Adam McKay’s Oscar-seeking ‘Vice’

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Filmmaker Adam McKay has unleashed a cinematic hit piece just in time for Christmas.

McKay is first and foremost a comedian, whose stand-up helped him lock in a gig as head writer for “Saturday Night Live” for two seasons. He additionally formed a creative alliance with actor Will Ferrell, which opened the pathway for his directing of zany comedic romps including “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.”

One of the biggest turning points for McKay, though, came in 2015. He experienced critical acclaim and a whole lot of ataboys from his peers for his Oscar-winning movie “The Big Short.” The political dramedy about the 2008 financial crash was the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay and received four other nominations from the Academy.

Like so many modern-day stars, who have parlayed their success into full-fledged liberal activism in exchange for the secret promise of more accolades and awards, McKay’s latest outing, titled “Vice,” is a biopic of the hateful and distorted kind.

In the film, he re-writes the historical annals of Dick Cheney, who served as Secretary of Defense (1989 to 1993) during the presidency of the late President George H.W. Bush, and who went on to serve as Vice President of the United States (2001 to 2009) in the administration of former President George W. Bush.

As a self-identified Democratic socialist and an endorser of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, McKay detests most Republicans, but he appears to have a special animus for one of Hollywood’s primary targets of vilification; that is, Cheney.

The filmmaker was seemingly intent on presenting Cheney’s rise to power from a left-wing perspective and was likely simultaneously motivated to win the affection of fellow GOP-haters within the film critic community and award granting organizations. He assembled actors from his prior successful ventures and enlisted others as well to create a project that is intended to please both film critics and Oscar voters.

To realistically portray Cheney, actor Christian Bale had to undergo a physical transformation through the use of facial prosthetics and weight gain.

Nominated five times without a win and viewed by Academy members as overdue for an award, actress Amy Adams plays Cheney’s wife Lynne. Adams’s role requires her to mature in age as she transitions from a college-years wife to a vice president’s spouse.

McKay’s strategy has already yielded awards season results. With six nominations, the liberal fictional treatment of Cheney’s life in “Vice” has resulted in the highest number of nominations in the upcoming Golden Globe awards. The movie has also garnered nine Critics’ Choice Award nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Award noms, as Oscar talk ensues.

An intriguing thing has coincided with the release of the film, though. Despite praise given for the performances of Christian Bale and Amy Adams, many establishment movie critics are expressing disappointment with the biopic and even some hostility. The critic community apparently loathes Cheney more than McKay does, and some have panned the movie for being too soft on the former vice president.

A Daily Beast review calls the film a “baffling tonal hodgepodge” that “at best marginally humanizes Dick Cheney and at worst lionizes him…” And a review in the San Francisco Chronicle states that “the failure of “Vice” is a failure on its own terms. If Cheney is really as bad as McKay believes — an empty shell of ambition, a destructive and malign force in American life — he warrants serious moral horror, not a smirky treatment that assumes, going in, that we all agree.”

Despite the fact that McKay channeled plenty of hate into “Vice,” his final cut appeared to move in two different directions. Apparently McKay’s humor background and sensibilities compelled the filmmaker to insert a sufficient amount of comedic material, but it may have served to undercut the perception by some that it met the appropriate attack mark.

McKay’s end product seems to be a conflicted work that is caught between comedy and drama, and the movie characters are thereby left without discernible motivations, floating about in a farcical superficial storyline.

Also, by presenting an all-powerful Cheney and an empty-suited Bush, the film unwittingly takes the 43rd president off the hook for the list of wrongs of which the left maintains the Bush administration is guilty.

Audiences get their first glimpse of the former vice president as a heavy drinker and brawler, who is expelled from Yale. He is being cajoled by his wife Lynn into changing his life.

Soon a revved up ambitious Cheney works for a future Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who is portrayed in an overly cavalier manner by Steve Carell. Cheney learns the political ropes from Rumsfeld and ends up conning the clueless caricature of G.W., played with zero depth by Sam Rockwell.

The “Vice” version of Cheney easily persuades the supposedly simpleton GOP nominee Bush into an arrangement that hands excessive power over to Cheney, allowing him to be the de-facto leader of the free world. Soon enough Cheney and his cadre of neo-cons slowly take over the reins of the presidency.

Although the movie starts out by informing the audience via an onscreen message that “Vice” is a “true story,” people in the know, including former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Undersecretary of Homeland Security Michael Brown, have pointed out that the film’s central theme of Cheney being the so-called man behind the curtain that called the shots for a feckless president is plain old fiction.

So-called Trump Campaign Finance Violations Are a Fallacy

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Democrat leaders and their allies in the media have momentarily dropped the Trump-Russia collusion narrative from their playbooks and are instead talking about purported campaign finance violations.

In fact, some Democrats such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. are attempting to characterize their latest campaign finance meme as constituting an impeachable offense.

To claim that the payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy playmate Karen McDougal would be impeachable offenses, one would have to ignore both the law and historical practices.

During former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, some real and arguably more serious violations of campaign finance law were treated as civil matters, resulting only in penalties paid to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

According to the Washington Post, in 2008 Obama’s campaign allowed donors to use untraceable prepaid credit cards, which are capable of being utilized to evade campaign finance restrictions. Obama’s campaign additionally failed to employ basic verification and security procedures to prevent illegal donations to the campaign.

Years after the 2008 election, the Obama campaign paid a $375,000 fine, one of the largest ever levied against a presidential campaign but otherwise walked away from the violation. Impeachment was never a topic of discussion.

Despite claims by panelists on cable news shows, the current Trump campaign finance narrative contains serious flaws when it comes to the law.

According to the Federal Election Campaign Act, in order to constitute violations the payments to the two women would have to have been implemented “for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal Office” and not for a personal use.

The law stipulates that a personal use, as opposed to a campaign use, occurs when funds are “used to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign.”

President Trump’s company, which is branded with his name, his celebrity status, and his need to protect his family, all point to the personal component of the payments as opposed to a campaign related one. Moreover, the necessity for the payments preceded his announcement to run for president.

Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky is in agreement, having told Fox News, “The blackmail threat by Daniels and McDougal to reveal their claims would exist whether or not Trump was running for office.”

Former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith told Fox News, “Even if it [the payment] was intended to have some influence on the campaign, that’s not the standard. The standard is: ‘Does the obligation exist because you’re running for office?’”

Smith wrote in the National Review that the president’s “alleged decade-old affairs occurred long before he became a candidate for president and were not caused by his run for president.”

As Smith noted, engaging in activities such as polling, purchasing ads, and printing bumper stickers are expenditures that seek to influence an election, however “paying hush money to silence allegations of decade-old affairs is not.”

In a somewhat similar but stronger case, which involved former presidential candidate and Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards, prosecutors attempted to prove that payments made during a presidential run were intended to assist Edwards’s electoral chances, claiming that they were made to protect his public image. Yet, in that case the prosecution could not persuade a jury that Edwards had made campaign related payments. After an acquittal of the main charge and a mistrial on other charges, the case was not pursued by the Justice Department, and Edwards was never retried.

Seeing a similar result with the case against President Trump, von Spakovsky wrote in a Fox News editorial, “Convicting Donald Trump of a criminal campaign finance violation will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Just as Edwards was found not guilty, the same is likely to happen to President Trump if he is charged while he is president or after he leaves the White House.”

In a potential prosecution of the president, an additional problem involves evidence of the president’s mindset at the time the payments were made. The level of intent that must be proved in a campaign finance prosecution is that the alleged misconduct is committed knowingly and willfully, which is an extremely challenging element of the case for prosecutors, who must prove that a defendant intended to violate the law.

Because the Federal Election Commission does not consider payments made to a mistress to be an expenditure covered by the federal campaign law, it is not possible for a defendant to have made such a payment with knowledge that it was an unlawful violation.

In other words, the president cannot be charged with a knowing and willful violation of the law under these facts, since the Federal Election Commission and legal experts who served on the commission determined that such payments are not campaign finance violations in the first place.

 

Republicans Can Win in 2020 If They Step Up Their Game

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Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once famously said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

Some of the Republican rank and file may be feeling a bit punchy at the present. However, there are a lot more positives than negatives upon which to focus, and the goal in 2020 is very realistically achievable.

After loads of liberal media gloom and doom regarding the fate of the GOP, it may be a surprise for some to hear that, despite the midterm election results, Republicans are in a good position to take the White House again, retake the House of Representatives, and maintain the Senate. That is, if they are able to focus on three key elements: voter data, party unity, and strategically significant issues.

According to the hyperventilating panelists who appear on the left-leaning media news shows, President Trump and the Republican Party are in trouble. The recent court filings made by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen have the talking heads sneering with delight at the prospect of more GOP misfortune.

The lopsided media, though, is not presenting an accurate picture of the political playing field. Since the Republican Party will lay claim to an even larger Senate majority in 2019, the likelihood of Mueller producing sufficient evidence to convince enough GOP Senators to support impeachment proceedings is highly remote. Twenty Republican Senators would have to link arms with the Democrats for President Trump to be removed from office, which is far-fetched, if not impossible.

With President Trump at the top of the ticket in 2020, the GOP will be running an incumbent for reelection, while the Democrats will have the disadvantage of an open, crowded field with a couple dozen presidential candidates who are likely to want to storm the debate stage.

In contrast with the Republicans, Democrats appear to be having serious problems with their voter data infrastructure. Following the GOP lead, the DNC leadership is attempting to combine all of the voter data from Democratic groups into a single entity. However, disagreement between the national committee and the state parties is preventing the compilation of data from materializing.

The state Democrat parties are still smarting from the unusual rules that favored Hillary Clinton to the detriment of Bernie Sanders, as former DNC interim chair Donna Brazile described in her book.

On the other hand, Republican voter data operations appear to be very strong. The voter database used by RNC and the Trump campaign in 2016 took the political world by surprise. Former Trump campaign strategist Michael Caputo does not believe that Democrats will be able to keep up with the president’s data machine. In fact, Caputo said that the Trump campaign will have a data operation in 2020 that will make the use of data in 2016 “look like child’s play.”

In the 2018 election cycle, President Trump held numerous trademark MAGA rallies in states with contested senate seats during the closing weeks of the midterms. The rallies did more than just assist Republicans in winning races. A well-honed approach to building a voter database was being implemented by the Trump campaign working together with the RNC. The two organizations have entered into a data-sharing agreement that will increase the chances of the GOP winning in 2020.

The MAGA rallies provide the perfect opportunity to sign up new potential voters for future elections.

Republicans are actually showing a greater degree of party unity than the experts had anticipated during the tenure of the Trump administration. Meanwhile the Democratic Party is fractured, with its mostly wealthy far-left wing support of candidates such as Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), separating from the objectives and desires of the Democrats traditional working class base.

The far left-wing constituency and donor base continually drive the Democrats to focus on social issues, which tend to alienate working-class voters, the same voters who played a significant role in President Trump’s earth shaking 2016 win. With Democrat candidates supporting open borders, new legal definitions of gender, and taxpayer funding for abortion, they risk losing significant portions of their base.

The Trump campaign and the RNC need to solidify their bond with working-class voters, who are alienated by the Democrats’ left-wing pandering. Simultaneously, they need to articulate pro-family and economic ideas such as school choice, increased parental autonomy for children’s education, and real limitations on the abortion industry.

By focusing on and further refining the same factors that resulted in the 2016 victory, Republicans can enhance and utilize a better database, maintain cohesiveness, and center on resonant issues. President Trump will then be reelected by a large enough margin to bring a significant number of Republican candidates alongside him to victory.

Christmas Past, Present, and Future

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For centuries Christmastime in America was widely recognized as a special season of joy, filled with festive celebrations, heartfelt gift-giving, and, of course, transcendent music that conveyed the faith of so many of our nation’s people.

Unfortunately, what has transpired over the last few decades is a rise of suppression of Christian expression, which has become most evident during the time leading up to this brightest of holidays.

In the not-so-distant past, some institutions of higher learning have seen fit to ban from college campuses Christmas decorations, Christmas gifts, Christmas trees, and even the word “Christmas” itself, according to Campus Reform.

Some vexing seasonal disharmony recently arrived courtesy of the Huffington Post. The publication featured a piece that encouraged parents to prevent their children from saying “Merry Christmas” and to replace the phrase instead with “Happy Holidays.”

Other signs of the country’s divide and the tangential erosion of attitudes toward Christian expression can be found in the results of a telephone poll. The poll, which was conducted in English and Spanish by the Public Religion Research Institute and took place from Dec. 7 to Dec. 11, 2016, with 1,004 adults participating, found that Democrats oppose the use of the phrase “Merry Christmas” more than 2-1 over Republicans.

Something that happened recently in Midlothian, Virginia, though, is particularly emblematic of the situation in which Christ Child well-wishers find themselves. The Robious Middle School banned any carols that make mention of the reason for the season for Christian believers, i.e., Jesus.

School administrators reportedly said that the decision had been made to “avoid singing anything of a direct sacred nature” in order to be “more sensitive to the increasing diverse population at the school.”

The problem with the school’s approach appears to center upon the word “sacred.” The end result at Robious Middle School, and at so many other similar public institutions and venues, is that concerts and festivities will be required to celebrate the season without any mention or even a veiled reference to the birth event of the principal character for whom, according to Gallup, 74 percent of the country’s population joyfully awaits.

Despite public disinformation over the subject, public schools are not legally required to remove the name of Christ from Christmas pageants, concerts, and the like. Also, Christmas carols that use his name are not necessarily considered “sacred,” as the Robious Middle School has characterized them. Christmas is part of the cultural and religious heritage of our country, and the national holiday’s songbook is allowed to be presented as such.

The American culture at large has for years simply allowed the secular and the spiritual to peacefully reside, especially within the music realm, through a seamless tapestry of secular and religious beliefs. A beautiful tapestry, when you think of it, which reflects true diversity and authentic tolerance, encompassing respect and understanding of our fellow neighbors’ identities and belief systems.

Perhaps this year Christmas Future could become Christmas Past once again, at least in celebration and song.

Trump Critics Complain over Troops at the Border

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Since the Trump administration authorized the military to use force along the US-Mexico border, many are raising legal challenges to the president’s border policy by invoking a 19th century law, the Posse Comitatus Act, that generally prohibits the federal government from using the military for domestic law enforcement functions unless specifically authorized by the Constitution or Congress.

According to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, over 5,000 active duty troops are now engaged in supporting missions along the border in Texas, Arizona, and California.

The actions authorized by the White House are those the Secretary of Defense “determines are reasonably necessary” including “a show or use of force, crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search.” The military has also been given the option to use lethal force, if conditions make it necessary to do so.

It is therefore not surprising that the same media panelists who routinely attack President Trump are ranting about the president violating the Posse Comitatus Act, which stops U.S. military from involvement in most civilian law enforcement roles.

Secretary Mattis stressed the need to keep the military away from civilian law enforcement roles.

“We are not doing law enforcement,” Mattis told the press. “We do not have arrest authority.”

Mattis indicated that, because National Guard troops are also present at the border, the governors of affiliated states could give them arrest authority.

“We’ll decide if it’s appropriate for the military, and at that point, things like Posse Comitatus obviously are in play,” Mattis said. “We’ll stay in strict accordance with the law.”

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was signed into law by President Rutherford B. Hayes on June 18, 1878. It was passed as an amendment to an army appropriation bill following the end of Reconstruction and was subsequently amended in 1956 and 1981.

The Constitution grants the president the power to utilize the armed forces to defend the nation’s territory, as well as to use the military to support civil authorities in preserving the peace.

The Posse Comitatus Act limits but does not eliminate the power of the president to declare “martial law” when local law enforcement and court systems cannot properly function. In such cases, all civilian police powers are assumed by the military. The president must also be able to deploy the military to counter insurrections, rebellions, or invasions.

In addition to the exceptions to Posse Comitatus, which allow the military to support civilian authorities in instances such as national disasters or terrorist acts, a federal law, Title 10, Chapter 13 of the U.S. code, is particularly pertinent.

When the president determines that unlawful “obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings,” the president has the power to “use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.”

Thousands of foreign nationals intend to engage in an unlawful incursion of U.S. territory, and some of them have already demonstrated a willingness to resort to violence in disregard of the laws of Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said that as many as 500 criminals and gang members are within the groups heading towards the border. The territorial protection of the nation gives the president the authority to act as commander-in-chief in the case at hand.

Also contained in Chapter 13 is additional power of the president to use the armed forces. The language further states that the president “shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy” as long as the insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy “so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection…”

If President Trump has reasonable grounds to believe that the thousands of foreign nationals who reportedly intend to “rush the border” would overwhelm the resources of the border states, and moreover pose a security threat to the border patrol, he is empowered to “take such measures as he considers necessary.”

In the executed directive that granted military authority, Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly wrote that “credible evidence and intelligence” indicated that the thousands of foreign nationals, many of whom are now in Tijuana, Mexico, “may prompt incidents of violence and disorder” that could threaten border officials.

Once again the nation may witness the filing of lawsuits with pre-selected liberal federal district court judges, seeking to have the power of the commander-in-chief curtailed.

However, as has also been seen before, it is highly likely that the president’s power to use the military to protect the nation’s citizens, the nation’s territory, and the nation’s sovereignty will be held to be lawful.

Tim Allen: Liberals Have a ‘Very Small Window of Sense of Humor’

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In a recent interview with IndieWire, film and television star Tim Allen reacted to the astounding success of his current TV sitcom “Last Man Standing.”

During the interview, the actor provided some insight into his approach to comedy writing and delivery, particularly his use of humor directed at left-of-center ideology.

“I think it’s funny to make fun of people that are full of themselves. Liberals have a very small window of sense of humor about themselves, so I love poking at it,” Allen said.

Allen brought up a current practice in which many liberals routinely engage; that is, the avoidance of rational debate via the mallet of identity politics.

“[R]ight now liberals, particularly progressives, hide behind large concepts,” Allen noted. “If you don’t agree with them, if you don’t agree with that position, then you hate women, and you hate gay people, and you hate pro-choice people…”

Revealing a bit about the motivation behind his style of humor, Allen said, “I like p***ing people off,” adding that “…there’s nothing, especially in this area, that p***es people off more than a very funny conservative.”

“A smart, funny conservative that takes shots and is certainly self-effacing. The left-wing point of view is so pervasive that they don’t even realize it’s a point of view,” Allen said.

Allen’s show is in its seventh season, having enjoyed six successful seasons, until ABC inexplicably canceled it and Fox brought it back. The Fox network picked up “Last Man Standing” and has been running away with it in the ratings. The actor has rightly questioned whether ABC chose to get rid of the successful sitcom because of Allen’s personal political positions, an explanation that is certainly within the realm of possibility.

“When we knew Tim was up for doing it, we jumped at the chance,” Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn said. “He’s obviously a huge TV star, and we felt the show could resonate for our audience.”

Helping with the decision was the huge ratings success of the reboot “Roseanne.” It was certainly not lost on the Fox executives that both shows were family-oriented comedies, with lead characters that possess conservative political views.

Ironically, “Roseanne” was also canceled by ABC. And ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey, who terminated sitcom star Roseanne Barr, is now on her way out amid ABC corporate parent Disney’s pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the planned reorganization of Disney television.

Adding to ABC’s headaches is the fact that the replacement series for “Roseanne,” “The Conners,” is tanking in the ratings. The network has committed to only one additional episode, sparking rumors that the show may be canceled. Additionally, it has been reported that two of the shows stars, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, have been asked to take a pay cut.

Meanwhile with “Last Man Standing” Fox is basking in the sunlight of sitcom success. The show’s Sept. 28 debut was Fox’s most-watched Friday telecast in 18 years, with a whopping 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.4 million multi-platform viewers. Fox has been at the top in the difficult Friday night lineup for six weeks, its longest streak in more than seven years.

“I certainly bumped into a number of people who had never seen the show when it was on ABC, that had found it in syndication. So I was hoping it would get maybe a little bit of boost. I did not expect that number,” Allen said.

Reportedly, Fox plans to place “WWE Smackdown” on Fridays next year, so “Last Man Standing” will likely move to a mid-week spot next season. Until then you can still catch it on Fridays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

In an age of cord cutting and streaming entertainment, Allen still sees advantages in traditional broadcasting. The actor loves the ability of traditional broadcast television to be capable of incorporating current events and issues into the programming. He refers to this attribute as “fresh television.”

“I think eventually, you come back to broadcast television,” Allen said. “This isn’t streaming. Streaming to me is processed food. You don’t know when that was made, you don’t know, there’s no expiration date on it. This stuff was made recently. You get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and to all of us on broadcast, we’re doing this right now. This is fresh television.”

‘SNL’ Apology Is the Real Deal

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This past weekend “Saturday Night Live” showed how an apology is done.

Producer Lorne Michaels, cast member Pete Davidson, and writers of the show expressed their sincere contrition for the wrong committed during the previous week’s show. In an interesting sidebar to “SNL”’s faux pas and subsequent public apology, it looks as though a new GOP figure has emerged with a future as bright as the stars.

Dan Crenshaw, a veteran of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, ran for Congress in the recent mid-term elections in a district in Houston, Texas. The former Navy SEAL wears an eye patch, because his right eye was lost as a result of an I.E.D. explosion that took place in Afghanistan while he was serving the nation.

Crenshaw was the object of vicious “SNL” ridicule, when, during the “Weekend Update” segment of the show, Davidson, displayed a picture of him with his eye patch intact and said, “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie.”

“I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever,” Davidson added with a smirk.

Three days after being mocked on “SNL,” the congressional GOP candidate won his election by a resounding 8 point margin. During his victory speech, Crenshaw acknowledged the “SNL” swipe at him, saying, “I’m from the SEAL teams. We don’t really get offended.”

The following day, in an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” the representative-elect was asked about the “SNL” skit, and he shared that it may have helped him secure a victory in the election.

“I have to imagine it probably helped. There are a lot of veterans out there who would not think their wounds would be the source of poor jokes in bad taste to a hysterically laughing audience,” Crenshaw said.

After the segment aired, Michaels, Davidson, and “SNL” received sharp criticism from folks on both sides of the political aisle. Davidson’s comments were even denounced by fellow “SNL” cast member Kenan Thompson, who in an appearance on “The View” said, “It’s never somewhere I would go, in the offense territory towards veterans, because my father is one.”

“They’re figuring out a way to right that wrong, I’m pretty sure,” Thompson added.

The “SNL” producers and writers proved Thompson correct by coming up with a way to express the show’s regret to Crenshaw in a manner that was humorous, effective, and inspiring.

Davidson once again took to the “Weekend Update” desk, this time saying, “In what I’m sure was a huge shock for people who know me, I made a poor choice last week.”

He continued, “I mean this from the bottom of my heart. It was a poor choice of words. The man is a war hero, and he deserves all the respect in the world. And if any good came of this, maybe it was that for one day, the left and the right finally came together to agree on something. That I’m a [expletive].”

Suddenly, in a surprise cameo Crenshaw appeared in a seat next to Davidson and said, “You think?”

Davidson then thanked him for coming, to which Crenshaw cracked, “Thanks for making a Republican look good.”

After Davidson offered his face-to-face apology, Crenshaw graciously accepted it. Immediately, the congressman-elect’s cell phone began ringing with the distinct sound of an Ariana Grande ringtone. The rub is that Grande happens to be Davidson’s former fiancée.

Crenshaw was then afforded the opportunity to have even more fun at Davidson’s expense. As unflattering pictures of Davidson were displayed, Crenshaw, with impeccable timing and stand-up flair, delivered the following punch lines:

“He looks like if the meth from Breaking Bad was a person.”

“He looks like a troll doll with a tapeworm.”

“Pete looks like Martin Short in The Santa Clause 3.”

“By the way, one of these people was actually good on ‘SNL.’”

Davidson acted as though he was taking the tough ribbing in stride, but the whole thing was, of course, pre-planned. However, the final portion of the segment turned out to be serious and quite compelling.

Crenshaw displayed formidable statesman-like skills as he spoke about how “Americans can forgive one another.”

“We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other,” he noted.

He also referenced Veterans Day and encouraged the audience to express their respect and gratitude to our veterans, especially through the use of one particular phrase.

As Crenshaw explained, “When you say ‘never forget’ to a veteran, you are implying that, as an American, you are in it with them — not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans who will never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present.”

In a touching reference to Davidson’s loss of his own father, who was a New York firefighter and first responder on that tragic Sept. 11 day, Crenshaw said, “… never forget those we lost on 9/11, heroes like Pete’s [Davidson] father. So I’ll just say, Pete, never forget.”

“Never forget,” Davidson said, as the two shook hands.

Davidson then turned to the audience and said, “And that is from both of us!”

At that moment, if you listened with your heart you could hear the echoes of the sentiment resonate across our land: #NeverForget.