WATCH What ESPN Host Does When NBA Celebrity All-Star Player Starts Talking Politics

For a moment Friday night, it seemed that ESPN might have been interpreting the MVP award won by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, to mean “Manage Verbal Problem.”

For certain, ESPN reporter Sage Steele stifled Butler faster than shot block king Tim Duncan can reject a jumper once Butler strayed from the narrow path prescribed on high by the network.

ESPN last month had put its staff on notice that it did not want employees to editorialize about politics or allow what it called “drive by” comments regarding the quagmire of America’s 2016 elections.

So Steele was just following policy when Butler, a transplanted Texan who moved to Canada in 2000 and currently lives in Montreal, went into forbidden territory Friday night after being presented with his MVP trophy for being the Most Valuable Player in the game.

“I just wanna say as an election year in the U.S., the U.S. has a lot they can learn from Canada: health care, taking care of people … ” Butler said.

“We’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics! Congratulations on your MVP!” Steele interjected, cutting off Butler and ending the interview.

Steele’s actions may have been good policy for ESPN, but she rubbed Dave Schilling of The Guardian the wrong way.

Butler “took his golden opportunity to speak to the millions of sleepy, bored fans who tolerated two hours of horrible flailing alleged to be basketball and relayed a political message about the relative merits of Canada’s public health care system,” Schilling wrote.

“The last thing I want from my novelty basketball game is anything that actually matters to the fate of the planet. Hopefully Sage gets a raise for her quick thinking,” he added sarcastically.

“It should … not come as a shock that ESPN would shut him down as soon as he got too vocal about something that doesn’t involve topics like whether or not Cam Newton is a leader or if LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan. … they (ESPN) … run screaming from anything unexpected or potentially problematic for their position as the Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

“Would letting Win Butler finish whatever he had to say about health care really damage the lofty status of the ESPN brand? Doubtful,” Schilling added.

Schilling contrasted ESPN with other networks.

“Of course, if you flip over to TNT on a Thursday night, you might see Charles Barkley ranting freely about politics, race, culture, and all manner of other controversial topics. TNT pays Barkley a lot of money to be himself, to work without a muzzle, and to stir up trouble. ESPN, on the other hand, remains content to stifle anything resembling a real, honest moment,” Schilling wrote.

h/t: Mediaite

What Conservatives Can Learn From Liberals

There are tactics and characteristics of the American left that conservatives would be well advised to emulate. Until these lessons are learned, conservatives will likely continue to struggle at the ballot box, and liberty will be but a noble afterthought.

Perhaps the most critical lesson to learn is that politics, and governance in general, is incremental. The ebb and flow of the political environment and the mechanics of governance move incrementally, either toward liberty and constitutional principles, or toward centralized planning and governmental hegemony. Every piece of legislation, policy statement, regulation, executive order, election, and every judicial decision moves the nation, a state, or a community slightly one direction or the other. It rarely moves all the way to one extreme or the other.

Many conservatives tend to look at each of the above events as an all-or-nothing proposition. If they can’t have absolute 2nd Amendment rights, it’s all wrong. If they can’t have completely free markets, the system is corrupt and it’s no good. If a candidate doesn’t agree completely with their perspective, they’re evil and cannot be supported, and they’re simply the “lesser of two evils.”

The long-term perspective significantly shapes incremental adaptation. Liberals seem to have a more long-term view of the process, and realize that each political victory is a rung on the progressive ladder. Too many conservatives suffer from severe myopia, mistakenly believing that if they can’t jump to the top of a ladder in one jump, they’ve failed, or that other conservatives have failed them if they can’t, or don’t, make the jump to the top minus the intervening steps.

This tendency places some conservatives in the unenviable position of never being satisfied with anything. Since they can’t have things just precisely the way they want them to be, they will forever be unsatisfied, and politically unfilled. Liberals, generally, seem to relish each minor victory and recognize any politically incremental movement for what it is – one step in the process.

When we realize that every election and every other political activity takes us incrementally toward liberty, we begin realizing that each minor move to constitutionality and liberty is a victory, however small. And, rather than bemoaning the failure to leap to the top of the ladder, relish the small victory, and gear up for the next battle for the next incremental triumph.

Closely related is persistence. When liberals don’t get what they want, they keep pressing ahead, until at last they persevere. When HillaryCare failed in the 90’s, the issue was placed on the back burner until they could muster the political clout to pull it off with the 2010 edition – ObamaCare. The old aphorism, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” should be the mantra of conservatives. Don’t give up, don’t give in; and if we fail, then try again until we succeed.

Liberals are masters of the compromise. In foreign affairs, they’re willing to concede large swaths of political ground for minor gains. For example, they assure a nuclearized Iran in 10 years, for little more than the appearance of having achieved a great deal for the U.S. But when it comes to domestic affairs, it’s just reversed. They will concede hardly anything in exchange for massive concessions from Republicans. This art is obviously a learned trait, and one that has thus far eluded conservatives. Until they can learn to at least meet halfway on issues of principle, conservatives will forever be the political doormats in American politics. Acquiescing and caving totally to the left not only emboldens the left, but it alienates conservatives from their political base and ideological constituency.

Granted, part of the left’s success in this regard is due to the fact that they have the media to advance their narrative. When Congress presents a budget, and the president threatens to veto it, liberals and the media all blame Congress if the government is shut down for not presenting a budget the president can sign. If it’s vetoed, the president shut government down, not Congress! Conservatives must learn to control the narrative, and shape the story in a way that ascribes blame where it belongs. President Reagan was able to do this, even without the alternative media that’s available today.

The left is organized, mobilized and energized at the grassroots level in such a way as to capitalize on technology and social media. Conservatives have come closer to creating a genuine grassroots organization with the emergence of the Tea Party. But even that is fragmented, sometimes regionalized, and parochial in nature. Until conservatives learn to master grassroots organization and mobilization, we’ll always be playing second fiddle.

Conservatives tend to be more defensive and reactionary, rather than aggressively proactive. We have constitutional principles – American principles – as our ideological foundation. Rather than sitting back and defensively trying to protect and preserve them, we’ve got to learn to be proactively advancing and bolstering them. Just as in sports, defense alone can’t win a game. There’s got to be an offense scoring points in order to win.

Liberals don’t seem to care how liberal their fellow ideologues are. They just care if they claim to be liberals, and if they subscribe to their broad dogma. Conservatives are often too consumed with whether one is “conservative enough,” or a “true conservative.” Consequently, we spend more time fighting amongst ourselves, pointing fingers, making accusations, and casting aspersions than we do in fighting the real enemies of liberty. A house divided against itself cannot stand; and as long as conservatives engage in this internal civil war, we will remain our own worst enemies. We can only succeed when we’re united.

George Washington claimed, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” America’s plant is withering; and if we’re to save it, we need to start working proactively together as freedom’s stewards.

Will Smith Sees What Donald Trump Is Doing And Comes Out With Major Announcement About His Future

About three weeks after hinting that a political bid of some sort is likely “in the near future,” actor Will Smith expounded on the reason for his interest in elected office, along with which position he’d likely seek.

Without mentioning Donald Trump’s name, Smith identified the GOP front-runner’s polarizing policy positions as the impetus behind his projected foray into the realm of politics.

“If people keep saying all the crazy kinds of stuff they’ve been saying on the news lately, about walls and Muslims,” he said during an interview on CBS’ Sunday Morning, “they’re going to force me into the political arena.”

Since his focus is on the presidential race, Smith said his ambitions are similarly lofty.

“I mean, I’ve got to be president,” he said, “Come on, what else would I run for?”

Even without Trump’s influence, however, Smith seems intent on expanding his influence beyond his acclaimed career as an entertainer.

“I think being the biggest movie star in the world, as a goal,” he said, “actually was too small,” going on to assert that “there was no way that I was put here just to be a movie star.”

Social media reaction to the announcement was mixed, with some asserting that Smith would likely continue the policies of the current administration.

Even some turned off by Trump’s divisive rhetoric do not believe a Smith candidacy would mark a positive change for the 2016 election.

Just Revealed: Dems Are Getting Crushed By Republicans In An Area That Could Doom Them

As candidates in both parties vie for the support of donors who keep their campaigns viable, party leaders are likewise in a never-ending pursuit of capital. According to an exclusive report by Breitbart this week, one party is clearly leading that effort.

In a comparison of party expenditures over the last several months, the Democrat National Committee showed a net loss while its GOP counterpart remained squarely in the black.

As a recent example, the DNC in September came up more than $1.2 million short of meeting its $5.25 million in expenditures. Overall, the committee reportedly has nearly $7 million in debt and just $4.7 million in cash on hand.

Contrasting the party’s current situation with the same period leading into the 2012 presidential election, the facts look even grimmer. The DNC’s November 2011 report to the Federal Election Commission showed a party with more than $11 million in cash on hand.

A particularly vibrant primary season for Republicans has coincided with a much more optimistic outlook for the Republican National Committee. With less than $2 million in debt, the party has a reserve of more than $20 million in cash on hand.

Not only has the RNC spent the last 10 months taking in more cash than Democrats, GOP leaders have also been able to spend more than the DNC over the same period.

UFC Star Ronda Rousey Just Made A Startling Endorsement For President- But She Forgot One BIG Thing

UFC star Ronda Rousey revealed who she plans to vote for in 2016. Rousey told Maxim in an interview published on Tuesday that she is supporting Bernie Sanders for president.

“I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, because he doesn’t take any corporate money,” she said. “I don’t think politicians should be allowed to take money for their campaigns from outside interests.”

If Bernie should come up short, she has no plans to switch to Hillary Clinton, however. “If he doesn’t win against Hillary, then I’ll probably vote for a third party again. To be honest, in 2012 I was against both candidates and so I just picked any third party because I thought if more people voted for third parties then they’d have to take third parties seriously.” 

Rousey said that she voted for Roseanne Barr during the last presidential race. The former television star ran on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket, The Hill reports.

“I’m really pulling for Sanders this time. I hope it works out,” the UFC fighter said. 

The argument could be made that if Rousey truly is against corporate money influencing a candidate, she should look to outsider Donald Trump, who is, by-and-large, self-funding. He has turned down major backers and spoke out forcefully against the negative impact of superPACs in the election. Trump has stated that he wants to be beholden to no special interests, if he should be elected the next president.

The Washington Post reports, as of the end of the last reporting period, that Trump had received $4 million in traditional campaign donations from over 75.000 people, with an average amount of $50.

However, during an interview with CNN this past summer, Rousey made it clear that Donald Trump is not her man in the race. “I mean, I wouldn’t vote for him,” she said. “I just really wouldn’t trust the guy with running my country, that’s all. I’m not really going to get into specifics of it, but, I mean, I don’t want a reality TV star to be running my country.”