Every Friday morning at 8:30AM, I join the Cardle & Woolley show, Talk 1370 Radio, in Austin to pick the week’s Winners & Losers. It’s a lightning round that runs the gamut from public policy and political trends to sports and culture in Texas, America and the world. Here’s who made my list for the week ending on May 24.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is a big winner for taking on Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for the Biden Administration’s disastrous policy toward Iran, from refusing to enforce sanctions to slow walking arms shipments to Israel, ultimately enriching and enabling the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism.  Cruz didn’t stop there, hitting Blinken for America’s issuing of condolences following the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the “Butcher of Tehran.”

Cruz also filed a Senate bill on IVF (invitro-fertilization) ensuring parents will not lose this important option for having children. Finally, amid lots of noise that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s appearance on the ballot in Texas could negatively impact Cruz’s re-election chances, the latest poll continues to show him with a double-digit lead over his Democrat opponent.

Not sure if it’s President, Joe Biden or the American people who are the big losers this week, but Biden’s policies continue to bring hard times and there’s no indication that anything is going to change. A report by the Wall Street Journal this week found that, after adjusting for inflation, which is up 20% since Biden took office, the net worth of American households increased just 0.7%. Under Trump, household net worth increased 16%.  Unlike most Americans, the President seems to be ignoring those pesky facts and instead looking for tricks to help him win the election like forgiving more student loan debt. He added another $7.7 billion this week on top of the $7.4 billion he announced in April. This brings the total amount of student loan forgiveness to $167 billion, double the amount the federal government spends on Pell grants for low-income students. Perhaps he made the move because when the President recently spoke at the Morehouse College commencement, it seemed like the only applause he got was when he mentioned government paying off student loans.

This was a particularly big week for “gaffs” by the President including what will surely become an infamous speech before the NAACP which required 9 corrections on the official transcript, including mispronouncing the NAACP.    My personal favorite was the story he told of being Vice President during the pandemic (he wasn’t) and former President Barack Obama sent him to Detroit (he didn’t) to “fix it.” How do the folks charged with walking that one back even know where to start?

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a big contrast to the President and earns another week on the winners list for keeping his foot on the gas, announcing that he will continue to bus illegal migrants into New York City. Abbott’s commitment to secure the border has dramatically reduced illegal crossings in the Rio Grande Valley. More illegals are now crossing the border in San Diego.

Lots of celebrities on this week’s list. Former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith, makes the losers list for his statement attacking his alma mater, the University of Florida, for closing down its so-called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs, like we have done in Texas. Smith makes an impassioned statement that our universities succeed when there is diverse thinking from all backgrounds.  No one disagrees with that, but Smith seems unaware that DEI does not actually allow diverse thinking. Instead, the ideology proscribes that you must view America as a land of white supremacy where everyone is either a virtuous victim or an oppressor.  Smith is on the right track, however, because he says equality is his goal – like it is for most Americans. Unfortunately, the “equity” in DEI is something else – it requires the same outcomes for everyone. To understand the difference, equality means any Texan can try out for the Dallas Cowboys and the best players get a spot on the team. Equity means that 40.2% of the team would be required to be Hispanic, 39.7 % would need to be white and 11.6 % would be required to be African American in order for the Cowboys to equitably reflect the racial population of Texas. With DEI, race and identity are what matter, not skill and merit.

Along the same line, some of his fellow celebrity athletes, LeBron James and Charles Barkley, make the winners list for pushing back against some who some of have charged that basketball phenom Caitlin Clark, is making such a splash because she is white and has “pretty privilege,” (another wacky DEI term). Both athletes paraphrased the old basketball adage, “the ball don’t lie.” Clark has scored more points than any other college basketball player in history. She’s clearly earned any attention she gets.

Not really a correction but an update. Last week Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene made the losers list for attacking Texas U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett for wearing false eyelashes. Greene’s shoddy behavior and lots of news on the “mean girls in Congress” spat followed this week.  Then Crockett said the whole “eyelashes” thing was actually a racist attack.  Apparently, she only has one card to play and that puts her on the Losers list.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gave another winning speech at the Texas Republican Convention on San Antonio this week and joined the Sherry Sylvester Show podcast afterward to discuss what he saw in New York City when he attended the last day of the trial of former President Donald Trump.  Patrick was inside the courtroom and gives his views on New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan and the court proceedings. It’s Episode 28 and will be posted shortly.

Have a great holiday 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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