January 20, 2022

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Prior infection and vaccination offered greatest protection during delta COVID-19 surge, CDC study finds.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Biden Outperforms Nation’s Expectations For First Year By Still Being Alive.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE JOE’S ABILITY TO F**K THINGS UP: We Will All Pay for Joe Biden’s ‘Minor Incursion’ Mistake.

The effect of Biden’s remarks was immediate. European capitals—Kyiv, in particular—erupted with indignation. “They watched those remarks, I think, with horror,” CNN’s Matthew Chance said of the Ukrainian government. One Ukrainian official said Biden had all but given Moscow a “green light” to invade. The White House immediately went to work cleaning up Biden’s comments, but it was wholly insufficient. “He was referring to the difference between military and non-military/para-military/cyber action by the Russians,” National Security Council Spokeswoman Emily Horne said. Some difference. Even if you believe Russia is parsing the fine distinctions between the president’s statements and their post-facto revisions by his more responsible staffers, “para-military” incursions are precisely what Moscow executed both in Crimea and in the Donbas region. There, Russian proxy forces have transformed the area into a warzone and carved out illegitimate “republics,” though the Russian currency and passports held by the residents of these puppet states leave no one confused as to who is in charge.

The president’s words and actions carry more weight than any half-hearted statement walking them back. Courtesy of his performance in Afghanistan, Putin has all the evidence he needs to conclude that Joe Biden will blink in defending American interests against an aggressor if he thinks the costs of such an effort are too high to bear. Biden has exposed the very real and now fully confirmed tensions within the Atlantic Alliance over how to respond to Russian aggression, if there is any response at all. All the tough talk in the world cannot undo that. Joe Biden has sown the wind. Now, we await the whirlwind.

Earlier, from Steve: Is Biden Inviting the Very War in Ukraine We Don’t Want to Fight?

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Ford will be idling Mustang production this week due to an insufficient supply of semiconductor chips.

IS THAT A GUITAR IN YOUR POCKET, OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME? Police seek man who stole $8,000 Les Paul by stuffing it into his pants (video).

HE FOUND YET ANOTHER WAY TO CHEAT: U Penn Trans Swimmer Accused of Intentionally Losing to Foil Trans Critics.

TO BE FAIR, IT WOULD BE THE QUESTION ON JOE BIDEN’S MIND IF HE STILL HAD ONE: The Question Gun On Gun Owners’ Minds: What Will Joe Biden’s Next Pivot Be?

NOW THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR: ‘No vaccine, no booze’: Quebec introduces new restrictions for the unvaccinated. “Liquor and cannabis stores are only accessible to people who are vaccinated against COVID-19.”

LIVE AT 3:30PM EASTERN: ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere’ with Kruiser, VodkaPundit, Special Guest.

BIDEN LIES BALDLY AND BADLY BUT MOSTLY BADLY: White House touts ‘key wins’ of Biden’s first year in office, says he had ‘most impactful’ legislative agenda.

JUST KEEP THEM AWAY FROM QUANTUM SHARKS: Physicists Spin Up Quantum Tornadoes.

THE COUNTRY IS IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: First Barack Obama, Now Joe Biden: Mumbling Our Way Into War. “Biden could have spent the last year reducing the risk of war by taking the diplomatic initiative with NATO and the United Nations. Instead, Biden allows Putin to make moves — to take the initiative, to test the waters — and then Biden issues weak verbal replies, hasty and unprepared.”

HMM: ‘Decoy’ protein works against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A MUCH BIGGER BLOG: A Partial List of the Myriad Abuses That Facemasks Inflict on Our Children.

YALE LAW UPDATE: Heather Gerken Reappointed Dean Of Yale Law School For Another 5-Year Term.. I would say that she’s got nowhere to go but up, but I’m not so sure about that.

VDH: Is America Heading for a Systems Collapse?

In modern times, as in ancient Rome, several nations have suffered a “systems collapse.” The term describes the sudden inability of once-prosperous populations to continue with what had ensured the good life as they knew it.

Abruptly, the population cannot buy, or even find, once plentiful necessities. They feel their streets are unsafe. Laws go unenforced or are enforced inequitably. Every day things stop working. The government turns from reliable to capricious if not hostile.

Consider contemporary Venezuela. By 2010, the once well-off oil-exporting country was mired in a self-created mess. Food became scarce, crime ubiquitous.

Radical socialism, nationalization, corruption, jailing opponents, and the destruction of constitutional norms were the culprits.

Between 2009 and 2016, a once relatively stable Greece nearly became a Third World country. So did Great Britain in its socialist days of the 1970s.

Joe Biden’s young presidency may already be leading the United States into a similar meltdown.

Related: The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.

 

THE NEW SPACE RACE: First lunar rovers in decades may explore the moon in 2022. Well, China already has one there, but . . .

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Incompetent Biden Administration COVID Test Saga Continues: Will These Things Even Work? “COVID-19 rapid antigen tests can’t be mailed due to temperature requirements.”

ONE OF THE (MANY) WAYS GREEN POLICIES KILL: Study: Carbon monoxide deaths soar during power outages.

INTERESTING: The Rifle: Combat Stories from America’s Last WWII Veterans, Told Through an M1 Garand. #CommissionEarned

WILLIAM ESTRADA: Parents Are Winning. That’s Why Far Left Is Turning Us Into Bogeymen.

Are “parental rights” some secret Bat Signal for right-wing evangelicals? The answer is yes, if you are writing for Salon. In a recent article, author Kathryn Joyce argued that “parental rights” is really the latest attempt of right-wing evangelicals to win elections.

Joyce has a long history of trying to pin blame on right-wing evangelicals. She has previously attacked international adoptions and large families only if they’re Christians (not any other faith, or lack thereof). So, it is not particularly surprising that now that parents from across the political spectrum are speaking up, she’s ready to blame it all on her favorite scapegoat: right-wing evangelicals.

Except it’s false: Parents from across every racial, demographic, ethnic, and political background are fighting against bureaucrats over who will decide basic questions regarding the education, upbringing, and care of their children.

It’s not just right-wing evangelicals. It’s parents from across the political, religious (and nonreligious), and demographic spectrums.

Targeting a broad spectrum of concerned parents as domestic terrorists was probably the American Left’s most damaging self-own this century.

But given that leftism has no limiting principles and the inherent illegitimacy of their power, they also had no choice but to try.

Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about leftism.

REOPEN SOCIETY AND SHUT DOWN MORAL NARCISSISM: Fauci’s home office features photos of himself, his own bobblehead.

(Classical reference in headline.)

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Ex-Labor Secretary Robert Reich says Democrats should assault Sinema over filibuster stance in deleted tweet. “National Review’s Charles Cooke said Reich’s remark was tantamount to saying Sinema ‘must be slapped around by her party if she fails to follow the demands of a white man.’ ‘No big deal,’ tweeted radio host Larry O’Connor. ‘Just Democrat/Socialist icon [Robert Reich] encouraging violence against a female senator who didn’t vote the way he wanted.’”

Related: What happens when a congressman threatens a colleague with violence?

In March 2010, 10 months before the shooting, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin had posted a map of 20 congressional districts she and John McCain won in 2008 but whose representatives in Congress had voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act. The map marked each district with a set of crosshairs. Palin promoted the map by tweeting “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD.” One of those crosshairs targeted Gabby.

Although no direct connection was ever established between Palin’s map and Gabby’s shooting, surely Palin’s violent rhetoric contributed to a climate of political violence in America in which a delusional man would mark Gabby for assassination. Gabby herself had expressed concern about Palin’s map.

Just as surely, Palin’s inflammatory post was a step toward increasingly violent political rhetoric on the way to Donald Trump and the insurrection of 6 January.

—Robert Reich, The Grauniad, November 16, 2021.

IT’S A SHORT LINE FROM “OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY” TO “OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES”: Joe Biden ‘Makes No Apologies For’ Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal.

HOT! HOT! HOT!: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is releasing its report on bail reform today–two months after its originally scheduled release date.  Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know.  My Dissenting Statement, which was written several months ago, is here.

I have some sympathy for the notion that we could improve our current pretrial detention practices. But, alas, nothing good will come from attempting to negotiate reform with “defund the police” advocates (or similar loons). Improvements to the system, if they are possible, will have to wait until more of our political leaders start taking crime seriously again.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: Radian announces plans to build one of the holy grails of spaceflight. “A Washington-state based aerospace company has exited stealth mode by announcing plans to develop one of the holy grails of spaceflight—a single-stage-to-orbit space plane. Radian Aerospace said it is deep into the design of an airplane-like vehicle that could take off from a runway, ignite its rocket engines, spend time in orbit, and then return to Earth and land on a runway.”

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Durham vs. Horowitz: Tension Over Truth and Consequences Grips the FBI’s Trump-Russia Reckoning. “As he documents the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in generating false allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, Special Counsel John Durham has also previewed a challenge to the FBI’s claims about how and why its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began. At stake is the completeness of the official reckoning within the U.S. government over the Russiagate scandal – and whether there will be an accounting commensurate with the offense: the abuse of the nation’s highest law enforcement and intelligence powers to damage an opposition presidential candidate turned president, at the behest of his opponent from the governing party he defeated.”

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY QUESTION THE LEGITIMACY OF AN ELECTION: Will the 2022 Midterms Be Legitimate? Joe Biden Says ‘It All Depends.’

I eagerly look forward to the press calling out the president for this assault on our democracy.

AS CROMWELL TOLD THE LONG PARLIAMENT: That select committee House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol has issued 84 subpoenas, only eight of which actually relate to the events of that day, according to The Federalist’s Tristan Justice.

“Born in the ashes of a 9/11-style commission blocked by Republicans when Democrats refused a genuine investigation of violence on Capitol Hill, Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6 has remained faithful to its central purpose. That purpose is seeking retribution against political dissidents while offering a smokescreen to Pelosi’s own culpability in her failures to reinforce Capitol security,” Justice explains.

Were he around to witness these events today, Cromwell might well voice something along this line: “You are no investigators; I say you are no legitimate inquiry; begone, and give place to honest men.”

HOW MANY BOOSTERS TO AVOID THIS ONE? Hey folks, there’s an exciting new Flu Manchu side effect: ‘agonizing penis pain.’

JOE BIDEN WILL NEVER CHANGE:

He and his administration were elected to “shut down” a virus that he has for the most part ignored since July, when he declared “masked or vaxxed” and then stuck his foot in a hole in Afghanistan. His administration handlers ensured that the defining image from the Kabul catastrophe was footage of him turning his back to the American people, as he refused to answer questions about the manner of the troops’ withdrawal. We were told that Joe Biden was elected because of his empathy and competence. The commentators who told us that have since learned that he has neither quality.

Joe Biden is not suddenly going to become coherent when he speaks to the press. He can’t make Vladimir Putin back down by whipping out his aviators and heading to the nearest ice cream parlor. The pundits who bought the gingerly grandpa act may be praying that he can capture any fleeting fairy dust bestowed upon him by Barack Obama’s pop-culture prowess. But that won’t transform Biden into someone able to “shut down the virus.”

David Brooks thinks Biden needs to “begin revamping his presidency.” “Jennifer Rubin claims that “Biden needs a reset.” Frankly, any paid pundit begging for Biden to become the fantastical wise elder statesman they fantasized about should keep their thoughts to themselves. The rest of us should ignore their “expertise” when making any serious assessment of this defeated old man’s tenure.

Related: The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.

I REMEMBER WHEN HIGHER EDUCATION WAS DEFENDED AS PRODUCING BETTER CITIZENS: Penn State professor: Maybe masked drunk drivers should speed through ‘pro-covid’ neighborhoods.

As taxpayers become increasingly unwilling to support this sort of thing, we’re told that it’s because they’re “anti-intellectual.”

YES. NEXT SOFTBALL QUESTION? Biden Calls from a List of Reporters at Press Conference, Is He Trying to Avoid Tough Questions?

THE CREEPY, AUTHORITARIAN WORLD OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Students describe life on campus under ‘health surveillance.’ It’s creepy and authoritarian, but also incompetent and risible.

STILL POPULAR: LED Desk Lamp Table Lamp Reading Lamp with USB Charging Port. #CommissionEarned

IF UNIVERSITIES ARE GOING TO START FIRING PROFESSORS WHO SAY THINGS THAT UPSET OTHERS, I’VE GOT A LIST: Academic Freedom Alliance Letter to the University of Pennsylvania.

And if Penn finds the idea of “too many Asians” offensive, maybe it needs to have a word with its admissions department.

THIS STORY WAS MORE AN INDICATION OF THE PRESS’S HOPES: Fmr. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien Pours Cold Water on Gossip About Split Between Former President Trump & Governor DeSantis.

He’s not very happy with the “minor incursion” remark from Biden, either.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Joe Manchin knows what most Democrats don’t: His party is out of touch.

CHANGE: Starbucks Drops COVID Vaccine and Testing Requirements for Employees. “The coffee chain told its staff of 228,000 that they are no longer required to be fully vaccinated or receive weekly testing. . . . The policy change follows the Supreme Court’s decision last week to block the Biden’s administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers. This order would have required companies with more than 100 workers to ensure that employees are either vaccinated against COVID, or wear a mask and be tested on a weekly basis.”

GOOD TIMING:  On this day in 1981, approximately 20 minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Iran released the 52 American hostages it had been holding for over a year.  That same day, the United States “unfroze” $8 billion in Iranian assets.

PJ MEDIA VIP ROUNDUP: Don’t forget that VODKAPUNDIT promo code if you’ve been thinking of joining us.

Cameron Arcand: Why the Arizona Governor’s Race Is Important… and Amazingly Unusual. “While the Democrats will likely nominate Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Republicans are dealing with a much more complicated battle to become Gov. Doug Ducey’s successor”

Athena Thorne: It’s Time to Re-Institutionalize the Dangerous Mentally Ill. “There is an ever-increasing supply of violent criminals to take advantage of the path the left has cleared for them to prey upon citizens. While this is a vast, multi-faceted problem with no quick and easy solution, one way to help would be to reduce the number of potential murderers, rapists, and attackers. And one way to do this is to return to the common-sense public policy of separating from society those who pose a threat to themselves and others.”

Yours Truly: Ranking the Bond Movies: Part 001 (Bonds, James Bonds). “The Bond movie franchise turns a respectable 60 years old in 2022, and with the …special… nature of the new No Time to Die — no spoilers! — I’m going to rank the Bond movies from best to worst in a 007-part series.”

THE MORE THEY TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY, THE MORE THEY PRACTICE CONFORMITY: From Hiring to Admissions, Universities Seek Ideological Conformity in Applicants.

And the more they talk about “inclusion” the more they try to isolate and exclude those who are different.

UPDATE: From a friend: “As I’ve noted many times, the people who currently insist that CRT is just an obscure method of thinking from advanced law school seminars are the same people who also demand statements expressing a commitment to CRT principles as a condition of hiring for a faculty job in the astronomy, economics, math, biology, or engineering departments. Increasingly, they are also demanding the same for college admissions in both undergrad and grad school.”

THEN A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL LOSE THE SOURCE OF MEANING IN THEIR LIVES: If Omicron Creates Herd Immunity, Then What?

LEGALLY SANCTIONED LAWLESSNESS: Soros-Funded Group Gets $158M Government Contract to Help Illegal Immigrants Avoid Deportation.

BIDEN VOTERS POSTING THEIR L’S ONLINE: “Biden leaves Democrats hanging as midterms burst into full swing” — and CNN is sounding the alarm:

Biden advisers say that the President talks politics with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, but people familiar with both leaders say any campaign talk has been brief, and Democratic leaders have significant concerns with the White House’s approach to getting the President to break through. It’s not just that Biden’s approval ratings have tumbled. Those in charge of keeping Democrats in power doubt that Biden’s team understands how to improve his political fate — and with it, theirs.

“It’s hard for me to believe that the President knows how little his political shop is doing to support Democratic majorities in the Senate and the House. All of us believe that the President would be shocked to learn how little the White House political team is doing,” said one senior Democratic elected official in Washington, voicing widespread worries about the midterms. “We just know Joe Biden, and we know how much he cares about this stuff.”

Senior Democrats, including some White House aides, describe a West Wing lacking both a political strategy and the discipline to execute one. Focus groups are giving party operatives nightmares. Biden is coming across as old and absent, they say. Real and perceived fumbles play into deep fears that he’s not up to the job and that Democrats are incompetent. Few Americans can say what was in the massive bills he’s signed, though many have heard about Democratic infighting and failure in what he hasn’t signed.

“What is the plan to fix that?” asked one operative in touch with the White House. “They can’t tell us what they’re talking about next week.”

Though most Democrats in power believe there’s still ample time for a turnaround, several top operatives are already talking triage. They’re fearful of discussing all of this publicly because they don’t want to create more problems. But privately, they are petrified that a Republican majority would end Biden’s agenda and swamp them with endless investigations and subpoenas, promise impeachment and potentially endanger fair certification of the next presidential election.

Why, it’s as if: The Democrats damned Biden by impeaching Trump.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Year one disaster: Sixty percent call Biden ‘unsuccessful,’ highest ever disunity.

TESSA MAJORS UPDATE: Final Teen Sentenced in Barnard Student Murder. 14 years to life for Rashaun Weaver. Hope it’s the latter.

MATT WALSH EXPLAINS HUMAN BIOLOGY TO CONFUSED TRANS ACTIVISTS (Video): “Walsh clashed with trans activists on a recent episode of the Dr. Phil show in a heated debate over gender identity that climaxed at the fundamentals of gender identity and what it means to be a woman.”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Bipartisan Senate Majority Kills Democrats’ ‘Voting Rights’ Lie. “Sane citizens of this still great Republic can breathe a sigh of relief after last night. The Democrats’ mad plan to turn the United States of America into USSR 2.0 was thwarted by the thinnest of bipartisan margins.”

CHRIS RUFO ON Woke Segregation and the Ghost of Jim Crow. Ghost?

This isn’t an “unintended consequence.” It’s fully intended.

JOHN ROBERTS KEEPS TELLING HIMSELF THAT HE’S PRESERVING THE REPUTATION OF THE COURT: SCOTUS GDRs Trump v. Thompson: Grant, Dictumize, and Retreat. “Ultimately, this entire opinion is a legal fiction–call it dicta, if you will! Indeed, remember Chief Justice Roberts tried to pawn off Roe’s viability line as dicta? The Chief is a smart lawyer. This dicta nonsense is insulting to our intelligence. But that’s where we are. Once again, the Court punches a ticket good for one ride: Trump loses, but no adverse precedent is set that could hamstring some future, more worthwhile president.”

If you want people to believe that all of our institutions have been corrupted, just act like John Roberts.

HIGHER EDUCATION AS POLICE STATE: Update: Professors still may be sanctioned for Halloween costumes from 2014.

CHILD GROOMING: Law and Order: SVU Has 8-Year-Old Come Out as ‘Bi.’

Why, it’s as if Hollywood is a sex-grooming gang or something.

THE ‘REFORMED TROMBONIST’ ON HOW WE GOT HERE FROM THERE: Long-time Instapunditeers know him as the frequent commenter here, “Reformed Trombonist.” I’ve been privileged in recent months to get to know him as Lee Dise, accomplished trombonist, computer programmer and very smart guy.

Dise launches the first of a seven-part series on HillFaith this morning in which he takes a candid and bracing tour of how America and Western Civilization got from where we were as the cradle of freedom, prosperity and civility to the present cauldron of endless civic conflict, political degradation and cultural repression.

You may not agree with everything Dise says in this series, but I can assure you he will give you much to think about carefully and deeply. And next time you see one of his comments here on Instapundit, feel free to say “wait a minute, you said over on HillFaith that ….” Gotta keep authors straight, right!

WELCOME TO WOKE COLORADO: Boulder Valley School District to host hiring event for ‘teachers of color’ only.

THE IDEA IS WILDLY UNPOPULAR, WHICH IS NO DOUBT WHY THE PRESS ISN’T REPORTING IT: Biden just signed a law that will require kill switches in all new cars that monitor you and “allow police or other government authorities to access it whenever.”

HOW THE TOFU GETS MADE: “An explosive story from [NPR and Nina Totenberg] about supposed high drama around masking at the Supreme Court imploded [yesterday].  I want to take you through how misinformation like this gets mainstreamed by the corporate press and others.”

A Twitter thread (on the Thread Reader App) by Drew Holden.

THE DELAY WAS FOR POLITICAL REASONS, TO ENSURE THAT THE VACCINE RELEASE DIDN’T HELP TRUMP BEFORE THE ELECTION: How Many Americans Died Because the FDA Delayed the Covid Vaccines?

That the Atlantic is even asking this question says everything.

NOT SATIRE: TSA Says It Will Accept Arrest Warrants as ID for Illegal Aliens at Airports.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Emerson College punished students for “racism” because they handed out stickers reading “China kind of sus.” People are fighting back. A reader sends this pic from Boston, at the corner of Boylston & Tremont:

There’s also the EmersonKindaSus website, set up by our friends at F.I.R.E.

Remember, make bureaucrats’ — and educrats’ — lives uncomfortable, and they’ll change their behavior.

BLAKE POWERS STILL NEEDS OUR HELP:  A New Life.

Yes I’m hoping to be able to help him more soon. Yes, I know things are crazy tight for people right now.  But no matter how bad your 2021 was (and mine was bad), it wasn’t getting-hit-by-lightening bad.  If you can help him, do so. If you can’t, please spread word of his need.

On our side, we’re all fighting with our legs in a sack. The other side has all the tech lords and the filthy rich slimy fools. We? All we have is each other.

WE HAVE LOST OREGON MUSE:  The world is poorer for his passing.

THE MASKS ARE WELL AND TRULY OFF:  Freedom is under siege, and the besiegers have now told us they have no mercy.

THEY’VE BEEN DANGEROUS FOR A LONG TIME:  ‘View’ Veers from Idiotic to Borderline Dangerous.

As astounding as it sounds, a lot of their viewership takes them seriously.

BUT BUT BUT OPEN BORDERS IS A HUMAN RIGHT!  Migrant Arrested with 5 Pounds of Fentanyl Taped to his Body.

SIGNS OF SANITY:  Great Britain, Czech Republic, and Israel Back Away From Vaccine Passports.

WE’VE NOTICED:   I watched the FBI become so woke it can’t call out terrorism.

THE MORE OF THESE THINGS THAT COME OUT, THE MORE I DISTRUST ANYTHING THAT FITS THE MARXIST NARRATIVE:   Not One Corpse Has Been Found In The ‘Mass Grave’ Of Indigenous Children In Canada.

SURE, THE PURPOSE OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS IS TO PROMULGATE THE ONE APPROVED TRUTH, DONCHA KNOW?   CNN Wants To Hire Team To Manage “Misinformation”.

NO. BUT AT THIS POINT RESUMING PAYMENTS WILL CAUSE ISSUES:  Elizabeth Warren Thinks Biden Can Save His Presidency With Executive Order Canceling Student Loan Debt.

So, they’re stuck.

MOST OF IT NOT FROM TEXAS:  Beto Raises $7.2 Million in First 6 Weeks of Texas Gubernatorial Campaign.

AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE WORKING HARD TO MAKE IT SO:  Biden Says 2022 Election “Could Easily Be Illegitimate”.

January 19, 2022

FLORIDA DEMOCRATS ARE HAVING A BAD DECADE: Nikki Fried is so, so bad at this.

ON THE ONE HAND, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SHOOT PEOPLE IN DEFENSE OF PROPERTY. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE’D HAVE LESS CRIME IF THE RULE WERE OTHERWISE: Philadelphia gun owner fatally shoots one of three men trying to steal his car. “The fatal shooting came just days after a 60-year-old grandfather allegedly shot a 16-year-old boy who pulled a gun on him and fired several shots during an attempted carjacking in the city.”

Given the crime situation in Philly, we might see jury nullification on this, I don’t know. But I’m guessing that the Soros DA will consider this a rare case worthy of full-bore prosecution, lest other people start shooting criminals.

Reminder: The justice system isn’t really there to protect citizens from criminals. It’s there to protect criminals from citizens. And within limits that’s a good thing, but when you create a state of nature, you get a state of nature. And in the state of nature people absolutely do kill to protect their property from marauders.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, IT HAD JOE BIDEN IN IT: Biden’s press conference was an utter disaster.

If President Joe Biden’s press conference Wednesday was supposed to inspire confidence, it failed — horribly.

Even though he spent most of it clearly calling on reporters from a list of “safe” questioners provided by his staff, he stumbled and bumbled and all too often made no sense at all. Plus, he repeated his bizarre “whisper shout” gimmick to emphasize certain points — when what it actually emphasizes is his age.

On that note, he kept walking down memory lane, reminiscing about how “in my day” cable news was like that; the Republican Party was like this, and so on. He’s fighting old wars in his head, or maybe just confused about the modern world.

Yet he couldn’t remember what he said last week, insisting he hadn’t compared opponents of end-running the Senate filibuster rules to pass the nationalize-election-law bill to Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis. Yet minutes later he warned those same (Democratic!) senators that their supposedly infamous position will stick with them all the rest of their days.

And that’s before we got to the part where he green-lighted a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Related: The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.

YEP: Why Science™ Authorities Flip-Flopped to COVID Positions That Got People Banned Five Minutes Ago. “‘Trust the Science’ has long meant ‘submit to our politics of total control.'”

QUESTION ASKED: Why is the FBI at the home of Rep. Cuellar? “Rep. Henry Cuellar is a moderate Texas Democrat who is sometimes at odds with his own party on issues like border control. Today, a reporter named Valerie Gonzalez is reporting that the FBI has shown up at Rep. Cuellar’s home and is currently investigating something.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): From the comments: “It is sad that the default assumption is that the FBI is targeting Cuellar at the request of their Democrat party masters, and no one doubts it.”

And as someone else notes, that’s the pattern.

OPEN THREAD: When I get low, I get high.

STRAIGHT FIRE: “This is gonna be the end of your cushy government bureaucratic careers”: Bethany Mandel went full Tombstone on her county council over proposed vax passports.

[Warning: Looking directly at these words for too long may cause blindness because they’re more nuclear than the core of the sun]

So everyone here is going to tell you why this is bad for businesses and for residents. I’m here to tell you why this is bad for you as politicians. This is gonna be the end of your cushy government bureaucratic careers.

Here’s the thing. The seats for this council are up for a primary vote in June. That’s the deciding election in this county. An election the only truly motivated people bother to vote in during off-election years. Unfortunately for you, you’ve made us care. And we’ve filled these speaking slots within three minutes of them opening.

For those of you who are facing term limits, we’re coming for your seats. For those of you who plan to run again, we’re coming for yours. This resolution is the final straw for a number of businesses, groups and individuals in this county who have seen you come close to destroying everything they’ve built.

Read the whole thing; as Greg Gutfeld said last month:

GUTFELD: So it’s up to the people to tell them that it’s over. Right now, if you’re at home, you’re not in office like this, you have no idea what it’s like in this building. You have no idea. I just sent home what, four — four employees? Stress is peaking. It’s a combination of holiday stress, a combination of hassles that you have to deal with when you’re traveling. And they are adding this on top.

So there is an environment of panic gushing through the city, going through our offices that is 100 times worse than omicron. Its nuts. And it’s creating psychosomatic symptoms. I’m very suggestible. One minute I feel great. The next, I think I’m dying. This is insane.

This is — the point I’m making is, this is a panic from the top down. It’s not from above. It’s not a typical hysteria that you would get about some kind of strange phenomenon. This is a reverse hysteria. It’s coming from government bureaucracy, right? So the problem here is that you have a mild but highly contagious strain that almost everybody is getting. You get tested, it’s going to come positive. That’s what is happening with everyone I know.

But the only tool that we have is a sledgehammer. So we have the testing and then what we do is we send everybody home.

PERINO: Right.

GUTFELD: It is a shutdown in reverse. Originally we were saying okay, we’re going to shut down everything and maybe it will stop. But now we’re doing it in reverse. We’re testing. Now we’re doing it. And it turns out if you get this thing, it’s as tolerable as a cold. Most of the people that I know that have it had sniffles and that’s it. But we have a government bureaucracy that is terrified of losing an election and terrified of litigation.

So what now is not a death panic, it’s a hassle panic because we all want to go home and be with our families and they’re screwing us over. But, what this intense panic tells you, the government is not an appropriate vehicle anymore for telling us what to do. They are done because the vehicle only has one speed and its panic.

It’s driven by one incentive, re-election. It’s not driven, it’s not skewered towards risk management. Adults understand risk management. You saw that with Biden. He doesn’t understand it. He believes that there should be zero risk. That is a child mentality. So it is up to us to pick the date. I’ve been having a conversation with Scott Adams. We decided that the date for this is February 1st.

We are the hostage negotiators on behalf of America to discuss with the government about what to do since no one else has volunteered. We have to talk to the government about a return to normalcy because they are not going to do it. They are too cowardly. So it’s up to us to actually say this is what we want. February 1st, we are done.

Related:

That’s what happens when your Website is an offshoot of America’s Newspaper of Record.

PUTIN’S PUPPET: Biden admits Russia ‘will be able to prevail over time’ if it invades Ukraine.

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH PIERS MORGAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY: Piers Morgan Obliterates Joe Biden’s First Year In Office: ‘You’ve Been A Disaster.’

NEO: Kamala’s Nightmare.

Thomas Lifson, the author of the article I linked, thinks Harris is stupid. I disagree, although I acknowledge that she’s not the brightest bulb. What I think she is, is scared. Really really scared.

Based on watching her facial expressions, speech patterns, and body language, my gut feeling is that Harris is under so much pressure that she’s cracking somewhat. I don’t mean it’s nervous breakdown time; I just mean major jitters. I think Kamala senses how badly things are going. She knows she has to defend the indefensible and lacks the nimble snarkiness of Jen Psaki, the ability to lie without showing a “tell.”

I believe that Harris suspects – or fears – that, having fulfilled her ambitions and become VP, it’s an example of the Peter Principle and she’s unqualified or at least unready. Her day-to-day existence has become a bit like the actor’s dream or the student anxiety dream come to life, in which everyone is watching you and you’ve forgotten your lines or forgotten to study the subject.

For Harris, it may be some of both. I think it generally takes an extraordinary person to prepare for the job of president or vice-president. Some people are quick studies and have nerves of steel, or they’ve been major politicos for so long that they’re functioning more or less on automatic. I don’t see that with Harris, who looks and sounds frightened to me.

She remains personally ambitious, power-hungry, dedicated to whatever leftist beliefs animate her. But she’s winging it and she knows it. And it’s not turning out anything like she expected.

Earlier: Another Kamala Harris aide quits as claims of turmoil, ‘bullying’ mount.

ADVICE FROM MICHAEL YON: Stock Up.

JOE BIDEN ‘MAKES NO APOLOGIES FOR’ BOTCHED AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL:

Joe Biden’s approval ratings have been underwater since his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in millions of dollars of military equipment being left behind, a frantic effort to evacuate Afghan refugees and American citizens from the country, and a bombing that took the lives of 13 U.S. service members.

Yet when Afghanistan came up during his press conference on Wednesday, he doubled down on his actions.

“There was no way to get out of Afghanistan after twenty years easily. Not possible,” Biden insisted. “And I make no apologies for what I did.”

He continued, “I have a great concern for the women and men who were blown up on the line at the airport by [the] terrorist attack against them.”

That’s cold comfort to the Americans still trapped there: Wall Street Journal editorial calls for more attention to Americans still stranded in Afghanistan.

According to a source cited by the board, the State Department is currently tracking 126 Americans still in Afghanistan with only five ready to depart with the necessary travel documents. The information provided by the source followed the State Department claiming earlier in December that it “is currently in touch with fewer than a dozen U.S. citizens who want to leave Afghanistan, are prepared to depart, and have the necessary travel documents.”

Earlier: Joe Biden Comes Full Circle:

During a 2012 eulogy for George McGovern, Joe Biden recalled a confrontation he had with President Gerald Ford over pulling troops out of Vietnam. Ford had agreed to meet with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which included then-freshman Joe Biden, to discuss the administration’s military funding requests during the fall of South Vietnam on April 14, 1975.

According to Biden’s account: “I said, ‘Begging the president’s pardon, but I’m sure if the president were in my position, the president would ask the president the following question.’ I swear to God, it’s in the transcript. And Ford looked at me very graciously, and he said, ‘Yeah?’ I said, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, you haven’t told us anything.’ They were talking about Sector 1, Sector 2, Sector 3, and with that the president turned and said, ‘Henry, tell them.’ And that was the first time it was decided that we were not going to try to sustain our presence [in Vietnam],” said Biden.

But Biden’s alleged statement, and the response from Ford, do not appear in the classified minutes of the meeting, which have been released by the Ford Library Museum. According to the transcript, Biden did speak up at the meeting to oppose military aid to help evacuate South Vietnamese allies alongside the U.S. troops. “I am not sure I can vote for an amount to put American troops in for one to six months to get the Vietnamese out. I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out,” said Biden, according to the transcript.

Found via Fred Bauer, who notes, “Biden has never made any secret of his tremendous admiration for McGovern, whom he views as a transformational and inspirational figure.”

 

 

“TOO MANY ASIANS”: University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Amy Wax is being threatened with sanction by her school for expressing opposition to immigration to the US from Asia. Wax did not suggest she has anything against Asians as such; she just does not want any more Democratic voters, and Asian Americans mostly vote for Democrats. I have a variety of objections to her argument, but that’s neither here nor there.

As Glenn pointed out, the irony here is that progressives are so up in arms about Wax’s remarks, which have no actual effect on public policy, but are silent or even supportive as top universities impose implicit quotas on Asians. The universities try to disguise this bias, but progressives have been explicit about their hostility to Asian American success for a long time. Consider this interview with Bill Clinton from 1995:

“Our diversity is our great strength,” [President Clinton] declared. “If a university says, ‘Look, we’re only going to let in qualified people, but we think that the life of the university will be strengthened if we had different kinds of people,’ then I think that’s a legitimate thing.” Otherwise, he added, “there are universities in California that could fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian Americans.”

There is a right answer to that, and it’s “so what?” People don’t come stamped as “Asians” or “whites” or “Hispanics.” These are labels we impose on them. In the case of “Asians” we impose on people with ancestry in places as varied as India, Mongolia, and Indonesia. If people from these backgrounds excel academically, and collectively take up even the whole freshman class at Berkeley, *so what*?

But we know, “so what?” It’s a way of trying to rally whites to be for racial preferences by suggesting that otherwise their children will be displaced by “Asians.” (I can’t find a link, but I remember a Congresswoman making this argument explicitly back in the 90s.) In other words, “diversity” concerns become an excuse for quotas against Asians. It’s gross and it’s racist, and unlike what Wax said, it does suggest hostility to Asians, as such. And it’s high time someone called progressives on this sort of thing.

MOTES AND BEAMS: Something in Your Eyes May Reveal if You’re at Risk of Early Death, Study Shows. “For instance, if the algorithm predicted a person’s retina was a year older than their actual age, their risk of death from any cause in the next 11 years went up by 2 percent. At the same time, their risk of death from a cause other than cardiovascular disease or cancer went up by 3 percent. The findings are purely observational, which means we still don’t know what is driving this relationship at a biological level.”

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY (CONT’D): Jen Psaki’s already put out a statement cleaning up President Biden giving Putin the green light to invade Ukraine.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Morning Consult: Biden’s below Trump in voters’ first-year report card. Notably, Trump had almost the entire news media, along with pretty much every other institution in America from the FBI to the FDA, working against him. For Biden’ it’s the reverse and yet he’s still tanking compared to Trump.

IT’S THE OBAMACARE ROLLOUT ALL OVER AGAIN: Incompetent Biden Administration’s COVID Test Website Faceplants on First Day.

K12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: This story about Seattle Public Schools’ director of ethnic studies is pretty remarkable. “Remember Rachel Dolezal, that lady a few years ago who pretended to be black? That’s exactly what this is.”

COLOR ME SKEPTICAL: Survey Claims People Happier With Modern Car Buying Experience.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. School Closures Were a Catastrophic Error. Progressives Still Haven’t Reckoned With It.

It is now indisputable, and almost undisputed, that the year and a quarter of virtual school imposed devastating consequences on the students who endured it. Studies have found that virtual school left students nearly half a year behind pace, on average, with the learning loss falling disproportionately on low-income, Latino, and Black students. Perhaps a million students functionally dropped out of school altogether. The social isolation imposed on kids caused a mental health “state of emergency,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The damage to a generation of children’s social development and educational attainment, and particularly to the social mobility prospects of its most marginalized members, will be irrecoverable.

It is nearly as clear that these measures did little to contain the pandemic. Children face little risk of adverse health effects from contracting COVID, and there’s almost no evidence that towns that kept schools open had more community spread. . . .

What happened next was truly disturbing: The left by and large rejected this evidence. Progressives were instead carried along by two predominant impulses. One was a zero-COVID policy that refused to weigh the trade-off of any measure that could even plausibly claim to suppress the pandemic. The other was deference to teachers unions, who were organizing to keep schools closed. Those strands combined into a refusal to acknowledge the scale or importance of losing in-person learning with a moralistic insistence that anybody who disagreed was callous about death or motivated by greed.

Social scientists have measured the factors that drove schools to stay closed last year. One study found schools with unionized teachers, more of which were located in more Democratic-voting districts, were more likely to remain all virtual. Another likewise found “local political partisanship and union strength,” rather than the local severity of COVID, predicted school closing.

School closings admitted — and then demonstrated — that public education isn’t an essential service, and that teachers, as a group, don’t really care about your kids.

EBOLA? Guess Who Is More Popular Than Joe Biden?

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