry Sylvester is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the former Senior Advisor to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

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