June 13, 2021

TOOBIN ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Joe Biden to give Boris a hand in sausage war as he tries to beat off EU.

A TRAINED EYE CAN WORK WONDERS: Some People Can See Through Camouflage, And It’s Not as Hard as You Think.

Night vision is like this too. Some people have better night vision to begin with — including me, though not as much as when I was 20 — but a lot of it is simply learning what things look like in the dark. Your brain is better at decoding the incomplete information it receives when it’s done that before.

“STRETCHING STATE LAW SO FAR HE DESERVES AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL IN GYMNASTICS:” California Governor Gavin Newsom is Trying to Pull Off a Shocking Pandemic Power Grab.

FASTER, PLEASE: Research identifies potential antiviral compound for COVID-19, flu, other viral infection.

MELISSA CHEN: “We Let China Have Its Way With the World.”

To be fair, our political and business leaders demanded stiff bribes.

Related: “They won’t say so but the uniparty globalists’ theory of national security is to effect a corporate merger of the US and China. And from there the world. Literally Orwell.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: NJ School District Replaces Holidays on School Calendar With ‘Day Off’ After Italian Uprising.

Shouldn’t traditional days of the week be replaced as well, to avoid offending those trigged by the names of celestial bodies and Germanic gods?

LOCKDOWN CASUALTIES: ER visits after suicide attempts up among teens, young adults during pandemic.

LARRY KUDLOW: Is Jimmy Carter Back, or What?

What a minute, though conservatives might hate me for this. President Carter really, truthfully, factually did not launch double-digit inflation of the 1970s. He was merely captured by it, and his presidency was destroyed. I don’t think he really ever understood it. It wasn’t just about oil prices. He did, though, appoint Paul Volcker to run the Fed.

Volcker was my former boss at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. I was his executive assistant 46 years ago. It was Paul Volcker, under President Reagan, who slew inflation. Reagan gave Volcker the ground to stand on. The truth, though, factually and analytically is that the president who unleashed double-digit inflation was Richard Nixon.

That’s right. It was unfortunately the 37th president who closed the gold window where the dollar was exchangeable for gold at a 35th of an ounce. That went back to the post-war deal reached at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. It restored to the world economy the gold exchange standard with the dollar at the center of that system.

As Amity Shlaes wrote in her 2019 book, Great Society, “Nixon and [John] Connally would now present a policy package containing most of or all their ideas, a package so sudden and revolutionary, like Nixon’s decision to go to China, that it outclassed either the New Frontier or the Great Society for sheer drama. [George] Shultz and Connally got in the spirit. ‘I think it’s the biggest thing in economic policy since World War II,’ Shultz concluded, accurately enough. Nixon had always known he could out-Kennedy Kennedy and out-Johnson Johnson, and now he was going to do it.”

More from Kudlow:

Nixon was worried about trade deficits and a deteriorating balance of payments. He rejected the advice of Volcker, then treasury undersecretary, and the Fed chairman at the time, Arthur Burns. Instead, Nixon closed the gold window, meaning foreign governments could no longer exchange dollars for gold. The value of the greenback fell like a stone.

So as the value of our currency declined, prices denominated in dollars sky-rocketed. We printed bad money and too much of it, and that’s the definition of inflation. Excess money in relation to demand will do it every time. Lack of value will do it every time. In 1973, Nixon abolished all remaining remnants of the gold dollar exchange system.

Inflation soared, first hitting double-digits while Nixon was president. All commodity prices, including oil, sky-rocketed along with just about everything else. On top of that, income tax rates were not indexed to inflation in those days. So higher and higher inflation drove middle-class Americans into higher and higher tax rate brackets. That had a huge braking effect on the economy.

In other words — stagflation. Intermittently from then until Reagan, inflation would pop up to double-digits. Interest rates peaked at about 15% in the market in government bonds. The prime rate peaked at around 21.5%. Reagan came in and squelched it all. As a hard money gold advocate and friend of Milton Friedman, Reagan, who was also my former boss, gave Volcker carte blanche to restore dollar value and vanquish inflation.

Then Reagan slashed tax rates to 28% from 70%, providing fresh after-tax incentives to rejuvenate the economy and give folks back their real income lost during the Nixon-Carter years. Really since the early 1990s, inflation in America has averaged about 2%. That’s for almost 30 years.

One last point on inflation. It is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon, as Milton Friedman taught us, and, as Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Art Laffer and Nobel laureate Robert Mundell taught us, the optimal policy mix was stable money and low tax rates.

But Biden is determined to prove Friedman incorrect, telling interviewers that “Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.” And we’re all paying for Biden’s rejection of sound economic policies. “The irony is that Biden’s rejection of Friedman’s teachings on money, taxes, and spending may bring about the same circumstances that established Friedman’s preeminence. In a year or two, the American economy and Biden’s political fortunes may look considerably different than when Janet Yellen blurted out the obvious about inflation. Voters won’t like the combination of rising prices and declining assets. Biden’s experts might rediscover that it is difficult to control or stop inflation once it begins. And Milton Friedman will have his revenge.”

And thus, Welcome Back, Carter.

THE EGO HAS LANDED: Why Obama Failed — Barack Obama Misunderstands His Fundamental Errors.

Obama’s new audience is progressive posterity. He’s attempting to burnish his credentials with the radical activists of the present and the radical historians of the future. He wants to make it clear to them that any ostensible respect he may have shown for Republicans during his career was nothing more than a concession to electoral necessity. He wants them to know that the moderation was all for show — a tragic obligation kenotically undertaken by a progressive savior in a reactionary nation that couldn’t keep up with the pace of his moral leadership.

Ultimately, Obama failed as a leader because, unlike presidents past, he didn’t trust the public. He lacked both the courage and the convictions required to thrive in the democratic polity the birth of which Van Buren chronicled during the 1830s. To borrow from his own terminology, Obama would not prophesy for the public and he could not build coalitions with his colleagues. He knew that history had not dealt him an electorate the makeup of which intersected perfectly with his own ambitions, as it had for Jackson, Roosevelt, and Reagan. This is why he resents his Republican opponents so much. Neither they nor their voters were sufficiently made according to his own political image, an image that he still believes to be the best and clearest evidence of the small measure of moral credibility that can justly be claimed by the United States of America.

Like Carter, Obama will be using the DNC-MSM to try to spin the memories of his time in office for decades to come: Flashback: Poll: Obama ‘worst president’ since World War II.

THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE ALSO WROTE THIS HEADLINE AND THAT’S RARE:

Headlines are important. They have the ability to draw readers into a piece that they otherwise might skip. They also have the ability to completely tank an article that is otherwise full of good information. How can you avoid reading a story with the headline “Underwear bandit caught, admits brief crime spree” or the infamous 1983 headline from the New York Post, “Headless body in topless bar”?

Headlines are the first thing news consumers see when searching for stories or columns to read. They are essential in trying to attract eyes on articles writers have spent hours—sometimes even days or months—working on.

And so it is surprising to learn that authors generally don’t write their own headlines. Different publications have different staffing and processes, but for the most part it’s a section or copy editor who writes headlines.

Think about the work that goes into putting out a newspaper, the print kind that leaves your fingers stained with ink. Headlines are dependent on an article’s length, the page’s design, and how many other pieces are on that page. They have to fit within a certain number of columns, and font size might be dictated by a page designer or the publication’s style guide.

“If you think about newspapers, there were column inches. There were fixed widths, and you had to have a headline that fit. So people developed the skill at writing headlines to fit with their particular paper’s style and layout,” Rutgers University history and journalism professor David Greenberg told The Dispatch. “You had to know what you were doing. There was a kind of technical precision to it.”

Related: James Lileks on another aspect of newspaper and Website design: Editorial illustrations have “converged into a uniform blobby minimalist style,” or as Lileks dubs it, “Colorforms Totalitarianism.”

WELL, FIRST OF ALL IT WAS IN BALTIMORE: FDA Details Failures at Baltimore Plant That Spoiled Vaccine Doses.

OLD POST ROAD OILS makes women’s specialty soap too.

‘THIS WASN’T WELL THOUGHT OUT:’ Pride’s tweet sending out lots of pride looks kind of…Iranian.

As Obama’s Middle East “advisor” Ben Rhodes famously said, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” The same goes for those who create social media content for corporations and non-profit organizations. They really know nothing of how Ben Rhodes’ buddies in the Middle East operate: ISIS Hurls Gay Men Off Buildings, Stones Them: Analysts.

FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT TO PROPAGANDIZE: Left-wing educators hold rallies to protest bans on teaching critical race theory in schools.

MARK LEVIN: The Coup Against Benjamin Netanyahu.

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH BILL MAHER IS A VOICE OF SANITY: Bill Maher on “progressophobia.”

His point here is evergreen but feels timely on Loving Day.

My one quibble with what he says is that I don’t think the left sincerely believes things are worse now than ever. Even the fringier Democrats in Congress would acknowledge that modern America is more inclusive than it used to be — if the question were squarely put to them. How could they not? The sea change in public opinion on gay marriage, for instance, is a matter of simple statistical fact.

But Maher’s right insofar as you’ll rarely hear a progressive volunteer that progress has been made. To acknowledge progress is to invite complacency about injustices that remain, or so they seem to believe. Most will do it if they’re cornered, knowing that they’ll sound nutty if they insist with a straight face that America in 2021 is more racist than it was in 1950. (There are stalwarts who’ll venture to make even that argument.) But it has to be dragged out of them. The closest they get to acknowledging it spontaneously is when they complain that X is the “new Jim Crow,” whether X happens to be Georgia’s new voting law or increasing a local police budget or what have you. That’s an admission that the very recent status quo was, uh, not Jim Crow.

As Kyle Smith wrote in 2017:

Each political party is these days centrally identified by its hatred of the other. Yet the Right concedes points made by the Left all the time; paleoconservatives, for instance, tend to agree with the Left’s framing of the Iraq War as an unnecessary and misguided adventure. Several National Review contributors have called for criminal-justice reform, with a particular focus on unduly harsh sentences for nonviolent offenders and the nightmare of civil-asset forfeiture without due process. This publication declared “The War on Drugs Is Lost” back in 1996.

By contrast, when you sign on to the progressive cause, you know that ostracization and obloquy from your own side will attach to you like a traveling chorus of hecklers should you ever concede conservatives are sometimes correct. Unless you set out with the full expectation of being damned as a contrarian and a party-pooper for adhering to principle, you will find it exhausting always to be pushing back, to be damned to eternity on the intellectual Nautilus. Much easier, and more natural, is to just relax and accept the constant pull to the left. To put it another way, once you board the progressive choo-choo, it won’t stop until it reaches Crazy Town.

Leftists suffering from “Selma envy” also won’t answer America’s inclusiveness has improved radically since 1963, for the same reason that won’t answer the question of “In a Welfare State, How Much Is ‘Enough’?” “There’s no such thing as enough, as far as they’re concerned. That’s what the Greeks thought.”

BOGUS POLITICIZED HISTORY IN THE SPIRIT OF THE 1619 PROJECT: Emory Professor: The Second Amendment ‘was designed’ to keep ‘African Americans powerless and vulnerable.’

Emory was also the home of disgraced and dishonest former Second Amendment historian Michael Bellesiles.

“A DELTA PILOT PARKED A PLANE IN THE DESERT AT THE HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC AND LEFT A NOTE IN THE COCKPIT. Another pilot found it 435 days later:”

Click to enlarge.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Germany is a Bad Ally.

Biden and Secretary of Antony Blinken reversed course [from President Trump’s hardline approach to Germany], however, and sought to prioritize smooth relations with Berlin. On May 19, 2021, Blinken announced that the United States would wave sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, its chief executive officer Matthias Warnig, and its corporate officers even though Blinken insisted the U.S. opposition to the Russian-backed pipeline was “unwavering.” Blinken explained the logical dissonance of the move as an effort to fulfill “the President’s pledge to rebuild relationships with our allies and partners in Europe.”

The logic behind this calculation, however, is tenuous. Put aside the irony that Biden and Blinken have now promoted pipelines for the Taliban and Russia while killing those from which the United States could benefit. If climate change were truly the “greatest threat to America” as Biden told U.S. troops during his visit to Europe, then he would increase his opposition to Nord Stream 2, not green light its completion.

Nor should German complaints of ease matter. It would have been logistically easier during the Cold War to let the Soviet bloc supply West Berlin but the United States went so far as to airlift supplies to the city during the Soviet’s 1948-49 blockade.

Biden and Blinken may associate acquiescence to Berlin with sophisticated diplomacy and may assume that Germany stands for the same values as the United States, but this would be a mistake. Simply put, Germany is neither a good ally nor does its leadership share the same liberal, democratic worldview as the United States.

As Mark Steyn has written regarding Angela Merkel, “You can take the girl out of East Germany, but you can’t take the East Germany out of the girl.”

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: What ProPublica Gets Wrong About the Wealthy and Taxes.

ProPublica obtained the tax returns of the richest Americans and discovered what every informed person already knew: They don’t pay as much in income taxes as some people would like them to. This is being called a great scandal by many Democrats and liberal journalists.

Meanwhile, that these returns were almost surely leaked by someone at the IRS seems not to bother a lot of the same people. There’s no way ProPublica got this information from dozens of high-priced accountants and attorneys. Barring the possibility that this was a computer hack—which itself would be a monumental scandal—this is outrageous. Weaponizing the IRS for political purposes is not just a crime, it is a long-term political disaster.

But I want to focus on the fake scandal.

Billionaires often pay little in income taxes because billionaires don’t typically make their money from a salary. Billionaires exist for the most part because they own assets—stocks, businesses, commodities, property, etc.—and the paper value of those assets amounts to the bulk of their wealth. And in America, we do not tax wealth.

Nor should we.

Let’s say you collect baseball cards. On paper, your collection is worth a bundle. But its real value is realized only when you sell it. Do you think the IRS should tax you every year for what your collection could be worth if you sold it? Do you want the IRS to tax you for the value of your wedding ring—not at purchase, but forever—even if you’re never going to sell it?

The same principle applies to other unrealized gains. If your stock portfolio increases in value, you get taxed on your gains when you sell.

ProPublica ignores all this. “We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period,” they explain. “We’re going to call this their true tax rate.”

Except it’s not a true tax rate.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Return of the IRS Scandal. “This still leaves the real scandal, which is that someone leaked confidential IRS information about individuals to serve a political agenda. This is the same tax agency that pursued a vendetta against conservative nonprofit groups during the Obama Administration. Remember Lois Lerner? This is also the same IRS that Democrats now want to infuse with $80 billion more to chase a fanciful amount of uncollected taxes. As part of this effort, Mr. Biden wants the IRS to collect ‘gross inflows and outflows on all business and personal accounts from financial institutions.’ Why? So the information can be leaked to ProPublica? The IRS says it has begun an investigation into the tax-return disclosure, and by all means send the guilty to prison. But Congress should also not trust the IRS with any more power and money than it already has.”

MICHAEL YON REPORTS from Chiapas, Mexico.

HOW’S THAT WELCOME WAGON PROGRAM COMING ALONG? Montana, the sold-out state New Yorkers can’t get enough of.

THROW THE BUMS OUT: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joins 2022 race to oust Mark Kelly.

OLD AND BUSTED: Can Greeks Become Germans?

The New Hotness? Turks Enraged as Ancestry.com Reveals the Truth: Most of Them Are Greeks.

SHARYL ATTKISSON: Read Donald Trump statement: I was right all along.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Critical Race Theory Opponents Win Board Elections at Nation’s Top High School.

HELEN TRIES IT: This week I had the pleasure of reading Professor Carol’s book Why Freshmen Fail: and How to Avoid It! I know you are no longer supposed to call college students freshman (it’s sexist and classist, yawn) but this is what makes Professor Carol’s book so refreshing. She lays out exactly in a non-PC straightforward manner for students and their parents how to make the most of the first year. She really gets how 18-year-olds think and has no qualms with helping them figure out if college is even the right choice in a chapter called “Why am I here?” She discusses “real life” and how it is often unfair even though students have been told by adults how everything is equal (yeah, sure). She has a chapter on how to get along with your professors by nodding, even if the nodding is insincere. Just this simple gesture can help a student earn a better standing in the class. My favorite chapter is “What Not to Say” that describes the PC atmosphere and how to maneuver it without losing your mind. I could have used this when I was in grad school. Get the book for your child, grandchild or as a gift for anyone you know going to college in the fall, it is really helpful. I have verified this listing at Helen’s Page. (Bumped)

THAT QUICKLY, HUH? The New York Times catches up with Mark Steyn on demography – fifteen years later.

COMRADE ROCKSTAR: Dean Reed may be the biggest rock star that you’ve never heard of.  An American from Colorado, Reed was a huge star in the Communist Bloc, but not in his native land. “Comrade Rockstar” is just one of the nicknames that have been conferred upon him over the years.

His failure to make it in America was not for lack of trying. Born to a Goldwater-supporting family, he left for Hollywood in the late 1950s, where he got a contract with Capitol Records. Alas, his records never took off in this country.

For some reason, however, his music was especially popular in Latin America. He therefore moved down there in the early 1960s (during which he began his political lurch leftward). From there, he went on to Europe, finally winding up in the early 1970s in East Germany, where they absolutely, positively, no-doubt-about-it, loved him and his music. Communist bloc teens swooned.  To them, he was “the Red Elvis.”

Reed always professed to love America, and the lyrics to his songs sometimes reflected this, but he seemed to spend as much time denouncing the United States as he spent singing, songwriting, and acting in movies.  Of course, denouncing the United States is pretty common among rock musicians.  But Reed’s wholesome style (by the standards of the time) made him different.  Here, for example, he sings “Bye Bye Love” with Phil Everly.  No wonder the Communist Bloc authorities encouraged his rise to stardom, while condemning what they viewed as degenerate forms of music.

Reed died on this day in 1986 at the age of 47.  Six weeks earlier, he had appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes — one of the rare occasions on which his by then fading fame was acknowledged in the Western media. During that interview, he defended the building of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and compared Reagan to Stalin.

Although officially recorded as an accident, Reed’s death was almost certainly a suicide. His body was found in knee-deep water in Zeuthener Lake a few miles outside Berlin.  His wrists were slashed, and he had taken an overdose of sleeping pills.  A suicide note was later found.  “Wholesome” musical style or not, he was an all-too-obvious troubled soul.

FOREIGN COLLUSION: Qatar Behind Hostile Israel Statements From American Universities.

INFLATION: BigLaw First Year Associate Pay Rises To $200,000 $205,000.

THROW THE BUMS OUT: Recall fever strikes California as angry voters take on politicians in large numbers.

June 12, 2021

HARSH, BUT FAIR:

Shouldn’t it be “we welcome scrutiny because it will underscore that our victory was fair?”

OPEN THREAD: I call and whisper sounds to you at the speed of light.

SPACE: Analysis: DoD space budget ‘clear winner’ in 2022 proposal.

GOP MUST THINK IN A NEW (Old) WAY ABOUT ANTI-TRUST: Mike Davis, chief of the upstart Internet Accountability Project (IAP) is now on Substack and offers a bracing analysis of why Republicans need to wake up to reality about Big Tech and monopoly:

“The path forward for Republicans is to think about Big Tech and antitrust in the same way we increasingly think about China: our old operating modes with respect to both were driven by economic theories that did not pan out. In the early 1990s, we were reliably informed by neoliberal economists, including the Chicago School, that if China were allowed to engage in free trade and join multilateral organizations that the country would gradually democratize and embrace America as the world’s only superpower.

“We know now that this theory missed the mark by a wide margin. Instead of democratizing, China became a surveillance state (thanks in large part to the U.S. internet). Contrary to the Chicago School theory, China never engaged in free or fair trade. Three million jobs shipped from the U.S. to China over the past twenty years — and our children get defective toys and contaminated baby formula.

“It took President Trump to wake us from our China slumber before it was too late. Similarly, the Chicago School economic theory applied in Big Tech markets has suffered a similar fate.

“We were told by the Chicago School [‘modern anti-trust] experts that market power in these markets would be fleeting because entry barriers were low and someone would eventually build a better mousetrap. We were also informed by these experts that Big Tech markets—in which many services are provided for free—defied application of the consumer-welfare standard.

“Therefore, there could be no ‘harm,’ as narrowly defined by the Chicago School, to consumers in Big Tech markets. We got that one wrong too, making it time to move on.”

Definitely a Must-Read.

PROTO-MANOLO: Medieval pointed-shoe trend brought ‘plague’ of bunions to Britain.

I HAVE OLDER MEMORIES THAN THAT: Earliest memories can start from the age of two-and-a-half.

“GHOST GUNS” IS JUST ANOTHER MADE UP SCARY NAME: Ghost Guns and the Deeply American Tradition of Gun Privacy.

BOMBSHELL: DEFECTOR CLAIMS TO HAVE EVIDENCE THAT CHINESE MILITARY COORDINATED CREATION AND RELEASE OF COVID-19.

Last week, Jen Van Laar at our sister site RedState broke the news that a high-ranking defector had been working for months with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), unbeknownst to either the FBI or CIA. The defector claims to have knowledge of special weapons programs in China that include bioweapons.

Now, in a new exclusive bombshell, Van Laar reports that the defector has provided evidence that the Chinese military orchestrated the creation of the COVID-19 virus, which did, in fact, leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

RedState has now learned some details of the information provided by the defector, including that he provided data proving that SARS-CoV-2 was manmade and leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in addition to evidence confirming that the People’s Liberation Army managed the Wuhan program (and others), as Chinese virologist Yan Li-Meng told the FBI last year.

Technical details provided by the defector, RedState is told, were given to scientists (who were not told how that information was given to the government) who then re-analyzed data from published sources in conjunction with the new data and concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was engineered. And, the defector was able to confirm numerous non-public details Yan provided the US government.

As PJM’s Paula Bolyard writes, “We may never definitively learn the origins of the Wuhan virus, but Americans at all levels of government and industry must relentlessly investigate until we get to the bottom of this. If, in fact, it’s determined that the Chinese unleashed a deadly pandemic on the world—sacrificing its own citizens in order to attack the West—it would be one of the worst crimes against humanity the world has ever seen—one that the media and politicized scientific community turned a blind eye to.”

Flashback from November of 2019: How to Conduct Business with Chinese Companies That See a Dark Future.

FASTER, PLEASE: How Deregulation Could Make Supersonic Air Travel Great Again.

MICHAEL YON ENCOUNTERS Brazilians flying to the US for vaccines.

KEYSTONE PIPELINE’S CANCELLATION SHOWS HOW ARBITRARY PRESIDENTIAL POWER SUBVERTS THE RULE OF LAW. Citizens and companies increasingly cannot count on the stability of the law when making decisions about their lives and businesses.

Unexpectedly!, as Biden and Obama’s hagiographers at Bloomberg would say. Amity Shlaes, the author of Great Society and The Forgotten Man warned correctly when promoting the latter book that business and consumer uncertainty during a regulatory-obsessed socialist regime is a great way to keep a stagnant economy from catching fire.

WHAT IS IT WITH DEMOCRATS AND LOST GUNS? Anti-Gun FL Rep. Val Demings Is Running For Senate, Still Can’t Find Her Old Service Pistol.

Related: GOP Senators ask Biden ATF nominee if he ever lost possession of his service weapon; he denies it. “But a Senate staffer said their office has received information suggesting that Chipman’s answer may not be true, and they are still looking into the matter.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: People already infected with COVID-19 gain no additional benefits from vaccination: Study.

 

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: President Biden and first lady boot BBC crew from pub garden to get their table.

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden kicked out the British media — to get the pub garden table they wanted, video shows.

Jon Sopel, the BBC’s North America editor, had been sitting on the patio of Treganna Castle in Cornwall on Thursday when he was seemingly surprised by the unexpected arrival of the commander-in-chief and his wife.

“A first in my career. @POTUS comes and sits down at table in a bar next to me and orders a drink. Am trying to act nonchalant,” he tweeted alongside video of him shouting out, “How’s it going, Mr. President? Are you enjoying it here?”

But the BBC team was soon forced to pack up their belongings to give up their table to POTUS and FLOTUS — even though they clearly had the pick of several other tables in the otherwise empty area.

Don’t sweat it, Beeb – if Biden acts like he doesn’t know you’re sitting there, it’s not an act: he really doesn’t know you are sitting there.

 Just be glad you’re not actually members of the DNC-MSM; they’d get the closet if they didn’t move.

NEXT SPACESHIP ON VENUS: NASA is finally going back to Venus. Here’s what its twin missions hope to uncover.

OBAMA’S REVEALING RESENTMENTS:

Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently, Barack Obama scoffed at the backlash to critical race theory. In his view, it is the backlash, not the theory, that is extreme. In the interview, Obama assumed the posture of the dispassionate moderate, carefully dissecting the irrationality of his opponents. He affected great perplexity at their resistance to a “changing America.”

“We have to worry when one of our major political parties is willing to embrace a way of thinking about our democracy that would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago,” he said. Never mind that his whole political philosophy entails a rejection of America’s original principles. His clamoring for a fundamentally transformed America is nothing more than a project to replace the political order of the Founding Fathers with a new and dysfunctional one, based on liberal imperatives more akin to the French Revolution than the American Revolution.

It is for this reason that Obama embraces the rank anti-Americanism of critical race theory. It is toxic propaganda designed to turn Americans against their own country and lay the groundwork for a new political system rooted in leftism. Obama can pontificate about assaults on democracy while celebrating a theory that portrays America’s democracy as a byproduct of racism. He can talk about Republicans as un-American even as he excuses athletes who boycott the flag.

Republicans, he intoned gravely in his interview with Cooper, have introduced “dark spirits” into our politics. This pretense of moderation is ludicrous given his long history of finding the company of anti-American extremists congenial. He sat in the church of Jeremiah Wright as he cursed America. At Harvard, Obama championed Derrick Bell, one of the progenitors of critical race theory. Obama launched his political career in the living room of Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist who tried to blow up the U.S. Capitol. Obama cut his teeth as a community organizer pushing the ugly agitprop of Saul Alinsky.

Flashback: Back in 2010 at the New Criterion, the late Kenneth Minogue warned, “My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.”

VITAMIN D UPDATE: Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk for addiction to opioids and ultraviolet rays. “‘If that patient is deficient in vitamin D, the euphoric effects of morphine could be exaggerated,’ says Fisher, ‘and that person is more likely to become addicted.'”

Well, where the sun exposure is concerned it sounds self-remedying.

Your grandmother was right: Fresh air and sunshine are good for you. Stay inside too much and you may become a heroin addict.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE MONKEY BRAIN: Monkey study highlights brain biology behind ‘doomscrolling.’

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Unvaccinated students ‘branded’ at New Hampshire prom.

TO PARAPHRASE COL. JEFF COOPER, IF I WERE THEM I’D BE PLEASED AND PROUD: Study: Low self-esteem in promiscuous women is a widely-held myth.

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE! Dementia Joe Forgets Where He Is Again.

GEE, YOU’D THINK A FORMER ENRON ADVISOR WOULD BE MUCH BETTER AT THIS SORT OF THING…Paul Krugman’s 10-Year History of Being Wrong About Bitcoin.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Kamala’s Kookies Edition.

SOLIPSISTIC POSTMODERNISTS DON’T CARE ABOUT FACTS: Police Have a Few Facts for Liberals Who Spread Crazy Conspiracy About Vandalism at Nancy Mace’s Home.

THE DEMAND FOR WHITE SUPREMACY IN TODAY’S AMERICA FAR EXCEEDS THE SUPPLY (CONT’D): Hate-crime hoax: Black student likely egged her own door, police say.

OUCH:

BORIS IS MILKING THE SOFT POWER DIVIDEND OF THIS MOMENT: Boris Johnson Says G7 Countries Must ‘Build Back Better’ In A ‘Greener,’ ‘More Gender Neutral,’ And More ‘Feminine’ Way.

I’m so old, I can remember when Johnson was still a Tory. How does he square the circle between stock phrases, “more gender neutral,” and more “feminine?” More importantly, how does Boris utter this sort of language after expertly diagramming Churchill’s speeches?

(Classical reference in headline.)

IT’S NOT THE YEARS IT’S THE MILEAGE: Traps, Pitfalls, Ambushes, and Lots of Snakes: ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Turns 40.

STANDING UP TO RACISM: Judge halts loan forgiveness program for farmers of color after lawsuit alleges it discriminates against white farmers. Probably because it does: “The program pays up to 120% of direct or guaranteed farm loan balances for Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander farmers.”

CNN BROADCASTS BDSM:

Did anyone else catch the sordid humiliation porn screened on CNN Thursday? The nine-minute clip featured a MILF-cum-dominatrix who works under the name Alisyn Camerota and a promising new adult star called Jeffrey Toobin (onlyfans.com/jeffreytoobin).

It was Toobin’s first appearance on the AVN-award-winning network since his eight-month stint in a dungeon. The little-pig-boy, 61, was locked up after one of his cam-shows went awry at his other employer, a top-shelf skin mag called the New Yorker.

‘It’s been a while,’ Camerota begins. ‘It has been a while indeed,’ Toobin replies with a wry smile. Camerota then ‘recaps’ where Toobin has been for the last few months, as the two giggle to themselves.

* * * * * * * *

The dominatrix has posted the full nine-minute clip to her Twitter profile, with the unassuming caption ‘My interview with @JeffreyToobin.’

Cockburn has a sturdy disposition and an open mind — but even he struggled to witness such depravity on national television. Is retaining a role at CNN really worth such a public and excruciating exposure? Hopefully Mistress Camerota keeps the ball-gag in for Toobin’s next appearance, to save him a few blushes.

Absolutely savage.

DESANTIS CONTINUES TO BE A HOSS: Florida bans teaching of critical race theory.

MICHAEL YON: Hong Kong 612 — this was the day.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: UCLA Confirms BLM Co-founder Who Called to End “Project That’s Called Israel” Will Be Commencement Speaker.

GOOD IDEA, BUT THEY HAVE ENOUGH OF THE WORLD’S LEADERSHIP AND MEDIA ON THE PAYROLL TO PREVENT THIS: Make Communist China Pay for COVID-19.

UPDATE: A friend comments: “They won’t say so but the uniparty globalists’ theory of national security is to effect a corporate merger of the US and China. And from there the world. Literally Orwell.”

BRANDED: Unvaccinated students ‘branded’ at New Hampshire prom.

A New Hampshire high school is facing the heat for “branding” unvaccinated students at the prom.

Exeter High School officials wrote in marker on the hands of students who didn’t have a coronavirus vaccine or didn’t have a second shot. The school said it was for contact tracing, prompting a social-media outcry.

“Students who were unable to provide a vaccination card because they did not have or share a card or had not completed the full vaccination process had a number written on their hand,” read a statement from the high school that outlined safety protocols for the prom.

The event was held outside on school grounds last Friday and students were notified about the contact tracing system via a special website prior to the prom, according to the school.

However, the website doesn’t mention appear to mention the marker system.

Just have them ring a bell and shout out “unclean!” when they approach.

JIM TREACHER: CNN Gives Jeffrey Toobin Another Whack at It — Obviously he’s got some pull.

An unnamed CNN executive told WaPo: “I don’t think that one terrible mistake should define a person or ruin their employment opportunities for life.”

Unfortunately, that generosity of spirit doesn’t extend to anybody outside the CNN bubble. If you’re a random guy who makes a meme of Trump beating up the CNN logo, the network will devote their full resources to tracking you down and threatening to ruin your life.

If you’re an old lady with a Facebook page supporting Trump, CNN will send a “journalist” to stand on your lawn and berate you.

And of course, if you’re a high-school student in a MAGA hat who smirks at a Native American dude in front of the Lincoln Memorial, CNN will make you the villain of their top story for a week. They’ll try to crush you for wearing the wrong slogan.

But if you work for CNN, you can yank your crank during a work Zoom call and they’ll just say, “Ehhhh, big deal. It could happen to anybody!” It’s good to be a Democrat.

Indeed it is. Iowahawk called this week’s happy ending (sorry) for Toobin back in October:

 

PAY RAISES COMING FOR HILL STAFFERS: Prospects are growing that Congress, or at least the House of Representatives will reverse a decade-long trend and authorize more funds to improve compensation for personal and committee aides.

Conservatives and libertarians who are properly predisposed against any sentence containing the words “government” and “more” should think twice before opposing better pay for Hill aides. The Founders wisely made Congress the “first branch,” with all of the constitutional perogatives needed to win any battle with either of the other two branches.

But Congress under Democrats and Republicans for the past 50 years has steadily ceded its powers, especially in the regulatory fields, to the executive branch and the courts. The result has been more unaccountable bureaucrats and judges.

It will do no good, however, to pull that power back if Congress doesn’t ensure it has sufficient staff to do the tremendous amount of day-to-day work required to do effective oversight. At least voters can toss the rascals in Congress out when they don’t do their jobs properly.

SCIENCE! Did Teachers Union Input at CDC Cross a Line? “One detail not disclosed at the time: The AFT had a hand in crafting the guidelines. On May 1, The New York Post broke the news of emails between the union and the CDC, obtained by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust, showing that the CDC had consulted with the teachers union, and that two suggestions from the AFT had been incorporated, almost verbatim, into the final document.”

MOST POPULAR READER BOOK SO FAR THIS YEAR: Cry Bullies: Protecting yourself against social muggers and victimhood aggression. You can also view it at Barnes and Noble if you prefer.

DISPATCHES FROM THE BOOK OF JONAH: Cape Cod fisherman OK after whale gulps him down, spits him out.

Michael Packard, on his way out from the hospital just a few hours later, told a local TV reporter he thought that was it for him.

“I realized I’m in a whale’s mouth, and he’s trying to swallow me,” a shaken-sounding Packard told WBZ. “I thought to myself, ‘Hey, this is it. I’m going to die.’”

But happily, his physical recovery seems to be going swimmingly. Medical personnel had suspected he’d broken at least one of his legs, but it appears he escaped even that, his mother said.

“He doesn’t have any broken bones,” she said. “He’s terribly fortunate.”

She said she’d just talked to him on the phone, and they didn’t get too far into what it’s like in a whale’s mouth.

But she did say, “He said he knew it was the end — he absolutely accepted it.”

Humpback don’t actually eat people. Experts say this kind of behavior is essentially unheard of, and likely is just a freak incident — a fluke, if you will. There’s a pretty good chance no one outside of Nineveh-bound biblical figures can match Packard’s story.

Marine mammal expert Peter Corkeron of the New England Aquarium told the Herald that humpback whales are “gulp feeders” who eat by unhinging their mouths and taking big lunges through the water. And when you’re 50 feet long and weigh 30 tons, as humpbacks can, sometimes you don’t really have too much fine control over where you’re headed, he noted.

“They slurp up as much as they can, and then swallow it down,” he said, noting that he’s never heard of a human being scooped up like this. This one was probably looking to snatch up some fish when Packard ended up in just the wrong place at the wrong time.

Corkeron said there’s actually evidence that humpbacks can be “altruistic” toward humans — and the happy ending to this whale tale could be another such case, given that Packard said the whale swam to the surface to spew him out.

And of course, humans can be remarkably altruistic to whales — not least of which, wannabe marine biologists:

THAT’S ALL THEY HAVE NOW: Former NY Times Columnist Rips Paper Over ‘Activist Journalists.’

DEMONIZATION IS WHAT THE LEFT DOES: The Demonization of Benjamin Netanyahu: He’s simply an Israeli patriot, but detractors called him an enemy of peace, even a Republican.

Opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, have worked for more than a quarter-century to tarnish his image in the U.S. and around the world.

In 1996, when Israelis first elected him to put a brake on a dangerous Oslo process, Mr. Netanyahu was depicted as an enemy of peace. For three years, his opponents insisted that if only Israel were rid of Mr. Netanyahu, it could make peace with Yasser Arafat. They were wrong. Ehud Barak defeated Mr. Netanyahu in 1999 and offered Arafat sweeping concessions at Camp David a year later. Instead of peace, Israel got scores of suicide bombings and the worst wave of Palestinian terrorism in its history—the so-called second intifada in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered.

That was followed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2005 decision to withdraw from Gaza. Just as Mr. Netanyahu predicted, Israel’s unilateral concession led only to further aggression. Hamas, a genocidal terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction, took over Gaza and turned it into a base from which thousands of missiles have been fired at Israeli cities.

Mr. Netanyahu returned to the premiership in 2009. The preceding bloody decade should have made it obvious to all that Palestinian leaders didn’t want peace. But Mr. Netanyahu was scapegoated again. Now Mahmoud Abbas was cast as a peacemaker instead of Arafat, who died in 2004. While few Israelis believed such nonsense any longer, many foreign policy makers did, including key officials in the Obama White House.

This time, another element was added to the demonization of Mr. Netanyahu: American partisan politics. Not only was he cast as an enemy of peace; he was accused of being a Republican. His critics portrayed his legitimate opposition to a Democratic president’s dangerous Middle East policies as an illegitimate effort to intervene in American politics. . . .

The demonization of Mr. Netanyahu says more about his critics than about him. He was never an enemy of peace; he understood that his critics were dangerously naive. By rejecting their ideas and following a path of peace through strength, his policies not only brought Israel the safest decade in its history; they also brought peace agreements and normalization with four Arab states.

Mr. Netanyahu is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He is an Israeli patriot who has opposed the policies of even our greatest friends when he thought those policies endangered Israel.

That’s what they can’t forgive him for.

FROM CELIA HAYES:  The Golden Road.

Sixteen year old Fredi Steinmetz longed for adventure and riches. What better way to find both than to follow the Gold Rush from Texas to California, But he didn’t reckon on bandits, and robbers, gold in the riverbanks, murder in the streets of San Francisco and the saloons of Moke Hill, a rich cache under a half-dead pine tree on the North Fork, of Mormons and gold-miners, fugitive Fenians, and the Lotta Crabtree, the Faery Star dancing under a glittering golden rain thrown on stage The wild west was never wilder.

FROM RADIO FREE COLORADO, (WHICH TOTALLY EXISTS*,) TO RAISE YOUR SPIRITS:  “The Egg” from the musical 1776. (Video.)

And you might want to read this:  Turn On The Light.

*In my living room.

HE’S A BORDER COLLIE – OF COURSE HE HEADED FOR THE NEAREST SHEEP FARM:  Idaho dog lost after car accident was found at a sheep farm.

And of course he was herding sheep.

SOME OF THOSE ARE THE RESULTS OF THE JUNTA AND ELECTION FRAUD, BUT SURE:  Economic “long COVID” aftereffects: Apple Campus and normalization of remote working; global chip shortage; Bidenflation.

HE WASN’T EVEN TRYING TO GET TO TARSHISH:  Lobster diver says he was swallowed by humpback whale near Cape Cod.

LOOK, LEFTIST NPCs THIS IS A JOKE THAT WORKS ONLY ONCE:  Ingraham: The left seeks ‘lockdowns by another name’ as Americans are viewed as ‘disposable commodities’.

To quote RAH “Try it again, and you’re a half-wit.” And yes, we know you’re halfwits. But do try to get it into your damaged brains that the rest of us aren’t NPCs.

UNEXPECTEDLY!  Law enforcement struggles to recruit since killing of George Floyd.

Dear Leftists: Start by assuming we’re not NPCs…. We know that might be difficult, given your circles, but still.

HIGHER EDUCATION IMPLOSION UPDATE:  Academic Study Frames Whiteness As A “Parasitic-Like Condition.”

YEAH, WE KNOW. AND HEY, WE REELECTED HIM:  Everything was better with President Trump in the White House.

NOPE. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DON’T:  You really have to feel a little bit sorry for Kamala.

OH, YOU SWEET SUMMER CHILD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW FINISHED YOU ARE:  ‘I’m Not Finished’: Kamala Harris Scolds Univision Reporter Over Border Visit Question.

Be done, you wretch, for we are done with thee.

INDEED: Reclaiming Art as a Force for Liberty.

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