Al’s Afternoon Tea: Trump Talks Abortion While Nation Gawks at Eclipse

By Al Perrotta Published on April 8, 2024

Time to gather again to catch our breath, sip, and savor some news. And stash away those eclipse classes until 2044.

The Total Solar Eclipse: Dazzling or a Dud?

It’s 5 p.m. on the East Coast, and the curtain’s just come down in Maine on the Great American Eclipse after barnstorming its way northeast from the Texas coast. The event began for the U.S. at around 12:06 near Eagle Pass, Texas (why not? Everything else crosses the border at Eagle Pass) and continued on its arc to New England.

Now that it’s all over, what do you think? Was it worth all the hype (and the traffic for those of you in the path of totality)? What happened in your neck of the woods? Share your story with us on The Stream‘s Facebook page!

My family and I headed to nearby Solomon’s Island, Maryland to watch the eclipse above the scenic Patuxent River. I’ll share more about that on tomorrow’s Brew.

Donald Trump Lays Out His Abortion Position

With Democrats planning to use “reproductive rights” (the killing of the unborn up to and beyond birth) as a sledgehammer in the 2024 election, Donald Trump stepped out Monday with his own abortion plan in an effort to paint the Democrats as the extremists. Trump expressed his pride in helping overturn Roe v. Wade, and declared that abortion is a matter for each state to decide.

“At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people. You must follow your heart,” he said, “and in many cases, your religion and your faith.”

He also showed his support for in vitro fertilization. “The Republican Party should always be on the side of the miracle of life and the side of mothers, fathers and their beautiful babies,” he said. “IVF is an important part of that.”

On Sunday night, Trump revealed his reasoning for taking a position that will dismay many in the pro-life movement: If Republicans don’t win elections, all is lost.

“Great love and compassion must be shown when even thinking about the subject of LIFE, but at the same time we must use common sense in realizing that we have an obligation to the salvation of our Nation, which is currently in serious DECLINE, TO WIN ELECTIONS, without which we will have nothing other than failure, death, and destruction.”

You will likely hear the pro-life counterargument in coming days.

Speaking of Trump …

Former President Brings in Record-Setting Campaign Cash

A couple weeks back, the Democrats held a fundraiser at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, attended by not only Joe Biden, but former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and celebs ranging from Stephen Colbert to Lizzo. The media was over the moon, boasting about Biden raising $26 million.

Last Saturday in Palm Beach, Donald Trump also held a fundraiser which raked in $50.5 million. That’s a killing. (And not the Hillary Clinton kind.) In fact, it’s the largest haul ever from a single fundraising event. (Though it pales in comparison to the in-kind contributions of the Big Tech algorithms and mainstream media.)

Since Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s recent departure, the Republican National Committee has also seen its financial fortunes improve. Trump and the RNC (now in the hands of Trump loyalists) took in $65.6 million in March.

The Myth of “White Rural Rage” Exposed by Researcher Whose Data Was Abused

You know this whole “threat to Democracy” business the Biden-Harris campaign and their media flunkies are peddling anytime they don’t like something? The latest manifestation of that is a new book called White Rural Rage, which hypes the idea that white Americans living outside of big cities are a “threat to the world’s oldest Constitutional democracy.”

The authors went on MSNBC to declare rural white folk “the most racist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, geo-demographic in the country.” But a researcher whose work the authors cited is calling “baloney” on their book.

Nicholas Jacobs wrote in Politico that his research absolutely does not show “rage” among rural voters. The authors jumped on a finding that 27% of rural voters think that if the opposition candidate wins, “people will need to take drastic action” to prevent him from taking office. Well, guess what? says Jacobs. That percentage is the same among both urban and suburban voters. So you can’t go around calling white rural folks “extremists” and threats to the nation based on that; that’s cherrypicking data.

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Though he was surprised to see his work cited in the book, Jacobs says his “job and passion” is researching rural voters.

“Sitting on my computer are detailed responses from over 25,000 rural voters that I have conducted over the last decade and used to publish a range of peer-reviewed and widely cited research. And I’ve done it all largely to make sense of why rural voters are continually drawn to the Republican Party,” he said. “But the thing about rage – I’ve never found it.”

50 Years Ago, Hank Aaron Broke Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record

A half-century ago tonight, Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron smacked a pitch from Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing over the left field wall, breaking Babe Ruth’s seemingly invincible record for most career home runs. Aaron hit homer #715 while under enormous pressure not only from chasing down the great Bambino, but the open racism that had been a regular part of the game when he began his career and which still lingered in the early 1970s. Nearly daily, Aaron received hate mail and even death threats as he approached Ruth’s record.

One Sunday, according to then-Braves manager Bob Hope, FBI agents went to the clubhouse to urge Aaron not to play; the death threats were that serious. “What kind of statement would that be?” Aaron told them. “I am a baseball player. You guys do what you need to do to keep things secure, but I’m playing baseball.”

On April 8, 1974, during a Monday night game in Chavez Ravine, legendary MLB announcer Vin Scully announced to radio fans:

“She is gone!”

Then Scully shut up and let history do the talking.

Braves relief pitcher Tom House caught the ball in the bullpen and came sprinting toward home plate to deliver the ball to Aaron. There, he found Aaron hugging his mother.

“You could see both of them with tears in their eyes,” House told The Associated Press. “It was a mother and son. Obviously, that was cool. It was also mom protecting her boy from at that time everybody [who] thought somebody would actually try to shoot him at home plate.”

Thankfully, that night there were no shots fired — only huge hugs and hearty slaps on the back.

“What a marvelous moment for baseball,” said Scully. “What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world!”

Hank Aaron end his career in 1976 with 755 home runs. (Pirates and Giants superstar Barry Bonds would later break Aaron’s record in 2007, ending his career with 762 home runs — but enduring years of speculation and documentation that he used steroids. So is the record really his?)

The Braves and Major League Baseball will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Aaron’s amazing achievement tonight at their game against the Mets in Atlanta. For today’s Tea, we’ll leave you with the words of the man himself:

“In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.”

Have a good evening. We’ll see you in the morning with a fresh Brew.


Al Perrotta is managing editor of The Stream, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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